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Social Media Meme, Smug Wendy, Gets Her Own Anime Opening

17 May

By James Robert Shaw
(The Wind up Geek)

If you’ve been following social media then you may know the back story to the Smug Wendy meme that has been making the rounds. If you don’t, the meme originated after an exchange on Twitter on April 10, 2017. It was the result of two corporate giants, two powerhouses in the world of the North American number one love, burgers. It all started when Twitter users @jstaff15 (Joey Staffileno) and @phelps_ryan (Ryan Phelps) debated which burger chains “4 for 4” deal was better, Wendy’s or Hardee’s. While Hardee’s was praising Phelps, Wendy’s was not without a retort.
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Reading Mokoto Shinkai’s “Your Name” as a Monomyth

25 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Plenty of praise and examinations have been given to Makoto Shinkai‘s Your Name since its debut last year. Although this film is essentially a romantic comedy, I was more enamoured with the mythic elements. This filmmaker took the best from other cultural traditions and wrote a Twilight Zone style story which I liked. This movie has an East clashing with the West attitude. It shows when Mitsuha Miyamizu (Mone Kamishiraishi), a young girl from a rural part of Japan, yearns for a life in modern Tokyo and makes the mistake of wishing upon a falling star.

She wanted to shirk cultural traditions and from there, I knew where this film was going. Since classical times, spotting such a fireball was often feared more than regarded as divine intervention. If a prayer is said upon seeing it, just what happens can go any which way. In this film’s case, both are considered!

Comet Tiamat is getting closer to the Earth and it is the raison d’être for how this tale comes together. She’s not always a creation goddess but is also representative of primordial chaos. This chunk of rock and ice could have been given any name, and some viewers may wonder why this Babylonian figure is used? My theory is that this name was chosen to make viewers of this anime aware that this film is a shōjo product through and through. Her essence is everywhere. From the Earth to the Heavens, in the offerings at the shrine and coming visible at twilight, a sense of omnipotence can be felt as she comes closer to Earth affecting the main character, Miyamizu-chan.

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Discotek’s Latest to Include a Private Detective, Giant Robots, and a Space Pirate

15 Apr

By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

Discotek Media recently had anime fans jumping for joy on March 3rd with the announcement of the upcoming DVD release of the entire Go Shogun (戦国魔神ゴーショーグン) series (known originally in North America as Macron 1), but now news on April 13th of the release of one OVA and three animated television series, there are many who will be preparing to make as much shelf room as possible for their latest Discotek treasures.

Discotek Media will be releasing on July 26, 2017 the 1985 animated series Choujuu Kishin Dancouga (超獣機神ダンクーガ), known in North America as Super Beast Machine God Dancouga, 1999’s Masou Kishin Cybuster (魔装機神サイバスター) AKA Psybuster, Waga Seishun no Arcadia – Mugen Kido SSX (わが青春のアルカディア 無限軌道SSX) AKA Arcadia of My Youth: Endless Orbit SSX from 1982, and the 1989 OVA series Midnight Eye (ゴクウ) AKA Midnight Eye: Goku.
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Just One Day at A Time with Miss Hokusai, A Movie Review

28 Mar

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Exotic beauty and supernatural magic grace Production IG’s animated biopic, Miss Hokusai. Based on the manga of the same name by Hinako Sugiura, this film follows the narrative style and simply offers moments of this artist’s life in Edo-period Japan. With it now on video, I can start studying it more in-depth. My only disappointment is that the home release does not come with a lot of bonus material. A feature-length documentary about the making of this film is provided. I was craving more, especially when this anime explores an important time in Japan’s art history.

This look into the life of O-Ei (Anne Watanabe), daughter of revered painter Hokusai (Yutaka Matsushige), is very gentle and bittersweet. The plot looks at much of her life from her perspective as she shows how fiercely independent she is. Though she works as an assistant in her father’s studio, she often finishes what he can not finish when he’s being drunk (which is rare) or acting irresponsibly.

For artists wanting to look at why these Ukiyo-e works are majestic, I particularly liked the dialogue (I saw the subtitled version) explaining how the brush can invoke portals to other worlds. You have to be careful when painting a work featuring demons. At least with one work O-Ei made, real spirits came to haunt the residence. No title is offered for this work, but according to the soundtrack, it’s simply known as “The Cursed Picture of Hell.” When the work is retrieved, her father observed that because Hope was not offered, that’s why they visited. A simple detail was added and the evil left. However, there’s more to life in Edo period Japan because the Shinto life is not everywhere.

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