Archive for the 'Animation' Category

Macross Delta–the unfortunate reality

Sorry I was lax in finding out more about this, but in the end, doing so only lead to disappointment. Take a look at the new key art for the show.



The story is also a little strange. Reportedly it has stronger ties to Plus and 7 than Frontier. The story has to do with some rare disease that reduces people to their primal instincts. A desperate measure for “treatment” is the idol group “Valkure” (that’s a “cure” mixed in with the word Valkyrie). The story is about the search for the cure which involves looking for the originators of protoculture, the original ancient settlers of all the planets across the galaxies. There’s something about a Wind Kingdom and whatnot but really, they lost me with the idol group thing. It’s just a cheap grab at the new girls’ idol group boom going on now. I don’t feel a genuine attempt to tell a Macross story. Plus, if you look at the videos, you’ll see the really ugly CG they’re using. Too bad. What a disgraceful way to follow-up the excellent Frontier.

Anyway, it premieres on Sunday. I’ll see if I can catch the premiere, but don’t be surprised if I don’t.

100% Awesome

This is one of the best Opening Sequences I have ever seen.

Macross Delta

The E found this first. I’m not sure yet if this is going to be a new series or a film, but it’s obvious this is going to be a follow-up to Macross Frontier. A press conference will be broadcast live on the web on October 29. I’ll try to update with details as soon as they become available. Stay tuned true believers! —er.


Yes Please!

Really enjoy seeing fresh new styles.

Immediately thought of you after seeing this, Steve. It looks like these guys are going the Kickstarter route.


For you Evangelion fans or at least those who know the series. I just watched the TV version of the third movie in the series and it’s bat-crazy, nutty, good. Throw everything you know about Eva into a blender and really stir things up, but with just enough familiar elements from the series to ground it in the storyline and keep that original “flavor.” Really interesting stuff. Most of all, it brings back the Shinji we all love to hate.

Satoshi Kon

Thoughtful analysis of Satoshi Kon’s editing style. I need to watch these movies.

Fuck Me

The manga was way more stylized than the live-action movie. So this should be an incredible.

Something else for them to ruin…

And at Oshii’s hands to boot. They built a full size labor for close-ups and such, but I bet the CG will stink. Sigh.

Kiki’s Delivery Service
Kiki’s Delivery Service

What a wonderful way to commemorate Miyazaki Hayao’s retirement… The incredibly scaled down setting; the awesomely obvious green screen effects; that J-poppy diddy accompanying the trailer. Yup! All the charm and magic of the anime perfectly recreated and further evidence that Japan knows how to use all the neato tech they invent.


Love These Visuals

I really wish they would get their shit together and do something like this in live-action (view after the break):

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I rest my case…

This is like Thai, Singapore or HK level kind of SF filmmaking (which may just be a slight on both those film industries).


Ooooh boy.

I’m sure many of you don’t know that Japan is working on a live action movie of Gatchaman.
Yeah, if “WTF??!!” just flashed in your mind, then you reacted the same as me. Most of you will then go, “Whatever.”

But maybe one or two of you will say “Oh boy” and you would be right to worry. I can’t go into all that I think can go wrong with the film…that would be a rant by itself. The main problems of this kind of undertaking by any of Japan’s major film studios is pretty much the same across the board:

1) Not enough invested in world-class VFX. If any of you have a chance to see the Space Battleship Yamato film, you’ll see that they gave it a good try. It’s good enough for Japanese audiences, but not at the level a property with fans around the world deserve.

2) Japan does not know how to make a simple action film. Not even on the level of a Michael Bay, that is to say, all flash and no substance. In fact, the problem with Japanese studios is the exact opposite, an attempt at heart-aching substance when there should be more flash. Too much emoting. Too much melodramatics. These days, it’s all about the emotional drama; the touching ending that leaves audiences in tears (mainly targeting women). That was the case even with Yamato.

3) Japanese script writers seemed to be paid by the character count of their scripts. This is more an addendum to the above. There is too much talking when characters and plot should be driven by action (both the figurative and literal kind). And on those occasions when something is done, it is usually preceded and proceeded by talking, the kind that just ruins the tension of the moment. I’ll draw your attention back to (2) and the aforementioned Yamato, the ending of which is so anti-climatic.

And so I present you with Japan’s interpretation of Gatchaman.

Notice something? Yeah, the “bird” motifs in the costumes are pretty much gone and/or minimized. Haven’t we seen these helmet designs in “Rollerball”? Further confirmation can be seen in the main image of the homepage here where you can see the capes don’t end in feather-like shapes and the trademark “G” is now a hybrid of the classic “G” on their belt and the “bird logo” that would be on their chest. Yes, I understand that adaptation of the costumes to suit live-action will result in changes. Colors and some details, yes, but it seems the concept of the Science Ninja Team has also been changed as evidenced by the text in red. Translated it reads:

At the beginning of the 21st century,
a mysterious invader destroyed half the planet in just seventeen days.
In order to avoid extinction, humanity has placed their hopes on one thing.

A strange crystal known as The Stone.

Only 1 person in 8 million can sync with and use its power.
Humanity has gathered these “compatibles,” harbored them in a facility, and forced them to train as special agents.

Now, they have been reborn as Stone wielding ninjas…
…known as Gatchaman.

“Stone”??? “Forced to train???” Well, that seems to explain why there are those “register numbers” on the photos which is also written on their helmets. No more “G1″, “G2″, “G3″, etc., in other words, they aren’t a dedicated group of youths who have taken on the task of battling Galactor. Ken doesn’t seem like he’s going to be a pilot; Joe (excuse me he’s “George” now), a race car driver, etc. So far, all the things that define the image of these characters are gone, replaced by some weird kind of premise. Oh, and those strange, Japanglish phrases on the picture that’s also written on their helmets?? WTF is that? Anyway, with the “Bird” motif seemingly gone, what will that also do to their trademark weaponry, the God-Phoenix, and its Phoenix attack. Not much has been said about Galactor either which has me worried that the filmmakers will do to Galactor what they did with the Gamilas in “Yamato”: turn a human enemy with a distinct point-of-view into some insect-like alien rabble.

I could talk about the casting, but that really won’t matter if the basic concept is being torn apart. Whoever is on those costumes can’t change fundamental problems in the script and production design. I’m sure the movie will look “neat” but as a fan of the show, I know they could do better. ‘Cause remember the sensation this caused?

Even pop-group SMAP gave it a good try and at least showed it could be done. (the live action version of the commercial above)

They should have at least gone for some evolution of this if they want to have a global hit. But that’s not what Japanese studios are after these days, which is sad. End rant.

Sienckiewicz Dungeons & Dragons

Holy Shit! That’s all that came to mind.


It’s Kawajiri. It’s Madhouse. The art style is exactly the same. So why does this feel soooo wrong??

Oh yeah, Jubei’s snowboarding…that’s why. And there’s some motorcycle dude…literally.

Rurouni Kenshin Live Action

Or would that be “Samurai X” (GAG!)

Alright fight fans, have your say:

Reading the comments on Youtube, there certainly is a lot of excitement for a great “action pic.” But let’s not forget there are comedy and romance elements in the story as well. If they fuck up the tone on those, then this will be a mess. Japan rarely succeeds at infusing humor or romance into an action film without wild tonal shifts. Factor in the tendency of appealing to the girl demographic plus the now standard practice of writing to make people cry in the theaters and the potential for disappointment is quite tangible. I am personally still not convinced though am warming to the idea.

Heads up!

Happy New Year and all that rot! Long time lady and gents but those of you with interest should keep your eyes out for a new anime series premiering in April reuniting Cowboy Bebop director Shinichiro Watanabe with Yoko Kanno. It’s a story set in the 1960s of an introverted intellectual high school boy who finds common ground with his new school’s female class president and a delinquent student through jazz! Needless to say the soundtrack will be one to look out for, but I am betting the anime, based on a prize winning manga, should be interesting as well.

Here’s the trailer:

And link to the official HP (Japanese only of course)

Macross F movie 2

For those interested:

So, Like Wow II

Yesterday, two extended clips of the Yamato movie was aired on the TV program Smap x Smap, which is the TV program for the group of the same name, one member of which is the lead for Yamato. I’ll be honest and say that the effects seemed to stand up to scrutiny on my HDTV. Quite well done and certainly not “cheap” looking. That being said, however, it still seemed to lack sophistication. The capital ships seemed to lack a sense of scale, particularly the Yamato. There’s an odd “plasticness” to them which I am unsure was intentional or not (Japan having a great tradition of model making). Lighting shaders also seem to be run of the mill. On a beauty pass of the Yamato flying passed the camera with the key light on the opposite side of the ship, the “dark” side seemed way too bright and showed too much detail for what it should be had they gone for BSG style “realism.” The director also had the annoying tendency to fly the camera from outside of a ship, in through the cockpit and onto a closeup of a character far too often. At least 3 times in what was shown last night. So, overall, the SFX are passable. Better than I’ve seen in a sci-fi movie out of Japan, but certainly not world class as the marketing would have Japanese believe.

Here’s one clip:

And here’s the opening 2 minutes:

Am I going to see it? Probably as a rental. Over the weekend, the “weepy audience” commercial for the film aired confirming my fears that this is targeting a young, female demographic since the guys are just going to come to see the fireworks. I am certainly not feeling a sense of “adventure” from what I have seen and that is a shame.

Some of the audience comments from this clip:
“I cried the most at this film this year”
“I felt a true sense of wanting to protect the planet.”
“It made me consider a lot of things.”
“Of all the films I’ve seen, this one is the best.” (the young boy at the end who can’t be more than 11)

Reviews by average viewers have been mixed. Right now it’s averaging 3 out of 5 stars on one site. Lots of 1 and 2 star reviews by long time fans whose biggest complaint is the story of the entire saga being mashed up into 2.5 hours; they also found the deliberate focus at sentimentality and melodrama an affront to other themes the series had to offer. There are some 4 star reviews as well, as expected mostly from women not familiar with the series and a few “semi-fans” who thought it was respectful enough.

So like, wow.

I can’t seem to get to the actual video link, but here’s the facebook page that has Yamato….meets BSG?

**James, I am editing your post to embed the trailer instead of going to FB. Hope you don’t mind.** -ben


Kind of sad…


Mr. Satan Dead at 57
Daisuke Gouri (real name: Yoshio Nagahori), the voice actor best known to American anime fans as the voice of Dragon Ball Z character Mr. Satan, was found lying face-down, dead on a street in Nakano, Tokyo yesterday. Gouri reportedly had a bloody wrist and was found with a knife and a last will. Nakano police are investigating Gouri’s death as a possible suicide.

The 57 year old actor was well known for providing character voices including Robin Mask in Kinnikuman, Dozle Zabi and Bask Om in the Gundam franchise, Hiromi Yamazaki in Patlabor, and Heihachi Mishima in the Tekken video game series.
(source: Anime Nation)

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