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Gunsmith Cats Purrs on Kickstarter!

17 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Just in case fans of older anime have not heard, Gunsmith Cats (GSC) is getting a video upgrade. No, we are not talking about 4K, but the Kickstarter crowd funding project for the ultimate Blu-ray edition started a few weeks ago, and it exceeded the goal, at the time of writing, by three times! My expectation is that it will hit a multiple of five by the campaign’s end.

This work was first published in Kodansha’s Afternoon (from 1991 to 1997), and translated by Studio Proteus for Dark Horse Comics for an international release. Its success meant omnibus collections. Following the sequel, Burst (2004 to 2008) continued the adventures. The anime was released in 1995. While it was not as verbose as the printed material, completists enjoyed this complementary work.

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Will There Be More Sailor Moon Musicals after Le Mouvement Final in North America?

9 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

North American or Japanese, musicals must be seen live. When it is not possible to attend either due to location or cost, sometimes the next best thing is to see it at the movies. Whether that’s with a remote broadcast or adaptation, these shows rarely disappoint. When paired with a pop culture phenomenon, especially Sailor Moon, visions of New York Radio City’s The Rockettes style performances come to mind. Just do not tell the Sailor Senshi. They may go on a tirade. This particular series is retelling the manga by Naoko Takeuchi and they been playing in Japan for over two decades. The story arcs are expanded upon and even goes into bold new directions. Not every Japanese pop culture enthusiast may know this subgenre. To keep track of everything from Japan means having both ears to the ground. Officially, only the soundtracks exist and bootleg videos are a grey area. The first overseas performance was in 2015 in Shanghai, and the North American premiere of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: The Musical—Le Mouvement Final, presented as a pre-recorded performance, started late last month. Screening made its way to Cineplex Theatres Canada last week.

I am very thankful CineLife Entertainment for overseeing an international distribution; more screenings are being added, and I suspect this video tour is still rolling out.

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Very Little is Elevated in Pacific Rim: Uprising

26 Mar

pru_tsr1sheet8_john_rgb_3-720x1140By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

The worry with Pacific Rim: Uprising is in whether it is going to be like one of Michael Bay’s Transformers films. When considering filmmaker Steven DeKnight is part of the writer’s room for the latter franchise and is new to directing blockbusters, my fears are justified. Before this film, he’s only handled TV productions. After seeing the atrocious Transformers: The Last Knight, the thought of this film echoing a similar idea with Amara (Cailee Spaeny) and her companion ‘bot, Scrapper, in the trailer scared me.

Technically, she has to pilot this small ‘bot. Later on, it is modified for remote control. When the story jumps 10 years into the future and we are dealing with a Robotech “Next Generation” scenario, I am still worried.

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Is There Something About Mary and the Witch’s Flower? Release Dates & More

14 Mar

 

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

 

Video release May 1, 2018

Yes, Kiki has competition and even Jiji has a challenger in Studio Ponac’s Mary and the Witch’s Flower. When considering the talents involved previously worked at Studio Ghibli, the style is not surprising. Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s filmography includes Mononoke Hime, Spirited Away and Mei and the Kittenbus — where he worked as an artist. As a director, he is well known for Arriety and When Marnie was There.

The colour palette and design looks like it came from Whisper of the Heart. The character design of the lead, Mary, suggests she is a grown-up version of Mei from My Neighbour Totoro. The personality is completely different but there were times I wondered how many times Yonebayashi is paying respect. Too much familiarity can be found instead of offering something visually new. Tip is a different kind of cat. He is self-assured and adorable. He becomes a familiar to the young girl in her adventure through Wonderland.

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