PopRockMetal Gods: A Look at Visual Kei

Versailles

It’s not easy to pin down a musical movement without referring to a genre of sound. Be it pop, rock or metal, visual kei has at one point or another been involved in all of these yet at the same time can be defined by none of them. This stems from the fact that visual kei – literally ‘visual style’ or ‘visual system’ – is as the name suggests not a musical genre but rather an aesthetic one. Even then, the style can be incredibly diverse, making it notoriously difficult to define. Read More

Anime Taste Testing: Summer 2013 (Part II)

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Summer is rolling on, and with the majority of new anime I’m keeping track of this season once again being between 11 and 13 episodes in length, it’s time to check in with them again now that we’ve reached the rough halfway point. It’s been a particularly rewarding season so far for comedy and moe fans, while more serious fare has taken a back seat – with numerous ‘cute girls doing cute things’ type shows making a strong showing in the new line-up, there have been comparatively few darker titles. So, which anime have I changed my mind on since first episode impressions HERE, and which have remained exactly the same? Let’s top up the water bottle, crank up the aircon and find out. Read More

Manga and Anime Demographics

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For today’s Otaku Lounge, I’d like to take a step back from discussing specific anime titles and go with something more accessible to newer anime fans, by taking a (very brief, very generalised) look at the roots of modern manga and anime and its five core audience demographics – namely kodomo (children’s), shounen (boys), shoujo (girls), seinen (men’s), and josei (women’s) works.

While manga as we understand it today came about during Japan’s Occupation years, it was not until the 1950s that the solidification of these main demographics began to occur. Of course, there are plenty of girls and women who read and watch shounen and seinen manga and anime, just as there are a number of males who read and watch shoujo or josei manga and anime (albeit perhaps a little more quietly). There are also some anime and manga titles that have wide cross-demographic appeal. However, the basic distinctions between these demographics have remained strong and largely unchallenged within the industry over the years, particularly in terms of marketing. Read More

Review: Psycho-Pass

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Originally I was going to wait a couple more weeks before posting up another anime review, but given the recent announcement of a sequel, I felt now would be an appropriate time. All the more so because I was surprised to see so many people giving Pyscho-Pass the cold shoulder when it came out – ironically often by the very same people who profess that there aren’t enough serious, dark and gritty anime titles being released these days. While I have no problem admitting that Psycho-Pass is not the masterpiece that, say, 2011’s Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica was, when Production I.G and Urobuchi Gen team up, you bet I’m going to shut my mouth and start watching. Read More

Anime Taste Testing: Summer 2013

sutekki
Sitting in my room with the aircon on full blast and a pile of kakigori ice blocks sitting in my freezer – it must be summer! And what better way to distract yourself from back sweat and the aggressive sound of cicadas outside than amusing yourself with some brand spanking new anime? This season has already given me a few surprises; some of them good, others… not quite so much. Here’s what the line-up has brought me so far. Read More

5 Good Game-Based Anime

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After Otaku Lounge’s previous article on live-action films based on anime and manga, I thought it might be fun to take a different approach and discuss some anime based on video games. As I’m sure even the more casual anime fans out there are well aware, game-based anime has a fairly horrendous track record. This is putting it mildly – said record is such that even quite average shows like Persona 4: The Animation are lauded as being some the best game-based anime of all time. Any listing of particularly bad shows would be extremely long and probably rather tedious – although I will say that I can’t un-see Devil May Cry, no matter how often I bash my head against the wall in the hopes of developing memory loss. Read More

Anime to Live-Action Films

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At least in part because of the difficulty that directors, writers, actors, and other production staff face when it comes to adapting something into an entirely separate medium, the majority of manga/anime-based live-action films out there seem to be overwhelmingly average. The general style of many (if not most) anime and manga is unrealistic, extremely dramatic, and simply not suited to easily be transferred straight to live-action format, with characters and stunts that would come across as parodical at best, and at worst completely nonsensical.

For this article, I’ll be pinpointing a few titles that have been among both the best and worst of contemporary (say, post-2000) live-action adaptations from anime or manga. However, since there are already plenty of lists already floating about the place on the top 5 or 10 best and worst of these, I’d like to make things a little different by picking only one title for best and worst Japanese live-action film, as well as best and worst non-Japanese film. Read More

FRUiTS Fashion: Show, Don’t Sell

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Since 1996, a monthly magazine called FRUiTS has been documenting street fashion in the bustling Harajuku area of Tokyo. What makes this fashion magazine different from any other is that there are no professional models and no mainstream advertising – in fact, the only ads you’ll see at all are for shops around the area, and for the magazine itself and its two affiliate magazines (STREET and TUNE). The photos are largely candid, the people usually staring straight into the camera. There is no airbrushing and no other photoshopping of any kind. Most images take up an entire page, with only a small white bar at the bottom containing a description of the outfit and a tiny biography of the person wearing it in their own words. Read More

Evangelion 3.0: What the (Actual) Fuck

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First of all, a knee-jerk reaction post this is not. I have intentionally held off on writing a review of the third Evangelion Rebuild film for a while because although it made me angry, frustrated, and a whole lot of other things involving somewhat less polite language, an ill-considered and irrational rant was exactly what I didn’t want. The whole Evangelion franchise has and probably always will be one that provokes strong emotional responses from its viewers, but my aim here is to approach things as reasonably as possible. (For the record, I love the original television anime series. I had no issue whatsoever with the TV version ending when I first watched it, and I still don’t today. The two original Evangelion films – Death and Rebirth and The End of Evangelion – seem totally unnecessarily and completely inferior by comparison, but I recognise that this is a matter of personal opinion. On the other hand, I did enjoy the first two Rebuild films quite a bit, although nothing will ever replace the series for me.)

So let’s cut to the chase – why did I not like Evangelion 3.0? Or more accurately, why specifically did it piss me off so much? Read More