Satoshi Kon is an artist that left behind a lasting influence, not only on the animation world, but the filmmaking world in general. Kon’s own beats and shades of surrealism can be seen in a lot of genre pictures to this day. Directors like Darren Aronofsky and Christopher Nolan have admitted that much by paying homage with their own films. “Perfect Blue” is that groundbreaking animated masterpiece that you probably didn’t know inspired a lot of modern and contemporary filmmakers if you’ve never seen it or heard about it. Now with the new anniversary release available, there’s no time like the present to visit what is one of the most unnerving thrillers ever made.
Twenty years ago, Studio Ghibli and the master Hayao Miyazaki opened my mind up to a new dimension of animation and storytelling that pretty much changed my life. It also inspired me to look toward telling bigger tales with richer characters, because Miyazaki is very much about rich characterization and brilliant metaphor. Much of his films revolve around the love of nature, the vastness of the open sky, and the effect humans can have on the environment and the world around us.
As a Superman fanatic it’s been a tough road as I’m still getting over the stinks of “Smallville” and “Batman v Superman,” so when Syfy proposed its own Superman series that side stepped Superman altogether, I was very skeptical. Suffice to say, “Krypton: The Complete First Season” isn’t always a great show, but appreciated as its own attempt to ambitiously tackle the back drop of the Kryptonian Lore, it’s not a bad time spent. At ten episodes total for the first season, there are a lot worse things you can do as a Superman fan. Watching “Superman IV,” for instance. I digress.
Opening in a limited theatrical engagement on January 16th – visit “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” for theaters & showtimes.
I haven’t kept up with “Dragon Ball Super” but thankfully the feature films don’t require a lot of catch up for casual fans. I went in to “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” basically without having known many of the characters, and had a good time just the same. While ““Dragon Ball Super: Broly” is a very good “Dragon Ball Z” film, it’s also a pretty darn good tale about the deeper back story of character Vegeta and Goku, and how deeply rooted their nemesis Frieza has been in their entire lives.
It’s never been more popular than to be an anime fan, as now it’s been widely accepted and has become pretty much a mainstream fixture. What was once a niche genre on the fringes, is now something everyone can get in on. Whether it’s PG rated fun, or more complex adult entertainment, it’s there for the taking. Mill Creek repackages some of their anime titles from Sony’s library from 2012 for a 3 DVD series collection of some of the more notable anime series to come out of the gates.
It’s amazing how prophetic Satoshi Kon’s “Perfect Blue” was back in 1997. Even though it was released at the beginning of the internet age, “Perfect Blue” is a very strong and still very relevant tale about rabid fandom, gate keeping, obsession, and the struggles to maintain one’s own sense of self and agency in a world where growing in one’s career means relinquishing our dignity and discretion. In a time where actresses are being chased and harassed off of social platforms, “Perfect Blue” conjures up so much interesting and familiar imagery and plot beats, and ultimately is about the cost of rabid fandom.
I’ve made it no secret about my hatred for anime in the past, but over the years I’ve softened on my stance considerably. I’ve learned to appreciate the genre and medium quite radically. While I would never label myself an anime fan, I definitely have a ton of love for the art form and have fallen in love with Studio Ghibli, and films like “Akira,” “Ghost in the Shell,” “Vampire Hunter D” and the like. When I was offered a chance to review “Anime Impact,” jumped at the opportunity since I wanted to learn more about anime. I also am a big fan of Chris Stuckmann who is easily one of my top ten movie critics on Youtube.
Saku Sakomoto’s “Aragne” is a real stab at anime horror that embraces its nonsensical story, and never actually delivers a narrative at any point during its run time. “Aragne” is thankfully a merciful hour long film, but one that’s a disorienting, and incoherent experience. And not in the artistic way. More in the realm that Sakomoto seems to have half assed a lot of the film and kind of took it in to the realm where he makes it looks intentional the whole way through.