Why I Like Anime

Like many anime fans, interest in the form came from science-fiction fandom. In a survey book entitled The Rough Guide to Scifi Movies, by acclaimed author John Scalzi, the centerpiece chapter discusses 50 canonical works. Among the usual suspects of 2001, Blade Runner, Metropolis, and Star Wars, there’s also space for Akira and Ghost in the Shell, two animated films from Japan. … More Why I Like Anime

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”