meta: Action


2017


'Outlaw Star': Once Upon A Time In Outer Space
A poor man's 'Cowboy Bebop'? Maybe an anime 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'; either way, 'Outlaw Star' has its share of pulp-space-opera-sitcom delights
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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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Patreon 'Carried by the Wind: Tsukikage Ran': Crouching Tigress, Nitwit Dragon
It looks at first to be a mere genderswapped spoof of the samurai genre, but underneath it's actually a loving and observant homage to all the great things about those stories of lone wolves vs. corrupt power
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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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'Blade Of The Immortal': But That's The Way I Like It, Baby, I Don't Want To Live Forever
With the first of the three-in-one reissues of Hiroaki Samura's epic fantasy about a nigh-unkillable assassin, there's never been a better time to rediscover one of manga's high points
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'Izetta: The Last Witch': All This And World War II
A promising opening, an intriguing spin on an alternate version of recent history, a classy-looking production -- but it all crumbles no thanks to abysmal characterization and storytelling decisions
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2016


'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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'Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV': The State Of One Of The Arts
As an introduction to the newest FF universe, it's perfectly adequate; as drama and storytelling, it's serviceable; as a technology demo, it's a triumph - much like the other FF films before it
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'Thunderbolt Fantasy': Master Of Puppets
This wild, stylish marriage of Gerry Anderson-style marionettes, wuxia cinema, and gnarly anime plotting may be tough to take in at first, but we all complained about big eyes and small mouths once upon a time
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Tsutomu Nihei's 'Blame!': Sisyphus In The Labyrinth
Tsutomu Nihei's debut manga is all industrial hellscapes, sudden violence, and science-fiction gloom -- and in those few things it's everything it needs to be
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'Tokyo Tribe': Last Night A DJ Kicked My Ass
Sion Sono's freeform rap-stravaganza adaptation of the hip-hop turf-war manga splits down the middle between being silly fun and being too mindless for its own good
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'Ghost In The Shell: The New Movie': Only New On The Outside
In the end, all the 'Ghost in the Shell: ARISE' continuity has done is lead us right back where we started
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'Dimension W': One-Dimensional
Competent but ultimately tame, 'Dimension W' squanders an intriguing premise on a story that's more off-the-shelf than off-the-rails
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'Garm Wars: The Last Druid': History, And Oshii, Repeating Themselves
Mamoru Oshii's live-action project is a sad misfire -- ponderous, pretentious, and worst of all, nothing he hasn't done before (and done better, too)
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'Astro-Boy': The Kid With The 100,000 Horsepower Heart
Osamu Tezuka's beloved creation was more than just kid's stuff; it was machine-age mythology for young and old alike
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'Lady Snowblood': Revenge, Best Served Cold
A pivotal inspiration for Tarantino's 'Kill Bill', this violent revenge tale brings us an anti-heroine who's as much of an outsider for being a woman as she is for being an assassin
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2015


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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'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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Patreon 'Kill la Kill': The Empress's New Clothes
Studio Trigger's rip-roaring follow-up to 'Gurren Lagann' embodied its intentions, by wearing a suit of style as gaudy and theatrical as the ideas it entertains
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'Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust': Beyond The Pale
Adapted from the third novel in the 'D' series, 'Bloodlust' tops its source material, the earlier animated 'D' film, and a good deal of the competition that's come along since
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'Vampire Hunter D': Wanted, Undead Or Alive
There's little question 'D' helped open anime to the West, but its status as an artifact of its moment in time has only become more stark over the years
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'009 Re: Cyborg': Parts On Order
The latest attempt to revamp a classic anime/manga property along modern-day sensibilities is a fizzle, no thanks to a mismatch of material and director
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'Knights of Sidonia', Season 2: Once More Into The Breach, Dear Pilots
The best parts of 'Sidonia' remain its visuals and its gut-wrenching combat sequences; it's a shame its human elements aren't quite as strong
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'Darker Than Black': What They Do In The Shadows
With pieces borrowed smartly from across other entertainments, the 'X-Men meets X-Files' 'Darker Than Black' holds up well after nearly ten years
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'Nobunagun': Shooting Blanks
Trippy visuals and a throw-it-all-in-the-pot storytelling style fall victim to incurious storytelling in this oddity
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