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

The House of the Lost on the Cape is not an impressive film title, but it gets to the point.

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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The Great Yōkai War: Guardians, Trailer and Closing out Fantasia 2021

Instead of seeing the previous hero all grown up and dealing with this new threat, we have a new boy wonder, Kei Watanabe (Kokoro Terada) in The Great Yokai War: Guardians.

The Great Yokai War GuardiansBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Screening online at Fantasia 2021
Tickets available to purchase here
Please check local film festivals for additional screenings when geo-locked.

Stylistically, The Great Yōkai War (妖怪大戦争) is a movie that only Takashi Miike can imagine. This filmmaker is better known for his ultra violent movies, but for this franchise, he switches gears for a 90s style family friendly product where the spiritual entities aren’t all that terrifying. They’re either muppets or Farscape races. I want to hug the cute ones. Well, mostly the girl who allies with Tadashi, the hero, and the hamster named Sunekosuri. The latter is a “pet” for part of the film. This lad gets tagged during a local festival to become the guardian and the rest of the story becomes something like 3×3 Eyes–but minus the Sanjiyan. 

The film is serviceable, and the franchise world is one I’d love to be taken a bit more seriously. Studio Ghibli’s Pon Poko got the struggle right. The spectacular yokai parade was a feast for the senses.

Sixteen years later, we may finally have it. The Great Yōkai War: Guardians (妖怪大戦争 ガーディアンズ). Instead of seeing the previous hero all grown up and dealing with this new threat, we have a new boy wonder, Kei Watanabe (Kokoro Terada). He might be back, but he’ll be tough to recognize due to age. Kadokawa Pictures’ press release describes this film as an all new adventure. This time, the plot is about humanity vs nature. We can’t see the spirit world and they’ll have to protect us from a dire threat! 

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How to Bridge a Peace in Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #3

The first issue was merely a tease, the second dealt with tanukis and witches, the third goes deep with Kappas, Kitsune, Yamawaros and many more. This release may well be the Mononoke Hime of the franchise, as it deals with some overarching themes from the Ghibli anime in a subtler context.

3004143By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Dark Horse Comics
Available Now

Spoiler Alert

The many yokai that Emerys has to face in Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory shows that not even the weight of the world can stop him in his obligation to keep the humans safe. I’ve skipped looking at an issue because there’s still a lot to address in this mini-series and I knew #3 will focus on more than the rising action. This latest tale by Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer nicely introduces readers to the supernatural side of Japan. Benjamin Dewey’s style remains beautifully solid, and this latest shows he can bring a tear to this reader’s eye.

The first issue was merely a tease, the second dealt with tanukis and witches, the third goes deep with Kappas, Kitsune, Yamawaros and many more. This release may well be the Mononoke Hime of the franchise, as it deals with some overarching themes from the Ghibli anime in a subtler context.

Continue reading “How to Bridge a Peace in Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #3”

From Art to Music with Millennium Parade’s Debut Album!

This work draws from Japanese folklore, and this supernatural world has modern tonality embedded in the lyrics. The songs take ideas from Hyakki Yagyo – The Night of One Hundred Demons and transform the images, stories and lore from this Asiatic world into evocative melodies that’s both a meditative and a clubbing experience.

Image result for Millennium parade

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Not everyone will know of Millennium Parade, an arts collective from Japan whose music can’t be easily pigeon-holed. They are led by Daiki Tsuneta, frontman of J-Pop band King Gnu, and can be categorized as New Wave or Trip Hop. The debut self-titled album is a fresh exhilarating experience for me, and their sound is similar to but not quite like the sound from the virtual band’s Gorillaz. But anime fans will know them because they’re the composers of the opening song, “Fly with Me” for Netflix’s Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045.

This work draws from Japanese folklore, and this supernatural world has modern tonality embedded in the lyrics. The songs take ideas from Hyakki Yagyo – The Night of One Hundred Demons and transform the images, stories and lore from this Asiatic world into evocative melodies that’s both a meditative and a clubbing experience. On the cover, a “Tezutsu Hanabi” (the oldest form of Japanese fireworks, encased in bamboo and held by hand) which was traditionally used to protect from evil spirits, and was also used to pray for a good harvest, is held by Ebisu (one of the 7 Gods of Fortune).

Continue reading “From Art to Music with Millennium Parade’s Debut Album!”

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