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Fahrenheit 213 Announces Tsurugihime! Aka Sword Princess

6 Dec

TsurugihimeA lot of new video games and awards are being revealed at INDIE Live Expo Winter 2022 online, and one game that caught our attention is Tsurugihime. The two words put together here mean Sword (Tsurugi) and Princess (Hime) and the opening moments in the trailer show just how powerful this woman is with blades floating by her side, ready to use at any time!

The colourful teaser reveals a RPG style game, where you play a female heroine roaming a lavish countryside in preparation for an episode battle that’ll come in 100 days, and you decide her fate. That is, will she live or die by the blade? It has the feel of what a traditional Japanese samurai film must fulfill, and delve into other situations. 

In regards to why this game is singled out is that the character designs are by Kouhaku Kuroboshi (Summon Night, Kino’s Journey, and SAO Alternative) and the music direction is led by composer Takeharu Ishimoto (Youtube Channel; The World Ends with You, Kingdom Hearts).

From the press release:

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NAQT VANE is VANE with their Second Debut Single

4 Nov

NAQT VANE

Led by producer/composer Hiroyuki Sawano, who has provided music for movies, anime, TV shows and artists, the new team music project NAQT VANE released their second digital single, ‘VANE’, on November 2, 2022.

The song shares the same concept as NAQT VANE themselves: Creating an uplifting tailwind to encourage those who have a challenger spirit. Vocalist Harukaze’s strong yet gentle voice offers unflinching support, with an inspiring message for those of us who are trying hard to live our best life. In Japan, ‘VANE’ has been selected as the theme song for the historic Women’s Ekiden long-distance road relay, which is celebrating its 37th year.

Based on the concept that “the song that paves the way will never die”, the music video shows an ever-flowing stream of images referencing elements of “place” such as cities, commuter towns and countryside regions, along with symbols of “time” such as morning, noon and night. While the video to NAQT VANE’s debut single ‘Break Free’ used CG to portray a rich graphical world, this time vocalist Harukaze’s performance is front and center, and not to be missed. As if directly referencing the lyric “It’s raining outside, touching my raw nerve”, the video was shot outdoors in the pouring rain, and Harukaze’s deeply emotional side and artistic nature, which had remained veiled until now, have finally been revealed

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loundraw’s Summer Ghost Lingers into Home Video

2 Nov

GKIDS & Shout! Factory

Even though Halloween is over, Summer Ghost (サマーゴースト) is here to stay. The home video release the day after feels appropriate to show how those emotions can linger on. This Japanese animated short film is about what it means to be alive instead of the opposite. Each of the heroes here are seeking the spirit of a girl and hope to “get advice” on how to carry on.

This short animated film produced by Flat Studio and directed by loundraw is wonderful. The home video release has two documentaries included which look behind the scenes of this anime, and an interview with the director himself. They help expand what’s already known, assuming viewers watched the film first, and perhaps learn something more. It’s terrific to revisit this anime I saw during Fantasia, and to see how close I was to understanding this director’s vision. That review can be read here.

The former focuses on the team discussing how they look up to the loundraw. They often say he’s like a big brother, which is a touching gesture. This individual made his debut as an illustrator for Gara Nagata’s Hoshi no Nemuru Mizuumi e -Ai wo Sagashi ni- before spreading his wings and now becoming a director. If the dialogue is any sign, there’ll be more stories to come.

With the second piece, loundraw reveals where his idea came from, the type of colour template used and much more. It’s definitely worth the watch after the film, and it certainly made me appreciate Summer Ghost a lot more. Despite the title of this work and when it’s been released to home video (and theatrical), it’s quite the post-Halloween treat. In fact, this work is very appropriate to release during the week when Día de Muertos takes place! Both this anime and celebration honours the afterlife, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the reason why this release was timed for this week.

Summer Ghost Official Trailer

The Iké Boys and Saving the Day, Namely the Hell that was Y2K

7 Oct

The Iké BoysShout! Factory
Coming to Digital and VOD Oct 11th

The Iké Boys is more than just a hero’s journey about two guys from Oklahoma who want to escape from the ho-hum. It also takes a peek back in time, when Japanese pop culture became part of the western media fixture in the 90s, and recognises what is great. We’re allowed to believe in miracles, and get to be a power ranger! The best part of this movie is that it includes vintage style anime and sentai action in its presentation.

In the case of Shawn Gunderson (Quinn Lord) and Vikram ‘Vik’ Kapoor (Ronak Gandhi), they’re not so ordinary in the sense that they’ve been branded losers in high school. That is, all they have is their anime fantasies to keep them happy. The latter dislikes the label and wants to be part of the crowd. He’s trying to do more with his life, but when Miki (Christina Higa) arrives, that one step forward (he’s crushing hard on her) ends up being two steps back as things go terribly wrong for them.

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About The House of the Lost on the Cape, Japanese Folklore and More in this Home Video Review

5 Oct

The House of the Lost on the CapeEleven Arts and Shout! Factory
Available to purchase on Amazon USA

The animated adaptation of Sachiko Kashiwaba’s novel The House of the Lost on the Cape is sweet. Not only does it carefully touch upon recent events in a thoughtful manner, but also brings folklore to life, by revealing what its relationship is to the environment. The themes explored isn’t too different from what Studio Ghibli’s Pon Poko paraded in a town facing ecological devestation. Instead, the harmony is more reminescent from My Neighbour Totoro, and that’s why I took notice.

In this film’s case, the opening act recalls the devestation from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. The people who chose to stay in the Kitsunezaki region are just doing what they can to go on. But from the terror comes a chance for Yui (Mana Ashida) to leave home. She wasn’t happy because of constant family squabbles, and what we learn about this past is not always neatly explained. Sometime afterwards in her wanderings, she befriends another child, Hiyori (Sari Awano)–who lost her parents–and what they discover may well be a chance to learn how to live life to its fullest.

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