October 30, 2020 : Deep Dive Into Akira’s Animation

I’ll be honest, I’m not really a fan of Akira. I found the story to be both ‘bleh’ and confusing. Plus, I also could never get past the main character’s name (Dick Army… I mean Kaneda). As such, I’ve only seen it once and pretty much moved on.

I remember the animation being solid, but not enough to save it for me. The video dissects the big intro action scene and gave me a better appreciation of the movie:

It’s pretty technical, but not enough to prevent someone unfamiliar with animation to enjoy it (and appreciate the work). I still won’t say I like Akira, but I might at least give it another watch one of these days.

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:53 pm



August 3, 2019 : Lupin Goes CGI

A new Lupin movie will be released in Japan this coming December. A trailer has recently made the rounds, showing the film will be CGI:

Overall, I’m digging the look. Although to be honest, I’ve never been very high on Lupin. I always liked it – the animation, story, character design, voice acting, etc – but for whatever reason, the series never grabbed me enough to make it a must watch. This past season I didn’t even bother recording, which was mostly due to the prioritization of other shows I wanted to watch more.

That said, I would be more inclined to watch a movie versus a full season, and the CGI look has be genuinely intrigued. A U.S. release date hasn’t been set, but I’m hoping it becomes readily available when it does come stateside.

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:26 pm

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December 1, 2017 : YouTube Series – Anime Crimes Division

I came across a funny YouTube Series, Anime Crimes Division, which is pretty much what you’d expect it to be… a procedural show detailing the investigation of crimes against anime (and no they don’t just play episodes of Casshern Sins).

Crunchyroll co-produced the first season, which is three episodes long. I watched the first one and liked it. The anime jokes are solid… at least the ones I got. I would prefer more satire about the procedural genre, but that’s been done plenty of times. Jokes about anime is a bit more esoteric, but I like that kind of food.

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:50 pm



September 14, 2017 : Netflix Getting Into The Anime Game

I’m liking Netflix more and more these days. I’ve already enjoyed some of their anime (Rerouni Kenshin and Hunter X Hunter), but they recently announced first-run streaming of twelve anime series as well as one feature.

Obviously Netflix is trying to get more viewership and appealing to a broader audience base is a wise tactic. I doubt they will ever rival the likes of Crunchyroll or Funimation; but seeing as how I already have an account (one admittedly I don’t use as much as I should), it’s nice to know they could be getting more material that directly interests me.

The content is expected to be available in 2018, which will hopefully give me enough time to clear out my DVR (or at least decidedly give up on shows and delete them once and for all… I’m looking at you Tokyo Ghoul and Attack On Titan).

posted by Pi Visuals at 2:59 am



December 30, 2016 : Best Anime For Beginners?

I stumbled on a cool article at Nerdist, listing the best anime for beginners. With only 11 on the list, it’s a quick read. They also have an accompanying video in case you want to avoid words. In terms of the material, I’ve watched most of them and heard of a few others. It’s a pretty safe list, including the more popular anime (Bebop and DBZ); but I also like and agree with some of the other choices – including Full Metal, Death Note, One Punch, and Princess Mononoke.

However, there were two on the list I didn’t know. Not sure what Toonami has coming up in 2017 for anime (although I am aware they will have Dragon Ball Super starting in January), but if it’s slim pickings perhaps I will give one of the them a shot. For the record, the list has Full Metal Alchemist and not the Brotherhood version, however the video showed footage from Brotherhood so I chalk this up to a minor editing oversight.

posted by Pi Visuals at 2:14 pm



December 15, 2016 : Ghost In The Shell Anime Coming To Theaters?

Trailers for the live-action adaptation of Ghost In The Shell dropped last month; and while it looks to have potential, I think the anime is still where it’s at. That is why I was stoked to hear the original GITS will return to theaters for one day. The catch? It’s only airing in the UK.

The Major in all her badassery.

A US Theatrical run is planned, however details have not been released. If it does play at theaters around me, I definitely plan on catching it. I think watching the original anime in the theaters would be visually stunning. Besides, it couldn’t be any worse than sitting through the sequel, Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence. Or as I like to call it: The Subbed Snooze Fest.

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:34 pm

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December 2, 2016 : Spirited Away 15th Anniversary Theatrical Re-Release

Fathom Events is known to do some limited re-releases – most notably The Iron Giant last year. In honor of its 15th anniversary, they will have a 3-day theatrical run for Spirited Away. The screenings will take place Sunday, December 4, as well as the following Monday and Thursday. Sunday’s screening will be the English dub, while Monday’s will be English subtitled. I am not sure about Thursday.

So good.

Spirited Away is Miyazaki’s most successful movie. I was surprised to find out it is still Japan’s highest grossing film (Number 2 and 3 is Titanic and Frozen, respectively). To be honest, I think my favorite Miyazaki film is Princess Mononoke – although that’s probably because that was my first exposure to the director/ animator. Either way, Spirited Away is beyond solid and seeing it at the theaters would be a great way to appreciate the artwork (and story).

posted by Pi Visuals at 2:48 pm

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April 18, 2016 : Definition Of Anime?

io9 republished an article about the definition of the word ‘Anime’, entitled What “Anime” Means. It has interesting facts on the history of the ‘anime’ moniker as well as the differences between Japan’s definition and the West’s.

I’ve always thought ‘Anime’ was a rather nebulous term. It’s very general with countless genres and sub-genres. However, I never realized how greatly my definition varies from others.

Personally, I don’t feel the need to answer the question of what Anime means. After all, I enjoy many different forms and styles of it. To me, I enjoy it because of the story lines and appealing visuals. I don’t like all shows labeled Anime. There are plenty that have poor stories and/ or visuals; but that is something you can say about any genre.

posted by Pi Visuals at 2:49 pm



November 12, 2013 : Internet Explorer’s Anime Mascot

Internet Explorer has a new, cool-looking mascot – along with a two-minute advertisement. The design was actually created independently by a Singapore Studio, Collateral Damage Studios. Apparently, it was done as a joke (or to blow off some steam). Microsoft saw it, and liked it so much that they decided to adopt her as the mascot for IE11. They then worked with CACANi Animation to create the video below.

While it’s a little too much Sailor Moon for my liking, it still is a pretty sweet video… even if I have long since abandoned the web browser. Behind-the-scene bits can also be seen on CACANi’s Facebook page.

I am still a little unclear as to what the robots represent, but I am pretty sure not too much thought is supposed to go into watching the ad. I just hope Michael Bay doesn’t decide to turn this into a movie – perhaps an uphill battle against nemeses Chrome and Mozilla… with a guest appearance by Bing, the little search engine that couldn’t but thinks it can?

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:56 pm


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April 19, 2011 : My Fellow Nerds And I Will Retire To The Nerdery

I recently saw an ad on the CTA for this year’s Anime Central – The Midwest Anime and Manga Convention. Over the last five years, I’ve heard about this yearly event but always after it takes place.

After hearing about the convention this time around before it happens, I might actually attend. However, a lot of that depends on the guests and musicians they line up (a few years ago they had the Pillows!). If I find out Steven Jay Blum will be in attendance, that might be all that is needed.

The ball’s in your court, Anime Central.

posted by Pi Visuals at 8:08 pm

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