chaostangent

Posts with the “horror” tag

Storm warning

A review of the Yurikuma Arashi anime series

Lesbian Bear Storm (Yurikuma Arashi). Let that title sink in for a bit because as titles go, it’s particularly on the nose. Especially so for director and writer Kunihiko Ikuhara whose previous directorial works - Utena and Penguindrum - relied on a slightly less blatant approach to themes and tone.

represents only the visible part of this Ikuhara iceberg

Blunt force is the order of the day here though because from the repeated character refrains through to the imagery and structure of each episode, this is a series that will bludgeon you with its message rather than hide it subtext and inference. What it lacks in subtlety then, as has become a trait of the director’s anime series, it makes up for in layers and symbolism.

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Maneater

A review of the first series of Tokyo Ghoul

The first thing that will probably strike you about Tokyo Ghoul is the opening. It’s a visually stunning minute and half that blends together vast, impossible skyscapes with cracked glass and twisted reflections of the main cast. It establishes this as a series about duality, about masks and, most of all, about the nature of monsters.

That opening is attached to the second episode and had I baulked at the first episodes’ unrelenting viciousness, I would have missed out on what turned out to be a supremely rich and entertaining series. It definitely isn’t my usual fare. Primarily because of that misanthropic sadism that is more or less the entirety of the opening episodes, reminding me far too keenly of clunkers like Elfen Lied or Brynhildr in the Darkness. Make no mistake though, this isn’t just self-indulgent gruesome violence, it has a purpose that goes miles beyond trying to make the series edgy and “adult”.

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Savage

A review of the first Attack on Titan anime series

First released: April 2013
Version reviewed: TV

I’m going to jump right to it and say that I enjoyed the first series of Attack on Titan.

With that out of the way: the dilemma when talking about something as popular as Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) is that at a certain point you start talking around it, probably about things that can be prefixed with “fan”: be that art, fiction or just vocalness. This isn’t a problem specifically with the anime itself but that the series became an event. It reached critical mass with hype and viewer numbers meaning that if you watched it and were online at the time it first aired, chances are you were taking part in the grand event that was Attack on Titan rather than just watching the show.

looks like a GI Joe doll mated with an angry Christmas elf

The vociferousness of the series’ fans, depending on your viewpoint, is balanced with those rallying against it. Condemning it along with other popular series (Sword Art Online is a common partner) as “baby’s first anime” or for people who don’t know “good” anime. Reductivism would be the easiest retort: oh these sounds and images being interpreted by my brain regress my intellect? But when it comes down to it, I don’t much care about the intelligence of the gladiators on display, as long as they put on a good show. And, for the most part, Attack on Titan does.

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Scotland Loves Anime 2012: Day 1

Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright (Gyakuten Saiban) kicked off the Scotland Loves Anime Glasgow weekend at the Glasgow Film Theatre. An odd choice - a live action film pistol-starting an animation festival - a state of affairs not lost on the imitable Jonathan Clements who provided a brief introduction and set the context for the film.

I was reliably informed by the GFT's staff that the event had sold out, and with nary a spare seat in sight it was a difficult claim to dispute. When it came to the question of who had played the games, nearly everyone's hand in the auditorium shot skyward, myself excluded. A ten minute playtest of the Japanese DS version (which bizarrely had English subtitles) when it came out hardly constituted familiarity with the Phoenix's court-room pointing simulator.

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3 Episode Taste Test: Winter 2011

Spring 2012 is coming, attempting to wrap up Winter 2011.

Aquarion EVOL

This is not the Age of Aquarius. The first series of Aquarion was mediocre at best - surprising really given Yoko Kanno's duties on the soundtrack and the birth of what should have been a decent pop-star in the form of AKINO. EVOL comes after an ill-advised OVA and reboots the premise by retaining the giant robot consisting of separately piloted craft - think Getter Robo except with squeals of orgasmic delight from the female aviators - but amps up the ridiculous factor to eleven. The opening episodes are pleasing in how seriously the show doesn't take itself with a a male protagonist who floats on wings growing from his ankles when he has any naughty thoughts.

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