By Jonathan Clements.
The approach of the year 2000 was fraught with a sense of commemoration and closure. Various media tried to put a cap on Japan’s last ten turbulent decades. On television, for example, the TBS mini-series 100 Years: The Story of One Century (2000) would chronicle the experiences of a group of Japanese women, several generations of the same family, all played by the same actress. Nanako Matsushima hence became a Japanese everywoman, transformed only superficially, in clothes, hair and cosmetics, from the woman she had been at the turn of the century. In Kon’s Tone, a book charting “the road to Millennium Actress,” the director Satoshi Kon mentioned some of the documentary serials airing on Japanese television at the time he was writing the outline, including Images of the Showa Era and Images of the Twentieth Century.
Film technology itself was in a state of flux. When we first see Genya Tachibana, the point-of-view character in Kon's Millennium Actress, he is reviewing Chiyoko Fujiwara’s movie appearances on VHS video tape, the death of which had already been announced in 1999, after Bandai Entertainment released its Tenamonya Voyagers straight to DVD in the United States. With DVD on the rise, particularly after the release of the PlayStation 2 in March 2000, VHS was on the verge of turning into a legacy format. Kon’s camera lingers on Genya’s TV screen as the tape spools backwards, lovingly recreating the onscreen tracking static that was familiar to 1990s cinephiles, and is doubtless unknown to many of today’s digital viewers. By the time the film commenced production, much of the anime business was already operating on digital paint and trace. Millennium Actress was supposedly one of the last big features to be made with the old cel methods – subsequent animated films, even when retaining the cel-painted look, would be made entirely within a computer.
By Andrew Osmond.
While much of the K franchise is available from Anime Limited, the first K TV series from 2012 has been sadly out of print in Britain for a long time – until now, with a spanking new Collector’s Blu-ray! That means we can follow K from the very beginning…
By Kambole Campbell.
When compared to the decompressed pace of a manga series, the film adaptation Children of the Sea could never feasibly provide all the answers a viewer might seek. With a script adapted by Daisuke Igarashi from his own manga, director Ayumu Watanabe was naturally restricted as to how much of the film’s events he could explain, because for everything to be crystal clear would be to completely hold down their film with leaden exposition. Instead, Watanabe reworks the story into a tale surrounding a girl’s coming-of-age, but also leans into the confusion, turning the film’s wild final act into an almost purely sensory experience, aligning the audience with the surge of the protagonist’s own incomprehensible emotions.
Following the release of the Season 1 soundtrack vinyl earlier this year, we're delighted to announce that our upcoming Attack on Titan Season 2 Soundtrack vinyl releases will be arriving in February 2021!
There will be Deluxe (pictured below) and standard edition vinyl versions available, plus a CD version too!
Pre-orders for these will launch this coming Friday (11th December) at our AllTheAnime online shop and our North American partners stocking this as well. (Details further below.)
If you want to skip all the details on this and get straight to listing at our shop, see them at the link below.
And if you're a North American customer you'll be able to order at RightStufAnime.com (Please note at time writing listing may not be present on the site)
By Andrew Osmond.
Planetes is an anime space series that doesn’t have any giant robot suits. Nor does it have any aliens, androids, cyborgs, terraforming, telepathy, black holes, interplanetary empires, galaxy-spanning travel, chatty computers, cloning, time travel or freakishly gifted adolescents.
Planetes is also widely hailed as one of the best science-fiction anime ever made, winning Japan’s prestigious Seiun SF award for Best Dramatic Presentation in 2005. The source Planetes manga by Makoto Yukimura had already won the Seiun’s comics prize three years earlier, making it a rare case of the same story winning Japan’s top prize in two different media. In both manga and anime form, Planetes can be described as “hard SF” – that is, science-fiction that’s rigorously grounded in real science or carefully extrapolated from it.
The hard SF label can have misleading connotations, suggesting something cold and clinical like 2001: A Space Odyssey. That image was busted in the 2010s by recent, rousing hard SF films like Gravity and The Martian (and perhaps Interstellar, though its “hard” credentials are debatable). But all these films were made years after Planetes, which is an immensely human, humorous series that just works very hard at making its fictional future plausible. Continue Reading