One of the most interesting and surprising Anime’s I have seen in a while is Time of Eve (Eve no Jikan) from Studio Rikka. The visual quality is amazing, and uses 3D environments with traditional 2D character animation to very good effect. But it is the stories themselves which make this series special; each episode focuses on a character (human, robot, or android) and explores their relationship with a member of the opposite phylum. This wonderful little series started life as webisodes in 2008, and was migrated to TV in 2009. They have made a theatrical version which hit the big screen in Tokyo and Osaka this spring, and you can watch the TV version streaming online at Crunchyroll. I really hope they do a second season of this one, and release the movie to the US soon.
Topping the list of movies released to DVD this week is Kick-Ass, one of the more violent comics made into a movie for this year. I really do hope they make a sequel for this one, although I am not quite sure where else they could take the story. In the non-fiction department, Dragon Masters looks to be the film to beat.
I have been waiting for a decade or two to be able to add Max Headroom: The Complete Series to my collection. Depending which web site you believe, this will either be available the 3rd or the 10th of August, but that is a small detail compared to the 1984 to 1987 initial programming dates. As near as I can tell, this box set is only the 14 episode US TV series, which was much wimpier than the original BBC TV Movie, and completely different than the BBC TV series. But it is more Max Headroom than has ever been previously available, so it is a great start! Set your TVs for 23 minutes into the future. The other TV release worth noting this week is Heroes: Season 4.
On the Anime front, Naruto Shippuden Box Set 3 becomes available. I personally enjoy Shippuden more than I did the previous series with the younger characters, although the gap between what is out on DVD and what is legally streaming online is fairly large. Since I only started watching the streaming stuff in the last 6 months or so, I think there are still about a hundred episodes between the two segments I haven’t seen yet. The Sola box set is also available this week. This strange little story involves a boy with a secret he does not know and an addiction to photography, and a girl who can not coexist with the sun.
Princess Resurrection: Complete Collection is not one of your more upbeat Animes, what with the protagonist dieing at the start of the series. He is brought back to life, but only for as long as he will be the Princesses servant. This one is Subbed, not Dubbed, so you get to hear the original voice actors. If your aggressive side needs some exercise, the Ikkitousen: Dragon Destiny complete box set hits the shelves. This one is a modern day retelling of the Romance of the three kingdoms story, with the high schools battling it out for supremacy.
Have you been following the action on Robocup 2010? Robocup is taking place in Singapore this year, with a hoard of soccer playing robots from all over the world competing against each other. The organizations goal is to be able to field a team of humanoid robots that can beat their human opponents in the World Cup by the year 2050. It seems that some American Robots from Carnegie Mellon University have been programed with a new algorithm for predictive ball physics that may give them an edge. In the video, the bot with the blue center dot is the one running the algorithm.
Word is that the director of Splice, Vincenzo Natali, has been signed up to direct Neuromancer. I have been waiting for decades to see this movie, and played the hell out of the game in the 80s and early 90s (which I still own in cherry condition). The book was the first of Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy, with Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive rounding out the set. This William Gibson book was also the first to ever win all three major Sci-Fi awards; the Hugo, the Nebula, and the Campbell. Pretty impressive considering it was his first novel, with only short stories before that. Now if only someone would do Snowcrash in movie format, we could have the greatest cyberpunk movie marathon ever; Blade Runner, Neuromancer, and Snowcrash!
Possibly one of the best Doctor Who reviews I have read lately comes from the LA Times, in the Doctor Who midterm checkup story. It is nice to see that some folks (meaning Robert Lloyd in this case) are paying attention and can express themselves in a way that helps others understand where we are in the series.
This simple and sad video caught my attention over at SF Signal, so I wanted to share it here.
Todd Miro has put together an absolutely brilliant article explaining quite a bit about how today’s movies ended up looking the way a lot of them do, and posted it at Into The Abyss. If you’re into making your own movies, particularly if you process them through a computer (and who doesn’t these days), there will be bonus material for you in this one.
In 1990, Douglas Adams got together with Tom Baker, and they made a program for the BBC called Hyperland, a documentary about the Web. The Internet had been around for decades at that point, and even became common among early adapters around 1984 through dedicated client services like AOL and Compuserve. But the modern version of the Web was being invented as this program was being made, and only came into being two years later, around 1992. So here is a bit of history; you can find more here. By the way, did you see the Doctor and Romana hawking computers in the early ’80s? How about Captain Kirk?