Kaiju Movie Sale

Kaiju is a Japanese word that means, “strange beast,’ so Wikipedia tells me. It’s also a buzzword at the moment, thanks to this week’s release of Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. As a refresher to what Pacific Rim is, check out the latest trailer and featurette, and get excited!

If you like what you see on the big screen and want to see more of giant monsters fighting other giant monsters (and robots), then you might want to see the sale that Madman has on now, featuring some great films such as Big Man Japan, Troll Hunter, Monsters, and Godzilla classics, and anime like Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Gigantor.

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More Marvel Anime

I’m halfway through watching Marvel’s first foray into anime territory with series devoted to Blade, X-Men, and Wolverine. So far, their Iron Man series is rather good, so I’m looking forward to their latest venture. Official details below.

MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT AND SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT JAPAN ANNOUNCE THE RETURN OF IRON MAN ANIME IN

IRON MAN: RISE OF TECHNOVORE

Marvel Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan (SPEJ) announced today the return of iconic Super Hero, Iron Man, to the beloved world of anime in an all-new feature-length film, IRON MAN: RISE OF TECHNOVORE.  Produced by Madhouse and currently in production in Japan, the film is slated for release on DVD in the spring of 2013.

Directed by Hiroshi Hamasaki (Shigurui, TEXHNOLYZE) with story by Brandon Auman (The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Iron Man: Armored Adventures), the film explores a confrontation between Iron Man and the villainous Ezekiel Stane, who develops new bio-technology that seemingly outclasses the Iron Man armor.  After Stane unleashes a terrorist attack and sets Tony up to take the fall, Iron Man must evade S.H.I.E.L.D.’s man hunt and find a way to clear his name.

Marvel’s Head of Television, Jeph Loeb to reveal more information surrounding Iron Man: Rise of Technovore at New York Comic Con during the Marvel TV Presents Panel on Saturday, October 13 at 4:15pm in Room 1E13.

“Marvel is excited to present an all-new Iron Man adventure featuring the high-tech adrenaline he is known for, in the beautifully rendered anime style of our friends at Madhouse,” said Producer Megan Thomas Bradner. “We’ll get to see familiar Marvel Super Heroes such as War Machine, Nick Fury, Black Widow, Hawkeye and The Punisher, rendered in anime style for the first time. It’s a can’t miss for any Marvel fan.”

For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/marvelanimatedseries and http://www.marvel.com.

Extra Sequential Podcast #89-Fave Comic Book Films

70 mins. How many movies based on comic books have there been in the last few years? Heaps. How many of them have been awesome? Far less. We offer our ten fave films, and not many of our selections feature superheroes! Also, Katrina and the Waves, and a dancing Emperor Palpatine.

LISTEN TO IT BELOW

DOWNLOAD IT HERE

GET IT ON iTUNES HERE

You can email us at kris (at)extrasequential(dot)com and befriend us on the NEW ES Facebook page.

WHAT WE’VE BEEN READING

Eric Powell’s The Goon #39. Funniest superhero pardoy. Ever.

Star Wars: Blood Ties-Boba Fett is Dead #1 from Tom Taylor and Chris Scalf. A cool whodunit in space.

Joe Sacco’s journalistic comic Footnotes in Gaza.

Seizure magazine writing competition.

China Mieville’s Embassytown.

11:30 NEWS

Fox announced an Axe Cop animated series! Oh yeah.

Carla Speed McNeill’s Finder: Voice becomes LA Times’ Best Graphic Novel

Free Comic Book Day on Saturday May 5

15:28 THEME – BEST COMIC BOOK FILMS

We choose our 5 fave films each and offer a few surprises, as well as some that almost made our lists, guilty pleasures, and the worst comic films.

The Avengers. A fun, and funny superhero epic.

American Splendor. Curmudgeon Harvey Pekar’s life.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World. A charming video game aesthetic, and many pop culture references.

Blueberry. Based on Moebius’ Wild West adventure. Also known as Renegade, and also featuring great trippy sequences.

X-Men: First Class. Groovy baby.

Ghost in the Shell anime. A Sci-fi classic. Perty too.

30 Days of Night. Thrilling, and with truly scary vampires.

Ghost World. Two girls befriend a sad Steve Buscemi.

Justice League: Doom. Animated film in which Batman betrays the Justice League. Accidentally.

Persepolis. French animated film about coming of age in Tehran.

 

 

Extra Sequential Podcast #60-Sex Scenes

75 mins. Put on the jazz and light some candles. It’s time for a look at sex scenes in comics. It’s our raunchiest episode ever! Actually, it’s more funny than raunchy as we realise how disturbing, hilarious and just plain strange sequential art sex can get. Also duck rude bits, cooking chicken and Andrew Ridgley from WHAM!.

LISTEN TO IT BELOW, DOWNLOAD IT HERE OR ON iTUNES

You can email us at kris (at)extrasequential(dot)com and befriend us on the NEW ES Facebook page.

4:18 NEWS

Mladen’s writing for the digital Find Magazine! Woo hoo!

Catwoman’s unimpressive new film costume

Justice League: Doom animated film premieres next year

Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts doco

The hugely negative response to DC’s new version of the sexed up Starfire

Uderzo’s Asterix successors

14:06 SEX SCENES

Catwoman #1

Green Goblin and Spider-Man’s first girlfriend, Gwen Stacy

Superman and Wonder Woman having sex while flying through volcanoes. The earth literally moves.

Watchmen’s 2 scenes, including Dr Manhattan’s multitasking

Dave McKean’s artful “Celluloid”

The amazing hallucination/sex scenes in “Swamp Thing”

“The Boys”, and whether Garth Ennis’ has issues with women in authority

Last Gasp Publishing’s yearly anthologies: “Best Erotic Comics”

Milo Manara’s “Bolero”

Ignacio Noe’s “The Piano Tuner” and “The Convent from Hell”

Caza and Paul Lamontellerie’s “Planet Terror”

Serpieri’s “Druuna”

Vittorio Giardino’s Little Nemo sex romp, “Little Ego”

Hentai, and the troubling subculture of Lolicon

The gratuitous sex in “Gantz”

The mature sex and violence in “Crying Freeman”

The mechanics of mutant sex and superhero kids

The numerous, and disturbing scenes in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series


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.

WAI-CON In Perth

On the 29th and 30th of January is the next annual anime convention to be held at the Perth Convention Centre. You can get your tickets here and they’re also looking for volunteers to help on that weekend. There’s different panels on both days, such as Cosplay, Astro Boy, webcomics, fanfiction, talks by voice actor Spike Spencer and heaps more. There’ll be goodies to buy of course and it’ll just be a great time to get together with other anime lovers.

Viz Unleashes Anime Site

Anime fans – here’s an exciting announcement from Viz just for you. Free episodes of some great series, (with 400 already up, and more to come!).

VIZ MEDIA LAUNCHES VIZ ANIME

A NEW OFFICAL WEB DESTINATION FOR SOME OF THE HOTTEST ANIME CONTENT

Optimized Technology Allows Fans To Connect And Interact And Spend Less Time Looking For The Latest Anime Episodes And More Time Enjoying Them

In a significant news announcement, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has detailed the launch of VIZ Anime – a brand new, free-to-use interactive web destination that will become a permanent home to some of the company’s best-loved animated series as well as new content which will be added on a weekly basis. VIZ Anime is accessible at:www.VIZAnime.com.

VIZ Anime kicks off with more than 400 episodes from hit series such as BLEACH, BUSO RENKIN, DEATH NOTE (complete series), HIKARU NO GO, HONEY & CLOVER, INUYASHA (complete series) and INUYASHA: THE FINAL ACT, NANA, NARUTO (complete series) and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN as well as THE PRINCE OF TENNIS. The site will also be the future web home for many other eagerly anticipated anime series set to launch later this year!

Episodes can be streamed for free with new ones being added weekly. A variety of interactive social networking tools and features also help foster an official online home and community for VIZ Media anime fans allowing them to connect on and discuss favorite shows, and offer ratings and opinions of various episodes. New functionalities will be added regularly.

  • Users can “follow” as many series as they like and choose to be notified each time a new episode is released, as well as keep track of the last episode they’ve watched. This makes it easy to stay current on series like INUYASHA or NARUTO, which feature more than 100 episodes.
  • Users can comment on individual episodes and also meet and interact with other fans, invite friends to join, ask questions and debate plot twists and characters, voice their opinion on what’s happening in a particular series, and also find out what else is going on across the anime and manga spectrums.
  • Users can rate their favorite episodes by using a “Like” button on each episode page. They can quickly access a list of all the episodes they’ve similarly liked to compare how other users have liked an episode.
  • Users can make a personalized profile page to keep track of the episodes they’ve watched and enjoyed, the series they’re currently following, and comments they’ve made. Mail tools can also be used to send private messages between individual users. Privacy controls let users decide what information is shared publicly and who is able to send them messages.

“We’re committed to developing VIZ Anime as a premiere online destination, and hope to offer a real community for VIZ Media fans to interact with each other and share their love of anime,” says Ken Sasaki, Senior Vice President & General Manager of VIZ Media. “We will also utilize the site as a means of two-way communication to better understand what our fans enjoy most and want, and how they engage with anime and manga online. With a lot of content to select from, VIZ Anime will become a favorite site to visit again and again!”

Halo Legends Interview

There’s some great animated films coming out in February, such as Planet Hulk, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (oh yeah!) and now, Halo Legends which is released by Warner Home Video on DVD and Blu-Ray on February 16. Halo is a great universe deserving of this kind of interpretation, and will hopefully be better than the disappointing Batman: Gotham Knight film. Below is the press release and  interview with Frank O’Connor, one of the men behind this unique anime film.

The Halo universe expands into anime this spring via Halo Legends, a DVD anthology of episodic films based within the popular game’s mythology produced by 343 Industries, a unit within Microsoft Game
Studios. One of the key orchestrators of Halo’s morphing from interactive entertainment to on-screen magic is Frank O’Connor, the Halo franchise development director.

Warner Home Video will distribute Halo Legends as a Special Edition 2-disc version on DVD and Blu Ray™, as well as single disc DVD and available On Demand and Digital Download. The new street date is
February 16, 2010.

Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, O’Connor is renowned throughout the gaming industry for his insightful expertise and innovative direction working with Halo. After a long career as a journalist for several gaming publications, O’Connor has parlayed a keen sense of the gaming industry – and a devout love for the games therein – into a career as a creator of content and story lines for the worldwide phenomenon that is Halo.

For Halo Legends, O’Connor worked directly with Japanese screenwriters on each of the seven stories – spread over eight episodic installments – that include all the elements familiar to Halo fans. Exploring the origin and historical events of the Halo universe and its intriguing characters. Halo Legends has been created in the same breakthrough format as The Animatrix and Batman Gotham Knight with each individual episode imagined by a cutting-edge, renowned Japanese anime director/animator.

Most of the individual episodes fall within Halo’s 26th Century mythology as the battle between humanity and aliens rages on in an attempt to protect Earth and mankind’s ever-dwindling collection of space colonies. The dramatic, action-packed stories feature characters and locales familiar to Halo fans, and episodes range in length between 10 and 17 minutes –  resulting in nearly two hours of animated
adventures. O’Connor took a few moments from his busy schedule to discuss the exciting production and offer a glimpse behind the scenes in the creation of Halo Legends.

QUESTION: Halo Legends not only shifts from interactive game to animated film, but also to a variety of anime styles. Was there any worry that going anime would make the production unrecognizable as a Halo brand?

FRANK O’CONNOR: The Halo brand is strong enough to survive and even thrive through interpretation. Halo iconography is recognizable in virtually any form. When you look at a Warthog that’s drawn by a Japanese artist or a Spartan that’s animated in a way you’ve never seen it before, it’s still intrinsically Halo. The brand really lends itself to comics and animation beautifully. It withstands all sorts of interpretation and is still recognizable Halo, rather than just diluting and becoming generic sci-fi.

The wonderful thing about a completely immersive world like Halo is that it’s not just the visuals that are instantly recognizable. There are so many elements involved in playing the game, including the audio, the music, the sound effects – it’s all part of the experience. When you’ve played these games for six or seven years, and you hear a Warthog engine, you instantly recognize it. So in an episode as distinctly different visually as “The Duel,” it may take a while before you actually see that energy sword and it’s apparent that this is Halo, but the sounds might bring you into this story much earlier as being from the Halo universe.

This is a world that people come to know with great, detailed intimacy. You might’ve watched Star Wars 20 times, but Halo fans have played the game hundreds and hundreds of times. Most of our mid-level players, say those at Level 33, have logged more than 2,000 games just on Halo 3. If you’re a Level 50 player, that number goes up geometrically.

QUESTION: How did you decide which stories to tell in Halo Legends?

FRANK O’CONNOR: There are really two driving forces behind our creative development. First, there were things we were curious about. We wanted to investigate what shaped the Elite civilization, their solidifying of the Covenant, and their place in it. The second, but equal part of the equation was that we wanted to provide backstory about what fans are curious about. Our story for “The Package” fits that neatly – fans want to see more about the Spartans, and they wanted to see them fighting in a group. Normally you see one Spartan in battle – the question came up, “What happens when you have that force multiplier?”

We came up with dozens of topics, but these were the hot button stories. For “The Babysitter,” we were interested in the rivalry between the ODSTs and the Spartans, so we wanted to put them together and see what happened. “The Duel” gave us the chance to delve into the pure civilization and the futile aspects of that society. We used “The Package” to present a story that not only featured the Master Chief but had multiple Spartans fighting together.

QUESTION: Can you give a quick breakdown of what fans can expect in the other Halo Legends stories?

FRANK O’CONNOR: “Prototype” is very Japanese in style as we worked with Bones and director Yasushi Muraki – both the studio and Muraki are huge in Japan right now. He has created an anime sub-genre called Muraki Circus, which features a lot of flying, mecha fighting, weapons, explosions, dog-fighting – and that fit perfectly with the creation of a Halo prototype weapon. Still, we really wanted to make it a human story, so we worked with Muraki to blend those two ideas. Ultimately, it’s the introduction of a prototype of Spartan equipment that’s never been employed, and played out in the very pure anime style of Muraki Circus.

The Halo universe is big and expansive, and “Origins” gave us the chance to take Halo newbies through that universe one step at a time. At the same time, for Halo fans, we wanted to go really deep and show
them things they’ve imagined but never seen before. Part I of “Origins” is the forerunner of civilization, and the advent of the flood threat that led to the creation of the Halos. “Origins Part 2” deals with the current Halo universe and everything from the advancement of human space travel to contemporary Halo fiction.

“Odd One Out” is just flat out fun. We worked with Toei Animation to create an episode that Halo fans and responsible parents could show their kids. It’s all fun, lots of parody and no gunfire, along the way poking fun at all the macho archetypes that inhabit the Halo universe.

You’re going to have to see “Homecoming” – it’s about Spartan origins, and it’s just too spoiler-filled to describe it. I will say this, though – it’s got the cutest poster of any of the stories, and that’s ironic because it’s a really dark story.


QUESTION: How did you balance giving the Japanese artists balance specific instructions vs. creative freedom?

FRANK O’CONNOR: We didn’t try to control their every pen stroke. There were some things that needed to be maintained – a Warthog has to look like a Warthog. But we gave them a lot of creative freedom. “Prototype” is an excellent example in that the actual prototype is an entirely brand new piece of Spartan equipment. I think the Japanese artists had a good time trying to create new inventions, and for the most part we embraced those creations. There were a few things we rejected or simply worked with the artists until we had them just right. We gave very loose descriptions, mostly emotional threads rather than pinpoint direction. But in many cases, we simply said, “Here’s some goalposts, but we want your interpretation.” In most cases, they exceeded our wildest expectations.

QUESTION: Why go with anime over animation?

FRANK O’CONNOR: The funny thing is that the question these days is “What is anime?” It has expanded in so many directions. But still, there’s a distinct way anime deals with the narrative in animation, exploring ideas and ambitious techniques that we don’t often do in western animation. That was one of the things that drew us to anime.

The other difference is that there aren’t that many outfits (in the U.S.)  that can produce shorts or an anthology of shorts in the way we saw this project playing out, and yet Japan has a very rich pool of
talent and studios that are perfectly suited to this type of production. And we were anxious to work with those talented artists and studios. We made a wish list of the studios and pretty much got everyone we wanted.

QUESTION: Were there any artists that wanted to work no Halo Legends as badly as you wanted to work with them?

FRANK O’CONNOR: Shinji Aramaki is sort of a central figure – he works well with everyone. There’s no ego there – he’s a nice collaborative force. We worked closely with Aramaki on “The Package,” and with Aramaki and Bones on “Prototype.” The great part is that he’s a huge Halo fan – he has completed the game on “Legendary” difficulty, which most people haven’t done – let alone a legendary Japanese director. He’d always wanted to work on a Halo project, so he was already well versed on the fiction and was excited about the opportunity.

QUESTION: How much of a learning curve was there for the anime studios in getting fully vested in the Halo universe?

FRANK O’CONNOR: Some of the studios had to learn Halo from scratch, so we educated them in the universe and they took that and ran with it – and they became genuine, passionate fans. I’ve spent a significant amount of time in Japan, going over the game, the artwork, the concept art. A lot of the artists were playing the game at the same time, so I played with them. We felt it was important that they were very understanding of the game. As we went along, every single overseas team had someone on their staff that became their resident Halo nerd, their internal expert.

QUESTION: Does Halo Legends have an overall theme that unites all seven stories?

FRANK O’CONNOR: These episodes don’t have a rigid super arc beyond the theme of artistic interpretation. The individual pieces are made up of a lot of very universal story themes. It’s the idea of a hero’s journey – every single episode features a heroic archetype. There are the more traditional Achilles and Ulysses types, the clever ones that succeed through craft and guile and wit. Sacrifice and heroism are general themes, but that’s germane to the game of Halo. There’s not much time for romance when you’re shooting at everything. Ultimately, the episodes are like the game in that you’re putting yourself in the shoes of a hero and his or her journey.

QUESTION: Halo is a very interactive experience. Why will fans embrace the opportunity to sit and watch rather than interact and play?

FRANK O’CONNOR: Halo Legends does the reverse. I think we have a lot of players that probably don’t fully understand the narrative of the fiction. A lot of people don’t stop and smell the roses while playing – mainly because it’s easy to miss the narrative when you’re surrounded by explosions and Banshees. This gives fans a chance to enjoy Halo in a completely different experience – to sit down on a couch and take in the story without worrying about being shot or how much health you have left. For anyone interested in a preview I suggest they log into to Halo Waypoint on Xbox LIVE to see preview episodes of Halo Legends running through early next year every Saturday.

Blood: The Last Vampire Trailer

This live action film, based on the anime released in 2000, has already been seen in Japan and the UK and will be released in North American cinemas on July 10. It doesn’t look like it’s getting an Aussie theatrical release. Oh well.

G.I. Joe: Resolute

If you want to get a more faithful look at the G.I. Joe franchise before the film hits the big screen, this relatively new anime inspired webisode series is for you. Resolute is an 11 part series, made up of roughly 5 minute animated episodes, written by comics scribe Warren Ellis, with character designers by comics cover artist Dave Johnson and is directed by Joaquim Dos Santos (Justice League Unlimited). The entire movie, comprising of  10 episodes, plus a finale aired on the Adult Swim TV channel in April. It’s violent and fast paced. Below you can see the teaser and the first episode.

WAICON Almost Here

When I went to the first Supanova event back in July last year, which was the first time in Perth, Western Australia, I was impressed with the turnout. Lots of kids running around in manga and anime costumes impressed me. So there’ll surely be more where that came from at WAICON. Perth’s major anime festival has been around for a while now and this year it’ll be held at the Perth Convention Centre on the weekend of January 31 to February 1. Some of the panels include World of Warcraft miniatures, the obligatory Cosplay, webcomics and how to draw manga. There’s also competitions, lots of stalls and new friends just waiting for you! The 2 day passes range from $25 to $40 which you can pick up at the door. For more info, go here.

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Madman Sale

Not Mike Allred’s cult comic book hero, but rather the distributor of anime and manga goodies. Just in time for Christmas, they have  a bunch of stuff on sale from toys, shirts and DVDs. Head on over to their website to scope out the complete list of sale items.

sale_otakuwear2008

Here’s a few key items to check out in the meantime:

Capcom Girls Cammy – Street Fighter Figure (Web Exclusive) Only $26!
Melancholy of Haruhi Suzimiya: Tsuruya-San Statue (Web Exclusive) Only $55!
Madman Magnet Only $1!
Samurai Champloo Tshirt Range Only $5-$8!
Ghost in the Shell Trading Figures (Web Exclusive) Only $2!
Excel Saga Trading Figures (Web Exclusive) Only $5!
Neon Genesis Evangelion Cd Soundtrack Only $10!
Death Note 4.2″ Mini Figures (Web Exclusive) Only $10!
Bleach Tshirt range Only $10!
Neon Genesis Evangelion Figures and Statues Slashed! As low as $10!
Neon Genesis Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone – Rei Ayanami in Plug Suit (Web Exclusive) Half Price at $50!
Transformers Statue Range Prices Transformed as low as $30!
Transformers Omega Supreme Statue (Web Exclusive) Massive Statue, Massive Discount to $200!

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