By Anthony Thomas
It’s time for a brief lesson in Japanese language, mythology and classic punk music courtesy of Tiger & Bunny closers Aobozu! This four-piece rock band, who supply the fun series’ first ending theme Hoshi no Sumika, are named after a ghostly figure from ancient Japanese folklore – kind of.
Way back in 1999 the boys started out by forming a cover band of their punk rock idols The Blue Hearts, a legendary band that I recommend anyone with an interest in Japanese rock and roll music to listen to (here’s a link). In true tribute band fashion, they decided to pick a name that’s almost the same as their idols, but ever so slightly different. So, in Japanese, The Blue Hearts is spelt ‘Za Buru Haatsu’, and they decided to call themselves ‘Za Buru Bozu’ – The Blue Monk.
The Blue Bozu name was partly inspired by another Japanese legend, this one slightly more unnerving than a Japanese bloke filled with punk spirit, shouting down a microphone; it was inspired by the tale of Aobozu (literally, the blue monk). Continue Reading
It's the time for the latest edition of our Newswire featuring updates on Sword Art Online II: Part 1, Tokyo Ghoul, Space Dandy and more! Read on below for details.
~ First of all, a quick reminder that our next releases are Kill la Kill Part 3 and Tiger & Bunny: The Rising, both on 29th June. Only a couple of weeks away now.
~ Following us sharing initial visuals of Sword Art Online II: Part 1 Collector's Edition last week we have a small update on that for you. Below is an updated visual of how the Collector's Box (that comes with Part 1) will look. The main difference being that in our visual last week there was a black border around it.
We'd also like to take a moment to highlight that the Collector's Box is strictly limited to the first print run of this title. Now to clarify, no matter where you pre-order Sword Art Online II: Part 1 Collector's Edition Blu-ray/DVD combi you will receive the Collector's Box, but there is a strict number of how many will be available following it's release.
~ Speaking of visual for our upcoming titles, late last week revealed the initial visual (see below) for our Collector's Edition Blu-ray version of Tokyo Ghoul, coming in September. Continue Reading
By Jasper Sharp.
The Shinsengumi was a self-appointed law-enforcing militia loyal to the Tokugawa shogunate that emerged in Kyoto during the Bakumatsu era of the 1860s. At its peak numbering around 300 members, it appeared at a turbulent time in the nation’s history. The whole feudal applecart was on the cusp of overturning following the arrival of Commodore Perry’s “black ships” on the horizon in 1854 seeking to break open Japan’s trade barriers after 300-years of self-imposed isolation. Meanwhile there were other internal ruptures within the social fabric, namely the breakaway anti-shogunate groups of the Choshu and Satsuma clans, keen to push the country into a new age.
Of course, Japan did end up opening up to the rest of the world, the Imperial line was restored and the old bakufu system of military governance dismantled, so it is pretty safe to say in hindsight that this band of ultra-conservative reactionaries was on the wrong side of history (although there have been plenty over the past 150 years who would rather the country retreated back into the cosy nostalgia of Tokugawa nationalism). Certainly the glorious age of the samurai came to a gruesome end for most of the Shinsengumi’s key figures – in blood, sweat, tears and ritual-disembowelment. Continue Reading
It's been a very warm week for the UK and what better what to conclude it with the latest edition of the official Anime Limited Podcast brought to you from (and it's rare we get to say this) sunny Glasgow, Scotland~!
Join Jeremy, Kerry, Andrew and Kat from Team Anime Limited as they discuss important anime related topics including the best ice cream to consume on a hot day. Plus updates on Tiger & Bunny: The Rising, Kill la Kill Part 3, 009 Re:Cyborg and Sword Art Online II! Plus we answer your questions from Facebook and Twitter covering all sorts of topics.
A fun show as always and the perfect way to start your weekend.
(To download the podcast as an mp3, click on the arrow pointing down in the top right corner of the player above.)
We look forward to hearing your thoughts.
By Andrew Osmond.
A cyborg is a creature which combines the mechanical and the organic. 009 Re: Cyborg is about cyborgs, as you’d expect from the name, but you could also argue the film is a cyborg, yoking together rival traditions of animation; traditionally drawn animation, going back to Snow White and Astro Boy, and the CG animation popularised by Pixar and DreamWorks.
Directed by Kenji Kamiyama, famed for helming Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex – more cyborgs! – 009 Re: Cyborg was made (at least largely) in CGI. However, it was treated to look like a traditionally-drawn animation, similar to action classics like Akira and Ghost in the Shell. But unlike them, RE: Cyborg 009 was released in 3D, in line with many of today’s computer animations.
While Disney has made 3D retrofits of some of its traditional cartoons (e.g. 1991’s Beauty and the Beast), 009 Re: Cyborg is an ingenious reversal; a traditional-looking film created with the dimensionality of computer animation, so that its spectacle is more in tune with current tastes. It also has the practical advantages of CGI.
“First of all,” says Kamiyama, “the opportunity for trial and error [in CG] is an advantage compared to hand-drawn anime. Redoing the movement and acting again and again at the animatics (rough animation) stage brushed up the film, and that is difficult in hand-drawn animation.” Kamiyama cites a scene involving a crowd of enemies. It “could not have been done in such density with that time frame if they were hand-drawn. And when they’re done, characters can be re-used. I really felt how much the quality of animation is raised if the characters aren’t binned… I thought this will be a saving for the next time.” (You can recycle hand-drawn animation – see this Disney clip - but CGI is far more flexible.) Continue Reading