Far, far in the future, or perhaps the distant past... 500 billion displaced humans long to return to the planet they still refer to as home. Captain Harlock is the one man standing between the corrupt Gaia Coalition and their quest for complete intergalactic rule. Seeking revenge against those who wronged both mankind and himself, the mysterious space pirate roams the universe in his battle cruiser, the Arcadia, defiantly attacking and pillaging enemy ships. Gaia Fleet leader Ezra sends his younger brother, Logan to infiltrate the Arcadia and assassinate Harlock. But Logan will soon discover that things are not always what they seem and that legends are born for a reason. Based on original characters and stories created by Leiji Matsumoto. Includes bonus DVD disc containing the original Japanese edit with English subtitles and over 40 minutes of extra content.
And so, after twenty-eight years, ESWAT officers Deunan Knute & Briareos Hecatoncheires, the stars of Masamune Shirow’s first great cyberpunk epic manga, get to defend their post-apocalyptic city Gaia beyond the one-off adventures they have been constrained within over that time. Moving to television after the 1988 video and the 2005 & 2007 big-budget CG features, Appleseed XIII spins off these last two, arriving under the legendary Production IG banner. Internationally praised for the TV adaptation of Shirow’s celebrated Ghost in the Shell manga, the latter name is sure to excite Western fans whether aware of the previous incarnations or not, but something more ambitious is going on here.
Matt Kamen on the big-budget remake of an anime classic
The original Space Battleship Yamato is rightly considered a classic of Japanese science fiction – the 1974 anime is comparable to Star Trek in terms of the influence it has had on its home country. Generations of viewers have grown up on tales of Captain Okita, Susumu Kodai, Yuki Mori and the rest of the valiant crew of the Yamato, following their desperate quest to reach the remote planet Iscandar in hope of finding a way to save Earth from the Gamilas aliens. Thanks to the American edited version Star Blazers, the story has fans around the world too – all of which places a huge weight of cultural responsibility on anyone brave enough to risk adapting it to a new medium.
The life and legend of Leiji Matsumoto's anti-hero
The new Harlock's ship is positively monstrous, a skull-faced battering ram that smashes other spacecraft to flinders. The press notes suggest the darkening of Harlock is a reflection of the times, and of modern Japan.
At their production peak, Shaw Studios sanded down some of the historical elements in their epics, concentrating on acrobatics and heavier violence. This, in turn, made them more palatable or at least accessible to non-Chinese audiences, and inadvertently stoked the fires of the Kung Fu Boom.
Shigeru Mizuki is largely responsible for the modern-day yokai phenomenon, thanks to his enduringly influential Spooky Kitaro manga series and other similarly ghoulish serials like Sanpei the Kappa and Akuma-kun.
Mamoru Oshii's latest film, fresh from its Tokyo premiere
In his live introduction to the premiere of Garm Wars The Last Druid at the Tokyo International Film Festival, Mamoru Oshii called his film a "a precise recreation of the delusions in my mind." While the truth of that statement is only known to Oshii, Garm Wars is certainly embedded in Oshii-land, ticking off the staple themes and existential worries in his work, while finding a new kind of gorgeousness.
Even without the tie-in with anime, Idoling!!! had had a strong presence on television. After all, the group were created by a bunch of media moguls from Fuji TV. They figured out that by appealing to two of Japan’s more dedicated entertainment fangroups, idol fans and TV junkies, that they could be on to a winner.
The first rule of Kenichi is: big eyes and kick ass.
In the real world, mastering a martial art takes years of devotion. All require a harsh physical regimen that pushes the body to the limit. Of course, we’re dealing with the world of anime, so we have a sneaking suspicion that Kenichi Shirahama might be able to go from shy, quiet bookworm to martial arts prodigy in a matter of weeks. All it takes to send him on the path to becoming Chuck Norris’ worst nightmare is falling for the new girl in class after he sees her single-handedly demolishing a group of thugs.
The tradition of the solitary animator continued past the establishment of an anime industry, with notable luminaries such as Yoji Kuri, Kihachiro Kawamoto and Tadanari Okamoto positioning themselves outside it and creating works that challenged what could be done with the medium, often using other media such as stop-motion and silhouette.
The acclaimed anime born from a controversial manga
Produced for Fuji TV’s late-night, more adult-focused noitaminA slot by the legendary Production I.G, the 2011 anime could have been a disaster, with a first-time screenwriter in charge, a senior staffer debuting as director and a vocal fanbase awaiting it. Instead...