meta: Science Fiction


2022


'Crazy Thunder Road': Wild To Be Wreckage Forever 
Never before available for English-speaking audiences, Gakuryū Ishii's raw and rousing micro-budget motorcycle mini-epic heralds what was to come in his future films
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'Project A-Ko': Girl Trouble 
Once thought lost, then found intact, this rapid-fire sendup of/homage to anime tropes is fitfully funny, but better in its pieces than across its whole
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2021


'Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within': Persistence Of Vision 
Critically maligned, a financial disaster, and dramatically murky -- but dazzling nonetheless, and as a milestone for how CGI functions as its own storytelling medium
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Netflix's 'Cowboy Bebop': A New Jam Session 
Lopsided, but still very enjoyable; if this hasn't raised the upper bound for anime-to-live-action, it sure has raised the lower bound
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'Cop Craft': An Isekai Lethal Weapon 
Your standard cop-buddy story, made only slightly more interesting by having the buddy being a magic-wielding paladin
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'Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex': Twenty Minutes Into The Future 
When so much cyberpunk dates badly, the futurology of the first 'Ghost In The Shell' TV series remains thrillingly relevant almost twenty years later
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'Memories': Three By Otomo & Co. 
Katsuhiro Otomo's anthology project dazzlingly animates three of his stories, showing more sides to the man most only know through 'AKIRA'
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Izumi Suzuki's 'Terminal Boredom': She Saw The Future And It Didn't Work 
The first volume in English of this avant-garde feminist figure's work shows her approach to SF and fantasy as personal cultural commentary
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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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2020


'Birdy The Mighty: Decode': Gimme Back My Skin! 
A raucous fusion of two genres (SF and comedy), and just like its two main characters, it's a symbiosis, not a collision
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'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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'Electric Dragon 80.000V': Raw Power 
Gakuryū Ishii's hourlong, warp-speed clash of pseudo-superheroes is still deafeningly good fun after twenty years
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'HUMAN LOST': The Death Wishers 
Why transmute Ozamu Dazai's 'No Longer Human' into medico-punk science fiction? Good question
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'Boogiepop': The Antibody Has A Voice 
Kouhei Kadono's knotty novels walk us backwards through the tangled stories surrounding a being that arises just long enough to right the world when it has fallen out of joint
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'BNA: Brand New Animal': Taming The Beast 
Comparison with 'Beastars' is inevitable, but Studio Trigger's story of man-animal hybrids trying to live in harmony plays it safer and more accessible -- and less intrinsically interesting
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'The Adventures Of Denchu Kozo'/'Haze': Shorter Tsukamoto 
Two short films from Shinya Tsukamoto, now anthologized in the Arrow box set for the director, show off his cheeky-humored and bending-sinister sides
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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


'Penguin Highway': Whiz Kid Vs. Cosmic Weirdness 
The author of the surreally absurd 'The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl' and 'The Tatami Galaxy' now turns to a story aimed at younger readers, but with the reality-warping and surrealism of his other work
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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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'Promare': The Burning World 
Studio Trigger's first theatrical film is so dazzling it threatens to melt the eyes right out of the head, but suffers from feeling like a TV series truncated into a two-hour slot
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See more Science Fiction posts from 2019