by Chris Perkins.
We return for our annual round-up of places to legally access anime online, with yet another major player getting in the ring. As if the average anime fan didn’t already have an embarrassment of riches to choose from in 2020, the arrival of Channel Four’s online portal All4, with over a hundred hours of free streaming anime seems set to create a whole echelon of new fans. All4 is available for free (with ads) via desktop, mobile apps, smart TVs, game consoles and tablets. You'll need to sign up for a (free) account to watch – although there's an ad-free option for £3.99 a month.
There's a mix of series available – some of them are already available streaming elsewhere, while others are available for the first time in the UK. All titles are presented in English dubbed format. Continue Reading
By Andrew Osmond.
“It’s the same as British weather, really,” Shinichiro Watanabe observes about the trials of life to a London audience at MCM Comic Con. Outside it’s winter and the island’s weather is at its dreariest. “We don’t have good weather here… but just by having that bad weather, one sunny day makes it worthwhile, doesn’t it?” The audience cheers its approval.
The director of Cowboy Bebop, Terror in Resonance, Space Dandy and Samurai Champloo is a friend to our soggy land, often visiting our shores. On this occasion, he’s promoting Carole & Tuesday, his new series about two budding amateur girl musicians on a terraformed Mars, now on Netflix. His co-director Motonobu Hori is here too. In his public Q&A, they reveal that a stretch of a show involving a TV talent contest was directly inspired by Britain’s X Factor. That stone-faced judge in the anime who hates all the acts… Yes, it’s based on him.
In the Q&A, Watanabe and Hori also explain that Watanabe handled the script and storyboard for the series, while Hori took on other duties. Watanabe also took the blame for Carole & Tuesday’s potty-mouthed song “Galactic Mermaid”, which he described as expressing those moments when only four-letter words will do. “F*** everything!”, Watanabe declared to the crowd in perfect English, perhaps a convention first. It seems many of those moments occurred when Watanabe made his Blade Runner film “Black Out 2022” – he revealed on stage that “I was fighting against a certain producer every single day.” Continue Reading
By Jonathan Clements.
In a publicity coup to rival no other in January 2016 at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced that while he had been talking, Netflix had rolled out (at least in theory) in 130 countries, including Azerbaijan, Vietnam, India, Nigeria, and Poland. It’s a suitably grandstanding opening for Ramon Lobato’s book Netflix Nations: The Geography of Distribution, which aims to explain just what has happened in the last few years in the world of digital distribution. Continue Reading
By Andrew Osmond.
Luck & Logic is the kind of series that could sound fearfully complicated if you kept in all the names and quasi-technical terms… but when you strip those names out, it’s a very simple affair. The setting is an alternative Japan, not so different from present-day reality, except for little things like the monsters and demons that materialize regularly to menace the public. Luckily Earth already has an established band of fighters to protect humanity, thought its members look rather cuter than the Avengers or X-Men.
Okay, here’s where it gets more complicated. The defenders operate in pairs, and some of them are no more human than the marauding monsters. Indeed, the humans are paired up with other-dimensional goddesses, who have names like Athena, Venus and Artemis. These are fairly exotic foreign gods for Japanese viewers, though less for anime fans. Athena, for example, is prominent in the huge Saint Seiya anime franchise, now revived as a CG series on Netflix. Some of the adversaries’ names also come from foreign mythologies: the serpentine Quetzalcoatl, for example, and Lucifer. Continue Reading
by Chris Perkins.
Dagashi Kashi starts, as these things so often do, when a mysterious and beautiful stranger walks into our hero’s life. In this case, our hero is Kokonotsu, (affectionately known as Coconut by his friends and family) an aspiring manga creator in a country town. His gregarious father, meanwhile, wants Coconut to take over the family business, which is a Dagashiya – a traditional Japanese sweet shop. The beautiful newcomer, Hotaru Shidare, is the heir to a major confectionery firm. It’s not Coconut she has come to see, it turns out, but his Dad – in fact, she has come to offer him a job. But pops turns her down, saying that until Kokonotsu, agrees to take on the business, he doesn’t dare leave. So a deal is struck – he will take the job if Hotaru can somehow convince Kokonotsu to take over the store full time.