Category Archives: Anime

Girls With Swords

I’m really proud of this video. It’s the pilot for what could become a webseries being made by my friends and myself. Drawing on elements from 8-bit genres, anime, table-top RPGs, and video games, the show tells the story of three women with magical swords as they seek adventure and fight evil. I was there from pre-production to post-production and the entire thing was a battle against time in order to complete the video. The project was very effects-heavy and took a huge effort of compositors, music, art design and digital effects people to achieve the look and feel of the show. On the shooting day, we had a relatively small and tight crew, but the shoot was still hard because of the small room we were working in (which didn’t have AC installed yet!) To cool the room we brought milk jugs filled with frozen water and stacked them up in front of an electric fan that we turned on between set ups.

Tokyo International Anime Fair


You know what’s happening this weekend? The Tokyo International Anime FairTokyo International Anime Fair!!!

Today alone, some 51073 visitors attended the fair, which features a substantial amount of anime-related swag, product releases, launches of new anime series and some serious art-loving.

I wish!!!

Republicans: Hating Anime, Hating Japanese

Watch this….

Ghibli Studio Announces “Karigurashi no Arrietty,” or The Borrowers


by Irma Arkus

Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Ghibli studio director and animator, has announced that the next production will be “Karigurashi no Arrietty” based on Mary Norton’s book.

According to Kyodo News, the film, translated as “Arrietty Borrows Everything,” is actually based on “The Borrowers,” Norton’s best-selling novel that already received a film treatment in 1997, albeit unsuccessful, about the lives of the little, 10cm large (4″ tall), people who live underneath the floorboards of a lively house.

Now studio Ghibli will apply their own treatment to the book, focusing on the character Arrietti, a girl living underneath a kitchen floor who eventually befriends a little human boy in the house.

Studio Ghibli News!

Studio Ghibli continues to amaze me, and what I ask, could be better than watching Hayao Miyazaki’s films?

Now, Studio Ghibli is preparing for a much touted media reveal of the new production announcement on Dec. 16th. Apparently, there is something in the bag, we just don’t know yet what the “something” may be.

The interesting thing though is that Miyazaki will be handing the directorial stick to someone else this time, which means that Studio Ghibli will be getting some fresh blood, and potential (as well as much needed) expansion.

Oshii’s “Sky Crawlers” to Premier


by Irma Arkus

The Sky Crawlers, Mamoru Oshii’s latest film production, will premier on Dec. 12th in New York.

Based on Hiroki Mori’s novel series, the animated film was released in Japan in August of 2008, followed by appearance at 65th Venice Film Festival, where it won the Future Film Digital Award.

Thus far, the reviews from the festival circuit have been excellent.

The story of The Sky Crawlers involves some of the best motifs of science fiction, as it depicts a civilisation that has abolished physical conflict and war. Instead, to provide a psychological release for humanity’s violent tendencies, concept of corporatized faux conflict is provided in the form of gladiator matches involving teens flying sophisticated, yet nostalgic war planes, the genetically engineered Kildren.

Kildren, or Kirudore, are adolescents who do not age, until that time when they are shot down, dying for the sake of entertainment. Worst is, that many of them have no memories, no origins, and the mystery of their incepeption fuels the story.

One kirudore, Yƻichi, arrives to the base, and has superior fighting skills, yet he has no memories of past. Will he reveal the secrets of the kildren?

Oshii’s film promises beautiful and sophisticated animation, in both 2D and 3D, and a kind of pastiche between Top Gun, WWII, and the obligatory anime romance.

Can’t wait to see it!

Mamoru Oshii: The Sky Crawlers


by Irma Arkus

The Sky Crawlers, Mamoru Oshii’s latest title, is due to be released on Aug. 2nd. Based on a Hiroshi Mori novel, the story is set in alternate history, and follows a group of young kirudore fighter pilots, Ace Combat Team, embroiled in a conflict.

The interesting part of the conflict is that the pilots reprsent not national interests, but corporate ones. The war is not necessarily a war, but a homocidal championship – a futuristic gladiator sport created for amusement of Television viewers.

The Sky Crawlers was so well received that even though intended as a single novel, quickly developed into a series of novels, garnering a great deal of readership interest. The airplane enthusiast especially will enjoy the film, as Hiroshi’s universe of Sky Crawlers is full of alternate technology.

Wii game is set to be released this summer, while Oshii’s film is to immediately follow. No word yet on North American release date.

Euro Manga and Anime

So the big J is in Europe for a few months and I finally finished read Roland Kelts wonderful book on the supposed Anime Invasion of the US. However, it is a much more global phenomenom than that. In Barcelona, I slid past the old castle and throne of the old Catalan Royal Family and right next door along the Roman walls in which the castle was built along was a shop with large letters advertising ‘COMICS’ and ‘MANGA’ in bold capital letters. In Cannes, amongst the cafes and bakeries there were anime figurines proudly displayed in the window of a shop selling expensive statues of such shows as Totoro and Magical Lyrical Nanoha. Japan is like way cool over here as well. In the small port town of Citivecchia in Italy, you can even buy the latest Naruto manga volume from newspaper stands on street corners. The more I look the more I see it, and the more I think it is a case of the US, and Canada for that matter, not being invaded, but catching up to the global phenomenom.

Gundam…The Saga Continues

by Irma Arkus

There are some things that can never end, and Gundam is apparently just one of those things.

Bandai Entertainment has announced its acquisition of Gundam 00. Directed by Seiji Mizushima, better known for his previous work on Full Metal Alchemist, Gundam 00 animated series will focus on the political and human drama revolving around three major nations in conflict. Set in year 2307, the weapons of choice are, of course, the Gundam.

The Genderbending of Haruhi Suzumiya


This is why I love the internet. Take a show that is 14 episodes long, add in a couple of the original light novels and through Kyoto Animations’ genius create a brilliant little epic that still has us begging for more. In fact, that bending has gone into the actual fan reshaping of the series in which is probably the most exciting little bit of fan fiction and doujinshi I have seen a long time. Folks, I give you the Gender Bending of Haruhi Suzumiya. A project in which the entire series is brought to life except with the genders of each of the characters swapped. The result is why I love fandom so damn much. Not to mention the gender swapped Kyon is kind of hot.