I was thinking this morning — Saturday morning, to be exact — how I missed the event nature of Saturday morning cartoons when I was a kid. Sure, it’s awesome to have everything on demand now — I never watch anything that airs live these days, unless it’s something that’s newsworthy or event-like (like when I watched the Oscars recently) — but there was something special and exciting about waking up on Saturday mornings and getting to watch a bunch of cartoons, at a time when you didn’t have 24-hour cartoon networks, or even much airing at any other time (I think after school cartoons started being a thing more in the late 80s and 90s). So I’ve decided to create my own Saturday morning cartoon block — the “Saturday Morning Cartoon Cavalcade” — in which I’ll rotate 4-5 shows that I’ll watch as a block on Saturday mornings. I’m not including any anime, because those shows tend to be more adult-oriented and not really the kind of thing I want to watch first thing in the morning — and besides, anime was never part of the Saturday morning cartoon experience for me. My launch lineup is going to be comprised of the following series: Samurai Jack, Star Wars Rebels, Tangled (which debuts later this month, but the TV movie that aired last week was great), Trollhunters, and The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show. Join me!
The title of this post is literally the name of the new compilation that brings together highlights from Yasuharu Konishi’s drama soundtrack work over the past decade — the joke is that it often ends up being used as background music in variety shows as well. I quite like the Debusen soundtrack he did last year (even though I’ve never watched the series), and so I imagine this is something I’d quite like too. You’ll find more details on the release in this post over at Tokyo’s Coolest Sound. Also of interest, this new compilation by DJ Hasebe, Butter Smooth – Tokyo 90’s Groove, which Patrick says is Shibuya-Kei centric.
There’s a fascinating short documentary streaming on NHK World right now covering the work of Japan’s Game Preservation Society. Called “Game Preservation – The Quest,” it goes through all aspects of their work, from collecting, restoring, and also sharing — and it also has great animated pixelated sequences between sections, produced by Daisuke “Pixel” Amaya (Cave Story, Kero Blaster). Part of NHK World’s Inside Lens series, it will only be available online until December 11, so watch it while you can (the web stream didn’t work for me, but I watched it through the NHK World app on Apple TV). Found via Gamasutra.
Although I’m still pretty busy watching the series that I mentioned being interested in my 2016 fall anime post, I’m already curious and excited to see what’s coming up next. Thankfully, AniChart already has a pretty good look at what we can expect to see during the 2017 winter season, and here’s what I’m already thinking I’ll be checking out (based on what little info I have).
ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ku
I’m pretty much just interested in this based on the overall art direction. It does sound like a neat political drama set in an alternate reality. Could be uninteresting, but I’ll check out the first episode.
Granblue Fantasy: The Animation
I’ve never played the uber popular mobile game this is based on, but I like the character art, and I’m curious to see what this is like. I don’t expect I’ll be watching a lot of it, but I’ll definitely be checking out the pilot.
There’s very little info on this series — and especially no trailer or screenshots yet — but the description sounds interesting to me, of a historical drama set during the Edo period, following a main character who goes after robbers/arsonists.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
I’m still in the process of catching up on this series, watching the first season, and still really enjoying it. The second season that started in the fall continues over winter.
There are also three anime movies I’m interested to see: Gyakusatsu Kikan (Genocidal Organ), Hiruna Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari (a film Christophe Ferreira is involved in), and Lupin the Third: Chikemuri no Ichikawa Goemon.
Update: Here are my thoughts after watching the first 2 episodes of ACCA, Onihi Hankacho, and Granblue Fantasy The Animation.
If you’ve watched the excellent documentary about Studio Ghibli, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, then you already know that director Hayao Miyazaki isn’t the easiest of people to work with/for, and a recent NHK documentary shows that, well, he hasn’t changed much. This Kotaku article does a great job of sharing some of the highlights from the program, which also includes Miyazaki learning to use a computer for animation, and some talk on a new feature film he’d like to make.
As I mentioned in my post about re-watching The Castle of Cagliostro, it got my in a Lupin mood, and so after watching a bit from the early shows I’ve now settled on watching a series that aired last year. Simply called Lupin the Third, it’s considered the fifth Lupin series, and is set in Italy — it even first aired in Italy, where it has the subtitle The Italian Adventure. The animation for it is really beautiful, and it feels classic, with a great soundtrack and the portrayals of the characters as you’d expect. I’m quite enjoying it so far, and look forward to watching the whole thing (there are 26 episodes).
I’ve been meaning to mention this series for a while now, that I’ve really enjoyed on Netflix. Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories is a wonderful series that sees a rotating cast of characters (with a few regulars, and fun cameos by Jo Odagiri) as they pop up at a bar/diner that only opens from midnight to the early morning. The stories are fun — and sad — and so very Japanese, to a point where I wonder how the show is taken in by a non-Japanese audience (it’s available on Netflix around the world). For example, one episode revolves around an old comedian and his kohai (disciple), and the story revolves around the relationship between the two (expectations by the sempai, or master). There were seasons of this (or at least one, under the name Shinya Shokudo) done before it was picked up by Netflix, and I really want to watch those as well.
As I continue to go through my site archives to fix posts, I’ve now hit 2008, and came across this post that pointed to a big feature by Matt Alt on Macross, that he had written for Neojaponisme. Since I’m currently in the process of watching The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, I thought I’d share this again (and I’ve bookmarked it to re-read it).
And speaking of Neojaponisme, although the site isn’t active like it used to be, stay tuned because that’s where David will be sharing his upcoming reviews of the Pizzicato Five discography (that I had mentioned here).
Have 9 hours to spare? How about spending it watching a 9-hour long video tour of Tokyo, following a man who is walking in reverse the whole time, but with the video presented in reverse. I’ve only scanned parts of it, and it’s strangely mesmerizing to watch. Found via Tokyo Soup.
I recently discovered a really great show on NHK World called Design Talks Plus. Each episode covers a different aspect of design, with a main guest who talks on the subject — for the recent episode on “Icons,” the guest was noted creative director Kashiwa Sato. The latest episode is a good one too, looking at the urban renewal currently happening in Shibuya, and includes an interview with artist Akira Yamaguchi, whose art I’ve always really loved (and I used to have an awesome t-shirt with his art on it, that I wore to death).
I watch NHK World through its app on Apple TV, and although it’s great that you can watch past episodes on-demand, they unfortunately only seem to share the last 2 episodes, and I’d really love to watch the rest of the series.