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The Cat in the Coffin – Mariko Koike (2009): Review

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Mariko Koike is one of Japan’s best known women writers, having built a reputation on the popularity of her romance and detective novels, short stories and essays. While winning critical and commercial acclaim in Japan, along with a string of award, she has of yet failed to gain popularity outside her home country, mainly due to the obvious language barriers. Which is way I was particularly interested when publishers Vertical Inc sent me a copy of her first novel to be translated into English, The Cat in the Coffin.

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before you die features Links > Anime & Manga noobs reviews TV

Ten anime series you should see before you die

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First off I’d just like to say a huge thank you to everyone that read my list of ten anime films you should see before you die – the response has been phenomenal – not just the number of people that read it, but also those that took the time out to get involved in the following discussion at Reddit, Stumbleupon, Twitter as well as here on TMB. Some people loved my selections, some people thought I was well off the mark, but it was clear that there was no way I was going to be able to avoid putting together another list, this time of TV series and OVAs.

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akira art Blu-ray Katsuhiro Otomo Links > Anime & Manga manga movies reviews

Akira (1988): Blu-ray review

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It’s very hard to underestimate the global impact of Katsuhiro Otomo’s film adaptation of his own, epic manga Akira. It broke box office records when it opened in Japan, and along with Ghibli Oscar winner Spirited Away it is probably the anime film most western ‘non-fans’ have seen. For many of my generation it is a much treasured and personally important film and, without resorting to hyperbole, one that the first viewing of was a life-changing experience, akin to watching Star Wars, 2001 or Blade Runner for the first time.

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Kenji Kawai Links > Anime & Manga Madhouse movies oshii Patlabor politics Production IG reviews science fiction The Sky Crawlers

The Sky Crawlers (2008): Review

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If you’ve read this site before, or even just glanced over it’s archives, then my appreciation and admiration of director Mamoru Oshii is clearly laid out. As such it would seem not only redundant but also somewhat self indulgent to elaborate further on my love of his tense political sci-fi dramas Ghost in the Shell and Patlabor, or his low budget, live action masterpiece Avalon. Ever since his latest feature film The Sky Crawlers was first announced I have been gripped with excitement and anticipation – although, as always, resigned to the long wait us western fans must endure before we are granted an audience. This week that wait finally ended, and putting aside my deep rooted fanboy allegiances for just under two hours, I was able to sit down and see if anime’s most esteemed auteur could still deliver the goods.

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Bones Japan Links > Anime & Manga Masahiro Ando movies reviews Samurai

Sword of the Stranger (2007): Review

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As you have probably already guessed from the title, Sword of the Stranger is a Samurai action (or chanbara チャンバラ) movie, and the feature film debut of Masahiro Ando, who’s previous directorial work includes the TV series Canaan as well as being a key animator on projects such as Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in The Shell and Planetes. It’s an impressive CV, no doubt about it, and one that means expectations from both the industry and fans are high.

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Ghost in the Shell 2.0 (2008): Review

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Some of you might remember my concern back in June when I first reported on Production IG’s planned visual update to Oshii’s 1995 classic Ghost in the Shell. Well, the Blu-ray of GiTS 2.0 (not to be confused with GiTS 2: Innocence, which will also be referred to a lot in this piece) hit Japanese stores a few weeks ago, and via sources that I’m not at liberty to identify I have managed to get my hands on a preview copy – months before the (still yet to be confirmed) UK release. So it was that I found myself, on the first morning of 2009, sitting down to watch one of my favourite movies of all time again, but instead of being filled with the usual satisfying feeling of anticipation, I was gripped with something nearer to dread.

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cities comics Links > Anime & Manga movies reviews watchmen

Tekkon Kinkreet (2007): Review

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I finally got to sit down and watch Michael Aris’ ‘Tekkon Kinkreet’ on Blu-Ray this weekend. Coming to the movie completely cold – not having read Taiyō Matsumoto’s original manga, and knowing little about the production’s genesis, I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t until I sat down to start writing this review and did a little bit of background research online that I discovered the fanboy shit-storm surrounding the film’s release.

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