adaptations

Yakuza play photo
Yakuza play

Yakuza stage play heads to video


Hard looks included
Jun 24
// Hiroko Yamamura
Stage plays and live musicals aren't really my thing. However, seeing the footage of the Yakuza theatre run makes me think I might have been missing out on some serious fun. The show isn't running at this time, but they've c...
Attack on Titan photo
Convinced yet?
I'm still not ready to say wether I'm excited for the live action adaptation of Hajime Isayama's ridiculously popular Attack on Titan series yet. The film has a lot going for it, a decent budget and good actors should help m...

Annotated Anime: Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma episodes 6-8

Jun 02 // Nick Valdez
Episode 6 In this episode, we learn a little more about Totsuki Academy's numerous cooking clubs and how the "God Tongue" Erina uses her status as one of the ten best students in the school to get what she wants. Because it needs to set up the next bunch of episodes, this one is mostly exposition and ultimately feels lacking. Souma stumbles on the Don Research Society, which focuses on a rice dish with various meats on top, and discovers that it's the next club Erina wants to take down. Erina sends Mito Ikumi, who's nicknamed "Nikumi" and whose specialty is meat dishes (and layered with all sorts of jokes). I'm not a particular fan of her design although you could argue that it also goes with the overall parodical nature of the show as her design hearkens back to a late 80s bikini under a shirt vibe. Souma challenges Mito to a Shokugeki duel where he'll get expelled if he loses, and Mito will join the Don RS if he wins. The rest of the episode is a nice change of pace at the Polar Star dorm's garden, and lets Tadaroko shine a bit.  All of the technical problems I noted in my initial First Impressions post are still here, but they're not as abrasive as they were before. I'm sure it's because of a lack of major activity.  Episode 7 Okay, so this is the show I've been waiting for. Gone is most of the fluff, and it's all boiled down to hardcore cooking action. As Souma and Mito finally start the Shokugeki, Mito reveals her prize possession, a chunk of Grade A5 meat (very expensive). Souma counters with some cheaper grocery store meat. Through the episode the commentary from the crowd helps to elevate the admitted lack of action. But it's basically told in the same format you'd find in reality shows like Iron Chef where the chefs aren't really moving all that much but the commentary from the judges helps to elevate the visuals. Since this is a Don battle, Mito presents a Don using her super wagyu beef and her entire focus was on making the meat great. But Souma presents an all around better Don (with his focus pointed more toward the rice and making sure the dish has a sense of unity), and ultimately wins the duel thanks to his secret plum additive.  After their Shokugeki, Mito seems to have developed a crush on Souma. And Souma is offered the Don RS's head position, but hilariously turns it down. When summarized, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of plot to the episode but that's what is so great about it overall. The theatrics of the series finally make sense and the Shokugekis are far more palatable than they are in the manga. I hope this continues to be the trend going forward.  Episode 8 With his first official Shokugeki under his belt, Souma and his reinforced confidence are subjected to Totsuki's outdoor training camp. Each year that Totsuki does the camp, the first year class is cut in half thanks to a hefty amount of grueling challenges that can get you expelled. After introducing some Totsuki alumni who'll judge the challenges (including Chef Shinomiya, who sent a student home based on his smelly hair product). The first challenge puts Tadaroko and Souma in a pair as Chef Inui (who amazingly stated she wanted to eat the oh so cute Tadaroko) tasks them with cooking a Japanese cuisine dish made from ingredients the cooks can sparse from the area around them. Basically, it's a task based on the mentality that no challenge should stump a chef as long as he keeps a level head. The challenge also introduces a new rival with the Aldini brothers, a pair of twins who look nothing alike and can cook some fine Italian cuisine.  The rest of the episode is dedicated to seeing the brothers craft their duck dish. A dish that incorporates traditional Japanese ingredients into Italian recipes like salsa verde. That's where this anime's shonen qualities kick in with exaggerated knife work and accented backgrounds that really make the cooking pop. I kind of wish these were seen more during the last episode, but since we're supposed to believe that the brothers put their dish together with a quick pace it's understandable.  It'll be interesting to see how Souma's flair for the dramatic is sparked by this display, and if the show continues to follow the manga as closely as it has, the next episode is going to be hilarious. I'm not sure if I'm a fan of the show's pace (as a lot of the show's plot is hindered by a bit of filler each episode) since it feels like we could've had the entire first challenge within a single episode. But maybe that would've been too much. What do you think? 
Annotated Food Wars! photo
Is Souma don for?
With the first five episodes, Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma had to establish its wacky as all get out world. Goofy sexualization, heightened environment, and basically had to make sure you could accept this culinary world seri...


Memoirs of Amorous Gents  photo
Memoirs of Amorous Gents

Animator Expo's 23rd short adapts another Moyoco Anno manga


Gentlemen can be perverts too
May 23
// Salvador GRodiles
We're getting close to the Japan Animator Expo project's final stretch, and the latest piece ends up being another adaptation (slightly NSFW) of a manga by Moyoco Anno. Just like the previous piece that adapted her work, "Mem...

First Impressions: Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma

May 18 // Nick Valdez
Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma is a simple premise heightened by its presentation (like how Duck a l'Orange sounds better than it actually is thanks to its name). Yukihira Souma runs a diner with his father, and his dream is to one day surpass his father’s cooking prowess. When his father takes a job in America and closes the diner, Souma is shipped to Totsuki Culinary Academy, an elite cooking school where only 10% of students who enroll graduate. But those who do graduate become top figures in the cooking world. There he comes across a bevy of characters like the “God Tongue” Erina, the “Meat Master” Ikumi, and the oh so cute Tadaroko. There’s quite a bit of hefty production thrown behind what’s essentially a cooking show. I don’t really know what to think of it. At times it feels satirical since the fan service is so explicitly comedic (but ultimately superfluous), and a lot of the animation budget goes into making the cooking scenes flow with more vigor (thus resembling Shonen Jump’s more “action” filled anime), but it's meant to be taken at face value. The presentation almost hampers the subject material. It’s like the anime isn’t taking itself seriously. And while that does make for a good watch week to week, it’s hard to discern whether or not the studio is a good chef when they keep adding differing flavors each time. For example, a lot of the background music doesn't fit. When Souma cooks for Erina to get into Totsuki in the second episode, the music seems to be pushing the action faster than it actually is. Then you have moments of denouement after the action as the recipes are explained that are ruined by that music as well. It’s a weird quirk that I hope gets fixed in the episodes to come. But everything else is great! Character designs flow well, the fan service is just too ridiculous to be off putting (though you'll want to turn your volume down when girls eat and that gets super annoying), and there's a decent of amount of humor that lands. When Food Wars! isn't going for a cheap gag, it's spot on. At the very least, there are a number of actual cooking tips. Some of the recipes featured on the show are quite attainable and are developed enough to recreate. That's a nice touch since this definitely could've been a food anime that didn't care whether or not it served up actual food.  For as much there is to like about Food Wars, there are as many compelling reasons to avoid it. It’s a show that deals in extremes, and the constant overreaching will most likely hurt it in the long run. It’s possible that I gel with the cheesy premise now, but, as with any overly comedic show, the premise will tire out if it’s at a constant state of heightened reality. It’s one of those “style over substance” things. It’s like sitting in an all-you-can-eat buffet and being sickened by the taste of food after a few hours. Regardless of how much you think you can handle, you bust when you’re overfed. If Food Wars constantly keeps up this stylized world rather than have confidence that its show could exist without all the hubbub going on the background, it won’t keep my attention for long. But I’ve been hooked for time being. When it hits, it hits hard. And of course, Tadaroko is the best. 
Food Wars Impressions photo
Marry me, Tadaroko
I’ve had a lot of trouble catching on to anime over the years, but every so often there’s a show that sounds so incredibly insane that I can’t help but watch it. That’s how I got reeled into a shows li...

God Eater photo
God Eater

Your first look at Ufotable's God Eater anime


Chow Down
May 06
// Josh Tolentino
I've mentioned this before, but of the many games that tried to steal Monster Hunter's fire, I liked God Eater the most. While mechanically it was often just "diet" Monster Hunter, its approach to storytelling and anime...
One Punch Man photo
One Punch Man

Studio MADHOUSE winds up for One Punch Man anime


Fingers crossed!
Mar 21
// Josh Tolentino
[Update: Check out a hot cam promo for the show below, straight from the AnimeJapan 2015 show floor!] I must say that as hyped-up as I am about the prospect of a hot new anime adaptation of One Punch Man, the skeptic in ...
One Punch Man photo
One Punch Man

It's happening: One Punch Man anime officially announced


Took 'em long enough
Mar 19
// Josh Tolentino
Given the climate of anime production these days, one could see it as inevitable, but as a fan of the One Punch Man manga, it's pretty exciting to hear that the show will finally be getting a TV anime adaptation.  U...
Ghost in the Shell photo
Ghost in the Shell

Fans don't want to see Scarlett Johansson as Kusanagi


Speak your mind
Feb 18
// Hiroko Yamamura
The internet erupted as you might expect when DreamWorks Pictures announced that the role of Major Motoko Kusanagi had gone to Caucasian actress, Scarlett Johansson in the upcoming Ghost in the Shell adaptation. It looks like...
Ghost in the Shell photo
Ghost in the Shell

Hello, Major: Scarlett Johansson is the star of Ghost in the Shell


Black Widow gets a Cyberbrain
Jan 06
// Josh Tolentino
At times it seems like Dreamworks' planned live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell has been in development hell for so long that we were contemplating writing a script that automatically tagged any story about it wi...
Prophecy photo
Prophecy

Prophecy unveils a creepy new live-action trailer


Creepy!
Dec 22
// Hiroko Yamamura
The uber popular manga Prophecy, written by Testuya Tsutsui is getting an adaptation on the big screen in Japan. The tale of unfulfilled justice and judgment makes its debut in theaters on June 6th, adding to the already solid summer movie line-up. I hope the film can give the slow burning crime thriller a bit of justice, as the shots look pretty good so far!
DBZ fan video photo
DBZ fan video

Dragon Ball Z fan video blows Hollywood release out of the water in 2 minutes


What a little love can do
Oct 29
// Hiroko Yamamura
When you have some love for a project, it really shows. Throw in some decent acting, a knack for special effects, and some martial arts skills --you are onto something special. Dragon Ball Z fan group, Robot Underground is m...
Guardians of the Galaxy photo
Guardians of the Galaxy

The Guardians of the Galaxy are set to make their anime appearance


We are Groot!
Sep 10
// Hiroko Yamamura
I'm quite sure there's no way that you haven't seen this year's best movie, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy yet. However, if for some reason you've been on a 2D diet, drop what you're doing and take in one of the most enjoy...
Lupin III photo
Lupin III

The new Lupin live-action trailer is here!


I'm not sure how I feel about this yet
Jun 26
// Hiroko Yamamura
The live adaption of the classic anime thief Lupin III, is set to hit theaters in Japan on August 30th, but you don't have to wait that long to get a glimpse. There's a new trailer making its rounds, and this time the video ...
Unforgiven photo
Unforgiven

Ken Watanabe does Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven


Can't wait until they do Dirty Harry!
Jun 12
// Josh Tolentino
Japanator's about more than anime, don't you know! It's also about watching dignified hunks like Ken Watanabe do a samurai take on Clint Eastwood's 1992 western Unforgiven, and that's exactly what this is.  Yurusarezaru...
Kuragehime photo
Kuragehime

Princess Jellyfish live-action cast revealed


Casting announcements!
Apr 26
// Ben Huber
A short while ago we reported on the announcement of a Princess Jellyfish film (based off of Akiko Higashimura's manga), but the listing neglected an important detail: whether it was live-action or animated. I surmised that i...
Lupin III photo
Lupin III

Lupin III live-action teaser arrives


Now with less Japanese TV personalities covering up the video.
Apr 25
// Ben Huber
Hey you! Yeah, you! Do you want to see a short teaser for the upcoming Lupin III live-action adaption? I bet you do! This 30-second clip came out a few days ago, but it was covered in the typical trappings of Japanese TV, so...
Jellyfish photo
Jellyfish

Princess Jellyfish film announced


However it suffers from a severe lack of details.
Apr 07
// Ben Huber
I know there is a small but dedicated fanbase out there for Princess Jellyfish (Kuragehime). Both the original manga by Akiko Higashimura and the anime by Brain's Base for Noitamina were great versions of the story, and I'm a...
Anime photo
Anime

Insufficient Direction to get flash animation adaptation


Learn what it means to be the biggest otaku ever
Mar 17
// Brad Rice
Color this convenient: shortly after the English release of Moyoco Anno's Insufficient Direction, it's been announced that it's getting an anime adaptation. It won't be much -- 13 3-minute flash animations as a part of Animus...
Mighty No. 9 photo
Mighty No. 9

Mighty No. 9 live-action adaption on the way


Keiji Inafune's Kickstarter success will be adapted by Tim Carter's production company.
Feb 06
// Ben Huber
Video games! Who needs 'em! What's really cool is live-action, that's what! Keiji Inafune may be riding a wave of success after his Mega Man spiritual successor Mighty No. 9 blazed past Kickstarter goals and into the internet...
Ghost in the Shell photo
Ghost in the Shell

Hollywood's Ghost in the Shell adaptation gets a director


If only it were the Puppetmaster
Jan 27
// Josh Tolentino
Oh boy, here we go. It's been more than half a decade since Dreamworks acquired the rights to produce a live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, and mostly it's been all quiet. Many had simply consigned the idea to vapor...
Film & TV photo
Film & TV

Our first real look at Hollywood's adaption of Kite


Is it cringe-worthy?
Jan 06
// Tim Sheehy
Hollywood's upcoming live-action adaption of Yasuomi Umetsu's anime cult-classic Kite has been in development for years. Thanks to this new trailer, we're finally getting our first real look at the film, and i...
When Marnie Was There photo
When Marnie Was There

Ghibli's 2014 film is revealed by TOHO


Hiromasa Yonebayashi returns as director
Dec 14
// Chris Walden
Sure, we may still be waiting for both The Wind Rises and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya to venture out of Japan, but let's forget that for a minute and get excited for another new film! Film distributor TOHO has recently re...
Films photo
Films

All You Need is Kill film adaptation looks amazing


I can't wait
Dec 12
// Hiroko Yamamura
When I first heard that Hiroshi Sakurazaka's classic sci-fi light novel, All You Need is Kill was getting the Hollywood treatment, I got a bit worried. It was initially announced that Brad Pitt was attached to the film as th...
Anime photo
Anime

The Irregular at Magic High School anime slated for 2014


Madhouse bringing this light novel series to the screen
Dec 11
// Brad Rice
Mark your calendar for the Spring 2014 season, because Tsutomu Sato's light novel series The Irregular at Magic High School will be getting an anime adaptation courtesy of the folks at Madhouse. Saki's director Manabu On...
Manga photo
Manga

Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou to get anime adaptation


Love, comedy, and perverts all under one roof
Nov 30
// Brad Rice
According to the latest issue of Young King Ours magazine, Ruri Miyahara's latest manga, Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou, is getting an anime adaptation. The romantic comedy features a boy who's living alone in the Kawais...
Anime photo
Anime

Za Warudo! JoJo's new season to premiere next Spring


2014 is going to be the Year of the JoJo!
Nov 18
// Salvador GRodiles
I don't know about you, but a part of me is wishing for 2013 to be over already. Other than Space Dandy's super amazing entry into the 2014 Winter Anime Season, the return of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is another fine treat to ...
Soul Eater Not! photo
Soul Eater Not!

Soul-ice of Life: Soul Eater Not! getting an anime series


Are too!
Nov 14
// Josh Tolentino
Confession time! I know very little about Soul Eater, besides the fact that its ending credits were used for the awesome Persona 4 mashup I've embedded before. That said, it does seem to be popular, and the saga of ...
Black Butler photo
Black Butler

Live action Black Butler film has a new poster


I'll let you guys and gals be the judge
Nov 14
// Elliot Gay
I like Hiro Mizushima a whole lot. My first encounter with the talented Japanese actor came via Kamen Rider Kabuto, a show that was only ever as over the top as Mizushima's portrayal of Souji Tendou. I also thought he was gre...
Cowboy Bebop photo
Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop live-action film probably not happening


Keanu Reeves spills the details in a Reddit AMA.
Oct 21
// Ben Huber
Recently, the actor Keanu Reeves hosted a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) to promote his new film, Man of Tai Chi. Of course, most of the questions were about Bill & Ted and The Matrix, but Reeves did respond to one question...

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