9 Secondary Anime Characters Who Save the Day More Often Than the Hero

Friday, February 27, 2015 at 5:00 am

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So, you're a main character in a new anime. Fresh from the South Korean animation studios and swimming in an ocean of hype, you're ready for it all: the fame, the fortune, the fan fiction. You step into the spotlight, ready for your star debut...and promptly get crushed beneath the big toe of the rampaging alien beastie that roared to life after the first commercial break. As it waddles unperturbed through downtown Tokyo taking bites out of the scenery, you lay there paralyzed with an existential crisis. You're also paralyzed because everything below your rib cage is paste, but it's mostly the existential crisis.


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Topless Robot LIVE Official Podcast #1 - On Anime, Ascension and Inclusive Casting

Friday, February 13, 2015 at 9:00 am

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if you're wondering why this is "#1," the last one was technically #0. This is the first that will be on iTunes, maybe even by the time you read this. Our guests this week are Peter Paras and Greg Jones Jr., and we discuss Kingsman, Jupiter Ascending, whitewashing vs. color-blind casting, what properties we'd actually LIKE to see remade/rebooted, and as always, answer your questions and comments. If you'd like us to answer yours on the next episode (in two weeks) leave them below.

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The 11 Biggest Mistakes In Robotech's History

Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 5:00 am

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With its 30th anniversary right around the corner, and talk of a live-action adaptation surfacing again, Robotech's continued popularity is increasingly difficult to explain. Very much a product of its era, the Robotech franchise is outdated and unnecessary today: fans now have easy access to three shows originally used to create the series (Macross, Southern Cross and MOSPEADA), so why bother with the edited version? Today, the Robotech narrative seems to be one more of successive failures and missteps, rather than multi-generational intergalactic war. Harmony Gold, the company behind Robotech, is persistent in its attempts to maintain and promote the series with new sequels and merchandise. To the dismay of fans, these efforts almost always transform any initial optimism into disappointment.


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Robotech, Astro Boy Looking at Live-Action Movies

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 3:05 pm

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Honestly, though, I think it'll be a while before we see either one, if ever. As any toy or anime collector can tell you, the Robotech/Macross rights are a nightmarish minefield. However, it appears that the latest writer to attempt it will be Michael Gordon, whose G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra script doesn't exactly inspire hope in fans of '80s cartoons.

Meanwhile, the folks making Astro Boy just sound flat-out delusional.

"We've seen him as a manga, an anime and an animated movie but we've never seen him as a live-action movie or him as a superhero," said Nalbandian. "We actually see him in the same league as an Iron Man."
I'll grant you maybe AN Iron Man, but THE Iron Man? Let's just say that if you find a kid who's as entertaining as Robert Downey Jr, he'll probably have better things to do.

Blu-ray Today: Studio Ghibli Is Great When Pigs Fly, and the Rest of the Time Too

Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 6:30 am

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Pom Poko - Okay, Disney, let's see if I have your logic straight here:

Song of the South is considered unreleasable because it tells a G-rated tale, absent historical context, set in what was decidedly a non G-rated time immediately following the Civil War. Sins of omission and so forth. Got it.

In Pom Poko, a family of Japanese raccoon dogs fights to protect their land from developers...using, among other things, the power of their magic scrotums. This is just fine to distribute, so long as the English dub calls them "pouches."

Lesson learned: it is okay to like furry characters with huge nutsacks, but not to act like slavery didn't ruin people's lives. As that is pretty much the Topless Robot philosophy also, it seems I'm more in tune with Disney than I thought.

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Blu-ray Today: Book of Life, Spying on Sasha Grey and Playing in Hell

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 6:30 am

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The Book of Life - For whatever reason, Fox was gung-ho about inviting me to various pre-release events to hype this uniquely Mexican-American animated feature, but less interested in making it easy to see the full movie, or even push it for the Animated Feature Oscar. I wouldn't necessarily put that down to its quality - more likely, they simply didn't know what to do with a film that uses CG to make its characters look like they're literally made of wood, then has the main hero actually die and become a skeletal form of himself quite early on. Not to mention that there's a soundtrack which includes Latin-style takes on the likes of Biz Markie, and Ice Cube plays God (I know they don't actually call him that, but c'mon).

I'm curious to see it some day - maybe it'll get a theatrical rerelease when Pixar puts out their Dia de los Muertos movie.

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Weekstarter: Apocalypse Ponies, Cyborg Biker and 18 Other Things You Need to See Today

Monday, January 26, 2015 at 5:00 am

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Tenacious Toys

Apocalypse ponies! Batmobile stroller! The ferocious frilled shark! Choosing your own adventure on Twitter!

These and 16 more items you may have missed over the weekend are here to start your morning out right.

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TR's 10 Best Anime of 2014

Friday, January 9, 2015 at 5:00 am

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While 2014 wasn't exactly a banner year for Japan's animation industry, the humble island nation still managed to crank out more than a few good-to-great anime releases over the past year, be they TV series or movies or anything else in-between.

As the year winds down, let's do the hip thing that all kids these days do on the Internet, and go back and list, in no particular order, the best anime that 2014 had to offer!

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If Ghostbusters Were an '80s Anime

Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 4:00 pm

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"Are Ryu the Keymaster?"

...is a line I'd totally have put in this fan animation by Nacho Punch. But they were smarter and more grammatical than me.

Yes, it's true. This editor has no dick-tentacle.

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It's Official: ScarJo Is Motoko in Live-Action Ghost in the Shell

Monday, January 5, 2015 at 8:58 am

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Variety has confirmed it. She was offered the role back in October.

I'm not particularly bothered by this, given that it was always likely they were going to go with an American star anyway. More troubling is that the director is Rupert Sanders, of Snow White and the Huntsman, whose track record indicates a director more interested in banging the leading lady than making any kind of coherent story.

Sanders is also reportedly attached to Universal's Van Helsing reboot, which makes perfect sense - I'm guessing a female Van Helsing this time. That he can bang.