Article Archives: 2020


Nisioisin's 'Katanagatari': Adventures Beyond The Language Barrier 
Nisioisin's twelve-novel cycle of a 'swordless swordsman' and 'strategemist' on a weapons hunt is, in its English edition, a gold standard for how to translate cutting-edge cultural properties
0 Comments
'The Great Pretender': Con Men At Work 
A real delight: a smart, fleet-footed story inspired by classic con-man comedies, and with correspondingly more to bring to the table than other anime
0 Comments
'Electric Dragon 80.000V': Raw Power 
Gakuryū Ishii's hourlong, warp-speed clash of pseudo-superheroes is still deafeningly good fun after twenty years
0 Comments
'Gojoe': The Demons On The Bridge 
Twenty years later, Gakuryū Ishii's revisionist samurai legend still dazzles and jolts like few other movies of its kind
0 Comments
'HUMAN LOST': The Death Wishers 
Why transmute Ozamu Dazai's 'No Longer Human' into medico-punk science fiction? Good question
0 Comments
'Gemini': Of Self And Other 
Shinya Tsukamoto's seething, psychedelic adaptation of Edogawa Rampo's work remains one of his best films
0 Comments
'Boogiepop': The Antibody Has A Voice 
Kouhei Kadono's knotty novels walk us backwards through the tangled stories surrounding a being that arises just long enough to right the world when it has fallen out of joint
0 Comments
'Bullet Ballet': Shooting High, Aiming Low 
Shinya Tsukamoto's grimy underworld odyssey about a man obsessed with the weapon that killed his girlfriend is more potential than payoff
0 Comments
'BNA: Brand New Animal': Taming The Beast 
Comparison with 'Beastars' is inevitable, but Studio Trigger's story of man-animal hybrids trying to live in harmony plays it safer and more accessible -- and less intrinsically interesting
0 Comments
'Kiki's Delivery Service': The Witch Returns To Print 
Newly reissued, the joyful little book that inspired Studio Ghibli's equally euphoric film has a fresh new translation to go with it
0 Comments
'Tokyo Fist': The Players Of Bloodsport 
Shinya Tsukamoto's blood-soaked, bare-knuckled psychodrama gives us two men in competition for a woman -- but it's the woman who wins
0 Comments
'Whisper Of The Heart': The First Draft Of Shizuku's Story 
When they talk about "a film for all ages", this Studio Ghibli masterwork about life on the cusp of adolescence must be what they mean
0 Comments
'Tokyo Godfathers': Three Vagabonds And A Baby 
Satoshi Kon's most "conventional" movie was also his funniest, a coincidence-driven romp through Tokyo's lower depths
0 Comments
'The Adventures Of Denchu Kozo'/'Haze': Shorter Tsukamoto 
Two short films from Shinya Tsukamoto, now anthologized in the Arrow box set for the director, show off his cheeky-humored and bending-sinister sides
0 Comments
'Dorohedoro': Black (Magic) Comedy 
Blackly funny, rollicking, and spectacularly animated, the adaptation of Q Hayashida's equally off-the-wall manga is another high point for Netflix's anime coproductions
0 Comments
Ryo Fukui: 'Scenery' 
All but unknown outside of Japan, this prodigy jazzman is enjoying a renaissance thanks to reissues of his few albums, including this, his striking first
0 Comments
'Deep Red': It Takes A Victim To Know A Killer 
The first of screenwriter Hisashi Nozawa's novels to find its way into English spellbinds, at least until its cop-out climax
0 Comments
'Ghost In The Shell: SAC_2045': A Withered Husk 
Easily the weakest 'Ghost In The Shell' project thus far, but with a tease of hope at the end of its first half
0 Comments
'Lament In The Night': The Voice Of The Issei 
Unknown to English-speaking audiences until now, Shōson Nagahara wrote for fellow Japanese-Americans of their own displaced world and their own broken hearts
0 Comments
'Beastars': Animal House 
That very rarest of breeds: a truly adult show
0 Comments
'Giant Robo': The Mecha Opera 
This grand and glorious epic returns to home video for English speaking audiences in a spectacular new Blu-ray Disc edition; it is as essential as it gets
0 Comments

See Article posts from 2019