How do you continue a franchise that started on a slow burn, became super popular and to this day has a legion of fans the world over and not trip over yourself? Well, the answer will surprise you because it’s certainly not Ghost in the Shell and unfortunately, it’s not this film either.
Sometimes, in the course of doing so, we are confronted by the same questions that every person dreads: why am I alive? What’s my purpose? Who would miss me if I was gone? Add to this the questions that a person who hurt others and regrets it now must also ask: could I have done things differently? Am I causing more trouble by being around than simply going away? Beyond The Boundary has all of these questions and more but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
A hundred years after an asteroid strikes the Earth and leaves the next few generations with special powers, the world’s most advanced city has been founded to settle fights between the academies in the city of Rikka, more commonly called Asterisk, for control of whatever the winner of the yearly competition wants. In the fights, one or more combatants must face off against an equal opposite number of combatants and uses their Genestella powers plus a chosen weapon (called a Lux) to defeat, incapacitate or make an opponent yield. The fight is watched by a crowd and once the challenge to fight is issued, cannot be rescinded. Into this comes Ayato Amagiri who joins one of the academies in search of his older sister who vanished a while earlier after going to the same academy. Within the first day, he sees a girl in a state of undress, proves himself a hero and gets hit on by his student year head. He hasn’t even gotten to the second day yet.
Based on the manga by Tomonori Inoue and directed by Shingo Suzuki (K: Return of Kings, Mardock Scramble, Baccano), Coppelion is one of those more interesting franchises in that the anime is based on a manga that is only around 20 volumes in length. This means that the show runner either could choose to make a short series or pad out the episodes with filler. Even the tight nature of the story and its setting, the producers quite wisely chose to go with the former option. At thirteen episodes long, Coppelion packs a lot into itself but finds the time to explore some topical notions and key character development while the action and glory takes place at the same time.
Please note: this was written in 2011 so hence things like REDLine had just come out and my recent trip to Otakon.
Usually, when you discover a new anime series, it’s a case of “Hmm, interesting, but it’s too generic and samey. Could have used a vampire.” It’s a sad fact that the bulk of shows made today pander too much to a really, really, small niche market. I’m fine with people liking whatever it is they like but once in a while, just once in a while, I like to get a show or movie that I can really start chewing on. So, I heard and then read the central premise of Rideback. I looked for fansubs of it but by the time I did, FUNimation has already licenced it and so I decided to wait for my DVD or blu ray of it. So, when I realised that I’d be at Otakon this year and FUNI would have a sales booth I decided to buy it. And then it sat on my ever widening shelf of anime that I hadn’t watched. But unemployment will make a person want to fill the spaces when they aren’t looking for a job. So, I found myself watching the show. And it might be my favourite show of the year and I’ve had a lot of candidates for the title.
Today we tackle the awesome Cyber City Odeo 808. Today we have Michael from Prede’s Anime Reviews helping review my favourite Yoshiaki Kawajiri OVA. Check out my review of the show on Anigamers and Michael’s take on the title on his blog. Apologies for the audio problems. Also, if you feel like cringing, listen to my original podcast about it, all those years ago.
Chances are, if you’re reading this, that you probably have heard of the passing of famed anime director Noburu Ishiguru. Mr. Ishiguru passed away aged 73. I won’t keep you all very long. This is my personal recollection of Ishiguru.
I knew of Ishiguru’s work in anime even before I knew of he, himself. Growing up with Robotech, you, sort of, had no choice in the matter. Even after discovering about Macross, and his involvement with it, I remained impressed that one man kept it all of it together. Today there are committees, companies and like for this sort of thing. Back then nobody knew about cross media opportunities, having record companies work hand in hand with anime producers to the degree Macross did. Ishiguru helmed a series that did all that.
Working on the 1980’s Astro Boy series, you can see his flair even inside this most Tezuka of Tezuka’s works and having the added pressure of working alongside the God of Manga himself. I am only now digging into the treasure that is Legend of Galactic Heroes. Such an amazing work. Oddly, I saw his latest work, Tytania, before starting into LoGH. Does this distract from his earlier space opera? Not at all, in my book.
At Otakon 2011,I had the delightful opportunity to see Mr. Ishiguru in person as he, Makoto Shinkai and Kazuya Murata were jointly holding a Producers and Directors panel (well, the producers were too scared to come up on stage, so it became a directors panel!). We heard from a variety of their recollections, most of which I struggle to recall at the moment to be honest, and then got a chance to ask questions. Unfortunately, some idiot decided to ask the inevitable Tsunami question and that ground the whole panel to a halt. As a result, a lot of us never got a chance to ask our questions. I had a few but now I think of it, there really was only one: “For Ishiguru-sempai, and the rest of the panel if they like, what do you want to be remembered for?” Sadly, I’ll never get the chance to ask that of Mr. Ishiguru, but looking back at his long body of work, his contribution to what we regard as modern anime and his great take on being an animation director, I think I’ve got the best answer possible, in my mind. Thank you, Mr. Ishiguru, for all your hard work. You have most certainly earned your rewards, whenever you are.
Go raibh maith agat.
OK, so I’ve just seen Matsumoto’s new show OZMA on @viki. It’s pretty good.
It’s the future, the earth has dried up, people will in the outcroppings of rock in the desert. Our plucky hero, Sam Coyne (great Irish name) rescues the whisp-ish girl, Maya, from a Theseian (I think it’s spelled
that way) patrol who seem to know her. Just as they chase her down in their huge sand destroyers, she and they are thrown into a micro-sandstorms (because you know they can be very dangerous) by a Dune sandworm called an Ozma, allowing Sam in his sand flyer to snatch Maya out of the bad guys clutches. He takes her back to his home, a town built into a huge rock plateau where the ship he serves on is docked.
So, our adventure begins. I love Matsumoto and everything he does. The character designs never change, the ideas are all similar but still I’m glad he’s around. If anything, this first episode reminds me that he can make the best kinds of stories. When he announces a new show I get excited for watching a show or movie that I’ve seen replayed dozens of times before. Normally, I’d say this is not a good thing but he’s different. He’s always like that. The cast talks about Natura’s, quantum resonance, Ozma’s and so on but it’s not really that important. Matsumoto’s not that pushed to give you explanations. He’s got a hero, a beautiful girl, old Tochiro, Queen Esmeraldas without the scar, Harlock being the debut episode’s bad guy, the Man to fight and that’s all you need to know. A little bit of this, a little bit of that and you have your setup and your reason for watching. The blurb on the Viki page says this series will “tackle the ultimate question of life and its existence”. If that’s true, I’m all for it.
Trying out Viki on Android, the subtitles are clear, if literal, and the font they use is huge and crisp. You will not be able to NOT read this stuff. The people at Viki can only subtitle this stuff with community help. I know it’s on Crunchyroll as well but this is a new service and they are a worldwide outfit straight out of the box. That, in and of itself, deserves our praise. So, head over to Viki.com and check out their other shows.
OK, so the Winter season is on us. So with that in mind, for the first time in the history of the site, myself and Oni will be tackling some of the shows. I’ve decided to only tackle stuff that’s streaming legally. Here are our choices for the season:
Hourou Musuko – Wandering Son
Oh, boy. I am looking forward to this. I don’t think I’ve been this excited about an anime or manga since I read A Drunken Dream. Boy meets girl in school. Girl wants to be a boy. Boy wants to be a girl. It’s not played for laughs. Lordy, I can feel the hope on the streets with this title. Please, please, watch this. Convince Japan to make more of this stuff. Wandering Son starts simulcasting January 13th from Crunchyroll
Rio – Rainbow Gate!
From the wiki entry on it: In an island casino called the Howard Resort, Rio Rollins is a popular casino dealer with an uncanny ability to bring good luck to gamblers just by walking past them, earning her the nickname “The Goddess of Winning”. Mint Clark, a young child, comes to the Howard Resort with her grandfather and encounters Rio, and the two become the best of friends.
However, Rio’s life suddenly changes when she obtains one of the 13 legendary cards called “Gates”, and gets involved in a tournament for the title of “Most Valuable Casino Dealer” (MVCD). With her reputation on the line, Rio must compete against the world’s top gamblers to become MVCD.
I know exactly what I’m letting myself in for here. I don’t care. I must balance high stuff like Hourou Musuko with Rio. Just roll with me on this one. Rio – Rainbow Gate! is streaming right now on Crunchyroll.
Boy finds girl. Boy likes girl. Girl needs to protected from shadowy forces. Boy offers to protect girl. Girl turns out to be a Dragon Girl. Who knew? Dragon Crisis will start simulcasting on Crunchyroll from the 11th January
OK, guy rescues baby, finds out he’s the pick to protect the child, who happens to the son of the demon king. Oni will love this. Yeah, this is going to be goooood. Beelzebub is currently streaming in North America and Europe from Crunchyroll
And that’s your lot. What do you think? Would you add something to that? Take something away? Tweet us or leave a comment!