In 1999, 23-year-old singer-songwriter Bree Sharp
recorded "David Duchovny
," a fangirl ode to the male star of The X-Files
. After the demo tape proved popular in Duchovny's trailer, two X-Files
assistants created a celebrity-filled music video as a gag for the show Christmas party. A grainy bootleg of the video quickly went pre-Youtube-viral among X-Philes. Twelve years later, a high-definition version of the "David Duchovny" video sees daylight for the first time
. [more inside]
director Shinichirō Watanabe
and composer Yoko Kanno
have reunited for an anime adaptation
of Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope)
, a Shogakukan Manga Award-winning manga by Yuki Kodama. Fuji TV started broadcasting the series on April 12, 2012 (trailer
). The series is currently being streamed on Crunchyroll
, and will later be streamed on Hulu and The Anime Network
. [more inside]
Sombody once said,
"There is a beast with such succulent meat, it melts all over your tongue.
There is a bubbling spring flowing with tastes of countless fruit juices, such as sweet musk melons and ripened mangoes."
It is the Gourmet Era
. The era in which one will search for undiscovered tastes
. [Hulu link
for US-based viewers] [more inside]
Just a SLTumblr containing John Goodman's face on anime girls
. Some images NSFW.
"From days of long ago
... from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend: the legend of Voltron, Defender of the Universe!
" [more inside]
In 1982 the manga, Akira (previously
) , began its run. It would ultimately spawn a film that would lead the way for the growth of the anime medium outside of Japan. An attempted Americanized remake (previouslyer
) was in production before being ultimately canceled
The manga’s creator, Katsuhiro Otomo, in the meantime, had taken a 20 year break from long-form manga. It was recently announced that this break was coming to an end and that Otomo would be working on a new long-form shonen series
Imagine one person in America directed Star Wars, the original Battlestar Galactica, Planet of the Apes, Alien and Blade Runner -- basically, all the big sci-fi hits except Star Trek. In Japan, that man existed, and his name was Noburo Ishiguro.
He directed Super Dimension Fortress Macross
(which became the first part of Robotech
), Space Battleship Yamato
(called Star Blazers
in the U.S.), the classics Super Dimension Century Orguss
and Legend of the Galactic Heroes
, and more. Basically, he had his hand in almost all the major sci-fi anime of the '70s and early '80s except Gundam...
While many of his works were subjected to questionable translation practices
(such as changing any mention of sake to "with water from a favourite spring on Earth
" in Yamato) when they were adapted for Western audiences in the 1980s, the popularity of his works helped lay the foundation for anime fandom as we know it today.
On Wednesday, Studio Nue co-founder Haruka Takachiho reported
that Noboru Ishiguro passed away at age 73.
(Via Topless Robot & Anime News Network)
In 2000, the anime industry was on the brink
of what looked like a global takeover, and was pushing live action movies to the side. However, trouble began to take hold just a few years later, when labour issues
involving long hours and low pay, along with a sharp drop in anime DVD sales
, began to cause serious trouble for the industry. Although some government officials pinned their hopes
in beefing up exports in order to breathe life into the economy, to industry insiders the situation looked bleak
and possibly unresolvable
using traditional models. However, other avenues - such as the internet, and even internet piracy - were studied for their economic effects. The results? [more inside]
Mobile Suit Gundam
premiered on April 7th, 1979 in Nagoya, Japan, and with it came the now three-decade-old franchise that launched a thousand plastic model kits.
MAY CONTAIN spoilers for a thirty-year-old beloved cultural touchstone that you've likely never seen or possibly even heard of.
DEFINITELY CONTAINS many, many links to TV Tropes.
Upgrade to 56K already. You're going to need it. [more inside]
is a Japanese animation studio, named for the temperature at which water is most dense
, which they convey in their creative manifesto: "create only works that are dense with substance and extreme quality." The studio has produced a range of works, from commercials (Honda Edix
| Nike iD REALCITY
) and music videos (Ken Ishii - 'Extra'
] | Utada Hikaru - 'Fluximation'
), to animated series (The Adventures of Tweeny Witches
]) and feature-length films (Memories
] | Mind Game
]). More on their movies inside. [more inside]
CHARGEMAN KEN episode 35: DYNAMITE IN THE BRAIN (Youtube, 5:19)
...in which our poorly-animated, generic 70s anime boy superhero finds a unique
way to thwart the villains' plans. (Via the excellent let's anime.) [more inside]
Gauche the Cellist [Google video, 63 minutes] is based on a story [Japanese; English translation #1, #2] by Kenji Miyazawa, one of the most-loved poet/storytellers in Japan (Miyazaki and Takahata love his works, and have been influenced by him). The movie was made as an independent project by a Japanese animation studio, OH Production (wiki), and took 6 years to complete. It is rather difficult to make a Kenji story into a movie because there are many Japanese just waiting to rip you apart if you screw up, but Gauche has been highly acclaimed, and is considered one of the best Miyazawa movies (IMDb). The story is about a cellist, Gauche, who becomes a better cellist by interacting with animals who visit his home every night. *
If you recognize the name Hayao Miyazaki
, it's most likely due to his anime films
. But along with his involvement in animation, Miyazaki has produced some manga and illustrated story books
. Part of the reason his work in still images is less known is lack of translation and distribution. That's where the fans
come in, digging up and translating many Miyazaki works, back to his first published manga
, which was a serious serialized work, in 1969-1970. [more inside]
is a popular Filipino comic and singing duo who upload lip sync videos
. Someone took their cover
of the Backstreet Boys "Everybody" and uh... well... see for yourself
. (Via) [more inside]
In the 1990s, the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo
("Supreme Truth"), infamous for their gas attack on the Tokyo subway
released a number (NSWF)
of anime videos
as a recruitment tool
Carrying on the tradition of Woody Allen's What's Up Tiger Lily
and Steve Oedekerk's Kung Pow
, Dub of the North St*r takes a well-known, and frequently violent, anime
and turns into a comical parody of itself
Doraemon - the Hurricane Child (Japanese with English subtitles)
Perhaps Japan's greatest pop icon, Doraemon
is an earless robotic cat who travels back in time from the 22nd century to aid a schoolboy, Nobita. Originally a Japanese manga series created by Fujiko F. Fujio
(a nom de plume of a manga writing duo formed by two Japanese manga artists) Doraemon would become probably the most popular anime series in Japanese history. A Daily Motion user has uploaded dozens of older Doraemon episodes, many with English subtitles).
10 short, experimental, animated films by Osamu Tezuka, godfather of anime
, Broken Down Film
, Story of a Street Corner
, Self Portrait
. Tezuka is best known in the West for creating Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion and the mangas Buddha, Phoenix and Black Jack. Here is an interview where Tezuka talks about his shorter, experimental films
Beloved anime classic Akira
) is in the process of getting a live-action adaption courtesy of Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. In fact, they're currently trying to assemble a cast
. Oddly enough, despite keeping the leading characters' names Kaneda and Tetsuo, all the actors approached are white. This hasn't gone unnoticed, and Racebending.com is preparing a campaign
to protest. Just last year M. Night Shyamalan's adaption of The Last Airbender
) drew massive criticism for having an all-white cast in an Asian setting. [more inside]
Puella Magi Madoka★Magica
(unofficial trailer) is an animated show about a pink-haired girl and her buddies
who fight against cursed witches
). Boasting buildings based on well-known architecture
, a slowly shifting
and dark ending sequence
, Faustian graffiti
and ciphered German runes
, this currently-airing show has been called a deconstruction of the magical girl genre. [more inside]
, most famous in the USA for Neon Genesis Evangelion (previously
) has produced anime in a wide variety of genres. It is responsible for serious science fiction
, both classic
and deconstructed giant robots, slice of life comedy and drama, and productions that exist for little reason but sexual innuendo
and obsessively animated jiggling breasts
. With the last sometimes randomly appearing in otherwise serious productions. [more inside]
"Welcome to the Zion Archive. You have selected Historical File #12-1: The Second Renaissance.
So begins the short film of the same name by Mahiro Maeda [Flash: 1 2 - QuickTime: 1 2]
-- a devastating yet beautiful work of animation.
Originally produced to explain the backstory behind the Matrix
trilogy, Maeda's project ended up telling a story far darker and more affecting than any blockbuster.
Using a blend of faux documentary footage
and visual metaphor
, his serene Instructor relates in biblical tones the saga of Man and Machine, how age-old cruelty and hatred birthed a horrifying, apocalyptic struggle that consumed the world.
Packed with striking imagery and historical allusions
galore, this dark allegory easily transcends the films it was made for.
But while "The Second Renaissance" is arguably the best work to come from the Matrix
franchise, it's hardly alone -- it's just one of the projects made for The Animatrix
, a collection of nine superb anime films
in a wide variety of styles
designed to explore the universe and broaden its scope beyond the usual sci-fi action of the movies.
Click inside for a guide to these films with links to where they can be watched online, along with a look at The Matrix Comics
, a free series of comics, art, and short fiction created for the same purpose by some
of the best talent in the business. [more inside]
Ten years ago today, Cartoon Network aired a very special episode of The Powerpuff Girls
. Though nominally a harmless kids series about three adorable kindergarten superheroes, creator Craig McCracken
attracted an unexpectedly diverse audience (50% male, 25% adult) by sneaking in a surprising amount of violence
and adult in-jokes
-- and on that last point, this particular episode was king. Broadcast on the 37th anniversary of their debut on the Ed Sullivan Show
, "Meet the Beat-Alls"
was an extended and sophisticated metaphor for the rise and fall of The Beatles, cramming more than forty song references
and dozens of visual jokes into only ten minutes of animated allegory. Catch the original episode here
or read the transcript
, but for the full
effect, watch this remarkable YouTube mash-up
that splices the referenced song clips directly into the audio track and plasters the screen with helpful annotations. Want more PPG goodness? You can start with the special "Powerpuff Girls Rule!!!"
), a sly, hyperkinetic celebration of the show's tenth anniversary directed by McCracken himself that features every character (and totally subverts an important one). But as far as weirdness goes, it's hard to top Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi
, a long-running fan-made webcomic which stars the trio alongside Dexter, Samurai Jack, Invader Zim, and tons of other network icons
in an unusually dark manga adventure. Oh, and don't forget your plate of beans
Neon Genesis Evangelion
was an anime series created by Hideaki Anno
, a rather mysterious and reclusive director
who has declined most interviews and has been likened to Alan Moore in his attempt to up-end a major genre
. Where Moore doesn't want to work on anything Watchmen-related
, Anno has returned to NGE in a very major way with Rebuild of Evangelion
, a tetralogy of films to re-tell the original story and present a new ending (again). [more inside]
Contrary to a lot of idle criticism, Bungie's Halo
series of video games has a surprisingly rich backstory
-- a universe complex enough to support seven bestselling novels
, a wiki with over 7,000 articles
, and one of the most successful ARGs in history
(including a full-fledged radio drama
). The series has also turned out sweeping audiovisual work, from the games' cinematic cutscenes
and epic music (lots of free previews)
to top-shelf anime
and the Hollywood-quality short films -- ODST
, Deliver Hope
-- that were made to promote the games (the latter of which, produced by Neil Blomkamp, inspired District 9
). And that's apart from all the material produced by Bungie's dedicated fan base: genuinely hilarious machinima
from Red vs. Blue
, professional-level graphic novels (table of contents at the top)
, gorgeous artwork
, hours of recorded dialogue
, complete transcripts
of hidden apocrypha
, and more factual analysis
, story speculation
, and casual discussion
than you can shake an energy sword at. But most of these pale in comparison to the latest and greatest exercise in Halo beanplating: the Svmma Canonica
, a 40-page, 17,000-word formal treatise on the nature of canon in the world that Bungie built, and how it will fare once Bungie moves on and the franchise is managed by 343 Industries. Discussion over at Bungie's official site
, or at decade-old fan forum Halo.Bungie.Org
"Five orphans with a spacecraft battle a lipsticked maniac from the Crab Nebula and his unlikely big flying robots. No one gets hurt."
In 1972, the anime action-adventure show Kagaku ninja tai Gatchaman
(Science Ninja Team Gatchaman,
) premiered on Japanese television. Featuring graphic violence, extensive profanity and a transgendered villain
, it was one of the most popular animated series of its time. Envisioning similar success in the US, Sandy Frank Entertainment
acquired the series in 1978 but deemed it too graphic and shocking for domestic audiences. So they hired two Hanna-Barbera vets to "
" totally bowdlerize
the episodes with new scripts, voiceovers music and effects, animation, etc., at a cost of $5 million and turn it into a brand new show: Battle of the Planets
. Here are the original 1978 Battle of the Planets feature film (in 7 parts,)
and the first 19 episodes of the show,
all available on Youtube. [more inside]
is a piece of furniture used in Japan, consisting of a short table, a heating element attached to the underside of the table, a blanket or light futon to cover the table to the floor, and a flat surface on top. As Japanese houses are usually poorly insulated and not centrally heated, kotatsus are considered a cost-saving alternative to space heaters. • Example: five people sharing one.
• It's called a korsi
in Persia. • How to make a kotatsu.
• Cats seem to love them
, as do dogs
. • Kotatsu vs. Stepladder.
Cromartie High School
is a Japanese manga
and animated series. It investigates poignant issues and themes in contemporary culture such as Internet Trolls
, and Perception
. Most importantly, it educates the viewer on what it takes to be an honest-to-goodness Badass
. [more inside]
It is the 16th century. From all over Europe great ships sail west to conquer the new world, the Americas. The men eager to seek their fortune, to find new adventures in new lands. They long to cross uncharted seas and discover unknown countries. To find secret gold on a mountain trail high in the Andes. They dream of following the path of the setting sun that leads to Eldorado, and the Mysterious Cities Of Gold. [more inside]
I Love You
is an animated short by Rinat Timerkaev that is reminiscent in style of the works of anime director Makoto Shinkai. Russian audio, no subtitles. [more inside]
Localfilter: Today in Tokyo
, legislation passed
that will further restrict manga and animation "glorifying or exaggerating illegal sexual acts." Ten of the biggest comics companies are protesting the Tokyo International Anime Fair
, sponsored by the city, responding that a focus on their mode of expression is unfair. Blogger Dan Kanemitsu reports.
Every Anime Opening Ever Made
(an admittedly exaggerated title) is a SLYT romp through the repeating themes in 93 different opening sequences, compiled by Derek Lieu
) [more inside]
, the animator who gave us Aeon Flux
, The Maxx
, The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury
, The Animatrix: Matriculated
and Reign: The Conquerer
, has a new comic-to-film adaptation aimed at more mainstream audiences premiering Wednesday on Cartoon Network (US): Firebreather
. Official Site
. Trailer. (Caution: Some links in this post autoplay video) [more inside]
Cubic Mouth is a series of plush dolls and toys
designed by Satoshi Fumihara, creator of MTV Japan's The World of Golden Eggs
and some rather interesting ads for Nissan. (previously)
If the dolls look familiar, it's not a coincidence nor is it an artistic imitation; these are legitimately licensed Disney
products. (most links in Japanese but self-explanatory)
Oh Disney, why do you have to be so buttoned up at home?
Cartoonist and former high school teacher Sean Michael Robinson (flickr
) on what to do with those darn anime kids
"In Japan, animation is not seen as the exclusive realm of children's and family films, but is often used for adult, science fiction and action stories, where it allows a kind of freedom impossible in real life. Some Hollywood films strain so desperately against the constraints of the possible that you wish they'd just caved in and gone with animation." -- Roger Ebert on anime
, with this excerpt being related to Tokyo Godfathers
. Ebert has been a fan of anime for a while, especially the works of Hayao Miyazaki
. Ebert has reviewed 6 of the 18 Studio Ghibli
films released to date, and even interviewed Miyazaki
with a bit of fanboy glee. More reviews and videos inside. [more inside]
Satoshi Kon, the director of such celebrated anime movies as Perfect Blue
, Millennium Actress
, and Paprika
, has died (reportedly of cancer) at the age of 47.
Kon's movies dealt with the slipperiness of the boundaries between performance and reality, truth and illusion. His death leaves the status of his next movie, The Dream Machine
(Yume miru kikai), in doubt. As outsourcing and a long recession have taken their toll on Japan's increasingly insular anime industry, David Cabrera notes, I cannot think of a single person alive in the Japanese animation industry who would have been a greater loss than Mr. Kon.
Umineko no Naku Koro ni (warning: that entire description is possibly a lie)
is a dojin visual novel (or, as the creators prefer, a sound novel) that has recently reached its seventh chapter Japanese
. In addition, a group called the Witch Hunt
has recently released an English patch for the sixth chapter. Forming the third and fourth part of the When They Cry series
that began with Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
, Umineko cranks the concept of metanarrative up to 11 and then breaks the knob. [more inside]
"As a child, there was nothing to me more fantastic than than the M.U.S.C.L.E. toys
. I don't know if it's just my love for the weird, or the fact that I like pro-wrestling that makes it so special to me, but there's something about a guy from outer space with a fin on his head who would fight against a walking, talking urinal. That's right, a urinal.
" In the US, they were known as Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere, or M.U.S.C.L.E.
, but they were basically bendable plastic duplicates
, a line of collectable erasers from Japan
. More than peachy-salmon colored minifigs, they were based on the world of Kinnikuman
, which started as manga
in 1979, then an anime series
, and more
, and more
, and more
... [more inside]
Nissan has been running an ad campaign
in Japan based on the 1974 anime Heidi, girl of the alps
. The ads
are sort of
and were put together by the same crew that did The world of golden eggs
. The full episodes feature Heidi
to find the answer
to her question
'低燃費って何？' (What's teinenpi?).
(the last set of links are all Japanese, but are hopefully interesting enough without subtitles)
Carl Macek, who created Robotech, brought Akira to America and was a co-founder of Spumco, passed away this Saturday
Last night at the Gaylord National
hotel across the Potomac from Washington, DC, a strange confluence of events occurred. [more inside]