Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

Archive for the ‘ Commentary ’ Category

Yes, it’s Still True

January 15, 2009 Commentary, News 3 Comments

Well, it looks like all those rumors were true, and TOKYOPOP hadn’t been jumping the gun after all. ANN announced this morning that Sunrise has officially confirmed the live-action Cowboy Bebop project as a collaboration between itself, 20th Century Fox, and 3 Arts Entertainment. And whaddaya know, Keanu Reeves is going to be Spike after all.

I can’t say I’m really surprised, but with every bit of news that comes up, I find myself getting a little more optimistic about the prospects for the film. It’s a cautious optimism, but it’s optimism all the same. At the risk of repeating myself, I’m going to give Reeves a chance. It’s true that almost all of the roles I’ve seen him play (which admittedly, isn’t many) all have the same general personality — that stoic, reserved, almost confused kind of person that doesn’t really suit Spike Spiegal at all. But nevertheless, if Reeves is really an actor, then he should be perfectly capable of acting outside of his comfort zone, especially if it’s for a character he actually likes and admires. I had huge doubts about Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker, but look at how that turned out. I think it’ll be really interesting to see if he can pull it off and perhaps grow as an actor.

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I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Code Geass is an epicly popular franchise in hard economic times. Why shouldn’t they milk it for all its worth? It’s pretty much guaranteed that everyone’s going to watch whatever they put out anyway. It doesn’t matter whether they loved it or hated it; curiosity trumps everything. They’ll watch it. I know I’ll watch it. I don’t want more; I was very happy with the ending and really want to just leave it as it is, but I’ll watch it anyway.

Image from NeoShinkaThe final illustration drama is already supposed to address more of what happens after the ending, actually, but the new announcement makes it seem like they have something more up their sleeves. So what’ll it be? Another season? A summary-type movie/OAV? Side-stories or spin-offs? Prequel? SEED Supernova-style crack shorts?

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I saw “Anime Midstream” come up in the titles of a blog or two on my feed today, but didn’t pay much attention until I saw Anime Vice’s post about it, and that’s only because “Raijin-Oh” caught my eye. No one else mentioned that part. …Probably because no one else knows what the hell Raijin-Oh is.


Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh is an old 90’s kids’ super sentai mecha series (you can watch the opening theme here). It’s also one of the first anime series I’ve ever seen way back… in the 90’s. I saw it as a hilarious Chinese dub. It was amazing. I have many fond memories of it. And it’s apparently been picked up by some new company called Anime Midstream. It’s amazing to me that something so old, random, and obscure should be licensed out of the blue, especially by a newbie company, and especially in the middle of this economic crisis. I love Raijin-Oh, haven’t seen it in years, and would love to revisit it, but there’s a lot about this license that concerns me. Taking a peek at Anime Midstream’s website was all it took.

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Well, that didn’t take long.

When Viz broke the news about streaming Naruto Shippuden, I began counting the days until someone would announce a near-simultaneous release for a new series as opposed to an established series. Now, less than a month later and after a good bit of hype, Bandai announces that its new license is Kurokami, an anime based on a Korean manhwa (licensed by Yen Press) set to start airing next season! Apparently, it will also begin airing on IATV next season, with each episode airing in Japan, South Korea, and the United States within 24 hours…dubbed! That’s definitely a huge surprise. To think that they actually dubbed off of pencil tests and unfinished animation just to be able to get this release together on time. That’s all kinds of wow. The domestic DVD release is supposed to follow the airing, so it’s likely we’ll get the DVDs around the same time as well.


Of course, this doesn’t exactly follow the groundbreaking Naruto announcement in that this title won’t be streaming online. A near-simultaneous dub is certainly a more impressive feat, but on a channel that not a lot of people get? I don’t know if my family gets IATV here, but I know for sure that the cable my college supplies isn’t going to have it, so there will be no way for me to catch this on TV. Kurokami was one of the few series I was actually planning on watching next season, so this is really disappointing. But there’s this to consider too: if the whole point of near-simultaneous releases is to deter pirating, why would Bandai skip an online streaming release?

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Anime Vice launched on what, Friday? Despite the fact that I wasn’t initially planning to join at all, I’ve spent more than a little time on the site since then doing all manner of mostly useless things. Choice is supposed to be a good thing, I know, but I’ve always disliked that there were so many options when it came to anime encyclopedia and social networking sites. Why do we need so many? Why not just put forth the collective effort to improve what’s already there? ANN and Wikipedia are basically my first choices when looking anything up, and I think it’s hard to imagine that any other site is going to catch up to their repertoire of information any time soon.

I’m finding myself compulsively filling in the missing pieces that are all over AnimeVice currently, but I’m pulling almost all of my information from ANN and Wikipedia. Summaries will need to be reworded, sure, but all those stats and kanji names and static information like that? Copy, paste, baby. The site is still in its infancy, and I’m sure that eventually, it’ll start garnering information that ANN/Wikipedia’s collective encyclopedias won’t have, but there I pose the question again — why not just all that new information to one of the aforementioned sources to begin with? Why do we need this all new place for it? Why split up the contributing population more? (As a side note, I really hate how the AV’s encyclopedia is organized right now, but I’ll give it a few more weeks to develop and straighten out before passing final judgment.)

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Yes, yes, it seems we have a confirmed airdate now. Or, well, not a date. A month. April 2009. Fullmetal Alchemist. I find it curious that it’s just “Fullmetal Alchemist” though. There is no “2” tacked on. No subtitle. The ten second clip on the official website doesn’t seem to reveal anything new or big (the video’s also on YouTube since the website’s getting lagged to death by otaku). The character designs are the same as before. Al is still in his armor body. Roy still has both his eyes. If I didn’t know better, I’d say we were just seeing a trailer for the original series. What’s going on here? Am I going to get my wish after all? Is the ending of the first series and that movie going to be retconned? Are we picking up from halfway through the series and finishing it from there?

Or is this not a sequel at all? Are we starting over completely?

Some people seem to be speculating that this series will start from the beginning, but this time, it’ll strictly follow the manga. I haven’t seen anything official regarding this yet, so I’ll believe it when I see it, but I don’t think it’s an unlikely possibility. I still haven’t read the manga myself, but I might have to soon if this is the case. I think it’ll be incredibly weird to go through the anime again with this alternate storyline though — especially if character designs, voices, etc, etc, remain unchanged. Has something like this ever happened before? Has a series that veered off from its source material gotten redone so that it’s now true to the original?

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So after an epic, ten-hour wait in line, I saw Dir en grey last night at the House of Blues in Houston (this is the link to my report of the concert on last.FM). The only down point about the entire experience was the whole cutting-in-line issue that has been prevalent both other times I saw them, and I’m forced to wonder, is this common? I suppose it really has nothing to do with being a gigantic weeaboo, but I’ve only ever attended five concerts, including last night’s. Three of those five shows were for Dir en grey, though to be fair, one of the Diru shows was technically a Deftones show. Of the other two, one was to see Muse at Madison Square Garden, and the other was to see Meg&Dia, a very indie band at a very indie venue. Since I didn’t have pit tickets for Muse and since Meg&Dia isn’t exactly a big deal, the Dir en grey shows are the only shows where I had to deal with lines.


I don’t understand people that don’t understand line etiquette since it seems like it should be common sense. When a line starts to form at the break of dawn the day of the show (and occasionally, the day or night before the show), it’s obvious that people will be coming and going a bit, but the point of getting there so early is to hold your own place, not someone else’s. Below are two rules that I think are fairly intuitive… if everyone followed them, I would have absolutely no quarrel with anyone in line.

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Live Action Akira: Good News, Bad News

November 21, 2008 Commentary Comments Off on Live Action Akira: Good News, Bad News

Earlier this week, Japanator posted about how the Latino Review got a hold of a working script for the upcoming live action Akira movie. Apparently, it comes down to this:

Good news: They appear to be sticking very close to their source material, even taking the initiative in incorporating parts of the manga that never made it into the animated version. This is fantastic because even though I’ve yet to get around to reading the manga, it’s obvious that there’s a lot of storytelling and explanation missing from the movie. To make room for all this extra stuff (after all, the manga is kind of long), they’re making two movies. I’m a little more skeptical about this if only because I feel like they might shit out on a second movie if the first one doesn’t fly far, but if they film them both at the same time, then it might not matter all that much. But in any case, sticking to the script and being faithful to the source material is usually the #1 concern of existing fans, and it seems like things are so good so far.


Bad news: Regardless of how faithful any adaptation is, there are always at least a few changes, minor as they could be. [View the rest of this entry…]

Wow… A WoW Movie

October 27, 2008 Commentary, News 3 Comments

Wow. I’m a year late on this news, but this was brought to my attention by the SEQALAB podcast: they’re making a World of Warcraft movie.

I can’t decide whether I should be confused, perplexed, amused, or exasperated. Or all four at once!

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Geass Golf! Weird Collaborations are Weird

October 26, 2008 Commentary, News Comments Off on Geass Golf! Weird Collaborations are Weird

Okay. You know I’m all for product placement and hand-in-hand promotions. Code Geass has been especially apt at this, seeing as it was my example for that article too, but there is a point when the product associations just get… really weird. Sure, it’s a side thing and isn’t woven into the fabric of the show like the Pizza Hut nonsense was, but… c’mon. Can you really imagine the Ashford kids chillin’ on a rolling golf course? Okay, so actually, maybe it’s right up there with all the Mario Sports games… I’ve always thought those were kind of weird too, but Mario is a much more versatile property because it’s about plumbers saving a fantasy world. Code Geass, with all its quirk and crack, is still a show about terrorism (kind of). Besides, its main character is thoroughly established as someone not meant for physical activity.

So my first thought was this:

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