Superhero

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Tiger & Bunny overall BD sales weren't too shabby!


Feb 02
// Elliot Gay
Apparently people here in Japan liked some show about a tiger and a bunny. I'm still not entirely sure why anime fans would go for that kind of thing, but I can't deny that the idea of seeing an adorable little bunny getting ...

Elliot's pick of 2011: I need a hero!

Jan 06 // Elliot Gay
I know a lot of you dashing, handsome and radiant readers might be caught a little off-guard by this seemingly random choice, but I only ask that you give me a chance to explain myself. Underdog stories are perhaps my most beloved narrative type. I find that a well told tale of a weak, under-estimated hero rising above the ranks to become something great is often times very easy to relate to. Everyone has felt underpowered, helpless even, at some point in their lives. That's part of the reason why I think superhero tales are so beloved worldwide. We all wish we had that kind of power. This is one of the areas in which I feel Tiger & Bunny succeeded most.  Our protagonist Kotetsu is wisely placed side by side with a person that fits every possible trope one can imagine for an excellent superhero. Barnaby is young, smart, talented, attractive and fresh. He represents everything that the in-show audience wants, while Kotetsu is simply regarded as old, out of date and necessary only for comic relief. With his ratings low and constantly failing to play by the rules of the game, our hero is stuck with his back firmly against the wall. Yet it's through this dire situation that we grow to appreciate his traits and willingness to buck the system, despite his clumsiness. By the end of the final episode, Kotetsu has forged strong connections with every other superhero, repaired his relationship with his daughter and earned the respect of his co-workers. Not only that, but we as the audience have grown to appreciate his selflessness. Tiger & Bunny has its slow moments, but it never loses track of what matters most, its heart. Every week I found myself looking forward to the latest episode, even when the animation quality dropped a bit in the middle of the series. In many ways, it felt like hanging out with friends. I didn't always need a big action sequence to stay glued to my screen; sometimes just watching the characters interact was enough to satisfy me.  I'm not a huge fan of CG use in animation as I find it tends to really pull me out of whatever world the creators are trying to make. Tiger & Bunny benefitted from having many of the same staff as Karas, but never quite hit the same highs. I will note that the strange, otherworldly feel of the computer generated sequences helped to really differentiate the standard dialogue from the action scenes. It felt like the superhero world was truly separate from the world that these characters typically inhabit. I'm sure this wasn't intentionally, but sometimes it felt that way. It's easy to forget that Kotetsu and his friends are superhuman, even when they're using their powers outside of their suits. I'm not expecting everyone to agree with me on this and I'm sure there are plenty of people shaking their heads at me at this very moment. The point I'm trying to make is that this was the rare show in which I found myself excited to watch the characters interact with one another. Sure the action was fun, the music suitably epic and the story delightfully filled with superhero cheese. That's not what kept me around though. I stayed for the characters and the tale of one slightly older man trying to find his way in a world that seemed to be trying its hardest to leave him behind. Sure, it wasn't perfect and it had its weaker moments, but looking back on it, few shows from 2011 left as much of a lasting impression on me as Tiger & Bunny did.  If you haven't given it a chance yet, I implore you to give it a try. You might find yourself as surprised as I was.
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[New Year's is a time of reflection, when one should take a look back and think about life, love, and, most importantly, the Japanese cartoons we've watched. To that end, we've gone and picked our favorite series of the year,...

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All the Super Sentai heros and Kamen Riders join forces


Dec 06
// Bob Muir
Tokusatsu fans, prepare to weep tears of joy. Every single hero from the long runs of Super Sentai and Kamen Rider are about to team up in a movie of epic proportions. Premiering in Japan during 2012's Golden Week (April 29-M...
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Congratulations Minoru Shiraishi!


Nov 14
// Chris Walden
According to 0takomu, the legend himself Minoru Shiriashi has confirmed that he has married a lovely lady. How lovely? Well, we can only speculate, as he has yet to reveal her identity. As weird as that sounds it's pretty com...

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Go go Power Rangers MMOG!


Nov 08
// Elliot Gay
I remember watching the very first Power Rangers series on TV when I was a kid, and having my mind melt into a puddle of awesomeness every week. Fond memories, despite the whole melting thing. You can imagine then that the id...
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2011's Gokaiger sentai is also clever industry commentary


Dec 27
// Josh Tolentino
Did you know that it's been almost 35 years since Japan invented the Super Sentai franchise (known to foreigners as the Power Rangers)? Thirty-five years. America extricated itself from Vietnam, Jimmy Hoffa went missing, and ...
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Japan's Garo - Red Requiem shoots for Avatar-style 3D


Sep 22
// Bob Muir
3D movies are becoming big business in America, especially after Avatar raked in a kajillion dollars at the box office. While much can be argued about the merits of adding 3D to films in regards to actual cinematic importance...
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Sexy Hugh Jackman tours Tokyo, eats sushi, is made an example of by the police


Sep 10
// Josh Tolentino
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is old news to most viewers, but it's only just entered cinemas in Japan. That's a great thing, because it gives me a reason to put up pictures of one of the world's sexiest people, Hugh Jackman.He ...
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Japanese to give Batman an anime makeover


Dec 09
// God Len
We have some big news that is going down in the American comic book industry this week, but not just any random news, news that has to do with Japan as well (this is Japanator after all). Let’s cut to the chase, Studi...
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Weekend Japanatainment, Go Rangers edition! [Edit: Now with two new episodes]


Dec 09
// God Len
Do you really think being a Power Ranger is so easy, so simple? Do you have any idea how hard it is to actually come up with a concept, uniforms, and all that jazz? We take it for granted, expecting the rangers to be perfec...

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