Ghost in the Shell, Old and New

On April 7, Production I.G and Kodansha announced yet another big Ghost in the Shell project, an anime to be co-directed by Kenji Kamiyama and Shinji Aramaki. No release date, no further details, so for now, we wait. And in this moment, we can’t in our minds help but connect it narratively to the American remake’s failure, not unlike Toho’s restart of Godzilla in the wake of Godzilla (1998), or even Oshii’s production of Avalon as ‘response’ to that other Ghost in the Shell remake. … More Ghost in the Shell, Old and New

Valencia: The Other Woman | Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Analysis

One of the great things about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is how it surprises you, setting you up for one thing and then giving you the ol’ shim-sham, beginning with the title. You have a character like Valencia, who you might think you’ll hate or have to hate, and that’s proven false over the course of the season. Furthering the greatness then is how the surprises don’t stop at hello. Valencia continues to reveal compelling layers and do unexpected, hilarious things, and somewhere in the back of our minds we think, she’s supposed to be the bad guy. The vain yoga instructor. … More Valencia: The Other Woman | Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Analysis

In Defense of Nathaniel | Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Analysis

I love Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, it’s my favorite American TV show since The Wire, at least, but it’s also important to me for a number of reasons. I used to do a podcast that more and more talked about the better tomorrow, and one of the driving takeaways was this notion that media and entertainment was our intermediary from here to, let’s say, utopia. Because if we want utopia, or an egalitarian society, a matriarchal empire, however you want to call it, we need to first imagine it. Put it on paper so we can cross things out and circle things and demystify. That’s what media does, even broadly, it facilitates our imagination. A lot of that work goes on in science-fiction, which was the subject of that podcast. But to my surprise and delight, I found that work going on elsewhere. … More In Defense of Nathaniel | Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Analysis

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Season 2 Recap

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s first season was perfect, as television. Now in the context of season 2, it seems, perhaps, not fully realized as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but merely prelude. Season 2 is a more direct approach to the same story and mission, with explicit indictment of the funny bad stuff we had grown to love in spite of ourselves. In weighing both instances of the show, which is better? And do they point toward an identity for season 3? … More Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Season 2 Recap

Black Lagoon: The Last Action Movie

Through all the blood and mayhem, at the heart of the show is Rock and Revy, who become two points in a central philosophical conversation. One that led me to a question: is this show ultimately nihilistic or idealistic? Despite all the mayhem and splatter, the series is provocative and oftentimes moving. Indeed, Black Lagoon answers the problem of cinema violence in a new age, and does so by making use of the subject’s very imagery and language. … More Black Lagoon: The Last Action Movie

Berserk (2016): “Blood Flow of the Dead”

In all likelihood, an episode like “Blood Flow of the Dead” is the best Berserk (2016) will be. This is when things come together – characters, scenarios, and they’ve had eight episodes of being slowly brought to the center. I would almost say it’s clever how things have been brought to this point, where everyone in the tower has their own skin in the game, but I still remember what show I’m watching. … More Berserk (2016): “Blood Flow of the Dead”

Berserk (2016): “A Nighttime Feast: Burning at the Stake”

For an episode with a title like “Burning at the Stake,” you wouldn’t be crazy for imagining such an event might actually occur. No, not crazy at all. And yet, Berserk (2016) simply looks back at you, with its bleach-blonde hair and colored sunglasses, cocks its head and says, “What’s wrong with YOU, bro?” … More Berserk (2016): “A Nighttime Feast: Burning at the Stake”

Berserk (2016): “Tower of Conviction”

We’re inching ever closer to the shiny object, to Guts squaring off against the new bad guy, rescuing Casca, and finally forming his party. But this inching is made difficult when still we stumble. You’d imagine that this Slowbro pace would leave the appropriate breathing room for the creative team to ensure quality, now that we aren’t zooming through events as if they have no meaning. But the reason this episode goes nowhere is because we’re starting out on a journey, the way we were in Episode 1, and that means introducing more characters. … More Berserk (2016): “Tower of Conviction”