Illang: The Wolf Brigade

Ungrounded Jin-Roh retread misses the point
by Bolt Vanderhuge

When I heard that there was going to be another addition to the Kerberos Saga, a live-action movie made in South Korea, I was cautiously optimistic. While plenty of my fellow weebs know of Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, most don’t realize it’s actually the third adaptation of an alternate-history manga written by Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell, 1995). It’s set before the two live-action films, both directed by Oshii. Thing is, these films are not like Jin-Roh.

These movies are kind of weird to put it mildly.
Continue reading

A look at copyright in Japan

Loveable rogue Lupin the Third – a case study in Japanese attitudes.

by Bob Johnson

The Japanese approach to copyright and trademarks used to seem a lot more relaxed, especially when it came to characters. In the 1980s it seemed like every other character was lifted straight out of a Hollywood film! In those days, to use some famous character in an anime, was seen as a parody in itself, or failing that, as no big deal. Probably the biggest example of this relaxed era is Lupin III, whose manga spawned an eternal fountain of new TV shows and feature films – plus a lawsuit from the Maurice Leblanc estate. By the time the family of the creator of the original Arsène Lupin caught on to the craze, their lawuit was essentially ruled to be too late.

Continue reading

Touhou is on Steam!

No anime convention is without a bank of PCs loaded with one of the Twilight Frontier’s fighting games like Hopeless Masquerade or Antinomy of Common Flowers.  But here’s something you couldn’t say last Cirno Day – Touhou is on Steam!!!

There’s a fair selection of official Team Shanghai Alice titles, plus doujin games!  Some assembly still required – check the Touhou Wiki for the lowdown on English patch[i]es!

Kickstarting Bean Bandit

by Gristle McThornbody

The Kickstarter for Kenichi Sonoda’s Bean Bandit New Anime Project is our last, best hope for a Gunsmith Cats sequel. A self-contained anime, 5 minutes long, located in Chicago. A story about guns, girls and couriers for 1,928 otaku backers. A shining beacon in today’s ecchi-based world, all alone in Japan. It was the dawn of the fourth wave of weeaboos, the year the Great American Space War came upon us all. This is the story of the last good crowd-funded animes. The year is 2018, the place Panel Room 5.

Continue reading

Lost in Adaptation

Please stop whining already
by Bolt Vanderhuge

Hollywood adaptations of anime and manga seem to have set off something of a shitstorm lately. Seeing all the complaints on how the latest Hollywood blockbuster totally isn’t like your favorite anime, I can’t help but wonder if people have lost sight of what exactly adaptations are. The fact is, there are going to have to be changes in order to adapt a work.

Continue reading


Where Cosplay and Casinos Collide
by Bob Johnson

AnimeNEXT features atrium acoustics

Conventional wisdom suggests that a hotel stay on Boardwalk costs $2000, or so Rich Uncle Pennybags had always said. So it came as a shock that not only was it reasonable to visit Atlantic City – it was possible to do so with some twelve thousand other weeaboos, for only a couple hundred dollars.

Continue reading

Tsun in short supply as Japan braces for 2020

KYOTO (MxW) – Following weeks of speculation in the industry press, government statisticians have formally acknowledged that Japan’s Strategic Tsun Reserve has dwindled in recent months, well below seasonal averages. Now, officials are sending muted words of caution indicating that the Tsun supply may not last until the Tokyo Olympics, threatening to place a damper on Anime output at a critical time.

PM Abe at podium

PM Abe did not respond to questions related to stability in the Tsun markets.

Initial estimates of the need for additional Tsun are off by possibly two orders of magnitude. The earliest bookings data for Japanese hotels in Summer 2020 indicates a heavy load of otaku, fujoshi, and full-on weeaboos, and licence applications for pop-up shops catering to the sweet-and-sour demands of discerning clientele are through the roof.

Continue reading

Unlimited Date-a Plan

In Another World with my SmartphoneSuppose – just suppose! That THE LORD himself killed you and kinda felt bad about the whole thing. By way of apology, Providence sends you to a fantasy world with magic, and makes you a superpowered hero who is completely sexually irresistible.

All of this seems to have happened to Touya Mochizuki, who, after a certain incident with what I assume was a mechanical rice picker, is thrust into a world where just having a cell phone makes you the bestest husbando. Where in the normal world he might only have been able to aspire to be the straight man in a slice-of-life anime, in this fabricated reality Touya has a preternatural ability to save damsels in distress and win their undying love in the process. Continue reading

What am I Watch?! Hangover Edition!

Don’t judge a show by its poster

by Bob Johnson

So many of the shows we picked for extended watches were letdowns, while some that barely pinged the radar proved to be among the best of the bunch. In short, this season has been a great example in how NOT to preview anime.

While some shows are plainly terrible, there’s also a subset more like Two Car, that start strong but catch the wrong train shortly thereafter. A suggestion to follow, if you’re a stickler for quality management, is to recalibrate your idea of the three episode watch to follow statistical methods and be scattered throughout the season. There is too much sample bias just catching the first three.

Fuck yeah Look it up!

Garo: Vanishing Line

Garo is much in the vein of the old-fashioned high-energy beat-em-up, and has some interesting noir elements. A perfectly cromulent anime – and the best surprise of the season. Continue reading