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Feature — Live-Action

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In the Shadow of the Beast: The Kaiju Genre & Kaiju No. 8

Grant Jones dives into the wild world of giant monsters and how Kaiju No. 8 builds on their legacy. Kaiju No. 8 is a series that wears its influences on its sleeves. As the first word in its title suggests, it comes from a long line of works in the kaiju genre, using giant monsters and burning skylines as a backdrop to tell stories. While many likely know kaiju in a passing sense, it may help to h...

At 25:00 in Akasaka BL Drama Cast Discuss Kiss Scene, Personal Hobbies at Live Event

Kiita Komagine and Taisuke Niihara show how they perfected the right angle for their on-screen kiss. ― The cast members of the new BL drama At 25:00, in Akasaka showed off what they do at 25 o'clock (1:00 am) at night. And it's nothing like what happens in the drama. While somewhat underrepresented in the anime industry, boys' love (BL) has a strong presence in the manga and TV drama world. With at l...

Why Does Japan Love Columbo? An Investigation

Sean Aitchison explains how Japan's love of the mystery genre and manzai comedy made for the perfect environment for Peter Falk's Columbo to take root. Columbo has seen a modern renaissance in the last few years, a renewed popularity resulting from the effective formula, Peter Falk's timeless performance and its endurance through a modern lens: the queer community finding attraction in his untradit...

Godzilla 1954 and Godzilla MINUS ONE Sneak Peek

― We all know Godzilla. Toho's famous monster debuted in the black-and-white film Godzilla over half a century ago. The Japan Society in New York City held a free screening of a long-archived 35mm print of the original 1954 GODZILLA to commemorate the original King of Monsters along with a special sneak peek of Takashi Yamazaki's live-action Godzilla Minus One film ahead of its U.S. theater premier...

Live-Action One Piece Lives Up to the Amazing Manga

The sets feel lush and hand-crafted, the costumes and character designs are just as outlandish as what you'd find in the anime, and most importantly of all, the show doesn't feel ashamed to be the buck-wild fantasy adventure that One Piece is. ― I should start by saying that I am far from a One Piece expert. Heck, before the summer of this year, I'd never watched or read any of One Piece before; the ...

Playing Takao in the Stage Version of Makoto Shinkai's The Garden of Words

Stage actors Hiroki Berrecloth and Kurumu Okamiya discuss the inner workings of Takao and getting into character for a live performance. ― The stage version of Makoto Shinkai's film The Garden of Words is running in London until September 9, at the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park. Shinkai's film follows a schoolboy, Takao, who encounters a mysterious woman in a rainy Tokyo park. The play is based on th...

Katsuhiro Otomo's Domu Pilot: An Unnerving Movie Adaptation That Could Have Been

Domu remains a cursed affair: forgotten in the shadow of Otomo's more famous creation and repeatedly stumbling in attempts to bring it to a broader audience. It remains a story reserved for the select few who seek it out. ― Domu is a unique story within Katsuhiro Otomo's illustrious career as a mangaka and director, and not solely for its content. Despite being its predecessor, Domu is often compared...

The Double Writer's Guide to Kamen Rider

With Hideaki Anno's Shin Kamen Rider hitting Japanese theaters, now's a good time to sink into the series. Here's a guide on the best films and shows available in North America. ― With Hideaki Anno's Shin Kamen Rider hitting Japanese theaters, we decided it may not be a bad time to take a look at the slowly but surely growing collection of Kamen Rider series and films available in North America. In t...

The Many Adaptations of Death Note

Hollywood can't get enough of Death Note. With yet another adaptation reportedly in the works from Netflix, Kennedy looks at the series' many versions, both fan-made and official. ― Since the manga's completion in 2006, Death Note has been adapted 5 times, and has yet another adaptation said to be on the way. If that sounds like a lot, it's because it is. Most manga can realistically hope for only o...

Hero of a Lost Era: Examining the Context of Kamen Rider Kuuga

Art is most often a response to the world it was made in. Sometimes that response might be a light remark, and other times, it's a loud scream. 2000's Kamen Rider Kuuga is one of those screams. ― The following article contains major spoilers for Kamen Rider Kuuga © Shout! Factory/Toei Productions/Shotaro Ishinomori Art is most often a response to the world it was made in. Sometimes that response migh...

Live-Action Knights of the Zodiac Director Tomek Baginski, Action Choreographer Andy Cheng, & Producer Yoshi Ikezawa

A team whose credits include The Witcher, Shang-Chi, and the CG-animated Saint Seiya series shared their five year journey to bring Knights of the Zodiac to reality. ― Director Tomek Baginski and Toei Animation producer Yoshi Ikezawa dove into the details of their partnership and how they worked together to bring Knights of the Zodiac to life. Fight choreographer Andy Cheng spoke about his involvemen...

Live-Action Knights of the Zodiac Writers Josh Campbell & Matt Stuecken

"[Seiya] is such a great character from the get-go...He grows up feeling so lonely and in that loneliness, he builds walls around himself because he's afraid of letting someone else in for fear of getting hurt again." ― Screenwriters Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken, best known for their work on 10 Cloverfield Lane, are the minds behind the movie's script. Having worked on multiple projects in the pas...

Live-Action Knights of the Zodiac's Madison Iseman and Diego Tinoco

In the first of our three-part interview, Diego Tinoco (Nero) shares his thoughts on the anime to live-action trend: "I’m sure our film and One Piece are gonna be the gate openers in this whole new storm of anime live-action adaptations." ― Actors Madison Iseman (Sienna) and Diego Tinoco (Nero) gave hints of what fans could expect for their characters and spoke fondly of their time together filming K...

SDCC 2022 Panel Report – Live-Action Knights of the Zodiac Film

"At this point, we could talk to you about the Sanctuary arc, the Poseidon arc, or the Hades arc. We can talk to you about dozens of different characters in the story. We love all of it." ― Comic-Con attendees were treated to the newest information on the live-action adaption of Masami Kurumada's Saint Seiya. Knights of the Zodiac is set to release in 2023, and the movie's social media accounts revea...

Precure's Henshin Hero Heritage

Japanese pop culture melds across its various mediums on a regular basis, but there's one magical girl anime franchise that takes its rip-roaring live-action influences to a level that has translated to multiple decades of unprecedented success. ― Japanese pop culture melds across its various mediums on a regular basis, but there's one magical girl anime franchise that takes its rip-roaring live-acti...

I Want to Hold Aono-kun So Badly I Could Die Live-Action Star Shori Sato

This isn't Shori Sato's first role in a live-action adaptation of a pop culture work, but his role as the eponymous Aono-kun is something a little different– he's a ghost. We asked Sato about some of the challenges of playing a dead boy, his relationship with the source material, as well as his take on ghosts, ahead of the release of the TV show. ― I Want to Hold Aono-kun So Badly I Could Die isn't ...

What Was Cowboy Bebop Really About?

So Netflix put out their live action Cowboy Bebop a couple weeks ago and, as expected, it was a colossal dumpster fire. Ember Reviews breaks down how the live-action series' major failure is misunderstanding the point of the original. ― So Netflix put out their live action Cowboy Bebop a couple weeks ago and, as expected, it was a colossal dumpster fire. However, of the many, many things that I could...

Hiroshi Fujioka Looks Back at 50 Years of Being Kamen Rider

"My encounter with Kamen Rider is the biggest thing that ever happened to me—it really changed my life. But more than that, I think it even changed history." ― Earlier this month, I got the chance to sit down with Hiroshi Fujioka at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2021. In a skyscraper overlooking central Tokyo we talked at length about the role that made him a household name in Japan fifty yea...

Interview: Cowboy Bebop Costume Designer Jane Holland

"Immediately after getting hired, I consulted the youth in my world who watch anime! And they issued a warning, 'Māmā Holland, don't f*** it up'. I took them seriously." ― A large part of what makes the Cowboy Bebop anime such an enduring classic is its distinctive aesthetic style, of which costume design is no doubt a significant component. If Netflix's upcoming live-action adaptation of the anime w...

Gridman, Dynazenon and the Hasegawa Nexus

Scriptwriter Keiichi Hasegawa is critical to the Gridman Universe project. Adam Wescott explains the anime series' tokusatsu origins and its irreplaceable scribe. ― What separates SSSS.Gridman and its spiritual successor SSSS.Dynazenon from the rest of Trigger's output? Plenty of folks have tried their hand at nailing down the genius of Gridman and Dynazenon by now, but nobody's yet addressed to my s...

Review: Satoshi Kon: The Illusionist

French director Pascal-Alex Vincent found himself with a difficult question. What more is there to say that hasn't already been said about a director whose work stands as some of the most beloved animated media ever produced? ― Satoshi Kon was a one-of-a-kind creative force within the anime industry, a visionary director with a style that was distinctly his own. Despite directing just four feature fi...

Anime and Olympic History Meet in The Witches of the Orient Documentary

Before Haikyu!!, there was Attack No. 1. Chikako Urano's classic volleyball manga. The true story that inspired the manga is even more momentous and groundbreaking. ― Before Haikyu!, there was Attack No. 1. Chikako Urano's classic volleyball manga, which originally ran from 1968 to 1970, was the first ever shojo manga with a sports theme to become a TV anime. The series is still influential to this d...

Illang, Jin-Roh and the Kerberos Saga: A Brief History of the Dogged Pursuit of Justice

Korean director Jee-woon Kim has a fresh adaptation of Mamoru Oshii's dark thriller Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade out on Netflix! Oshii expert Brian Ruh is here to untangle the surprisingly expansive Kerberos universe for you. ― From his first film twenty years ago, South Korean director Jee-woon Kim has taken on a variety of themes and genres, from comedy (The Foul King), horror (A Tale of Two Sisters a...

Crunchyroll Expo 2018: Alita: Battle Angel Panel Report

All the details from this weekend's Alita: Battle Angel panel at Crunchyroll Expo 2018, with comments from director Robert Rodriguez, producer Jon Landau and Alita herself, Rosa Salazar. ― One of the marquee events at Crunchyroll Expo 2018 was the Alita: Battle Angel Manga to Movie panel, featuring the creative team behind the upcoming feature film adaptation of Yukito Kishiro's cyberpunk sci-fi mang...

Premiere Report: BLEACH (Live-Action 2018)

Get all the supernatural details and a full review of the new live-action BLEACH movie from director Shinsuke Sato (GANTZ), straight from the film's English-language premiere earlier this week. ― BLEACH is the highly anticipated live-action adaptation of the world-renowned Tite Kubo manga and anime series about the adventures of supernaturally gifted, orange-haired teenager Ichigo Kurosaki (Sota Fuku...

Everything You Need to Know About the Revolutionary Girl Utena Musical

To celebrate the shojo classic's 20th anniversary, Utena got its very own musical this past March, supervised by Kunihiko Ikuhara! Superfans Giovanna and Yasha break down the best of this stage show's spectacle and how you can still see it for yourself. ― When we initially went to see Revolutionary Girl Utena: Bud of the White Rose, the new musical that played in Japan for ten days, it was sort of an...

Interview: Becoming Byakuya with Miyavi

The world-famous guitarist discusses his transformation into Bleach's Byakuya Kuchiki ahead of his solo concert this Sunday in New York City. ― World-famous guitarist Miyavi scarcely needs an introduction – after lighting hearts on fire all over the world as the guitarist for visual kei smash Due le Quartz in the late 90s, Miyavi launched a spectacular solo career that took him to new heights of inte...

When Gundam Came to Hollywood

The fascinating untold behind-the-scenes story of how close we all came to seeing a lavish live-action American-made Hollywood Gundam movie back in the early 1980s. ― Gundam is a franchise with few secrets. Decades of worldwide popularity and tenacious fans have left few stones unturned, but there's some mystery left: In 1983, Hollywood filmmakers were working on a live-action Gundam adaption. It wa...

Interview: Live-Action Fullmetal Alchemist Director Fumihiko Sori

"The original manga is a very deep story, and I wanted the movie to be as profound." Our interview with the director of the live-action Fullmetal Alchemist is live now! ― Earlier this year, the hotly anticipated live-action Fullmetal Alchemist movie made its overseas premiere at AnimeNYC. To commemorate this event, the director himself, Fumihiko Sori, attended the convention on Sunday. I was lucky en...

Did Netflix Make A Decent Death Note Film?

Our full, spoiler-free report from the premiere of Netflix's hotly anticipated live-action Death Note film, complete with photos and what you should expect from the movie. ― San Diego Comic-Con: The epicenter of western pop culture entertainment. As fans lined up for hours to get a peek at the latest Thor and Justice League movies, a few blocks away from Hall H, a smaller, but enthusiastic crowd vied...

Interview: Tokyo Ghoul (live-action) Director Kentarō Hagiwara

The director behind this challenging action/horror manga adaptation discusses the process behind bringing the shock and wonder of Tokyo Ghoul to life on the big screen. ― Just before its wide Japanese release, the live action Tokyo Ghoul film premiered at Anime Expo on July 3rd, 2017. Hundreds of people waited hours in line for a chance to see the film, whose screening filled the JW Marriot's Diamond...

Interview: The Cast and Crew of live-action Attack on Titan

The director, producer and the two lead actors from the live-action Attack on Titan film take questions from the movie press. PLUS: a one-on-one interview with director Shinji Higuchi! ― This press conference was held before the world premiere of the first live-action Attack on Titan film in Hollywood, California. In attendance were the film's director, Evangelion storyboard artist and scriptwriter S...

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