The winner this week is Tatsumi, based on Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s autobiographical manga, A Drifting Life. While Tatsumi idolized Osamu Tezuka, and met him in postwar occupied Japan as a young Manga artist/writer, he decided after a while that he didn’t want to just write stories for children. So in the 1950’s he invented Gekiga (dramatic pictures), a new adult oriented genre of graphic novels. Manga (irresponsible pictures) and Gekiga started influencing each other as time went on, with even Tezuka trying his hand at it by the 1980s. Of course here in the US everyone just calls both genres Manga, even though lots of people prefer Gekiga without knowing that’s what it is. Besides segments of Drifting Life, 5 of Tatsumi’s best stories are also brought to life in this feature length animation.
The classic Futureworld is being re-released on Blue Ray, just as Westworld was a while ago. 1997’s French/Italian film Virtual Weapon isn’t a classic, and it also isn’t getting the blue ray treatment, coming out in DVD format only, but at least it is getting released. The Dinosaur Project looks like a home made cross between Blair Witch and Jurassic Park, and won’t be coming home with me.
In TV Continuum: Season One is out Tuesday, and I find I haven’t quite made my mind up about it yet. I really enjoy watching it, I like the characters and the way they interact with each other, and it is good quality production. They don’t seem to be evolving the characters or advancing the story arc very fast at all, though there has been a lot of background and setup. I am hoping that the pace picks up soon, because they have a lot of potential that I would love to see realized. Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out was a TV special they did to run between episodes IV and V. I like Lego versions of films and movies, they are always fun to watch.
In anime, Phi-Brain: Puzzle of God is releasing season 1 collection 1, the first 13 episodes of the series. Kaito love to solve puzzles, but now he is trapped inside one with his friend and if he doesn’t solve it correctly they both die. If he does solve it, a hidden organization will just set more fiendish puzzle traps for him to resolve. This show is particularly fun if you enjoy solving puzzles, you can play against Kaito and see if you can beat him to the solution as you watch. You can also watch it on Crunchyroll if you want to see what it is like.
Amagami SS+ Complete Collection continues the story of Junichi’s evolving relationship with his girlfriend… in each of seven parallel universes. As with the first season, each girl and universe gets two contiguous episodes to explore how the relationship progresses. This is an interesting exploration of the way life changes as the result of our decisions, and I don’t think I could compare it to anything quite so much as the movie Sliding Doors; if you are a fan of one, you will love the other.
Shakugan no Shana season 3 comes out in two parts, each a box set, and continues the story of the near-dead human boy and the spirit warrior woman. But now they are on opposite sides in a massive spiritual battlefield, with the future of the whole world at stake. If you were wondering, you can also watch this one online over at the Funimation channel.
Finally, InuYasha the Movie: The Complete Collection puts all four of the feature length films from that series in a single Blue Ray box set, at a reasonable price. And yeah, that is another series you can watch online, this time over at Viz Anime.