Posts Tagged ‘Ghost in the Shell

12
May
17

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Being a fan of the Ghost in the Shell franchise isn’t easy. There are five million different universes to keep track of. Each iteration is its own thing, having the same characters, but entirely separate events. This is a good and bad thing. Good because you can ignore Mamoru Oshii’s shitty film versions, but bad because each time you get a new TV show or movie, you’re always starting over, there isn’t enough continuity.

My favorite version is the TV series, Stand Alone Complex. It is the most accessible due to its incredible action, interesting characters, and amazing soundtrack. Digging deeper, it offers up philosophical insights regarding human nature and identity, and humanity’s interaction with connectivity and technology. Even though I haven’t liked every version of Ghost in the Shell, this was the one that got me into the franchise, and made me excited to see the live-action movie.

2017’s live-action Ghost in the Shell is a failure. It is a hodge-podge of the entire franchise. It combines disparate elements from all the different universes. In doing so, it becomes confused and diluted. It is a mere soup of what makes Ghost in the Shell unique. They had a number of deep storylines from which to choose, and they attempted to tell them all in the most milquetoast way possible. Continue reading ‘Ghost in the Shell (2017)’

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18
Dec
10

Heat Guy J – Surprisingly Good

Here is a list of reasons why you would think Heat Guy J sucks:

  1. The title is Heat Guy J.
  2. It aired in the U.S. on MTV2.
  3. It has girly character designs.
  4. It has people with wolf heads.
  5. It has a lot of filler episodes.
  6. Nobody has ever heard of it.

Despite these apparent shortcomings, Heat Guy J is actually a high quality series. Let’s take a look at those problems and see if they are actually problems or not.

First of all, the title. Heat Guy J. What the fuck does that mean, anyway? It’s a reference to the android character, J, and the fact that when he’s in action he builds up a ton of heat (get it, heat guy, lololololol, sigh, I know…) and needs to expel it at various points. Sounds dumb? Not really. It works well in the context of the series, and it isn’t like the title is all that bad considering it’s anime. The title does actually reference something in the series. It isn’t some crazy-ass, nonsensical title like  I My Me Strawberry Eggs, Fruits Basket, Sumomomo Momomo, Pumpkin Scissors, XXXholic, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, and… well, you get the idea. Overall, a title like Heat Guy J actually refers to the titular character, and isn’t completely fucked. Verdict: not a problem.

Continue reading ‘Heat Guy J – Surprisingly Good’

14
Aug
10

Moribito? More Like Bore-ibito.

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Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is a troll series. It trolled me so hard. Animated by Production I.G. and directed by Kenji Kamiyama I figured this was going to be the next series that made me scream, “ZOMG THIS SHOW IS FUCKING AWESOME!” And yeah, it started out that way.

Moribito starts with a bang. After all, coming from a legendary animation company, and the director of the amazing Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, how could it go wrong? The first three episodes were amazing. Not only did they feature stunning, fluid animation, they had perfect pacing, an intriguing mystery, and fantastic action sequences. After a number of exciting battles, the fourth episode slowed down to give us some exposition.

Exposition is all fine and good, but the problem is that the rest of the series was nothing but exposition. There was no more action. That’s it. Only three episodes worth, and they blew their wad from the get-go. The remaining 23(!!!!!) episodes are a non-stop thrill ride of talking, staring pensively toward the horizon, meditating, running away from danger, more talking, doing research, boiling water, and still more talking. It was fucking ridiculous. In fact, now that I think about it, this was completely intentional.

Continue reading ‘Moribito? More Like Bore-ibito.’

01
Apr
10

Reviewing All of Oshii’s Movies Simultaneously

Oh look, a Basset Hound, now there's something I've never seen in an Oshii movie before.

I recently decided that I must be a masochist. Not a masochist in the traditional sense, but a masochist in subjecting myself to mental anguish time and time again. What I am referring to are the films of Mamoru Oshii. It seems like I am constantly tricking myself into thinking, “OK, now this Oshii movie is going to be good.” No matter how many times I do it, I always walk away feeling ripped-off and dejected, having wasted away 90+ minutes that could have been spent constructively on projects, studying, or masturbating.

Having watched so many Oshii movies, I have come to realize that essentially they are all the same. There is no need to review them separately, because they all have the same themes, animation style, acting, music, and basset hounds. Essentially, all Oshii movies are interchangeable. If you replaced the music from Ghost in the Shell with the music from Patlabor would anyone really notice? Perhaps only the most hardcore Oshii fan. If you were to watch The Sky Crawlers side by side with Jin Roh, you would see that they both sort of meander around and the plot is only advanced when two people start talking at one another for significant(ly boring) amounts of time. After years of in-depth analysis, I have made a shocking discovery…

Way to dress up for The Sky Crawlers premiere, Oshii

…There seems to be something amiss whenever Oshii helms another movie. And that thing is the fact that Oshii continues to make THE SAME movie over and over again. He changes the setting and updates the animation style, and no one else seems to notice. Naturally, the Oshii fanboys are quick to disagree, stating that each film is entirely different and extremely complex. (And that I didn’t “get it.”) The thing about Oshii fanboys, however, is that they are a rabid cult. To them, Oshii can do no wrong. He could film himself taking a shit and they would declare it to be a cinematic masterpiece.

However, filming himself taking a shit would show too much direct action for Oshii. He would need to show himself talking about needing to take a shit, discuss the philosophical implications of doing so, wander the streets of Tokyo sullenly to a minimalist Kenji Kawai soundtrack, show a Basset Hound sniffing around another dog’s ass (because that’s what dogs do), and then finally the next day Oshii would return to the screen to discuss more philosophical implications now that he has taken the shit (albeit off-camera). Let’s face it, every single Oshii movie has scenes exactly like those described above. In fact, I imagine Oshii during pre-production would sound something like this:

Oshii: I have found a novel I would like to base my next movie on.

Executive: Oh really, which novel?

Oshii: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Executive: Well, the books made a lot of money, and the live action movies did, too, so I guess we can’t go wrong!

Oshii: I would like to change a few things.

Executive: Like what?

Oshii: First of all, I’m not sure about the setting. It would probably be better taking place in the near future, in Tokyo.

Executive: Oh…well, as long as you keep all the stuff people like about it, like the magic, I’m sure it will be great.

Oshii: Well, those magic scenes are so dreadful. I would rather have the characters discuss the morality of using sorcery instead of showing it. Or perhaps the magic could be a metaphor for the angst and turmoil of adolescence. Before Harry uses any magic he could silently wander the streets of Tokyo. You know what might be better than magic? The characters piloting realistic robots.

Executive: …

Oshii: And Harry’s owl would have to be changed to a Basset Hound.

To further illustrate my point, I have compiled this handy-dandy chart. What you’ll notice is that all Oshii movies, past, present, and future are identical. There is now no longer any need to watch new Oshii movies. Instead, consult the chart, and you will realize that you have already watched every new Oshii film! Incredible! When it comes to Oshii movies, the old adage is true, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all.

Oshii Movie Comparison Chart

Verdict: Shitty

22
Jan
10

20 Shittiest Anime of the Decade (2000-2009)

I’ve seen me lots of animu in the last decade. I started watching this stuff in late 2001, and it’s ruined my life ever since. That being said, I felt it was my obligation to impart upon you the fact that there are terrible anime out there. Sometimes it seems like it’s all moeblobs and slice of life bullshit. I’m not sure if anyone else has done this yet, so I’m giving you my list of the 20 Most Shittiest Anime of 2000’s. Keep in mind that even though I have ranked these, they are all equally shitty. My list probably won’t sit well with the slice of life fans or the moe-loving fapboys, but rest assured these anime all need to be sent directly to hell.

Dishonorable Mention) Most Pointless AwardRebuild of Evangelion – Why Hideaki Anno, why? You impressed us with Gunbuster, you further solidified your directing talent with Nadia, and you amazed us with your opus Evangelion. After that you did… well, not really anything. You went on to make a bunch of really shitty live action movies. You failed and failed and failed. You weren’t able to succeed in the mainstream, and that’s OK. But when you returned to the world of anime, what did you do? You decided to make A MOTHERFUCKING REMAKE of your biggest cash cow. Hmmm. Out of ideas already? Apparently so. Either that, or you wasted all of your money on full body Asuka pillows and mosaic screened Japanese porn. Now, I will agree that Rebuild of Evangelion was extremely well made, but it was also extremely pointless. Evangelion was by far one of the most incredible anime of all time. And remaking it is retarded at best.

Dishonorable Mention) Worst Director AwardMamoru Oshii – To all the fans of Oshii… fuck you. This guy is terrible. He’s a horrible director. He has no concept of pacing or intriguing storytelling. There is an old writer’s guideline that says, “Show, don’t tell.” Basically, it means you should describe what’s going on, and not just say that it happened. It provides for a much richer experience for the reader. Oshii’s work is all flawed by the same problem. He “tells” and doesn’t “show.” He wants to bring up philosophical ideas, and his method of doing that is by having two talking heads spout off paragraphs of dialogue at each other for huge chunks of time. This could potentially work in a book format, but in film, which is a visual medium, it fails miserably. Immediately, this becomes boring to all but the most insane Oshii-loving otaku. I swear to god, Oshii fans are practically a cult. To them, Oshii is like Jesus and he can do no wrong. He could film himself taking a shit, and his fans would call it the greatest piece of cinema to ever grace the earth. The truth is, 99% of everything he has put to the screen is garbage. Oh, and Oshii, nobody gives a fuck about Basset Hounds, so stop putting them in all your goddamn movies.

Continue reading ’20 Shittiest Anime of the Decade (2000-2009)’

03
Jan
10

20 Awesomest Anime of the Decade (2000-2009)

I’ve seen me lots of animu in the last decade. I started watching this stuff in late 2001, and it’s ruined my life ever since. That being said, I felt it was my obligation to impart upon you the fact that there are good anime out there. It’s not all moeblobs and slice of life bullshit. So, as it’s so trendy to do right now, I’m giving you my list of the 20 Most Awesomest Anime of 2000’s. Keep in mind that even though I have ranked these, they are all equally awesome. My list probably won’t sit well with the pretentious arthouse goons or the moe-loving fapboys, but rest assured these anime are actually good shows.

20.) Boogiepop Phantom (2000) – This is one of those series where the fun comes in figuring out what the hell is going on. It’s a supernatural thriller, with each episode taking place from the point of view of a different character. I love the washed out color palette, the haunting music, the “realistic” look of the characters (i.e. no crazy hair colors), and the non-linear story. Instead of spoon feeding the viewer, it allows you to deduce what really happened on your own, although this may require multiple viewings. As the “angel of death,” Boogiepop doesn’t really have a name that would inspire fear in anybody, but if you watch this series late at night with the lights off, you might get a little freaked out.

19.) Paprika (2006) – A film from a true master, Satoshi Kon. While Millenium Actress is probably his most praised work, I find that there is something intangibly better about this movie. Kon continually plays with themes of identity and reality, and he does so to perfection here. In a future world where people can use technology to enter dreams, a doctor is attempting to use it to help psychiatric patients. She uses a persona known as Paprika. As the movie progresses, the line between what is real and what is the dream world blurs. Eventually, things spiral out of control, and climax in one of the weirdest and most incredible finales ever put to film.

Continue reading ’20 Awesomest Anime of the Decade (2000-2009)’

21
Oct
09

Planetes

Fuck you Hachimaki, fuck you.

Fuck you Hachimaki, fuck you.

A lot of times, people think back to the “good old days” of any medium (film, TV, music, anime), and only remember the good stuff. They tend to forget about the huge mountain of shit that got produced every year. That’s why they can get tricked into thinking that the current stuff is terrible, but in the past “EVERYTHING WAS AMAZING ZOMG!!!1!!1!”

Anime is not free from this. While it does seem that, with the onslaught of moe shit, never-ending shows like Naruto, Bleach, and Inuyasha still on the airwaves, and the fact that studio Gonzo still exists, anime is on the decline. However, that isn’t the case at all. Anime companies in Japan have continuously produced giant, steaming turds every single year, just like Hollywood.

One of those turds is a series called Planetes, which, like so many shows, started out as a good idea but was spontaneously aborted by really shitty writing, and what was left was such a bloody mess that nothing of worth could be salvaged. Continue reading ‘Planetes’




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