This week’s Samurai Jack was so good on so many fronts, from the callbacks to old episodes (when meeting up with beings that had been saved by Jack) as well as the return of Jack to take arms, but my favorite sequence was the club/rave part — dance, baby, dance. Tangled was fine, and I watched another couple of Mickey Mouse shorts (“Flipperboobootosis” and “Trapped Out”) that were fine too, and I’m now coming close to the end of the first season of shorts. I capped it off with another classic Looney Tunes short, this time “Baseball Bugs” (pictured). Cartoons are awesome.
I watched this fantastic Lupin the Third film over the weekend, Goemon Ishikawa’s Spray of Blood (Chikemuri no Ishikawa Goemon) that tells the tale of how Lupin and his crew met up with Goemon. It’s a more adult take on the series, and features much tenser action than I’m used to seeing in Lupin stuff — think more along the lines of the animated sequence in Kill Bill — and I absolutely loved it. Great action, great character moments, and what made me even happier is that I later realized that it follows a Jigen movie from a few years ago, which itself is a follow-up to The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna) series that I remember hearing about when it came out, but never saw — I watched the first episode and it was killer.
We binged the entirety of this series today (12 episodes), which is based on a book by Yukito Ayatsuji, who is my wife’s favorite author (and I read his mystery novel The Decagon House Murders not too long ago). Ayatsuji is better known for his mystery novels, but this story is horror, although there’s certainly a mystery surrounding the whole affaire, which is capped with an ending I didn’t guess (same as Decagon). It’s a fantastic series, beautifully animated (while quite gruesome at certain points), with an opening theme song that is just insanely weird (and kinda suits the series). Highly recommended.
The latest Mori megaplex finally opened its doors earlier this week in Ginza, and it’s looking swanky. In terms of branding, what Murakami did for Roppongi Hills, Ginza Six instead gets a dotted Yayoi Kusama treatment. Take a look at a few of the highlights from Time Out Tokyo — the rooftop terrace is supposed to be pretty great.
If the Muji Hut isn’t mobile enough for you, how about Kengo Kuma‘s Jyubako for Snow Peak? The bare bones trailer home is actually a bit more expensive than Muji’s offering, at 3.5 million yen, and to me looks a bit too utilitarian. I’ll take a Muji Hut, thanks. More details in this Spoon & Tamago post.
Today (Saturday, April 22) is Record Store Day, and as you’d expect, over at Tokyo’s Coolest Sound, Patrick has put together a massive post highlighting all of the best releases you should be on the lookout for in Japan.
I really like the illustrative work of Riku Machida — nice clean lines. Found via Canvas.
What’s Katsuhiro Otomo up to these days? His latest project is definitely and eye-opening one. Called Inside Babel, it’s a recreation of Bruegel’s famous The (Little) Tower of Babel painting, but done with a large portion cut out. More info here. I also wasn’t aware that he had created this mural for the Sendai Airport back in 2015.
I want a Muji Hut. Sure, it’s rather pricey at 3 million yen (around $30,000), which includes the construction costs, but still, I imagine this little thing somewhere on a mountain, to relax in. They go on sale this fall (Japan only).
Maki Nomiya is releasing a new record in her “Shibuya-kei Standards” series, in which she covers classics of the era — including some new renditions of Pizzicato Five track — and this one is perfectly timed for the summer. Vacances Shibuya-kei o utau – Wonderful Summer is set for release on May 3, and you’ll find more details, including a trailer video, in this Tokyo’s Coolest Sound post.