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.
I watched the first episode of the new Atom: The Beginning series, which acts as a prequel to Atom (or Astroboy). Can’t say that this first episode super hooked me, although it is neat to see young Ochanomizu and Tenma interacting as young researchers. I’m open to giving it another episode or two though, to see where they go with it.
My buddy Matt Alt wrote a great piece for The New Yorker about the arrival of Your Name — a film I loved to death — to North America.
You probably don’t need any extra incentive to visit the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo, but I sure would like to drop by in the coming year to check out the yearlong food exhibition (from May 27). More details in this Spoon & Tamago post.
I haven’t had a chance to dig into these yet, but the Film Center at Tokyo’s National Museum of Modern Art has posted 64 classic shorts — basically, examples from the birth of animation in Japan — online. More details in this article from The Hollywood Reporter.
I was in the mood to start watching another old anime series, and remembering how much I enjoyed watching Future Boy Conan last year, I dug up another old Hayao Miyazaki series in the form of Sherlock Hound (or Meitantei Holmes). Miyazaki only wrote/directed the first 6 episodes before moving on (because of issues with the Doyle estate that halted production for a while), but I’m looking forward to going through all 26 episodes. I just watched the first episode this morning, and it’s deliciously Miyazaki in style and tone.
I loved the first season of this series — slickly animated mech action set in my favorite Gundam era, with a jazz soundtrack. They’re doing a second OVA season, with the first episode out, and I loved it. It’s basically more of what we got from the first season, but on a larger scale (the first season felt a bit more intimate in terms of setting). Looking forward to the rest of the season.
Just over a week ago, on a Sunday, my wife and I binged the entire season of this series in one day. It’s based on a mystery novel by Hiroshi Mori, one of Japan’s celebrated mystery authors, and it’s one of my wife’s favorites novels, and so when we found out that there was an anime adaptation (dating to a couple of years ago), we decided to check it out, and were hooked on watching the whole thing. It’s a great mystery, and the solution was quite interesting, and one I didn’t manage to guess. Highly recommended if you’re into mystery.
I mentioned last year really wanting to see the movie Hirune Hime (seems that the official English title is now Ancien and the Magic Tablet), and here’s a review of the film over at Time Out Tokyo. Considering that it’s directed by Kenji Kamiyama, who was behind Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Eden of the East, two series I quite like, I’m definitely in for this.