meta: Dystopia


2018


'Illang: The Wolf Brigade': Defanged 
Jee-woon Kim's live-action adaptation of Mamoru Oshii's 'Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade' is passable on its own, but doesn't come close to the primal shadow-play sorcery of the original
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'AKIRA' At 30-Something: The Manga At The End Of The World 
On having a reckoning with the god-emperor of modern manga, in a restored English-language edition at last
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'Un-Go': The Truth Will Out 
These cyberpunk/SF mysteries drawn from the works of Ango Sakaguchi are intriguing for how they adapt a classic author, but grow far too gimmicky for their own good
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2017


Patreon 'Kaiba': This Body Holding Me 
Masaaki Yuasa's psychedelic exploration of the mutability of bodies and memories, in the form of a child's tale, is a one-of-a-kind masterwork
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2016


'Ergo Proxy': I Think, Therefore You Are 
Few anime intended for mainstream consumption are this avowedly experimental; fewer still pull it off to the degree this one does
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'Harmony': To Extreme Remedies, Extreme Sickness 
Project Itoh's 'medi-pocalypse' dystopia is all the more poignant in the wake of the author's untimely death, with a glossy (if also icy) anime adaptation now to accompany it
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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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2015


'Shangri-La': Up In Carbon-Traded Cloud-Cuckoo Land 
A wild grab bag of genres, influences, storylines, and ideas, 'Shangri-la' somehow manages to still work as entertainment even when it ought not to
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2014


'Patema Inverted': The Gravity Of Love 
Its story may be straight out of the tattered young-adult dystopia playbook, but 'Patema Inverted' boasts a central visual metaphor so dazzling it begs for IMAX
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Katsuhiro Otomo's 'Freedom': The Boys Who Fell To Earth 
In the wake of 'Short Peace' and with 'Interstellar' in the offing, Katsuhiro Otomo's reach-for-the-stars project uses the graphics of the former to deliver the message of the latter
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