Masaaki Yuasa's Mind Game, one of the great all-but-lost masterworks of modern animation, is returning to home video by way of a Kickstarter project. AllTheAnime, based in the UK, is providing distribution for a Blu-ray Disc reissue of the film by its own creators, Studio 4°C. The KS has already gone past its original goal by a factor of five, and it's only been a week and change since it was launched.
I can't recommend backing this project enough. My own copy of Mind Game was the DVD from Japan that by some crazy quirk of fate had English subtitles on it, and when I found out whatever licensing deal had been arranged to bring it Stateside had fallen through, I hung onto it all the more fiercely. Who knows when or if you'll get another chance.
AKIRA we go again
Will the quest to create the homogenized Western version of AKIRA that absolutely no one asked for ever end? Evidently not. Except that this time around, there's talk of having Get Out director Jordan Peele take the helm. That's a concept so manifestly bonkers it might actually work, although not everyone else thinks it's a hot idea.
Here's the deal. AKIRA has long been described by its parallels to peculiarly Japanese horrors — mainly, the decimation of Japan at the end of WWII (atomic and otherwise), its subsequent revitalization, and the way that revitalization was condemned as "decadent" by some. If you take the death-and-rebirth-of-great-cities-and-civilizations metaphor and map it to places like the Rust Belt, it might work. As per a possibility suggested on RPG.net, we almost lost Detroit to a nuclear accident; what if in this Peele-verse, we actually had?
Check your local listings for Studio Ghibli's best productions in a theater near you. Bring the kids.
And bear in mind ...
- Your Lie In April now has a stage play version.
- An excellent examination of Neon Genesis Evangelion as a journey from self-hate to self-acceptance. (Still no word on a reissue of the original TV series Stateside.)
- Fans of Thunderbolt Fantasy (I'm one!) can look forward to a prequel project that traces the history of the dead-eyed Screaming Phoenix Killer.
- Ancient documents shed new light on historical ninja. Nifty stuff, especially since the amount of hard historical information about ninja is actually shockingly miniscule. Small wonder folks like Fūtaro Yamada were able to fantasize so freely about them.
- Some of Japan's very earliest animated productions are being put online to mark anime's 100th anniversary.