Anime Roundup: January 29, 2014
A day late with the news, due to things happening, but not a dollar short, I'm sure. The wanderer returns: Takehiko Inoue's sensational Vagabond, his manga treatment of the story of Miyamoto Musashi and one of the X Number Of...

This site is


See all articles

In Print Or Out Of Reach?

No comments

Centering criticism of media around available, in-print titles is useful in the short run, but deprives both audiences and critics of real food for thought in the long run

© 1995 SHIROW MASAMUNE/KODANSHA · BANDAI VISUAL · MANGA ENTERTAINMENT

Scarlett Johannson And The Half-Shelled 'Ghost'

No comments

Casting Scarlet Johannson as Motoko Kusanagi is proof the live-action 'Ghost in the Shell' is as misguided a production as any previous Western attempt to adapt anime

© Shirow Masamune • Production I.G / KODANSHA • GHOST IN THE SHELL ARISE COMMITTEE

'Ghost In The Shell: ARISE: Border 4: ghost stands alone'

No comments

With all four installments of 'ARISE' in place, the whole of it adds up to a breathless but superficial ride, lacking the soul and personality that dignified its predecessors

See all articles

'Opus': Satoshi Kon's Unfinished Symphony

Never finished and lost to time, Satoshi Kon's mini-epic about a manga artist caught in the interpenetration of reality and his imagination works both on its own terms as an adventure -- and as an unintentional metaphor for its creator's own career

No comments

It's depressing to think that most everything I've had to say about Satoshi Kon as of late has been, in one form or another, a lament to the effect that he died far too soon and left behind far too much unfinished work. Most every creator's work functions to some degree as a commentary on their career, but in the case of Opus it's doubly true: it not only echoes the larger themes of Kon's career, but the arc of his career as well. That it does so serendipitously, not intentionally, makes it all the more poignant to have this abortive title formally released to the public.

Continue reading

© KON'STONE, Inc.
© Helter-Skelter Film Partners / © Kyoko Okazaki/Shodensha

'Helter-Skelter: Fashion Unfriendly': I've Got You Under My Skin

This caustic satire of the meat-market beauty industry works as both a manga and a live-action production, although it is more concise and less distractingly glamorous on paper than it is on a screen

No comments

I am doll eyes, doll mouth, doll legs
I am doll arms, big veins, dog bait
Yeah, they really want you
They really want you, they really do
     —Hole, "Doll Parts"

I don't think the modern culture of beauty started with the onset of the information age, but I'm not sure the power of the information age to demythologize and quantify everything will be the end of the beauty cult, either. If anything, the human body today has become all the more a set of mere assets to be digitized, manipulated, and perfected. If we could, in fact, make ourselves look like whatever we saw in a magazine, via 3D-printed body parts and genetic design, wouldn't the whole debate about the damaging effects of impossibly perfect beauty become moot?

Continue reading

'REDLINE': Faster Than The Speed Of Love

Even if the story's little more than a placeholder, 'REDLINE' seethes with visuals so propulsive and uninhibited, they alone guarantee it a place in anime history

No comments

There's a difference between a simple story and a thin story. A simple story has just enough to get the job done: no fat, no waste, no excess. A thin story has just enough to pass as a story, but nothing more than that: no flair, no feeling, no curves. The first time I watched REDLINE I put it in the "thin" category, since it only seemed to have enough plotting to put wheels on the vehicle and set it in motion -- albeit at six trillion miles per hour. But I've come around since then. REDLINE has no more story than it needs, because its real mission is to provide a gloriously over-the-top answer to the question: What if Ralph Bakshi came out of retirement and directed a space-borne installment of the Fast & Furious franchise?

Continue reading

© 2010 Katsuhito Ishii, GASTONIA, MADHOUSE / REDLINE Partners
See all articles