This week's fun at San Diego's Comic-Con International isn't just about stuff you can buy. I mean, yes, that's kind of the entire point of the convention, but in addition to new and exclusive products, plenty of publishers are offering unique experiences to lure you into their booths, and Viz Media is going the extra mile. In addition to new books like the Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary hardcover and The Art of Princess Mononoke, they're giving attendees the chance to take photos with characters like Doraemon and Hello Kitty.
That's right: a photo op with Hello Kitty. If you see me crying with joy on the con floor, that's why. Check out the rest of the exclusives belo
Sailor Moon is inescapable. There’s the new anime of course, and the new musicals, the merchandise, and the retranslation of the manga. But it’s the emblem of a wider renaissance as well, a resurgence of love for mahou shoujo, or magical girl anime and manga — a movement led by women well out of their childhood years. A quick stroll through Tumblr reveals Sailor Moon cupcakes, punky Sailor Moon jackets, heartfelt essays about what the portrayal of lesbianism in Sailor Moon meant to the reader, dozens of artists working together to reanimate an episode of the anime, Sailor Moon nail art tutorials, cats named Luna, Beryl, Haruka and everything in between, hand-sculpted figurines, ornate embroidery projects, and an endless avalanche of fanart. Sailor Moon as an Adventure Time character. Sailor Moon cheekily clutching a Hitachi Magic Wand. Sailor Moon as a vicious biker chick. Sailor Moon protesting the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling.
Sailor Moon fans have not so much rediscovered their love for Naoko Takeuchi’s sword-and-sparkle epic as they have elected her queen mother of their imaginations and ultimate aspirational self. She is, simultaneously, symbol, cause, and leader.
This resurgence is animated by more than typical fannish passion. This is a need to return to a world where young women are in charge. This is an anger at the pabulum of Good Role Models for Girls, at boob windows and “fridging" and “tits or gtfo.” This is 15-year-olds covering their notebooks in “MERMAIDS AGAINST MISOGYNY” stickers, yet also gravely serious grad students applying bell hooks to Takeuchi’s use of Greco-Roman myth. This is a collective invoking of spirits, made more potent in their absence — Usagi Tsukino and all her friends as saints and saviors, carrying the light of childhood optimism to an adulthood in sore need of it. This is nostalgia as a weapon. “Pretty soldiers” indeed.
I'm not even close to kidding when I say that one of the most exciting things about life in 2014 is that we're experiencing an amazing renaissance of Sailor Moon. Not only has the manga been reissued in its entirety from Kodansha, and not only is the classic series being released uncut with two episodes every Monday on Hulu, but Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal, a new series based on Naoko Takeuchi's original series, made its worldwide premiere last weekend.
This is, for someone who loves Sailor Moon as much as I do, a pretty big deal, and Crystal's first episode lived up to the hype by being an absolutely gorgeous new version of Usagi's first outing as Sailor Moon. The thing is, Crystal was designed to be a far more strict adaptation of the source material, and while it definitely succeeds on that front, that's also its biggest problem.
I don't think that there's ever been a better time to be a fain of Sailor Moon. Not only is Viz releasing the classic 1992 animated series on Hulu -- uncut, with new subtitles and a new dub on the way -- but there's a new animated series set to debut next month, simulcast around the world as it airs in Japan. The show's called Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal, and now, there's a trailer for it.
Unfortunately, the trailer lacks what I would consider to be the single most iconic image of not just Sailor Moon, but the entirety of anime. While Usagi does in fact run out of her house late for school there is no toast in her mouth. Other than that, though, it's pretty fantastic.
Even back before anime and manga exploded (or E X P L O D Ed, as the case may be) and became as widely available as they are today, Masaume Shirow's Ghost In The Shell and Mamoru Oshii's anime adaptation were considered to be true high points of the cyberpunk genre. It's one of the most well known franchises in the entirety of anime, producing multiple adaptations and influencing films like The Matrix.
Obviously, it's going to have a pretty dedicated fanbase, and now, a group of artists and filmmakers have gotten together to produce a live-action fan-film adaptation of the original Ghost In The Shell anime's title sequence, reproducing it shot-for-shot. Check out a video of the process behind the recreation below!
As much as we all love Ash and his Japanese source character Satoshi, there's a certain charm about Pokémon's generic playable trainer, Red. After all, even though he stars in a number of manga including Pokémon Adventures and the recent Pokémon Origins anime, Red is meant to represent you, the player. Take that and shape it in the 3.75" tall Nendoroid chibi style and you've got an action figure that may be among the very best (like no toy ever was).
Though Kodansha will remain the publisher of Naoko Takeuchi's Sailor Moon manga, Viz Media announced last Friday that they've licensed effectively all of its anime adaptation, including the never-before-released-in-America Sailor Moon Sailor Stars seriesand the franchise's upcoming anime reboot, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal. Episodes will be available to watch on Viz's Neon Alley streaming service and Hulu beginning today, with additional content added every Monday. It's true; scouts honor.
It's tough to say whether the much-talked about, sometimes-maligned live-action adaptation of Akira, the latest iteration of which would have "localized" the movie to an unrecognizable pulp, will ever see the light of day, but a group of fans may have already bested anything Hollywood could have accomplished anyway.
The three-minute-plus trailer created by The Akira Project looks and feels like a genuine adaptation of the Katsuhiro Otomo manga and the highly regarded anime film. A few shots are downright identical. And, guess what? The actors in it are of Asian descent. (You may even recognize the actor who plays Kaneda, Osric Chau, from a recurring role on Supernatural.) Check it out!
Today marks 22 years since Dr. Gero and his Androids attacked Earth in Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball manga and its Dragon Ball Zanime adaptation. Thanks to a time-traveling Trunks untold humans, Namekians and Saiyans were spared a grisly fate in age 767 at 10 a.m. Still, it can't hurt to keep an eye out for two old-looking cyborg guys and/or three teens with edgy '90s earrings nonetheless -- especially if you live in South City. Remember, you won't be able to sense their chi and they absorb energy attacks through their hands. Your best bet to ID a potential android is to know its human name. Hopefully you've been training in 300 times Earth's normal gravity or at least have some Senzu beans saved up.
I don't watch much anime, so I have never seen the animated adaptation of Fujiko Fujio's Doraemonmanga. That, however, may have to change, especially since CA editor Caleb Goellner just summed it up for me as "a robot cat from the future who travels back in time to be friends with kids and fight the Terminator." That kind of sounds like exactly the sort of thing that I would be into, even if the Terminator stuff turned out to just be a one-time gag.
Fortunately, it looks like I'll have my chance this summer: Disney XD is planning to air a 26-episode run of one of the latest Doraemon series, five times a week, in a block of programming designed for younger, elementary school-aged kids.
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