Category Archives: Anime

Anime Spotlight: My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro is just one of those classic movies that everyone has either seen or is told that they should see. The two most common words I’ve seen to describe it are “quiet” and “gentle”, which isn’t to say that it’s boring. Like the title characters themselves, the movie may be quiet and gentle, but also may be one of the most adorable and endearing things that you will ever see.

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Anime Spotlight: Vampire Hunter D

Not only was Vampire Hunter D one of the first anime released in the U.S., but it was also the first I had ever seen.  Without getting too nostalgic, I had seen VHD on a UHF channel in Chicago that had broadcast anime late Saturday nights, sometimes uncensored even.  It was great, because I not only got to watch something  that was considered one of the first and best of its kind, but I also felt like I was getting away with something.  There was cursing, it was gory, and it had nudity.  I was like a kid in a candy store, if candy stores had excessive gore and animated topless women. Read the rest of this entry

Anime Spotlight: Fist of The North Star

In the late 80’s there were two feature length anime that were theatrically released here in the states.  The 1st, most popular and critically acclaimed was Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira.  The 2nd was The Fist of the North Star.  This movie was based on the manga(or comic, for those of you not hip to the term manga) in Japan known as Hokuto No Ken written by Buronson and illustrated byTetsuo Hara.  The manga dropped in the land of the rising sun in the early 80’s and spanned 27 volumes that collected 245 chapters of the series.  So popular was the series that it spawned a 2 weekly TV anime series in the early to mid  80’s, Hokuto No Ken and Hokuto No Ken 2.  Both series combined are over 250 episodes.  Naturally the TV series was a smash that a 2 hour  feature length anime film was made in Japan in 1986.  The creators developed a very long and deep mythology w/ Hokuto No Ken.  Or as deep as you can get w/an ultra-violent, post-apocalyptic, martial art story about saving the world. Read the rest of this entry

Anime Spotlight: Akira

When you mention Japanese movies to people you get a few reactions. Sometimes you get blank stares. Sometimes you will hear someone talk about how much they love the ultra-violent gory movies that have recently made their way to our part of the world. Maybe you’ll hear someone mention the old samurai movies that used to be shown on American tv. When you mention anime (the genre of animated movies and tv shows from Japan) depending on the age of the person you ask, you might hear about things like Dragon Ball, Bleach or Pokemon. When I think of Japanese movies and anime I think of Akira. One of my favorite movies and what I consider to be the best anime and animated movie of all time.

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New Genre Spotlights

To add to the confusion, we’ve decided to alternate our actor and director spotlights with a genre spotlight.  So every third month we will spotlight a different genre.  This month we are going with “anime”.  Dating back to the sixties, and perfected in the eighties, anime is a true art-form that we’re recognizing this month with, Akira, Fist of The North Star, Vampire Hunter D, and a surprise fourth film, so surprising, even I don’t know what it is.