Knight in the high castle: This tweet speaks for itself.

I would. I would. I most definitely indeedy would would would.

Give it to us straight: Cecil Adams of the inimitable Straight Dope gets to the bottom of the burning question: Was The Lion King a ripoff of Osamu Tezuka's Kimba?

Of eight production people for The Lion King contacted by the San Francisco Chronicle, three admitted familiarity with the series. But virtually everyone involved denied Tezuka's influence, saying the real inspirations were Bambi and Hamlet (you know, prince avenges father's murder by evil usurper). They claimed the parallels were an inevitable result of working with similar material, and in fact the two stories are quite different in many respects. ...  [A]nimated films are collaborative but said professional pride prevents animators from knowingly ripping off others.

A reasonable argument. But you be the judge.

Attack On teaser: Here's a glimpse — and I do mean a glimpse -- of footage for the Attack on Titan live-action movie coming our way later this year. What little we can see looks remarkably faithful, but I'm hoping some of the aerial derring-do from the original has been toned down to be  more palatable in a live-action context. (The live-action Rurouni Kenshin did this with its swordplay, to great effect.)

GhiBlu: Two more Disney Ghibli releases on Blu-ray have been announced: Spirited Away and The Cat Returns. The latter is a minor Ghibli entry, but an enjoyable one (and hooks up, indirectly, to Whisper of the Heart). The former, well ... if you haven't been bitten by that particular bug yet, seeing it on Blu is as good a way to do that as any short of a theatrical screening.

The first Punch is the deepest: One Punch Man's anime adaptation has a cast and crew announcement, and in doing so they went from having my curiosity to having my interest. Consider:

The caliber of talent involved here is a very good sign.

The Wind in our sails at last: Among the never-before-issued releases that have at last landed a license this month, one among them stands out: Windy Tales. Striking artwork, thoughtful storyline, memorable from top to bottom — I'm just wondering a) why no one claimed this one sooner and b) why only now Sentai Filmworks twigged to picking it up. In terms of its "title flavor", it feels closer to a NIS America or maybe Discotek title — but I'm grateful it got landed at all.

Soft power: Japan's leveraging of its coolness is ramping up in anticipation of the 2020 Olympics. One wonders if this will be a redux of the whitewashing the country attempted to perform on itself for the '64 Olympics.

No depression: Japan's long-assumed stagnancy, seen in a different light, courtesy of the ever-insightful Roland Kelts: 

Japan's stagnancy, pilloried by economists and analysts in the west, may turn out to be the catalyst for its greatest strengths: resiliency, reinvention and quiet endurance.

About the Author

Serdar Yegulalp (@GanrikiDotOrg) is Editor-in-Chief of He has written about anime professionally as the Anime Guide for, and as a contributor to Advanced Media Network, but has also been exploring the subject on his own since 1998.
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