Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Hey, Hold The Bus!" (Where Have You Watched Your Anime?)

Last week, I did a post that involved wondering . As it turned out, . Ok, I should've known better. That post did yield some interesting findings (that may or may not have amused me), but one got me started on this article.



Using my phone as a camera *shakes head*
Issue #27



January 15, 2014
Issue #27



January 15, 2014
Issue #27



January 15, 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

CUSTOM AQUARIUM!

All my life I have always wanted my own Aquarium.I think because both my brothers had aquariums or something like that.My favorite part is always the stuff inside of them.



So I bought one in Texas a few years ago and had my metal guy custom design a metal base for it.It has handles at both ends to pull it around and WHEELS on the bottom of it.I love the little blue diver guy.I want to make a custom Creature of the Black Lagoon one day to put in the tank.
Issue #27



January 15, 2014

Retro Pop Culture A to Z: From Atari 2600 to Zombie Films

My wife created a new cover for my latest book, . The original cover was great and cleverly designed, but this one has more "pop" and really grabs the reader's attention.



is a window to the past--a time of 8-bit video games, Silver Age super-heroes, Saturday morning cartoons, rock 'n' roll music, and scary movies at the drive-in.
Issue #27



January 15, 2014
Issue #27



January 15, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Issue #27



January 15, 2014
Issue #27



January 15, 2014
Issue #27



January 15, 2014

Twilight Time

KHARTOUM(1966; BASIL DEARDEN)

It's probably known here that I am actually a pretty big Charlton Heston fan. For an example of said fandom, check out this recent blogathon post I did:

http://rupertpupkinspeaks.blogspot.com/2013/08/my-top-5-underrated-charlton-heston.htmlOMEGA MAN was very I first started to like him and I've expanded out into his vast filmography over the years. I've only somewhat recently come to realize he may have been a rather significant influence one another icon of cinema - the character of INDIANA JONES. Heston's underseen film SECRET OF THE INCAS is a documented influence for sure and when you watch it, you'll see how true that is (and by the way, I would LOVE to see a nice Blu-ray of that movie come out if anybody out there is listening). But in a broader sense, Heston is an "epic adventure" kinda guy and has made a lot of films in that vein. Another of his adventure classics that has fallen through the cracks a bit is 1966's KHARTOUM. This flick is basically Heston's LAWRENCE OF ARABIA meets PATTON, and can be said to be one of the last great, sprawling Hollywood epics that were made on this scale. As was the case with such epics, there tends to be lots of scenes of people talking to each other and somewhat less action than we 'be certainly become accustomed to these days, however I do miss this sort of epic nonetheless. In the case of KHARTOUM, it even has the requisite overture and intermission sections and would have been presented in an old movie palace with programs and other gerneral fanciness. The Blu-ray transfer here was culled from original 65mm elements so it is, as you might expect, quite gorgeous.Included as special features on this disc are a nice isolated track for English Composer Frank Cordell's score(from the original master tapes btw) for the film and a commentary track from Lem Dobbs (screenwriter of such gems as THE LIMEY and DARK CITY. among others), Julie Kirgo (who has done the excellent essays Twilight Time has included with their discs) and Nick Redman (co-founder of Twilight Time). All three are well prepared and well researched and the track is a thorough educational supplement that is on par with a Criterion Collection commentary. There is background and context provided for not only the filmitself, but also there is lots of historical context given as well which is great. Lem Dobbs even goes so far as to go into some critical examinations of the script at certain points so the track is not all "this is the best movie ever" kind of stuff. I respect that. All three are obviously fans of the film, but don't exalt it to some unrealistic level. Further, Dobbs speaks about Heston quite a bit and I found that just fascinating. It's also always a pleasure for me to hear cinephiles do a commentary as they can't help but make reference to other films, filmmakers and actors throughout. That sense of a deep deep love of movies is palpable throughout. Just a quick 'by the way' -- Nick Redman and Lem Dobbs also previously collaborated on a commentary track for DOUBLE INDEMNITY and that is equally excellent and worth listening to for sure. Further, they have a track on the current Twilight Time Blu-ray of ZULU and the upcoming TT Blu-ray release of THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT. I can't wait to hear those commentaries as well.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Collections * Buffy the Vampire Slayer series by various authors (.PDF)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer series - 34 novelizations/books by various authors

Requirements: PDF reader, 15MB

Overview: Buffy novels have been published since 1998. Originally, under the Pocket Books imprint of Simon & Schuster they are now published by Simon Spotlight Entertainment which launched in 2004. Authors who have written original novels include Yvonne Navarro, Christopher Golden, and Nancy Holder.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Today's Mini-Review: Day the World Ended

Rating: ***/*****, or 7/10

Starring: Richard Denning, Lori Nelson, Mike ConnorsDirected by Roger CormanUSA: Golden State Productions, 1955

Truth is, few of the films from Roger Corman's early days of directing schlock movies for a dime are 'good' in the usual sense of the word. In fact, most (if not all) of them are cheap exploitation quickies shot for next to nothing so they could do nothing but make a profit in drive-in theaters screaming for content to cater to teenage love birds more interested in each other in the dark than in the goings-on present on the big screen in front of them. Flicks like The Beast with a Million Eyes (1955), Swamp Women (1956) and It Conquered the World (1956) nowadays are interesting only to geeks revelling in bad taste or film students exploring the fringes of acceptable study material. Still, the occasional sort-of decent film can be found among Corman's early work for those with enough patience and the stomach for digesting campy creature features from the Fifties. Day the World Ended I count among these very few.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Collections * Buffy the Vampire Slayer series by various authors (.PDF)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer series - 34 novelizations/books by various authors

Requirements: PDF reader, 15MB

Overview: Buffy novels have been published since 1998. Originally, under the Pocket Books imprint of Simon & Schuster they are now published by Simon Spotlight Entertainment which launched in 2004. Authors who have written original novels include Yvonne Navarro, Christopher Golden, and Nancy Holder.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Issue #27



January 15, 2014

Wolfsmund vol. 3

"The bailiff sweats.The revolution is on." That's the description of this volume's events from the back cover.Short, sweet, and to the point, they gave me hope that the series would finally address its biggest issues and start living up to its potential.Though that hasn't quite happened yet, vol. 3 takes some large strides towards becoming a title I can start looking forward to.In that I actually want to see what happens next, not because I'm waiting to see it go completely off the rails. Now, before the revolution can get started, someone has to spread the word.That someone is young Walter Tell, last seen in vol. 1 when he managed to survive the treacherous mountain border crossing that claimed his father's life.While he will be making that trek again solo from the other side of the pass, the first story introduces us to the skilled warrior siblings Albert and Barbara as they attack Wolfsmund to provide a diversion and settle an old score. I liked the fact that this opening story provided another twist on the title's formula of bad things happening to people who pass through Wolfsmund.Mind you, bad things happen to Albert and Barbara as well, but they make a genuine fight of it and generate some real suspense as things go on.Even if things end just as you'd expect, we do get a nice bit at the end when Bailiff Wolfram finds something out too late. The stories in the two chapters that follow showcase not only Walter's efforts to cross the mountains alone, but the lengths the resistance will go towards maintaining their element of surprise.We get to see this firsthand when Wolfram starts torturing Walter's mother and younger brother and then brings them out for a public execution.You won't find any surprises there as the bailiff's cruelty and the dedication of the resistance have been pretty well documented up through this point.Walter's border crossing does have some impressive action scenes as he has to demonstrate some split-second ingenuity once the guards pick up his trail.The impact of these scenes, however, is at odds with the grounded aesthetic the book has demonstrated since they're more of the "action movie" variety. Yet all of the book's issues up to this point start to annoy a little less when we get to the final story in the book and its premise is blown wide open.The rebellion is on and the resistance on both sides of Wolfsmund makes its move.Both sides have very different ways of dealing with the opposition as the crew in the south have access to more "exotic" strategies, but the people who have been trapped in the cantons have to be a bit more resourceful.This is where Walter, another resistance fighter named Hilde and two of her cowhand friends come in as they have to kill by inches to make this plan work. I won't lie.Seeing the chapter start off with the resistance in the south make its move was a genuinely thrilling moment and the highlight of the series thus far.It was also a sign that mangaka Mitsuhisa Kuji (who is actually a woman, and to whom I apologize for referring to as a man in the past) really does have a plan for this series and isn't going to try and drag things out.The scene is a real game-changer and made me genuinely excited to see what happens next. While there's some fantastically bloody action scenes that follow, the overall effect is blunted somewhat by Hilde's character.She's introduced to us as Walter mourns the death of the madam from the previous volumes and comes off as a flighty and buxom presence with real fighting skills.It honestly feels that Kuji's editor told her that she needed to put in a badass fighting babe to keep the fanboys interested and this is how she obliged them.Then her bloodthirsty side comes out andshe still doesn't come off as all that interesting.Compared to Revy from "Black Lagoon," Hilde comes off as a one-dimensional piece of fanboy bait who lacks any real depth even after we find out her backstory and nickname.There's no doubt she's a real asset to the resistance, but that's about all the appeal she has to me. Speaking of the resistance and "depth," my only real concern now is that Kuji is going to give us an ending where her reach exceeds her grasp.Namely, that everything is going to fail and the rebellion will be brutally crushed while Wolfsmund endures.Worse still would be the fact that Wolfram saw this all coming and everyone's actions are slowly feeding into his master plan because the plot dictates it.If we get that kind of ending, then being tossed by myself into the recycling bin will be the best fate that "Wolfsmund" can hope for. That's because with these three volumes so far, Kuji hasn't really given us a series with the moral ambiguity or depth of character to sustain such an anticlimax.To her credit, this is working as a simple good guys vs. bad guys yarn and these kinds of stories are most effective when good triumphs over evil in the end after the appropriate amount of struggle.The majority of Kenichi Sonoda's "Gunsmith Cats" is a great example of how that kind of storytelling can work as well as how awful it can be when it tries to achieve a level of depth it hasn't earned. Part of me fears that's how this title is going to end.With Wolfram secure in his post and continuing to smile gleefully at the travellers under his mercy.That would be a terrible ending and put this on the shortlist for my "Worst of 2014" pick.Or maybe not since the worst stuff I read is never really what I expect. This is all potential and speculation, though.The reality of things is that "Wolfsmund" now has real momentum and I want to see where it carries me.Whether or not that'll be anywhere good only adds to the excitement at this moment. Jason Glick
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TO BOOKOFF WITH THE LOT OF YOU!

I've mentioned once or twice that some comics I read were bad enough to be sold to BookOff, the Japanese used book/DVD/Blu-ray/videogame chain that also has branches in the U.S.Because that's the worst fate I can imagine for a series that either offends me so, or I can't remember why I cared about them in the first place -- not having the privilege of being part of my collection anymore.A little over a year after I made my last trip out to their Gardena branch with friends, I made another visit there yesterday.If you're interested in what I decided to part with, the list, and the reasons why, they await after the break. Nana vols. 1-16:Shojo manga from Ai Yazawa who did the excellent "Paradise Kiss."That was originally published by Tokyopop and has since been reissued by Vertical."Nana" was about two women, a flighty one looking for love and another who has rock star ambitions and chops, that meet and strike up an unlikely friendship.It was monstrously popular in Japan while it was being published, but has since been on hiatus due to Yazawa's undisclosed medical issues.I enjoyed the series up to a point, and even mentioned it back in the early days of the site.(Never got around to doing that re-read in case anyone was wondering.)Though it was an entertaining character study at first, the series lost steam after it split up the two protagonists and started wallowing in the tropes of rock star stardom.I stopped buying it before the title went on hiatus, and don't feel any inclination to find out what it was like before that happened. GTO vols. 1-14:"Great Teacher Onizuka" for the uninitiated.This was one of Tokyopop's first titles in their unflipped initiative and I had heard good things about the animated and live-action versions that were based off of the manga.The series follows a former punk who brings his unorthodox teaching style to the classroom with plenty of bathroom humor in the process.It was fun for a while, but eventually things started to wear thin.I also believe that I was between jobs when I stopped buying this, so saving money was a priority here.To put things in comparison, when I found a new job I went back to buy the volumes of Garth Ennis' "Punisher" that I missed as well as Min-Woo Hyung's "Priest."In short, "GTO" had its time with me, and then it passed. Air Gear vols. 1-12:This was Oh! Great's, of "Tenjo Tenge" fame (or infamy, depending on your perspective), other mainstream hit as he toned down his style to be more appropriate to a shonen audience.In spite of that, "Air Gear" -- about battling rollerbladers -- was great fun for a while and clearly benefitted from how he honed his artistic style on his signature title.Then things got bogged down in tournament after tournament and the fun was just gone.Regardless of what it says about me as a person, the man's undiluted style in "Tenjo Tenge" was more compelling to read about even with its excesses. Basilisk vols. 1-4:When Del Rey announced that they were starting a push to bring more seinen titles out here, I was all for it.They started with this, about two rival ninja clans fighting it out in the Edo period, and it was clear that they weren't interested in bringing over any interesting titles -- just the ones with acceptable levels of sex and violence.I never bought any more of those titles from them. Beck:Mongolian Chop Squad vols. 1-4:The series, about a kid who falls in with this wannabe group of musicians and starts learning guitar, spawned an anime that was uneven yet entertaining overall.It also managed refinements on the manga's thoroughly ugly character designs.Those, coupled with the fact that I already knew where the story was going caused me to drop this, at least until it surpassed the manga.Then Tokyopop collapsed and that was the end of that story. Diabolo vols. 1-3:Mangaka Kei Kusunoki had a series called "Ogre Slayer" that was published back in the 90's by Viz that I liked.I eventually bought both volumes years later and was surprised at how badly the stories had aged.This new series co-authored by Kusunoki only struck me as mediocre while I was reading it, so you can imagine my apathy at the idea of giving it a second chance now. Walkin' Butterfly vols. 1-3:A Josei series about a female delinquent who aspires to be a model.It sounded like it could be an interesting take on the fashion industry in a different vein than "Paradise Kiss."Unfortunately, it emphasized tropes more from shonen manga than actual storytelling.Even though its publisher also went out of business after publishing vol. 3, I was never all that interested in finding out what happened next. .hack//TWILIGHT vols. 1-3:I have acomplicated relationship with the ".hack" franchise.The anime meant to lead into the original games ".hack//SIGN" did a terrible job of that, and also gave us the worst. recap. episode. ever.(Which my friends and I turned into "dub hacked//SIGN," but that's another story.)Surprisingly, the first series of games for the Playstation 2 actually turned out to be pretty good as did the follow-up anime which emphasized comedy over drama.It was that series which this manga was spun off from, and I'm hard pressed to remember anything specific about it.So making the decision to sell it off was easy.Though I may go back to the first PS2 games at some point, the second series they did, ".hack//G.U." was AWFUL and something that I woudn't wish on my worst enemy. Children of the Sea vols. 1-2:This was a series about mysterious happenings in the ocean with a plot as threadbare and uninteresting as the art was fantastically detailed.People love the art in this series.If someone ever starts telling you how much they like it, be sure to ask them what they thought about the story as well. Jormungand vols. 1-2:The only thing these two volumes managed to convince me of was that this title was the poor man's "Black Lagoon."Fortunately, that series started up again last year and if we're lucky, a new volume may be in the cards for 2014. Batman:Cacophony:Kevin Smith's first crack at the Bat with his buddy, artist Walt Flanagan.I got this for free at a Christmas gift exchange one year, knowing full well its terrible reputation when I got it.That reputation wasn't entirely undeserved, but it still wasn't all that great.Smith also states in the afterword that he doesn't think this is even his best "Batman" story -- he was saving that for the even more maligned "The Widening Gyre."You know, where it was revealed that he had a "bladder spasm" during one of the iconic moments in "Year One?"So, guilt by association and the fact that I couldn't imagine ever reading this again led to it leaving my shelf. Star Wars:X-Wing -- Rogue Squadron & Fortune and Glory:I actually liked these titles and the only reason I got rid of them was because I re-bought them down the line after finding newer editions in the half-off bins at Comic-Con."Fortune and Glory" was particularly great as it details Bendis' first adventures in Hollywood prior to hitting it big at Marvel.It's easily one of the best things he's ever written. Mondo Urbano:You'd think that a graphic novel about rock and roll, published by Oni Press, with art (in part) by "American Vampire's" Rafael Albuquerque, and with a cover blurb from Stephen King would be a can't miss read, right?That's what I thought too.Unfortunately it turned out to be a confusing mess that wasn't even worth the half-cover-price I paid for it at Comic-Con. Judge Dredd:The Day the Law Died:I also had "The Apocalypse War" to sell as well, but they wouldn't take that for some reason.Anyway, the reason I was selling both titles is because they're redundant with the "Complete Case Files" editions I already have. That's not everything.As for Bleach vols. 1-31, Neon Genesis Evangelion:Campus Apocalypse vols. 1-4, Limit vols. 1-3, Attack on Titan vols. 1-2, Sickness Unto Death vols. 1-2, Superman:Earth One vols. 1-2, From the New World vol. 1 and Kick-Ass, the reasons why I wanted these gone have been documented elsewhere on the site.Also I realize that most of this list is exclusively manga.I don't know what it is about the format, but I think the lower production values on the majority of them compared to the space they take up makes it easier for me to decide that they need to go.It sounds dumb, but the color and general shininess of most American comic collections makes it harder to write them off simply because they feel more valuable.Now that I think about it, though, there's probably several that I should've taken with me yesterdayOh, and there was one title that I granted a stay of execution as it were.I will go back and re-read Excel Saga vols. 1-5 to see if time has been kinder to it.The anime was a personal favorite and led directly to my purchase of the manga, but I do remember the quality dropping off towards the end of vol. 5.However, this title was also localized by Carl Horn before he became CARL HORN in my mind after everything I've learned about him since.Will I start collecting the rest of the series, or will I be taking it with me on my next trip to BookOff?Watch this space next year. Jason Glick
Full Post

Monday, January 20, 2014

Issue #27



January 15, 2014
Issue #27



January 15, 2014
Issue #27



January 15, 2014
Issue #27



January 15, 2014
Issue #27



January 15, 2014

Tormented (1960)

'I CAN SEE THAT YOU'RE FINALLY DIGGING ME, DAD.'



Jazz pianist Richard Carlson is on the verge of recognition and marriage to the daughter of a wealthy businessman. But an old flame turns up threatening blackmail. There is an accident at a lighthouse and he lets her die when he could have saved her. But her spirit is not so easily disposed of
Issue #27



January 15, 2014

Looking to 2014

This year is coming to an end very soon. Less than two weeks. I don't know if this year has been really, really long for me or not. It's tough to say. They say the years get shorter as you get older, but right now last year and this year don't seem all that much different. If there is anything that really marked 2013 then it was the death of Hummer, one of our cats. I suppose I do get overly attached to animals because I prefer them to most people because most people suck. On the other hand I have yet to meet a dog or cat that I didn't feel a certain kinship with. Mostly cats, though. I suppose this proves that I should not be the one to give advice on how to properly socialize with people, but if you need to get along with your cat and don't know how to then feel free to give me a shout out.

Anyway...

As of now this is a list of anime, TV shows, and movies I want to see and blog about next year. While I am sure I will come across more things in the coming days this is what I have so far:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Issue #27



January 15, 2014

Calendar of Sexy Monsters: Zombie of the Week

WISH YOURSELF A, MONSTROUSLY HAPPY NEW YEAR, WITH THIS AWESOME CALENDAR COMPRISING ARTIST 'S RENDITION OF THE CLASSIC MONSTERS WITH A "SEXY" MAKEOVER.



Continuing our countdown of the end of days (in 2014, that is), We are delighted to bring you , an awesome calendar comprising a set of deliriously conjured renditions of some of the most iconic classical monsters in very compromising circumstances... A so-called "sexy" state of being, thanks to Los Angeles artist, illustrator and designer, .
Issue #27



January 15, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tim Burton

Timothy Walter "Tim" Burton[1] (born August 25, 1958) is an American film director, producer, artist, writer, poet and stop motion artist. He is known for his dark, gothic, macabre and quirky horror and fantasy films such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Dark Shadows and Frankenweenie, and for blockbusters such as Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Batman, its first sequel Batman Returns, Planet of the Apes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland.

Burton is known for using recurring collaborators on his works; among them are Johnny Depp, who has become a close friend of Burton since their first film together; musician Danny Elfman, who has composed scores for all but two of the films Burton has directed; and actress -- as well as his domestic partner -- Helena Bonham Carter. He also wrote and illustrated the poetry book The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories, published in 1997, and a compilation of his drawings, sketches and other artwork, entitled The Art of Tim Burton, was released in 2009.

Burton has directed 16 films and produced 12 as of 2012. He is currently working on Big Eyes, a biographical drama film about Walter Keane and his wife Margaret.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Ends in 4: geeky anniversaries in 2014

ENDS IN 4: GEEKY ANNIVERSARIES IN 2014



Hey, little Ten Toes! Humans (at least those using the decimal system) like to observe anniversaries by the decade. This is a brief list of some of the geeky anniversaries happening this year. It is in no way comprehensive, and we certainly may add to it (and invite you to make suggestions by commenting on the post).

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Black Lagoon: The Complete Set

When typical salaryman Rokuro Okajima takes a trip for his company to the port of Roanapur in the South China Sea, he has no idea what he's getting into. As part of an industrial espionage plot, he gets kidnapped by the modern-day pirate crew known as the Lagoon Company. But when the Lagoon Company finds itself a targeted by other mercenaries hired by his boss, it's Rokuro, or Rock as he comes to be called, who comes up with the plan to get them out of their predicament. Declared dead by his company, Rock decides to stay on with Lagoon and their mercenary adventures.



Originally a manga by Rei Hiroe, BLACK LAGOON was created as an homage to and melange of many things: James Ellroy novels, John Woo and Quentin Tarantino films, and a mix of inspirations from the real life pirates of the South China Seas. It follows the tales of the Lagoon Company, consisting of the aforementioned Rock; the ex-US Marine team leader Dutch; their mechanic, communications, and computer expert Benny; and the most iconic member of the team, street-urchin girl turned lethal assassin, Revy "Two Hands."

Black Lagoon

After conversations between Garcia and Rock, as well as Fabiola and Revy, Garcia decides to follow Rock's plan, and Revy experiences unpleasant flashbacks from her past. The Black Lagoon arrives at its destination in the , and the Americans set out to complete their mission. In the jungle, they are attacked by Roberta, using her former employer's antique musket to fire . She kills several, but is severely wounded and loses two fingers. Garcia, Fabiola, and Lt. Shane come face to face with Roberta, and Garcia explains that she cannot redeem past sins by taking revenge, then fires blanks at both Shane, who pretends to drop dead, and Roberta, who reflexively fires back, wounding Garcia. The confrontation ends with Garcia laying in Roberta's arms and Shane ordering his men to stand down. Meanwhile, Rock explains his motives to Revy, and predicts his victory over Chang and future changes to Roanapur. As the wounded are carried onto the Black Lagoon, Fabiola takes her anger out on Rock by raging and firing a blank at him. Month later, Rock laments that nothing has changed in Roanapur after all, and Roberta, having lost an arm and a leg, and living in Garcia's mansion, meets the family of the victim of hers who had haunted her for so long.



Previous :

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tuesday Tales with Bells On!!

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers and welcome to Tuesday Tales. This week our talented group of writers has the word prompt "bells", apropos for the Christmas season, wouldn't you say? I take you now to the 3rd book in writing progress from Allee Mae's new series, The Critter Getters. The title of this one is, Finding Love in a Black Lagoon.

Let's peek in on Owen and Pearls' private conversation...

"So, what were Christmases like at your house?" Pearl kept her gaze locked on the twinkling stars above.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Another anime rant.



omg! HAHAHAHAHAHHAA I CAN'T STAPH LAUGHING WHILST WATCHING NOBUNAGA THE FOOL. IT'S ALL BECAUSE OF GINTAMA'S FAULT!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Samuel L. Jackson Presents...

"Why does Samuel L. Jackson always play a black guy?"

- Perhaps the single greatest YouTube comment of 2014.

A full-length trailer and an R-rating ready sizzle reel for the long-delayed live action adaptation of Yasuomi Umetsu's 1998 masterpiece, [A] KITE, is finally upon us. I had assumed this was going to sink into obscurity with the death of director David. R. Ellis, the uh... "visionary" behind Snakes on a Plane and Shark Night*, but when Ellis passed away last January it was completed by Ralph Ziman, who's mostly known for Gangster's Paradise: Jeruselama. No word on who'll be distributing the film yet, but with it having been produced by our friends at The Weinstein Company, it wouldn't surprise me if they release it themselves, at least in North America.

Fairy Tail Part Five (2013)

ONCE UPON A TIME, RONAN DALY REVIEWED FAIRY TAIL (PART 5), THE LATEST ANIME INSTALMENT, SPINNING OUT OF HIRO MASHIMA'S MANGA OF THE SAME NAME. THE SERIES FOLLOWS THE WIZARD'S GUILD, FAIRY TAIL, AND ITS MANY BATTLES, ADVENTURES AND GENERAL MAGICAL TOMFOOLERY. MORE SPECIFICALLY, IT FOCUSES ON LUCY HEARTFILIA, A YOUNG FEMALE WIZARD WHO SPECIALISES IN SUMMONING MAGIC, USING HER VERY SPECIAL CELESTIAL KEYS (IN JAPANESE, LUCY IS VOICED BY ARA HIRANO, WHO PORTRAYED A TREMENDOUSLY MEMORABLE MISA AMANE IN THE ANIME DEATH NOTE; IN ENGLISH, LUCY IS VOICED BY CHERAMI LEIGH, WHO PLAYED THE VERY DANGEROUS PATTY THOMPSON IN THE SOUL EATER ANIME).



At the beginning of the series, Lucy joins the guild, meeting Natsu Dragneel (voiced in Japanese by Tetsuya Kakihara from Bleach, Blue Exorcist and Black Lagoon - as well as dozens of other very good series which don't start with "bl" - and in English by Todd Haberkorn from One Piece and Naruto Shippuden) along the way. Natsu, a fully-fledged member of the guild, is also a dragonslayer, a very rare type of wizard actually taught magic by the dragons themselves. His companion, Happy (voiced in Japanese by Rie Kugimiya, who won acclaim for her roles in Zero no Tsukaima and Toradora, and in English by Deadman Wonderland's Tia Ballard) just so happens to be a blue, flying, talking cat, just in case there was any lingering doubt regarding the magical nature of the series. The different wizard guilds exist to allow wizards to gain rank and experience in their crafts, and also for wizards to find work, whether in creating magical items or fighting off terrifying and powerful monsters. Each guild has its own reputation and personality and there is great rivalry between different guilds.

Those Other Favourites

Whilst I am sure most of you could tell me what my favourite foundation is or cream blush might be there is much more to life than beauty products. I have wanted to put this post together for such a long time but it seems that I have never got round to it. Posts like this are always something I love to read, don't get me wrong I love beauty bumf as much the next girl but I also like to know what kind of music people listen to and what guilty pleasure films they love. I am going to split this into a few categories so it is easy enough to navigate around.

Music: (I stupidly have my music split over two programmes)

Itunes:Active Child, Alexisonfire, Arctic Monkeys, Bad Rabbits, Best Coasts, The Black Keys, Brand New, The Bronx, Burial, Cartel, Chromeo, City & Colour, The Drums, Everytime I Die, Four Tet, Fences, Friendly Fires, Girl Talk, John Mayer, Justin Timberlake, Kavinsky, Kleerup, MSTRKRFT, NAPT, No Doubt, Paramore, The Weeknd, Wu Lyf, The XX, Yeasayer, Yuck.

Germanic Influence in Anime

Cultural flows between nations are extremely interesting phenomena. They represent the inter-connectedness of our world and the people who inhabit it while also providing alternate channels for nations to exert "influence" outside of typical economic, political, or military spheres. This type of cultural clout, often termedto distinguish it from the "hard power" type of stuff listed previously, is a really cool way to look at international relations, especially for anime fans such as ourselves who are very much in the midst of this type of thing. More importantly, however, soft power is in fact in fact the largest type of exposure a great majority of Americans (and perhaps most nations) actually receive from other nations. Many more of us, for instance, watch shows like Doctor Who or Sherlock than keep up to date with British politics and international relations. We form our opinions based on scattered memories and experiences, encounters with strangers and small snippets of news articles we skim over while browsing the web. Most of the time, we don't bother getting to the bottom of things, or investigating the details behind what we're reading: the information we get is crudely processed into an image, an association, between a country, it's people, and other things we know. Why exactly are 's actions able to drastically change the image of an organization of the Catholic Church in the span of only a year? Why does anime and otaku culture exert such a strong influence over us-especially for us elitist anibloggers, for whom it's significantly affected our lives and hobbies? How does society and culture (as well as our own psyches) lead to, strengthen, and perpetuate these influences? How do influences play off each other?



Since I'm obsessed with anime, and since I love these types of questions, I decided to look into some of the influences present in anime itself. As anime is popular worldwide (it may make up to 50% of all cartoons broadcast worldwide, according to some estimates!) and generally regarded as a big form of Japanese soft power, noticeable influences on the genre are also simultaneously exposed to a global audience. A type of 2nd-order soft power, expressed through anime.