Sunday, March 24, 2013

Studio Ghibli does live action?

I have added six new live action videos to my recommended movie list. All of them are English subtitled Studio Ghibli documentaries. Some are done by third parties, some by Studio Ghibli itself.

- Ghibli no E Shokunin kazuo Oka Ten Totoro no Mori wo Kaita Hito

- Hayao Miyazaki to Ghibli Bijutsukan (Hayao Miyazaki and the Ghibli Museum)

- Otsuka Yasuo no Ugokasu Yorokobi

- Sekai Waga Kokoro no Tabi

- Thank You, Lasseter-san

- Yanagawa Horiwari Monogatari (The Story of Yanagawa's Canals)

Many non-Japanese fans of the anime produced by the artists at Ghibli do not know of these works as they have yet to be released to English speaking audiences. For this reason the Japanese DVD versions of these works are all region 2. However since the releases all have subtitles we can still enjoy them without knowing the language. As these are region 2 discs you will need a DVD player capable of playing them. Fortunately region 2 capable players are not that hard to find, at least in the US, and of course Europe which is in region 2.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Puff the Magic Firearm?

In that classic anime Otaku no Video there is one of the 'interviews' with a firearm otaku having a war game with friends. Military and gun otaku and maniacs in Japan are part of the larger mix of fan cultures that exist there.

But what of the U.S? Sure you have heard of paintball, but is there more?

Apparently yes, much more, and they have a magazine. The NAM: National Airsoft Magazine is for hard core fans and hobbyists.

Check it out, even if you are like me and not into guns. These guys are putting out a pretty impressive product.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

We have lost one of our best

Manga Translation Pioneer Toren Smith Passes Away

Toren was always helpful when I had a question or wanted feedback on something I was writing. He gave me a generous, and he insisted honest, blurb for my first book The Anime Companion.

His name on a translation was enough to make me buy it, he chose what he translated and the choices were excellent.

Toren was also instrumental in showing anime to many San Francisco Bay Area science fiction fans at BayCon.

Yasuhiro Takeda in his The Notenki Memoirs has an amusing tale regarding Toren staying at a Gainax staff residence. One day the other occupants of this all male enclave were started to see something that had never happened before, an attractive young woman leave Toren's room in the morning.

For a list of what he worked on see the entry on him in the Anime News Network Encyclopedia.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

There's a swordfight goin' on

This week I add four more movies to my live action recommendations.

Three directed by Kudo Eiichi:

Eleven Samurai (1967)

The Great Killing (1964)

13 Assassins (1963)

One directed by Miike Takashi which is a remake of one of the above movies with references to another.

13 Assassins (2010)