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Japan Roundup: September 18, 2017

Shinichiro Watanabe brings us a 'Blade Runner' short; the, er, brilliant 'Land Of The Lustrous' hits the small screen; and Kar-Wai Wong has an Amazon series in the works

Japan Roundup: September 11, 2017

'Tatami Galaxy' comes to Crunchyroll; 'Funeral Parade of Roses' lands on Blu-ray after a 4K restoration; and a live-action 'Hyouka' is set to drop

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GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX © 2002-2005 Shirow Masamune • Production I.G/KODANSHA / RAN © Greenwich Film Prod. S.A. / Herald Ace Inc. / Nippon Herald Films Inc. / SŌSEKI NATSUME / YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA © ALFA Music, Inc. ganriki-30-0.jpg

Welcome To Ganriki.org 3.0!

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An expansion, a refocusing, and a reinvigoration of our mission

© Fumiyo Kōno / Futabasha / Konosekai no katasumini Project itcotw-00.jpg

'In This Corner Of The World': Life During Wartime

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A masterwork, not just of period reconstruction and attention to the details of daily life, but also for the ways it navigates through the tricky issues of a story about WWII Japan without stumbling

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'Peepo Choo': Turning Japanese

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Felipe Smith's 2010 manga did more than show a Western creator could make use of the form; it provided a riotous critique of the very audience that might seek it out

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© Gō Tanabe H.P. Lovecraft's The Hound And Other Stories

Gō Tanabe And The Hounds Of Love(craft)

If the rest of Gō Tanabe's manga adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft's horror classics are as good as this first volume, we're overdue for seeing more of one of manga's thus-far hidden treasures

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Sometimes it isn't the story you're adapting from one medium to another. Sometimes it's just the mood. In H.P. Lovecraft's case, his work constituted a mood all its own — he may have been a one-note writer, but his one note resonated so deeply and thoroughly with audiences, it ended up constituting one of the standby starting points for modern horror. Manga artist Gō Tanabe has been making a mini-career out of adapting Lovecraft to manga, and despite the changes he makes — all of which are sensible — he reproduces all the creepying abyssal dread, and the ominous wonder, too, of Lovecraft's work. But he hasn't neglected the story, either — if anything, he's enhanced it.

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'The Astonishing Work of Tezuka Osamu'

The 'god of manga' directed animated films, too; curated here is an eye-opening array of shorts made available for English-speaking audiences

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A slightly different version of this essay appeared originally at Genji Press.

Somehow in between drawing enough manga to fill an entire bookshelf — and that’s no figure of speech — Osamu Tezuka also found the time to direct animated films. What’s probably most surprising to learn is that they were not adaptations of his manga work; he left that job to other people. On his own, he developed animated work that was as eclectic and experimental as the manga he created for his own left-field magazine COM. The man was large; he contained multitudes.

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© Mushi Productions osamu_tezuka_compilation_00.jpg
© 2002-2005 Shirow Masamune • Production I.G/KODANSHA gits-sac-023.jpg

Characters Of Distinction: Motoko Kusanagi

How the feminist, post-humanist, and deeply human heart of the 'Ghost In The Shell' franchise became, and remains, an icon and a model

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"What is wrong with most science fiction," Harlan Ellison said in a 1979 interview with Frederik Pohl, "is that there are no people in the stories. We are very strong on gadget, we are very strong on theory and concept, but we have yet to create our Gatsby, our Ahab, Emma Bovary, Huckleberry Finn." It's through film and TV, and anime, that science fiction has provided us with some of its most memorable and recognizable characters: Kirk and Spock, HAL 9000, Sarah Connor and the T-1000, Neo and Morpheus. The grand triumph of the Ghost In The Shell franchise is not in the details of its increasingly credible cyberpunk setting — those are cheap enough at the price — but how it provides us with one of the finest characters in both anime and SF generally, Major Motoko Kusanagi.

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