Archive for August, 2010
Thanks as usual to chartfag for this impressive chart of the anime to be released in Japan over the next few months:
I’m most intrigued by Yasuga no Sora and Super Robot Taisen: The Inspector., myself.
What do you most want to check out? Let me know in the comments!
Ghostbusters: Ghost Busted
Origin: Somebody was afraid of some ghosts
Artists: Maximo V. Lorenzo, Hanzo Steinbach, Chrissy Delk, Michael Shelfer, Nate Watson
Writers: Nathan Johnson and Matt Yamashita
Made in: 2008
American Publisher: Tokyopop
Genres: Action / adventure / moderate horror /
Premise: Not long after the events of the second Ghostbusters film, the Ghostbusters continue to trap ghosts, but are soon targeted by an old enemy.
Show x Show: It’s the Ghostbusters movies crossed with DramaCon
Length: 192 pages
Volumes: Just this one
Is there a story? By the halfway point, a villain emerges, but it’s mostly
Does the end feel satisfying? Fine, for what little story thereis.
How seinen is it? There’s a lot of talking, and some heads exploding in showers of blood and teeth.
Really, is it boring? I found myself a little tired of the talking scenes, which is rare for me and Stand Alone Complex. I never felt willing to stop watching, though.
How’s the art? Works, but very Amerimanga in feel. The large number of artists means the art shifts around significantly, but not massively.
Can I show it to my Mom? Sure, but it won’t impress her.
Can I show it to my kid brother? Yep, and he’d probably love it.
Can I show it to a
How’s the dialogue? That’s one of the 3 key elements of this franchise to get right (besides the humor and the ghosts), and this manga gets it right. Not as memorable as the movie, but then what is?
Does it have any memorable moments? Yes. Winston, in particular, gets a great moment.
Quality of action sequences: Varies by artist.
Availability: Released by Tokyopop, 1 volume only. Currently in stock at Amazon.com.
This Saturday is Read Comics in Public Day, an attempt to broaden public awareness of comics. Here’s the idea: if, as he performs his regular errands, Joe Average notices various people reading comics, comics will seem less strange to him. Public reading of comics normalizes the idea of average people reading comics.
So, what manga would you choose to read in public?
My choice is Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, a tense political/action thriller. It’s exactly the sort of thing I could recommend to most adults: there are few manga clichÃ©s, the art is crisp and clear, and the story’s complex.
I have volumes 6 and 7 of 20th Century Boys in my
I hope you’ll join me in supporting this project, and read manga in public. Please let me know in the comments what you choose; I’m curious.
I first heard of Satoshi Kon from Saalon, who urged me to see an anime film called Perfect Blue.
- It was a weird, psychological head trip.
- I’d stumbled on a few of its production cels online, and they included naked female breasts. So, I thought the film may have been
It wasn’t porn, of course. It was a brilliant, complex film about identity and obsession. Its confused
I learned later that Kon worked his way up through the industry’s ranks, as animator on Roujin Z and writer on Mamoru Oshii’s Memories, before making Perfect Blue (which was also his own story) in 1998.
His next film, Millennium Actress (2001), was significantly more accessible. It focused on an aging actress and her interviewers, who find themselves reliving her roles and personal life as she recounts them. It’s more sweet than bittersweet, tinged with the increasing realization that she missed a lot of opportunities. The movie is a fractal, exploring history and entertainment and real life as they reflect and influence each other.
He then made, of all things, a Christmas story. Tokyo Godfathers is even sweeter than Millennium Actress, as it follows three homeless friends who find an abandoned baby over Christmas. It’s about family and the choices we make. For a film with none of the fantastic,
Then came Paranoia Agent, a 13-episode TV series from 2004 that contained all the ideas Kon couldn’t fit into his films. Here, Kon weaves something akin to an anthology series, as most episodes focus on an individual character’s reaction to a common social event. How well, we wondered, would a film director translate his ideas to an episodic TV series? Perfectly well, we discovered.
And four years ago, in 2006, we got Paprika, a film adaptation of a novel that I’ve heard inspired Kon throughout his career. I think Paprika is his
Satoshi Kon died this week, at the age of 46. He was working on a children’s film, The Dream Machine. The head of Madhouse, which is producing it, stated that the studio will do “whatever it takes” to finish and release the film.
We’ve lost a man who made the most interesting, mature films in animation. His movies were as complicated as Oshii’s, as beautiful as Ghibli’s, and as entertaining as Spielberg’s.
May we remember his legacy forever, and may others pick up his torch.
A few weeks ago, I created a forum on this site. I wanted to make a haven for intelligent, thoughtful discussion about anime, manga, and Japanese culture. I also wanted to experiment. I wondered if anyone would show up.
To my surprise and delight, people did show up. The forum quickly filled with dozens of posts a day. While it’s quieted down since then, the level of thought and attention to detail in each post has improved.
Moreover, we really are discussing interesting topics, fromto to .
I’m literally thrilled by this; I occasionally get goose bumps about it. I’ve also made some significant mistakes in curating the forum; mistakes I’ve paid for and am still working to correct. It isn’t easy.
It is a very interesting place. Will you stop by and join us?
This is the first in a series of blog posts about other anime/manga bloggers. I hope to introduce my readers to other, interesting anime/manga bloggers.
I read Ogiue Maniax for three primary reasons:
1) Lots of content. While I have zero interest in the site’s Genshiken- and Mah
2) A different perspective. The author writes about psychology and its intersection with fan culture in posts like V! V! V! and Enter Animefan, and talks about rare anime and manga in posts like Somewhat Less Perilous: MD Geist the Comic.
3) It’s reasonable. You’ll find no
First, don’t screw up:
Bring different formats of your presentation on different media. I had my presentation in PowerPoint and PDF, on both my laptop and a flash drive. I also had a physical printout of my notes.
Practice a lot. I ran through my presentation all the way through eight times. That included twice the day before and once the morning before I presented.
Arrive 15 minutes early to set up. Let me repeat that: Arrive 15 minutes early. This will prompt the previous presenter to finish up, gather his or her materials, disconnect from the presentation equipment, etc. You’ll need a few minutes to hook into the presentation equipment even if everything goes well. If it doesn’t, you’ll need another 5 or 10 minutes. If you have extra time, see below.
Second, a few positive suggestions:
Use visuals. Replace all the words in your slide show with photographs and artwork. Your audience will remember four slides, each with a full-screen photo, better than a single slide with four bullet points. Where that’s impossible, use single words or short phrases. My 30-minute presentation takes up 80 MB and uses six words (plus the ”Thank You” slide).
Add humor. If your presentation doesn’t have any, find a way to work it in (but integrate it). I found myself using the word “model” several times, so at each of those points in the presentation, I inserted a slide of a model kit of a girl wearing a bikini. I’d say “model,” pull up that slide, then say “Not that kind of a model.” Completely superfluous to the content, but it kept the audience engaged and guessing what they’d see next.
Stand up and walk around. At least stand. When humans sit, they relax. When they stand, they gather up energy. Standing presentations are much more energetic than sitting ones.
Tell stories. Since you arrive early, you may have an extra 5 minutes or so before the presentation begins. Warm up your audience with a tangential story, ideally one that relates to the topic. There’s probably something about your subject that you couldn’t include. Tell that story now.
Throughout the presentation, use stories wherever possible. We are hard-wired to engage with any story we hear, at least initially. During my presentation, I paused to recap a particularly dark episode of an anime. When I finished, I got a round of applause (to my surprise).
What are your tips?
First, the big news:
- Funimation licensed Evangelion 2.0, the Hetalia World Series film, Strike Witches 2, and Summer Wars.
- Bandai licensed The Girl Who Leapt Through Space (Sora Kake Girl),
My-Otome0~S.ifr~, and announced an English dub of K-ON!
- Madhouse is making an ONA with Yoshiaki Kawajiri called Ninja Ten Battles, which Madhouse’s head described as ”a guy in drag with a sword wh ofights ninjas.”
- Aniplex USA will ship all of R.O.D (OVA and TV) in
Second, my Brief History of Anime panel went great! Lots of positive audience reaction. Thanks to everyone who was there; I’m really looking forward to doing it again.
I attended several informative,
- Experiments in the Anime Industry: noitaminA, an
information-densepanel about the noitaminA anime block, which specifically targets the josei market.
- Writing Your World, a panel nominally about writing
role-playinggame supplements that evolved into a forum to ask role-playingadvice.
- Anime in Academia. I skipped the Welcome to the Space Show premiere for this panel, and I’m glad I did. Lots of information from experts (one woman had a Fulbright Scholarship, another got her Ph.D. at Harvard) about how
English-languageacademia is approaching anime and manga.
Unfortunately, the schedule was a mess. The convention guide listed panels in alphabetical order starting with whatever word the author thought was most important, so “A Brief History of Anime” may have been listed under A, B, or H. Worse, the schedule itself abbreviated the panels differently, so “A Brief History of Anime” may have been listed under B in the guide but written as ”History of Anime” in the schedule.
Worse, I saw a lot of panel cancellations. By
Then, Saturday afternoon as the podcasting panel was setting up, some knucklehead decided to pull a fire alarm. All 27,000 otaku had to exit the convention center. This is not the organizer’s fault, but I admit it didn’t help my mood.
The Dealer’s Room was smaller than last year, though we can get so much anime stuff online these days that a small Dealer’s Room is no problem.
In general, I loved the panels but was frustrated by the con itself.