It's been busy on this end (to put it mildly). Real life decided to take a crowbar not only to me but a few other people real close to me, so I've been doing what I can to make sure they keep on keepin' on as well.
Meanwhile, here's a few things that crossed my desk while real life was delivering a beat-down:
The live-action version of Osamu Tezuka's MW is coming out in Japan on DVD. The stills from it make it look very ... I dunno, J-poppy, which I'm learning may be one of the inevitable forms of dumbing-down that any material might experience when being adapted for live-action in Japan. But color me curious, and this just reminds me that I still haven't seen 20th Century Boys yet.
A bunch of shows not yet released on DVD have showed up at FUNimation's streaming site. Among them:
- Dance in the Vampire Bund: Adapted from the manga of the same name which I thought was decent without being a must-have. The TV show, on the other hand, takes a pretty creative approach to the material (at least in the first couple of episodes), so consider my curiosity piqued for now.
- Oh! Edo Rocket: This looks like a quirky treasure. Instead of just doing a straight historical piece, they took some period tropes and twisted them — into balloon animals, no less. I'm hoping this one sustains its loopy energy and creativity all the way through.
- Last Exile: Another "lost" title from Geneon, now getting the FUNi reissue treatment. Those of you who love this new-fangled "Punk-Steam" stuff, eat up — and grab the live-action Casshern afterwards if you haven't already; you'll faint when you get a whiff of that.
- Speed Grapher: I once described this, none too precisely, as what might have resulted if David Lynch had directed an anime series. It's gory, grim, raunchy, funny, crazy and a bunch more adjectives I can't think of right now.
- Spice and Wolf: What starts off looking like pure sleaze turns out to be one of the smarter and more intriguingly-constructed shows of recent years. Mini-economy lessons wrapped up in a story that is an embodiment of the old adage "A cynic is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing." Do yourself a favor and take the plunge on this one: it's in something of the same category as a show like Mushi-shi.
- Baccano!: Godfather meets Highlander meets someone who locked themselves in the Avid booth after mistakenly gulping a 50/50 of Red Bull and Mt. Dew. Works best in big doses. Watch as much of the series at once and it's immensely rewarding. Watch it one slice at a time and you'll just be shaking your head and rewinding back to the last few minutes of the previous episode every single time to remind yourself what the hell was going on.
- Casshern Sins: What promised to be a classy retelling of a classic series (c'mon, anything that spawns that cool of a live-action movie has to be Roots, right?!) has turned out to be a bunch of posturing and moping in search of a story. Maybe I'll be more impressed when I can watch the whole thing as one piece, but so far only the most die-hard fans should bother. Fans of what, is another story.