meta: From The Manga

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'AKIRA' At 25 
How the anime that created an English-speaking audience for anime still divides those very same audiences decades later
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'Attack On Titan': Titanic, In Every Sense 
One of 2013's best shows, which manages to both shoot itself in the foot and not be limited by that
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'Attack On Titan: The Movie': A Dead-Action Film 
Misguided, tone-deaf, ugly, and erratically paced, this is one of the rare occasions where a promised Western remake might actually be just the response we deserve
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'Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City': Velvet Fist In Mailed Glove 
A much better expansion of the 'Attack on Titan' universe than the 'Before the Fall' light novel, but it's still not without its own issues
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'Barakamon': The Problem With Getting Away From It All Is You Always Take It All With You 
Having a city slicker hit the sticks isn't an innovative story by itself, but 'Barakamon' has heart, humor, and some surprising insight into what makes creative people tick
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'Berserk' (2016): What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted? 
The return of Kentarō Miura's violent fantasy epic to the little screen brings with it a fidelity to its strong characterization and powerful story -- and a renewed appreciation of all that was problematic the first time
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'Berserk': Rebooted But Not Yet Reborn 
For all its flaws, the original 'Berserk' anime had a gritty power the remake somehow lacks
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'Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III: The Advent' 
The third of the 'Berserk' films brings us to the long-awaited end of the beginning, and reminds us the TV series still did some things totally right
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'Bungo Stray Dogs': Six (Or More) Authors In Search Of Some Character 
'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' for the J-lit set; a show that has one great creative invention and then spends its entire runtime doing nothing of consequence with it
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'Claymore': The Beautiful And The Damned 
Rare these days is the series with an all-female cast where character, story, and drama are the goals, not titillation or eye candy
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'Cøde:Breaker': Someone Else's Idea Of Fun 
A show this dismal is best seen as a symptom of anime's growing insularity
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'Flowers of Evil': O Rose, Thou Art Sick 
An overwhelming experience, and a finely crafted one, but also harrowing and unpleasant from beginning to end -- even if that's supposed to be the idea
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'Fullmetal Alchemist': The Road Not Taken 
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
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'Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence': Farewell, My Lovely 
Everything that was both grand and frustrating about Oshii's original 'Ghost In The Shell' film is redoubled in its follow-up, a visionary work that neglects to give its characters their own voices
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'Hellsing Ultimate': Or, The Dracula-Vs.-Nazi-Vampire-Burning-London-To-The-Ground Blues 
Looking back over this legendary and now-concluded OVA series, it's striking to realize how it all amounted to a great deal less than it might have seemed
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'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
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'Inari Kon Kon': 21st-Century Fox 
What could have been a dreary slog through a predictable plotline is instead made sweet, sincere, and unexpectedly thoughtful
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'Jormungand': A Bullet In The Head, Or Two In The Feet? 
This poor man's 'Black Lagoon' embodies many of the problems inherent in a show about antiheroes and gray areas
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'Karneval': A Cotton-Candy Clubbing 
A show this allegedly outlandish on the outside shouldn't try to play it so safe under the skin
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'Knights of Sidonia': For The World Is Hollow And He Has Touched The Sky 
The first anime to be distributed exclusively on Netflix is dazzling and enjoyable enough to feel new, but plays it safe enough to go mainstream
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'Lone Wolf And Cub': The Boy And The Beast 
Kazuo Koike's perennial manga classic was adapted for the big screen in this cycle of six pop-pulp masterpieces, where father and son slash, stab, shoot, and slice their way through hell
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'Neji-shiki'/'Screwed': A Peek Into The Pit 
How to film Yoshiharu Tsuge's landmark work of surrealist comics? Leave it to master of weirdness Teruo Ishii, albeit with mixed results
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'Only Yesterday': All The Things I Was 
Unseen in English since its original 1991 release, this Isao Takahata/Studio Ghibli production was more than worth the wait, and not just for its name recognition
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'Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis': Little Robot In The Big City 
In the hands of 'Akira' creator Katsuhiro Ōtomo and 'Dagger of Kamui' director Rintaro, Osamu Tezuka's early manga became a wide-gauge spectacle that retained its childlike innocence and soul
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'Ranma 1/2': Love Runs Hot And Cold 
After twenty-five years, this seminal anime comedy is still both funny and a reminder of how shows like this are harder to make than it might seem
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Patreon 'Rurouni Kenshin': For The New Age, A New Man 
When the first film in this live-action trilogy is among the very best adaptations yet of an manga/anime property, we can forgive any weaknesses in the whole
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'Sailor Moon Crystal': To Be Promised The Moon 
We've not only been promised the moon with the new 'Sailor Moon'; there's a good chance we'll actually get it
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'Sankarea': My Little Corpse Bride 
Comedy and horror; oil and water
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'The Seven Deadly Sins': A Venture Into Familiar But Entertaining Territory 
Netflix's next venture into anime territory is satisfyingly entertaining and sports a gamboling cast, but don't look for any envelope-pushing here
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'Tokyo Ghoul': The Inhuman Condition 
It's tough sledding at first due to its focus on a hapless protagonist, but the way 'Tokyo Ghoul' picks up steam to redeem itself is impressive
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'WataMote': No Matter How I Look At It, It's My Fault If I Find This Show Funny 
This jet-black comedy about a social misfit is either one you laugh with -- or a test of an audience's limits of tolerance for truly mean-spirited humor
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'Wolf Guy': Bark At The Moon 
A truly strange specimen from Sonny Chiba's filmography, and an illuminating early example of how manga adaptations were a perfect fit for 1970s exploitation cinema from Japan
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In Defense Of 'Berserk', Both Old And New 
The new 'Berserk' is a welcome extension to the original TV series, but it doesn't come at the expense of the '97 original -- what could?
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Let's Animate This (Again): 'AKIRA' 
A new animated version of 'AKIRA', one that treats the entirety of the original story, would be far more welcome than a misconceived live-action version -- and wouldn't ding the reputation of the original movie, either
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Let's Film This: 'Black Lagoon' 
How is it that a live-action 'Black Lagoon' -- itself a loving homage to John Woo and Jerry Bruckheimer alike -- hasn't yet been put on the slate?
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Let's Film This: 'Claymore' 
A massive budget wouldn't be needed to realize this most emotionally-powered of dark fantasies -- just proper attention to its story and characters
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Let's Film This: 'Fullmetal Alchemist' 
Done right, a live-action 'Fullmetal Alchemist' could be a 'Lord of the Rings'-sized hit
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Netflix's 'BLAME!': Killy Walk With Me 
Recast into a two-hour movie, Tsutomu Nihei's metamorphic cyberpunk hellscape manga emerges all the more as a graduate of the 'Mad Max'/Man With No Name school of drifter/loner heroes
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The Cracks In The 'Shell' 
Whatever my own readings of the film, the 2017 'Ghost In The Shell' is still problematic in ways that are potentially a bad model for other live-action anime
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The Soul Of A New 'Ghost' 
Very little is known about the recently announced 'Ghost In The Shell' animation project, but the people on board so far are about as good as you could ask for
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