Friday, August 30, 2013

STGCC 2013: Introducing Joe Mad

Article "KOPE" #3 - RED DOT DIVA brings you AGENT W'S mad article on special STGCC guest, JOE MADUREIRA.Bursting into the scene and reinvigorating the look of X-men in 1994, JOE MADUREIRA, known as JOE MAD!, 's dynamic Japanese animation style changed how we viewed the X-men for an entire generation. Not only content with giving X-men's Rogue (Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell's comic) Major Kusanagi's hairstyle in the alternate story "Age of Apocalypse", his manga inspired look for X-men was not only seen in comics but in toys as well.

Just as suddenly as he shot into stardom, he left Marvel in 1997 to go to CLIFFHANGER! with Humberto Ramos and JScott Campbell. Creating and crafting "BATTLECHASERS", a sword and sorcery fantasy quest adventure, it started strong but the comic slowed and soon, after 10 issues, JOE MAD! left comics to venture into developing computer games on his own. Leaving a void in all our (my) fanboy hearts....developing DARKSIDERS with Joe Kelly.

Musical Monday 4

Sorry I have not been getting much content out lately, been preparing for the college move and stuff like that. So today's post will be short and I will not do analysis on the music sadly. I may edit the post at a later date and add more commentary when I have more time. The music I chose was from Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex (GitS SAC).

The only thing I feel I have to say is that I am disappointed in the music of the new Ghost in the Shell Arise, compared to the epic and commanding tone of this opening that goes with the major well.

FWS Topics: Powered Armor


Armor of all types and materials has being worn in combat since nearly the dawn of organized warfare. From the Romans, to the Greeks, to the armies of Alexander of the Great, all the way to the Knights of Europe and the Samurai, all of these warriors donned armor of various designs. That changed when the gun gained dominance over the sword in the 17th/18th centuries, and armored plates could not be forge thick enough to counter the bullet. Today, our soldiers are protected from the trauma of the bullet by ceramic plates and tight woven fibers. While effective, it only protects a small portion of the soldiers' body. Science fiction has imagined that future soldiers will be protected from the horrors of future weapons via full-body armor that also increases the soldier's endurance and strength. This idea, transformed into one of the most iconic elements of battlefield technology in military science fiction, the powered armor suit, allowing one soldier to become many. After the idea of the this futuristic armor was established by E.E. Doc Smith and Robert Heinlein, Japanese Anime/Manga along with American video games/comic books would jump on the concept and expanding it that continues to this day. In my own life, the powered armor seems to have always been there, and became a key element in my first MSF novel Endangered Species. The concept that was laid down in the 1930's, is still going strong with the current release of Elysium that features powered exo-armor.

BTW, I think there is a rather good drinking game buried in the text here. Drink every time you read the words: Starship Troopers, Robert Heinlein. or E.E. Doc Smith.

FWS Topics: Weapon of Choice

When it comes to character development in any work, either on the page or the screen, there are many ways to set characters apart from the background or even each other for the audience. In the realm of military science fiction, action movies, and shooter video games, the weapon that the characters or player chooses, is an important element in the identity of this character/player. In this blogpost, FWS will explore genesis of why certain weapons are chosen to be featured in a media


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

On Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Last weekend, the nerdmageddon known as FanExpo Canada hit Toronto's Metro Convention Centre, and despite my on convention season, I was seriously considering going, but ultimately tapped out due to the financial commitment required and my unwillingness to spend my rent money getting photos with Nathan Fillion and The Walking Dead's Dixon Brothers.But it was dicey there for a minute.

I'd forgive you if you'd forgotten or were unaware of how deep my geekery runs. Most of the topics around here lately seem to centre around hip-hop or weak-kneed attempts at personal insight. But it's always gurgling inside me, ready to spurt out at any moment, from my continued love of professional wrestling, my slavish dedication to the comic series , or the fact that after September 17, I will be on permanent vacation causing mayhem throughout .

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Report Card: Ghost in the Shell

The movie came out a full 6 years after Masamune Shirow's cyberpunk manga "Mobile Armored Riot Police" was serialized, and preceeded the two anime television series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG. The entire franchise is massive and massively influential. It's fair enough to say that this film might be the worst in the series to evaluate, but I have to start somewhere, and the start is the most logical place for this.


Monday, August 26, 2013

[Interview] Aritst DaFu Yu Talks Drawing A Gorilla Beating Zombies To A Pulp

"Rex, Zombie Killer" has a simple premise: a pack of animals, including a gorilla with a baseball bat, try to survive the zombie apocalypse. It's nuts, it's fun, and this is the kind of stuff you can only find in comic books. Big Dog Ink sent along their interview with series artist and co-creator DaFu Yu where he discusses the new miniseries, hitting stores in October. It's clear that whoever did the interview is not a journalist, but there's some interesting details about the series in there nonetheless.


RETURN Hard Version, Joukyou Monogatari, Gatchaman, Hakuoki First Chapter Kyoto Wild Dance, Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Chapter VI I: And Now the Warship Comes and Other Japanese Film Trailers

This week I thought I'd be a hero and try and get lots of reviews done as well as the Anime UK News Autumn Anime Preview Guide. I actually did achieve quite a bit of it by finishing the guide and most of the reviews. I finally finished up my reviews with and . gets released tomorrow. I also posted about all of the Japanese films taking part in the this year. I'll post about the autumn anime I'll be watching next week and take the rest of the week off to get some more reviews finished before starting a mini Kiyoshi Kurosawa season and following that up with a Takashi Ishii season.

What's released in Japan today? A lot of HK films including .

Sunday, August 25, 2013

10 Imagined Futures as Predicted by Anime

Last week I wrote a post about . That got me thinking about the future. And then that got me thinking about anime. A lot of anime gives us a glimpse of what the future might look like one day. Depending on the technology we develop and the choices we make, the future could end up being really cool, or even really scary. Which predicted anime futures are the most exciting? Dangerous? Realistic? Well I've collected 10 of my favorite predictions here, so get ready to embrace the (potential) future.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

2006: Welcome to the Next Level

Serdar Yegulalp, a tech journalist by day, is also the Site Guide for . He also runs his own science-fiction-and-fantasy imprint, , where he blogs about SF, movies, creativity, the complexities of self-publishing, the Sun Ra and Skinny Puppy back catalogs, and most everything else that catches his attention. He also occasionally sticks his neck out on Twitter (@).Back when I started curating , one of the first feature articles I put together was a four-parter which involved a number of anime at different "course levels." An anime that required no understanding of Japanese culture or Japan to begin with was a "100-level" anime. Another that was still easy to get into but would be best appreciated with a little foreknowledge was a "200-level" anime. A show pitched mainly for Japanese audiences, or which one wasn't likely to find accessible unless you were already steeped in the tropes and quirks of anime generally was a "300-level" anime. (I later refined the categories a little, but the basic concept remains intact.)

I now wonder if listing BLACK LAGOON as a 100-level anime was such a good idea.

Thoughts and Predictions On the Animusic Tournament

The first round of the has just begun - go vote if you haven't already -and already, I can feel the disappointment starting to pile up. Intellectually, I know only one song can win in the end and I am excited to see how the matches play out but it's hard to watch favorite songs, or even just well-liked songs, not do as well as one feels they should. Before moving onto my predictions I wanted to highlight these already fallen songs.

I really don't have room to complain - and that's why I'm not - over the number of songs that made it into the tournament from my nomination ballot. If we look at my ballot to see how they ranked

The Cosplay ID Game for Comic Festival in Genshiken Second Season (Episodes 4 and 5)

So Genshiken Second Season Episode 5 isn't terribly different from its corresponding chapters, and , so I won't be discussing much about the adaptation process this time around. I will say though that I'm glad the actors for Angela and Ohno can at least pronounce American R's.

The only changes are a ton of background cosplay that wasn't in the manga, and this imaginary shot of a seductive Angela.

"Ghost in the Shell: Arise" and Surface Tie-up Announced!

New information has been released on the Ghost in the Shell: Arise project that will commence on June 13. This time, the four-part Ghost in the Shell animated work is collaborating with the Microsoft Surface Windows tablet. Details have yet to emerge, however, an image of characters holding Surfaces has been released. It's predicted that the Surface may appear within the anime.

Ghost in the Shell was Masamune Shirow's bit hit manga of the '90s. In 1995, an animated film of the work was released and gathered much attention. In 2002, a TV anime adaptation began broadcasting. Thereafter in 2004 and 2006, two more TV anime adaptations were broadcast. Alongside the animes' broadcasts, films were released in theaters in 2004, 2008, and 2011. It may not seem like it, but it is rare for a series to be animated for such a long period of time. The series' popularity is incredibly high. Now Ghost in the Shell: Arise is receiving full support from fans, just like before!

Ghost in the Shell: Arise Official Site: (Japanese)

Your Daily digest for pipe naruto

pipe naruto

Pipes Output

Anime Insider: Best Anime Ever

With the arrival of Guillermo del Toro's PACIFIC RIM (2013) and its aspirations to pay homage to the world of anime and kaiju, while delivering a wholly original film of his own, there's no better time to step back and offer up some anime-related material worthy of your precious time, but probably only if you're open to animation.

For those looking into what the best anime has to offer maybe this short list will give you some ideas. This is THE SCI-FI FANATIC's edited take of the BEST 108 ANIME EVER as extracted from the now defunct ANIME INSIDER #11.I'll offer some brief assessments.

Maid-sama's Anime

Anime I have watched;

* Wolf's Rain

Ghost in the Shell Arise 1 review

When I first heard that some new Ghost in the Shell was being announced, I threw my hands up in the air in celebration. Ghost in the Shell is one of my favorite anime helmed by two of my favorite directors (Mamoru Oshii and Kenji Kamiyama). A new director's spin on things is going to be awesome! As I heard more coming down the pipeline, like that it was a completely separate timeline from either Oshii's or Kamiyama's, I got a little more excited and when I heard that it was going to be a prequel, I got a little less excited. But all that aside, Ghost in the Shell Arise certainly delivers on every level I'd have wanted it to out of a first episode.

Ghost in the Shell Arise is a prequel to Shirow Masamune's original Ghost in the Shell comics. However, I don't believe that it is stand alone. Everything would feel so distant without any introduction to the series (whether that be Masamune's comics, Oshii's films, or Kamiyama's series). But don't let that be a detraction from an otherwise great work.

Anime Insider: 50 Best Anime Series

As I slowly get myself back on track I thought I'd deliver one more anime post for those looking to educate themselves on some of the best options out there within the genre.

Unfortunately, this is yet another odd, random list from ANIME INSIDER #18 (2005).I'm not exactly sure what the operating variables were in their selection process for the 50 BEST ANIME SERIES. For me personally a series denotes something with continuity or more than one. So, why would some full-length feature films make their list and not others?It's a completely bizarre assembly of the best and certainly defies logic, but I thought I would give that list to you in the event you were looking for a starting point on films or series despite the ANIME INSIDER's complete disregard for the English language while I strategize on more robust future posts. I've edited the list to try and note this Sci-Fi Fanatic's highlights.This is a small complement to the previous ANIME INSIDER BEST ANIME EVER post .

Friday, August 23, 2013

Otakon 2013: Concerts

Just like everything else about Otakon's 20th anniversary, they went all out with their musical guest selection. and were perfect fan favorite choices that have graced the halls of Otakon before. was a beautiful new voice to add to the line-up. And then, Otakon shocked everyone by announcing that would be performing a special beta version of her new concert series .

With nearly five hours of concerts to see at Otakon, it promised to be a weekend of music heaven.

Ghost in the Shell

MAMORU OSHII was always my favorite anime director next to HAYAO MIYAZAKI. He directed such classics as the PATLABOR series or GHOST IN THE SHELL. Now he is working on live action features and one of them is a PATLABOR movie coming out next year, I'm really looking forward to seeing it since I believe that he won't compromise and simplify anything in order to get a bigger audience. He ventured already once into live action movies with AVALON, which even if didn't become a major hit, it's considered a cult classic.

Here is a scene from the second installment of the G.I.T.S. movies, INNOCENCE. This scene alone took over a year for the production crew to create, it's really a treat to look at, especially with KENJI KAWAI's mesmerizing score. Check it out.

This Is My Railguns Character of the Week

1995 was the year I discovered Ghost in the Shell. After 2 decades of watching Westernized versions of anime (Speed Racer, G-Force, Star Blazers) GitS was the first real "grown up" anime movie I had ever watched.

Knowing that anime was cool enough, I was immediately introduced to what was my first waifu in Major Kusunagi.

The Next Generation: Patlabor (And It's Not Star Trek)

They say you learn something new every day.And that's probably true.

Saturday I woke up to the news that director Mamoru Oshii is bringing his beloved MOBILE POLICE PATLABOR to the live action screens.THE NEXT GENERATION: PATLABOR is planned for 2014, which is truly remarkable. I was thrilled with the news. Most interesting is Mamoru Oshii is at the director's helm. Anyone who knows the work and worlds of Mamoru Oshii will find that news either exciting or troubling or maybe a little bit of both.He has something of a reputation for being uneven, but his style is entirely his own.In some respects I would submit you wither generally like or love him or you just don't.

The Anime Music Tournament 2013 Bracket Fate

After what I thought was a lackluster bracket with "Ein", here's hoping that Fate brings some more interesting themes to it in their .


Back In Blue

I vaguely remember that "All The Anime" - the UK distributor first announced to the public as Anime Limited sometime last year - had announced Satoshi Kon's masterpiece PERFECT BLUE/ for the UK market... but I could have sworn that was a DVD only release. Seems I simply wasn't paying attention, and the Japanese HD master has been provided for an English friendly Region "B" locked UK release after all, due to drop October 14th. Even if the 1080p master is anything but flawless, it remains by far the best presentation of the film to date, and with Kon himself having tragically passed away in 2010, I suspect that this is as good as it'll ever look.

The current Amazon UK pre-order price is a reasonable EUR21.11/$33.10, and while I can't speak for certain, their first release - more on that in a second - was packaged in a charming little VHS Tape styled Digipak in a glossy cardboard sleeve with a nice little booklet, so I'm expecting (or at least hoping) for similar treatment here. No word on the special features, and I don't really expect the 2+ hour interview with the late director to be included, but we'll just have to wait and see what filters through in the end.

Random Fandom: Piano Me and friends.

Last November I had the amazing experience of being at Camp Twilight for the premiere of the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn pt2. At first it was really brutal because it was mandatory to camp out on the street and the days were hot, the nights were cold, it was all very confusing and sleeping on the hard floor wasn't really fun. However, in the end, just to be there with other fans, just to see so many passionate people behind the project and of course seeing the actors and watching the final movie made all the harshness worth it in the end. I thought no other event in my life would hold a candle to what I experienced back then, but OTAKON has been a totally different experience in itself and OMG do the pros outweigh the cons! Whoa!

Let me start at the beginning:

A Review: Ghost in the Shell (1995)

My first movie review.

Lately I have been watching a fair amount of anime, consisting of Trigun and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, which is a spin off series of the movie I am reviewing here. GiTS: SAC is a very well written and well animated series that merits an 8.5/10, and Trigun is also good, with the exception of incredibly goofy faces and comic relief that isn't very comic. I am willing to sit through these parts of Trigun because of its originality and a compelling story that has started to become profoundly thought provoking and moving. (Once I finish Trigun I will review the series here). I am not a fan of all anime, but I'm not going to deny that some of the best stories I've seen have come from this genre.