By Chris Perkins.
The world of anime streaming doesn’t stand still for long, so it’s quite normal to find much has changed once again since we last published one of our Streaming Guides. But even by these standards, the latter portion of 2018 saw some seismic shifts in the landscape. These are mostly due to the fact the two biggest names in the anime game have become part of much bigger multinational media companies. Funimation has been acquired by Sony and Crunchyroll became part of the giant WarnerMedia group following the merger of Time Warner and AT&T.
This has led Sony to pull life support on their (sparsely supported) Animax UK streaming service and – more importantly – for Funimation to pull out of the content-sharing pact that they had with Crunchyroll since 2016. The two companies will begin to compete again for licenses, although much of the effects of this change likely won’t be felt until after the current season. Mainstream streaming services Netflix and Amazon Prime also continue to invest heavily in anime, both through co-production and acquiring rights to existing series and films. So what’s on offer from all the major players in 2019?
Please note: as usual this information is correct at the time of publication but is subject to change. Continue Reading
By Andrew Osmond.
One of the surprise media talking-points over this Christmas was the new episode of the acclaimed anthology series Black Mirror. Called “Bandersnatch,” it was released on Netflix on 28th December, written by series creator Charlie Brooker. It’s a story about multi-choice, branching narratives. The twist is that it’s a multi-choice, branching story itself. At frequent points in the action, two choices pop up at the bottom of the screen, and you have a few seconds to pick one with your remote or mouse… and the drama continues smoothly down whichever branch you pick. Sugar Puffs or Frosties? It’s your call. Bury a body, or chop it up? Likewise.
You may wonder why we’re talking about “Bandersnatch” on AllTheAnime. The reason is it has some fascinating potential for Japanese media. Continue Reading
By Andrew Osmond.
Concert bands were a special place. The ratio of girls to boys was usually around nine to one, but strictly speaking, it was often even more lopsided than that. So it was not uncommon for girls to end up idolizing someone of their own gender. The objects of such infatuated gazes – gazes that were much too fervid to be interpreted as simple envy – tended to either radiate pure femininity or possess a boyish stylishness. Unfortunately, the boys in concert bands were rarely seen as actual boys and so were never the object of such idolization. Kumiko had decided that this was why boys in the band never seemed to have girlfriends, despite being surrounded by girls.
This blog has already run an article on the TV anime version of Sound! Euphonium, which is now available as a sumptuous Collectors Blu-ray from Anime Limited. By any standards, the anime has been well received. Anime UK News gave it 10/10, most ANN voters rated it “Very good”, “Excellent” or “Masterpiece”; and – ahem! – my own Neo review described the show as “amazingly good, exceptional in its production, writing and characters.” Continue Reading
By Jasper Sharp.
One Cut of the Dead, the ultra-savvy horror comedy that has been the talking point Japanese film of 2018, is getting a UK release in January to a handful of indie cinemas across the country courtesy of Third Window Films, which is also making it available on home video and VOD from 28th January 2019. Continue Reading
By Andrew Osmond.
In the recent book Interpreting Anime, Christopher Bolton quoted a barbed comment by director Isao Takahata about his Ghibli colleague. “With Miyazaki, you have to totally believe in the world of the film,” Takahata said. “He is demanding that the audience enter the world he has created completely. The audience is being asked to surrender.”
Bolton built on that comment, arguing that the immersive qualities of Miyazaki’s works reject the approach of much literature and also of “politically productive” anime directors such as Oshii, Otomo and Kon. What Miyazaki does not do, Bolton argues, is “move us in and out of the story in a way that makes us critically consider how language, fiction and media shape our experience of the world.” Whereas other directors may risk cynicism, relativism or confusion, Bolton fears Miyazaki’s films run “the risk of certainty, the loss of critical distance.” Continue Reading