On the benefits of anime featuring adult characters — even if it isn't anime for an adult audience
A pivotal inspiration for Tarantino's 'Kill Bill', this violent revenge tale brings us an anti-heroine who's as much of an outsider for being a woman as she is for being an assassin
Freshly translated into English, Nisioisin's novel of vampires and hapless human thralls is catnip for fans of his 'Monogatari' series, but everyone else faces an uphill climb
Ever since Ganriki.org debuted in November 2013, we've been wondering what each successive year would hold. It wasn't even clear we would be able to sustain the kind of pace and the variety of outlook we'd coined for ourselves in those first couple of months. Whether we would even last a year to begin with was a good question. Now here we are, two years and one month later, mapping out all that 2016 holds for us, and finding our hands fuller than ever.
There's this mistaken idea that in order to tell a story about Deep Things, you have to have a long story or a complex one. But longer and more complex aren't automatically deeper or even more interesting. Time of Eve has some big things on its mind — the biggest being the old standby of what it means to be human — but it doesn't try to address them through sprawl or pretension. It tells a modest, focused story about a few characters we come to care a great deal about, and manages to say so much more than other stories that try to be about everything at once and wind up being about nothing at all.
One of the things I liked most about Ridley Scott's Alien and James Cameron's The Abyss was the way they brought a blue-collar flavor to science fiction. After the starry-eyed, noble-explorer archetype of Star Trek and the fairy-tale-in-space aesthetic of Star Wars, SF needed more stories about people who actually looked like they worked for a living. Planetes is in the same tradition, about folks whose blue-collar jobs are no less blue collar because they take place in the future and up in space. They're garbage collectors, snagging up pieces of stray satellites or ships that have gotten stuck in orbit, and their ambitions are less in the vein of exploring the unknown and seeing the natural wonders of the void than making a good killing, buying one's own ship, and retiring somewhere cushy. That these things are all echoes of the world we know doesn't make the story any less exotic or exciting.