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Anime Roundup: July 1, 2016
Go 'Berserk' at last; 'AKIRA' might get fast 'n furious with Justin Lin; and live-action 'Kenshin' comes Stateside at last.

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© AJIN Production Committee

'A-JIN': Live, Die, Repeat

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After 'Knights of Sidonia', Netflix and Polygon Pictures aim — sucessfully — for darker and harder-hitting territory

© Paramount Pictures / Dreamworks SKG

The Live-Action 'Ghost In The Shell' Is Further Evidence Hollywood Has No Idea How To Adapt Anime

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With all the anime/manga projects out there to choose from, why does Hollywood insist on choosing the ones that give it the biggest cultural difficulties?

© Shirow Masamune · Production I.G/KODANSHA · GHOST IN THE SHELL: THE MOVIE COMMITTEE

'Ghost In The Shell: The New Movie': Only New On The Outside

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In the end, all the 'Ghost in the Shell: ARISE' continuity has done is lead us right back where we started

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'Dimension W': One-Dimensional

Competent but ultimately tame, 'Dimension W' squanders an intriguing premise on a story that's more off-the-shelf than off-the-rails

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The other day a friend of mine and I were discussing Joss Whedon and the Avengers franchise, and the sum of my comment was that those productions were not bad, just not good. They weren't incompetent, but they didn't really bring anything to the table that hadn't been there before; they just brought more of it at once. People seemed to be reacting more to the fact that the movies got made at all, and weren't an awful mess, than because there was anything genuinely exciting going on. I felt the same way about Dimension W, a competent but ultimately generic series that exists mostly to tick off a list of ingredients but not invest them with the kind of ferocious creativity they were begging to have applied to them. The show is like a toupee: it doesn't look bad from a distance, but the closer you get the more you realize there's little there save fakery and façades.

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© © YUJI IWAHARA/SQUARE ENIX, DW PROJECT
© Hiromu Arakawa/FA Project, MBS.

They're Filming This: 'Fullmetal Alchemist'

You heard right - a Japanese live-action version of the now-classic manga and anime property is coming our way, with all kinds of interesting implications in tow

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From the outside, the news seems about as straightforward and joyous as it can get: Director Fumihiko Sori (of the live-action Ping Pong, among others) will be sitting in the director's chair for a live-action adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist, set to be released in 2017. Casting has already been announced, too. But the other details of this adaptation make this a project that's at least as curious as it is exciting — in part because it's a Japanese-language and Japanese-cast production of a story that could also have been filmed in the West with no lossage.

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'Garm Wars: The Last Druid': History, And Oshii, Repeating Themselves

Mamoru Oshii's live-action project is a sad misfire -- ponderous, pretentious, and worst of all, nothing he hasn't done before (and done better, too)

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At the heart of any truly great artist is a set of obsessions that function as a two-edged sword. They can drive the artist to find truths from within that others would never seek, but they can also limit that artist to jogging endlessly around the perimeter of the same track forever. I am hard-pressed to say whether Mamoru Oshii is a) obsessed or b) just plain out of ideas, but with Garm Wars: The Last Druid, Oshii's most recent live-action feature, I'm edging towards the second conclusion. It isn't that the movie is bad, although that's arguably true; it's that it's redundant. Oshii's said all this before, better, many times.

Garm Wars (what a lamentable title) plays like someone created a Mamoru Oshi storytelling program and front-loaded it with all of his usual subjects — a suitably exotic setting, the nihilism of perpetual warfare, the significance of personal memory, basset hound mascots. The program then spat out a Markov Chain assemblage of those pieces, all recycled from his previous works in some manner. Nothing in this film convinced me Oshii is interested in testing these concepts, or expanding on them, or re-examining them in new lights. He's just jacketing them in new clothing and jugging them in new wine bottles.

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© 2014 I.G Films Inc.
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