Tag Archives: Anime

Aiming for the Top! The Witches of the Orient: Documentary Review

14 Sep

The Witches of the Orient (2021) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The Cinematheque
1131 Howe Street
Vancouver BC

Sept 16-19, 22
(please check link for showtimes)
Playing online: September 16–29

The Witches of the Orient is a deceptive title. Unless you are reading the plot teaser, you won’t know this sports film is about the triumphs of the 1964 Japanese Olympic volleyball team. These ladies who are still living today fondly recall their glory days, their training, and how they feel (past and present) about their achievement. Most of them were workers at a textile factory in Kaizuka, Japan, and in some ways, the title is about the magical connection they’ve formed during their training to aim for the top, Gunbuster style. Though this anime is about giant robots and excelling in the battlefield, the title is inspired from older sports cartoons. The aesthetic of a getting a group of ladies fully trained by a determined coach shows why the narrative is familiar. The real life Olympic team had to deal with the demanding Hirofumi Daimatsu.  

Technically, their competitors saw them as Oriental Witches. Instead of taking it as a derogatory statement, the Japanese team took it as a term of endearment. They weren’t upset either. I suspect they were fussing over how they’ve stayed true to themselves. As they toured the world in exhibition matches, we can see why they are a finely tuned and fierce team on the volleyball field.

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On Why Music Matters in Macross: Past, Present & Future

10 Sep

ArtStation - Super Dimension Fortress Macross logo for 3D animation, George  EdwardBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

After catching the livestream of Macross Delta Tactical Sound Unit—1st LIVE in Zepp—Walküre Attack! last month, I was curious. How has the music of this fond anime franchise fared over the years? Mari Iijima defined everything that is the sound of the 90s series, and maintained it! The talents who would take over in the sequels adapted to the times and generally honour this singer’s original legacy. From Sharon Apple to Sheryl Nome, the sound has changed. It sometimes transcend pop and become something that we can equate to Lady Gaga’s shows in our world.

This concert shows why music is important to this franchise’s success. The nature of these performances plays on a musical theory I believe is at the core of the series. Boethius is a Roman philosopher who once said music can be broken up to three components. They are musica mundana (a universal appeal), musica humana (the internal sound heard by the human body) and musica quae (the harmonies projected by singers and instrumentalists).

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Before The Rebuild was Neon Genesis … Deets on the Bluray Release

31 Aug

unnamedBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

GKIDS, the acclaimed producer and distributor of animation for adult and family audiences, with distribution from Shout! Factory, announced it will issue the critically-acclaimed Neon Genesis Evangelion in an expansive Collector’s Edition Set, Standard Edition, and digital download-to-own. The three new formats include the original twenty-six episode television series as well as the films Evangelion: Death (True) 2 and The End of Evangelion. These editions join the previously announced Ultimate Edition, marking the first time this exceptional anime will be available on Blu-ray in North America.

From the Press Release:

The Collector’s Edition is a deluxe 11-disc set presented in a rigid case, containing a 40-page book, 8 art cards, the Official Dub and Subtitled versions, and the bonus Classic Dub and Subtitled versions. This set contains over seven hours of bonus features including animatics, TV commercials, music videos, Japanese cast auditions, trailers, and more. This limited-edition set will be available online through select outlets, and is now available for pre-order on Shout! Factory’s website, arriving December 8, 2021.

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[Fantasia 2021] Lights! Camera! Pompo: The Cinéphile, A Movie Review

7 Aug

Pompo: The Cinéphile Anime Film Delayed From March 19 To June 4 Due to  COVID-19 - News - Anime News NetworkAvex Pictures

Fantasia Film Festival 2021
North American Premiere

Cinéma Impérialt
Montreal, Quebec 

August 7, 1:00 pm

Making a movie with Joelle Davidovich Pomponette (Hiroya Shimizu) is tough. She grew up with Peterzen, her grandad, in front of a big screen. He was a big time filmmaker back in the Golden age of Nyallywood, and he taught the young girl everything he knew. Pompo is an established producer of B-rated hits, but there’s just something missing. Can she be taken seriously? To say she’s Pompo: The Cinéphile is bold–which is also this anime film’s title.

For that matter, what about the precocious Gene Fini (Hiroya Shimizu), her production assistant? And how does Natalie Woodward (Rinka Ōtani) fit in? This aspiring actress had a rough go in her first audition, but that hasn’t dissuaded her from pursuing her dreams.

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Upcoming Animated Feature Films in 2021

5 Aug

Pompo: The Cinéphile Anime Film Delayed From March 19 To June 4 Due to  COVID-19 - News - Anime News NetworkBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

We’re a little more than past the halfway point in 2021 and its amazing how time flies. There’s a lot more animation feature films being released than I realized, and had to compile a list of what’s still to come this year. We don’t have to be limited to the theatrical releases either. There’s a tiny selection coming to streaming services only. The bigger name films will no doubt have its run on the big screen before arriving on the smaller one a month or two later, if not at the same time.

In the same token, the film festivals that are operating also have a “virtual” component where they’re making their selection available to stream too. If it’s available to play in your part of the world, I advise checking these works out!

This list includes movies with known release dates:

Pompo: The Cinephile

Kadokawa Animation
Aug 7, 2021 at Fantasia Film Festival 2021

Based on the manga of the same name, this movie is not only a crash course for beginners on how movies get made but also a love letter to the art. We all see it through the eyes of a young girl, Pompo, and this work is sure to please and enlighten.

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