Years ago Raymond Chandler recalibrated librarians in my adolescent psyche. Gone were the motherly figures of primary school replaced with formidable intellectuals with a simmering sexuality. The first R.O.D. (Read Or Die) in many ways was just the logical anime action extension of this. Librarian, Yomiko ‘The Paper’ Readman, whose paper manipulation powers put my feeble attempts to make an origami swan to shame, is called on by the British Library to battle super-powered historical figures and save the world. … (read more)
When I saw the DVD case for Psycho Diver my expectations were set. Its stylish combination of black, blue greys and greens immediately evoked an emotive mood of a fluid subconscious. The box stills of bloodied bandages, a cadaver-colored body and a knife-wielding woman – read sex and death – reinforced the notion of mental fragmentation. I was there. I wanted to see Bosujima, the Psycho Diver, tramping around in somebody’s subconscious encountering all kinds of disturbing imagery. If … (read more)
Science Fiction tends to portray the future in one of two ways: there’s the idealized, hang-the-expense future where doors are automatic and cars float. Alternatively, there are the dystopic or apocalyptic visions where humanity has slipped on the razor’s edge on which it is so precariously balanced into destroying itself and its environment – often over something as trivial as the best ways to get cars to hover.
Planetes eschews these approaches. Instead it presents a perfectly possible future where … (read more)
Fist of the North Star takes me back. I saw it in a Los Angeles cinema in 1992 where I marvelled at the mango-sized heads atop bodies of Arnold Schwarzenegger proportions. The plot unfortuntely is lost to me behind a veil of crimson spray and body dismemberment. I exited the theatre feeling like an extra caught standing too close to Sissy Spacek in Carrie.
Hero Kenshiro (well, in the movie anyway), was in fact left wandering the wastes searching … (read more)
Forget Mel Gibson’s The Passion. For true Easter spirit check out Neon Genesis Evangelion: Resurrection. This is the first of the two ‘directors cut’ volumes featuring brand new, never-before-seen footage. Resurrection, the first of the two volumes, hosts episodes 21-23.
Up front I want to get off my chest that … (read more)
Miyazaki’s first creatively controlled project is based on his own hugely successful manga series, which itself was produced to prove to financiers that the project was viable as an anime. All this tends to suggest Miyazaki could have got cold fusion to work if he put his mind to it.
Nausicaä combines traditional elements of high fantasy: a war, a prophecy and a princess with a Japanese post-apocalyptic wasteland: a world being inexorably consumed by a poisonous forest spread by … (read more)
My Neighbor Totoro is a deceptively simple tale. It is the story of a father and his two young daughters moving to the country and adventures the two girls, Mei and Satsuki, have with the forest spirits they find there.
This simplicity makes My Neighbor Totoro one of the purest examples of Myazaki and Studio Ghibli’s themes and preoccupations. There is the pleasure in discovery of the delights of rural life (Only Yesterday), the multifaceted life of children … (read more)
Blue Gender: The Warrior falls squarely into the "fish out of post-apocalyptic water" genre. Yugi, who has been asleep for twenty-two years, is awakened to discover himself in a war zone with giant bugs. As is the case with late arrivals, he spends much of his time proclaiming that, ‘things can’t be all bad’ before wandering into dangerous situations with said bugs. Naturally the Blue offer no concessions to Yugi, keen to employ their strategy of tearing humans in two, … (read more)