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Anime Review Presents – SAMURAI CHAMPLOO

20 Oct

 
Konnichiwa minna!

Has everyone been indulging liberally in anime while I was gone? Your oujo sama spends a lot of time watching anime and reading manga, and tends to get lost in those worlds – all for you! All so that I have recommendations that people will enjoy. Ready for what I have this week?
Samurai Champloo is an old anime, originally aired in 2004, and ever since it’s debut continues to remain one of the classics in the field. Set in the ‘Edo’ period, the story is centered around Fuu, a 15-year-old girl who works in her uncle’s teahouse. A random series of encounters bring her together with two ronin – Jin and Mugen – whose lives she saves, only to insist they help her find ‘the samurai who smells of sunflowers’. Though vague initially, the antics of the characters keep you sufficiently entertained, until just enough of the central plot is revealed to make you wonder what’s going on.

Don’t let the simple “samurai” tag fool you. Every episode has a surprise, coupled with the traditional badass sword fights. What makes Champloo different from your average Shogunate period, katana-wielding samurai anime is the characters. Jin partly plays up to the stereotype of the undefeated sword-master with a dark past. But Mugen is a different kettle of fish altogether. The definition of Samurai only barely applies to this rogue who – in addition to using his sword – bites, kicks and slaps his way through his enemies. And his enemies aren’t always the bad guys. He itches to take on anything he comes across that may be remotely stronger than him. Mental? Absolutely.
The most startling factor is probably the inclusion of hip-hop in the series. The very first episode opens with an odd style of rapping which makes the viewer sit up and take notice. After that one comes across myriad references to rap, retro, graffiti and even Van Gogh! Perhaps in any other anime, or as part of another storyline these symbols might not have made sense, but they fit right into the madness that is Samurai Champloo.
My favourite part about the anime is undoubtedly it’s soundtrack. With every track beautifully executed, there are some fantastic hip-hop numbers on the album,in addition to the usual and typical anime style themes. Within a few episodes, you’ll be left scrambling to find the whole soundtrack and listen to it in one go.

Still not convinced? It’s been directed by Shinichiro Watanabe of Cowboy Bebop and Animatrix fame. Do I see you nodding there? Now you see what I’m getting at. Give it a shot. You won’t need more than the first episode to get hooked. And you’ll find another jewel to add to your collection.
I shall be back next week, with yet another anime to recommend – meanwhile, have a look at our Mumbai Comic Con Express Updates! You don’t wanna miss it!

Halloween Film/TV Recommendations for Comic Geeks

10 Oct
In keeping with the wonderful advice we give you, our readers and fellow geeks, along with staying within the Halloween spirit today we’re going to help you with a dilemma you may be facing. You may be asking yourself, “How do I fulfill the need for something creepy to watch AND get my comic book fix at the same time?” Well here is a list of films and TV shows that will hopefully help to fix that problem.


Swamp Thing

Either the films or the TV series will work. It has mutants, action, and suspense. Not to mention that it stars a comic book hero who can manipulate the elements, and oh yeah, bring people back from the dead. How cool is that?!

The Incredible Hulk

For this one we recommend the series rather than the movies. Why? The series had a much more Frankenstein’s monster feel to it. Of course there is also the comic hero thrashing on the bad guys too.

Hellboy

The live action films and the animated ones are great for that comic book creature feature need. There are monsters galore, evil spirits, and a demon trying to keep the peace. Besides, what’s not to love about a wise cracking demon doing a blue collar job?

Constantine

One man who has the impossible, as well as never ending, job of keeping the balance between heaven and hell. There are demons, secret wars, incantations, and rites all done in the name of keeping the balance between good and evil. It also has John Constantine, from the Hellblazer comics, who is thrashing on the bad guys who cross the line.

Gargoyles

The animated TV series by Disney has it all. There are monsters, robots, sorcery, and heroes who only come out at night. They also had their own comic series for a while. It’s also worth mentioning that many of the voices were done by several members of the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Doctor Strange

The animated movie put out by Marvel is filled with supernatural suspense. The origin of Stephen Strange blended together with the come-back attempts of Mordo. There is sorcery, both good and evil, as well as dark creatures of magic.


Blade

Vampires that don’t sparkle. Is there really any more that needs to be said? How about hybred vampire looking to take down all of the selfish human preying vampires? Yeah, we thought that would get your attention. Epic vampire battles to the death. It doesn’t get much better.

Ghost Rider

A stunt rider who sells his soul to the Devil and then becomes a bounty hunter for hell. Also tossed in for fun are elemental demons trying collect a mass of evil souls for their power. There’s also the cool skull on fire thing the aptly named Johnny Blaze has going on. Sounds like good ol’ supernatural fun with a twist of butt whoopin’ going on.

The Batman vs Dracula

An animated meeting of Batman and Dracula that is phenomenal! This movies shows just how much Batman and Dracula have in common. Dracual is awakened by Penguin and starts to promptly feed on the residents of Gotham. Also, for a really spine tingling twist, see Joker as a vampire.
If there’s any others that you can think of or that we left out, please let us know. Also tell us who/what your favorite supernatural comic book character is.