Anime Review: Fate/Stay Night (2005)


Adaptations of visual novels to anime are something of a mixed bag. Sometimes, like with Clannad and Comic Party, the adaptation is a hit. Other times, it doesn’t work quite so much. Fate/Stay Night falls into the former case, though there are times where the work stumbles in its execution, primarily on the animation front, though there are some narrative issues. Continue reading “Anime Review: Fate/Stay Night (2005)”

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Anime Review: Megazone 23 – Part III


Megazone 23 – Part 3 is probably the most Cyberpunk part of the Megazone 23 series. The other installments had artificial intelligences and rebelling against the man. However, Part 3 has more hacking, human cybernetic augmentation, and dealing with human society’s relationship with the planet. It’s also the weakest part of the series. Continue reading “Anime Review: Megazone 23 – Part III”

Film Review: The Yakuza Papers Pt. 2 – Deadly Fight in Hiroshima


After the original The Yakuza Papers came out and did incredibly well at the box office, a sequel came out with a relatively fast turnaround. Unlike the first film, the sequel, Deadly Fight in Hiroshima, bypasses Bunta Sugawara’s character, Shozo Hirono (who does appear in this film as a cameo appearance), for a new character, and new story of induction into the world of the Yakuza.
Continue reading “Film Review: The Yakuza Papers Pt. 2 – Deadly Fight in Hiroshima”

To Terra…/Towards The Terra, Volume 1 Review


To Terra...Volume 1To Terra…Volume 1 by Keiko Takemiya

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a kind of slow-paced manga. This volume does a lot of world-building with regards to Terran society and Mu society, as well as our two leads views of their respective societies, Jomy Marcus Shin for the Mu, and Keith Anyan for the Terrans. (Cont. below the Cut) Continue reading “To Terra…/Towards The Terra, Volume 1 Review”

Book Review: The Chronicles of the Chinese Emperors


Chronicle of the Chinese EmperorsMovies set in historical periods or otherwise based around historical events will never go away. We will always have Victorian tales of class-based angst. Same with tales of valorious (or conniving) knights in medieval Europe. For Eastern cinema, we’ll probably always have samurai films of various stripes, and the same with various Wuxia films, discussing various martial artists and their exploits in Imperial China.

To get try and some background on wuxia films and their I recently read The Chronicles of the Chinese Emperors by Ann Paludan. The book gives an overview of the reign of approximately every emperor in Chinese history that is considered to be “officially” an emperor. Officially is in air-quotes because the book appears to defer heavily to the official Imperial histories. Continue reading “Book Review: The Chronicles of the Chinese Emperors”

Manga Review – Red Hot Chili Samurai Vol. 1


Red Hot Chili Samurai Vol. 1Red Hot Chili Samurai is a manga that feels like it’s not sure what it wants to be. The manga follows samurai Kokaku Sento as he fights various criminals in rural Japan during the Shogunate. Kokaku’s strength and weakness is his dependance on hot peppers, which he eats regularly, and which strengthen him, like Popeye.

Like Kenshin, Kokaku and his comrades, bespectacled Ento, ninja manservant Shou, and girly-girl of action (if that makes any sense) Ran refrain from killing at all times, even if by all rights it doesn’t make sense for them to do so. However, like Samurai Champloo, the series is filled with anachronisms. Ran is introduced wearing spike-heeled knee-high leather boots with stockings and garters under her kimono. Kokaku is also introduced to a young kid who invents the Polaroid camera, the squirt-gun (modeled after the Colt M1911A), and aerosol pepper spray. Additionally, Kokaku wears a distinctive tattoo, something that would have been taboo for a historical samurai.

With the various chapters in this volume, they all have a comedic tone. Even when Kokaku is infiltrating a brothel which is drugging the women with opium (and occasionally over-dosing them), and whose owners are responsible for several murders, the tone of the story tries to stay incredibly light. This leads to a cognitive dissonance, particularly when it comes to more serious subject matter. Hopefully later volumes will take things slightly more seriously, but this volume is simply average. It’s not great, not terrible, just average.