Tag Archives: Coming of Age

How to Transform Yourself in the Rite of the Shaman

13 Oct

Rite of the Shaman Poster

Available to watch on YouTube, Apple TV and other VOD platforms.

The Rite of the Shaman is a very inspiring family-friendly film by Alicia Oberle Farmer. Here, she expands the role of what this role means and shows how it’s not restricted to specific cultures. Some people tend to think of them as an aboriginal thing whereas it’s not. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Adrenalin’s song “The Road of the Gypsy” while watching, and that’s because the themes are very similar.

According to Shamism.com, the title bestowed to those individuals also grants them knowledge in how to heal more than just battle wounds, but also enact spiritual contact. These days, it’s considered to be an ancient healing tradition. And what the protagonist in this film experiences (wonderfully played by Tyrell Oberle) is an awakening as he navigates the trials and tribulations of teenage life.

Kai is being bullied and also seeing things. There’s a voice calling to him. One reason he’s not doing well is that he’s worried about his mother, Rebekah (Janice Spencer-Wise). She’s suffering from cancer, and with no one to turn to for help, he’s alone. He’s an only child. The orchestral score wonderfully carries this work and gives us that emotional resonance to understand this boy’s plight. Props go to Donovan Colton for a delightful soundtrack; it includes everything I adore which includes flights of fancy from the likes of Enya and Yanni.

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About The House of the Lost on the Cape, Japanese Folklore and More in this Home Video Review

5 Oct

The House of the Lost on the CapeEleven Arts and Shout! Factory
Available to purchase on Amazon USA

The animated adaptation of Sachiko Kashiwaba’s novel The House of the Lost on the Cape is sweet. Not only does it carefully touch upon recent events in a thoughtful manner, but also brings folklore to life, by revealing what its relationship is to the environment. The themes explored isn’t too different from what Studio Ghibli’s Pon Poko paraded in a town facing ecological devestation. Instead, the harmony is more reminescent from My Neighbour Totoro, and that’s why I took notice.

In this film’s case, the opening act recalls the devestation from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. The people who chose to stay in the Kitsunezaki region are just doing what they can to go on. But from the terror comes a chance for Yui (Mana Ashida) to leave home. She wasn’t happy because of constant family squabbles, and what we learn about this past is not always neatly explained. Sometime afterwards in her wanderings, she befriends another child, Hiyori (Sari Awano)–who lost her parents–and what they discover may well be a chance to learn how to live life to its fullest.

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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 Fantasy and Where to Find Summer Ghost After Fantasia 2022

25 Jul

Summer Ghost

GKIDS & Shout! Factory
Release Date: Nov 1, 2022 (available to preorder on Amazon USA)

Summer Ghost is a sweet short movie by Loundraw about three teenagers who want to meet a ghost. Instead of fashioning a scary story, his tale is more about dealing with life. The story he wrote and the film he directed is very thoughtful. Difficult challenges are facing the girl and two boys–Aoi (Miyuri Shimabukuro, Miyuri), Tomoya (Chiaki Kobayashi), and Ryou (Nobunaga Shimazaki)–and none of them know what to do with their lives. 

Because they barely know each other, having just met on social media, to help each other out seems out of the question. In fact, they think communicating with the dead can lead to better results. While their idea of seeking guidance from the other side seems unusual, that’s because one of them has terminal cancer.

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No Need To Cry. Goodbye, Don Glees! You’re Still Alive After Fantasia 2022

17 Jul

Goodbye Don Glees!

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.

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