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RNG Anime Review: Wolf Children

By:Ana Khayos

It’s been over a year since my husband and I gave up cable and been dipping neck deep into the world of online streaming. So far we have been getting our moneys worth with Netflix, but recently I’ve been exploring the world of Amazon Prime with some of my friends.

Tonight was movie night.  I prepared the dinner while my friends browsed for something to watch.  When I came back from the kitchen there was this amazing trailer playing for a movie called Wolf Children.  The trailer clearly stated that it was by the director who did Summer Wars, which was just amazing, so I was hooked and was excited to see it.  Neat less to say that it was worth the 3 day rental for $3.99 on Amazon Prime.

The Story

The movie focuses on the narrator’s mother Hana who fell in love with a Wolf Man (werewolf).  She proceeds to tell her mothers love story, and the tragedy that leads her to become a single mother who had to raise two unusual young children who are also Wolf People by the name of Yuki and Ame. Everybody knows that being a married, widowed, or a single mother is a tough job especially since there’s no book to tell you how to really raise your kids.  Now imaging raising wolf cubs/kids by someone who is now raising children by herself and has no experience with wild animals.

The movie does a wonderful job in converting a difficult and normal situation for a mother with young children to be even more difficult when she is trying to hide her childrens unique condition.  Simple things like having a young child being sick becomes a question between taking the child to the pediatrician or the vet.

All in all, the entire movie echoes around one question “When you grow up, do you want to be human or wolf?”.  The mother sacrifices everything to make sure her two wolf kids have the chance and freedom to make up their minds when it comes to this important question in their unique lives.  Hana drops her studies, gives up her life in the city, moves to the country and learns to live a simple frugal life of secrecy while learning how to live off the land like other local farmers.  The movie will have moments that bring you joy and other moments that just make you cry because of how close you can relate to the main protagonist challenging situation. Is just a phenomenal story.

About the Movie

The film was produced by Studio Chizu (known for Wolf Children), and Madhouse Studios how has a very long portfolio of animated films including The Animatrix (short), Batman : Gotham Knight (short) , Death Note, Metropolis, Millenium Actress, Paprika, Paranoia Agent, Perfect Blue, Summer Wars, and Vampire Hunter D just to name a fraction of their well known work.

The story was created by Mamoru Hosoda who also co wrote the screenplay and directed the film Wolf Children. You might recognize some of his work as director in several productions for animated tv episodes, movie, animated intros and shorts such as Summer Wars, Samurai Champloo, One Piece, Superflat Monogram (short), and Digimon : Digital Monsters . He also has credentials as a writer, a worker in the animation departments, and art department in other several productions such as Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Girl Revolution Utena, and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.

Mr Hosoda life experienced in the animation industry is well reflected in the quality of his work.  In 2012 the movie itself was released in 34 different countries and territories, and it was second highest grossing film in Japan on it’s day view weekend July 21-22, 2012 beating Pixar’s film Brave who was released in Japan that same weekend. On it’s opening weekend the movie grossed better than his previous movie Summer Wars (1.6 billion Yen) with an astonishing 4.2 billion yen making Wolf Children the 5th highest grossing movie in Japan of 2012.  Since it’s released the movie has won several awards internationally captivating audiences all over the world.

Conclusion…

I would love to learn more about the actual production of the film being an animation junkie my self.  All in all I give this movie at 10 out of 10 especially if you are an older adult in your childbearing years (late 20’s to 30’s).  You will find a lot in common with Hana and the challenges she faces to provide for her family. Sorry… if you are looking for explosions, action scenes, giant robots and scary blood thirsty monsters this movie might not be for you.  If you would like to see a good solid story about human capability, perseverance, sacrifice, family, love and complex relationships between several characters this movie is for you.   Love it. I must buy a disk copy for my collection in my bookshelf.

via Blogger http://ragingnerdgasm.blogspot.com/2014/01/rng-anime-review-wolf-children.html

RNG Anime Review – Last Exile

by: Ana Bruja-Khayos

The first time I heard of Last Exile is was almost 8 years ago.  At the time I used to work for several studios and worked 16 hours day everyday and didn’t take breaks simply because I could not afford too. My friend Matt would keep an eye on me and make sure I didn’t work my self to death along with my friends Jeremy and Felice.  Back then, it  was the era of high hope for the 3D industry.  It was starting to become more affordable for studios to create 3D graphics and it was easily being implemented on everything from commercials, tv series, animated series, and film.  Great times… great times…

My friend Matt lent me his box set of Last Exile and said it was good.  So I took him on his offer and watched the series during the in between few moments of down time I had.  The box set had a picture of two children on a vehicle of some sort painted with great earthy tones that added to the steampunk look many of us have learned to love.  It made the corner of my mouth curl up since the the other steampunk material I’ve ever enjoyed at the time was Disney’s the Rocketeer.

About the show

As the series opens up, you see the same two young kids on the box set name Claus Valca and Lavie Head flying what you quickly come to learn is a vanship.  Their job as sky couriers is the most reliable and fastest form of communication followed by the courier pigeon.  Each job they pick up in mid air comes with different danger rating.  The higher the rating the more dangerous it is but the better it paid. Other ways these kids would pass the time is to race their vanship against other pilots and dream about following their fathers footsteps by going to the Grand Stream and cross over.

Claus and Lavie live a very average existence in this world.  You get the sense that these two young kids have a been through alot together in their young lives and have deep bond of family. Their daily life is simply full of hard work and barely getting by with little money, some food and low quality water.  Their world is currently suffering from a major division between governments fighting with giant warships and  even higher power known as the Gill. As these war are happening, Claus and Lavie stumble upon a dangerous mission to protect a little girl called Al.  She seems to be of great importance and simply holds the key to discovering what Exile really is.

With Al as their cargo they go beyond their borders to discover a whole new world where the battle is real on a day to day basis. Alongside the Captain and the crew of the Silvana, Clause and Lavi find themselves fighting to bring down the evil force oppressing most of the word called the Gill all while protecting Al and learning about themselves, the value of their relationship, what is truly important to them.

About Last Exile

Last exile is one of the those series that if I understand correctly it was not a manga first developed into a series.  The manga was developed much later on.

Gonzo Studios compiled an experienced crew that had a unique history for this project.  Director Kichi Chiira, production designer Mahior Meeda, and character designer Range Murat had worked together in one of the first CG anime series produced called Blue Submarine No. 6. With all the FX needed for the show you can see why they were a unique fit for this series.  The 26 episode show Last Exile first aired in April 7,2013 till September 29,2013.  The show was so popular a few months after it first aired it was dubbed in English and distribute in Europe where it also became very popular.

After 9 years from it’s original day view, Last Exile was brought back in both Manga style and in another short anime series called Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing.  The manga was launch on 2011 and is still ongoing today, however the anime series aired from October 15, 2011 to March 23, 2012 and is now dubbed in English as well.  Fam, the Silver Wing has the same director from the original series which make me very excited about seeing the new series.  There is another Manga series being produced under the name Last Exile and that is Last Exile: Travelers from the Hourglass.  The series was also started in 2011 and is still ongoing today.

Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing

Final thoughts

Last Exile is a show that in my book goes into the classic list. The world has a 1900’s to 1920’s look to it with hints of Art Deco Movement implemente in some of decor of the ships, vehicles, and some of their structures. It is visually pleasing and is great series to watch.

via Blogger http://ragingnerdgasm.blogspot.com/2013/08/rng-anime-review-last-exile.html

Couch Day Anime – “Desert Punk” Review




By: Ana Bruja-Khayos


Ah Netflix… what would I do without you.  If you are like me and work behind a computer all day you probably run into the problem that you must have either music or a video you have seen tons of times playing in the background in order to make the time more bearable. In this line of work I often find myself looking for new series to watch.  I will say that I’ve always been a Disney kid but in the recent years I’ve been migrating to more and more anime. Not because I love the art style but simply I love to watch giant robots and more adult based stories.  Something Disney just can’t do or simply are not willing to do anymore.  So I realy on my Netflix to suggest something to watch.  Low and behold here comes “Desert Punk”

Desert Punk is what I like to call “couch day anime”.  Meaning you can literally watch the entire series in one day just slacking on the couch and you don’t feel unsatisfied when you are done. The series only has 24 episodes, but you will laugh you buns off.

The Story

When I first saw the intro of the show I was worried that I might have started watching something that looked like Power Rangers. There’s nothing wrong with Power Rangers but I simply was not in the mood to watch people fight in monster costumes. The intro was gritty and looked like something that a college film student made but it really added to charm and I’m sure it helped cut down cost on the animation budget.  The music is catchy and after awhile you find yourself humming it as you continue to watch the show.

The story takes place in the very distant future after a horrible catastrophe left most of the humans roaming around planet full of sand and little water.  Our lead character is a reflection of the harsh conditions people face in this world.  A young teen boy name Kanta Mizuno, has earned the nickname of “The Desert Demon” but his reputation follows him under the name of mercenary “Desert Punk”.  Just like many others he must wear heat protection suites, carry weapons, and supplies not only to survive but to do his job as a mercenary.  The ruthless desert has truly pushes people of all ages to do whatever needs to be done in order to survive including stealing, blackmailing, double crossing and killing friends, family, and associates.  No one can be trusted, not even toddlers.

Desert Punk is involve with several other rivals mercenaries for hire in the area such as The Machine Gun Brothers, and Rain Spider.  Each group very deadly and merciless but they all untruthfully rely on each other when things get tough.  Just like most young boys Desert Punk really doesn’t have any long term goals since he lives in a world where you can die at any moment, however is very intelligent and is often underestimated which becomes his greatest and deadliest weapon in the harsh desert.  His goals are simple “guns”,”food”, and  “chicks with big tits”.  The first two is not so bad but the third one gets him in a world of trouble when he meets another mercenary known as Junko Asagiri, followed by a little girl name Kosuna who quickly becomes his future apprentice.  Between Junko’s tit’s and Kosuna’s miss haps Desert Punk goes through some funny and hard scenarios that make this show so funny.  

Story Origins

At the time the 13 volume manga was written and illustrated by Usune Mastoshi back in 1997.  His previous manga work involved other works such as “Killer Boy” (1987), “Metal Box”(1989), and “Eater” (1991).  The series was produced by Gonzo Studios and directed by Takayuki Inagaki who has an extensive resume as a director, assistant director, animator, storyboard artist, key animator in series such as “Naruto”, “Space Travelers”,  and “ Princess Tutu” to name a few. The series originally ran October 4th,  2004 to March 30th, 2005 and was mainly aimed at Seime (young men of 18-30) demographic.

Final thoughts

All in all this was a very fun series, however I would not show this to young children and definitely not to a hard core feminist since the main focus of the main character is chasing after women like a horny dog chasing after meat.  Hey the guys is around 14, what do most teen boys think about around that age… exactly. All in all the show was full of action, funny moments, and twist and turns that will keep you entertained for the entire 24 episode run.  All in all this is a must re-watch in my book and will recommend to others to watch.

via Blogger http://ragingnerdgasm.blogspot.com/2013/08/couch-day.html

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Mobile Suite Gundam Wing – Zech Marquise figures

Mobile Suite Gundam Wing - Zech Marquise figures

Mobile Suite Gundam Wing – Zech Marquise figures. Check out our flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ragingnerdgasm/sets/72157630577764840/

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Yasutor 'Chad' Sado from Bleach

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FLCL Canti Hot Topic Exclusive 1999 Gainax Kaching Brands

FLCL Canti Hot Topic Exclusive 1999 Gainax Kaching Brands

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