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May 2017
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Radwimps: Brain Washing

Posted on May 10th the new Radwimps song Brain Washing passed 1,600,000 views at the two week mark. Two days later they posted Saihate Aini, the second track here, and that one hit 1,700,000 views in that shorter time. Which is pretty amazing, but don’t expect it to stop there. Their song Zenzenzense from last year’s runaway hit movie from Makoto Shinkai Your Name was at 133,356,652 views as of this morning. If you missed the multi-award winning film when it was in US theaters last month, they are now streaming it on Funimation; Radwimps translated four of their songs for it into English just for that release.

The Gifted trailer

Another new Marvel TV show is coming out: The Gifted takes place in the X-Men universe, so this one will be running on Fox. A suburban couple discover their children have mutant powers, and a government agency is coming to take them away. Pretty much everybody behind the cameras have been working on Marvel projects for years, mostly the X-Men/Wolverine movies and the Daredevil/Jessica Jones/Defenders TV series. It will be coming to the small screen this fall.

Something to Do: Movies

This weekend Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is the obvious winner, and I am looking forward to seeing it on the big screen. Extortionist hackers claimed they stole a copy of it and threatened Disney Studios that they would release it online if they were not paid a ton of money, but I can’t see the company paying for a number of reasons. First is it would set a precedent that would encourage hackers everywhere to attack movie studios, not a result I expect the movie industry wants to encourage. Second, you might have noticed an order of magnitude difference between IMAX and regular movies, and another order of magnitude between regular movie screens and your TV set at home. Is a low resolution illegal-but-free version going to keep the audience away from the theaters? I won’t know what the numbers might be unless they carry their threat out, but my own guestimate would be somewhere in the one half to two percent range. While that will objectively be some noticeable amount of money, again I suspect it will be a lot less than the movie studios would lose if they encouraged this kind of activity by paying up. However those details work out, I intend to be in the theater for this film, I have been waiting too long for it to see it on a tiny screen!

Something to watch: Discs

Logan is the next chapter in the Wolverine saga, one of two successful spinoff series from the X-Men franchise. The Great Wall is chock full of Kaiju rampaging towards the populous centers of civilization, with only a 5,000 mile long wall and a few thousand heroes standing in their way. Cinematography on that one was amazing, it was worth seeing it in an IMAX theater, and it should translate well to the smaller screen. Anime has Dimension W: The Complete Series, with energy drawn from another dimension fueling a small but intense war, and sometimes other things cross between the dimensions. One Piece: Collection 19 brings episodes 446 through 468 home; to put that in perspective, the current episode is 789.

The Orville: Official Trailer

The Orville is a Star Trek parody that looks amazing, with Seth MacFarlan at the helm. It will be launching on Fox this fall, and I am so ready! Hopefully it won’t be cancelled 5 episodes in, like most quality sci-fi TV shows have been on that network. Next week I will no doubt get back to music entries on Saturday nights, but I had to post this as soon as I stumbled across it!

Something to Watch: Discs

The franchise finally winds down with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, one of the best movie franchises based on a game I have ever seen. The Space Between Us is also on the shelves this week, with the first person born on another planet coming back to visit Earth.

In Anime The Seven Deadly Sins: Season 1 Part 1 brings the first dozen episode of this amusing quest tale home, after a long run on Netflix and a shorter one on Funimation. Ajin: Demi-Human puts the entire 13 episode series plus the movie in one box, and Divine Gate likewise gets you the entire show. Both stories are about people who look normal at first glance but contain more-than-human powers, the former leaning more towards horror and the latter comprising a war between universes. Girls & Panzer der Film has the Tankery Team fighting to save their school ship from being sent to the scrapyards.

More Ulfuls

It has been a while since I posted about the Ulfuls, a band who got their name got their name because back in 1992 one of the band members misread the word Soulful on his favorite album and they went with it. They have put out a lot of great music over the years, so I thought I would re-share a few of my favorites, and finish up with their latest release. The first track came out in 2014 and seems to be channeling the Beatles and/or Chuck Berry, while the second, Bonzwi Wayawai has them Muppitized. The third is Baka Yaro, a track posted on May 9th from their latest album. In North America you can pick up their music through iTunes for MP3s or Amazon for import CDs.

Something to Do: Movies

This time we get King Arthur: Legend of the Sword for those into historic fantasy, with a really different take on the legend and a 40 foot tall elephant. For myself, I will be seeing Absolutely Anything, starring Simon Pegg, Joanna Lumley, Kate Beckinsale, and pretty much all the surviving Monty Python members. It was also Robin Williams final film, doing the voice work for the dog, the ONLY character on Earth who seemed to understand what was going on.

Something to Watch: Discs

There isn’t any western genre that I could find, but Simon Pegg’s A Fantastic Fear of Everything is finally being released in the US on Disc (previously available as an all-format import or streaming on Netflix). In Anime, Kizumonogatari Part 2 Nekketsu becomes available Tuesday, but at $69 for a 68 minute animation I think I will pass. It should be noted that Momotaro, Sacred Sailors is being released in the US Tuesday, possibly for the first time ever. That was the first feature length animation produced in Japan, and it helped pave the way for Anime. Sharing the blue ray box is Spider & Tulip, another WWII era animation, although I am not clear if both of them were financed by the Navy Ministry of Japan, or only the former, but they are worth seeing for their historical significance.

Beatie Wolfe – Raw Space – 360 Live

This will only be running until Friday or so, but it is amazing. The singer is Beatie Wolfe, and the presentation is best viewed with your VR headset on. This augmented reality experience is in a 360 degree virtual environment, with the visual component changing with each repetition of her new album Raw Space. She created this in collaboration with interactive creative firm Design I/O and the famous engineering team from Nokia Bell Labs. You can get a lot more detail about this unique performance directly from the You Tube Live page, and get counted as a viewer in the process.