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Anime Roundup: November 18, 2016

Miyazaki's STILL not retired; the live-action 'Ghost In The Shell' will be scored by Clint Mansell; and our first peek at the live-action 'Fullmetal Alchemist' flick.

Anime Roundup: September 26, 2016

Crunchymation? Funiroll? Their partnering was only one of a whole flood of interesting things over the past couple of weeks.

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Miss Hokusai © Hinako Sugiura・MS.HS / Sarusuberi Film Partners miss-hokusai-00.jpg

On Three Anime Oscar Candidates (Plus Two More, Sort Of)

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Japan has three pictures in the running for Best Animated Feature Film in this year's Oscars, with two others influenced by Japan. It's a shame none of them are likely to win

© Paramount Pictures / Dreamworks SKG gits-scarjo-02.jpg

The First Full 'Ghost In The Shell' Live-Action Trailer Is Remarkably Promising

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The looks: check. The action: check. The questions of identity: check. Now let's see how the rest holds up

Photo © Serdar Yegulalp http://www.ganriki.org/assets/2014/anime-3.jpg

I'm Gonna Carry That Weight

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How I almost folded Ganriki.org's tent, and how I decided against it

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© 2016 Square Enix Co., Ltd. kingsglaive-000.jpg

'Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV': The State Of One Of The Arts

As an introduction to the newest FF universe, it's perfectly adequate; as drama and storytelling, it's serviceable; as a technology demo, it's a triumph - much like the other FF films before it

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If the most damning thing I can say about Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is that some of its dialogue and screenwriting are on the weak side, that's far better than what I was expecting to say about it. This feature film, as many already know, is intended mainly to introduce us to the world of the forthcoming Final Fantasy XV game. For that reason alone some are likely to dismiss it out of hand as either a two-hour cutscene or a two-hour game trailer. But there's at least an attempt here to tell a thoughtful story, and to populate it with people who have at least marginally more motivation than your average end boss.

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The Long And Winding Review

Covering an ongoing series can become an exercise in minutiae or futility. Here's the strategy I chose to keep my involvement active without also having it eat me alive

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The single biggest problem I face as a critic isn't warding off snipes in the comments sections, working on a minimal budget, or even coming up with something original or useful to say. It's time management. There's just so much stuff out there, even in a cultural niche like anime, that covering anything more than a tiny percentage of it single-handedly is impossible.

To that end, I've taken to talking about things when they're over, both for the sake of my own time management and as a way to pull together a cohesive analysis. But even that approach has limits: How do I cover something that's been running for years, and will most likely continue to run for years, without the kind of volume-by-volume or episode-by-episode coverage that eats into my time and leads me to draw snap conclusions I'm not always happy with?

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© Serdar Yegulalp berserk_on_shelf.jpg
© NEXT ENTERTAINMENT WORLD & STUDIO DADASHOW the-fake-00.jpg

'The Fake': Closer To God

The follow-up from the director of 'King Of Pigs' is both more artistically accomplished and more emotionally scarring, an attempt to get us to care about someone who would otherwise never warrant our sympathy

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Atheist that I am, I'm uneasy about creative works that mount an attack on organized religion. Not because the attacks are entirely unjustified — you could exhaust a sea of ink writing about the debilitating effects of blind belief — but because such attacks too easily substitute for a nuanced understanding of the subject. The Fake is ostensibly such an attack, since it deals with fraud committed in the name of God, but its real subject is not religion or even hypocrisy. It's about attempting to engender empathy for a character who by any measure deserves none.

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