My Anime Heroines Part II

The second part of my history with anime girls brings me right into the mid-90’s when anime was on television pretty regularly and the strength of Japanese-made consoles made the anime aesthetic quite well known. Speaking of anime heroines, get yourselves down to the cinema and see Arrietty! It’s magnificent!

Videogames

Much too young (still single digits as far as age goes) to appreciate how difficult importing Japanese games were I still had magazines packed full of illustrations to gaze at. This is where the anime aesthetic became more easily recognisable for me (compared to the European character designs seen in the previous post).

I would spend many hours tracing the elaborately illustrated images for characters like Ryu from Street Fighter but it was the girls who caught my attention simply because they were much more distinctive.

Time Gal

I have never played the game but I have watched it being played on my technology mad uncle’s Sega Mega CD (he has owned every major console released in the UK). Inspired by Dragon’s Lair, the game allowed the player to select actions within a time period and a video would play out. I remember watching with fascination as Time Gal Reika Kirishima battled with cave men and dinosaurs.

Time Gal

Taking a more active role in the action she was the first female videogame protagonist I had ever seen and she was totally cool and cute – especially when in chibi form. She was handy blasting and punching monsters and sliding down hills in cool videos and wore  a skimpy outfit which struck me as silly but what the hey. I loved the animation and character design so much they stuck in my memory.

Continue reading “My Anime Heroines Part II”

Uta No Prince Sama First Impression

NicoNico announced they were streaming two shows outside of Japan with English subtitles. The first I took a look at was the latest incarnation of the Blood franchise, Blood-C, which I had a hissy-fit over, and the second was Uta no Prince Sama – Maji Love 1000%. The world must be spinning backwards or something because I like the second show a lot.

In this coming of age comedy the main protagonist is Haruka.

Uta no Prince's HarukaShe is a girl with dreams of becoming a composer and writing for her favourite idol. She enters Saotome Academy which is a performing arts school run by legendary idols past and present. If she can graduate she will become a member the Shining Agency. Also at this academy are others following similar dreams.

Uta no Prince IdolsThese other wish to be idols and composers. Haruka will have to dig deep to reach her potential as she finds herself paired up with fellow classmates with varying skills in order to compose music to pass various tests.

Uta no Prince RivalsUta no Prince Rivals2 Continue reading “Uta No Prince Sama First Impression”

Blood-C First Impression

As a fan of the gritty anime Blood: The Last Vampire I was pleased to see Japanese video website Nico-Nico Douga recently began streaming Blood-C. They are streaming each episode with English subtitles a day after the Japanese television broadcast. The quality is good and there are no adverts. What isn’t so good is the anime. After watching the first episode I felt somewhat let down because the direction it took injected too much sugar into the franchise.

Blood-C's Saya Continue reading “Blood-C First Impression”

Royal Wedding

As much as I didn’t intend to submit to the event I have the Royal Wedding playing in the background. I’m sort of watching the BBC coverage of Prince William and Kate Middleton whilst writing a Shōwa Day post and news articles .

Prince William and Kate Middleton

Seeing all of the pomp and ceremony on display with Huw Edwards and Simon Schama commentating is fascinating (apart from the dresses which are bizarre). The images of various social strata – royals from around the world (Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Monte Carlo, Tonga, Brunei), military types including household cavalry and the crowds of people from all four corners of the earth – American, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, South Africa – makes one appreciate just the magic (and tourists) brought to Britain thanks to the Royal family.

Congratulations to Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Now I’m going to post about Shōwa Day and then watch television series Rubicon.

Hello Sweetie!

The first episode of the new season and I’ve fallen for Doctor Who all over again. Where the Christmas special was a gothic fairytale that was Dickensian and played with the timeline, this opener is hardboiled sci-fi with all the monster trimmings and history manipulation that played with the timeline.

Doctor Who sat in the Oval Office

Taking us from 2011 back to 1969, the plot includes Apollo 11 astronauts, the FBI and President Nixon. Moffat’s writing is as sharp as ever – both comedy and plot –

Why would anyone want to capture us?

I don’t know, I was going to wait for somebody to start trying to kill us and work back from there.

The monster is entirely creepy – slipping in and out of places and memory, turn around and you’ll forget it. It has a memorable first glimpse appearance where it blocks the sun and is indistinct but when it is seen in its full glory, it’s creepy. The fact it was also capable of violence on innocent bystanders helped a lot.

The acting is that usually assured brilliance that manages to capture the light and the dark, the extremes of emotions especially when confronting the extraordinary.

Mark Sheppard as an FBI agent in Doctor Who

A great character actor named Mark Sheppard (The X-Files, Firefly, Warehouse 13, Supernatural) is also in the episode.

All in all I’m eager to see episode two.

Awards Season: Golden Globes Results

The awards season has already begun for the collective global film industry and everybody will be engaging in an awful lot of back-slapping for the next couple of weeks. How many are worth watching? Well none of them really. Award ceremonies live and die over their nominations and results but can never encompass the entire output of the medium and can never be the final word on anything.

Continue reading “Awards Season: Golden Globes Results”

Doctor Who – Big Bang

A quick post just to say how much I appreciated the season 5 finale of Doctor Who.

The ending was satisfying. Russell T. Davies was a genius in bringing it back and making it relevant but his season finales never satisfied me because they felt too epic and as a result they weren’t as tight as could be because too many elements were thrown in. This finale was brilliant because it was a tight, focussed story on time travel and was less reliant on increasingly outrageous twists.

Steven Moffat proves has the skill and the bravery to jump into different points along a characters time-line and join all of the elements together. All of the jumps in time were executed perfectly. This is typical Moffat but he has perfected it. Every part of the series so far has been expertly used.

Out of all the seasons of Doctor Who, 5 has to be my favourite as it has the comedy, the gothic horror, the sci-fi and the emotions. It had so many memorable elements and episodes – Van Gogh, the Weeping Angels, the Dream Master.

Furthermore, the assistants were enjoyable. The relationship between the Doctor, Amy and Rory as well as River Song powered the series and gave it a strong emotional core on top of the good ideas. Oh yeah, Matt Smith IS the Doctor.

The technology was crazy, the comedy was bang on, the emotions were there, plus there were killer lines:

Potential Spoilers

 

 

“I’ve got a future, that’s nice.”

“Hello universe goodbye doctor.”

“The footprints of the never-were.”

 Plus the fez was a good look.

 Goodbye fez.

What Now, Doctor?

What can I say about the penultimate episode of season 5’s Doctor Who that hasn’t already been said? I can’t add anything new, that’s for sure since the rivers of approving fandom have already generated enough positive energy to power a planet full of giant Care Bears.

A shot from the BBC's Doctor Who
Under-henge Anybody?

My initial reaction was:

Holy smokes! I mean… Did anybody else just see that episode of Doctor Who?

Continue reading “What Now, Doctor?”