This article was first published in Protoculture Addicts #94 (Nov.-Dec. 2007): 21-27. It was celebrating the 20th anniversary of the magazine. For this version, I have added a few details and corrections, and I have omitted some illustrations (but added some new ones), as well as removed the sidebars (Uh?! for episodes 1-6, Top Uh?!, Where are they now) and the articles’ index that were part of the original article.
It might be hard to believe, but this magazine has been in publication for twenty years. I, myself, am amazed by this fact. Twenty years already? It didn’t feel that long. But, yeah, I’ve spent nearly half my life working on Protoculture Addicts, and I don’t regret a single moment of it. Like any anniversary, it makes me nostalgic (well, the fact that I am listening to soundtracks from Macross, Mospeada and Robotech while writing this certainly add to this feeling). It makes me think of the good ol’ years, of friends that I have not seen in a long time. But there’s no time for melancholy— anniversaries need to be celebrated! In the past, when I wanted to do a special issue, I usually added more colour.
Unfortunately, I cannot do that now since we are already full-colour and we are still not big enough to add goodies like a free DVD. However, I quickly realized that the best way to celebrate the magazine was to tell you its story. I am sure that, once you know a little more about where it’s coming from, you’ll better appreciate the magazine. After all, it started like an episode of Comic Party or Doujin Work—a crazy idea in the mind of a bunch of idle college kids. So please, gather around, be quiet (gee, I feel like Uncle Carl when he was telling one of his anecdotes), and listen to this very special anime story…
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The 22nd edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival will be held in Montreal from July 12th to August 2nd 2018. It specializes in animated and live-action genre cinema (fantasy, horror, action, science-fiction, etc.), but mostly horror and asian action movies. It will open with Daniel Roby’s “Dans la brume” (a Canada-France co-production). As usual, the festival will be offering “over 125 features and 220 shorts, featuring the premieres of more than 100 cutting-edge visions from across the world.”
The asian movies line-up (our main interest here) includes eight movies from China (six from Hong Kong), twenty-four from South-Korea, one from Vietnam and, of course, twenty-eight from Japan (including six anime). Here’s the list of Japanese movies:
- Aragne: Sign of Vermillion (2018, Saku Sakamoto, 75 mins) [IMDb, Vimeo]
- Fireworks (2017, Akiyuki Shinbo & Noboyuki Takeuchi, 89 mins) adapted from the mid-’90s live-action TV series created by Shunji Iwai. [Vimeo, Wikipedia]
- Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms (2018, Mari Okada, 115 mins) [Youtube, Wikipedia]
- Penguin Highway (2018, Hiroyasu Ishida, 120 mins) adaptation of a novel by Tomihiko Morimi. [Youtube, Wikipedia]
- Violence Voyager (2017, Ujicha, 83 mins) [IMDb, Vimeo]
- Walking Meat (2018, Shinya Sugai, 21 mins) presented with Aragne: Sign of Vermillion.
- Ajin: Demi-Human (2017, Katsuyuki Motohiro, 109 mins) adapted from Gamon Sakurai’s manga series. [AsianWiki, Youtube, Wikipedia]
- Amiko (2017, Yoko Yamanaka, 66 mins)
- Being Natural (2018, Tadashi Nagayama, 96 mins) [IMDb, Vimeo]
- Bleach (2018, Shinsuke Sato, 108 mins) adapted from Tite Kubo’s popular manga. [AsianWiki]
- Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura (2017, Takashi Yamazaki, 129 mins) adaptation of a manga by Ryohei Saigan. [AsianWiki, IMDb, Wikipedia, Dailymotion]
- Hanagatami (2017, Nobuhiko Obayashi, 169 mins) adapted from Kazuo Dan‘s novel. [AsianWiki]
- I am a Hero (2016, Shinsuke Sato, 147 mins) based on Kengo Hanazawa’s manga. [AsianWiki]
- Inuyashiki (2018, Shinsuke Sato, 127 mins) [AsianWiki]
- KASANE -Beauty and Fate- (2018, Yuichi Sato, 110 mins) adapted from Daruma Matsuura’s manga. [AsianWiki]
- Laplace’s Witch (2018, Takashi Miike, 116 mins) Based on a novel by Keigo Higashino. [AsianWiki]
- Laughing Under the Clouds (2018, Katsuyuki Motohiro, 94 mins) adapted from Karakara-Kemuri’s manga. [AsianWiki]
- LOUDER! Can’t Hear What You’re Singin’, Wimp (2018, Satoshi Miki, 106 mins) [AsianWiki]
- One Cut of the Dead (2017, Shinichiro Ueda, 96 mins) [IMDb, Nikkatsu, Youtube]
- Punk Samurai Slash Down (2018, Gakuryu Ishii, 130 mins) adaptation of Ko Machida’s 2004 novel. [AsianWiki]
- River’s Edge (2018, Isao Yukisada, 118 mins) adapted from Kyoko Okazaki’s manga. [AsianWiki]
- Rokuroku: The Promise of the Witch (2017, Yudai Yamaguchi, 91 mins) co-written by Keita Amemiya! [AsianWiki]
- Room Laundering (2018, Kenji Katagiri, 109 mins) [AsianWiki]
- Tokyo Vampire Hotel (2017, Sion Sono, 142 mins) [IMDb, Wikipedia, Youtube]
- Tornado Girl (2017, Hitoshi Ône, 100 mins) based on Shibuya Chokaku’s manga series. [IMDb, AsianWiki]
- The Travelling Cat Chronicles (2018, Kôichirö Miki, 118 mins) adapted from a novel by Hiro Arikawa. [AsianWiki, IMDb]
- Tremble All You Want (2017, Akiko Ohku, 117 mins) adapted from Risa Wataya‘s novel. [AsianWiki, IMDb, Youtube]
- Wilderness, Part 1-2 (2017, Yoshiyuki Kishi, 304 mins) adaptation of Shuji Terayama’s 1966 novel. [AsianWiki 1, AsianWiki 2]
It is interesting to note that a large majority of those movies are manga or novel adaptations. I am particularly interested in seeing The Travelling Cat Chronicles and Tremble All You Want — unfortunately I don’t have time to attend the festival… Check the festival website for more details (description, cast & crew info, schedule, location, etc).
Update: You can read a comment (in French) by Claude R. Blouin on some of those movies, “Sept fantaisies japonaises au festival Fantasia 2018” (Shomingeki)
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Que ce soit en déballant des boites de nouveautés à la bibliothèque, en bouquinant dans une librairie ou en parcourant les nombreux dédales de l’internet je fais souvent la découverte de nouveautés littéraires qui m’avaient jusqu’alors échappées. Et généralement, je m’empresse de les partager avec vous.
Dans ce cas-ci, j’ai découvert le premier titre grâce à une entrée sur la page facebook de l’auteure. Les deux autres, je les ai découvert en feuilletant le dernier numéro du magazine Animeland. Le dernier je l’ai découvert sur le site de l’éditeur…
Découvrez-les après le saut de page >>
AnimeLand est le 1er magazine français sur l’animation japonaise et internationale, les mangas et tout l’univers otaku en France. C’est probablement le meilleurs magazine du genre à l’extérieur du Japon. Dans chaque numéro on nous offre des dossiers sur les anime, les mangas et les jeux vidéos qui se sont récemment démarqués. On y retrouve aussi des portraits et des interviews avec des artisans du milieu (seiyu, animateurs, etc.), ainsi que des actualités et commentaires sur les parutions récentes. Pour le contenu détaillé de chaque numéro, vous pouvez consulter le site du magazine: animeland.fr.
I recently stumbled on a couple of interviews I did in 2003-2004 when I was editor-in-chief for a magazine dedicated to Japanese popular culture (mostly anime and manga). It is strange to reminisce about this period of my life but I thought it would be amusing to share them with you here.
The first interview was done online with a couple of high-school students for a school assignment. It was done in French but I also translated it in English :
The second one was done with Fred Patten for an article in Comics Buyer’s Guide :
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Last September I wrote an essay on the “Subtile art of writing a review/commentary” (in French, but it is also available in a machine-translated English version). It is an essay I wanted to write for a long time, explaining how I was approaching the writing of a book or movie review — which I did for twenty years for a magazine. The funny thing is that I discovered a few weeks ago that I had already written that article in 2009 (in English) and forgot about it! I was checking out some old hard drives looking for something and stumble upon this article that I had written for a special issue (PAX #3) of the magazine I was working for, but we stop publication before it was released. It is based on the guidelines I wrote for our staff writers. My views on how to write a review have not change much since then. I thought it would be interesting to share it with the readers of this blog.
Reviewing a media product (wether it is a book, a manga, an anime series or a live-action movie) might seems an easy task, but in reality it is far from being simple. In fact, we are all doing it when we express an opinion to friends, but it is usually done in an emotional and very imprecise manner: “it was so bad, man” or “it was really cool.” In opposition, a professional reviewer—someone who does it for a living—must do his/her best to remain objective, precise and rigorous.
I admit that, if I always try to be an objective and precise reviewer, I am rarely rigorous. I am lazy and tend to keep my reviews short, introducing the subject and expressing my opinion in the most elementary manner. Today everybody is a critic as they can easily post what they think of this or that on their blog , but what makes the appraisal of a professional reviewer more interesting and valuable is experience. I’ve spent about two decades watching videos or films and reading books related to the subjects I review. I have therefore developped a methodology to assess the subject, an understanding of its workings and a set of criteria that—I hope—better equip me to examine and judge a particular media product.
In this article I have attempted to explain how I approach the writing of a review, what I think a review should be and what aspects of a medium I take in consideration when writing a review. I wanted to talked about this for a long time as I think it can offer interesting insights to both our readers and would-be reviewers.
First, there is two types of reviews: the basic or elementary review (the one I tend to favour) and the exhaustive review.
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James Cameron had been talking about this project for a long time and now it seems that it is finally a reality! Cameron is writing and producing; Robert Rodriguez (Sin City) is directing. The cast includes Rosa Salazar (Alita), Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley, and Keean Johnson. It is scheduled for release on July 20, 2018. The teaser/trailer is available now on Youtube:
It is, of course, based on Yukito Kishiro’s manga Gunnm (銃夢 / Ganmu / lit. “gun dream”) which was translated in America as Battle Angel Alita. It was originally published in Japan by Shueisha in Business Jump magazine between 1990 and 1995, and was compiled in nine tankōbon (but republished later by Kodansha). The English version is published by Kodansha USA and the French version by Glénat. There was an animation adaptation in 1993.
Interesting facts: Cameron was first inspired by the manga when he created the TV series Dark Angel in 2000. Also, it seems that the main character will be entirely CGI animated and that Rosa Salazar is playing the role through motion-capture.
It looks quite interesting and visually faithful to the original. I can’t wait to see it and hope I won’t be disappointed.
Sources: AnimeLand, ICv2, IMdB, Wikipedia.
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