Friday, June 30, 2006

:anime: Transformers Vs. NASA's Puny Space Rovers

The new Transformers teaser trailer debuted, giving a slight glimpse of the film's premise and of a rover getting jacked up by one of the big bots. The movie will no doubt feature great special effects (it is a requisite if they want to successfully and viably pull off the transformation sequences) and if done well could become a truly massive hit. Despite Michael Bay being in the director's seat, whose often schmaltzly, sappy style has ruined many a film (and could really harm this one, if occupied with annoying kids), executive producer Steven Spielburg could perhaps help steer the film away from the bloated Hollywood-defined likes of Pearl Harbor and Armageddon. Whatever Transformers may bring, I will still go out to see it in the theaters, at least for the visual and aural effects alone.

:anime: Hi no Tori, Where Art Thou?

Over one year ago, Media Blasters announced their acquisition of Hi no Tori, a thirteen-part OVA adaptation of the classic manga by Osamu Tezuka. An assortment of stories spanning across differing time periods and interwoven by fables & tales of the Phoenix, the anime was directed by Ryousuke Takahashi and, curiously, was co-produced by PBS station Thirteen/WNET New York. Since the licensing, not much information has been released about it, other than the dubbing studio (NYAV Post) and a script adaptation personnel for two of the episodes. While this certainly is not the only series to have gone through this, it is odd when other shows listed during the same event (Genshiken, Ah! My Goddess TV, and Phantom) have already been solicitated and placed on the market. As newer projects are being prepared (GoLion/Voltron, GaoGaiGar, etc.), Hi no Tori has yet to make itself present.

Does this mean that the company is merely sitting on the license? I doubt that is the case. ADV Films once had to relinquish plans to carry out with the license of one anime to due to issues concerning it, so such a problem (music royalties and contract complications have plagued a number of shows coming stateside) could be hampering the release. Alternatively, the apparent delay could be the result of other company priorities standing in its way, such as other licenses, or there may be a deal being worked out between Media Blasters and PBS for a broadcast. No matter the conundrum, I believe that Hi no Tori will see the light of day here in the U.S. It, like many Takahashi-directed shows, is a very good, slow-paced drama, and one whose arrival I will continue to anticipate.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

:anime: Blue Subs, Dark Hearts, and Current Apocalypses: More Than One Way to Tell a Tale...

A long while back in my high school English class, we were assigned to read the classic novella Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, which itself was the basis of Francis Ford Coppola's classic film Apocalypse Now. While reading the novella and later watching the film, there seemed to be something oddly familiar with the themes and characters. Around the same time, I was watching Blue Submarine No. 6, the revolutionary anime from Mahiro Maeda and GONZO, and that was when things began to click. Many of the traits that resided inside the two works were present in the OVA/movie, almost as if I were watching a reimagined version of the story.

Reading up on the anime, there is nothing that I have seen so far that actually suggests that it is an adaptation in part of the book or film (though it is loosely based off a manga by Satoru Ozawa). The comparisons across the works, however, are there and striking if you ever had the chance to view or read all of them. Below is a collection of these similarities, which I originally posted on an anime forum site a few years ago, though I cleaned and enhanced it for this blog. A bit of caution ahead: the Blue Submarine No. 6 in reference comes from the Toonami Edition DVD, which is a complied version of the four-part OVA with some of the more inappropriate material removed or censored (much of the story is still intact, so the uncut version may have additional content that may be applicable here), as well as the uncut Part 1 VHS. Also, be warned that there are spoilers to all of the stories listed, so unknowing readers beware...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

:anime: Hurrah for Bandai Visual USA!

Well, this may not be the piece that I was alluding to in the previous posting, but news from the anime subsidiary does warrant comment and adulation.

Bandai Visual USA (BVU), the new American distribution arm of Japan's Bandai Visual studio, continues their re-releases of the Patlabor movies with the franchise's second film in July 2006. It, like the first, will be available in both a $29.99 standard version and a ten thousand-copy limited edition version, which of last came complete with a bonus disc, Archives book, Storyboard book, and a sturdy slipcase at the tune of $89.99. However, my interest does not lay so much in Patlabor as it does in the potential growth in BVU's library.

Not Too Bad...

A couple of twinkings took place in the template as I tinkered with some of the HTML. Nothing major or anything, just a few touches here and there. Content-wise, I have something in mind, I just have to reconfigure some of it. This whole blog thing is weird, but pretty interesting. I guess I have to get used to it ^_^; . So until then...

Monday, June 26, 2006

HardDoor--The First Post

HardDoor...Not exactly the most common of blog names......

So what is "HardDoor" and why is this named so? Perhaps at a later date I'll explain the history of the name (if you really want to call it that), but for now, I'll say this much: this blog is pretty "random" when it comes to topics. Anime, Boxing, a little bit of politics, maybe (or not :D ).

Today is a pretty good day to start HardDoor (I mean, it's the 26th of June!). Soon, I'll be populating it with thoughts on the various said topics, all while figuring out the strange little trinkets laid out on this blogging station. So until then...toodles <>:O