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Miss Hokusai is a film by Keiichi Hara about the daughter of Katsushika Hokusai, one of the most famous artist’s of Japan. You may not know his name, but you have seen his work, like the iconic Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, of which this is one:

36 Views: Under The Wave Off Kanagawa-Hokusai
36 Views: Under The Wave Off Kanagawa-Hokusai

He was also the man who made Manga a household word meaning a picture book with words and sometimes a story, although that wasn’t his intent. Starting at the age of 55 in 1814, he wrote a series of Manga which were published every week or two as an instruction manual for his disciples and apprentices (pretty much the same thing in Japan at that time). There were only around 220 of them, so the publisher put the magazines up for sale to the public, in hopes of recouping at least part of his printing costs. Sales took off; working class people used them to to educate themselves and become more cultivated, craftsmen used the illustrations as models for their work, and the nobility and wealthy classes collected them avidly. Hokusai produced well over 1,500 of the volumes, and Manga became a mainstay of the Japanese culture. This anime is obviously a loving tribute of one artist for the work of another; I am sorry I missed it in the theaters, and will have to track down the disc or streaming service it resides on, because I really want to see it.

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale is the feature film coming to theaters later this year, continuing the saga. This trailer has the Lisa theme song as its core, and a story line based on a nightmare from VR starting to spread into reality by way of AR. Not just based on the light novels by Reki Kawahara but actually written by her specifically for the movie, I am looking forward to seeing this one on the big screen.

New music from One OK Rock is always worth celebrating, and there are a few recent tracks to enjoy. The first is Taking Off, posted on November 30th, a nice acoustic track from a Studio Jam Session which has Taka sporting a new look. The track after that is the full official version of the song, followed by Bedroom Warefare. These are from their new album Ambitions, their tour to support the new release began 4 weeks ago, the album becomes digitally available worldwide on January 13th, and yes, that means on iTunes, Amazon, and the other usual outlets.

The first major public event for the new live action Ghost In The Shell took place several weeks ago in Tokyo, and has been posted online by a number of folks; the one used here is from Germany’s Movie Maniacs team. This was the event where they released the first full trailer, and also did some interview time with actor/filmmaker Beat Takeshi (Takeshi Kitano) and actress Scarlett Johansson, both of whom were named. Also on stage for the interview was director Rupert Sanders, only named Rupert in the video segment, with actor/interviewer Chris Peppler of NHK fame doing the Master of Ceremonies job and asking all the questions. They start the video off with the musical segment that accompanies the Shelling of the Ghost footage led and directed by composer and musician Kenji Kawai, who they also never named. I figured it was appropriate for me to name everyone correctly here.

Shin Gojira AKA Godzilla Resurgence is in theaters as of tomorrow, and runs for one week. On Friday Max Steel is the combination of human Max McGrath and alien Steel, who become the superhero when they have to. This is a spinoff of a TV series based on an action figure, so it is somewhat Transformers-like in its genesis. Considering it was filmed in the Carolina’s and the toy company producing the movie is Mattel, I am not sure why the only official web site I could find for it is in Japan.