The winner in the movie category this week is obviously Iron Man 2, a film that built on the premise of the first one and ran with it. Of particular interest is the way it fleshed out more of the Avengers arc and back story, and introduced several new characters with Black Widow being the best represented. The other movie this week is no slouch, even if nowhere near as well known: Suck is a rock-and-roll vampire film with some real bite, and a cast that includes Malcolm McDowell as Eddie Van Helsig, Nicole de Boer, Rob Stefaniuk, Jessica Paré, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Moby, Henry Rollins, and more. It picked up at least seven awards including ones from the Toronto IFF, SXSW, and Fantasia.
In the field of western animations, the important releases are the final two seasons of Red VS. Blue, Red vs. Blue: Recollection which is season 7, and Red vs. Blue: Revelation, season 8. With these, the entire run of Red VS. Blue is available to play even on TVs with no web interfaces.
There are several Anime releases this week, including Bleach Box Set 6, another season of our favorite Soul Reapers in action. If you want to watch some of these online, including the latest episodes as they air in Japan, you have a couple of choices; Crunchyroll, where a premium membership allows you to watch the latest episode an hour after it airs in Japan, and Viz Anime, where you can see the released in the US episodes as well as the current season only a week or two after they played in Tokyo.
Also out, Hell Girl: Three Vessels Collection 1 does not let go of the pressure generated in seasons 1 and 2, but continues to build on it. Season 3 collection 2 of Hell Girl will be available at the end of November, if you were wondering, and I can’t say I am very surprised to learn there is conflict in Hell. Kaze No Stigma: Season 1 is the story of a family of Fire Users who banished one member who later returned as a very powerful Wind Spirit controller to challenge them all. Nabari No Ou: The Complete Series gives you a taste of what it is to be a Ninja with a hijutsu (hidden technique) that can control all other Ninja’s, much in the spirit of One Ring to Rule Them All. All three of these tales fit in here because they are fantasies from my perspective, but in terms of the cultures which created each of these stories (and yes, like the US, Japan is not a monolithic society, no matter how much the multinational corps try to homogenize us all into one big consumer culture) is told from a world view considered the core reality by its society members.