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TV and Film

Seiju Sentai Gingaman photo
Seiju Sentai Gingaman

Shout! Factory grabs Power Rangers Lost Galaxy's source material


Gan, Gan, Gi, Gin, Gingaman!
Jul 22
// Salvador G Rodiles
For a good while, my body has adapted to the underworld's sub-zero temperatures. During Comic-Con '17, Shout! Factory confirms this climate change as they reveal their plans to release Seiju Sentai Gingaman, the show that was...
One Piece photo
One Piece

One Piece is getting a live-action TV series for some reason


Yo ho ho he took a bite of gum gum
Jul 21
// Nick Valdez
Eiichiro Oda's One Piece is arguably the most popular anime series in Japan, so with how much anime has garnered interest in the West it was only a matter of time before some Western company wanted to try their hand...
Kamen Rider Build photo
Kamen Rider Build

The next Kamen Rider gives off a nice W vibe


Double Shots Xtreme
Jul 19
// Salvador G Rodiles
When a show decides to recycle a previous idea, it can either be a good or bad thing. In the worst case, it could lead to the team running out of ideas. In terms of reused concepts, Kamen Rider Build, the show that'll re...
Bleach photo
Bleach

Bleach live action teaser trailer promises some big sword action


Death and Strawberry
Jul 07
// Red Veron
We finally get to see a teaser trailer of the upcoming live action adaptation of Bleach after news of production and filming late last year. This live action adaptation is directed by Shinsuke Sato, who directed the live act...

Garage Hero photo
Garage Hero

Check out Destructoid's feature on Garage Hero's productions


More variety is always a good thing
Jul 06
// Salvador G Rodiles
Ever since Gun Caliber, the independent tokusatsu group Garage Hero has been making their own pieces to provide people with more options in the realm of tokusatsu. Since the team has released a few things since then, I did a piece for Destructoid about my thoughts on their productions. Here are some of the things I said about them:
Tokusatsu photo
Tokusatsu

TV Asahi's Super Hero Time block to get changed, families voice their concerns


Sounds like a new transformation
Jul 05
// Salvador G Rodiles
For a good while, the Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, and Precure franchise have been airing every Sunday on Japan's TV Asahi network from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., with the two toku shows being part of the Super Hero Time bl...

Weekend Japanatainment - Japanese TV Commercials Edition

Jul 02 // Red Veron
[embed]35722:6227:0[/embed] 1980s Japanese Commercials 46 minutes of 80s nostalgia here for you to get lost in or leave on in the background for you to glance up every now and then to get some quick entertainment. Pardon some of the weird YouTube copyright dodging techniques employed in the video.   [embed]35722:6228:0[/embed] 1990s Japanese Commercials It's kinda fascinating to see the difference in the video technology employed in these videos, some commercials are filmed on film while others are probably on some other format that gives off a different feel.   [embed]35722:6229:0[/embed] 2000s Japanese Commercials It's interesting to see all the familiar actors, fashion, and the early cellphones that were way advanced than most of the world from these videos.   [embed]35722:6226:0[/embed] Best of 2017 So Far Decades later and the Japanese are still great at this TV commercial game of wackiness.   Which one of these commercials are your favorite? Is your favorite not in the videos below? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
Weekend Japanatainment photo
Wacky and weird
If there's one thing that's a constant with what westerners say about Japan is that Japanese TV commercials tend to be wacky and weird. I like to think that they're done to be memorable, like who wouldn't forget about a comme...

Garo photo
Garo

The original Garo series makes its North American debut on HIDIVE


Mankind has been given hope
Jun 26
// Salvador G Rodiles
As we wait for Kraken Releasing to release the original Garo series on home video in North America, the late-night tokusatsu program has appeared on HIDIVE, a new streaming service that mostly features Sentai Filmwo...

Weekend Japanatainment - Disney Channel Japan Edition

Jun 25 // Red Veron
[embed]35701:6211:0[/embed] Phineas and Ferb The only animated entry on here, this opening sounds pretty faithful with the tone and sounds much better.   [embed]35701:6212:0[/embed] Wizards of Waverly Place This is that show that was "inspired by Harry Potter" that starred Selena Gomez way before she got famous for stuff like music (Sorry, there's only one Selena and it's not Selena Gomez). This opening song is like the English but in my very limited knowledge of Japanese pop music, I don't think I've heard of a Japanese song doing this style.   [embed]35701:6213:0[/embed] Suite Life of Zack and Cody I really happen to really like Japanese Ska and this song is already much better than the original. Hooch is crazy.   [embed]35701:6214:0[/embed] Suite Life on Deck This is my favorite out of all these songs and I would totally jam to this one.   [embed]35701:6215:0[/embed] Cory in the House The Legend. So Epic. Lit. Roasted. Fidget spinner. Dab. Whatever the kids say these days as an adjective for 'cool'.   [embed]35701:6217:0[/embed] "Call Me, Beep Me" - Beni Arashiro (Kim Possible OP Song Japanese Version) They really promoted the Japanese version of this song covered by Japanese R&B singer Beni Arashiro, who was really popular at the time this came out in 2005. I am just now faintly recollecting that this music video was shown in the US and the wikipedia article supports it. A good cover for a very uneventful and very CG green screen video that was a bit out of date at the time it came out.   [embed]35701:6216:0[/embed] Kim Possible The same song above by Beni Arashiro but in the opening animation itself.   Which one is your favorite (aside from Cory White House de Chou Taihen!, of course)? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW, I WANNA KNOW!
Weekend Japanatainment photo
Best anime openings
Hey, this is something new you probably haven't seen before on the internet in the last two years and we're totally not beating a dead horse meme. Yes, Cory White House de Chou Taihen! is on here but that brilliant ...

Review: Digimon Adventure tri: Reunion Blu-Ray Set

Jun 23 // Christian Chiok
[embed]35707:6208:0[/embed] Digimon Adventure tri: Reunion (Blu-ray [reviewed], DVD)Studio: Toei AnimationLicensed By: Shout! FactoryReleased: May 16, 2017 (NA)MSRP: $24.99 (Blu-Ray), $15.99 (DVD) Right from that start, things get interesting. Though nothing was shown about the Adventure 02 kids before the movie came out, which was very concerning; we finally got to see them—though they were defeated by an unknown enemy in the digital world. After the sequence, we get to see our favorite fearless leader Taichi Yagami, oversleeping as always and heading to his soccer practice. During the opening sequence, we get to hear a beautifully made version of Butterfly made by the now late Koji Wada, or if you watch the English dub, a bad rap song repeating the word Digimon indefinitely. The movie starts off a bit slow, we the gang just chilling at school with typical High School student predicaments, where everyone is doing their own thing and it’s hard to hang out as much. With Yamato a performance, and Taichi having a soccer game, Sora doesn’t know what to do as she wants to attend both but she’s racing against time. During that time, however, the Digimon, like previous times, could enter the human world, but this time they appear to be infected and causing destruction So far, it’s nothing we haven’t previously seen before, but it was still enjoyable. The action in the movie is pretty good, which starts with a throwback from the first episode from the first series Greymon Vs KuwagamonGreymon Vs Kuwagamon. Due to the infection, it seems that Kugawamon can make portals so during their fight they change locations a lot. Afterward, two more Kuwagamon show up, which all gang up on Greymon until the rest of the gang show up, in which we get to see all the Digimon in their Champion (or Adult in the Japanese version) forms back in action. I’m not too fond of the new Shinka/Evolution sequence, but it doesn’t bother me since Brave Heart was still part of it, albeit a new version just like Butterfly. We don’t see much action afterward until we get to the final battle between Omegamon and Alphamon, which was epic. Something that really bothered me was Taichi’s new interpretation as a character. As a Digimon trope, each leader, excluding Takato from Tamers, were always knuckleheads that went head on without thinking but with a lot of heart, which kept the team going. It’s understandable that Taichi is more conscious of his actions as he’s a second year High School student, but it still felt out of character. In fact, this cautiousness feels more like Yamato’s character, though it doesn’t mean that he was out of character either. Him wanting to fight to protect his friends is very much his character. The rest of the characters are okay so far; they act like we remember them. Hikari is the same lovely girl, Mimi is as fabulous as ever, and Koushiro is the same tech guy. Takeru, understandably, has changed as he's more interested in girls now. As for Jo, my gripe with him starts to evolve more so in the second movie than this one, so let’s save it for that review. My annoyance with how they handled his character does start from this movie, so it was worth noting.  This movie also introduces a few new characters, such as Meiko Mochizuki, a transfer student from Tottori whose is partnered with  Meicoomon, who is a Champion/Adult Digimon just like Tailmon. So far Meiko doesn't add much to the story aside from being Meicoomon's partner, who was being attacked by Alphamon for unknown reasons. If anything, she's just the cliche shy girl with glasses so far. We're also introduced to Daigo Nishijima and Maki Himekawa, who are members of Incorporated Administrative Agency, who aid the Chosen Children. They haven't gotten much character development yet.  While Digimon Adventure Tri is still being animated by Toei Animation like all previous Digimon series and movies, the artstyle has drastically changed. Instead of Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru, who handled the original series, Digimon Adventure Tri’s artstyle is by Atsuya Uki who is known for 2012’s Tsuritama. Personally, while I would have preferred that Nakatsuru stayed on board, Uki’s design never bothered me and grew on me quickly. They are far from bad designs, but Nakatsuru’s design would have made this nostalgia ride better. I grew up with the Spanish dub when watching Digimon, since I was still in Peru when the first four series aired, but I still experienced the English dub and it grew on me, so I was bummed out when a lot of the original cast didn’t reprise their role. Luckily, Joshua Seth returned to reprise his role as Taichi Yagami. I try to be open about English dubs, but I personally didn’t like this one too much, particularly the newcomers. While there was some I liked, like Daigos’s. As much as I love Vic Mignogna’s performances, I didn’t like his as Yamato. There were parts, to me, that he sounded younger than he should. For the most part, all the returning cast did pretty good as their roles. To some, if may not be important, but it always bothered me how in some anime releases, they only include English subs for the original Japanese track and not the English dub. It’s often different from there’s always a few changes in dialogue. Luckily with this Blu-ray set, it includes subtitles for both the Japanese audio track and the English dub. It’s just lazy not to do both and much credit to Shout for taking the time to do so. Additionally, this set includes interviews with the English cast and director, as well as a look at the Los Angeles theatrical premiere of the movie. If you didn’t get the chance to watch Digimon Adventure Tri: Reunion in theaters for that one special day that they showed the movie, and want to see some of the old cast from the original two series back in action, then definitely get this Blu-ray set. If you can overlook the awful rap song that repeats “Digimon” over a hundred times, like the option to watch the movie in both languages and like special features including behind the scenes, then you won’t regret this purchase. 
Digimon Adventure tri photo
A New Di-Adventure Emerges!
One of my favorite franchises without a doubt has to be Digimon. I just have so many memories of it during my childhood. From watching Digimon Adventure to playing Digimon World on the original PlaySt...

Review: One Punch Man Blu-ray Set

Jun 21 // Christian Chiok
[embed]35704:6206:0[/embed] One Punch Man (Blu-ray)Studio: Mad HouseLicensed By: Viz MediaReleased: April 25, 2017 (NA)MSRP: $29.99 (Standard) and $34.99 (Limited Edition) If you read my past reviews, you know that I really enjoy the shonen genre, especially battle series. However, I especially appreciate series that can action-packed but at the same time not take itself seriously—exactly like Dr. Slump, which shares the same premise of a main character that can outclass their opponents effortlessly, though Arale can stop Saitama easily, as someone who can play soccer with planets, or even making cracks with playful punches, but I digress. The premise of One Punch Man is much better as it involves superheroes saving the planet from strange monsters and supervillains have been mysteriously appearing and causing disasters. Saitama, who is one of these superheroes, can easily defeat these monsters and villains with a single punch, hence the name. Naturally with that much power, as become of it and only gets truly excited when fighting strong opponents that can challenge him. Throughout the series, he encounters various superheroes, supervillains, and monsters and gains a disciple named Genos, who is a Cyborg with various modifications. They eventually join the Hero Association in order to gain official recognition. Expected from Madhouse, the animation is quite amazing, especially the battle scenes. Seeing Genos activate his Arms Mode or especially using his Incineration Cannons was nothing short of amazing, and its really shows how much talent the studio has. The artstyle was great, especially the change in Saitama depending his mood, which was goofier looking when he wasn’t serious, and more muscular and detailed when he engaged in battle. Throughout the years, English dub has somewhat grown on me. Naturally, I still prefer the original Japanese track, as I always enjoy the original language in any form of media. Having already seen One Punch Man when it was released in Japanese, I decided to watch it in English to experience the series in a different form. Both Max Mittelman, who voices Saitama, and Zach Aguilar, who voices Genos, did well voicing both characters. I felt like perhaps Genos voice could have been softer though it didn’t feel too unfitting, and I thought that Max sounded a bit too serious for Saitama. Nevertheless, both of their works were enjoyable. There are certain characters that I prefer their Japanese voice by far over their English counterpart, but the dub was overall enjoyable. One of the gripes I have with these Viz Media releases, as the same happened with the Boruto film, is that the English subtitles featured on this set it’s the same as the original Japanese option, and not it’s own, so, for the most part, the dialogue in the English dub doesn’t match the subtitle track. They are minor differences and you still get the overall idea of what is being said but it still feels a bit lazy on their behalf and hopefully it isn’t a problem in future releases. Though I didn’t include it in my Top 5 Anime of 2015 last year, One Punch Man was still up there for me. If you loved the series, consider investing in the Blu-ray set—it comes in a standard edition which comes with Blu-ray discs of the series, or the limited edition with comes with two Blu-ray discs, two DVD discs, 96 page full-color Booklet including Chapter 1 of the smash-hit manga, and six art cards, which can be used as the cover of the set. Definitely worth the purchase. 
One Punch Man photo
Okay
It really doesn’t feel like too long ago when One Punch Man first aired back in 2015, as I still remember it like yesterday when I was watching it alongside other Fall seasonals, like My Love Story. Honestly, not only b...

Your Name Review photo
Your Name Review

Check out Flixist's review of Your Name


[insert your name here]
Apr 05
// Nick Valdez
Body swapping comedies are a huge subgenre in anime, but they haven't been explored in film in quite a while. The latest major effort is Makoto Shinkai's Your Name, and it's the highest grossing anime film of all time. But ho...

Review: Boruto: Naruto the Movie Blu-ray Set

Apr 03 // Christian Chiok
[embed]35667:6197:0[/embed] Boruto: Naruto the Movie (Blu-ray [reviewed], DVD)Studio: Studio PierrotLicensed By: Viz MediaReleased: March 28, 2017 (NA)MSRP: $29.99 The Boruto: Naruto the Movie Blu-Ray & DVD Combo Pack comes with both the Blu-Ray and DVD versions of the movie. It also includes special features such as storyboards, showing how the movie was made, a clean version of the ending sequence—meaning no credits shown so you can enjoy the animation sequence, the Japanese trailers, artwork and The Day Naruto Became Hokage OVA, which debut in the Japanese limited edition of the movie, and released in North America two weeks prior this Blu-ray release.  The movie comes with an English audio track, English audio track with English subtitles, and the original Japanese audio track with English subtitles. My problem with the English with English subtitles option is that it does not match the dialogue from the English audio and most likely it's the same subtitles from the Japanese version, which is very lazy. Including the Japanese version with no subtitles would have been nice as well as there isn't a logical reason not to include it. If you're familiar with the English dub, the quality in this one is no different from the past. I personally like it.  If you missed out watching the movie in theaters (though by now you probably watched it by other means), or are a fan of the English dub and was waiting for the English release, then you should definitely get this set. The extra content is definitely a nice bonus and it will give you everything you need to know before the Boruto series debuts this anime season. 
Boruto photo
The New Generation hits Blu-Ray!
It's incredible how fast time flies. I remember like it was yesterday when I wrote my review for Boruto: Naruto the Movie, which was also my first piece on Japanator. You can read the full review here. Considering the movie c...

April Fools' Day photo
April Fools' Day

Here's some of April Fools' Day '17's anime and tokusatsu industry announcements


Why do they make us suffer?
Apr 03
// Salvador G Rodiles
If there's one thing about April Fools' Day that brings despair to the heart of people everywhere, it's the fake announcements that companies make on this faithful day of pranks. While we know they're not true, most of these segments can hit us hard since they'll likely never come true. In light of this yearly ritual, I posted some of the anime and toku announcements that made my day.
Garage Hero photo
Garage Hero

Garage Hero's April Fools' joke was a brilliant social experiment


There's no such thing as bad publicity
Apr 02
// Salvador G Rodiles
With April Fools' Day being over, Bueno of independent tokusatsu studio Garage Hero posted a video where he talks about his motive behind his recent prank and social experiment about the state of Strega, the sequel to his R-r...

Review: Your Name. (Kimi No Na Wa)

Apr 02 // Christian Chiok
Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa) Studio: CoMix Wave Films Licensed by: FUNimation Release Date: August 26, 2016 (Japan), April 7, 2017 (North America) The movie introduces us to Mitsuha, a high school girl living in the fictional town of Itomori, who is tired of her life in the countryside and wishes to be a handsome Tokyo boy in her next life. Next thing we see Taki, a high school boy living in Tokyo, who wakes up and realizes that he is Mitsuha, who somehow switched bodies with Taki. When both Mitsuha and Taki realized that they have switched bodies, they start communicating with each other by leaving notes on paper or leaving memos in each other's phones. As time goes on, they become used to the body swap and start intervening in each other's lives, like Mitsuha becoming more popular in school and Taki scoring a date with his female coworker, Miki Okudera While the movie starts off comedic, it takes a more dramatic turn during the second half of the movie. After his unsuccessful date with Okudera, Taki decided to contact Mitsuha but failed. He later finds that they have stopped switching bodies and eventually decides to visit Mitsuha in her hometown in the Hida region, with no information of where she lives and relying solely on the sketches of the village's scenery he has drawn from memory. With no luck finding the place, he decides to go back to Tokyo, until a restaurant server recognizes the town in Taki's sketch as Itomori. He is then told what happened to Itomori three years ago, in which is when the movie takes its dramatic turn. [embed]35666:6196:0[/embed] Your Name is kind of complex movie that will take more than one watch to fully understand. It took me watching the movie twice — both in Japanese and English, to fully understand it. There’s so much going on in the movie that just leaves you confused. Already understanding the movie because of my first watch, when watching it a second time, a lot of things started to make more sense to me, especially everything involving Mitsuha, such as her sake, rebirth and when they kept forgetting each other. The animation was fantastic, as expected from CoMix Wave Films, who were responsible for animating 5 Centimeters Per Second back in 2007. It felt so vivid, and it was beautiful to look at, especially certain scenes with the meteor. It’s going to be a great experience watching it in theaters. Both voice work and soundtrack were nothing short of amazing, especially the vocal songs by RADWIMPS. It added so much dramatic effect that made certain scenes feel more powerful. I also had the opportunity to watch the movie in English, which features an all-new English-language soundtrack created by RADWIMPS, who also were responsible for the original Japanese film soundtrack and score. I personally enjoyed the dub but the voices were a bit too soft for some of the characters, and just didn’t fit. As for the English soundtrack, while the original versions remain the best, RADWIMPS outdid themselves. Another thing is that with any translation, whether it’s anime or live action, the jokes, references, or language rules are lost in translation. Though it didn’t affect the movie too much. Your Name was a great movie, but it wasn’t as good or sad as people publicized it to be. Coming from someone who shed tears when reading One Piece or even actual tearjerkers like Clannad, the movie didn’t affect me emotionally at all, though there were sad parts.  Still, the concept presented in Your Name was unique and captivated me all the way through.  [This review is based on a commercial screening attended by the reviewer]
Your Name photo
Can I ask you your name?
By now, many of the anime fanbase has seen the critically acclaimed Your Name, or Kimi no na wa as known in Japan, which will hit theaters in North America this April. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Makot...

Review: Ghost in the Shell

Mar 30 // Josh Tolentino
Ghost in the ShellStudio: Paramount PicturesDirector: Rupert SandersRelease: March 29, 2017 I’d say it certainly is, but this film probably isn’t the one to do it, and not least because of its biggest political and narrative missteps. I’m not just talking about the whitewashing, but let’s tackle that part first, since it’s the most salient point and a clue-in as to how the adaptation fares more generally. Personally, I never thought much of the case being made that the Major should’ve been played by an Asian or Japanese actress. As Shirow and Oshii put it, there’s no compelling reason in the source material to assert the character of that “Major Motoko Kusanagi” must be of any specific ethnicity. Arguments insisting on that point as a matter of "remaining true to the original" smacked of unpleasant cultural essentialism, not to mention missing the point of the Ghost in the Shell story.  I would’ve left it at that in regards to this film, if not for an eleventh-hour plot twist that retroactively validates the complaints critics had before release, and also reveals just how little of Ghost in the Shell's actual spirit survived the transition to Hollywood. In light of that bafflingly tone-deaf development, it’s impossible to see the casting decision as anything other than pure cynicism in action: Johansson was picked because she’s a big name and was willing, and the failure to cast a more appropriate lead actress is a tragic and frustrating misstep that threatens to retroactively torpedo the whole film up to that point.  This is a shame because, before that part, the film is eminently watchable and frequently gorgeous. Ghost in the Shell features some jaw-dropping design work that manages to capture the look of the Oshii movie, while adding a more novel, Blade Runner-esque visual twist. Things like car designs and the Hong Kong-inspired urban crush make the film's cyberpunk metropolis feel pleasantly retro. The world of the movie is host to a more embodied, all-encompassing take on the cybernetic future than the reality we're drifting into on our own. Johansson also turns in good work playing the Major. Or is it just “Major”? The film is oddly inconsistent about using the moniker as a proper name or a rank.  Takeshi Kitano, playing Section 9 Chief Aramaki, uses the rank, so out of respect for the master, I’ll go with that.  As the Major, a prototype full-body cyborg constructed by the Hanka corporation - “the first of her kind” – she sells the struggle and alienation of her condition well, often achieving it through a simple gaze rather than more conventional, more “human” expression. Her take on the iconic anime character is less the hard-partying badass of the manga or the reserved, introspective thinker of the 1995 movie. Hers is a Major at the beginning of her career, the head of the first wave in human evolution, along with the fear and vulnerability that comes with being part of it. To take gaming analogy, she's more like Deus Ex: Human Revolution's Adam Jensen than the consummate professional cyborg cop portrayed in other Ghost in the Shell adaptations. [embed]35661:6195:0[/embed] Her action credentials are also well-earned, through a series of bang-up set pieces inspired by iconic scenes from the anime and manga. If anything, Johansson's physicality, and her apparent superhuman capabilities actually feel a bit undersold, compared to her antics as Black Widow. The movie's successes on the style front are so compelling that in some ways it's easy to see Ghost in the Shell as the most expensive and fully-realized cosplay shoot ever made. I mean that as a compliment. This approach is instructive, as cosplay shoots aren’t usually known for their narrative chops. The film tries admirably to forge some new territory, taking names and references from across Ghost in the Shell’s varied canon to tell a story that’s not the Puppetmaster, or the Laughing Man, or even the Ghost-Dubbing, Individual Eleven, or any other extant case. Then again, maybe things would've turned out better if they had chosen a more straightforward adaptation, as the end result feels more like The Bourne Identity with cyborgs, not to mention incorporating that ghastly clanger of a final twist. Further, it appears to have been chopped up a bit in the editing room. Despite inspired and diverse casting for the other members of Section 9, most characters besides Aramaki and Batou (played by Borgen’s Pilou Ansbaek) barely graduate past the role of extra. Togusa (played by Han Chin), in particular, feels like he had more to do at some point between the first trailers and release. The plot, in the end, comes across as a pastiche of Ghost in the Shell fan service, limping around like Michael Pitt's Kuze, assembled from a hodgepodge of components and unable to quite bring it all together and look like a real boy. Given that this seems intended to start a franchise, the tidings are grim for this iteration of Ghost in the Shell. But there is, if nothing else, some (neon) light at the end of the tunnel. Nailing the style angle certainly helps with keeping hope alive. Ghost in the Shell fans, yours truly included, are used to having wildly different adaptations across the years. And thankfully, the nature of the setting leaves some room to course-correct, even in casting. As the Major says, the net is vast and infinite, and there may be room left to redeem Ghost in the Shell next time around.
Ghost in the Shell Review photo
Cyber-Bodied
Ghost in the Shell has been around for a long time. Since the release of Masamune Shirow’s seminal manga in 1989 and Mamoru Oshii’s arguably more influential 1995 film adaptation, the saga of the cyborgs of Sectio...

Power Rangers Review photo
Power Rangers Review

Check out Flixist's review of Power Rangers


Meh-phenomenal
Mar 23
// Nick Valdez
If you're a fan of Super Sentai, chances are you've seen Power Rangers. After 10,000 years Lionsgate and Saban's reboot has finally hit the big screen, but how did it turn out? It's neither as bad as I had anticipated, nor is...
Ghost in the Shell photo
Ghost in the Shell

A few minutes of Ghost in the Shell to watch and/or judge


That wall-run, though
Mar 23
// Josh Tolentino
There's just a week to go until Ghost in the Shell heads off to theaters, and Paramount is betting that at least some folks will still want to see the film, even after they give away five whole minutes of it.  Embed...
Chroma Squad Fan Film photo
Chroma Squad Fan Film

This Chroma Squad fan film will awaken your true heroic spirit


Don't underestimate the power of boxes
Mar 21
// Salvador G Rodiles
After getting the chance to play Chroma Squad in 2015, a part of me wanted to see the game as a tokusatsu production. Lo and behold, the gang at Kamen Ramen Studios created their own live-action short that's a fun love letter...
Kyoryuger Brave photo
Kyoryuger Brave

Vamola Mucho: Kyoryuger's Korean spin-off series gets a Japanese dub


A new chapter for the franchise
Mar 20
// Salvador G Rodiles
If there's one thing I never expected to hear about, it's a Super Sentai show getting its own spin-off series that's made in a different region. As more things start to surface on the Korean Kyoryuger show, Zyuden Sentai Kyor...
Typhoon Noruda photo
Typhoon Noruda

Typhoon Noruda to hit US via Sentai Filmworks


A storm is coming
Mar 18
// Red Veron
Sentai Filmworks is bringing the film Typhoon Noruda to US shores, the 2015 movie is directed by former Studio Ghibli animator Yujio Arai ( From Up On Poppy Hill, Secret World of Arriety). Its character designer and...
Eureka Seven photo
Eureka Seven

Eureka Seven shreds the skies with giant mechs again in new movie trilogy


Energy Surfing Robots
Mar 17
// Red Veron
12 years ago, Eureka Seven first introduced us to giant mecha that can surf giant waves of invisible energy waves in the sky. This year, a new film trilogy based on Eureka Seven will start with the first film named Eureka Sev...
Ghost in the Shell photo
Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell gets carried away on its own memes


'I Am Meme-jor'
Mar 14
// Josh Tolentino
Is there anything more Ghost in the Shell than something getting utterly dragged by the memes it helped spawn? Heck, that's basically the plot of Standalone Complex, when you think about it. Of course, successful marketi...

Weekend Japanatainment - Japanese Spider-Man Edition

Mar 12 // Red Veron
[embed]35610:6155:0[/embed] Supaidman Trailer from Marvel.com A trailer from when Marvel hosted the videos of full episodes of the show on their site years ago. They're not available anymore but someone uploaded them on YouTube and you can check it out below.   [embed]35610:6154:0[/embed] Supaidaman Intro The intro from the show and is full of that Japanese action show goodness from 1970's.   [embed]35610:6151:0[/embed] Supaidaman Episode 1 & 2 First two episodes of the show. Enjoy!   [embed]35610:6152:0[/embed] Supaidaman's Giant Robot "Marveller" A clip of the aforementioned giant robot from the show. They added a giant robot to the show at the time fearing that Spider-Man alone would not sell to Japanese kids. This robot is the reason Super Sentai (and Power Rangers) has giant transforming robots, which was a first in a live action TV show.   [embed]35610:6153:0[/embed] Stan Lee talks about Supaidaman The legend himself, Stan Lee, talks about Spider-Man being adapted by the Japanese in the late 1970's. I can only imagine what he must really have thought back in the day with some Japanese person turning his relatable-everyday-nerd-superhero into a guy who has alien blood induced super powers and a giant robot. What do you think of this adaptation? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know!
Weekend Japanatainment photo
YEAH, YEAH, YEAAAAHHH!!! WOW!
Power Rangers is one of the most cleverly disguised cultural import the US has ever received from Japan, taking Japanese footage from Super Sentai and then mixing in some bad acting footage from US actors. We've taken a...

Ghost in the Shell photo
Ghost in the Shell

Take a brief tour of Ghost in the Shell history


Not the kind that would scare Scooby
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// Red Veron
The live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell is almost ready to break through that window to shoot some murderous robo Geishas, but not many know about that this franchise has been around for a long time all starting...

Review: Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale

Mar 05 // Josh Tolentino
Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale Studio: A-1 Pictures Licensed By: Eleven Arts (NA), SM Cinema (PH), Madman (AU) Directed By: Tomohiko Itou Released: February 26, 2017 (PH), March 9, 2017 (NA) You wouldn't know it from that title, but it's been several years since any of the characters in Sword Art Online - the TV series - have had anything to do with Sword Art Online - the game. Over multiple seasons of television and any number of spinoff stories, Kirito, Asuna, Klein, and the rest have left behind the death game that started their shared adventure, moving into new games, meeting new friends, and having new adventures. And yet no one's really left Sword Art Online behind. The events of the "The SAO Incident" have come to define not just the cast of characters, but even the discourse surrounding the franchise. Virtually every subsequent storyline, be it based in Gun Gale Online, ALfheim Online, or any number of new games visited by Kirito and his crew, has been compared to the original Sword Art Online thread, and often found wanting in some way. There's no denying the way that that first storyline has defined the whole of the franchise, and to its credit, Ordinal Scale incorporates that very notion into its plot, which runs heavy with themes of nostalgia, memory, and the concept of the self as a sum of a person's experiences. And no one been more heavily defined by Sword Art Online than its protagonists, Kirito and Asuna, and in focusing largely on them and their relationship, Ordinal Scale finds the focus that subsequent storylines lacked. The trick is in finding a new competition for the characters to learn and excel in. The disrupting factor here is Augmented Reality. For the unintiated, Augmented Reality (AR), is a form of technology that overlays computer-generated imagery onto the real world, as opposed to Virtual Reality (VR), which replaces the real world. The Augma, an AR device that looks like a fancy take on Google Glass, is trending, enticing consumers away from VR games (like the ones Kirito and friends have been playing) with promises of greater integration with the real world, forgoing the need to be rendered a vegetable just to play video games. The Augma's "killer app" is Ordinal Scale, an AR combat game that pits players against monsters and each other in real-world locations overlaid with fantasy art projected directly into their eyes by the Augma technology. Best conceptualized as a fusion of the real-world Pokemon GO and a prototype version of Reki Kawahara's other franchise, Accel World, Ordinal Scale doesn't carry much detail as a game, but it does provide a compelling snapshot of what people might be playing in the future, as well as a new set of challenges for Kirito and the crew to surmount. Only this time time, it's Kirito that's at a disadvantage. Whereas the VR games he used to play relied on arbitrary stats or futuristic measurements of "reaction speed" to determine performance, playing Ordinal Scale is limited by the players' own ability to move about the virtualized environment. And Kirito, after years spent as a vegetable and then later addicted to VR, is not in the best of shape. Seeing him struggle, stumble, and fall while more physically fit challengers succeed, returns to Sword Art Online a long-missing sense of adversity and progress. Where other stories tended to hinge things on viewers' existing attachment to the cast to make plots about in-game activities feel compelling, the story here feels more natural, and even exciting, once the stakes are raised. That stake-raising definitely happens, as boss monsters from Sword Art Online start appearing in Ordinal Scale, resulting in odd consequences for the many "SAO Survivors" - players who were stuck in Sword Art Online during the original death game, including Kirito, Asuna, and most of their friends - playing Ordinal Scale. Asuna falls victim to one of the monsters and finds herself robbed of all memory from her time spent in SAO, including her recall of meeting Kirito for the first time. Bereft of arguably the most important - if traumatic - experience of her life, Asuna is left unsure: Of herself, of her memories, and even of her relationship with Kirito and their AI "daughter", Yui. Even if she does remember her subsequent adventures, will it be enough for her? Kirito, meanwhile, is left desperate, pained by the loss and needing to somehow succeed at Ordinal Scale, as well as investigate the game and uncover the key to restoring his girlfriend's memories.  This tension and sense of desperation in the film really does bring out some of Sword Art Online's best qualities, marrying its entertaining vision of gaming's future and the consequences facing its characters, while capitalizing on the now years-strong investment fans have in the cast and world of the series. The whole show is steeped in nostalgia for that first arc, and sometimes stoops over to nonsensical levels to throw a fan-service bone to fans that want to see the old outfits and aesthetics of the show rendered in the glory afforded to feature-length productions. Ironically, it's when the stakes are raised to their highest - when lives are at stake, and when SAO fan-service is at its most intense - that Ordinal Scale begins to crumble. The dark conspiracy propelling the mystery, and what it means for Asuna, Kirito, and the SAO survivors would've been enough, but the last quarter of the movie feels somewhat obligatory, motivated less by the need to solve the mystery than by a mandate to have a giant battle at the end featuring all the characters from every game. There's no denying it's entertaining to see, but it certainly could've been brought about in a less transparent fashion. All that's missing is a giant blue laser in the sky and it could've been the final showdown from a Marvel Cinematic Universe film, is what I'm saying.  At the same time, I can't find it in my heart to be too critical of this stumbling block. Films like these are primarily about fan-service, so I can't begrudge its presence. It helps that the action sequences are very pretty, to boot, however wooly the reasons for their taking place. [embed]35592:6136:0[/embed] Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale is best taken less as a standalone narrative and more as a coda of sorts for an era of the franchise, a break with the legacy - and baggage - of its much-lauded earlier days. In doing so it also is a welcome reaffirmation of the reasons behind Sword Art Online's sometimes-baffling popularity, effectively mixing dynamic action, inspired future-nerdery, and personal drama in a plot that reinvokes the franchise's sense of consequence and stakes.  [This review is based on a theatrical viewing of the film by the reviewer.]
Sword Art Online Review photo
Is this the (Augmented) Real Life?
What's in a name? For Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale, the name is everything. I'm not referring to "Ordinal Scale", the word from the title, though. I'm referring to Sword Art Online, the title that has, to this day, loomed large over the series it graces. Ordinal Scale - the movie - is no different, and seems to know it, too.

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Pokemon

Pokemon: I Choose You! takes us back to the beginning with Ash and Pikachu


GET IN THE BALL
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// Red Veron
The Pokémon anime (or Pocket Monsters) first aired 20 years ago in Japan back in 1997, and this latest movie is all about celebrating those two decades of the show by going back to the beginning. The new movie, Pocket ...
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Hurricane Polymar

Hurricane Polymar live action trailer features song from Good Morning America


I prefer Al Roker from Today show
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Wait, first let's clear this up. There is a band in Japan named "Good Morning America", which for people outside the US, is also the name of a long-running morning show on the channel ABC that has been airing since 1975. This...
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ReLife

New ReLife music trailer gives us that youthful feeling again


Youth is wasted on the young
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A new music trailer of the live action adaptation of ReLife just came out featuring a cover of the song "Sakura", performed by singer-songwriter Sonoko Inoue with the part rap done by the film's lead actor Taishi Nakagawa. Th...

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