[EXPRESSO] Ghost In The Shell -Stand Alone Complex 2045: Sustainable Warfare (2022) | Cyborg Cut

I’ve reviewed the first season of Stand Alone Complex 2045 before in detail, but as a refresher for season 2 finally arriving (2 years after the first one, dang) later this month, i’d figured i watch the film-like compilation cut of Season 1, titled Substainable Warfare, recently arrived on Netflix.

Btw, yes, this actually follows the continuity from the older Stand Alone Complex series, being set 11 years after the event of the movie Solid State Society, BUT, in typical GITS fashion, it’s also a separate entity that can be enjoyed on its own… even though in this case you really need to have some familiarity with the Stand Alone Complex series to get the most out of it.

As a very quick primer, GITS it’s about an unit of elite special agents, Section 9, led by Motoko Kusanagi abd working for the Japanese goverment, with its members having various degrees of cybernetic implants and specialized skills used to deal in terrorist attacks, infiltrations, hacking incident, and all that cyberpunk jazz.

Here we have the group mostly disbanded and acting as a mercenary unit in America, until the rise of the so-called “Post Humans” leds to Section 9 being re-formed to deal with the issue.

The recut itself it’s well done (though it does away completely with the “geezers bank heist” episode, shame), in terms of the material… well, it’s still better than Arise, though it tries a bit too hard to update/modernize the cyberpunk themes, and this first part/season ends on a cliffhanger when it starts getting good.

Then there’s the okay but kinda questionable choice of artstyle, going for a fairly good 3D CG that sadly doesn’t feel THAT much improved upon, 11 years after the same animation studio (Sola Digital Arts) curated Applesee Alpha in similar fashion.

Berserk and The Band Of The Hawk PS4 [REVIEW] #musoumay

Even if i reviewed (or re-reviewed, since i did already cover this one in 2017 on my older Italian blog) this one before of Miura’s passing, i would have told a tale of sadness, woe and disappointment.

But i won’t deny that with Kentaro Miura spiralling out of this mortail coil just over a year ago… there’s an extra serving of melancholy to the subject, which it’s ironically fitting in its own way.

As you would expect, there was some expectations at the time, even more since Koei Tecmo teased it and made a big deal about one this being one of more bloody and violent Warriors games ever…. and in hindsight it’s very telling, as they also did this lip service for Warriors Of Troy. Oh boy.

That aside, you would expect the Berserk musou to be pretty bloody and gory regardless, and it definitely delivered on that, can’t take it away from the game. I can though laugh at the fuckin localized english title they went with for this game, Berserk’s main character has a name, and a pretty not-generic one, you know?

He’s called Gatsu/Guts, just so you know.

Though that it’s not completely random, as the game starts from the Golden Age arc and covers up to the Hawk of the Millennium Empire Arc, with them boarding the ship after fighting Ganisha serving as the closing chapter.

Continua a leggere “Berserk and The Band Of The Hawk PS4 [REVIEW] #musoumay”

Spy X Family (2022) [ANIME FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

I didn’t plan to do another “first impressions” piece on a recent anime release, especially since the original manga by Tatsuya Endo (whom you might be already familiar with, as he previously worked on fan-favourite TISTA) sky-rocketed in popularity after debutting on Shonen Jump in 2019, and especially last year as it received wider releases globally.

A relatively new series on Jump with an original premise that doesn’t fall in the “battle manga” genre, but instead goes for a spy theme was bound to turn heads and be popular, and eventually get an anime series. So here we are, and while this series doesn’t need my “push” to become popular or anything (as it’s also streaming in most countries on Crunchyroll, which is obviously marketing the hell out of it) it’s one of the few shows i’ve decided to actually follow as they air this season (alongside Ya Boy Kongming!, of course), so might as well say something about it.

Once again, i’m considering the first 3 episodes as a basis to draw these first impressions from.

Continua a leggere “Spy X Family (2022) [ANIME FIRST IMPRESSIONS]”

Paripi Koumei / Ya Boy Kongming! (2022) [ANIME FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

(Impressions based upon the first 3 episodes)

I stumbled by chance into this new anime, and i feel it was meant to be, given my love for Romance Of The Three Kingdoms i’m not gonna skim over a new anime with good ol’ Zhuge Liang (AKA Kongming) as the protagonist, especially since it’s not a historical tale, but a sort of isekai-ish story where, after his death by illness in the Wuzhang Plains, sees him reincarnated as his young self in modern Shibuya during Halloween.

He gets drunk as a skunk and enjoys the party life that night, then the next day he’s helped by a young girl, an aspiring singer called Eiko, realizes what actually happened to him, and decides to help her back by serving as her “career strategist”, but first he needs a job to secure some “war funds”.

Luckily Eiko works and sings at a club run by a huge ROTTK nerd, so “ya boy” Kongming is hired as a barman.

Continua a leggere “Paripi Koumei / Ya Boy Kongming! (2022) [ANIME FIRST IMPRESSIONS]”

Vampire Girl VS Frankenstein Girl (2009) [REVIEW] | Draculina VS Kabukistein’s Daughter

Ah, yes the other kind of “Vlad Love”, not the comedy extravaganza by beloved author Mamoru Oshii, but the vampire biting, the wrist cutting, the blood spurting like geyers after each and every bizarre mutilation, which in some cases will enable flight, this the kind of love we’re talking about today!

While i could have reworded the truth as an excuse to review Tokyo Gore Police (it is after all the love story between blades and mutant flesh, a lot of both, etc.), i think the occasion just fits another japanese horror gore-o-rama from director Yoshihiro Nishimura (the aforementioned Tokyo Gore Police, Helldiver, Meatball Machine, Mutant Girls Squad), co-directing here alongside a another famous name in the “pink eiga”and horror genre, Naoyuki Tomomatsu, better known for his zombie comedy horror Stacy from 2001, also known as Stacy: Attack Of The Schoolgirl Zombies.

Continua a leggere “Vampire Girl VS Frankenstein Girl (2009) [REVIEW] | Draculina VS Kabukistein’s Daughter”

Shintaro Kago Artbook ARTBOOK REVIEW

Given my adoration for the ero-guro master that is Shintaro Kago, i was gonna jump immediatly at the chance of adding an artbook of his to my collection (which it’s quite extensive, if i say so myself)… and i did. Had to import it, since it was gonna be handled by french publisher The Mansion Press, instead of the many italian and international publishers who usually publish his works (including underground – and fellow italians – firms like the excellent Hollow Press).

Not that it mattered, since The Mansion Press ships worlwide, it’s an artbook, and it happens to be localized in english.

“Localized” in the sense the publishing credits and the few titles-thems of the pieces are translated in english. It’s absolutely 100 % import friendly, so worry not on this regard.

Continua a leggere “Shintaro Kago Artbook ARTBOOK REVIEW”

One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows PS4 [REVIEW] | Anonimity Force

Worry not, Namco isn’t removing this from sale this February like Jump Force, just shutting down the online servers for it.. already (game came out in 2020), but i’ve played this this past month, so enjoy this extra anime fighter review of One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows, it’s on the house!

On a conceptual level, i feel pity towards a game like this, based on a popular shonen series that turned heads at the time because of it’s modern attitudine and unique premise of an overpowered superhero that defies his goofy look and can literally one-shot any foe he meets with a single punch.

One Punch Man is also more than a gimmick, but the premise was ripe to do something quite different with it in terms of a videogame adaptations… and instead Namco Bandai did exactly the most obvious, lazy and low effort thing they could with the license, another 3D arena anime fighter, in an overpopulated sea of the buggers, mostly all released by Namco Bandai anyway.

Continua a leggere “One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows PS4 [REVIEW] | Anonimity Force”

[EXPRESSO] Demon Slayer: Mugen Train (2020) | Eternal Pyre

Fuck it, i’m reviewing this one as well, since it did eventually arrive just now in theathers here in Italy…. after being made available on Amazon Prime Video months earlier, but i’m willing to watch it again to support anime cinema releases, and to properly assess things further for a review.

Since the series it’s the more recent shonen manga success story, i doubt i need to introduce Demon Slayer/Kimetsu No Yaiba, even more since i feel its success lies in being pretty straightforward and easy to connect, as its set in a fantasy Japan of old, where demons lurk at night and feast on people, but are fought back by a secret order of samurai with mystical blades and techniques, the Demon Slayer Corps.

The protagonist, Tanjiro, becomes a Demon Slayer in hopes to undo the curse that made his sister Nezuko a demon, and along the way befriendes the cowardly lightining fast swordman Zenitsu, as well as Inosuke, a wild boy wearing a boar mask.

The plot revolves around the trio being tasked to – alongside an experienced demon slayer called Rengoku – embark a train and protect the people on it from eventual demon ambushes, and this isn’t an original story, a mostly disconnected one-off adventure, as most of these shonen anime movies are, but actually bridges the events of the first and second season, and has some important stuff happening in it, so i wouldn’t recommend jumping into this if you haven’t seen the first season (or red the equivalent manga chapters), for spoiler reasons.

That said, it can be watched fine on its own, and rewatching it made clear it’s a pretty good shonen manga film, with excellent animation from ufotable as expected, funny moments, good drama, likeable characters and intense fights with high stakes.

This Summer: One Piece Films Retrospective

In love with this design, holy shit!

As you might now, the new One Piece film, titled One Piece Film: Red, was announced in November 2012 set for a summer 2022 release. Which isn’t really “new” as from One Piece Film Gold in 2016 Toei makes a new movie every 3 years, but i’m finally ready to review all One Piece films… again.

As in – like i previosly told – i previously reviewed them to accompany the release of One Piece Stampede back in 2019 on the original italian version of the blog, so in the previous years i’ve reviewed the One Piece OVAs and the TV Specials, as i wanted to make some time pass, as i’m rewatching them all and writing the reviews from scratch, instead of translating, reworking, polishing the old ones.

Who knows, in time i might have changed my opinions on some…. and i mean “some”, there’s one in particular than i might have even harsher words for, but we’ll see.

[EXPRESSO] My Hero Academia The Movie: World Heroes’ Mission (2021) | God Loves, Hero Kills

We’re at the third theathrical movie for My Hero Academia, and that itself it’s a testament to the popularity of the franchise, if nothing else. Make no mistake though, i quite like MHA.

That “disclaimed”, there are certain expectations that inevitably come with a movie based on a popular shonen manga series that still on-going, even though MHA started the modern trend of having the movies’ original stories being considered (somewhat) canonical by its creator.

I’m not gonna explain the premise of MHA here for time sake, but i will say it’s quite fitting how the plots of the movies for a series inspired by american superhero comics… borrow liberally from their heritage. Like Heroes Risings, the plot it’s heavily “X-Men inspired”, this time about Humarise, a sect of people that believe the power of the Quirks (the superpowers almost everyone in this universe has) will eventually get out of control and bring about the end of humanity.

So they plant bombs filled with a special gas that makes Quirks go berzerk, and pin the blame of their terrorist attacks on Izuku Midoriya and his new friend Rodney, having him and the Pro-Heroes at large intervene to stop Humarise’s agenda…

While the plot on paper should make the story more cinematic than before, in practice not so much , as most of the movie its spent with Deku and Rodney on the run, so the world spanning mission and the many heroes are put on the background, all for a new ally character that’s ultimately quite clichè, slightly better than the villain, not really interesting in characterization or design.

The script also suffers from more of the usual “shonen anime film”-isms, not exactly inspired.

It’s decent overall, but it’s the weaker MHA movie so far in pretty much every aspect.