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Rampo Noir (2005)

Forget wells and videos and all manner of watery metaphors, Rampo Noir returns to the source with a refreshingly new bent. Based on stories by Japanese gothic horror author Edogawa Rampo, this collection of short films is both experimental and confronting in a way that cheap frights will never, ever be, and it’s actually not an easy thing to watch.

The anthology opens with Mars Canal, directed by Takeuchi, and for the first few minutes, I probably wasn’t the … (read more)

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Nana (2005)

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Certain stereotypes keep popping up again and again in Japanese manga and anime – one in particular, the stereotype of the Terminally Cheerful character. This character, in its native environment, is so optimistic it has almost reached a form of enlightenment, where things are ‘meant to be’ and where nothing bad reaches it despite what’s going on around it. Of course, it’s no mystery, the allure of this creature. Think ‘The Fool’ from the tarot’s Major Arcana – a young … (read more)

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