tilly_stratford: (Cello in the rain)
Voice actor Goro Naya passes away at age 83.

Most famously he was the original voice of Inspector Zenigata in Lupin III (and the longest-serving cast member besides Kiyoshi Kobayashi, having voiced Goemon in the pilot episode), and is the second one of the original cast to pass away (he did a beautiful eulogy at Yasuo Yamada's funeral).

Goro Naya became my favourite member of that voice cast, mostly because he had such range - he turned the Zenigata from a sadistic asshole of the manga into a sympathetic civil servant. He also handled comedy so, so well, even when the gags didn't play to his strengths (like the running joke that Zenigata is terrible at English when he himself had the best English diction of the entire cast).

He had a very long and varied career both before and during his decades-long stint in Lupin III, both in anime (like in Space Battleship Yamato, Kamen Rider and Miyazaki's Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind) and as a dubber of Hollywood films for the Japanese market (he was the regular dub voice for Charlton Heston, Clint Eastwood, Clark Gable, John Wayne and John Cleese). He did badass really well.

Really sad at this news. I think I'm going to rewatch some Lupin episodes now...
tilly_stratford: (Fred and Cyd: Don't mind you watching)
I've finished this aboslutely amazing animated TV series (haha look at me still uncomfortable with the term "anime") called Baccano! and it was so wonderful and perfect and good. I haven't been this excited about storytelling in a TV format since The Wire. Aaaah, the plot, the characters, the setting (1930s America!), the music (OH GOD THE MUSIC), I loved every minute of it!

If you'd told me "hey watch this anime about gangsters fighting over a wine that gives immortality to the one who drinks it" I'd probably be all "uh, maybe later?" but I just went for it because I thought the art style looked cool and then it turned out to be fabulous.

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And perfectly contained in 14 episodes, Baccano! was so good I really don't want them to ever bring it back or revive it. I'm gonna rewatch it at some point though, definitely!

No holes

Oct. 31st, 2012 05:00 pm
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
The Lupin III completist in me is once again sated. I've finally seen the ten-minute OVA Lupin Family All-Stars, and it was delightful! It's based on one of the original manga chapters (minus the usual nudity, sex and, uh, colourful language - but it retained the surreal humour), and the animation is absolutely top-notch, even if the art isn't. It made me smile, though I'm sad to see the old voice cast go.

Also, heads up: A new Lupin TV film premieres in Japan this Friday. Based on the press release and trailer it'll probably be a lacklustre affair. When even the animation in the trailer seems low-budget, it's time to lower your expectations. It makes sense though, I suppose TMS poured the money into this years' TV series and then spent a few nickles and dimes on the annual TV film. Ah well, I know many are looking forward to another by-the-numbers Lupin film after the rollercoaster that was the Fujiko spinoff, and it's about Marco Polo's Il Millione!

Anyway, tonight's Halloween. I plan to put on a movie (maybe Mask of Dimitrios or maybe the 1931 Dracula) and draw some more. Got some bonbons in case some errant children knock on my door. It'll be a comfortable evening.
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
Oh gosh, watching the finale of the new Lupin series was one of the last things I did before I moved out of my rooms in Bergen and I've been busy so I've sort of had a week and a half to overthink it (and partially forgetting I was going to do another entry about it, oops) and wow my grammar is shot to hell right now.

But yes, the first Lupin TV series to run since the eighties has just finished and now I'm back to having watched every. single. bit of Lupin anime (apart from a recent OVA titled Lupin Family All-Stars, plus some silent sketches from the Mankatsu TV show), boo.

But yes, finale. And thoughts about the overall series. Mostly the latter.

Ep. 13: 'The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, part 2' )

Woo, finished! You survived! Here's your "I lived through Tilly's volatile reactions to the new Lupin TV series" medal!

Catch up!

Jun. 26th, 2012 08:20 pm
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
Ah gosh, only one episode of the new Lupin TV series remaining. And I've been too busy to do the recap of the episodes I've been watching - but here's a quick run-through!

Ep. 8 - 11. Some spoilers. )

Which brings us up to date - the penultimate episode!

The One With the Fun Fair

A casual reminder that, yes, the villains are owl men. And that Lupin wears fabulous beatle boots.

Ep. 12: 'The Woman Called Mine Fujiko, part 1' )

So yeah, just one more episode to go - gosh, has it been thirteen weeks already? Sadly I'm not quite sure when I'll find the time to watch it, seeing as I'm pretty busy with moving this week... But man, it better be memorable, that's all I ask.
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
Ack, I feel bad about not having blogged about the new Lupin TV series for ages. "Feel bad" not in the "oh no I'm letting down my ~audience~" way but in the "this is something I like doing and I want to do it all the time", but currently it's a question of computer issues. Well, the issue being that I don't have my computer. But I've caught up with the show now and I plan on returning to Bergen and my computer in a few days, and then we're back in business.

Because yeah, there are only two episodes left of this series and now I'm getting invested. Figures.

To be honest I'm just inordinately relieved that things are starting to add up! We're getting answers! Of a sort! And boo to this show for keeping the audience completely out of the loop for nine episodes! That was kinda annoying!

I mean there's still stuff I hate about Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna (it's taken me ten weeks to memorize that title) - like, Jesus does it get pretentious at times, and also fuck off Zenigata, but I'm reaching this zen state where I'm coming to terms with how 80% of my enjoyment comes from how completely gorgeous the art and sound editing is, and when has being a Lupin fan NOT been about enjoying something with obvious flaws?

Well I'm waiting with my final judgement until the end, but at least I'm interested in seeing how it ends now!
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
Well, "Cuban". Featuring Che Guevara Fidel Castro "Philadel Kest".

Ep. 7: 'Music and Revolution' )
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
An actual Fujiko-centric episode in the Fujiko spinoff, by jove!

I'm left with more questions than ever. Except that all Catholic schoolgirls are lesbians, that's apparently a given.

Ep. 6: 'Prison of Love' )
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)

Ep. 5: 'Bloody Triangle' )
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
So halfway through my train journey I thought "Hey, I still haven't watched that Lupin episode" and seeing as the car was virtually deserted I set up my laptop, hoping the battery would last through half of it at the very least.

It lasted four minutes. Not enough to get any sort of grip on what the plot was about, but just enough time to take in what is pretty much the first scene in this series to genuinely shock me.

Again, pretty much my reaction.

Ep. 4: 'Living in Love, Living in Song' )
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
Which got grating REALLY fast. But anyway: New Lupin III episode, introducing everybody's favourite descendant of that folk hero they boiled in oil.

I had the same reaction.

Ep. 3: 'The Lady and the Samurai' )

So okay, the first episode introduced Fujiko, Lupin and Zenigata, the second was a Jigen episode, the third one was a Goemon one. I have, officially, not a single clue what the next episode might be about, ooooh exciting!
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
You probably haven't the slightest idea of what's coming, do you. Like a squishy little earthworm cheerfully crossing a busy footpath.

There's gonna be a new Lupin III TV series starting in April! The first one since 1985! There's gonna be a Lupin TV show in my lifetime!

So heads up; If it's absolutely awesome* that means I'll never stop squeeing about it, and if it's complete rubbish** I'll probably talk even more about it so I can pick it apart and use the pieces to mend my broken heart. Even if it is terrible in every way, I'll still watch all thirteen episodes the moment I can get my hands on them. Because at some point I became one of those fans, obviously; A forty year old franchise, and I'll be damned if I don't get to study ever little piece of it.

But you needn't worry, I'll use cuts. Because spoilers. And, uh, "sensuality" I guess.

*Takeshi Koike is in charge of character designs so there's every possibility it'll look stylish as hell.

**The series is going to be Fujiko-centric (the one whose main character trait is that she has enormous boobs, you remember) and the show is apparently going to be "sensual". Oy.
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
There's just something about keeping list that seems so... satisfying!

So here we are, list of this year's movies (short films, documentaries and rewatches not included).

Movies 2011 )

All in all I feel the list isn't as varied as it was last year, but that's probably because I haven't had the money to go to my beloved film club this semester. On the other hand I've been watching a lot more foreign movies ("foreign" as in non-English) than usual.

A good movie year, I think.
tilly_stratford: (Deadpool day)
For me, 2011 has been the Year of Learning To Appreciate Tea. After a lifetime of disappointment in the hot beverages department, this year I was finally introduced to one kind I didn't mind too much (Kentish apple loose leaf) and then I drank a cup every night until it had become an essential part of my daily routine.

It's taken some practice (tea is actually the most complicated drink I've yet to prepare for myself) and getting the timing right was an arduous process. Let's face it, I'm absentminded as hell. The only reason I eventually got the timing right was because I was watching an episode of Lupin III every night at the time, and I based my timing on that (start of episode; put infuser in - somewhere in the first scene; take infuser out; eyecatch appears - the temperature is now just right for consumption; final scene - finish tea).

When I'd finished the last season of that I found it worked nearly as well with Batman: The Brave and the Bold (it was harder figuring out the halfway point without a bumper/eyecatch). When I finished that, I started watching Doctor Who every night and made horrible tea as a result.

So these days I'm watching Trigun (helpful eyecatch again!). My first decision ever based on, yes, tea. Essentially.

Don't ask me why on earth Trigun happened to be the anime I chose, it's a complete mystery to me. At some point I remember thinking "Hey, what's that Western pastiche thing with the tall doofus in the red coat? I'll watch that". When did I get exposed to it, how did I know about it at all? It's also the most absurd and over-the-top TV show I've ever watched, so I might write more about it later.
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
I've been listening to snippets from the soundtrack of the upcoming Lupin III TV special so now I'm getting all proper excited about it. There's big band swing and seventies' funk (Hammond organ! Wacka-wacka guitars!) so everything's as it should be.

So yeah, prepare for me unloading a massive amount of fan joy one of these days is what I'm saying. I'm sure it'll hardly be a cinematic masterpiece but it is the first Lupin special to air with me actually caring about it, so it'll be an event no matter how poor the actual product may be.

Following the production has been... interesting. First that business of TMS inexplicably advertising for a new Lupin TV series and then going "wait don't mind us, we meant TV special" (the jury's still out on whether a TV series is secretly in the works), then the talk of new Miyazaki-inspired designs -

- then there was The Great Pachinko Fan Fiasco (which I might have to lay out here one day, it's pretty funny in hindsight), not to mention the surprising decision to replace more than half of the regular voice cast (Zenigata, Fujiko and Goemon get new voices this year - I'm reeaally going to miss Goro Naya as Zenigata, he's had the part since 1971).

I guess that brings you up to speed, you're all prepared for (skipping past) me writing the world's nerdiest reaction post. It airs in Japan December 2nd, and then the wait begins for some kind soul to sub and upload it.

And I'm just saying, it's titled Blood Seal ~Eternal Mermaid~, and so far absolutely every Lupin episode and movie concerned with anything mermaid-related has taken place in Scandinavia (thank you H.C. Andersen!) so bets are on.
tilly_stratford: (ST: The bitches love it)
Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea is a sickeningly cute movie, devoid of true conflict or a clear plot. There's not even anything particularly scary or sad in it.

And it made me cry like a bitch.

Oh my God, that was adorable. And I absolutely hate overly cute movies. But that was perfect.

Also, Fujimoto might be my favourite Miyazaki-created character ever. Apart from having an awesome-looking character design, the dude stopped being human, became a wizard under the sea, fell in love with some sort of water elemental and fathered a school of human-faced goldfish. In Miyazaki-world that makes perfect sense.

(Whuh, and they had Liam Neeson voice him in the English dub? No no no I'm not watching a Miyazaki movie with an English dub, even if you include my favourite Irish actor!)
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
Whooa there you go, the four final Lupin movies!

From best to worst, you know the drill )

Yup, so in less than eleven months I've seen every single Lupin III movie. And even in time for this year's TV special! (See? It won't end. It will never end.)

You know some people feel accomplished when they've finally seen every Star Trek movie? Well there aren't TWENTY-EIGHT OF THEM, like it is in the Lupin franchise (five theatrical films, twenty-two full-lenght TV specials, and one godawful OVA). Oh my goodness, so many hours of my youth misspent.

tilly_stratford: (ST: Relevant to my interests)
I remember a job interview I had at Norway's biggest comic retailer chain a few years ago (I was found lacking in manga knowledge and didn't get the job, sadly), where the guy seemed oddly surprised when he learned I was a fan of classic Doctor Who. "But - that has never been aired on Norwegian TV!"

The internet is a lovely thing. The majority of my favourite entertainment I've only discovered via the net. The only drawback is that however successful the movie or TV show is in its country of origin, if it hasn't been shown on Norwegian TV it's either completely unknown or regarded as "obscure". I still get a thrill when something I like - often something that's quite well-known in other countries - is mentioned in Norwegian media. I remember almost having a heart attack at hearing The Goon Show mentioned in a TV show once.

So let me easily segue into my surprise at finding Norwegian reviews of Lupin III DVDs. Obviously written by a person with knowledge of and love for the franchise, no less! I get a kick out of him trying to describe the show for an unsuspecting Norwegian audience: "[...] It's without compare. The only comparisons I can think of might be something like James Bond or Simon Templar. If not Dickie Dick Dickens." (OH MY GOD, DICKIE DICK DICKENS. "THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN CHICAGO". Great Norwegian radio show from the sixties concerning a loveable mobster-gone-rogue and his gang. Lovely show!).

This lovely reviewer goes on to describe Yuji Ohno's soundtrack as "elegant, cheesy and badass jazz. A bit like protagonist Lupin III, you might say." And he describes Yasuo Yamada (Lupin's voice actor) as "a genius". SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS REVIEWER.

Still not sure if I'm going to buy that Norwegian DVD collection of the first three Green Jacket episodes, but hey, it might have more randomly added profanity. That'd be worth the price (which is on the level of a Big Mac anyway).
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
Amidst the school assignments it really feels good to sit down and write something that doesn't need references to articles from 1972 or people with strange German names. Nope, writing about cartoon characters blowing stuff up with really big guns tops that one I'm afraid.

Oh, and fair warning: I'm going to deviate from my usual Lupin movie post form - instead of adding the five new movies into the ever-growing list of good-to-bad, I'm just going to compare the five movies to each other and list them accordingly. With so many movies that fell into the "meh, not good, not bad, but watchable" category it just became too difficult to list them all from best to worst.

Tell you what, if I see a Lupin movies that I'd consider part of the top five, I'll tell. And if one is really really bad and deserves the place at the very very bottom you'll know (Hint: THE ONE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CUT IS THE WORST THERE IS. IT CAN'T GET ANY WORSE, IT JUST CAN'T.)

And I'm sorry, no GIFs this time because you've been bad I've had some computer troubles lately. Mostly solved now, but there wasn't really any scenes that stood out enough for me to go back and start fiddling with GIMP.

I didn't think I'd ever develop *feelings* for a specific make of guns )

That makes twenty-five Lupin movies. I'm really far along now - trouble is, at this point I've exhausted most of my sources: I literally do not know where I'll find another Lupin movie.

And you know what? Bad as a lot of them are, it's sort of scary to run out. Talk about your guilty pleasure.
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
YES! I have FOUND it, I have SEEN it, I have GIFed it!

What, you ask? The holy grail of the Lupin III franchise, the hardest thing ever to track down in its original form:

The Miyazaki episode! (Well he made two, the first of which is considered the best and what I'm talking about here) - 'Albatross: Wings of Death'.

Proving once again that entertainment with "OF DEATH" in the title is superior to all others. NO EXCEPTIONS.

GIFs, caps, squeeage, antique airplanes )

Man it's been ages since I made GIFs, I had to update half my GIF-making software. But ah, I reach such a state of zen just making my little movable pictures... (I swear one day I'm going to find a better way to optimize them without indexing the colours. Some day.)


tilly_stratford: (Default)

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