Tag Archives: Anime

To Wax Philosophy or Sociology in A Silent Voice, Where Forth Art Thou?

31 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

A Silent Voice is coming to home video in North America on April 2nd courtesy of Shout! Factory. This movie based on Yoshitoki Ōima’s manga of the same name arrived at Japanese theatres back in late 2016, toured film festivals the subsequent year and took a rest period before getting a localized release. The extras in the region one issue are the same as the Japanese, meaning music videos and trailers (no directors commentary was made). I would love to hear about the challenges of adapting the longer printed material to film, and that can still be offered if a special edition release is being considered for later.

Life was tough for young Shōya Ishida. As he looks ready to commit suicide, other forces are at work to show life is not completely hopeless. He made mistakes. He realizes how they have affected the lives of others and himself. He seeks amends. Back in elementary school, he had a cadre of pals–Naoka Ueno, Miki Kawai, and Kazuki Shimada–but he never fully understood what friendship entailed. When his class gets a new student, Shōko Nishimiya, her disability made her a target for jokes, and he was amongst those who bullied her. They made her life difficult because she is deaf.

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Getting Funky with Lu Over the Wall, A DVD Review

3 Feb

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Releases Feb 5, 2019

The home video release of Lu Over the Wall by Shout! Factory and GKIDS is right around the corner and one of the two bonus features includes an interview with director Masaaki Yuasa and producer Eunyoung Choi. Fans can hear about how he felt when this anime won the top prize at the 2017 Annecy International Film Festival. The audio commentary is even better as it discusses the creative process behind this movie. At first, they thought of introducing a vampire and thankfully changed their minds. They also discussed how integral the music had to be. In between wanting to craft a supernatural tale, the emphasis on Kai (Kanon Tani) had to be important.

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A Trendy or Cool Japan? These Case Studies will Enlighten! A Book Review

26 Oct

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Tim Craig’s Cool Japan is an excellent study in nearly everything a student of Japanese pop culture will want to know more of and get answers to those aspects he or she is afraid to ask. If the product can be exported out of the country to experience then it is explored here. Specific companies are examined in this collection of essays, and the big three — traditional culture, popular culture and business — are looked at in synchronicity. The topics include nearly every aspect of the entertainment scene. Foodies will take delight in two chapters too (more on this later).

From the music industry to Sumo culture and even video games, the breadth of knowledge this author reveals (some units are in collaboration with others) is amazing. To take a look at the differences between Japanese games and Western ones is just one tiny part of this particular chapter. Not everyone knows about the details behind the merger of Square(soft) and Enix, and what it meant from a financial standpoint.

The title of this publication is aptly named as it is also the name of the initiative the Japanese government started back in 2010. The goal is to broaden the greatness of this country’s most exportable products and “capitalize commercially on the worldwide popularity of Japanese manga, anime, film, TV dramas, fashion, food, and other cultural products. It was also a response to the widely noted fact that—despite exceptions like Pokémon, Studio Ghibli and Sanrio’s Hello Kitty—Japan’s cultural industries were underperforming internationally. Despite the global popularity of their products, Japan’s cultural creators were earning far less than their counterparts in the United States and South Korea.”

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[Editorial] Sounding off on the Nerdy Convention Scene in Victoria, BC

5 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

I have attended many pop culture style conventions in the past 25 or so years. Some took place in my home town of Victoria, British Columbia but more off island. I am sad not many local shows have a footprint of lasting more than five years. Attempts have been made to centralize all aspects of geekdom, but to pull it off needs a proper committee of dedicated folks. I’m aware most of the businesses along Nerd Row (on Johnson Street and Broad) are in communication with one another, but this community was not in place till the early part of this century.

In terms of history, a major comic book type event (which was a one-off) took place at the Empress Hotel in the late 80’s which had a who’s who of talent (from New York even), which Big Brothers and Big Sisters organized — my introduction to the scene — but since then, everything else which followed never compared. Van Isle Con is a step in the right direction, and although a short commute is required to get there, I’m wondering what’s next? Are there individuals willing to make something happen within the capital city?

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