meta: Drama


2022


'Tokyo Decadence': The Dark Age Of Love 
Ryū Murakami's adaptation of his own story about a Tokyo sex worker is noisome social commentary that won't reach anyone who hasn't already gotten the message
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'ODDTAXI': Drive, He Said 
This labyrinthine noir about a third shift cabbie grows in unexpected directions, becoming one of the best anime offerings in a long time
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2021


'How Do You Live?': Letters To A Young Wonderer 
Not some genteel life-lessons story, but the quiet plea of a man resisting the growing militarism and reactionary violence of his world
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'SK8 The Infinity': No Wheels, No Life 
One of the smash hit shows of the year that's both fun to watch and touches on deeper things without getting lost in the weeds
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'The Sea And Poison': The Cure That Kills 
Kei Kumai's chilling film version of Shūsaku Endō's equally grim novel remains all but unseen outside of Japan, but deserves a wider audience despite its queasy subject of wartime culpability
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'Serial Experiments Lain': The Wired And The Weird 
Now that we're all wired, whether we like it or not, this cyberpunk urban legend and vaporwave precursor is even creepier and more prescient
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'Mirai': The Kid Stays In The Picture 
Mamoru Hosoda's weakest film yet, a cloying and sentimental misfire
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2020


'Malice@Doll': The Machine's Last Love Song 
Half adult OVA of the 90s/00s home-video era, half experimental stop-motion art film, and while not entirely successful it's still worth a look for its low-fi digital aesthetic
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'Vital': The Weight Of The Dead, And Of The Living 
Shinya Tsukamoto's dark drama about a medical student obsessed with the cadaver of a lost love becomes a moving meditation on how life and death inform each other
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'A Snake Of June': A Love (And Death) Triangle 
Shinya Tsukamoto's eros-and-thanatos story doesn't always work, but gets an A+ for dazzling effort anyway
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'Tokyo Godfathers': Three Vagabonds And A Baby 
Satoshi Kon's most "conventional" movie was also his funniest, a coincidence-driven romp through Tokyo's lower depths
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'Ghost In The Shell: SAC_2045': A Withered Husk 
Easily the weakest 'Ghost In The Shell' project thus far, but with a tease of hope at the end of its first half
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'Lament In The Night': The Voice Of The Issei 
Unknown to English-speaking audiences until now, Shōson Nagahara wrote for fellow Japanese-Americans of their own displaced world and their own broken hearts
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'Beastars': Animal House 
That very rarest of breeds: a truly adult show
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'Giant Robo': The Mecha Opera 
This grand and glorious epic returns to home video for English speaking audiences in a spectacular new Blu-ray Disc edition; it is as essential as it gets
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2019


Junji Ito's 'No Longer Human': No Longer Dazai 
A manga horror icon takes on a classic of modern Japanese literature, and makes it his own in ways both fascinating and baleful
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'Millennium Actress': She Lost It At The Movies 
Satoshi Kon's mini-epic of one woman's journey in film across Japan's turbulent century starts with narrative games, but delves into the ultimate meaning of a person's life
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'Rashōmon': The Post-Truth Condition 
Ryūnosuke Akutagawa's story, and Akira Kurosawa's movie, have endured to tell us something about the nature of truth in a time when we can hardly trust the words we hear in our own heads
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'Carole & Tuesday': The Mars Volta 
Shinichiro Watanabe's new series, about two young women trying to make their music their way, either needed more SF or less of it to really work
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'Princess Jellyfish': Girls, Be Ambitious! 
A sly treatise on gender roles and presentation, wrapped in a screwball romantic farce and delivered with great affection
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See more Drama posts from 2019