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  • Project A-Ko

    Project A-Ko

    ★★★★★

    A-Ko's very near and dear to my heart. It was the first anime I saw with explicit knowledge of it BEING ANIME. I'd seen some of those localized shows from the early 80s (Voltron being my favorite), but that was no different from Muppet Babies or Superfriends in my mind-- it was all goofy stuff I absorbed at an impressionable age. But THIS was the first thing I rented knowing full well that I was getting into that weird shit…

  • California Crisis: Gun Salvo

    California Crisis: Gun Salvo

    ★★★★★

    Just realized I never posted a link to my review of this thing over on my blog.

    I will champion this strange, apparently unfinished (yet still commercially released in Japan) OVA oddity until the day I die. If anything, it works better NOW than it likely did then, because it's playing with a whole bunch of filtering of nostalgia and foreign pop cultures in ways that feel very much in the vein of more recent trends. It does for 50s…

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  • Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train

    Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train

    ★★★★

    My knowledge of Demon Slayer before watching this movie: Oh, yeah, this is the current BIG Shonen Jump series. It's about fighting demons and stuff? OK. Nah, don't wanna watch the TV series, those things usually don't click with me.

    My knowledge of Demon Slayer after watching this movie: Oh, yeah, this IS the current BIG Shonen Jump, and I can totally see why. It's earnest and on the nose the way most recent series tend to be (My Hero…

  • Wrath of Man

    Wrath of Man

    ★★★½

    For two thirds of the movie, this is like some sort of medieval revenge story, where Jason Statham is akin to an avenging angel. Even once you find out his very grounded motivations, it still feels like he's this otherworldly THING sent here to dispense judgment upon a society so sick that the only cure is a divine bullet. At the same time, the opposing forces he's seeking also feel just as otherworldly. There seems to be no trace of…

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  • Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost

    Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost

    ★★★★

    As far as long-running cartoon franchises that take old, apocryphal entries and loosely work them back into the "canon" go, I dug this more than Dragon Ball Super: Broly.

    It's a far more herculean effort to take a character like Flim Flam and make him bearable than it is to do something similar with a character like Broly.

    Also, there's some genuinely fascinating stuff going on in here with the character dynamics of Fred and Daphne, given that Fred was…

  • La La Land

    La La Land

    Gosling's character makes a big huff about jazz-- a dynamic art that has changed and morphed many times over the years-- and how it's dying. Never mind that the notion that jazz being on the verge of dying is fatalistic bullshit, despite this supposedly lingering fact, his character is also staunchly bound by tradition, despite the people he holds up as idols NOT sharing that sort of attitude. He cares more about who sat on a stool than he does…