meta: Japan and Elsewhere

See in alphabetical order

2017


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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'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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2016


'Her Eternal Moonlight': 'Sailor Moon' Fans, Stand Up And Be Counted
Steven Savage and Bonnie Walling's study of 'Sailor Moon' fandom documents the way the show transformed a generation of young women, and how they transformed it right back
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Let's Animate This: 'Dune'
Twice filmed, and twice flawed in the filming, maybe the wise way to bring Frank Herbert's space (and spice) saga to the screen would be via an anime adaptation
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2015


Let's Not Film This: 'Naruto'
Of all the anime/manga projects to film as a Western live-action production, you could scarcely find a harder sell or a worse fit than 'Naruto'
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'Seraphim: 266613336 Wings': Oshii And Kon's Fragment
An unfinished but tantalizing collaboration between two of anime (and manga's) most idiosyncratic creative personalities, Satoshi Kon and Mamoru Oshii, this book inspires a close reading -- and no end of wonder about where one man's imagination began and the other one's ended
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A Critical Path To Japan
Is our enjoyment of anime enhanced by having an intimate knowledge of Japan, or is that something only those who call themselves critics should worry about?
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Scarlett Johannson And The Half-Shelled 'Ghost'
Casting Scarlet Johannson as Motoko Kusanagi is proof the live-action 'Ghost in the Shell' is as misguided a production as any previous Western attempt to adapt anime
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2014


'Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth': Japan Through A Glass Un-Darkly
A gem of a show that confronts what it means for Japan and the West to be curious about each other -- and also how 'moé' can be an actual theme and not just a fetish
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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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'Nyaruko: Crawling With Love!': In Her House At R'lyeh, Cute Cthulhu Waits Giggling
Plenty of laughs ooze forth from this 'cute Cthulhu mythos' comedy, but it's most intriguing for how something so dark is made fodder for something so silly
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Honor Between Thieves
If Hollywood is allegedly plundering anime for ideas and inspirations, that only shows it has good taste -- but it's an awkward thesis at best
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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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'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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