• The Catharsis of the Void in Anime Horror: Vampire Princess Miyu

    The anime horror television series, Vampire Princess Miyu, turns 22 this year. It’s a weird anniversary to note, but appropriate for a series that didn’t get a 10th or 20th-year celebration. Despite being one of the better series to come out of Studio AIC in the ’90s, over two decades later, it seems to be largely forgotten in the US. What was Vampire Princess Miyu? Why did it disappear? Is it worth remembering?

    Welcome to Miyu’s Dark Realm

    Vampire Princess Miyu is a 26-episode television series that aired on TV Tokyo from 7 October 1997 to 31 March 1998. It was originally a manga series created by manga artist and director Narumi Kakinouchi and her husband, Toshiki Hirano. It ran for ten volumes between 1988 and 2002. Aside from the television series, it produced several spin-off series, as well as a four-episode Original Video Animation (OVA), in 1988.

    Kakinouchi and Hirano have both worked in the anime and manga industry for decades in various positions. Kakinouchi is mainly known as a manga artist, with her most popular work being Vampire Princess Miyu. Hirano directed the Miyu OVA and TV series; he’s probably known best for directing Magic Knight Rayearth.

    This article was written for PopMatters. Please read the full article here.

  • Shirley Clarke’s Bridges-Go-Round

    When I think of Structural film my mind goes right to Paul Sharits’ T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G. This is probably due to the fact that T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G meets all of Sitney’s requirements to be considered structural. It was also the only film that I feel physically assaulted me so, that probably helps it stand out in my mind. Going forward into my perception of structural films, I think of slow, simple, often intentionally frustrating films where the form is more important than the content. I enjoyed Shirley Clarke’s Bridges-Go-Round, though it didn’t exactly fit my understanding of the definition of structural film. I’m going to analyze the film in terms of Sitney’s definition of structural film and then give a personal response to the work overall.

    Sitney states that there are four characteristics inherent to structural film. The first characteristic is that the camera is fixed. The camera does not tilt, pan, or zoom: it stays static throughout. The second characteristic is that there is a strobe or flicker effect used. Looping, or repetition, is the third characteristic. Lastly, some type of retouching needs to be done to the film in post-production. While not listed directly by Sitney, it is usually the case that structural films value form over content.

  • Paradise PD Review

    PARADISEPD

    In the beginning, there was this show on Comedy Central called Brickleberry. I never really watched it.  It got canceled. And I guess the creators just got a new show on Netflix called Paradise PD.

    The series appropriately follows the misadventures of the police department in the titular city of Paradise. The characters that make up the police department are as deep as any paper plate. There’s black cop, woman cop, fat guy cop, old cop, drug-addicted dog cop, the chief, and his bumbling-but-well-meaning son

    Each episode follows the Paradise PD as they solve a case or face a dilemma of some kind. While each episode is mostly independent, there are some ongoing serialized plot threads that come together, especially during the tenth and final episode of this season.

  • How To Order From Amazon Japan

    Amazon Japan now ships tons of items to the United States. However, if you don’t know Japanese, ordering from the site can seem a little overwhelming. I’ve created a step-by-step guide on how to order from the site in English. It’s a lot easier than you’d think.

    First, navigate to the Amazon Japan site.

    Next, scroll down to the bottom of the page and find the little globe icon.

  • Criterion Finally Announces The Decalogue

    Criterion has announced that they will be releasing Kieślowski’s masterpiece The Decalogue on DVD and Blu-ray on September 27, 2016. The film features a 4K transfer and tons of extras, including the full-length versions of A Short Film About Killing and A Short Film About Love. 

    This ten-part series originally aired in Poland in 1989 before being released worldwide. Each part is an hour-long short film dealing with a different commandment in a loose way. Each story is complex and very moving. The Decalogue has been released in the US before by Facets, but the quality left a lot to be desired. This is one of my absolute favorite films from one of my absolute favorite directors, so I’m ecstatic we’re finally getting a 4K restoration from Criterion.

     

  • Radiant Review

    Blacklight was a complicated album. The music was darker and subtler than the three Iris studio albums before it. It was slower, more ambient and not as immediately accessible. That fact, combined with the overt religious references in the lyrics seemed to create a kind of divide among fans. I wasn’t initially impressed with Blacklight myself, but after repeated listens the genius of the album eventually shined through. It’s an amazing album, albeit a grower.

  • Viz Gives Zetman Physical Release

    It looks like Zetman is finally getting a physical release in the US. It was initially offered subbed as a simulcast on Hulu (you can still watch it there) and is currently airing dubbed on Viz’s streaming service, Neon Alley. Viz is bringing the 13-episode series based on the Masakazu Katsura manga of the same name to Blu-ray and DVD on November 5th.

  • The Inbetweeners: A Comparison Between the American and British Versions

       Introduction
                In 2008 a British sitcom by the name of The Inbetweeners premiered on E4. It was the first comedy series commissioned for the channel, which mostly aired American imports. The show followed a group of male teenage social outcasts attending Rudge Park Conservative. The show’s premise was based around the typical male coming-of-age sex comedy and a lot of the basic content was rather standard fare. While the territory certainly wasn’t new, The Inbetweeners managed to breathe new life into the genre through its well fleshed-out characters and its over-the-top raunchy content. The series became extremely popular. It ran for three series, won several awards, and even spawned a feature film in 2011.
                The series’ popularity did not stop in the UK. The show eventually aired in Australia, France, Canada, Belgium, Sweden, New Zealand, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Columbia, France, Portugal, Russia, the United States, Norway, the Netherlands, and Spain. While the series aired on BBC America in the United States, MTV decided that they would remake the series. It is no surprise that they wanted to remake this series. British series are the most popular television import in America (Mittel 443) and some remakes of these series, such as The Office, have been extremely popular.  The first episode aired in August of 2012.
                This paper intends to look at the similarities and differences between the two versions of The Inbetweeners. By discussing the differences and similarities in form and content, this paper also hopes to spread some light on the fundamental differences between the American and British television systems. Lastly, this paper also makes an attempt to understand just how the American version turned out so bad.