Freddie Prinze Jr says Kiefer Sutherland is unprofessional… and nearly everyone replies “Who is Freddie Prinze Jr?” Kiefer’s people address the situation the most obvious way: by pointing out that he has a lucrative career, and that Fox wouldn’t have brought “24” back after 5 years if he were.
While those stars are squabbling, “Walking Dead” actor Steven Yeun addresses racism in Hollywood. He discusses that he has trouble getting roles because there simply aren’t roles for Asian men -and worse, many roles meant for Asian men a whitewashed. You can read more on that here.
Geeks Of Doom gave fans the low down on blu-ray special features for “Agents of SHIELD” they link up a pretty rad blooper real, too.
Quentin Tarantino, now making his foray into comics with Dynamite’s Django Unchained/Zorro crossover series announces that he’ll be directing 2 flicks due out in 2015, one called “The Hateful Eight” and the other? A superlength version of Kill Bill with a 30 minute anime scene.
Also straight out of Comic-Con: Jensen Ackles talks about “Demon Dean” in the season 10 storyline. & Sam Raimi announces an Evil Dead TV series made for Groovy Bruce himself!
In the world of non-entertainment news from San Diego ComicCon: A man plowed into a “Zombie Walk” He started edging out trying to get through the crowd. People/zombies upset about his dangerous driving started banging on the car and sitting on the hood. The man freaked out and drove into the paraders and also injured an 84 year old woman who was not part of the walk.
For the record, I like Wonder Woman’s get up, it’s serious + powerful. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery and it’s just one Amazon emulating another after all. I’ll count it as a nod to Xena and hope that Gal Gadot can hurl and insult or deliver a battle cry half as fiercely as Lucy Lawless.
The mere mention of her name gets a strong reaction from Outlaws, pirates and space forces alike. She steals and android from notorious Chinese pirate guild, the Kei Pirates, and in an altercation that ends with the death of their leader at her hands.. she loses one of them, and an eye. She gets a cybernetic arm and swears vengeance! Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Sadly, Hot Ice Hilda only lives 2 episodes in to Outlaw Star.
Hilda’s pursued by the Kei pirates across space and crash lands on Sentinel III. With her ship and arm in disrepair she plays innocent under the identity of a blonde rich girl named “Rachel Sweet” and cons Gene Starwind into helping her out with materials and repairs. She also enlists him as a bodyguard. When Kei pirates catch her scent, her true identity as the infamous outlaw is revealed. Gene attempts to complete the job he agreed to. He shoots the pirates with the magical and obsolete Caster Gun while Hilda chucks grenades, they make it to the barn where the ship is hidden, Hilda thanks Gene …and then shoots him and takes Jim hostage to finish repairs.
Gene doesn’t die and she ends up taking him along into space (which he’s always been afraid of) they get into various shenanigans and the two have sex. Hilda has the stereotypical warrior/traveller viewpoint and just wants a warm body next to hers. She on the “masculine” side, she yells at Gene when he is scared she is demanding and doesn’t do anything in the way of being sympathetic -but she still encourages him. After a brief stop over on Blue Heaven (where guns are not allowed and she fights with her badass robot hand and a taser) she, Gene, Jim and Melfina return back out into space and they are attacked by Kei Pirates and the outlaws The MacDougal Brothers. Hilda proves that she will do anything to the Kei Pirates. Even if it means her own life… Her message to Gene? “Outlaws never go down easy, now matter what happens to them.” And she dies taking out the last pirate there to fight.
Hot Ice Hilda is responsible for the whole plot of the series! Hilda was the one searching for the Galactic Leyline. She didn’t know what it was, she just knew Kei pirates wanted it, so she wanted to get it first. And you really can’t argue with that logic. She’s vengeful, but mature and rational, capable, savvy and utterly ruthless. She was the one responsible for getting Gene into space and off Sentinel III where he was a big cocky fish in a small pond. She was the catalyst for so much of the plot. And she was fridged. But she provided more than emotional turmoil for Gene (although there certainly was that), her infamy brought them enemies, her disregard of an order from a Ctarl-Ctarl ship brought the wrath of Aisha Clan-Clan down on Gene and co., her death left Melfina’s existence a mystery and a treasure to be searched for.
It’s just really awesome to have this REALLY not girly, not conventionally feminine love interest who gets some unassuming man caught up in the adventure of his life. In many adventure fantasies it is a woman getting dragged behind as the plot unfold because of the drive of a man. But in this one everyone else is just along for the ride, whether they want to be or not.
Too bad that she was too badass for a story about some guy with red hair and his 11 year old business partner. (Just kidding I love this show, but it would have been totally different if she hadn’t left Gene alone in space to have his adventure and get vengeance)
This incredibly enjoyable series begins with the adventurers oh an unlikely duo, Ferris Eris and Ryner Lute. They are sent to collect Hero Artifacts by Sion, the King of Roland. The leaders of a neighboring country called Estabul are also on the hunt for artifacts. Ryner is cursed with “magic eyes” demonic powers that come forth in the form of red pentagrams through his eyes. Through their early missions they are confronted by magical knights from the neighboring territory ..and Milk Calloud, part of the taboo breaker squad who works for King Sion, but doesn’t know about the mission. Milk is the captain of her squad, she’s also got a big time crush on Ryner and thinks that ferris must be enticing him to break the rules. Milk is giddy and girlie. She is very capable, but has childish ways of getting herself out of trouble (usually yelling that she has to use the bathroom). From the beginning Ferris is fierce, great with a sword, constantly teasing Ryner and obsessed with food.
Particularly tea and dango
Ferris is a really fun and interesting character. She’s not above violence, but she disdains killing, she’s a loyal warrior. Although she constantly picks at Ryner -calling him a pervert who corrupts virgins and their mothers with a wolfish grin although this is completely untrue- she teases him for his laziness and incompetence, but she is a true friend.
Ryner is incredibly lazy, in the beginning episodes we see him lounging his way through military school, even when tasked with the important mission retrieving artifacts he is unmotivated and unimpressed. He constantly takes naps and complains about any work to be done. He laments at the end of each episode about how everything sucks. It’s whiny and annoying. He’s “cursed” but as someone who consumes a lot of fantasy genre media, it’s heard demi-god power defined as a curse before. I’m not buying. However, as we get deeper into his history, learning that part of his memories are missing, that he was raised in an orphanage that his childhood friends were killed right in front of him (which was the first time the Alpha Stigma was truly unleashed). He killed many people and sees himself as a monster. Most Alpha Stigmas never reach their full potential because they go crazy young. This all reaches a head in episode 10, when he and Ferris meet up with two pink haired travellers who have already claimed 4 Hero Artifacts that are working for Sion’s enemy Gastark. They fight, Ferris is thrown by the smaller female wielding an ice scythe leaving Ryner to abandon his fight to catch her, she remarks, “Is my beauty so distracting to you?” and he says, “What the hell is your problem?” The male of the antagonist duo calls forth Ryner’s Alpha Stigma, the demon voice attempts to convince him that he should burn everything, that destruction would be more enjoyable than trying to fit in and play hero with humans who don’t accept him. He nearly loses himself and attacks Ferris. Ferris hurls insults at him and then tells him that there’s no way he could be a monster, she doesn’t believe he’s really trying to kill her. She overcomes his magic and he collapses in a heap in front of her. He thinks that now that she’s seen him for what he is that she’ll leave. He tells her he’s too dangerous. Ferris plainly says that there will be no telling her where to go and that besides that they had a date for tea. He starts to cry and she doesn’t coddle him, but makes it clear she won’t leave him. I’m a total sucker for scenes like that and to be honest I have no idea what to do with someone over the age of 12 who is crying, hugging and making sarcastic comments is likely. So I found Ferris’s actions endearing. But by now the audience understands that Ryner isn’t a lazy goofball, he’s clinically depressed and nothing seems worthwhile.
For the most part, nothing much changes in their relationship, although they both internally reflect back on that day. One act of acceptance does not cure Ryner of his depression. It’s a handful of episodes more before we get more backstory on Ferris who is nobility and well trained to be a warrior from a young age, her parents considered her a failure and decided she was only useful as a vessel to carry on her family’s bloodline so her father attacks her, her father is then killed by her very powerful and protective brother. The showing is brief and isn’t very graphic. It provides insight as to why she is so protective of her younger sister and why she sees Ryner as a pervert. It’s likely she sees all men as perverts. Her snarky attitude is cover for her sadness the way that Ryner’s laziness is cover for his.
Throughout the series they encounter new enemies, either trying to beat them to the Hero Artifacts or just enemies set on vanquishing Alpha Stigma monsters. Ryner makes it his goal to save any Alpha Stigma kids before they kill and become corrupted. The story also follows Milk, and another love interest of Ryner’s, Kiefer, who belongs to Gastark’s kingdom. King Sion is a complex character himself, he abhors violence, believing that all life matters and people all have a place in this world but with those in his kingdom afraid of those bearing the Alpha Stigma he is forced to take precaution against Ryner. He’s also collecting artifacts that carry god-like powers which seems akin to political tactics like “peacekeeping through superior firepower”. He’s also harboring some big secrets. Towards the end Ryner meets others “cursed” like him and he sees that they are not all monstrous killing machines.. secret origins get revealed.. There’s a lot going on here.
An amazing story, great animation, masterfully executed, humorous, full of action and high fantasy. It’s lush and gorgeous. It’s funny and sweet and exciting.
Based on light novels by Takaya Kagami originally illustrated by Saori Toyota.
As I have mentioned, I was covering Anime Boston last weekend and while I was there I picked up some goodies.
Including this manga right here! I loved the Trigun anime series, which wasn’t nearly as popular in Japan as it was on Cartoon Network. We have a flashy gunslinging hero with a 60 billion double dollars bounty on his head who goes on adventures on desert planet Gunsmoke with a motorcycle riding priest. I was pretty much raised on Westerns and Space Westerns were kind of a natural progression for my overactive imagination. He’s a Humanoid Typhoon!
The series was verbatim to the original manga. Trigun Maximum is a continuation from where the series stopped (the crater being put on the moon), it picks up 2 years late, with Vash living under and fake name and Meryl and Milly have returned to their jobs in a more mundane capacity. The art is a little messy but I might only be saying that because full color comic books have spoiled me immensely. But I do love Vash the Stampede (not as much as I loved that showy dude with a kooky name from my other favorite Space western- Gene Starwind), Vash- despite being a gunman and a NATURAL DISASTER- doesn’t want to kill anyone, so he takes many blows himself, this leaves him scarred up and somewhat bionic.In Vol. 1 he faces a gang that’s using his name for purposes of extortion and a town driven to the brink by constant threats of murder. Vash finds non-violent solutions for both of these scenarios, but the priest, Wolfwood, bears bad news. Knives is back. Knives Millions is Vash’s brother who was willing to wipe out a whole planet because he saw humans as inferior.
In Vol. 1 we also see that the priest, Nicholas D. Wolfwood, doesn’t take the “thou shalt not kill” thing as seriously as Vash. They butt heads immediately about how much force is excessive.
“You think a guy who can’t kill a man.. can save a man?”
Vash’s sensei who outfits him with the weapons he needs to fight knives agrees with Vash’s actions, but his sensei’s new protege, Brad, sees it as a waste of time.
There are interesting debates about morality. But through this volume he chooses the Justice League code of ethics.
Meryl and Milly, two women who work for an insurance company tasked with minimizing the damage caused by the Humanoid Typhoon briefly appear and save Vash’s butt. They’re fun characters. Meryl is smitten with Vash but doesn’t blindly follow him. She has to “minimize damage” as part of her occupation but she, along with Milly, also are Vash’s protectors.
I want more! I’m not sure why it never occurred to me to seek out more source material from a series with characters I enjoyed so much! worthwhile purchase, indeed. 4.5/5
upworthy takes on female fantasy armor. Creator of 90s cartoon Gargoyles releases YA series that takes place on fictitious islands in the Bermuda Triangle includes ghosts supernatural forces as a group of friends try to solve a mystery. The Jem and the Holograms movie is being cast on tumblr but sadly it’s being made without creator Christy Marx
John Ostrander speaks up about the changes DC made to his character Amanda Waller.
In “But Why?” news: The Grudge is getting a reboot.
+Walking Dead tribute brew is made with …real brains. Smoked goat brains that is.
I’ve actually been meaning to write about this one for a while. The premise is perfect. A boy who fails to get into any prestigious private schools is accidentally enrolled in a school for monsters, Yokai Academy. The only human, surrounded by snow ghosts, succubi, werewolves, vampires, witches, cat people and blob monsters quickly attracts a posse of magical females… who all want him. The age and premise make this akin to a gender-swapped City of Bones. Powerful females constantly protecting the puny human from a world that he was unwillingly cast into? Multiple suitors vying for affection? One of them is an outright stalker?
Tsukune Aono flirts with Moka Akashiya (who is a sweet girl wearing a rosary that keeps her violent vampire form underwraps), Tsukune likes her but doesn’t like sharing his blood and isn’t 100% about dating a vampire. He is also pursued by a busty succubus, Kurumu…
…and the super stalker Mizore.
Mizore begins as a villain, willing to hurt Kurumu, Moka and even Tsukune himself while in pursuit of his affections. During the altercation Tsukune blames himself. Says that this is all happening because of him. Kurumu wisely speaks up, telling him that he is not to blame, “It is never the victims fault! People are responsible for their own actions!”
This is something that is few and far between in media aimed for the tween and teen set (although I wouldn’t rate this anime in that category) we often see victim blaming in YA. Examples include, audiences not liking Clary’s “friendzoning” of Simon, the “romantic” stalker Edward’s over protectiveness of Bella, Buffy’s mother blaming her for the creeper behavior by Angelus after they sleep together. So I had a fist pump moment when she blurted that out.
Tsukune is also kind of a special snowflake himself: he’s the only one that can remove the cross from Moka’s neck. He solves his problem using traditionally female tactics like talking out problems with the monster.
Although I’m touting the feminist power of Rosario + Vampire… Moka’s transformation scene leaves much to be desired in that category.
At Anime Boston there was a panel called “Fight Like a Girl: How Magical Girls Weaponize Femininity” the presenter was named Nina (if anyone has additional info, throw me a comment, I’d love to add it) and she brought up this excellent point about magical girl transformation scenes from Sailor Moon and Ballerina Tutu. The Females put on jewelry, get a hair makeover and/or change into a fancier outfit. This can have both negative and positive interpretations. From “you have to be beautiful and girly to have power” to “you can be pretty and girly and have ability as well” to “pride in your appearance can be empowering” and it is really individual preference that will dictate one’s interpretation.
But with Moka: We get and upskirt, her breasts enlarge and her shirt busts open. Brief flashes of (albeit not graphic) nudity ensue before her hair lightens. Her inner-vampire is a true immortal in the body of a girl and I see why this happens but I have trouble concocting a positive twist on cleavage and panty shots being a sign of power. The anime itself is rated MA 18+ (there’s a BDSM teacher/monster, a perverted senior and a million upskirts) so the case can be made that this is for adults… but the characters are still Freshman and Sophomores and one member of their group is only 11, Yukari Sendou.
And the lessons learned are very teenage. Yukari, for example, faces bullying for being a witch (a “being of the borderline” AKA a supernatural HUMAN) until Moka and Tsukune stick up for her. She’s also coming to terms with her sexual orientation she falls first for Moka and then for Tsukune she wants them to have a three way relationship. In one episode, after being teased by volumptuous Kurumu she wants to grow up and visits the school nurse who feeds off her body shame and self loathing but transforms her into a beautiful womanly figure who instantly attracts attention. In the end she learns to love herself as she is and not grow up too fast. So the rating and life lessons are very incongruent. I don’t know what the rating is in Japan and I have heard that the 18+ rating is ethnocentric and based on prudish Western connotations.
Still.. there’s nothing empowering about wind blowing your skirt up.
If you can get passed that it is very good and lots of fun. I enjoy seeing how the group of friends gets out of trouble and am impressed with how often opening their circle up to other characters- who are mainly female- solves conflict. I also enjoyed the varied interpretations of monsters, and despite pandering to male audiences there is some genuine girl power.
Outlaw Star is the story of a man who has a fear of outerspace after an attack that killed his father and crash landed him of Sentinel III. Through a series of ill advised odd jobs he winds up on an intergalactic treasure hunt. He faces hitmen (and hitwomen, and teams up with some of them) and faces the MacDougall brothers who killed his father. He’s kind of maladjusted- Gene is brash and perverted, his best friend and business partner is 12, he’s a braggart and he’ll do anything for a dollar… or oldschool ammo.
But he can be sweet (when he’s not trying to impress anyone) usually to Melfina, sometimes to Twilight Suzuka. Mostly he has a live fast, die hard philosophy. I mean, he uses magic bullets that deplete his life force to take on Tao Priests.
He’s a bad ass. And look at that red hair! Gauged ears, punk cliche tattoos?
Just one of those flawed retro-future heroes, he’s often compared to Trigun’s scarred up, flashily coifed, troubled protagonist, Vash the Stampede. But Gene is without an angel arm or any “powers” of his own, a regular guy with a soul sucking sidearm who will casually share a meal with an alien assassin.
Gene proves he’s more than a perv when he promises that he will help the almost human android Melfina find out who she really is all while hunting for the galactic leyline and battling the MacDougalls, he thwarts legendary assassin Twilight Suzuka and then asks her to join his crew after she deems herself a failure for not killing him, he also takes pity on the outcast Ktarl Ktarl and puts up with her pompous showboating. All while mourning legendary space pirate “Hot Ice” Hilda. Clearly not fearful of strong women. Always a plus.