Tag Archives: Science Fiction

Reading Mokoto Shinkai’s “Your Name” as a Monomyth

25 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Plenty of praise and examinations have been given to Makoto Shinkai‘s Your Name since its debut last year. Although this film is essentially a romantic comedy, I was more enamoured with the mythic elements. This filmmaker took the best from other cultural traditions and wrote a Twilight Zone style story which I liked. This movie has an East clashing with the West attitude. It shows when Mitsuha Miyamizu (Mone Kamishiraishi), a young girl from a rural part of Japan, yearns for a life in modern Tokyo and makes the mistake of wishing upon a falling star.

She wanted to shirk cultural traditions and from there, I knew where this film was going. Since classical times, spotting such a fireball was often feared more than regarded as divine intervention. If a prayer is said upon seeing it, just what happens can go any which way. In this film’s case, both are considered!

Comet Tiamat is getting closer to the Earth and it is the raison d’être for how this tale comes together. She’s not always a creation goddess but is also representative of primordial chaos. This chunk of rock and ice could have been given any name, and some viewers may wonder why this Babylonian figure is used? My theory is that this name was chosen to make viewers of this anime aware that this film is a shōjo product through and through. Her essence is everywhere. From the Earth to the Heavens, in the offerings at the shrine and coming visible at twilight, a sense of omnipotence can be felt as she comes closer to Earth affecting the main character, Miyamizu-chan.

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Rating He-Man & The Masters of the Universe Compendium

19 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Everything you ever wanted to know about He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (MoTU and She-Ra too) can be found in A Character Guide and World Compendium (available to preorder on Amazon), due to hit shelves May 10th. This voluminous tome is perfectly organized into sections to make finding information quick, and the fact the entries are further subdivided, based on either the toy-line, comics or animated series, makes for a great way for fans of this franchise to keep the facts straight!

Of course, I had to read the entry for Skeletor and The Sorceress right away. The sheer amount of information found for these two is staggering, and I love the dedication the research team put forth to collect images from various sources (including foreign adaptations) and photograph (i.e. the toys) to include. Even though some of the information can be found online at a wiki source, there’s something to this atlas which makes for a great conversation piece among nerds. The bonus of ownership is that this codex is reasonably priced.

While it will take time to read through all the entries in prep before a game of MoTU Trivial Persuit, I’m ready!

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Video

Advance Tickets Go on Sale for Cyberpunk Animated Film ‘Blame!’

24 Feb

blamemovieposterBy James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

Advance tickets went on sale Saturday Japan time for the computer graphics animated film Blame! (pronounced Blam!). Based on the short story by Tsutomu Nihei (and later serialized from 1997 to 2003), this film has been animated by Polygon Pictures whose work has been seen in the television series Knights of Sidonia (シドニアの騎士), Transformers Prime, Tron: Uprising, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Yuki Moriyama from the supernatural horror anime series, Aijn (亜人), is the character designer. Cast members are Takahiro Sakurai as Killy and Aya Suzaki as Cibo. Director is Hiroyuki Seshita.

Tickets are retailing at 1500 yen (tax included). It appears you not only get a cool ticket in return but you also get a mini poster and original large format sticker (quantities are limited for both items).

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Netflix’s Movie “Spectral” is More than Meets the Eye

18 Dec

spectral

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

*Mild Spoiler Alert

The producers behind Netflix’s Spectral must be fans of H.P. Lovecraft and players of Pagan Publishing’s Delta Green RPG. This horror based role playing game takes concepts from this seminal author’s works and places them in a military setting, where covert operations are the. are of the game. In this game world, agents (who were once FBI, ATF, CDC or DEA) deal with threats from within and afar. The cosmic terrors that come to plague humanity are different in the film, and when dealing with the paranormal — ghosts especially — just how can you shoot one down? Bullets do jack.

The special effects are really cool in bringing to life these wraiths. The animators have them jump about like Power Rangers and vaguely move in humanoid fashion.

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