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C'mon Hollywood #219


...keep the mature anime coming!
by J.A. Hamilton

I have no problem with Pixar, Disney and the many other studios pumping out numerous family/teen oriented animation flicks, but when I hear the word anime, I start thinking of my old friends over at Manga. I still remember my first anime adventure, FIRE AND ICE, that I rented while working at Blockbuster when I was in High School. I didnít really ďget itĒ back then, I was more intrigued by the concept of watching a cartoon movie featuring blood, swearing and nudity. In University I was introduced to VAMPIRE HUNTER D (that and BLOODLUST are still two of my favorites) about a sword swinging vampire bounty hunter with a talking hand. My fascination with anime only grew from there. What draws me in with these films is the fact that the skyís the limit. Nothing is taboo here, and as much as I love regular films, thereís simply no end to the cool feats you can accomplish in the anime world.

He reminds me of Alucard

My best friend Aaron swears by AKIRA, but Iím more of a NINJA SCROLL man myself. There are so many fascinating elements wrapped into the rich storyline and larger than life (often tragic) characters like Kigero, Jubei and especially the eight devils of Kimon. GHOST IN THE SHELLís futuristic ďBLADERUNNERĒ setting was engrossing, stylish and quite sophisticated. Itís an edgy Sci-Fi world that literally grabs you by the balls and doesnít let go. I mention these ones first (not because theyíre the only great titles out there), but because, at the time, they opened up a new world for me and itís very hard to re-create that ďfirst timeĒ feeling you get when anime pops your cherry. Oh, and the boys over at Manga are still going strong with HIGHLANDER: SEARCH FOR VENGEANCE, a must see for fans of the series. Iím also happy to report SPAWN: THE ANIMATED SERIES will be back in 2010, hopefully to HBO.

Mmmm, ninja

Like the family oriented stuff, mature anime offers more than enough venues to suit your individual needs. For the gamers out there, thereís RESIDENT EVIL: DEGENERATION which brought Leon S. Kennedy into the mix (straight off the heels of RESIDENT EVIL 4 which featured Leon as the lead character). Iím a fan of all things RE, from the games to the Milla led feature films. This animated adventure was a fantastic mesh of both worlds, and having just played through RE 4 (my favorite of the series), this flick couldnít have come at a better time for me. Then thereís FINAL FANTASY ADVENT CHILDREN, the animated feature film which picks up shortly after FINAL FANTASY VII (the game) ends. This thing was a spectacular tour de force from beginning the end, whether youíre a fan of the games or not (and Iíll also add, that you HAVE to watch the ďcompleteĒ version on Blu-ray. Itís awe-inspiring).

Twelve years after his FF debut, Sephiroth is STILL the man

Iím also very much enjoying the Marvel/DC anime lately. Sure, itís a middle ground medium when compared to other anime, but itís getting better and better with each passing year. Titles like HULK VS and GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT for example, are fantastic ways for first time fans of Wolverine, Thor and Green Lantern to get to know the characters before seeing feature films like X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE (though admittedly itís kinda late for that one), the upcoming THOR and Ryan Reynoldís GREEN LANTERN. They may not answer every question, but I personally didnít know much about GL until watching FIRST FLIGHT. His origin story is far better than I imagined, complex and (if done right) will make for one hell of blockbuster. Iím now VERY excited to see Reynolds bring Hal Jordan to the big screen.

Someday...if I'm lucky

Now for me, the best thing about anime on the comic front is seeing stuff like PLANET HULK come to town, as anyone familiar with the comics knows, is a prologue to a much greater story in WORLD WAR HULK. Epic storylines like this one are generally ďcosmicĒ in nature, meaning they feature a good portion of the corresponding labelís Super Hero roster, and as a result, will probably only come to us via animated format. X-MEN, FANTASTIC FOUR, and (hopefully) THE AVENGERS are no doubt the closest weíll ever get to seeing various Heroes on the big screen all at once. Iím cool with that, as long as they make it to the animated front. I would love to see THE INFINITE GAUNTLET, CIVIL WAR, DEATH OF CAPTAIN AMERICA and MARVEL ZOMBIES (the last one being a guilty pleasure), to name a few, but rest assured there is no end to the first rate stories they can bring us. So as a fan of all venues, keep em coming Hollywood.

Extra Tidbit: There are vast amounts of anime out there (especially when you delve into the hardcore Japanese titles). Iíd love to hear some of YOUR favorites in the strike backs as Iím always on the hunt for more top shelf mature anime.
Tags: Hollywood



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