Yasuyuki Kunitomo (1953-2018)

A few days after Kirin Kiri died of breast cancer, this manga writer died of a heart failure. Born on January 1st, 1953 as a New Year’s Eve baby in Japan, he then later became a manga writer and a manga artist for his work that he did.

As an original creator, he created “Junk Boy”. In 18 volumes, this tells about a 23 year old boy with a sex drive. By catching the eye of a beautiful senior editor, he madly falls in love with her. Journalism will never be the same thing again for him.

Manga Entertainment did an anime adaption of that and was released in 1996. But was mostly on VHS which are videotapes before DVDs were born, as this came out mostly in Japan. No anime fan would know if they ever made an English version of that and his manga books, by making it all the way to North America.

He lived on for a few more years until his retirement, and then he died of a heart failure on September 20th, 2018, at the age of 65. By looking at manga artists, they can be really wise as how he did. And I may want to look at his manga work for sure in the future. Especially if they made it to North America or not.

And as for Yasuyuki, he deserves to write and illustrate about something that us anime fans can be really interested on.

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Kirin Kiri (1943-2018)

This actress not only was in live action movies, mostly filmed in Japan. But was the Japanese voice actress of…

…her! Haru. The maid who tried to find the borrowers. In Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s Studio Ghibli masterpiece, “The Secret World of Arrietty”. Before the English version from GKIDS, rather than that shitty film company that I hate on the most.

Born on January 15th, 1943 in the Kanda area of Tokyo, Japan, she began her career in acting in the 1960’s. Right after graduating from high school. She was in two live action TV shows, 27 live action movies, and one anime movie which was this that I’ve mentioned.

After winning a few awards and a few prizes, she was diagnosed with a detached retina in 2003, and breast cancer in 2005. She did had her eye fixed and lived on for a few more years. That was when she died of mostly breast cancer on September 15th, 2018 at age 75. Four months before her 76th birthday. And nine days after Burt Reynolds died of a heart attack in September of 2018 for good riddance. As dead as his friend Edward Bunker from “The Longest Yard” with him, ever since he was in Quentin Tarantino’s gangster flick “Reservoir Dogs”.

R.I.P. Kirin Kiki. Say hi to Isao Takahata for me, will you? Studio Ghibli and anime forever! Not for the shit on movies and TV shows going on in North America today.

Digimon Adventure tri: Coexistence

It took me months to find a DVD copy of Part V, from my local library, after I had to no choice but to watch Part IV online on the Internet.

The Digimon Emperor as a psychopathic lunatic, was way worse, and ready to unleash devastation across the Earth. For his army of infected Digimon, were appearing from portals including Meicoomon, as they were all over in continents. In North America, Japan, Russia, China, the Arctic Circle, and etc. They were all over the news on TV. Every human on Earth were watching this, and has heard about the Digidestined also.

Back in the Digital World however, the Digital World was on the verge of destruction, as the Digidestined had to help Meiko with her worse fears. Their Digimon too, although they still have a bit of amnesia left. Meiko does in fact, have some fond memories of her and Meicoomon, that I admire on. But there is still hope to save that cat like Digimon.

From going back into our world, for food, refreshments, discussion, and some battles against the infected Digimon by avoiding the police and reporters, they ended up back again in the Digital World in a desert place. Although they were strong together, but after moments of fighting hard, Tai and Gatomon became P.O.W.’s by the psychopathic lunatic.

Right now, the Digital World wants to take over our world. But not unless they can save Meicoomon, Gatomon, Tai, and stop the madness, in the final chapter of the ‘Digimon Adventure tri’ saga. So I give this as always, a straight ‘A’ and 10/10 stars.

But until Part VI, which is “Digimon Adventure tri: Future” comes out very soon…

最後の章まで続く… (Saigo no shō made tsudzuku…)

To Be Continued Until The Final Chapter…

Capote (2005)

Phillip Seymour Hoffman won the Academy Award for Best Actor, as he was Truman Capote. The author of his latest novel, “In Cold Blood”.

Filmed in Manitoba, Canada mostly, Truman Capote began to investigate in Kansas, USA in 1959. Days after the Clutter family massacre on a small farm. Until by January of 1960, they found out on who the murderers were.

Two men in their late 30’s. Richard Eugene ‘Dick’ Hickock and Perry Edward Smith.

He had interviewed those two men several times, as he began to write his novel. And became a bestseller before Stephen Hawking’s novel, “A Brief History of Time” was next, several years later. That was after the judge and 12 men of the jury had declared their sentence. For those two were to be dropped and hanged by the neck, until death.

By looking at those two men, on the night of their execution on April 14th, 1965, they were ready to pay the price. Cause when they were chained all around, and covered with a black handkerchief than a hood as a blindfold, that were covering their faces than their hair, their hearts were pounding until they were executed. Their hearts were slowing down as their necks snapped. And with no more heartbeat, they never made a sound.

Way better than the Charles Manson family murders in August of 1969, and that ‘true story’ between Michael Finkel and Christian Longo, this tells a true story that we totally believe in.

Although I have to see that 1967 movie of the same name, based on his novel, with Robert Blake and Scott Wilson, but this was nice and splendid.

He did deserve that Oscar award for Best Actor anyway. On Phillip Seymour Hoffman before I recognized him in “Twister” and those “Hunger Games” movies.

So for his splendid acting, and the true story of Truman Capote, with Perry Smith & Richard Hickock, I give this 8/10 stars.

20th anniversary of Pokémon (In North America)

On April 1st, 1997 in Japan, from the video game to the TV screen, the TV show “Pokémon” was born. Starting off with the first debut episode, ‘Pokémon: I Choose You’.

All thanks to the creators including Satoshi Tajiri. The creator to all on Pokémon.

Almost 2 years later, the anime TV show was brought to North America to have it in English, and changed the names also.

September 8th, 1998 was when the English version of “Pokemon” was born, as they showed the first episode, from season 1, ‘Pokémon: I Choose You’. All over North America, every anime fan were very pleased. From the TV show, to those collectable toys, games, trading cards, books, videotapes and DVDs later, it was phenomenal to Pokémon.

20 years later, now comes the 20th anniversary of “Pokémon”, here in North America today. Cause it has been those 20 years since ‘Pokémon: I Choose You’ was released and started the anime TV show.

Ash Ketchum, living in a Pokémon world, in a small village called Pallet Town had made a vow on that day. A vow so hard, that he really means it. Ash vowed to be a Pokémon master, and be the greatest master of them all.

His dreams however, made him late to start his journey as he had no choice but to choose Pikachu as his partner. They did get off into a bad start and were being chased by a flock of angry Pokémon birds.

Luckily for Ash, Pikachu saved him, and they became friends ever since.

They also spotted Ho-Oh. The first Legendary Pokémon bird to be seen by them. Ash continued his journey, and never gave up.

20 years have passed, as the TV show changed and evolved. Ash Ketchum didn’t got older, and he was slowly, getting dumber than we’ve ever imagined. From a multiplicity of Pokémon, especially new ones to the movies, new adventures, friends, allies, and more, us anime fans have wondered…

“When is this going to end?”.

The only answer… “Who knows?”, as most of us have sighed.

But only the creators including Satoshi Tajiri, are the source. Cause when they began their work, they started off with a blank piece of paper. And Satoshi Tajiri, came with his idea that after the video games, they began to animate the whole series for a Pokémon world, that they would ever imagine. Only they can control the future to all on Pokémon.

From that moment in Japan and North America, we definitely want Ash Ketchum to become a Pokémon master and end this whole journey. Especially when Team Rocket need to be behind bars in jail. Meowth too.

And I can say this. I’ll never forget those days that they showed me everything, on those videotapes. I was very young when I did see the whole adventure. And how some of us had played the video games too before those Pokémon movies came out on VHS and DVD.

What about on TV? They were premiered on that TV channel YTV, back in those glory days. The last Pokémon movie that they did, a few years later was on a female Mewtwo, and then that anime TV show was transferred to Teletoon.

So here’s to 20 years, and we definitely want Ash’s journey to end for sure.

Patema Inverted (an anime masterpiece)

From the anime director who did “Time of Eve”, and was the designer of “Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Redo”, Yasuhiro Yoshiura, he had the help of GKIDS to make this anime movie. On what happens when we’re upside down all of a sudden, and do not want to get sucked into the sky.

In 2067 AD, years after a cataclysmic event had struck, by sucking things into the sky, half of the people have been living in subterranean cities normally, as the other half had been living upside down in a delta city.

This is a map on what happened after that cataclysmic event. The Underground City is where normal are, as the Star City is where some of the people are, upside down.

Because of the gravity that was out of control, the only rule is to never let go. No matter how hard you grab on.

Our heroes, together, from the moment that they first met to falling in love together….

…they went from the underground cities…

…to the surface on what was left of the Earth.

Besides, I love that Patema girl. She’s very trustworthy, unique, and beautiful by her character appearance.

So for a success, 10/10 stars and an ‘A++’. Very remarkable on this anime masterpiece.

Who says that anime is the best such as this here?

Top 8 points on what I like on Isao Takahata

An anime director, Hayao Miyazaki’s very best friend, and the co-founder of Studio Ghibli. For he was one of my favourites like Hayao Miyazaki.

Isao Takahata. I really love this anime director, as a big fan of Studio Ghibli. And his masterpieces, from “Panda! Go Panda” to “The Tale of Princess Kaguya”, they were remarkable. In this list, these are the top 8 points on what I like on Isao Takahata.

Warning: I was gonna do a ‘top 10’ list, but due to less info that I found out, in which are true or false, it lead me no choice but to create a ‘top 8’ list.

8. A Remarkable Artist. From his early days at the University of Tokyo to his massive career in Japanese animation, most of his work were hand drawn in any direction. For only two of them were like in a Japanese painting for how ‘Kaguya’ and ‘My Neighbors The Yamadas’ were. The rest that he did, before and after he got himself into Studio Ghibli, were beautiful. Especially when he had the help of Hayao Miyazaki, his kind friend.

7. Story Approach. Nearly for how Stanley Kubrick was, some of his work were nearly based on famous novels. For he did “Anne of the Green Gables”, “Heidi, Girl of the Alps”, “Grave of the Fireflies”, and “The Tale of Princess Kaguya”. He had to read about them first, before making them into anime masterpieces. “Pom Poko” however, was only based on Japanese folklore. Not based on a novel. I didn’t mind that, but Isao Takahata was really clever.

6. Meeting With Miyazaki. Isao Takahata met Hayao Miyazaki for the first time, when they were both animator employees at Toei Animation in the late 1960’s. Until they left together in 1971. Yōichi Kotabe too as he helped them out, several years before working on those Pokémon movies. By working on Japanese animated movies, and TV shows as their early work, they would have a number of storyboards in their offices. Painted ones too before getting to work.

5. The Birth of Studio Ghibli. After they worked on “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” together in 1984, Isao Takahata with Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki, have co-founded Studio Ghibli in June of 1985. Most of their work that they did, year by year, have impressed the fans, especially when their masterpieces have came to North America. American film critic Roger Ebert however, was very impressed on one of his masterpieces. He wrote amazing reviews on him.

4. His Interesting Themes. Isao Takahata has always looked on the bright side of life mostly, and how he does his work remarkably. Set the countryside and cities in the 60’s, 70’s and 90’s, several years in the future, and how Ancient Japan was long ago. He only was on the dark side of life a bit, when he only did “Grave of the Fireflies” that took place in the final days of the Second World War against Japan. Dark, sad, and heartbreaking, his masterpiece no wonder became critically acclaimed like how “Princess Mononoke” did.

3. Keeping It Old School. Isao Takahata had never ever used a computer to create CGI animation in Japan. He prefers to do his animated work by hand, back for what he did in the glory old days. Cause he thinks that they are lousy at some point. He did had a few computers to help finish his work, back in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. But he preferred to do his work by keeping it old school. And I guarantee to be old school like him. Especially if I need to do my drawing characters by hand.

2. The English Cast Members. From GKIDS that has been helping him on his Studio Ghibli movies, the English cast members have talked about him. On how remarkable he was, and how they loved the roles that they did. Daisy Ridley and Dev Patel that portrayed Taeko and Toshio in “Only Yesterday”, J.K. Simmons and Clancy Brown as two of the talking raccoons in “Pom Poko”, and James Caan with Mary Steenburgen who were the bamboo cutter and his wife in “The Tale of Princess Kaguya”. Whoever knew that they had such talent, rather than the shitty and dark side of movies and TV shows?

1. Oscar Awards. Isao Takahata was very proud of Hayao Miyazaki, that his masterpiece “Spirited Away”, had won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. By the time that he was retiring in the early 2010’s, his farewell and final masterpiece, “The Tale of Princess Kaguya”, became his only Japanese animated film to make it into the Oscar awards. Thanks to Studio Ghibli and GKIDS. Never got into the Golden Globe Awards. His very final masterpiece had tried to win that Oscar award, for Best Animated Feature Film. Unfortunately was left out Oscar nominated, if it weren’t for the voters of the Academy. And I do feel very sorry for him really. Especially on what happened on the day that he died. Every anime fan mourned him.

Do you agree with my list? Cause for a favourite film director, I will not let one to go down in history, left out Oscar nominated since him and Stanley Kubrick.

Top 10 points on what I like on Stanley Kubrick

Years before Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and Hiromasa Yonebayashi were my three favourite anime directors, I had admired this very famous film director since I saw his movies, went to an exhibition in Toronto, and how his work definitely made film history. (Except for ‘Lolita’ and ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ in which they were the lousiest movies ever).

Stanley Kubrick. The director of “Fear and Desire”, “Killer’s Kiss”, “The Killing”, “Paths of Glory”, “Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb”, “Spartacus”, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, “A Clockwork Orange”, “Barry Lyndon”, “The Shining” and “Full Metal Jacket”.

Film directors such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and James Cameron were fond of him, as Spielberg was his kindest friend when Stanley Kubrick was alive. In this list, these are the top 10 points on what I like on Stanley Kubrick.

10. An Actual Genius. They say Stanley Kubrick didn’t do well in school. Both in middle school and in high school. But as he got himself into photography and filmmaking, right after college without any trouble bothering him, especially by his mom and dad, Kubrick was brilliant enough to look at how something can be outstanding, and what people will admire on.

9. Novel Approach. Most of his film work were based on novels that he read first. And then by making a film adaption second, he takes then to the big screen. His first few, “Fear and Desire”, and “Killer’s Kiss”, were not based on novels. From Arthur C. Clarke to Stephen King, they had impressed the fans and critics, all over. “Lolita” and “Eyes Wide Shut” were the lousiest, that you do not want to watch.

8. His Iconic Look. By having that famous beard and black hair, he had it unique for him, during the making of “2001: A Space Odyssey”. He decided to have it longer, while working on “The Shining” and “Full Metal Jacket”. In fact, like her daughter Vivian, Stanley Kubrick was a cat lover. He in fact had 16 felines, roaming around his house. And after coming home from doing long shoots, he would let them lay around in his editing room, to make up until the timing was gone.

7. Keeping It Old School. By making his movies, he had usually did it, by doing the old school way. Such as stereo sounds, and how he had used them in “A Clockwork Orange”, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, and “Spartacus”. Also, as far as writing went for him, rather than typing on an old fashioned typewriter, he usually likes to write with a pen or a pencil with paper.

6. Vivian and Christiane In Short Appearances. After he had hired only Christiane Harlan for “Paths of Glory”, they began a relationship in 1957 during the production, and were married later in 1958. They had three daughters, born in the early 1960’s. Vivian, like her mother, was the lucky one to make a few appearances in her father’s movies that no one knew. In “2001: A Space Odyssey”, “Barry Lyndon”, “The Shining”, and “Full Metal Jacket”.

5. The Stars That Worked With Kubrick. Some of these stars not only got special treatment with Kubrick, but some did had trouble with him. Such as Kirk Douglas by thinking that he can be a bastard sometimes, as how Shelley Duvall was losing her hair, piece by piece. But as for Matthew Modine, Sterling Hayden, Peter Sellers, Malcolm McDowell, Ryan O’Neal and more, they enjoyed working with him. And love to talk about him years later as old men.

4. His Favourite Themes. By working on his movies, that made film history, he had always looked on the dark side of human nature. Especially in those wars that are set in. Such as the First World War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, a revolution against the Roman Empire, and a dystopian future. The actual future of 2001, 17th century U.K, and Colorado, USA in 1980? He wouldn’t really mind. Just as long as he was doing the right thing.

3. Christiane’s Paintings & Modine’s Diary. Since the Kubrick family had moved to a nice house in the English countryside, his wife loved it up there cause of the peace and quiet that she needed. And as a painter, she did some remarkable paintings. Some of her paintings were seen in her husbands movies that made film history. Until after her husband died of a heart attack, she continued to paint as an artist. Matthew Modine however, wrote a diary about how he worked with Stanley Kubrick, and how he really appreciated on working with him. This made his wife very pleased after it was published in bookstores.

2. Camera Techniques and Film Locations. Stanley Kubrick was really great with the camera work, on whatever which one to use. A super 8 film camera, an old fashioned film camera, a photography camera, or a big one while he was in film production. By having the lens, right angle, picture format, and no brightness, no interruptions and no shakiness, he always gets the right thing. That way, they wouldn’t start all over. And he wasn’t very much on travelling. Most of his work were filmed in the UK, Ireland, deep into Europe, and bits of the USA including Colorado while working on “The Shining”.

1. Oscar Awards and Golden Globe Awards. Out of his movies that made film history, most of them were left out nominated which wasn’t fair. But the lucky ones were “Spartacus”, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, and “Barry Lyndon” that deserved Oscar awards. Out of the people he worked with, they thanked him for having them hired, as deserved one for Best Sound Effects. Although he would’ve deserved a few more for Best Director, Best Picture, and etc, but his film director friend Steven Spielberg, did find him very unique, and a brilliant film director of all time. He was glad to be his friend before Stanley Kubrick he died of a heart attack on March 7th, 1999.

Do you agree with my list? What are your top points on your favourite film director?

100 WW1 Firearms in 100 seconds

By looking at this video, these are the firearms that they’ve used in the First World War. 100 years ago.

From revolvers to handguns, and rifles to machine guns, they’ve used them for sure. And how years later, they were used in those movies that took place in WWI. Such as “Paths of Glory”, “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Hell’s Angels”, and so on and so forth. (Except for some that I do not admire on).

Thanks to a girl on YouTube who has been testing these firearms, I do thank her for this video. And I pray to god that they’ll be an amazing WWI movie, and be an Oscar winner like how “Lawrence of Arabia” did. On one superstition. That it won’t be too much dumb and harsh like how movies and TV shows are today. It has to be as excellent as how ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ did. And be an Oscar winner too mostly.

Masahiko Tsugawa (1940-2018)

This Japanese actor was not only in “Giant Monsters All-Out Attack” with Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah, and was in “Ultraman Ginga”, but was the Japanese voice of…

….Sōshi, the very wise rabbit from the anime movie, “The Boy and the Beast”, directed by Mamoru Hosoda.

Masahiko Tsugawa was born on January 2nd, 1940 in Kyoto, Japan, as he never saw the final days of the Second World War in Japan. He was very too young at that time.

By the mid 50’s when he was almost 20 years old, he and his family got into the film industry for a while, until he became a popular actor in one of those Godzilla movies.

From that kaiju movie and some TV episodes on “Ultraman Ginga”, only aired and filmed in Japan, he was mostly in live action movies, TV shows, and maybe a few more Japanese monster movies. Most of these that I’ve mentioned were only filmed, and took place in Japan.

He only directed one 2009 movie as his first directional debut. That took place at the Asahiyama Zoo, until Mamoru Hosoda showed up.

His character as Sōshi in “The Boy and the Beast”, was truly remarkable. He was the lord of the Beast Kingdom, as he can be anywhere. Especially if he’s watching you, behind you back. For this was the only anime movie, that he was in.

He was impressed however that in 2016, “The Boy and the Beast” won the Japan Academy Prize for the Animation of the Year, as he thanked Mamoru Hosoda for hiring him.

By the time “The Boy and the Beast” came to North America, Steve Powell, an English voice actor portrayed his character in the English version. It was going for the nominations at the Oscar awards, but unfortunately, it never made it in, no thanks to the moviegoers and critics in LA, and how North America wouldn’t care on movies and TV shows.

Masahiko Tsugawa lived for two more years until on August 4th, 2018. He died of a heart failure at the age of 78.

He was terrifically remarkable as that wise rabbit, as his first anime movie. And I love that outfit on how he wears it, in the Beast Kingdom. He may have faced kaiju’s in Japanese monster movies and TV shows, but was terrifically remarkable in that anime movie.