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Sarik Andreasyan’s Guardians to Hit Shelves Sept and Dec 5th

17 Aug

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The Guardians are coming. No, we are not talking about the Guardians of the Galaxy. Instead, a Russian-based team of superheroes will appear at Wal-Mart on September 5, 2017! This film is landing in America courtesy of Shout! Factory and will debut as a DVD first, and a Blu-ray on December 5th. Both will feature the English dub and original audio track (Russian), but at time of press, an official trailer by this distribution company is not available yet.

No reason is given for the delay of the higher definition version. When considering some of the stylistic effects work seen in the trailer, the wait for the latter will be worthwhile.

Part of this film’s appeal is in how it makes use of all the visual tropes known to represent the symbolic history of Russia. The Guardians is Sarik Andreasyan’s (American Heist) answer to the X-men. Although this group is similar to the Winter Guard (both have feature a were-bear as part of the team), this movie is by no means a carbon copy. A few people may look at Kahn as this film’s version of the Winter Soldier (Captain America).

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Examining the Juke Joints with Danger Boys: Punks in Osaka, a Preview

15 Aug

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Murahachibu and Zuno Keisatsu are two Japanese punk rock bands who helped form the punk rock music scene during the 70’s. Although the former shifted focus, and the other remain, to consider how their sound evolved to what is heard today, trying to discover what works and exists to music listeners interested in this part of the world has been described by some music journalists as hard to penetrate. The live music scene, according to a 2014 article in the Japan Times, is “notoriously difficult to penetrate. What’s there is said to be tucked away in the basements and upper floors of anonymous buildings, often in seedy parts of town, where the neighbours will be less likely to raise complaints against noise and loitering, with websites that update schedules only a few days before the actual events and that rarely link to any of the artists performing, live venues are like a hidden world open only to those who know the secret handshake.”

Seattle-based pseudo-punk band Tennis Pro entered this realm when they hit the road less travelled to gain recognition in their documentary Big in Japan (2014), but to penetrate Japan’s current scene within a world buried in another one is just as tough to uncover. Enter Danger Boys: Punks in Osaka, a documentary by Nick Romi (director) which is set to release December 11, 2017. This video can be pre-ordered at foreverunholystore.bigcartel.com and early birds will get a limited edition poster for a fantastic price of $10. This video will also be available on select streaming video services on the same day.

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Wind Up Geek’s J-Music Quick Fix – August 13, 2017

13 Aug

Little Glee Monster

By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

The Back Horn

The Back Horn will be hosting a special live concert to celebrate the release of their upcoming 2-CD greatest hits album, Best of the Back Horn II, and their 20 years as a band. This special concert will be by invitation only and will be held at the intimate venue where the Back Horn had their first paid gig, 下北沢SHELTER (Shimokitazawa Shelter) in Kitazawa, Setagaya, Tokyo. Fans will be able to win an invitation via lottery through two ways:

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Looking Closer at In This Corner of the World & Its Canadian Release

11 Aug

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

To my knowledge, few Japanese animated movies exist which looks at a part of history from World War II with a perspective not overdone. Isao Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies is the granddaddy of the genre because it’s so depressingly sad, and Barefoot Gen somewhere on the vein of being positive while it looks at the aftermath. With In This Corner of the World (この世界の片隅に), the point of view is from innocent bystanders. The atomic destruction of Hiroshima has not happened yet. This particular fact is not dwelled upon. Nobody is aware except for the viewer. Most of the characters are blissfully unaware.

This film looks at the life of an idyllic young girl, Suzu (Rena Nōnen), living her life through a veil. She wants to be an artist and she describes herself as a daydreamer. A significant part of her life is portrayed and it has a Studio Ghibli like quality during this innocent time. This fact is of no surprise as Director Sunao Katabuchi worked on Kiki’s Delivery Service.

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