Hayao Miyazaki's (supposedly) final film, The Wind Rises, should be available for you to see very soon. Such an occasion would typically invite yet another fawning retrospective, or ten, on the man's body of work, and for good reason. There's no arguing that Miyazaki is a master of his craft, a cinematic storyteller among the best that have ever been. And Ghibli, his animation studio, has revolutionized the animation industry and consistently set the bar for the rest of the world.
However... sometimes.... the good men and women at Studio Ghibli can get a bit TOO MUCH praise and adoration.
Hey, don't forget where you are, right now. That's right - the Internet. The playground of the devil's advocate. So roll your sleeves up for the inconceivable - a list that pays tribute to Miyazaki by enumerating some supposedly classic Ghibli films that are actually really over-rated misfires with AWFUL morals.More >>
There was the Superbowl.
There were commercials.
It's easy to imagine you might have missed anything else that happened. So here are the highlights of the open-thread reader submissions. This week's tipsters include James.k.Polk, Anyone00, SlyDante777, Gallen_Dugall, scarfdemon, Citrus_King, skrag2112More >>
While you wait on the inevitable live-action movie, and its probably more-inevitable U.S. remake (sure to have a new title like Giant Problems!), check out Subaru Japan's bold visual claim that their car is the perfect vehicle for outmaneuvering angry, smooth-breasted, naked colossi.
That is certainly a feature I would enjoy in my next vehicle of choice.More >>
Miyazaki-based toys are hard to come by domestically, which may be a good thing as it his spared me a Spirited Away shelf o' junk that would surely have manifested otherwise. And you probably won't see many merchandising tie-ins for The Wind Rises, given the controversy over whether or not it spiritually whitewashes its central character and his development of Japanese warplanes. But if you wanted some kind of collectible to celebrate his celluloid swan song, here you go: a resin toy of Miyazaki himself.
It's not cheap - this 6-inch resin figurine will run you $95. But is a limited edition of only 300, and the proceeds are going to earthquake relief. If you felt like donating anyway, you might as well get a cool toy at the same time.
As of this writing, it's still available - but a wind of collector interest is likely to spirit it away very quickly. So...um...don't be left HOWLing without this emotionally MOVING statue in your CASTLE...or something.
If you weren't glued to your computer all week, here are some of the stories you missed from the open thread. Submissions this week came from Anyone00, SlyDante777, Timely-Tardis-Lego, NOT.DrAbraxas, Gallen_Dugall, troi, skrag2112, Rx79immigrant84, rkwsuperstar, James.k.Polk.More >>
It's a glasses holder, a picture frame and a way to give cute specs to your favorite anime character, if that's your thing. Not that it has to stop at anime, but anime girl faces are provided. In typical Japanese literalist fashion, this item is called "Funny Trick." Or, depending on how you interpret Japanese, "Fannie Trick." You decide which works for you.
Now, I'm presuming that if you need a glasses holder, that removing them and putting them on a frame would make any image within said frame beside the point, as your glasses have to be removed from your eyes, and now you can't see your fetish in focus. In other words, you're going to want to buy multiples.
How long do you think it'll be before we get picture frames with pony ears or unicorn horns?
In honor of the anime master's retirement, this week's episode of The Simpsons will pay tribute to his most famous films, in a sequence where Homer apparently gets drunk in Little Tokyo and starts to see the world in Miyazaki-vision, which includes Apu's Moving Kwik-E-Mart.
We love to bash the recycled plotlines of the show, but when they do tributes like this, they do them very well indeed. See if you can count the references before somebody on YouTube does, and makes a video of it.More >>
While my good buddy Mike Toole handled the best manga of the year, 'tis now the time for me to do the same for some of the best anime to come down the ol' pike in 2013!
However: this is not a typical "TOP TEN BEST OF" list based upon arbitrary numerical values. No sir! I don't like doing those. Not because I don't fancy myself as some immense arbiter of taste - I sure do, by golly - but rather, I know that a lot of you patient TR readers out there aren't cramming every single anime into their mind's gullet. So instead of a Best Of, this is the Ten Most Notable Anime of 2013! Anime that deserve attention, that broke from the mold, or did something otherwise remarkable or interesting.More >>
That's me in the above picture dressed as a character from Bioshock Infinite; my friends and I were exhausted after an afternoon spent scouting the various Las Vegas locales for decent spots for cosplay photos. We were already tired, frustrated, spent, and far too eager to hop in the car and head for home.
Otakon Vegas is an interesting idea. Otakon, one of the largest conventions in the US, decided to literally roll the die and spread its tendrils from the East Coast to the Mojave desert, setting up shop on the Mezzanine level of the Planet Hollywood (formerly the Aladdin) hotel. I hadn't been to Las Vegas as a proper adult in my life - I went to the strip as a 17-year-old lad on a class trip, which is decidedly not the proper way to potentially enjoy a city as firmly rooted in the sins of man as Vegas.
To Otakon Vegas I went. After my girlfriend bribed the guy at the checkout booth for a "complimentary upgrade," I saw some cool things but experienced a lot of pain. So here are 3 cool things I did at Otakon Vegas! Plus 6 awful things I now realize I hate about Las Vegas!More >>
Collecting highlights from all the all the tidbits you might have missed over the weekend.
Everyone LOVES to bash The Simpsons on the weekend thread. But I dare you try and bash this.
This week's contributors include Anyone00, Timely-Tardis-Lego, rkwsuperstar, SlyDante777, Gallen_Dugall, troi, skrag2112, andre_morello, troi.More >>