Tag Archives: Manga

The Birth of Gekiga: Tatsumi, A Movie Review

2 Dec

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Tatsumi is a simple animated movie about the birth of a new storytelling form, and it may not be for everyone. I first saw this at the Victoria Film Festival some years ago and knew I eventually have to look for it on Amazon so I can see it again. Of course, the difference between when I will watch it requires me to be in the right mood. Some of the material presented is on the bleak side.

Instead of the traditional comic book style realities that most readers associate manga with, gekiga is a more serious treatment. The narratives can be bleak or sombre, and it is supposed to be an accurate representation of real life. Some art historians say that gekiga is the precursor to the North American graphic novel.

This film begins with a eulogy by the artist himself, Yoshihiro Tatsumi. In the movie, it’s the 7th anniversary of Tezuka’s death and Tatsumi is feeling very introspective about the man he greatly respects. The delivery is a beautiful homage to Tezuka, but that’s not what this film is about.

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1001 Knights, or should that be Otaku no Culture Celebrating 1001 Posts?

15 Jun

A_Thousand_and_One_Nights-VHSBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

In honour of Otaku no Culture’s 1001th post instead of 1000, I fondly recall an animated feature film, 千夜一夜物語 — Senya Ichya Monogatori (A Thousand and One Nights) (1969), from Japan which never got a fair treatment outside of its own country. The reason is most likely because it was very risqué for its time; it was x-rated. I recall securing a VHS copy decades ago because any title based on literature appealed to me. Where it went now, well, I have to dig through my boxes of stored tapes to see if I still have it. Sadly, not every old anime I want to get replaced got a DVD release when I wanted to. The original Japanese language instead of the trippy English dub is available through YESASIA.

Part of why I was intrigued with this series is because this anime was an idea Osamu Tezuka (Astroboy) thought of. He believed not every product should be youth friendly and a study on Cartoon Research wrote:

…Tezuka, a fan of animation in all forms, was concerned by animation’s reputation as being for children only. He wanted to show that animation could be for all age groups and all interests. In the late 1960s he determined to produce theatrical animation features that would obviously be for adults rather than for children. These would be erotic but in good taste; the animated equivalent of America’s Playboy magazine. All of Mushi Pro’s resources would be behind them – with mixed results.

Eiichi Yamamoto served as director. In what the two crafted was based on the most popular of the tales presented in the original Arabic tale, One Thousand and One Nights — of which have been many adaptations. Aladdin and Sinbad are the heroes in this film. The exotic quality of the production was what drew me in and one day, I will put the DVD on my shelf again, next to Tezuka’s The Phoenix.

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Discotek Gives Obscure Anime Second Chance at North American Market

30 May

MissMachikoBy James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

Discotek Media is looking to muscle in on North America’s tight anime market by offering a new streaming service that will see anime that was a major hit in Japan, but never saw licensing across the Atlantic, get a second chance. This means older anime series like Yaiba!, High School Kimengumi, Candy Candy, and the ever popular Dragon Quest (based off the Japanese video game series) could find a whole new audience. Discotek will offer the anime in a subtitled format with the possibility of releasing such series on DVD should there be enough demand.

The first series Discotek will make available will be Studio Perriot’s Miss Machiko, based off the manga by Takeshi Ebihara. Originally serialized in Shōnen Challenge from 1980 – 82 Machiko debuted as a animated series a year and a half later on TV Tokyo. It ran for a total of 95 episodes:

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Otomo’s Akira Makes Debut as Chat Stickers

28 Jan

By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

AkiraPosterThe Japanese application company LINE, a subsidiary of Naver Corporation has released a set of Akira chat stickers based on Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 film of the same name. The stickers are licensed through Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc, display many of the characters from the film including Shōtarō Kaneda (Japanese seiyū: Mitsuo Iwata) and Tetsuo Shima (Nozomu Sasaki).

The stickers are available in both Japanese and English. According to one user in the Vintage Anime Fans Facebook group, the stickers themselves appear not to be locked to any specific country.

Akira chat stickers are now available for purchase but according to LINE’s official site you must have at least one of the following operating enviroments:

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