In a refreshing change of pace (at least lately, it seems) Shunsuke Sato’s (Princess Blade, Gantz 1 & 2) Library Wars looks to something other than terrorism for its narrative inspiration. Based on a relatively recent light novel series by Hiro Arakawa (there’s also a manga adaptation and an anime series produced by I.G.), Library Wars instead addresses the topic of reading censorship.
Censorship is neither an invented issue nor a new one, particularly in Japan. Only … (read more)
While the latest films of relatively young directors like Mamoru Hosoda and Makoto Shinkai feature the supernatural in all its intimate and archetypal forms, Studio Ghibli, in an almost been-there-done-that gesture has instead turned its gaze elsewhere, this time into the imperfect past as opposed to the fantastical present. Based on a girls’ manga illustrated by Chizuru Takahashi and written by Tetsurou Sayama and serialised in 1980, From Up on Poppy Hill is an unabashedly old-fashioned feel-good straight out of … (read more)
One of the most popular boy bands in Japan working with Sabu, one of the hottest directors: what could go wrong?
Thankfully, not much, as we see. Sabu’s talent makes a meal of what could have been a simple bank-heist-gone-wrong story, and the six members of V6 apply themselves with much energy and verve to characters that don’t tax their skills unduly. There’s car chases, almost compulsory in a Sabu film. There’s sudden unexpected lurve, that pops up at the … (read more)