Going Berserk all over again and it feels so go(o)d: Forget about everything else this week; the only news you need to know or care about is that Kentarō Miura's Berserk — the fantasy manga that refreshes the parts other manga do not reach, the story that makes Game of Thrones look like Anne of Green Gables — is getting an entirely new animated adaptation.
Why this is a big deal: The original animated TV series from the late Nineties was ultra-violent and hypnotically compelling, but hobbled (well, that's a matter of debate) by its low production values and the fact that it only adapts a small, but crucial, portion of the original story. A subsequent three-movie remake of the same story arc had better production values, but nowhere near the grimy intensity of the original. If they can find a way to do justice to the best qualities of each incarnation with this new project — and tell more of the story — it'll be one for the ages. I'm already committed to seeing it when it comes out, but one can always hope for "better" over "good".
Mak is back: Makoto Shinkai, he of 5 Centimeters per Second, Garden of Words, and a number of other projects that waver back and forth between sentimental and merely sappy, has a new film coming out next August in Japan: Your Name. (Trailer below.) His short film She And Her Cat is also being expanded into a TV series, too. I go back and forth about Shinkai; he always seems to have greatness within his grasp but falls back too readily into the kinds of clichés that make anime into a brand rather than a medium.
Voltro del Toro: Netflix has two original animation projects coming up that are going to be of interest to readers here. One is a Guillermo del Toro project called Trollhunters; the other is — what year is this again? — a remake of Voltron. Still no word on whether or not del Toro's Monster project, an adaptation of the juggernaut crime/mystery manga of the same name, will ever get back off the ground.
Louder than words: A Silent Voice, the widely praised (and emotionally jolting) manga about a deaf girl and her would-be bully forming a friendship, will be receiving a feature film adaptation slated for release sometime this coming fall. The original story deserves discussion here; it was one of the best things to emerge in recent years. No word on domestic distribution for the movie, though.
Vampirestory: Kizumonogatari left me with seriously mixed feelings as a light novel, but maybe it'll work better as an animated production, where its style can work on the big screen far more effectively than it did on the page:
Naruto forever, whether or not we like it: Not only are there now plans on the table for a Boruto manga spinoff (about Naruto's son), there's plans on the table for an adaptation of the Itachi Shinden light novel spinoff series as well. Sounds a lot like another franchise that's lasted long enough to enjoy intergenerational appeal, now slated to have product released for it from now until the planet melts...
Happy 75th birthday, Hayao Miyazaki. Enjoy your retirement. Or, get itchy and come back out to direct one more movie. We won't complain too much.
Elementary: Scientists in Japan have synthesized the 113th element in the periodic table, and are now expected to name it as well. "Japanium"?