Studio Ghibli May Halt Production Of New Films

Posted by Ben Huber on Aug 4, 2014 in Anime


No, Ghibli is not dead. However, it appears that When Marnie Was There could be the final film animated in-house at Studio Ghibli — at least for the immediate future — if a planned restructuring happens. Producer Toshio Suzuki spoke on the MBS program Jounetsu Tairiku and said that the production studio is considering shutting down, as no new films are in the pipeline. Goro Miyazaki is directing a CGI TV series made by Polygon Pictures, Hayao Miyazaki has retired, Isao Takahata will probably not be making another film, and Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s Marnie didn’t do well in theaters. All of this means that (if true) Ghibli will essentially be taking a break, and the animators will be let go for now. If the studio comes up with another film to do, they may bring everyone back, or they could simply remain as a company shell solely for licensing merchandise and film rights. Time will tell! Read more…

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250 Artists Reanimate A Sailor Moon Episode

Posted by Bob Muir on Jul 22, 2014 in Anime

Moon Animate Make-Up!

After ten months, the guys at Moon Animate Make-Up! have finished reanimating a whole episode of Sailor Moon. The project incorporated 250 artists, but instead of going for coherency, they had each artist animate their part in their own unique style. The result is this mish-mash of styles not unlike Star Wars Uncut. Since Sailor Moon Crystal (now airing) doesn’t always have the best animation or relies on CG, perhaps this will be preferable? With a cartoony look, many of the characters are much more emotive than the source material, sometimes ridiculously so. Read more…



A New Trailer For When Marnie Was There

Posted by Ben Huber on Jul 20, 2014 in Animation, Anime


Studio Ghibli’s latest film, When Marnie Was There, has arrived in Japanese cinemas. Sadly, folks in the west will have to wait a little longer for the film, but until then, we can watch the latest trailer that features much more footage from Hiromasa Yonebayashi (who previously directed The Secret World of Arrietty). This is his second film, so I’m eagerly awaiting impressions from Japan to hear if the film is good. With Miyazaki now out of the picture (kind of), where Ghibli goes from here will be fascinating to watch. Can they cultivate the same creativity and passion Miyazaki previously delivered? It remains to be seen… but When Marnie Was There does look fascinating. Check out the trailer below. Read more…



First Trailer For Ghibli’s ‘When Marnie Was There’

Posted by Bob Muir on Jul 3, 2014 in Anime, Cinema

When Marnie Was There

Just because Hayao Miyazaki has retired from directing doesn’t mean Studio Ghibli won’t be making new films. While we’re still waiting for GKIDS to release The Tale of Princess Kaguya in the US, Ghibli’s next film is coming out on July 19, 2014 in Japan. Called When Marnie Was There, it’s based on the novel of the same name by Joan G. Robinson. It tells the story of Anna, a young girl with no friends, who meets another girl named Marnie in a house across the marsh. One day, Marnie vanishes, and a new family moves into the house. Anna soon learns there’s more to Marnie than what she thought she knew. I’m interested in seeing this, but I suppose we won’t be seeing this movie until Princess Kaguya comes out this fall. Still, it looks wonderfully atmospheric! Read more…



Space Dandy Returns: Here’s a Trailer!

Posted by Ben Huber on Jun 30, 2014 in Anime


The dandiest man in space is back this coming Saturday! Space Dandy has been one of the most entertaining recent comedy anime from the mind of Cowboy Bebop creator Shinichiro Watanabe. Now only that, it’s also broken ground as being the first simulcast dubbed show, airing in English on Toonami around the same time as Japan. It’s pretty crazy. And this new trailer for season 2 also looks pretty crazy! More bizarre alien designs, more Meow & QT, more wacky hijinks, and of course… boobies. Check out the trailer below, and then catch Space Dandy’s return this Saturday at 12:30! Read more…

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Crunchyroll To Stream First 3 Dubbed Episodes Of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

Posted by Bob Muir on Jun 25, 2014 in Anime

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a manga that has been running in Weekly Shonen Jump and Ultra Jump since 1986, spanning generations of the Joestar family having fights with bad guys and doing fabulous poses. The most popular portion is the third part, Stardust Crusaders, which is the only part of the manga released in America, as well as a partial anime OVA adaptation and a fighting videogame. So despite tons of content, most of the story has never seen an official release outside of Japan. But with a currently-running anime adaptation in Japan that started at the very beginning, that may change, especially due to a new announcement.

Read more…



GKIDS Will Bring Studio Ghibli Documentary to US

Posted by Ben Huber on Jun 15, 2014 in Animation, Anime


Good news, Studio Ghibli fans! The documentary about the famous Japanese animation studio, “The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness,” will be getting a theatrical release here in the US thanks to GKIDS. The doc, directed by Mami Sunada, follows the production of the most recent two Ghibli releases, The Wind Rises (from Hayao Miyazaki) and The Tale of Princess Kaguya (by Isao Takahata). Sunada was granted unprecedented access to the studio while they toiled, getting a surprisingly up-close look at their work. It’s unusual to see such unfettered access to a Japanese studio, much less Ghibli themselves. GKIDS did not specify a release date, but did say that it will come this year. This is one that any animation fan will not want to miss. Read more…

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First Sailor Moon Crystal Trailer Arrives

Posted by Ben Huber on Jun 7, 2014 in Anime


At long last, after ages of teasing, planning, delays, and uncertainty, Sailor Moon Crystal is finally real. I mean, we’re seeing actual animated footage of it, so I can only assume it’s not my imagination. This is a remake essentially, a new anime adaption that plans to stay closer to the original manga’s storyline. The series is planning to run 26 episodes, and will begin airing on July 5th. It’ll be streaming worldwide, so chances are you’ll be able to watch it somewhere (Viz Media has licensed it in the US). Also, it’ll only air twice a month, so factor that into your Sailor Moon-watching schedule too! Check out the trailer below. Read more…



Fans Make A Better Live-Action Akira Than The Studios Would

Posted by Bob Muir on May 13, 2014 in Anime, Fandom

Akira fan trailer

Hollywood has been trying to make a live-action adaptation of Akira for years. Despite wanting to adapt directly from the original manga — the anime film only adapts one out of six giant volumes of the manga and uses its own conclusion — it sounds like it will be a trainwreck, with the setting changed from Neo Tokyo to Neo Manhattan, general whitewashing of characters, and the presumed loss of all the social and political commentary that formed the subtext of the original work from these changes. That’s why this fan-made trailer is so refreshing! It presents what a proper live-action take on the manga should be, and for a fan-made work, it looks fantastic. I can only hope that if Hollywood’s version ever gets off the ground, it will take notes from this trailer. Read more…



Trailer For Next Rurouni Kenshin Movie Looks Great

Posted by Bob Muir on May 6, 2014 in Anime, Cinema

Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno/The Legend Ends

Rurouni Kenshin was one of my favorite anime in high school, and it became one of my top shonen manga. I still say the second of the three major story arcs, the Kyoto Arc, is one of the best in the history of shonen manga. The live-action Rurouni Kenshin movie starring Takeru Sato was pretty faithful to the original story, and now the sequel is coming out this summer — two, in fact! The second arc is getting a two-movie treatment, with the first, Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, coming out August 1; its sequel, Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, will finish the manga’s Kyoto Arc. Makoto Shishio, the burned villain of this arc, looks great, as do the locales and fights. Maybe after these release, we’ll get to see the third and final arc, the Jinchu Arc, that was never animated (though an OVA touched on it) on the big screen. Read more…



Harry Potter, The Cyberpunk 80s Anime Version

Posted by Bob Muir on Apr 24, 2014 in Anime

Harry Potter cyberpunk

Most fan-made anime versions of Harry Potter seem to focus on how perfect the series would be for a romantic comedy, set in Hogwarts with attractive characters. Very few people go crazy with their mash-ups, like this new video from Nacho Punch. Take Harry Potter, then mix it with Akira to get a cyberpunk 80s anime version of everyone’s favorite wizard. Sure, I don’t think Akira is actually cyberpunk, but it’s got a lot of the visual cues from similar cyberpunk anime from the late 80s and early 90s. Beyond the parts that mesh well, I laughed at the superficial changes, like adding “cyber” or “neo” to words to indicate how futuristic things are. Read more…

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First Images Of Live-Action Lupin III Movie

Posted by Bob Muir on Apr 10, 2014 in Anime, Cinema

Lupin III actor

You just can’t keep Lupin the Third down. Originating in 1967 as a manga about a gentleman thief, there have been three anime series, countless movies and specials, and one cheesy live-action film. There’s a new Lupin III live-action film on the way to Japanese theaters on August 31 (around the release of The Tomb of Daisuke Jigen, a new anime film in the franchise), and it’s looking better than the last one. Images of the actors have been released, and they look pretty close to their cartoon counterparts. Jigen in particular Since FUNimation often licenses Lupin III movies, maybe they’ll pick this one up at some point? Read more…



Second Persona 3 Movie Gearing Up For June 7

Posted by Bob Muir on Mar 18, 2014 in Anime, Videogames

Persona 3 The Movie: Chapter 2

We still may not have gotten an official release for Persona 3 The Movie: Chapter 1, Spring of Birth yet, but that won’t stop the second movie from coming out in Japan! The multi-movie adaptation of Persona 3, Atlus’s successful refresh of their sub-franchise that led to the juggernaut Persona 4, is rolling on. On June 7, Persona 3 The Movie: Chapter 2, Midsummer Knight’s Dream will be released. As with the past movie, the art direction looks great, just dripping with atmosphere. Maybe this one will be a bit more interesting now that the plot is already underway. Read more…

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Meet Your New Fantastic Four

Posted by Ben Huber on Feb 21, 2014 in Anime, Comic Books


Here’s the full, most-official cast for Fox’s Fantastic Four. From left to right, taking on the role of Reed Richard is (rumored to be) Miles Teller, and Sue Storm (confirmed) will be played by Kate Mara. Jamie Bell, while not yet confirmed, will likely play Ben Grimm. And last but not least, just confirmed, Michael B. Jordan will play Johnny Storm. Assuming that everything works out, I’m pretty okay with this casting. I think Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch is a great bit of casting in particular. I’m a bit disappointed this cast isn’t under Marvel’s Cinematic Universe umbrella, though. If only Marvel’s other rights could return to them! Read more…



First Pokemon X & Y Event Legendary Announced With New Movie

Posted by Bob Muir on Feb 12, 2014 in Anime, Videogames


Pokemon X & Y have been out for a few months, and the only free pokemon giveaway was a Torchic with a special evolutionary item. That means it’s about time for Nintendo to start giving out event legendaries — rare pokemon you can’t get through normal play, like the famous Mew. CoroCoro magazine reveals that the first event legendary is Diancie, a rock/fairy type pokemon that will star in the 17th (!) Pokemon movie, Cocoon of Destruction & Diancie. Nintendo hasn’t revealed how it’s giving it out yet, but hopefully players will be able to just connect their 3DS to the internet for the download, instead of having to go to Gamestop, the movie, or some other event like cavemen did. Diancie confirms a leak (spoilers!) from a few months back about pokemon hidden in the game’s code, so perhaps all those other pokemon will be made available in the next year or two. Read more…

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Rupert Sanders Will Direct Ghost in the Shell Live-Action Film

Posted by Ben Huber on Jan 26, 2014 in Anime, Cinema


Get ready, anime and manga fans, it looks like another favorite series is about to get tackled by Hollywood. Ghost in the Shell was picked up a while back, and now Dreamworks has assigned a director to it: Rupert Sanders. The director of Snow White and the Huntsman will helm the film which features a new script by William Wheeler. I don’t have a lot of faith in Sanders after the mediocre Snow White film, so I’m not sure how I feel about having him in control of this project. Then again, like many other anime films that get a director — it may not get much else, and disappear into development hell. Read more…



Miyazaki and More Nominated in the 86th Academy Awards

Posted by Ben Huber on Jan 17, 2014 in Animation, Anime


Many folks wondered if Hayao Miyazaki’s film film, The Wind Rises, would get nominated for Best Animated Feature Film. Well, the noms came out and surprise, surprise, it’s on the list. It’s in the company of The Croods, Frozen, Ernest and Celestine, and Despicable Me 2. This is also the first time in a long, long while that Pixar has not had a film nominated for the category. I’m honestly a bit surprised that Monsters University didn’t beat out, say, The Croods. Also interesting, is that Shuhei Morita’s Possessions short animated film got nominated as well (it was part of Katsuhiro Otomo’s Short Peace collection). Read more…

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Check Out The Simpson’s Tribute to Hayao Miyazaki

Posted by Ben Huber on Jan 11, 2014 in Animation, Anime


You know, a lot of people pick on The Simpsons nowadays, but when they put their heads together and do a tribute in reference to something, they really do it well. The latest tribute features Homer getting drunk in Little Tokyo and then everything goes as little crazy, Miyazaki-style. Cat-bus, the moving castle, Kiki, and of course, Spirited Away, are all there. I think I saw a few smaller references as well, so watch the video below and see if you can catch them all. It’s a pretty lengthy sequence to devote to one gag. Read more…

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Samuel L. Jackson Stars In Live-Action Remake Of ‘Kite’ Anime

Posted by Bob Muir on Jan 7, 2014 in Anime, Cinema


Unlike the Cowboy Bebop and Akira movies that never got off the ground, Hollywood is actually managing to remake an anime into a live-action film — just not one you expect. This is Kite, scheduled for release sometime in 2014. The original Kite (or A Kite in Japan) is an OVA made of 2 30-minute episodes, often edited into one 60-minute film. It’s also extremely violent and somewhat controversial for its scenes of graphic sex and rape, including scenes of the main character Sawa as a young girl; some places even list it as a hentai, though it’s not. It’s been remade as a live-action American film, though it’s almost certainly based on the earlier censored releases that cut out the actual depiction of rape. India Eisley stars as Sawa, while Samuel L. Jackson is the guy who gets top billing. Jackson is actually a fan of Kite, though again, I’d have to imagine he’s thinking of the censored version that most fans have seen. The first trailer is below, and it looks pretty stylish. Read more…



Here’s A New Toonami Trailer for Space Dandy!

Posted by Ben Huber on Dec 30, 2013 in Anime


Space Dandy is finally here on Saturday, January 4th! Aren’t you excited? I know I am. Featuring all the animation talent of the Japanese industry, along with tons of musical artists, and back up by director Shinichiro Watanabe of Cowboy Bebop, it looks like 2014 will start off with a bang. It’ll air on Toonami at 11:30pm and every Saturday after that for 24 episodes! And that’s even before Japan, which gets it the day after! Dubbed or subbed, live on TV or streamed via the internet, pick the way you want to watch it and have fun. It’s a good time to be an anime fan. Watch the trailer right here! Read more…

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US Screenings Posted For Evangelion 3.0

Posted by Bob Muir on Dec 3, 2013 in Anime

Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo

Well, that was quick. Now we have a list of which US theaters are showing Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo, the third Rebuild of Evangelion film, this coming January. There are over 45 theaters to choose from, with a good spread of states. Of course, as with all limited releases, some people are going to be left out. Luckily for them, the Blu-ray and DVD release has been given a release date of February 18, 2014, something that I somehow missed completely. So if you can’t make it to one of the screenings below, you can go order the movie on Amazon right now! Read more…

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Naruto Gets Ready To Enter ‘Final Phase’

Posted by Bob Muir on Nov 27, 2013 in Anime, Comic Books


It looks like the Naruto manga is getting close to ending. Author Masashi Kishimoto recently gave a message to TV Tokyo’s Sakiyomi Jan Bang!, which often covers manga from Weekly Shonen Jump and its related magazines. In that message, Kishimoto implied things were getting close to the end, though he didn’t say exactly how much longer things would last. Fair warning, there are spoilers in his message, especially if you only watch Naruto Shippuden, which is further behind in the story than the manga. Read more…

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Disney Is Actually Releasing The Wind Rises, And Here’s The Trailer

Posted by Bob Muir on Nov 20, 2013 in Anime

The Wind Rises

I know that Disney had previously said that it would release The Wind Rises in select North American theaters on February 21, 2014 (with a wider release on February 28 and an Academy Awards-qualifying run in NYC and LA last week), but I still have a hard time believing it. Though they have the right of first refusal on all Studio Ghibli films, they had passed on their previous films From Up on Poppy Hill. And though this is the last film directed by Hayao Miyazaki, I kind of figured they’d pass on The Wind Rises due to it not only being an adult-focused film, but one that offers a semi-biographical look at the man who invented one of the most efficient planes that Japan used in WWII, something that is controversial in Asia. But luckily, they’re releasing it under Touchstone Pictures, and here’s the trailer to prove it! Read more…

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Evangelion 3.0 Getting Limited Theatrical Release In North America

Posted by Bob Muir on Nov 12, 2013 in Anime, Cinema

Evangelion 3.0

North American fans of Neon Genesis Evangelion have been waiting since November 17, 2012 for the latest Rebuild of Evangelion movie. The remake/reboot/sequel/whatever movie series is already three films into the planned four-film story, but the third film, Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo, has yet to receive a North American release. But this January 2014, ELEVEN ARTS and FUNimation will be screening the film. It will mostly be shown in an English dubbed format, but some showings will feature the original Japanese dub with English subtitles. Read more…

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