Tuesday, March 30

Black Lagoon Season 3 Promo is up

Finally it pop up. And it looks promising. Question is, will it be OAD/OVA or series? The Ballad of Death arc lasted more than 26 chapters in manga.


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Friday, March 26

Satoshi Kon

Sometimes he masturbates on his work too much. Sometimes his work is a bit too dense for people to grasp. But it has touch of irony and simplicity that captures the feel. His visuals are rather different from others, not as playful as Shinbo but not as stern as Oishii's. Or as nostalgic as Shinkai.

His notable works are Paranoia Agent, Millennium Actress and Paprika.

Enjoy the short piece anyway.

Interview in English.

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Monday, March 22

Live Action Bleach?

A big rumor flying around now, Warner Brothers is negotiating for rights of Bleach franchise. I can foresee a massive outcry from the Bleach fans since the adaptation experience is less than stellar (anyone remembered Legend of Chun Li?). No updates on US version of Death Note surfaced lately despite its massive popularity in USA, so now this talk might just fell through. I am sure some Bleach fans wished for that.

Me? I will just watch it for LOL factor. Not in cinema though.


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Monday, March 15

Manga creation process.

What I like here is they show the process of making manga which is rare in public. It is a painstaking work, needless to say. Also, it is not an easy job to be a mangaka or even an assistant, for that matter.

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Saturday, March 13

Who will be Koizumi next nemesis?

The anime shorts Legend of Koizumi is hilarious series based on this manga. I noticed that the OP sequence have hints as to who will be next opponent of the intrepid hero from land of Rising Sun. Now let's see....

Looking at the OP montage, the silhouette matches a famous portrait of Shi Huang Ti. I did not speculate, I am pretty confident it was him. It is hard to miss Great Wall of China at the background too.

The OP also shows Adolf Hitler as the next nemesis. His arm raised in Nazi salute in front of the Nazi Eagle is pretty clear.

Napoleon Bonaparte with his most famous portrait, this drawing is based on him during spectacular Italian campaign.

Augustus Caesar, 1st Emperor of Imperial Rome. The pose looks the same with background of the famous Colosseum.

Now this one is a big question mark for me. The sequence of the OP montage suggests that he will be next opponent of Koizumi after Shih Huang Ti, the First Emperor of China,. The background is Chinese and my speculation is this enemy will be wisest man of China after Koizumi won against the best warrior king of China. My pick will be 3: Sun Tzu, Zhuge Liang or Kung Fu Tze or Confucius.

Let's see if I was right. LOL!

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Friday, March 12

Stage play based on Legend of Galactic Heroes

The evergreen tale of rivalry between Admiral Wang Wen Li and Emperor Lohengramm will be presented in stage play format in Tokyo, starting next January. Strangely I always thought that while I was watching the epic anime including the movies. Perhaps the generous use of classical music in the anime made me think that way. Heh.

It is pretty cool for me, a fanboy of this epic series.

Main Site

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Tuesday, March 9

Evangelion the Movie 2.0 / ヱヴァンゲリヲン新劇場版: 破 review

I manage to catch this movie in full screen glory finally. What can I say?

The action sequences were a sight to behold on big screen, it draws the audience in by sheer kinetic force and epic that TV budget won't allow even with special cut editions. Highlight of the scenes were few, this movie alone have 5 "shitos"/Angel in dizzying pace with grandiose action sequences. I voted the entry scene of EVA -02 as the best, the camera actually followed Asuka from HALO jump while combating the Angel on the ground with the rest of cast gawking. Smooth scene transition were pleasing and the theme especially the creepy children song while infected EVA-03 was destroyed is quite fitting if unsettling. The creators want to emphasize again and again, the sheer inhumane aspect of the golems by the combat sequences that is not mechanical in exposition and resolution. Very organic, very human and I still remember the guts of infected EVA-03 were fling around like a lasso by berserk EVA-01 in orgy of blood. It is like the Unit-01 was celebrating victory and making example of the fallen enemy in old time fashion of battle trophy aspect. Perhaps it is a statement of mankind lust of violence and war, captured in organic golems of EVAs as form of parody? Or commentary on our propensity for violence against our own kind? Visually the movie is a feast, nitpickers can pinpoint various activities in the scenes especially the quiet city scenes. The movie even updated with current sensibilities, one major scene depicting the destruction of ocean due to Second Impact and steps to preserve the world's biosphere which might find a strong chord with people like Al Gore.

Characterization however took a step backward. What make Evangelion rocks is the utter darkness of the dramatis personae in the original TV series. The characters were so screwed up that it serves as mirror or Pandora like vista of humanity through their words and actions. Who can forget chilling gradual destruction of Asuka or frustrating mental block of Shinji in the original for example? That's what make NGE memorable and equally painful or joyous to watch, depending on the audience disposition. This is the reason why it stays on memory on so many fans since 1995. The movie however mellow down the characters considerably, Rei suddenly is more emotional, Asuka is not even forceful enough and Shinji appears to be more normal instead of being a source of emotional gamut for the audience to explore themselves. Ironically what makes the characterization flat is how normal they are. Which is weird! The titans of character study that is NGE now becoming too human, too normal. What is the point of the story if they too easy to be deconstructed? Evangelion story is so personal, so intimate that any normal characters will look out of place in the narrative. This is how I felt and reflect about the movie characters.

Mari Illustrious reminds me of Code Geass character for some reason. I couldn't finger it which one specifically but the feel is strongly there. She is considered as a yandere or crazy bitch type of stereotype, during her combat she is reckless to the point of suicidal. Yet she is short sighted and have a fetish for LCL. A juxtaposition of character shortcomings with shining, insanely courageous spirit in one package. This movie is merely an introduction of Mari, her full potential is yet to be realized. The only character that is still relatively intact from original is Gendo Ikari, possessing the arrogant smirk and manipulative personality that is just as riveting as the original Gendo. However one side note here, the Japanese voice actor for Kaji needs to work more on his English. The 5 seconds when Kaji supposedly able to converse fluently in strong, confident English just jizzed out badly with horrific Engrish. It singlehandedly undermined and destroyed the character as someone to be taken seriously in the film. Other important side characters like Aida and Hikari were sidelined very precipitously due to space constraint.

The movie is very impressive in visual but runs short on characterization which is the real core of Evangelion. Hopefully the makers of the film remember it when they finishing up the movies later. Otherwise, the movies will become just a cash cow that did not really transcend the appeal of the franchise and be forgotten in few years time. But it is still a momentous movie to be seen on big screen for sure. Big event anime movies are rare anyway.

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