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What to Do with a Dead Kaiju (or should that be What Must We Do) at Fantasia 2022’s Final Day?

2 Aug

What to do with a Dead KaijuAnyone who watches a lot of Japanese monster movies knows how the story goes. We are introduced to a giant monstrous threat to humanity, people panic, and some force arrives to save the day. The two clash and sometimes the opponent dies, and that begs the question (and also the title of the movie), What to Do with a Dead Kaiju? (大怪獣のあとしまつ)

The answer we get is similar to what we saw in Shin Godzilla (while he’s alive). We have to address the ramifcations of sending out special forces, decide when to make a stand, and consider the cost of rebuilding–especially after all the missiles are fired. The mess that the Japanese special forces have to deal with afterwards is never shown, and as for other monster movies prior, we never know about the damage control that has to take place between films.

And it’s tough to tell if Satoshi Miki‘s film is trying to be serious. This movie was the last thing I saw at Fantasia Film Festival because of my love for this genre. Plus, the trailer made the film look good. Maybe next time, I should consider looking at Japanese reviews. But I have no regrets over my decision.

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Inu-Oh is Swoon Worthy Hellraiser and a Lot More at Fantasia 2022

27 Jul

Inu-Oh PosterPlaying at Fantasia 2022 July 27 9:30 PM and Coming to theatres August 12, 2022 Courtesy of GKIDS

Masaaki Yuasa’s musical fantasy is very ambitious, and that should be of no surprise for anyone who loves rock and roll or heavy metal. There’s a bit of history too, but to say how much of it is accurate is tough to ascertain. That’s because there’s not a lot of surviving records about the real life Inu-Oh (犬王, lit. “Dog King”). 

The themes in this self-titled movie concerns defying the status quo and showing that it’s okay to be yourself. That’s how Inu-Oh lives his life. He believes there’s no need to conform, especially when he’s born deformed Sadly, people run away if they see him in his true form. Thus, he’s always wearing a mask and dons a huge garment to cover up his entire body. It’s a shame nobody can see past his ugliness, but thankfully Toma can. That’s because he’s blind.

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The Fantasy and Where to Find Summer Ghost After Fantasia 2022

25 Jul

Summer Ghost

GKIDS

Summer Ghost is a sweet short movie by Loundraw about three teenagers who want to meet a ghost. Instead of fashioning a scary story, his tale is more about dealing with life. The story he wrote and the film he directed is very thoughtful. Difficult challenges are facing the girl and two boys–Aoi (Miyuri Shimabukuro, Miyuri), Tomoya (Chiaki Kobayashi), and Ryou (Nobunaga Shimazaki)–and none of them know what to do with their lives. 

Because they barely know each other, having just met on social media, to help each other out seems out of the question. In fact, they think communicating with the dead can lead to better results. While their idea of seeking guidance from the other side seems unusual, that’s because one of them has terminal cancer.

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The Fight is Real! Shin Ultraman Brings on the Nostalgia, and What’s Next After Fantasia 2022?

23 Jul
Shin Ultraman PosterNext Fantasia 2022 Screening on July 30, 12:00 PM at the Auditorium des diplômés de la SGWU (Théâtre Hall)

When Hideaki Anno was offered a chance to update Toho’s most beloved kaiju, not everyone knew what he would do until Shin Gojira played at movie theatres. Some fans hailed it as a masterpiece, while others said it was too talky. This talent behind the writing of Neon Genesis Evangelion even rebuilt that series. But as for Shin Ultraman, a reboot to the classic series, I thought, “As long as he delivers some classic moments from the series, it’ll be good.”

He was tasked by Tsuburaya Productions to create a pitch for a trilogy of films, and what I’m seeing in this movie’s North American debut is a beloved throwback to the old 80s style of filmmaking. was in charge of directing, and Anno got to play the titular character! It was a childhood dream of his come true! And instead of digitising and realising these big kaiju sized fights on the computer, it’s done with miniature sets and rubber suits! That is, they’re more like motion capture suits these days, but to have the animation department recreate that look has me thrilled.

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No Need To Cry. Goodbye, Don Glees! You’re Still Alive After Fantasia 2022

17 Jul

Goodbye Don Glees!

GKIDS
Screened at Anime Expo and Fantasia 2022
Coming to theatres this Fall!

If the title of Madhouse’s latest animated film isn’t too telling, then what we learn from Goodbye, Don Glees! (グッバイ、ドン・グリーズ!) is that we should never let life pass you by. This heartwarming and sentimental film about two boys—Rōma (Natsuki Hanae) and Toto (Yûki Kaji)—enjoying the dog days of summer isn’t too bittersweet, but I had to ponder over the use of this title.

This coming of age drama has a lot of moments which hint at what it all means, but the adventure doesn’t really begin until after the duo meet Drop (Ayumu Murase), a new kid in town. He has something that others cannot see. For one thing, he’s so full of life, and what he wears is loud by conventional Japanese standards. His family moved from Iceland to Japan, and in what he externalizes hides something else. For one thing, he often talks about the ancient tree of life from Nordic lore. There’s something about Yggdrasil that he’s enthralled with, and it is referred to in anime or manga every once in a while.

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