Posts

Links & Things

Want just the manga reviews?  Head over to The Manga Test Drive! Want more writing from me?  Check out my previous articles at Anime Feminist ! Want to hear me talking with friends about manga?  Check out my takes on Wandering Son , Tropic of the Sea , X-Day , Sweet Rein , Legal Drug , and Clover on the (sadly defunct) Rainy Day Reading podcast and on The Key to the Kingdom at Shojo And Tell ! Want to hear me talking with friends about (mostly bad) anime?  Check out my takes on Diabolik Lovers , Miracle Train , Perfect Blue , Another , Vividred Operation , High School DxD , Lance 'n' Masques , and Upotte!   at the Heavy Storms podcast! Want to give me money for what I do?  You can do so either through Patreon or buy me a Ko-Fi ! Want to commission a review?   The details are here!

The Story of Animerama: Cleopatra

Image
  A Thousand and One Nights didn’t come together quite as smoothly as Osamu Tezuka and Eiichi Yamamoto hoped, but they did manage to make a moderately successful film that captured some of the rebellious, experimental spirit of Mushi Production’s early days.  That experience meant that things could only improve for their next Animerama feature.  After all, they had an absolute slam dunk of a premise: the story of Cleopatra and her infamous affairs with Julius Caesar and Marc Antony.  With Tezuka at the helm and an experienced crew behind him, there was no way this could fail! Yet Cleopatra  would fail, due to factors both within and outside of Tezuka’s control.   Its failure marked the beginning of the end for both the Animerama project and Mushi Productions, and it would mark the lowest point in Tezuka’s career. ________________________ While Tezuka was generally pleased with how A Thousand and One Nights turned out, he was still peeved at how few of his original ideas made it

The Story of Animerama: A Thousand and One Nights

Image
Osamu Tezuka, Eiichi Yamamoto, and the staff at Mushi Productions had nothing but high hopes for the Animerama project when it started.  Just as before, those high hopes were quickly dashed by the realities of making a feature-length animated feature.   The production of A Thousand and One Nights was one marked by uncertainty, experimentation, and indulgence.   Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the film isn’t how it looks or the story it tells, but that the end result turned out so well in spite of its chaotic origins.

Disaster Report: Angel Tales

Image
There are many reasons behind what shows I choose to cover for Disaster Report.  Sometimes it may be due to its distasteful, even controversial content.  Perhaps it's because the show is poorly produced or adapted.  Occasionally it's because a show has a reputation for badness. Sometimes, though, you just randomly come across a show with a premise that demands you watch it, if simply to verify that such a thing actually exists.  That's the situation I found myself in when Anime Herald editor and bad anime connoisseur Samantha Ferreria brought up a long-forgotten harem series from 2001.  From the moment I heard the premise and saw its immensely cheap and shoddy opening, I knew I had to review it. After all, how could I resist a show about a hapless loser who gets a harem of girls who are both guardian angels and reincarnations of his dead pets with a dopey, childish title like Angel Tales ?

The Story of Animerama: A Fateful Meeting

Image
Sometime in 1967, Osamu Tezuka met with two staff members: director Eiichi Yamamoto and animator Gisaburo Sugii.   He had an interesting proposition that he wanted to discuss with them.   He had been recently offered an opportunity to make a series of feature-length animated films for adults.   These films were meant for mainstream release not just in Japan, but in theaters worldwide.   Yamamoto and Sugii were both intrigued by the idea but they also had serious concerns.   Who would be paying for such a venture?   Did they have enough time and animators to make such a thing happen?   Would the public accept such an idea? Tezuka listened to all their questions and concerns and responded with a single, calm statement: “We can do it.”  

The Story of Animerama: Origins

Image
In the 1960s, one of the first studios to make anime for television was Mushi Productions.  Towards the end of that decade, their desire to innovate would lead them to produce a trilogy of animated films under the label of “ Animerama .”  These films were a major gamble on their part, a means by which they could tap into both adult and international audiences.  This gamble ultimately ended in failure, and for many decades these films lingered in obscurity.  It’s only in recent years that modern fans have been able to rediscover them and reassess their role in the history of Japanese animation. This is the first is a series of essays chronicling the history behind this ill-fated trilogy.  It will explore the careers of the two men who helped bring these films into existence, the studio that killed itself making them, and the legacy these films left upon the history of anime. This is the story of Animerama.

Nutcracker Fantasy

Image
There are few stories that are more strongly tied to Christmas than that of The Nutcracker .  It has been impressed upon two centuries of children thanks to E.T.A. Hoffman's original story and Pyotr Tchakovsky's famous ballet.  It's been adapted dozens of times in just about every form of media you can think of, but few of those adaptations could hope to aspire to the beauty and strangeness of of the 1979 Japanese stop-motion feature Nutcracker Fantasy .

The Potluck Parable

Image
This post began as an in-joke between me and my husband, who was the one who came up with the analogy of ambrosia salad .  The rest just kind of grew from there; this is the end result.  Enjoy! Imagine any given season of anime as a potluck dinner.  Some of them are bigger or more diverse than others, but there's always a spread of dishes to pick from.