Blade of the Immortal Theme Song

I just watched the first 5 episodes of the 2008 Blade of the Immortal anime, based on Hiroaki Samura’s maga. It’s not bad, with its one-eyed protagonist who happens to have some handy bloodworms inside him, making him essentially unkillable. However, it’s filled with the kind of thing I’ve seen before in samurai anime, namely vicious bad guys, lots of blood, and women who are sad and demure.

It also has a theme song that loses something from its original Japanese. Here’s the English translation of the opening theme, Red Rabbit, from The Pillow Book.

I’ll never be easily loved

Am I just too clumsy?

That girl who looks good in pink

Is that who you want?

Is red not good enough?

The rabbit with red eyes runs away

Even though I loved you so much

If I’m sad, I’m going to die

The rabbit that you like

Isn’t on the moon

It’s just a rabbit

Um…yeah, I don’t know what the original Japanese is like, but most of the songs I’ve seen in anime are focused on broad concepts and use the words, “love,” and “dream” a lot. Now, here’s the translation from the closing theme, called wants by GRAPEVINE.

Sadly, I awakened

Overflowing reality is just

More of the empty lies

To be honest, I have to get ready for the next one

The morning slides in from the window

Regardless of what I see, I remember

I remember the unchanging wind always

Just said this as it passed by

What’s needed for this endless journey?

Where should I go?

Awesome. That’s got to be the first time deceiving lunar rabbits have ever been in a song, unless there’s one on a Monty Python album or something.

Super ’70s and ’80s

I’ve been meaning to mention this for a while now, but essentially, author Marc Tyler Nobleman’s latest project is a great one, which focusus on some forgotten players in pop culture in the 1970s and 1980s. Here’w how he describes it.

To bridge the gap between my book Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman (which made the front page of USA Today) and my upcoming book on Batman/Bill Finger (2012), I found and interviewed 100 “lost” stars of superhero/cartoon entertainment of the ’70s and ’80s – from more than 40 Sea World water skiing superheroes to the pimp in Superman: The Movie to the original singer of the Scooby-Doo theme to the voice actors of the Wonder Twins. (Scroll down for the link and a list of the 10 subseries.)
The interviews are sometimes hilarious and often poignant; many of these people have not been interviewed before and had no idea they have fans. You will also see many previously unpublished “then and now” photos and rare documents and mementos from various private collections.
I am posting one interview per day between now and 10/12/11, with a few gaps for my blog’s “regularly scheduled content.”
10 subseries.
71 posts.
88 days.
100 interviews.
The 10 subseries (mark your calendar!):
Super Friends (1973-86)
28 interviews (15 voice actors, 7 writers, 2 animators, 4 other production staff)
launched 7/17/11
Sea World superheroes water ski show (1976-79)
45 interviews (37 skiers, 1 boat driver, 1 high diver, 2 announcers, 4 production staff)
launched 8/22/11
Superman: The Movie (1978)
3 interviews (all actors)
Legends of the Superheroes (1979)
5 interviews (3 actors, 1 deceased actor’s niece, 1 director/producer)
Batman and Robin Meet Dr. Danger (circa 1979)
2 interviews (both performers)
launches 9/26/11
Bugs Bunny Meets the Superheroes (1979-81)
6 interviews (all performers)
launches 9/27/11
The Plastic Man Comedy Show (1979-81; repackaged with live-action host in 1984)
2 interviews (1 actor, 1 director/producer)
launches 9/28/11
Superman (Ruby-Spears animated series, 1988)
1 interview (voice actor)
launches 10/2/11
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (seasons 1-2: 1969-71)
7 interviews (2 voice actors, 2 theme song singers, 1 music producer, 1 songwriter’s widow, 1 songwriter’s son)
launches 10/4/11
And a wild card:
Mick Smiley (“Magic,” Ghostbusters, 1984)
1 interview
launches 10/12/11

The amount of research is very impressive and for those like me who grew up in those awesome 2 decades, this is a pretty intriguing project. In fact, I didn’t even know there was a Plastic Man cartoon, or that Bugs Bunny and his pals teamed up with a few DC Comics characters for stage show.


See? Great stuff, including interviews with the 2 actors who played Clark Kent before Christopher Reeve grew up in my fave film, Superman: The Movie, and a chat with the pimp who first comments on Superman’s outfit! ( “Say, Jim—whoa! That’s a bad out-fit! Whoo!”)

Check out Marc’s site right here.

Jim Henson’s A Tale of Sand Preview

And what a lively and generous preview it is. Below is the official lowdown and you can check out a 20 page preview at Archaia’s site.







In honor of what would have been the late Jim Henson’s 75th birthday, award-winning publisher Archaia Entertainment will debut the first 20 pages of the upcoming original graphic novel Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand, which is based on an unproduced screenplay written by Henson and longtime collaborator Jerry Juhl and visualized and illustrated by acclaimed artist Ramón Pérez, it was announced by Editor-in-Chief Stephen Christy today. The pages will appear exclusively on starting on Sept. 24th.


“We are so pleased to be able to share with Henson fans a glimpse inside this groundbreaking project,” said Christy. “Ramón Peréz has created a stunning visual translation of Jim Henson’s only unproduced feature-length screenplay, and we are honored to debut this exclusive preview of the forthcoming graphic novel in partnership with The Jim Henson Company and Google’s celebration of Jim’s birthday.”


Tale of Sand, a dark, existential feature-length screenplay that built off of ideas Jim Henson had been developing since he produced his Academy Award-nominated short film “Timepiece,” tells the story of a man who is kicked out of a dusty town in the middle of the desert, with no memory of who he is or where he came from. Relentlessly pursued by an unknown assailant, and with only a rucksack of odds-and-ends to his name, he embarks on a desperate race across an increasingly bizarre landscape with only one thing in mind: survival.


Archaia and The Jim Henson Company entered into a multi-year publishing partnership in 2009 for Archaia to publish comics and graphic novels based on classic franchises like Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, as well as new, co-branded original properties.


Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand (hardcover, 152pp, $29.95, ISBN: 978-1-936393-09-1) is scheduled to debut in comic book shops and wherever books are sold in November 2011.