meta: Drama


2020


'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
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'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
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'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
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'Beastars': Animal House 
That very rarest of breeds: a truly adult show
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'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
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2019


Junji Ito's 'No Longer Human': No Longer Dazai 
A manga horror icon takes on a classic of modern Japanese literature, and makes it his own in ways both fascinating and baleful
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'Millennium Actress': She Lost It At The Movies 
Satoshi Kon's mini-epic of one woman's journey in film across Japan's turbulent century starts with narrative games, but delves into the ultimate meaning of a person's life
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'Rashōmon': The Post-Truth Condition 
Ryūnosuke Akutagawa's story, and Akira Kurosawa's movie, have endured to tell us something about the nature of truth in a time when we can hardly trust the words we hear in our own heads
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'Carole & Tuesday': The Mars Volta 
Shinichiro Watanabe's new series, about two young women trying to make their music their way, either needed more SF or less of it to really work
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'Princess Jellyfish': Girls, Be Ambitious! 
A sly treatise on gender roles and presentation, wrapped in a screwball romantic farce and delivered with great affection
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'Black Lagoon': Boiled Harder 
The animated adaptation of Rei Hiroe's ferocious homage to '80s action and Hong Kong cinema has all the attitude and muscle of its source, and also all its soul and insight
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'The Five Star Stories': In The Year 7575 ... 
This late-1980s anime time capsule is daft but fascinating, if only because it hints at how a new re-adaptation of the same material might really go places
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'One Cut Of The Dead / Kamera o tomeru na!': This Camera Cannot Be Stopped, Ever! 
Not just a love letter to the cinematic underdogs who pull off amazing things with sheer sweat, it <i>is</i> one of those amazing things pulled off with sheer sweat
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'Dororo': Take (Back) Another Little Piece Of My Heart 
Osamu Tezuka's feudal-era supernatural epic manga gives us two antiheroes, mutilated in body and spirit alike, both seeking wholeness
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2018


Sōseki Natsume's 'Kokoro': One Classic, Three Translations 
The great masterwork of modern Japanese fiction, by one of its all-time luminaries, has been translated multiple times, each version its own testament to the complexities of translation as an art
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'A Shameful Life': Osamu Dazai's 'No Longer Human', All Over Again 
An all-new translation of Osamu Dazai's bleak masterwork brings fresh clarity and immediacy to a staple of modern Japanese literature
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'AKIRA' At 30-Something: The Manga At The End Of The World 
On having a reckoning with the god-emperor of modern manga, in a restored English-language edition at last
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'Maborosi': The Unanswerable Question 
Hirokazu Kore-eda's debut feature, twenty years on, remains an ominous and poignant masterwork
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'A Silent Voice': Children Of Lesser Gods 
A gorgeous adaptation of the acclaimed manga, and a story with a hard moral question: Who gets to be redeemed?
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'The Man Who Stole The Sun': I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb. Now What? 
Almost forty years later, this jet-black comedy about a one-man nuclear terrorist ring remains an absurdist masterwork
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See more Drama posts from 2018