I was quite looking forward to watching this documentary series that just debuted on Netflix this weekend, following the tease from Scott Dadich in the latest issue of Wired (Dadich is Executive Producer on the series). I watched the first episode, covering one of my favorite illustrators, Christoph Niemann. It’s really well done, with slick animation used throughout to highlight the work, and I love the mix of interviews and staging to illustrate a point. Can’t wait to watch the rest.
“Chicano” is a short documentary by Louis Ellison and Jacob Hodgkinson that looks at the similarities and differences between Chicano (Mexican American) culture in America and in Japan. It was shot in Tokyo and Osaka.
The latest episode of Toco Toco TV covers pro gamer Fuudo, and for me it’s an especially nostalgic episode as most of it is set in Ikebukuro — where I lived for around 13 years — and shows off the arcades I spent a lot of time in while working on the Arcade Mania book.
Here’s a beautiful little short (wish it was longer) about visiting manga creator Takao Yaguchi (Tsurikichi Sanpei) in his hometown of Yokote, in Akita prefecture. It was in part produced by Anne Ferrero (Branching Paths, Toco Toco TV).
The first episode of Toco Toco TV for 2017 is up, and it features mangaka unit UME. Also, the description on the page teases that the next episode will be about pro gamer Fuudo.
Even though I have a big amount of respect for the series, I don’t actually have that much experience with Dragon Quest games – the first one I played was DQ8 on PS2, and then I played a bit of DQ9 on DS, but didn’t get super far in it. This year I played a bunch of Dragon Quest Heroes, and liked it for what it was (Dynasty Warriors-like with more RPG elements and pretty graphics), and then played the Dragon Quest Builders demo. So after all of this, it was a couple of days ago when I watched a recent documentary from NHK about the series (in celebration of its 30th anniversary) that I just got in the mood to go and play the very first game, which I had bought for iOS a while back, but hadn’t really played much. I started the game again, and 2-3 hours later I was still playing. Two days later, I’ve reached the final castle, and am just in need of a bit more grinding before I’m ready to face the final boss. And yes, I’ve already bought Dragon Quest II (the DQ games on iOS are currently on sale). As for the quality of the iOS version, I’m not crazy about using a virtual pad to move around, but I do find it convenient to play (I’m playing on iPhone this time), and I’ve gotten used to it.
You may recall the wonderful 100 Views of Tokyo illustrated book by Shinji Tsuchimochi, that I mentioned here a while back. It’s quite nice to see Tsuchimochi get even more coverage courtesy of the latest episode of Toco Toco TV.
Of Love & Law is a documentary series that will cover the work of a Tokyo-based law firm specializing in LGBT cases (the firm’s founders are openly gay). It’s currently looking for funding through Kickstarter. Found via Spoon & Tamago.
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.
I haven’t posted about Toco Toco recently, but it continues to be one of my favorite web series, and so let me remind you that you should really check it out if you’re on the lookout for a beautifully produced series of documentary shorts covering Tokyo creatives. The last 3 episodes cover accessory designer KAE, fashion designer Nukeme, and animator ShiShi Yamazaki (pictured). And here’s also a reminder that director Anne Ferrero is also behind this year’s excellent feature documentary about the Japanese indie game scene, Branching Paths.