The Reverse Thieves are a blogging duo made up of the stylish Narutaki and the indomitable Hisui. With a detective theme they report on and analyze all aspects of anime and manga fandom with the hope to promote critical analysis and an overall love of Japanese pop culture. Their complementary eclectic tastes, over all positive attitude, and emphasis on character studies make their reviews a unique voice in the blogging community. The duo can frequently be found puttering around East Coast anime conventions and presenting panels on a wide variety of subjects. They also like to orchestrate large-scale projects that bring together various elements of the blogosphere and the fan community including the Otaku Diaries and the Secret Santa Project. You can visit them at http://www.reversethieves.com.
This Saturday I’m off to Thailand, for some much needed relaxing, culture and raving on the beach at the Full Moon Party. Hopefully I won’t be bumping into our friend Sagat, above. Good news though is you won’t be going without content here – quite the opposite in fact. My call for guest writers before Christmas had an amazing response, with the result that some of my favourite bloggers have contributed some really exciting posts to keep you entertained in my absence. To whet your appetite here’s a schedule of what you can expect:
Fernando Ramos is Editor-in-Chief of Anime3000.com. Hailing from beautiful San Diego, California, his incurable addiction to cartoons has led him to his current residence of Saitama, Japan, where staying up late winter nights editing articles only reminds him that SD would never get this cold. An avid photography and video fan, he also produces occasional videos and he also writes the photography/rant column Japan Jumble for the site. Find him as Saitamarama on Flickr and HelloNavi on Twitter.
A bit off-topic, but I know lots of you got a kick out of the Totoro cupcakes my better half made earlier in the year. Well, she’s been at it again. My birthday is Christmas Eve, but we tend to celebrate with friends a few days early for obvious reasons – so this weekend she magically produced these amazing looking Pac-Man cupcakes. Enjoy the photos – and yeah, they did taste as good as they looked.
It’s not even Christmas yet, but for me 2010 has already got off to a good start. January 1st sees the publication of my story Havana Augmented – a tale of globalization, celebrity gamers, augmented reality and non-existent mech battles. If you have an interest in video games, science fiction or anime then hopefully you’ll enjoy it – you can check out a brief extract below.
The name Natsuhiko Kyogoku is probably unfamiliar to most anime fans, but the novelist has already had one of his works adapted – Madhouse’s 2008 series Mōryō no Hako – with a second, Loups-Garous, being adapted into a movie by Production IG and due for release in 2010. An expert in Japanese folklore tales and yōkai, the supernatural creatures that inhabit them, Kyogoku-san is best known in Japan for his award winning mystery novels. Unfamiliar with his work myself until now, I was intrigued when US publisher Vertical Inc sent me a review copy of his debut novel – and the first to be translated into English – The Summer of The Ubume.
stupid lucky enough this Friday to make the 400+ mile round journey up north to the Leeds International Film Festival for the day. Given the length of the journey and the insane price of train tickets here in the UK that might seem a bit excessive to catch a couple of movies, but the festival’s anime weekend was being kicked off by an unmissable double bill. First off was Mamoru Oshii’s lost, experimental classic Angel’s Egg (more on that to follow), being shown in the UK for the first time in over 20 years, but the real incentive for me was to see the UK premiere of Momoru Hosoda’s latest blockbuster Summer Wars.
It’s hard to walk down a street in urban Tokyo without being reminded of the ever-present earthquake threat. Large signs on nearly every street notify you of emergency procedures and direct you to evacuation points. While it is undoubtedly drowned out by the background noise and visual blur for the average Tokyo resident, for a tourist it can seem quite startling or disturbing at first, and feel like health and safety overkill. Until, that is, someone points out to you that experts predict there is 70% or higher chance of an earthquake measuring 7.0 magnitude on the Richter scale hitting Tokyo in the next 30 years. It’s a terrifying situation for an urban population that large, and one that forms the basis for Studio Bones and Kinema Citrus’ eleven part series Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
More information on Mamoru Oshii’s upcoming live-action flick Assault Girls have emerged, this time via the film’s official Japanese language website. Finally we have a clue to what is going on in that crazy trailer showing girls-with-guns fighting sand-whales, and it’s pretty damn exciting. Based on Google Translate and my most trusted of Japan based operatives Fernando Ramos it seems that the film is set in the same world as Oshii’s sublime live-action movie Avalon – that is to say it appears to be set around another massively multiplayer, virtual reality video game. In fact, the text seems to be suggesting it’s a new, or different, version of the game from the earlier film, known as ‘Avalon (f)’.
Not strictly anime I know – but the marketing people think you guys might be interested in seeing this, and I can see why. Shane Acker and Tim Burton’s dark looking CGI movie 9 opens here in the UK on October 28th, and below you can catch the trailer in HD. A post apocalyptic Pinocchio-style tale of sentient rag-dolls, it kind of reminds me of Takashi Nakamura’s (Akira, Nausicaa) A Tree of Palme at first glance. Worth checking out.