Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dragon Ball Z, episodes 1-5

I guess the decision to watch Dragon Ball Z before I watched the first season (Dragon Ball) is quite weird. But I wanted to see whether or not it is possible to enjoy the series as a separate show. People say it is possible. Some say it is not. Well, here is my answer.

Even if you have never seen Dragon Ball or any other incarnation of the series, you probably know who he is. Goku.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I Want To Hammer My Point In With Many Nails Instead of Few, And That's Terrible: A Galaxy Express 999 Post

After seeing Rintaro's movie version of Galaxy Express 999, I took a look at the summaries for the actual series and was shocked at how awful they made it seem. For 113 episodes, Tetsuro and Maetel do nothing but visit planets and learn lessons regarding how awful it is to be a cyborg? That wouldn't last me through a 13-26 episode series let alone one that's longer than Legend of the Galactic Heroes. How can people like that stuff?

Editor's Note: I forgot to take the time period of the anime into account when writing this, so whilst I stand by my points, I admit that it could have been reworded better and clarified my issues with Kadian in the comment section below.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Preserving the Tension in Action-Comedy

Action comedy - in which conflicts play out in an inherently absurd or amusing world - is a genre which must balance its threat to the characters with its general tone. This is not to say a moment of seriousness within an amusing story cannot work, but that finding a balance of tone and keeping this consistent is crucial to a cohesive and credible story. A series like The Irresponsible Captain Tylor or Dominion Tank Police lays out its slapstick nature plainly from the start; even if the setting is a high-stakes one there is little actual risk to anyone because the tone is defined by physical, farcical humour. Neither shies away from reminding the viewer that weapons hurt but at the same time their characters mess around and in the process avoid fights with consequences - or properly taking responsibility for them. A good example is the first battle Tylor fights in the former series; a series of slapstick mishaps result in a bomb exploding on a warship's bridge, causing a weapon malfunction which destroys a number of other ships in formation. It is a military victory - many enemy personnel are assumed to have died as the ships explode - yet it is portrayed as the punchline to a visual joke telegraphed much earlier in the episode.

This example from Captain Tylor presents one approach to action comedy; the stakes are real and people die but it is presented no differently to the consequence-less fun that precedes it. It suits that series, which parodies plainly the grand strategies and deceptions that are so memorable in the battles of Space Battleship Yamato or Legend of the Galactic Heroes - Tylor is just, through convoluted coincidences, doing exactly the same as a character like Okita in Yamato sets out to do intentionally. That tension is in fact the core joke behind Tylor. It is interesting to compare this approach with that of Majestic Prince, a series that I have written on previously. Majestic Prince had moments of silliness and ineptitude yet - a few key moments when levity suited excepted - its action was tense and shown to be consequential. Indeed, the move away from pervasive silliness as the series progressed let the characters develop beyond one-note archetypes while making the jokes that did remain stand out more. Characters died in Majestic Prince's battles, ship crews and pilots on both sides. The humour came from the pilots trying to get by and live normal lives between missions. Tylor uses enemy crews dying to friendly fire as a punchline.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Legend of Galactic Heroes: My Conquest is the Sea of Stars (1988)

LEGEND OF THE GALACTIC HEROES: MY CONQUEST IS THE SEA OF STARS is (aside from a mouthful) pretty much what happens when anime is mixed with classcal art and music.It acts as a prequel for the 110 epsiode OVA that was released right after.It shows the first the first battle between the Galactic Empire's Admiral Reinhard von M sel and Free Planets Alliance Star Fleet's Wen-li.The two sides have been at war for 150 years, so one can only guess that this encounter will act as a bit of a turning point in history for the two groups.None of that happens here however, as the whole hour is spent on developing characters and leading up to one big battle.

While it seems like this movie might be a waste of time if it doesn't get to the root of story, it's okay.It gives you enough.This was meant to be a prequel to a pretty lengthy OVA series, after all.While there isn't a lot of background given, it is still pretty easy to catch on and follow along for the hour and there is enough there to just be able to appreciate a historical rooted war story.

Friday, October 11, 2013

In Short: Autumn is GO!


DIABOLIK LOVERS (DAILOVER): Another otome game adaption. I've always felt like these were a terrible idea to adapt unless the studio picked a single route. But instead, they try to cram every route possible into a short series. It ends up being a muddled mess once they try to connect each one... DiaLover episodes clock in at 15 minutes each, the first of which I found

Sunday, September 29, 2013

All Points Bulletin: CG Jefferson Airplane Concept Album

If you have any suggestions for what to highlight on an APB drop us a line via email or Twitter.

Alain's picks:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I Love it When a Plan Comes Together

To any history professional or hardcore aficionado of antiquity this post is going to seem like me stating that water is wet and that the sky is blue. But bear with me. Not everyone can be awesome like you. This is for the rest of us.

Who knows? Maybe this post will get some discussion with you scholars from people you would not normally talk to.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Anime Backlog Habits: What Makes You Prioritise One Series Over Another?

First World Problems - but hey, everyone's experienced this. There is simply too much anime out there for one person, no matter how much of a dedicated fan you might be, to watch. So pretty much every anime fan has a backlog or a to-watch list floating around somewhere, whether it's in your head or written down.

Here's an interesting thought to ponder: assuming that everything on your backlog is something you want to watch, what makes you prioritise one series over another?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sugar Cereals And Ice Cream Dreams: The DAICON III And IV Opening Animations

There comes a point the life of any given fan where they are so fascinated by all the Cool Things they like, that they just really want to show it all to other people. They're practically bursting at the opportunity, the chance, the potential to explode in the raw ecstasy of talking up said Cool Things to anyone within earshot. There's a certain childlike wonder and glee to that, so while it can certainly be handled poorly by many in less than socially acceptable ways, it's a powerful sensation to both feel and behold.

Daicon Film, an amateur film club who came together to work on the opening ceremony video for the 1981 Nihon SF Taikai convention, clearly had such sentiments in their hearts when assembling a means of kicking off a science fiction event. To concoct an embodiment of the concept of Cool Things. In many respects, the eventual two opening animations they would go on to create are arguably among the most anime of anime to ever anime.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ghost in the Shell Arise 1 review

When I first heard that some new Ghost in the Shell was being announced, I threw my hands up in the air in celebration. Ghost in the Shell is one of my favorite anime helmed by two of my favorite directors (Mamoru Oshii and Kenji Kamiyama). A new director's spin on things is going to be awesome! As I heard more coming down the pipeline, like that it was a completely separate timeline from either Oshii's or Kamiyama's, I got a little more excited and when I heard that it was going to be a prequel, I got a little less excited. But all that aside, Ghost in the Shell Arise certainly delivers on every level I'd have wanted it to out of a first episode.

Ghost in the Shell Arise is a prequel to Shirow Masamune's original Ghost in the Shell comics. However, I don't believe that it is stand alone. Everything would feel so distant without any introduction to the series (whether that be Masamune's comics, Oshii's films, or Kamiyama's series). But don't let that be a detraction from an otherwise great work.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Legend of the Galactic Heroes, episodes 3 and 4. Next, Dragon Ball Z

Also known as Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu

After watching 4 episodes of Legend of the Galactic Heroes I think I can see why people like it a little more clearly.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

All about pre-1997ish anime

Like I usually do, I ranted on reddit a lot yesterday. Except this time, it was suggesting a lot of classic anime to some dude who wanted classic anime suggestions. Since I couldn't just let that fall into the aether of reddit, like everything does, I wanted to post it here. And since I have no pretense of professionalism, it's fine with me. Even if I did have a pretense of professionalism, it's since gone from my old and poorly written posts.

Without further ado:

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Galactic Hero

Here is Yang Wen-li, from Legend of the Galactic Heroes.LotGH is a pretty classic anime, one that I haven't actually seen :oSo I watched a few clips (thank you, youtube!) and looked into google images for some references.A picture of him from the anime is on the left.

He's an easygoing, idealistic guy whose successful military career hinged on his popularity and quick strategies.Since I haven't seen the full series, I just hope my portrait has done him some measure of justice.Perhaps one day I'll get my hands on the series just to make sure :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

One Piece, up to the episode 3. Next is Legend of the Galactic Heroes.

I know, comparing to what One Piece has to offer I watched nothing. Three episodes, all they did was introducing three characters, one of them is a side kick. So, I basically have no right to judge this anime.

But I will ^^

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sangokushi v34 (last updated June 18)

Sangokushi foreshadowing is similar to that of Legend of the Galactic Heroes. That is to say, it's as blunt as a hammer. But don't be too bummed out, it's how the events play out that matters and makes reading this tale worthwhile, not the outcome.

I don't know, Wei Yan... You're talking to a geezer that could even take on Guan Yu.

A lot of people seem to rate Liu Bei too lowly because it always seems like Pang Tong or Zhuge Liang is doing all the work. But as the incident in this chapter shows, he's still quite capable himself.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

One Piece, episode 1. I start to understand why people like it.

In my series of posts that I named "Take a peek" I watch 3-5 episodes of the biggest and most promising shows out there to form some sort of opinion. Well, that was the idea. This time I do one of the most famous and one of the longest anime series out here - One Piece.

As any anime fan I see stuff related to One Piece very-very often. Ever since I started talking on anime forums I have been seeing One Piece fanart, discussions and arguments about One Piece, how it is better or not than other shonen biggies. And to be honest, at the time I did not understand why people even like it. Art style of One Piece, when I was seeing it on static pictures, used to not impress me at all. And I used to find the character designs being anything, but in my taste. Not to mention that the all the villains look comical.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Wizard World NYC: Stan Lee Confirms Black Panther And Dr. Strange Movies

I have been fortunate enough to talk to the beloved writer, creator and living legend – a label I apply without an ounce of hyperbole –multiple times in the past few years. But I still feel like a rookie when it comes to interviewing “The Man.” And one ...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Comics AM | 'Dragon Ball' creator to launch new manga in July

Manga | As part of the 45th-anniversary celebration of Weekly Shonen Jump, legendary Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump creator Akira Toriyama will launch a new manga series called Ginga Patrol Jaka (Galactic Patrol Jaka) in the magazine's July 13 issue ...