Posts Tagged ‘Anime’

Oh….Jack…!

Sun ,23/04/2017

well worth the wait! But was only able to see the first 3 episodes….hopefully goes on all summer!

candybowl

So….AWESOME!!

Sun ,12/02/2017

made my day. Thank you Genndy!!!

candybowl

The Legend of Korra.

Sat ,21/01/2017

Finished this animated series a few nights ago. I have to say, this was overall a very good series. There were a few minor flaws, but for the most part it was very good on character development, creating real conflicts in and around the variety of personalities they present, and not being above injecting humor throughout, but not in a completely ‘kids’ way (Superfriends, i’m talking to YOU).

To me, there are essentially 3 kinds of animated shows.

1) Those that are pure, straight kids entertainment – i would throw in nearly all early cartoons in this realm (Mickey Mouse, Tom & Jerry, most of Flintstones, most of Hanna-Barbera’s other output, most of Bugs Bunny and his era, and of course Speed Racer), most the 70s Saturday am stuff I grew up on, SpongeBob, etc.;

2) Animation that masks itself as kids stuff but tries to also play to adults either directly or indirectly, sometimes even as a smirky way to increase viewership – I’d put nearly all Pixar’s output in this realm, even though a few of their movies of late have really lowered the bar (anything with *cars* in them comes to mind); a lot of modern anime is also here; and more ‘serious’ stuff like Samurai Jack, TRON:Uprising, etc.

3) Animation that obviously intends to be for adults directly – either because of certain subject matter (we really, really don’t have to go there, but sadly it exists) or because the show in the end is actually the same as a live-action show would be, but for whatever reason (set in the future, deals with fantasy, horror, unrealistic or science-fiction type stories and/or technology – even production cost) is an animated show.

I’m not going to count animation that is essentially glorified commercials for toys (TMNT, much of Transformers, and the list goes on) – not.

The Legend of Korra is squarely set in (2). While it’s effectively a sequel series to Avatar:The Last Airbender, it goes in its own way to try to entertain and teach at the same time – but despite the fact that there may be slightly *too* many crises throughout the four Books of the series, it never talks down to its audience, and I was pleasantly surprised time and again with the way it handled the characters and dialogue. And unlike many recent comic book movies or similar multiyear series – it really doesn’t have glaring plot holes that take the viewer out of the story due to simple logic failure. It’s definitely a long series (52 episodes) but in the end, it’s definitely worth it. I only wish other equally good or better series (TRON:Uprising and Sym-Bionic Titan) had received an equal level of network support and promotion (both only had one season). And the far quirkier earlier Invader Zim – same deal.

but watch it – you won’t be disappointed.

candybowl

Big Hero 6!

Sun ,12/04/2015

saw Big Hero 6 last night – great movie! While it’s a Disney movie and in some ways, in the tradition of Pixar (and since the Pixar guys are running the Disney animation studios these days, that’s not surprising) – it’s still unique in its own way(s), too.

Apparently this is a Marvel comic – I had never heard of it – but they changed the story more than a bit for the movie. While the plot sometimes clips along a bit too quickly for the story setup, it’s still well done and entertaining. And like with earlier Pixar movies like Up, they don’t hold back on the teary scenes either. Which I don’t mind, really (although Up was a bit extreme in that regard) – it means they aren’t just making a 90-minute toy commercial, after all. :)

There are echoes of many other movies in this one – I saw homage(s) to The Matrix, The Avengers, and Godzilla, but I’m sure there are others. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I’m glad they didn’t go overboard with it, nor did they spend time with always-despised product placement in the movie, either (Michael Bay, I’m talking to YOU!)

Definitely worth watching.

Other voices:
Yahoo Movies
Rotten Tomatoes
Metacritic

candybowl

Wild schtuff….

Sun ,25/01/2015

Iron Giant: Up close with Kuratas, the $1.4 million, 4-ton mech robot

kuratas!

candybowl

Samurai Quack ?!?

Fri ,26/12/2014

came across this earlier this week – apparently they spoofed Samurai Jack on the more recent Duck Dodgers series – you can watch it here on YT – just fast forward to the 10:25 mark….this still has Mako in it (voice of Aku in the original) – it was done the year before he passed away…..

candybowl

Yep.

Wed ,17/12/2014

Asteroid Blues: The Lasting Legacy of Cowboy Bebop

What they said. And what we said.

candybowl

Ghost in the Shell: Arise

Wed ,03/12/2014

longtime readers – Hmmm…. – may have seen the previous posts on Ghost in the Shell – both the movies and the 2 TV Series. recently a ‘prequel’ 4-episode miniseries was done that arguably fits ahead of all of them in time, although it’s closest in plot, characters and mentality to the two TV series – Ghost in the Shell:Arise.

So these episodes are a bit of a mix – they attempt to tell more of Motoko’s backstory (I can’t remember if they did much in the series with this, certainly not the movies, with this, barring one notable episode) – and they show the forming of the team (Motoko, Batou, Borma, Paz, Saito and Togusa with Aramaki as the Chief) that continues in the two series. And they attempt to include the other characters a bit more than seen previously (in the series it’s all about Motoko, Batou and Aramaki with Togusa in close second, the rest of the team have fairly 2-dimensional roles) although with four episodes there isn’t much time for that.

Here they also develop Motoko’s origins in Army Intelligence prior to joining Section 9, which is interesting but definitely not explained enough. And her former captain (Kurutsu) is seen throughout this series, in part as a foil, in part as a potential adversary? It’s not really clear.

Like all the Ghost series and movies, the animation is top-notch, and the visuals are always interesting and offbeat. And in addition to the backstory development mentioned above, there are at least two major plot lines through the four series in parallel, and those are sometimes hard to follow but interesting also.

The Section 9 ‘think tanks’ (Tachikomas in the two TV series) are seen here as earlier versions called ‘Logicomas’ – while the characters sometimes slam their capabilities as outdated or inferior, they seem as useful as the later versions – and not quite as silly in voice characterization as the later Tachikomas are).

And another interesting side topic is the infrequent commentary on ‘cyberization’ of humans – the human dream of merging man with machine – as well as the flip side of it being forced on people in part due to corporate greed. I found it kind of ironic that the people (with one exception) doing most of the commentary on this in the show are full cyborgs (all the members of Section 9 excepting Togusa and Aramaki).

I would say that besides the first movie, the first TV series (namely the Laughing Man story cycle within) would be my favorite – but this mini-series is very well done and definitely next in line – there’s likely sufficient timeline available for yet another between this series and the events in Stand Alone Complex, certainly. Like Initial D, Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell rarely disappoints and ranks right up there with the best anime – can’t wait for the next one!

candybowl

Sym-Bionic Titan!

Thu ,06/11/2014

Annoying – I find yet ANOTHER great animated series, only to determine that it’s already been CANCELLED – argh! So just finished watching the last episode of Sym-Bionic Titan, made by one of my fave animators – Genndy Tartakovsky, you may know him for Samurai Jack, Dexter’s Laboratory or even one of the early Clone Wars animated series.

So apparently this series came out a few years ago but was ultimately cancelled after its first year of 20 episodes in part because there were no TOYS associated with it? Sometimes I really think Cartoon Network has its head up its collective TV set on this stuff?!?

This series is really well-done – it has the always incredible art and design by Scott Wills (also of Samurai Jack fame among others); it has engaging stories that while in some cases a wee bit repetitive (they do generally fight one monster a show) still move a multistory plot along in the background and have the characters actually *develop* along the way. Astute viewers will notice sly visual pop culture references hidden in most episodes or in some cases, dialogue, but ths show doesn’t go out of its way to be ‘hip’ in that respect, which is nice.

One thing that’s very different about this show vs. say, Samurai Jack, is that the violence is definitely more pronounced, definitely more anime-inspired. While in watching some extras about Samurai Jack, they talked about how they could never actually kill a ‘person’ onscreen in that show – so they slice and dice robots and robot kaiju all over the place instead – here, they definitely left that rule behind, sometimes in a big way (the large battles of the ‘Escape from Galaluna’ episode especially).

But like happened to TRON:Uprising – I guess hollywood can’t appreciate (and RENEW for another season!) quality when they see it. Hopefully Mr. Tartakovsky will keep up the great work and using the same animators and art team – amazing stuff, this was…..

Other voices:
Metacritic

candybowl

End of an era……Initial D

Mon ,01/09/2014

Discovered they finally finished Initial D – and watched the last four episodes (Final Stage). Very glad they kept with it. These start a bit slow and go a bit overboard on backstory, but all the things we love about Initial D are still there:

– ridiculous, over the top posturing (although less than in past Stages);
– crazy mountain driving without apparently any hint of fear, parental control or police;
– ‘mental monologuing’ throughout where people are constantly explaining things to each other out loud (or through narration);
– and last but certainly not least – Takumi Fujiwara and his amazing AE86 Trueno…..

Enjoy. I am not supplying a link because if you simply do a search, you’ll find it. :) In case you missed Fifth Stage (immediately precedes Final Stage, there are 14 episodes) – you’ll want to search for and watch that first. And if you haven’t watched ANY of them, what were you thinking (and get to work – Funimation has Stages 1-4 online!

According to Wikipedia, there is also a three-part movie remake coming….woo hoo!

candybowl