Placed side by side with its anime and manga brother incarnations, 'Fullmetal Alchemist' deserves more to be seen for where it rethinks and reinterprets, and less for how it deviates from the playbook
Is it possible, or wise, to critique anime adaptations of video games as if they had come from from any other source?
The last Studio Ghibli film, at least for now, aims for the good-hearted timelessness of all the studio's best films, and by and large achieves it
There is, I admit, a stroke of practical genius in the act of optioning Tiger & Bunny for a Western live-action movie, as relayed by the Hollywood Reporter. Ever since it first appeared on these shores, I figured it would be a shoo-in for just such a treatment — after all, the show is itself loving homage to Western superhero comics. This is as it should be, since culture is cyclical: we influence Japan, and Japan influences us right back. What I'm certain of, though, is that the target audience isn't anime fans, in the same way that the target audiences for the Dark Knight trilogy and the Avengers films weren't actually comics fans either — and that this isn't a wholly bad thing.
For about half of its first season, Tokyo Ghoul runs the risk of letting its own worldbuilding get the better of it, by giving us a main character who's severely upstaged by the story he's in. Then the show manages to tack against the wind of its own issues, and goes from being a near-miss to a very palpable hit. The hard part for some audiences, I suspect, will be getting to that tipping point. I know my own patience was tested at times, even when I knew full well that was deliberate — you don't show someone pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps all in one go. The question is, is it worth the payoff? In this case, I think it is, and not just because a good deal more of this story awaits us down the line.
If an ordinary man puts on a uniform, he's not ordinary anymore — not merely because of the uniform, but because of what other people see in it: the glow of authority, the glamour of fashion, the glitter of personal style. If a show puts on a uniform of style, it can be tempting to believe the style is all there is — for a show to be that flashy, that outré, that excessive, it can't possibly have anything under those emperor's clothes. Can it?
Such a line of thinking discounts the possibility that the style is the message — that style and message transform each other the minute they're brought together, and that the whole point of the exercise is to mix the two and see what greater gestalt emerges. Kill la Kill is all about the way style and substance, inside and outside, public face and private desires, fuse and change forever, as expressed through an entertainment that embodies how surfaces and depths complement each other.