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September 2015
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SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 – Computer Animation Festival Trailer

SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 is the next gathering place for what started out as the USENET NEWSGROUP Special Interest Group: GRAPHics, taking place November 2nd to the 5th in Kobe, Japan. One of the highlights of every such gathering is their Computer Animation Festival Trailer, giving you a taste of what many of the best minds of the business are working on. It looks like they have some real goodies this time around; enjoy.

Something to Do: Movies

I have been enjoying the Transporter franchise for a while, first the films staring Jason Statham, then the TV series (I love that they kept the same French actor as the Police Inspector for both of those), and now the story line returns to the big screen with The Transporter Refueled. In this iteration we have yet a third actor, Ed Skrein, taking on the role of former special-ops mercenary Frank Martin.

Something to Watch: Discs

Movies bring us Mad Max: Fury Road, in what seems to be a non-stop chase scene. TV has the Vampire Diaries: The Complete Sixth Season, just ahead of the season 7 opening episode in October. This show is the top rated program in the CW network lineup, with 2 million regular viewers and a spin-off, The Originals. The animated Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season One continues the ever popular series, and with Disney now in charge of the franchise we should be getting new tales for years to come. While it mostly isn’t genre, there seems to be at least one episode each season that is genre related, so I will mention that Castle: The Complete Seventh Season is also out this week.

In Anime Argevollen: Collection 1 brings the first dozen episodes of this giant mecha combat series home. The protagonist joins the military to uncover who in the chain of command murdered his sister, but when war breaks out he finds himself on the front lines with no way out. One Piece: Season 7 Voyage 2 has episodes 397 through 409 of pirate goodness for everyone. And if you haven’t seen it, they are finally releasing Robot Carnival, an anthology of 7 short pieces about robots put together into a feature-length film. This is the first time I am aware anyone has put an English sound track to it as well as the first time it has been released in Region 1, although you can also watch it in Japanese with English subtitles. Not that that is hard to do, there are only a handful of spoken lines in the entire thing, most of the soundtrack is music.

The Baseballs

The Baseballs are a German Rockabilly band that got together in 2007 and have been cruising Europe ever since, with the occasional expedition to Australia and other interesting places. The first track here is 2014′s Goodbye Peggy Sue, from their recent album Game Day!. The second song is On My Way from the same source, and the third is Hello, the 2011 classic which evokes Dwayne Eddie, Jan and Dean, and The Beach Boys. This is only a small selection of the quality music created by this band band, if you like these there are many more songs to check out and enjoy.

Something to Stream: Sky Wizard’s Academy

One of the new Anime shows streaming this season is Sky Wizard’s Academy, being hosted on the Funimation service. The story is straightforward enough according to the official site: Forced to retreat to floating cities due to an invasion of magical armored insects, humanity must now depend on Sky Wizards to battle the menace. The primary characters are almost that simple and straightforward, except for the collection of misunderstandings surrounding the protagonist as he meets his team for the first time.

I have to admit, this show did not attract my attention right away, so I only watched the first episode a few days back. I found it quite enjoyable as an introduction to a new series goes, and it does look to have a great deal of potential. If reviewing these kind of things was my day job I would have no doubt binge watched my way up to this week’s offering, episode 8, but sadly I have to work for a living. But I did enjoy the first one enough to make it worth mentioning in this post, complete with the link to its streaming home page and the trailer from there, so you could watch it and come to your own conclusions.

Aurora Official Trailer #1

This is the first Aurora Official Trailer, and it makes the potential movie look very interesting. In 2020 super-computer Kronos concludes that human beings are the biggest threat to the planet, and takes action. The movie begins in 2080, when Andrew meets Calia, a girl heading back to robot-free Aurora and latches on to her for dear life. This is yet another of those movies where frail humans like ourselves go toe-to-toe against our Evil Robot Overlords, and I have to tell you, our prospects are not great. But we might just have a chance. This Swiss science fiction film looks like it has some potential, and I hope I get a chance to check it out on the big screen.

Mice and Mystics, Family version

This is about a terminally kawaii game called Mice and Mystics which Wil Wheaton brought in and showed on his program Tabletop!. Not being content to let it stop there, he also brought in some family members, specifically Anne Wheaton, Ryan Wheaton, and Nolan Kopp to demonstrate how the game should be played. Or maybe he was trying to show us how his family plays simple but interesting games together, which quite frankly reminded me about how my families gaming sessions go. This is the TableTop Season 3 finale, or at least the first part of it, and if you haven’t been following from the beginning this episode should make you realize why you want to go back and binge-watch the entire season. And then maybe the 2 before that. And if you have missed this, perhaps the channel the program is on might have snuck past you in the darkness; Geek And Sundry is a Felicia Day project that has gathered together some of my favorite people on the planet and given them a platform to prove to the rest of us why they are fun folks.

Attack On Titan Movie US dates

Funimation has announced the US dates for the live action Attack On Titan movies to be in theaters, with September 30th for the first, and October 20th for the second. They made the announcement a bit over a week ago, I have been trying to find a list of theaters that will be showing it to link here, but I just haven’t found one. The official movie page does have an opt-in email registration where you can sign up to get those announcements as they become available, at least. In the meantime, here is the official US trailer.

Something to Do: Movies

The film Z for Zachariah takes place after the end of the world, where the three known survivors end up in a love triangle. It was nominated for the Grand Jury Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and author Robert C. O’Brien had another of his books turned into a movie, The Secret of NIMH. But I am just not sure that a movie with only 3 actors in it can hold my attention all the way through. The other option this week looks more interesting to me, but may be on far fewer screens: Memories of the Sword is a Korean historical fantasy taking place during the Goryo Dynasty.

Something to Watch: Discs

In Movies I have to consider Big Game a fantasy, even though I don’t think that was the intention of the film makers. The plot has a thirteen-year-old boy armed with a bow and arrows who has to save the President (Samuel L. Jackson) from a group of kidnappers while fleeing across Finland. The trailer was quite nicely done, I think it might just be a fun film. We also get Lego DC Super Heroes: Justice League Attack of the Legion of Doom!, action adventure on the silly side from DC Comics and Warner Bros. Studios.

TV has The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season, which gives you plenty of time to catch up with the show before season 6 starts on October 11th. I figured this program would last two seasons, three tops; I obviously underestimated the attraction of Zombies. While not genre, I enjoy the show a lot and so will mention Elementary: Season 3 also comes out this week. The network the show runs on, CBS, now has its own OTT streaming service, CBS All Access, allowing you to watch the shows the day after they air on your computer, tablet, or smart phone.

In Anime the new show is Kamigami no Asobi: Ludere Deorum, in which Zeus decides that the gods have lost touch with the mortal world. His solution is to kidnap Yui and throw her into a garden with 8 hunky gods, assigning her the job of teaching them about humanity and mortality. The gods being so easily bored, things get way more interesting than most mere mortals would ever find comfortable.

There are also a number of returning shows with new seasons, which run the gamut of categories. Love Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Heart Throb brings season 2 home, to follow in the footsteps of the original story. Not only does he have delusional Rikka to deal with, but now his childhood delusional reinforcement buddy Satone Shichimiya is back, ready to drag him into a fantasy world he may never escape from. The combat-gamer series Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, better viewed on their CrunchyRoll Page, also brings us a new series worth of episodes. And as usual Fairy Tail: Part 16 brings us another 11 episodes in this wonderful ongoing saga.