Monday, August 26, 2013

RETURN Hard Version, Joukyou Monogatari, Gatchaman, Hakuoki First Chapter Kyoto Wild Dance, Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Chapter VI I: And Now the Warship Comes and Other Japanese Film Trailers

This week I thought I'd be a hero and try and get lots of reviews done as well as the Anime UK News Autumn Anime Preview Guide. I actually did achieve quite a bit of it by finishing the guide and most of the reviews. I finally finished up my reviews with and . gets released tomorrow. I also posted about all of the Japanese films taking part in the this year. I'll post about the autumn anime I'll be watching next week and take the rest of the week off to get some more reviews finished before starting a mini Kiyoshi Kurosawa season and following that up with a Takashi Ishii season.

What's released in Japan today? A lot of HK films including .

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Books of Blood: Thom Carnell ensures that No Flesh Shall Be Spared

Welcome fiends to one of my soon-to-be-continuing articles I'm entitling Books of Blood after Clive Barker, this is where I'm going to review all the gorey, bloody text to grace the page. First up only fittingly is another reprint from the ZomBcon files a review of thebook and then and interview with the author of No Flesh Shall Be Spared author, close personal friend and all around badass Thom Carnell.

Humans are a brutal species by nature and always have been; from the dawn of time when two monkeys clubbed each other over the heads with rocks, to the Roman coliseums where gladiators fought to the death for the Caesars' pleasure, to boxing wrestling and mixed martial arts. Even after mankind is nearly erased by the undead plague, the people need entertainment. Bill Hicks sums the need quite nicely in Revelations pondering about American Gladiators," 'Is Gladiators too violent? And what are we doing watching it? Is it really good for us to watch? Is it too violent?' NO! Fuck it! Give these guys chainsaws! Let them fuck each other up good. It's not violent enough. Let these fuckin' morons kill each other in that God Damn pit! ManI want to see a fuckin railway spike go through their eyeballs.They want to kill each other, I'm filming it!Like many zombie enthusiasts I have a penchant for liking sharp toys, the cover to Thom Carnell's book NO FLESH SHALL BE SPAREDcaught my eye almost immediately at last years ZomBcon. There's nothing like a giant bloody blade to catch the eye. Carnell would later sum up the novel to me as:"Gladiator meets Dawn of the Dead as seen through the eyes of [Legendary Japanese film director] Akira Kurosawa."The story starts with a careless truck-stop mother accidentally smothering the son she never wanted in her sleep. Thus the Apocalypse begins, not with a bang like everyone expected, but only with the tiniest whimper. She wakes up only to find junior has awakened from hisdirt nap and is chewing her to death.From there we fast forward to a world just barely recovered from the brink. The people need entertainment and the latest bloodsport from the Undead Fight League is just the thing. The game is quite simple: kill the zombies that come out of the turnstiles, stay alive and make it look good for TV. Our man Cleese is just our man for the job, having earned a reputation for clearing out hordes of zombies nothing with a bottle of Jack and a bat during the Apocalypse.His entry into the UFL is mentored by the older, grizzled cage-veteran Monk; whose job is to take the tough-talking wiseass and turn him into an economically viable trained killing machine before he can retire in peace. Monk teaches him all he knows, how to fight and how to utilize the weapons provided. When the cameras aren't on Cleese finds himself drawn to the mysterious woman ninja Chikara [Japanese for strength]. Except that just because the television cameras aren't on doesn't mean no one is watching.As his ratings begin to rise, he begins to notice that something's just not quite right. Cleese decides it's time to opt for early retirement. If he's not careful about he plays the game it might wind up being someone he cares about trying to tear his throat out on the sandy arena floor, that is if he can live long enough not to end up one of the losers coming out of the turnstiles.Really what's not to like about this book? Zombies, Gladiators, Samurai philosophy, guns, knives, swords! Even from the beginning of the story Carnell doesn't bullshit you, this is not going to be a happy story with a happy ending, Thom Carnell takes the term bloodsport to a whole new level and assures thatNo Flesh Shall Be Spared.Last year at ZomBcon I met a lot of awesome people with a lot of similar interests aside from the zombie genre. The leather-jacketed local horror journalist, author and cinemaphile extraordinaire Thom Carnell was definitely one of these people.Now almost a year later he and I finally go mano-a-mano and head to head in this epic t te- -t te that goes all 13 rounds that follows:

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Netflix Wins: North & South, Mushi-shi, Frasier, and The Life of Mammals

I've decided that I should try to put all my time in front of the TV to good use. Kind of. Maybe?

You see, I know how frustrating it is when you finish a decent series on Netflix and you just don't know where to go next. I watch a little bit of everything, so, hopefully, as I review four of my new favorites, I can help give you some new viewing ideas.

And, in return, you tell me some of yours! Yay for movies and series!!!

Friday, August 23, 2013



Mushi-Shi is an anime first aired in Japan on October 22, 2005 with the standard anime Season of 26 episodes. It's final episode was released June 18, 2006. It was originally a manga series written by Yuki Urushibara and published in Afternoon Magazine from 1999 till 2008 with a total of 10 volumes.

Matsuricon Welcomes the Flame Alchemist, Travis Willingham

Columbus, OH (July 19th, 2013): Matsuricon is proud to announce that the Flame Alchemist himself, Travis Willingham, is coming to Matsuricon!

Travis Willingham is known for his many popular roles in anime, video games, and original animation projects. You can now hear Travis as Thor in

Flowers of Evil Review

Well, the Spring season is over. I wanted to pick something to review like I did with Say I love you and Amnesia. It was really hard to find something to review out of the batch of shows that made it through my impressions. And this is the first that I've managed to follow all six of the passing shows to completion. I guess, this time around, I'll pick my favorite out of the bunch.

Flowers of Evil is a 13 episode Psychological Thriller/Drama based on the manga by Shunzo Oshimi and published by Kondasha. As of this review, the manga has yet to be licensed. The anime is from director Hiroshi Nagahama and Studio Zexcs, the same studio behind Mushi-Shi and Say I love you. As for Nagahama, previous work includes Mushi-Shi and Detroit Metal City. Flowers of Evil is currently licensed by Sentai Filmworks, but has yet to have a physical release.

Haibane Renmei


First aired on the 9th of October and finishing on the 18th of December with 13 episodes. It was originally a series of comics started in 1998 by Yoshitoshi ABe, but the anime quickly overtook those and they have never been finished. The anime was also written by ABe though, so at least he was able to finish the story.

An Intro to Occult-driven Television and Anime

Can you tolerate the many quirks, stereotypes, conceits, and, let's be frank, the sexualization of young women in Asian animated series? If so then you may be amply rewarded by their matter-of-fact supernaturalism. The occult is EVERYWHERE in these series. It's a well-worn trope that stands nearly as tall as the monsters in Kaiju films (like Godzilla). If you want secret knowledge, forbidden spiritual powers, mystical or mythical creatures, then TV has definitely got you covered. How it all fits together? Well, I'll continue to explore that in the future here, but for now I just want to direct readers to a few worthwhile islands in this vast media ocean.

I should also note that I'm no expert on Japanese religions. I do appreciate Japan's cultural products- was the first television series that totally blew me away when I found it. As an scholar of American religion and religious theory, I'm always approaching this material for how it might be used to illustrate the way religion works. The differences between Japanese and Western products help me see how differently we treat the supernatural in our pop culture.