demographic: seinen


2020


'Burst City': Punkocalypse Now! 
Gakuryū Ishii's head-on collision between gang-war and punk-rock exploitation pictures still explodes on impact decades later
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'Malice@Doll': The Machine's Last Love Song 
Half adult OVA of the 90s/00s home-video era, half experimental stop-motion art film, and while not entirely successful it's still worth a look for its low-fi digital aesthetic
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'Vital': The Weight Of The Dead, And Of The Living 
Shinya Tsukamoto's dark drama about a medical student obsessed with the cadaver of a lost love becomes a moving meditation on how life and death inform each other
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'A Snake Of June': A Love (And Death) Triangle 
Shinya Tsukamoto's eros-and-thanatos story doesn't always work, but gets an A+ for dazzling effort anyway
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Nisioisin's 'Katanagatari': Adventures Beyond The Language Barrier 
Nisioisin's twelve-novel cycle of a 'swordless swordsman' and 'strategemist' on a weapons hunt is, in its English edition, a gold standard for how to translate cutting-edge cultural properties
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'The Great Pretender': Con Men At Work 
A real delight: a smart, fleet-footed story inspired by classic con-man comedies, and with correspondingly more to bring to the table than other anime
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'Electric Dragon 80.000V': Raw Power 
Gakuryū Ishii's hourlong, warp-speed clash of pseudo-superheroes is still deafeningly good fun after twenty years
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'Gojoe': The Demons On The Bridge 
Twenty years later, Gakuryū Ishii's revisionist samurai legend still dazzles and jolts like few other movies of its kind
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'HUMAN LOST': The Death Wishers 
Why transmute Ozamu Dazai's 'No Longer Human' into medico-punk science fiction? Good question
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'Gemini': Of Self And Other 
Shinya Tsukamoto's seething, psychedelic adaptation of Edogawa Rampo's work remains one of his best films
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'Boogiepop': The Antibody Has A Voice 
Kouhei Kadono's knotty novels walk us backwards through the tangled stories surrounding a being that arises just long enough to right the world when it has fallen out of joint
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'BNA: Brand New Animal': Taming The Beast 
Comparison with 'Beastars' is inevitable, but Studio Trigger's story of man-animal hybrids trying to live in harmony plays it safer and more accessible -- and less intrinsically interesting
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'Tokyo Godfathers': Three Vagabonds And A Baby 
Satoshi Kon's most "conventional" movie was also his funniest, a coincidence-driven romp through Tokyo's lower depths
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'Dorohedoro': Black (Magic) Comedy 
Blackly funny, rollicking, and spectacularly animated, the adaptation of Q Hayashida's equally off-the-wall manga is another high point for Netflix's anime coproductions
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'Ghost In The Shell: SAC_2045': A Withered Husk 
Easily the weakest 'Ghost In The Shell' project thus far, but with a tease of hope at the end of its first half
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'Beastars': Animal House 
That very rarest of breeds: a truly adult show
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'Giant Robo': The Mecha Opera 
This grand and glorious epic returns to home video for English speaking audiences in a spectacular new Blu-ray Disc edition; it is as essential as it gets
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2019


Junji Ito's 'No Longer Human': No Longer Dazai 
A manga horror icon takes on a classic of modern Japanese literature, and makes it his own in ways both fascinating and baleful
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Gō Tanabe's 'At The Mountains Of Madness': Horror's Human And Inhuman Faces 
Gō Tanabe's two-volume adaptation of Lovecraft's classic novella shouldn't be missed by fans of that writer, by lovers of comic adaptations, or by those who want to see manga at its best
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'Ryuko': International Woman Of Mystery 
A gorgeous homage to everything from Meiko Kaji's femme-violence films to 'Black Lagoon', but it's too top-heavy with plot and not resourceful enough about its own best ideas
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See more seinen posts from 2019