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

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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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October 29, 2010 : New Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball creator, Akira Toriyama, has supposedly been talked into creating new material for the series. The story is pretty sparse with the details, but I am torn with the news.

Get Buu out of there, and it's the best poster ever.

Being a huge fan of DBZ, I can definitely get excited about the prospect of new Dragon Ball Manga (and no doubt anime to follow). However, DBZ was starting to sputter at the end – even with Toriyama involved. Dragon Ball GT didn’t have the creator and was awful. However, I think DBZ peaked during the Cell saga (which was awesome). The Buu saga was pretty disappointing, and I’m not sure how much better anything new would be.

Besides, there are countless questions as to the specifics of any new material. When would the story take place within the Dragon Ball universe? Who would be the main character(s)? How much stronger can the bad guys really get?

Ultimately, I would prefer Toriyama create an entirely new series. That would be more interesting to watch.

posted by Pi Visuals at 9:11 pm

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October 13, 2010 : Madhouse’s Supernatural Trailer

Madhouse Studios has been involved with countless anime projects – some notable ones include The Animatrix, Black Lagoon, and Reign: The Conqueror. While the storylines to some of their works disappoint (Paranoia Agent, Wicked City, and Metropolis) or are incredibly weird (cough, cough… Paprika), the animation is usually pretty solid.

Madhouse is currently working on an anime adaptation to the CW show, Supernatural. I’ve never watched the show even though it’s been on for six seasons – after all, the only CW show I watch is Gossip Girl. Anyway, the trailer looks pretty sweet.

The anime is to be released in Japan early next year. Who knows when it will be available in the U.S. – but common sense tells us that since it is based on an American show, it will be around sooner rather than later. And if the trailer is any indication, it can be one worth watching.

P.S. – You can never go wrong with playing Carry On Wayward Son during a trailer.

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:10 pm

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June 23, 2010 : Death Of The Undying… Awesome!

There is a shortage of solid anime on TV nowadays, which is unfortunate considering a few years ago it was getting fairly popular among mainstream audiences.

Despite decreasing the quantity and quality of shows in this genre, Adult Swim is at least airing Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. The series more  closely follows the manga compared to its predecessor.

Badass Extraordinaire

Last weekend, Adult Swim aired Death Of The Undying – and… that… episode… rocked.

Got a light?

I miss watching really great anime, and this episode reminded me why.

On a side note, Louie premieres on FX next week. I’m a fan of Louie C.K.’s stand up – plus FX has had some pretty solid comedies in the past few years. Those are reasons enough to be optimistic about the show… that and the fact that I have to wait a few more months to see new Venture Bros.

posted by Pi Visuals at 6:33 pm

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March 12, 2010 : Trigun: Badlands Rumble

Trigun: Badlands Rumble opens up in Japan on April 24. Not sure when it will reach the United States, but the trailer looks promising (even if it is in Japanese).

It looks like it will be similar to the Cowboy Bebop movie in that it will take place during the middle of the series – and that means probably no Knives or Legato – but it does have Wolfwood so it can’t be all that bad.

posted by Pi Visuals at 2:16 pm

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December 7, 2009 : Flee Clee!!!

Here’s a cool independent anime short from Japan. Unfortunately, it is in Japanese and doesn’t have any subtitles, but it’s still impressive.

According to one of the comments, the dialogue is:

Please be my steady, Takashi.
Sorry, I’d like to concentrate on baseball club.
You bastard! (She begins to run)

I will make miso-soup for you every morning.
Sorry, I’d like to …

It’s design and animation has a cool FLCL feel to it. Plus, it also uses a song from the series – “Comedian’s Gallop” by Dmitri Kabalevsky.

Personally, I don’t know how anybody could pass on an offer for daily Miso Soups… but that’s just me.

posted by Pi Visuals at 3:48 pm

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November 24, 2009 : Uhh… What?

It came out a few years ago, but I finally got around to watching the film Paprika.

It gets weirder... much weirder.

The animation and character design was very impressive, which also goes for Paranoia Agent – director Satoshi Kon’s previous work. Agent’s problem, at least in my opinion, was that it moved too slowly. The story was definitely out there, and this could have been a good thing had it moved faster than the Frieza Saga.

Paprika takes this bizarreness and kicks it up about five extra notches. By the end, the weirdness envelopes the movie so much that it makes Akira and Evangelion seem as convoluted as Sesame Street.

I have no idea what's going on.

All  in all, it wasn’t a waste of 90 minutes. Paprika was visually appealing and its premise incredibly unique – just make sure you don’t mind being confused.

posted by Pi Visuals at 1:10 pm

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