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Short Peace (2013)

Although the theme for the Sunrise/Shochiku multimedia project Short Peace was apparently “Japan” it seems to me that the ‘peace’ part of the title is far more telling, because in one way or another each short in this 4-film anthology is about conflict. Not only that, but unless I’m reading far too much into it, there is something to be learned from each of these battles.

The first cab off the rank after the energetically ethereal opening title sequence is … (read more)

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Steamboy (2004)

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Steamboy starts with two shots of the world distorted by water. The first is through a droplet. The second is workers reflected in the radiating ripples as the droplet disrupts a pool of water. Welcome to Katsuhiro Otomo’s latest creation Steamboy: a world altered by another form of water — steam.

Whenever a major league hitter like Otomo steps up to the plate it is almost inevitable that a new benchmark in anime will be set. The PR machine … (read more)

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Akira (2001)

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Akira. A lot gets said about it. Words like definitive, ground-breaking and brilliant get bandied around all over the place like bullets in a John Woo movie whenever it’s mentioned. And rightly so. It was a movie that left a huge, meteoric impact crater on the grown-up, film going, cross cultural psyche that some people, myself included, will never quite get over.

The interesting thing about it however, is that over a decade later it has lost none of … (read more)

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