Media Whore

SoreMachi…

So, my current favorite manga series, “Sore Demo Machi Wa Mawatteiru” (“And yet, the town continues on…”, it’s kind of a trick on an old expression): I just found out that it’s going to become an anime soon. It’s a slice-of-life manga about an average high school girl, her average friends, an average town, but the characters are interesting, the stories are feel-good and innocent, and very, Very fun.

Huh. On one hand, that’s a good sign: That means that it is then likely that someone will pick up the rights to release the original manga in English.

On the other hand, it’s likely a bad sign: Pretty much all anime from the past several years is total shit.

A previous series that this happened to: “Sumomomo-momomo”. The manga is great, funny, action-packed and dramatic. The anime was total shit. But, because of the anime release, the manga is now slowly coming out in English so my friends can read it, too.

The studio behind it, Pony Canyon (looks like a subsid of TBS or something?) isn’t really in the anime biz, they’ve only released like 1-2 other anime (one of them, “K-On!”, is otaku-flavored drivel). Maybe that’s a good sign, better than a gutter company with a long history of crap.

Quick Media Update…

If you have Netflix Streaming, you need to watch:

Departures (Wow. Simply wow.)

Archer (Sealab 2020 folks at it again)

The Orphanage (the best “Silent Hill” movie ever made)

Adam’s Apples (Mads Mikkelson: Great, as always)

If you have access to Japanese films in any legal or quasi-legal capacity, I highly recommend:

The Shonen Merikensack “The Brass Knuckle Boys” (hilarious, if apparently a bit overhyped in Japan)
http://www.nipponcinema.com/trailers/shonen-merikensack-trailer/ (english)

Summer Time Machine Blues (imagine if Primer were a lazy-day slow paced feelgood teen comedy)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5XftzMJHr4 (japanese)

GOZU is on Netflix Live…

http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/Gozu/70000195

Seriously, it was one of the most messed up (in terms of pure surreal), crazy movies I’ve ever seen. Imagine Twin Peaks times two, plus gangsters. I loved it, but you may have different reactions. If you like Lovecraft, you have a higher chance of digging it I think.

The Wii Life, Monday thoughts

*Thanks to Mark C, been a busy beaver. Well, an unbusy beaver with things I should be working on, but busy with leisure:

** Fatal Frame 4: CLEARED. This game is not coming out into English because Nintendo is stupid: They are forcing TECMO to implement some sort of changes or bugfixes that TECMO doesn’t have the money to do, and thus everyone loses. And yet, while the game was overall pretty ok (gameplay) to great (story), it could be that Nintendo is protecting western audiences from the MOST ANNOYING BOSS BATTLE IN YEARS.

** Oboro Muramasa: The Demon Blade: Cleared 3 of 6 endings, watched the other three on Youtube. Incredible game. If you’re learning Japanese, this game is basically Level 10 of your learning cycle. It is endless awesome of middle-ages spoken royal grammar, with both keigo and low speech cranked up to “11″, and tooooons of references to classic Buddhist references: Various Boddhisotvas (Acala/Fudoh-Myou-oh? Shinra-Bansho/The Universe? Sweet). It’s 3 kin of Japanese culture in a 380 monme bag.

** Fragile/Goodbye Ruins of the Moon: I mentioned before that this is like a Feelgood Anime Fallout 3. Gotta revise that: It is better described as “Sorrow and Loneliness: The Roleplaying Game”. If you like unique experiences in console games, you GOTTA check this game out. Admittedly, there’s some boring bits with long empty hallways,  and the inventory system is a little shady at times in the length of menu switch times, etc.  But overall: Holy crap, got choked up a few times.

Why? We don’t know what the incident is, the game doesn’t talk about it at all and is likely not to. But at some point most of humanity dies, billions and billions of people. And the thing is, they all knew it was coming and had time to prepare themselves. So you encounter these artifacts, toys and books and items and stuff, and when you pick them up you hear the story of their owners: Abstract pictures appear while the narrator tells a small story:

- A wedding ring. A father in law talks to his daughter in law, welcoming her into their family. Later, you find another item where it’s the father in law railing about the sorrow that his son and new daughter will never have a chance.

- A dog collar. The dog narrates, licking his master’s face as he cries.

- A school class picture, and a kid laments that he loves those school days, and is afraid of dying alone.

It’s a very similar overall theme to Fallout 3, but man the emotional punch this game packs is both brutal and exhilarating, far more than Fallout. It’s hard to reconcile that with the fact that the game looks and feels so anime sickly-sweet.

Anyway, I count it as a *must-play*. If you’re into light console RPGs. And gut-punching sorrow.

If you have 50 bucks, you can buy the best anime ever

I just noticed the other day that my favorite anime epic, Twelve Kingdoms, is now packaged into one super-DVD set for only $50 at Amazon.

Link here: http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Kingdoms-Complete-Aya-Hisakawa/dp/B0021BSOHW

If you’re not familiar with it, it’s basically the story of a high school girl that gets whisked away to a confusing, dangerous and splendid China-analogue world that runs parallel to ours. She has a great destiny there, and the series follows her and others in various tales of growing up and adventure. 5 story arcs in all, the first and third (which focus on Yoko) are the best IMO: Quite stirring and epic.

It’s slightly above the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series for “favorite anime”, above Fruits Basket, Full Metal Panic Fumoffu, and Vampire Princess Miyu.