meta: Japanisme

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


Let's Animate This: 'Musui's Story'
This riotous 19th-century memoir of a ne'er-do-well samurai's life and times, available in English, would lend itself wonderfully to an anime treatment
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Patreon 'Aoi Bungaku: Sakura No Mori No Mankai No Shita [In The Forest, Under Cherries In Full Bloom]': The Heart's Filthy Lesson
Ango Sakaguchi's classic story, a mix of 'farce, fable, and mystery' (and horror) is brought to life with outlandish style and color -- and always with one eye cocked towards its heart of darkness
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2015


'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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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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'Tokyo Ravens': Of Magic And The Mundane
Shouldn't a show that entertains the idea that Japan's mystical past is an integral part of its present-day world not be so ... well, mundane?
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'The Eccentric Family': Tanuki & Sons
One of the very few shows that gets it all right: funny, dazzling, charming, thoughtful, and sporting a cast of characters that never fail to enlist our sympathy and fascination
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2014


'The Wind Rises': The Man With His Head In The Clouds
Hayao Miyazaki's final bow as a director is a down note -- an aimless, shallow, and all-too-fictive biopic that never engages with the moral questions at the heart of its own story
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'Princess Mononoke': The Blood Of Eden
Let's not shy away from calling this not only Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki's greatest achievement, but one of the finest of all films, animated or not
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The Long Shadow Of The Mushroom Cloud
The legacy of the bomb in Japanese history has been confronted endlessly in entertainment, but that shouldn't be the only way we confront it
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'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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'Red Data Girl': A For Effort, B- For Content
Despite a meandering plotline, this mini-fantasia about one girl's spiritual powers is still worth the time
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