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WARPs UP “Pleasure” now Available Worldwide!

25 Apr

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/wTnhyMxZmgk3oboP685_Otnz6zKQdbcMNVrC3tkwoRc9b39HyaH33YOo5-4_mREJzIoZjtVkcmBi-_cTPOaMjcMtC2GTsHzce2etnv5Pw6eARGPXedi8KkDGK3aThAAvailable to stream
on Apple Music and iTunes

For other services, please
visit this landing page.

Japanese-Chinese boys’ collective WARPs UP has new single ‘Pleasure’ now available to download and stream. Also available is their new mini-album ‘Prep.20/21SS -Chapter RLSM-’ for fans to rock on to. Up until now, these releases had been limited to China. This releases marks the first opportunity for fans to hear these long-awaited songs on music services around the world.

The single ‘Pleasure’ is the opening theme song to the popular TV anime series Fruits Basket–whose latest season ‘The Final’ began broadcasting in April. This is the first ballad from them which carries an inspiring message: No matter our fate or circumstances, we all have the power to shape our own future. There’s no need to be afraid.

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Arr! The Masters of Spinjitzu are Seabound Ho!

13 Apr

Ninjago (TV Series 2019– ) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

On Teletoon Canada
Sundays 6:30am PST/ 9:30am EST

Spoiler Alert
Please check local listings for other regions.

Nya’s powers are going haywire in LEGO Ninjago. They’re the Masters of Spinjitzu after all, and this year’s set of episodes dropped this moniker in favour of streamlining the series. This latest chapter, titled Seabound, reimagines the team as proper Avengers level heroes. They’re always going after villains somewhere in this continent. They’ve all upped their game and when considering this chapter takes place after The Island, certain threats are bound to return, namely Wojira!

Sensei Wu reintroduces this creature in “A Big Splash.” This titan is of the serpentine class and they have been regular foes in this series. This newest member ranks right up there with The Great Devourer in terms of power, and I’m sure the list doesn’t end there. Fire Fang and the Anacondrai serpent proved to be tough adversaries for Lloyd and the gang. I would not be surprised if they’ve lived a long life, and helped shape this universe in one way or another. Wojira might even have more relatives. She’s blamed for affecting Nya’s ability to control the water element than the Vengestone–this universe’s version of Kryptonite–Miss Demeanor stole. I think it’s a combination of both. The others have been Ninjas longer and faced more threats which rarely affected their powers whereas Nya is still ‘new.’

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Gloomy in Japan. Anime Series about this Naughty Grizzly Debut!

1 Apr

gloom1.jpgTokyo MX
Also available globally

Originally created by Osaka-based artist Mori Chack, Gloomy Bear first debuted as a character in 2000 in postcards. His violent ways was this cartoonist’s attempt to protest those cute products Sanrio and Disney sold in stores worldwide. Instead of an entity who is cuddly and cute, he’d attack anyone who tried to possess him. Many animal activists are likely to understand what this talent wanted to see change.

A perfect comparison to this character for Westerners is the character of Gnome Chompsky in Trollhunters–he’d attack anyone who bothered him–whom Toby adopted, and often left alone.

The appeal of Gloomy and Pitty’s unusual relationship in this creator’s own product line–full of cuteness, violence, and surprising emotional depth–led to a wave of merchandise and high-profile collaborations in Japan. Eventually, Gloomy would win devoted fans all over the world as well.

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So What’s With the Music in Earwig and the Witch?

18 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

GKIDS & Shout! Factory
Now Available on Streaming (HBOMax)

DVD/Blu-Ray Release Date:
April 6, 2021

Spoiler Alert

Long time fans of Studio Ghibli’s works will find their decision to transition to CGI jarring. The production quality and advanced character design–the motion of the figures–is just not there. They don’t have the decades of experience other teams (like DreamWorks or PIXAR) have. It’s all new to them. Despite this setback, debuting Earwig and the Witch (アーヤと魔女) on television and the CGI quality doesn’t overshadow the tale by much.

Goro Miyazaki explains his reasoning behind the production design in one featurette offered in this home video release (it comes with a handy checklist of other Ghibli films for completionists to explore). Viewers can decide if his choice is for the better or worse. By mid-act I got accustomed to it and became more invested in the hilarious antics Erica Wigg (Kokoro Hirasawa) goes through with the help of her new pet to become a woman of the house.

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On-Gaku Our Sound and the Post Punk Movement?

6 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Shout! Factory
Release Date: March 9, 2021

Defining On-Gaku: Our Sound will not be easy. We hear a cacophony of musical genres, and not all of them are mainstream. Perhaps it’s because Writer/Director Kenji Iwaisawa was very DIY in his approach. He went old school (hand-drawn) to craft this unique film, and his art style is very non-traditional. We don’t get the wide-eyed manga work. Instead, it’s a mix of Constructivism, Minimalism and maybe Dada. The way he draws his character’s eyes tells all here, and the fisheye look gives his character designs a quality which is very hypnotic.

I particularly like the fluidity found when rotoscoping frames of a film camera onto paper. I’m fairly certain Dire Straits music video “Money for Nothing” is an influence and instead of being very artsy, the technique is more earthy and subdued.

The home video release has a great selection of featurettes which not only goes behind the scenes but also gets you in the mood to see the film again! Even better are the live performances of nearly half the soundtrack!

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