Darkness and despair cover the entire world, stripping all living creatures of hope. Europa, a young warrior clad in elemental armour, joins forces with a ghostly teddy bear named Apino to banish this cursed black-and-white cloud hanging over the realm. Only together can they locate the source of the scourge within Castle Talos and usher in the return of brilliant colours.
In part two to extol my love for cartoons, I offer my top ten picks of animated series worth checking out in 2023. With some of them headed to streaming services rather than network, finding them might get difficult this year. As long as you’re subscribed to the key providers, you ought to be okay.
Disclaimer: Not every series is dated, but they’re expected to debut sometime this year. Listed in alphabetical order are:
Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai
This series is exciting because it takes place before the movies. Here, the focus will be on a young boy, Sam Wing, becoming fast friends with Gizmo. I get the sense it’ll take on some tones from Stitch and Ai, and I’m okay with it! As these two venture through the Chinese countryside, dealing with the various creatures from local folklore, I’m already giddy with delight in what can be offered. As for how the mischievous version came into folklore, perhaps this series will tell all.
This list of animated films in 2023 is not restricted to just what’s coming out of America, but also internationally too.
There’s a fair number of animated films in 2023 worth checking out, and like my other lists about what’s new for this year, they are not limited to one platform. That is, these works are are coming to theatres, will be streaming or are direct to video releases. Also, I’m not limiting my list to mostly Stateside made works, either.
One movie that still hasn’t gotten a full wordwide release is Legend Quest: The Origin. It’s available in its native country to stream, but as for finding it elsewhere, hopefully, some distributor will pick it up. I adore this Mexican franchise and the Netflix series that’s available world-wide is not enough. Hopefully, it will get better distribution because it deserves not to be restricted to fans living in Mesoamerica.
Not on the list is Unicorn Wars because it’s getting specialised screenings. It’s staggered release can be confusing, and I’m only listing films that are coming out worldwide on the same date.
Listed in chronological order are:
We Lost Our Human (Netflix) Jan 1
This interactive film is a comedy adventure that explores a classic sci-fi concept I seem to recall seeing in an old Twilight Zone episode. This work hasn’t been released to all territories yet, but I’m excited. Here, a cat named Pud and a dog named Ham wake up to find all humans have disappeared from Earth, and the adventure comes from searching for where they’ve gone.
Ancient Explorers: The Lost City of Peru is novel – comic book hybrid about two best friends on the quest for adventure!
People who attended SDCC a few weekends ago had plenty to look at. Whether that’d be comic books or the latest news on movies, there’s even something for the jungle explorer! Ancient Explorers: The Lost City of Peru is novel – comic book hybrid about two best friends on the quest for adventure! Together with two archaeologists, they discover an ancient map and a compass that’ll point them to more than adventure, but also self-discovery.
It’s now available across various platforms to read, and we at otakunoculture.com got a chance to talk to the author:
Could you please introduce yourself to readers unfamiliar with your work?
My name is Omar Mora. I am a writer, producer and actor from Puerto Rico who lives in Los Angeles. I have written two independent feature films; 30 Days with my brother and Inside the Circle. Both available on VOD. I have written a series of comics called The Unearthians. You can find my work at MorasProductions.com
What made you decide to create a hybrid written work with graphic novel elements? (and was it difficult to decide what parts of the narrative should be illustrated rather than described?)
When Covid came, so did the economy. Producing a comic is expensive, so the finances weren’t quite right. So we decided to do it as a hybrid. And to be honest it was the best decision. Because the design of the book along with the comic pages looks great and gives a special touch to the story. I am very happy with the final results.
It was not difficult to choose which pages were going to be comics. I usually chose pages that introduced a character, a very important aspect of the story, or fantasy elements that I knew would look amazing as art. I also wanted to choose pages that would help create intrigue in the story and create that suspense necessary for the reader to be engaged.
The anime, Goodbye, Don Glees! is written and directed by Atsuko Ishizuka is gorgeous on a narrative level.
GKIDS Screened at Anime Expo and Fantasia 2022 Coming to theatres this Fall!
Home Video Release: Dec 27, 2022
* comes with Interview with Director Atsuko Ishizuka
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.