Tag Archives: Anime

Where to Find Studio4°C’s Children of the Sea in the USA

10 Jun

Poster image for Children of the SeaPlease visit the official website to find a screening near you.

Children of the Sea is the latest feature from Japan’s STUDIO4°C (known for TekkonkinkreetMFKZMind GameAnimatrixBatman: Gotham Knight, and others) that’s now crossed the ocean and is screening in theatres across the United States. Screenings in other countries are coming, and it’s just a matter of patience.

This highly anticipated movie is directed by Ayumu Watanabe. Longtime Studio Ghibli collaborator Joe Hisaishi (Spirited AwayHowl’s Moving CastleMy Neighbor Totoro) has composed the soundtrack. Children Of The Sea is adapted from the manga of the same name by author Daisuke Igarashi, which won the Excellence Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival.

Plot Synopsis:

When Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea as she does. Ruka’s dad and the other adults who work at the aquarium are only distantly aware of what the children are experiencing as they get caught up in the mystery of the worldwide disappearance of the oceans’ fish.

When Sherlock Holmes Turns Hound (Again)

29 May

Sherlock Holmes And The Great Escape - - DVD | Shout! FactoryBy Ed Sum 
(The Vintage Tempest)

Shout! Factory
Available to order on Amazon USA or stream on YouTube or Google Play

Spoiler Alert

The bigger mystery concerning Sherlock Holmes and the Great Escape lay in whether Hong Kong-based writer and directors Matthew Chow and Toe Yuen knew of the animated anthropomorphic take made many decades ago. Sherlock Hound featured everything I loved about this famous detective as a caring humanitarian. This series had a charm which I adored. The theme song from the localized French television broadcast had lyrics to which I still remember to this day.

It’s rare to transform the sleuth into a canine again, and I suspect Chow and Yuen knew what they were doing. They didn’t bank on everyone knowing the previous work. The character designs of other figures are similar enough, and what’s done art-wise was a change on costumes to avoid law-suits. Plus, a few moments may have been copied from the original. I’d have to search the episodes to verify, but I’m sure I saw this film’s bicycle chase before!

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Gloomy in Japan. Anime Series about this Naughty Grizzly Debut!

1 Apr

gloom1.jpgTokyo MX
Also available globally

Originally created by Osaka-based artist Mori Chack, Gloomy Bear first debuted as a character in 2000 in postcards. His violent ways was this cartoonist’s attempt to protest those cute products Sanrio and Disney sold in stores worldwide. Instead of an entity who is cuddly and cute, he’d attack anyone who tried to possess him. Many animal activists are likely to understand what this talent wanted to see change.

A perfect comparison to this character for Westerners is the character of Gnome Chompsky in Trollhunters–he’d attack anyone who bothered him–whom Toby adopted, and often left alone.

The appeal of Gloomy and Pitty’s unusual relationship in this creator’s own product line–full of cuteness, violence, and surprising emotional depth–led to a wave of merchandise and high-profile collaborations in Japan. Eventually, Gloomy would win devoted fans all over the world as well.

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On-Gaku Our Sound and the Post Punk Movement?

6 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Shout! Factory
Release Date: March 9, 2021

Defining On-Gaku: Our Sound will not be easy. We hear a cacophony of musical genres, and not all of them are mainstream. Perhaps it’s because Writer/Director Kenji Iwaisawa was very DIY in his approach. He went old school (hand-drawn) to craft this unique film, and his art style is very non-traditional. We don’t get the wide-eyed manga work. Instead, it’s a mix of Constructivism, Minimalism and maybe Dada. The way he draws his character’s eyes tells all here, and the fisheye look gives his character designs a quality which is very hypnotic.

I particularly like the fluidity found when rotoscoping frames of a film camera onto paper. I’m fairly certain Dire Straits music video “Money for Nothing” is an influence and instead of being very artsy, the technique is more earthy and subdued.

The home video release has a great selection of featurettes which not only goes behind the scenes but also gets you in the mood to see the film again! Even better are the live performances of nearly half the soundtrack!

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Come April, Anime Can’t Get Any More GLOOMY

7 Jan

Internationally beloved “kawaii” character GLOOMY BEAR will make his animated debut with a new TV series set to air in Japan in April 2021.

 

Veteran actor Koichi Yamadera (the voice of Spike Spiegel in the Cowboy Bebop anime) has been cast in the lead role of GLOOMY, while Natsuki Hanae (the voice of Tanjiro Kamado in the smash-hit anime series Demon Slayer) has been cast as GLOOMY’s young owner PITY.

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