Tag Archives: Anime

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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Best Upcoming Genre Films of 2022 To Close Out With (Part Two)

25 Sep

Upcoming Genre Films of 2022

This year is nearly over! And as for what the best upcoming genre films of 2022 are that we should see, I offer my top ten picks. It wouldn’t be fair to be America-side centric, since that’d be alienating fans of anime movies. To note, this list makes up part of my presentation at Capital City Comic Con 2022 and is provided for those who were unable to make it to the morning panel. I heard from a few attendees that they wanted to show up, and gave one reason or another….

As for Halloween related films, the fun has already begun this month, and my preview was posted early so fans can get a head start. There’s one movie that stands out which must be seen, especially if you’re a fan of Makoto Shinkai’s works. In that regard, I offer my top ten list, which starts with:

SUZUME’S LOCKING UP (Suzume no Tojimari)

Nov 11, 2022

No list can be complete without at least one movie from Japan. Makoto Shinkai’s animated films are original ideas. After Weathering with You and Your Name, this latest work explores the relationship a young girl has with a male stranger who is in search of a special door. Just where they lead is not to Wonderland, but perhaps danger. Unlike Monsters Inc, these portals may not be to isn’t to paradise.

It’s very likely GKIDS will pick up this title and release it by the end of the year, if not next.

In sequential order, by release date, of the best upcoming genre films of 2022, are:

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Cyberpunk 2077 Edgerunners Breeds Familiarity Than Be Cutting Edge

17 Sep

Cyberpunk 2077 Edgerunners

Available to View on Netflix

Japanese cyberpunk is different from its Western counterpart, and there are many beloved favourites. I first fell in love with Megazone 23 because of the music and my latest infatuation is with Cyberpunk 2077 Edgerunners. Both have excellent soundtracks. Plus, I’m fairly sure the latter shares other narrative beats with many classic series of yore.

Studio Trigger (Promare)’s ten episode series is well paced, and I like how it takes elements from Mike Pondsmith’s role playing-cum-video game, and go somewhere new with it. This IP was introduced back in the 90s as Cyberpunk 2023, and the numerical designation establishes the year that the world is at, like a living campaign. A lot has changed since, and one detail I’m glad that remained consistent is the colour palette used. That is, those particular shades of yellow and red we see are specific to this world.

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The Mixed-Media Love Letter to Japanese Pop Culture, Iké Boys, is Coming to North America!

9 Sep

Iké Boys

Shout! Factory

A charmingly offbeat fantasy adventure that mixes live action, original animation, and tokusatsu special effects, the new feature film Iké Boys will debut on Digital and On Demand on all major platforms October 11, 2022 from Shout! Studios.

Heart-warming yet comedic, Iké Boys is a coming-of-age story of adventure and friendship set amongst high school friends in late ’90s Oklahoma who escape the dull reality of daily life via a shared obsession with all things Japanese. A love letter to kaiju, anime and Japanese pop culture, this fan-favourite film has been enthralling audiences since its world premiere at Fantastic Fest 2021 and its international premiere at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival.

Directed by Eric McEver, written by McEver and Jeff Hammer, and produced by Hammer, Brion Hambel, and Paul Jensen, the film stars an ensemble cast of Quinn Lord (The Man in the High Castle), Ronak Gandhi (The Rookie), Christina Higa (Am I Ok?), Billy Zane (Titanic, The Boys), Yumiko Shaku (Kamen Rider Zi-O), and Ben Browder (Farscape).

Shout Factory also released a State-side Iké Boys Trailer:

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Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko Than Depending on Lady Luck

20 Aug

Fortune Favors Lady NikukoGKIDS and Shout! Factory
Available to order on Amazon USA

Revisiting Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko (漁港の肉子ちゃん) is a pure joy, and to own it on home video only adds to the pleasure when considering the bonus material that’s included. Not only do we get to learn about the origins behind the production but also get to see those first reactions when it premiered in Japan. This behind the scenes look offers a look at the industry from the vocal talents perspective. This lengthy segment is one of six extras.

Because it clocks in at 72mins, I recommend making a separate night at watching this work after the film.

Other extras include:

  • Film Completion Press Conference – Cast and crew take questions from the audience in a funny, relaxed discussion on 5/26/2021.
  • Official Premiere Event
  • Sanma Akashiya Birthday Event – From 7/4/2021
  • Guest Speaker Event – Miu (Riho) Yoshioka and Shinobu Ôtake (Nikuko) share the stage answering questions.
  • Three Trailers\

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