Sucker Punch is an odd film in that it is a bit of a mindfuck and you'd have a hard time figuring out what is actually going on. It is like Inception in that there is a plot within a plot within a plot (Plotception?!?!). The main plot involves a girl known as "Baby Doll" (played by Emily Browning) who is sent to a mental asylum unjustly. The film revolves around Baby Doll's escape from the mental asylum which is actually a front, for a prostitution ring. The asylum warden, Blue Jones (played by Oscar Isaacs), forces the girls to "entertain" his male clients as he conducts his illicit activities. Baby Doll has to learn to dance seductively and rapidly for "we do not keep things that have no use." The film alternates back and forth between reality and the fantasy world but in the end you wonder if the entire thing is a fantasy of the mentally unstable Baby Doll. It sounds like a great film to watch but it has its shortcomings.
With people falling into televisions and a mysterious string of deaths. Persona 4 starts off with a bang. Starring the protagonist Male MC (Main Character) from the Persona 4 game and the characters accurately transcribed from game to anime series, the anime adaptation of the game has just aired its fourth episode.
Persona 4 anime is an action, suspense, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy anime that delves into psychology. The anime examines social issues such as how one views / expresses oneself based on the standards of society while forcing individuals to acknowledge the less desirable parts of themselves. This is evident in episode two in which Yosuke Hanamura encounters his persona and has to accept his shadow (essentially a summation of everything he rejects about himself due to society and appearances).
Attention Manga Lovers: There is no further need to turn to dubious sources for manga because it takes too long for your favorite series to be licensed or translated in the North American region.
The Japanese Digital Comic Association has finally launched JManga.com, their brand new portal to Japanese manga in North Amercia. JManga.com is a site dedicated to providing manga for sale by chapter and volume, through a monthly point subscription system. JManga offers free previews, available for all to read, as well as information regarding manga published in North America. They also have special content featuring manga culture and manga artist interviews in an effort to bridge the gap between manga fans, authors and publishers.
The DCA announced JManga at their 2011 San Diego Comic Con panel. JManga.com at the moment is only catered towards the North American market but has promised to expand to other countries as well. Rejoice North American Manga lovers! JManga.com is focusing on sales of digital downloads solving the problem of issues not being released to countries faster or solving the problem of trying to find the official licensed manga. JManga is a step forward in combating piracy and illegal scantalations as well as bringing manga artists and the manga industry closer to the consumer.
JManga has launched with several hundred titles including: NARUTO, Kekkaishi, Crayon Shinchan, Devil King, Cigarette Kisses, Dragon Girl, Tujiurauri, Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, Young-kun, ADEKAN, Manga Science to name a few. The site updates its manga selection constantly, adding new titles every Tuesday. At SDCC JManga stated that by 2013 they plan to have over ten thousand titles availible on their site.
To find out more about JManga visit http://www.JManga.com/
The Guild Wars 2 Panel at Comicon discussed the future of the MMO series. As its predecessor, Guild Wars 2 will be a one-time purchase, with expansions rather than a pay to play model, like World Of Warcraft. Click on to read more!
Bandai announced at their Anime Expo panel earlier today, that they have the rights to The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi movie. A DVD release is scheduled for September 20th 2011. Now everyone can bring Haruhi back to school with them this Autumn.
Bandai also announced that the following anime series and films have been licensed for Blu-Ray release:
- 5 Centimeters per Second
- Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo, a.k.a. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
- Turn A Gundam (∀ Gundam)
For our Anime streamers, Bandai announced that they have the rights to Sacred Seven and will be streaming it on Hulu and Crunchyroll, beginning July 8th.
And finally for our Manga readers: Gundam 00I and Lucky Star Boo Boo KagaBoo mangas have both been licensed! Both series are spinoffs.
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Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi is a romance anime (airing originally on April 8, 2011) between two individuals working in the exciting world of shoujo manga publishing. The anime centers on characters Onodera Ritsu and Masamune Takano.
Onodera Ritsu resigns from his father’s publishing company due to snide comments from his coworkers, who attribute his success due to nepotism rather than Ritsu’s own hard work. Ritsu leaves his father’s company to create his own success. He applies to work as a literature publisher, but winds up being stuck as a Shoujo manga publisher. As he copes with the difficulties of his new job, Ritsu encounters Masamune Takano who is the head of the Shoujo Manga Publishing group known as the Emerald Department.
Apparently all of the Shoujo Manga Publishers are male. Go figure! Takano convinces Ritsu to stay in Shoujo publishing by calling him “useless,” effectively manipulating his pride. However, Takano has ulterior motives. Takano was Ritsu’s childhood crush and they had a love affair. Due to a misunderstanding, they broke it off and never spoke to each other again. Since then Ritsu has become embittered and forces himself to never accept love into his heart. Takano vows to Ritsu that he will get Ritsu to fall in love with him again. The anime focuses around the Shoujo Manga editor's department and their own individual love problem. There are several arcs containing various characters that are uniquely different from Ritsu and Takano.
Plot: The plot is deep, considering it is a shonen ai. It is interesting and the characters are distinctive and easy to connect with, but it’s also straightforward and doesn’t hide many things. Ritsu fits the stereotypical anime female archtype, always suspecting an ulterior motive and gets into hilarious hijinks as well as coming up with delusional fantasies that are quite entertaining.
Music/Voice acting: Both are aptly chosen and are well done and well represented. Although I do not know the voice actors individually, they represent their characters well. Ritsu’s voice actor is a bit whiny and nasally, fitting his immature personality, while deeper voice acting for Takano, which works for his cool, aloof personality. The opening and endings are both great songs and nice to listen to over and over again.
Graphically everything is clean and smooth. Characters have distinctive appearances and change their clothing. The graphics for the anime have a high production value, and were produced by Studio Deen. It’s how an anime ought to be.
The anime is vastly different from the manga. This anime is surprising, because it has a very strong plot like one you’d find in most shoujo romance. It isn’t a yaoi smut anime, with the dainty feminine men; like shoujo-esque interpretations of yaoi. There are conflicts, well fleshed out characters, and great voice acting. This original series is created by Shungiku Nakamura who is also accredited with creating famous Junjo Romantica Series.
It’s got great depth and is probably one of the better yaoi animes out there with a deeper plot than most in the genre. It really does fit the genre well and redefines it, giving it greater depth. The only critique I have about it are the really blatant shoujo style scenes that occur rarely in the anime.
I give this yaoi anime 4.8 out of 5. I recommend this series to individuals who like the romance genre, to fans of yaoi, and finally to individuals who just like a nice story with great animation.
Disclaimer: The anime is great to watch, however the Manga has really EXPLICIT images. Just a warning.
Female computer hacker, large corporate scandal, murders, mystery, fascism, rape, and violence. Interested yet? The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a Swedish movie based on the novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. The film revolves around journalist Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander.
The film center on Mikael Blomkvist an idealistic muckraker of Sweden, he is given information and sources that a large company (Wennerstrom) is engaged in shady activities like arms dealing, as well as bribery and various other crimes. However his sources vanish and most likely he was set up. During his trial we meet Lisbeth Salander she works for Milton Security and generates a report of Blomkvist including his bank statements, email messages, his teenage exploits, and his lovers.
Lisbeth Salander is an unorthodox heroine. She is a computer hacker of epic proportions and finds all of this information out by hacking into Blomkvists computer. Lisbeth is not your average computer hacker she is thin, smokes and has a massive dragon tattoo along her back. She dresses in leather jackets and has multiple piercings. She works at Milton Security as “researcher.” She becomes entangled with Blomkvist while investigating him. Blomkvist discovers he’s been hacked and recruits Lisbeth in uncovering what happened to Harriet Vanger.
Both work together to find out the truth about what happened to Harriet Vanger who went missing all those years ago and what they find is full of twists and surprises from Nazism, to fascist ideals, to violence, and more dark subject matters.
Plot: As summarized above the plot is great. This movie focuses on plot, with each character developed and serving a purpose. The twists and turns that this movie takes on is jaw dropping and I don’t wish to spoil it but it touches on a lot of issues as well from women’s rights to fascism and Nazism of Sweden by exploring the Vanger family during the investigation. The beginning of the film is a bit slow but it picks up quite nicely and the film is two and half hours long and you cannot take your eyes off of it. A lot of mystery seems the same but this is a bit different it has multiple plots it has the Wennerstrom affair, to finding out what happened to Harriet Vanger, with a side plot developing the character of Lisbeth Salander.
Unlike other mystery and suspense films involving investigation the protagonist is a journalist and a not a crusading police authority. We feel sympathy and admire his unrelenting pursuit of the truth. The second protagonist Lisbeth Salander is again a uniquely amazing character visually she is the epitome of stereotypes a punk type girl with multiple piercings tongue, and tattoos she is terse and cold. She smokes a lot and yet she is a computer hacker. In the film we discover she is considered mentally unstable by the government and is under guardianship. The acting is really a treat. It is made in Sweden and the characters epitomize and every scene and actor is in place creating the world of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The Swedish actress who plays Lisbeth Noomi Rapace actually started smoking and to play the role that is dedication and paying true homage to the character. The other actors are a bit undermined by such a strong female protagonist.
Cinematic transition from the book to the film: The overall transition is decent however the book has some details in which the film tries to cover but its presence in the film is a bit awkward as there is no exposition or reason for them to be there. The book has more details and is a great read. The film transition is very good unlike many other film transitions. The film respects the novel but more importantly the actors respect the novel.
The film is highly recommended toward mature audiences. This is a film with a deep plot, and deals with many dark issues of society that needs to come to light. The film is graphic and real and doesn’t hold back it draws you in with straightforward storytelling to tell you a story that is both entertaining yet is more than entertainment it shows us the darker side of humanity and exposes injustices.
Overall I rate the movie a 4.9 out of 5 the only complaint is its slow pacing in the beginning as well as some of the product placement *cough Ikea Apple cough*. Again this is a film for mature audiences it does not gloss over rape and murder nor does it make light of these subject matters but forces us to face it.
There is plan for a Hollywood remake of the movie due to its popularity but it would butcher the film completely. I highly recommend watching the Swedish version it is truly the best representation of this film.
Here is the original Swedish Trailer:
This is not your typical shonen anime. In this anime Shikibane are freshly killed humans who have regrets preventing them from accepting death, for example a singer dies but she still has her duty to sing for her fans, her dying will to sing would cause her to be reborn as a Shikibane. Shikibane are not regular zombies but are distorted creatures that reflect their dying will. This is where the Shikibane Hime, young girls who have become Shikibane but rather than becoming a monster they become contracted to a monk, come in to play. The monk supplies life energy to prevent the Shikibane Hime from turning into a Shikibane. In return, the Shikibane Hime are the only ones that can kill Shikibane.
The story revolves around two protagonists, Oouri and Makina. Oouri being the male protagonist happens to get caught up in Shikibane after accidentally discovering Makina in his orphanage. Makina is a Shikibane Hime due to personal reasons.
Rango is an animated feature film starring Johnny Depp as well as a host of other not-so-important stars. Johnny Depp plays Rango, a pet lizard who is launched from his isolated glass cage into the desert. Rango, being a lizard, encounters a slew of other characters as he travels across the desert. Eventually he arrives at Dirt Town where there is a severe shortage of water. It’s funny that water is their money and their bank is filled with water rather than money. Rango enters the town’s saloon and plays himself up to be quite a badass. The movie continues with him trying to find the water supply, and to recover the water that was stolen from a family of thieves. The rest of the movie is quite predictable and straight forward with some nice comedy thrown in.
This is a children’s movie and as such it is quite linear. The protagonist is presented as not the best person, gets thrown into a new situation and deceives others, gets caught in the lie and then sets out to make the lie truth. This culminates in the protagonist going on a journey, becoming a hero and then becoming a better person.
As with all children’s movies the plot is not what matters, it’s the characters. The characters and the acting we’re all quite spectacular and really sucked you into the story. With unique characters ranging from Rango, to Miss Beans, to Rattle Snake Jake, to the mayor; all of the characters made you truly connect with and feel their pain during the drought. The characters borrow from classic western films such as The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly and the Three Amigos.
I have never truly liked nor disliked Justin Bieber’s music as many do. I was neutral, however many of my peers *cough*SolidX*cough* and many other contributors to the site dislike Justin Bieber with a red hot burning passion. So with that idea I chose the teen pop star’s movie, Never Say Never for Maso Monday.
I went into the movie with some apprehension. First I could not find any version of the movie that wasn't screening in 3D. I ended up shelling out the extra dough for the 3D ticket. I was pissed that I had to pay to watch it in 3D. Damn you Disney! Not every movie needs to be in 3D, especially this one! Never say Never is a documentary. However, considering its subject matter and target audience, it has different standards than that of other films.