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May 2015
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Ulfuls with Muppets

No, it is not a joke; the new Ulfuls song has Muppets, and it is a treat to watch! They had meant the name of the group to be Soulfulls, indicating the style of music they wanted to go for, but somehow it didn’t work out that way. And because one’s too many (and a hundred ain’t enough) I figured I should include a few more tunes from the band, so I just had to add 2014′s near-Beatles track, 2008′s hit Samurai Soul, and finally another 2014 song One Mind; Enjoy!

Sun-Knapping

The animated short Sun-Knapping was put together at ESMA (Ecole Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques in Montpellier, France) by Martial Fontan, Guillaume Hoffmann, Boris Kaufmann, and Deborah Yver. It was posted to CGBros on April 3rd of this year, and I liked it so much I wanted to share it here. I have to wonder what other projects these talented people might get up to in the coming years; whatever they are, I hope I get to see them.

Snowstorm Traveller

This short animation, Snowstorm Traveller, was put together by Gerri Lin as her graduation project for Vancouver’s Emily Carr University of Art and Design. It has only been online a few weeks, but is rapidly approaching its 100,000 viewing. Thanks to Rocket News 24 for the heads up on this one.

Wayward Pines

Something of a trailer with a lot of commentary by the author, this intro video to the TV version of Blake Crouch’s Wayward Pines looks like the show just might be worth watching. It is very Twin Peaks and a bit X-Files, so I look forward to seeing how well Fox and the director tell the quality story embedded in the book. If you missed it when it first aired, you can catch it here.

Something to Do: Movies

Not much this week, unless perhaps you count disaster flicks as sci-fi. If so, San Andreas might be worth checking out. Personally, I will be doing something else this weekend.

Something to Watch: Discs

The movie selection Seventh Son is about the battle between mankind and supernatural forces that want to control or annihilate us. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of 7th sons of a seventh son to defend us. I don’t know if this is the first time it is being released as a single box set or not, but all 118 episodes of the Roger Moore interpretation of The Saint: The Complete Series will also be hitting the shelves this week.

In Anime Magi: The Kingdom of Magic has Aladdin and Alibaba attempting to survive the war they stirred up as episodes 14 through 25 run their course. And to think it all started because they were invading dungeons to steal their treasure. Student Council’s Discretion: Level 2 has the characters rewriting their own anime, adding new characters, advancing others, and generally cranking the silliness factor up to 11. Particularly if you enjoy recursive humor (anime that makes fun of anime and manga, in this instance) this is a good show to watch.

In Each Hand A Cutlass

In Each Hand A Cutlass, also called IEHAC, is an Indi instrumental rock band from Singapore playing a very nice strain of fusion. They blend progressive rock, ambient, jazz, metal, and post-rock to paint sonic landscapes for us to explore and experience. They came together out of a number of other successful bands in 2011 and did an Indi release of A Universe Made Of Strings, their first album, which was recorded at Fascination Street Studios in Sweden. Their latest album, The Kraken, was recorded, engineered, mixed and produced by Brad Wood (if you don’t know him, he has done Smashing Pumpkins and Veruca Salt, among many others) at The Lodge in NYC. The first track shown here is Marauder, which is from that first album, the second tune is Satori 101 recorded live at ST Session.

Hayao Miyazaki Makes Ramen at Studio Ghibli

An amazing video I had to share: Hayao Miyazaki makes ramen at Studio Ghibli! Sadly, nobody in Japan seems to pay their animators a living wage, so this kind of communal cooking is one of the ways they survive. Including, apparently, the big man himself.

The Boy And The Beast trailer

Studio Chizu has teamed up with Funimation to bring The Boy And The Beast to some US theaters in the fall, going into wide release at the end of the year in hopes of nailing down an Academy Award or three. I can’t link you to the Funimation site, because they only signed on last week; they haven’t had a chance to build the page yet, so the link goes to the original Japanese site. Mamoru Hosoda directed this, some of his previous works included Summer Wars, The Girl Who Lept Through Time, and Wolf Children, so you can expect something exceptional.

Monsterz trailer

Last year the movie Monsterz was presented on the big screen by the Japan Society in New York. The film itself was made in Japan and released there in 2013, a remake of the 2010 Korean movie Haunters, telling the tale of two men with supernatural powers battling each other for control. This is another movie that has yet to be released in a domestic North American version, but I live in hope (and refuse to pay the price buying it as an import entails). The Korean original had been available here a few years back, but went out of print around 2013 or so.