I got the R1 DVD of “Ghost in the Shell 2 – Innocence” today (although it’s only supposed to be somewhen after christmas). Picture quality is (as expected) very good, there is no dub (which is good for an art film such as this), and most surprisingly there a commentary track with Oshii. 😀
So it’s exactly what Manga’s crappy release should’ve been like… except for the close caption only subtitles.
After watching and (in spite of the mediocre animation quality) enjoying the Beck anime — it is one of the few I watch as soon as I get them, I tried the manga by Harold Sakuishi. Now I can say that the anime is a very faithful adaption of the manga and that the manga is bloody awesome! It has replaced Yotsubato! as my favourite manga.
In the beginning, it feels a bit “angsty”, but it never loses its humour so that it becomes overwhelming. And when the band finally comes together and plays, the “performance” artwork is excellent and conveys the energy very well. The characters also change, grow and behave believably in their own context. And it had me laughing out loud plenty of times (e.g. Chiba’s “What dream?”).
The worst thing about it is the music. The story is a bit convoluted (as is Masumune Shirow’s original manga), but the artwork in this film is superb. The modelling and the texture work is awesome, in particular with respect to the technical designs (e.g. Spider Cannon) and the warn-torn city. The smoke, fire and water effects are also a sight to behold. I was more impressed with the CG in this than “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” or even live-action movies like Matrix Revolutions.
This is on a level with “Ghost in the Shell: Innocence” from a visual point of view, although I prefer the traditional character animation to the complete CG look of Appleseed, nonetheless it makes animation (via motion capture) a lot more believable. Definitely one to see on the big screen if you have the chance.
It’s an old book that I read about a year back, and I was tracking it down again just now (to check whether a German translation is out that I could recommend to a friend) and realised I had never written anything about it.
It’s a very-near-future SF romp that in an age-old fashion ties archological finds with extraterrestrial influences. It is (or seems which in most cases is good enough) well researched and its sense of “style” reminded me strongly of Neal Stephenson’s “Snow Crash”. I hope there’ll be more books from Stel Pavlou…
I’ve now got Halo 2 (limited edition from CD Wow — the idiots sent me the Australian PAL version whose Region 4 DVD does not (officially) work here — wankers!), which is on hold for now. This is for a variety of reasons (one of which is hidden behind the “more” button as to avoid SPOILERS).
The two major reasons are Paper Mario 2 (which simply makes me smile) and Metroid Prime: Echoes (whose predecessor is the reason I bought the Gamecube). They’re quite a good combination, PM2 cheers me up when a boss in MP2 repeatedly smacks me down…
Halo 2 Spoiler: Continue reading
Well… Why didn’t I think of this earlier? I’ve changed the WordPress moderation-panel to “delete” comments by default (instead of having “do nothing” selected), as I’ve yet to get a real comment enter the moderation queue.
Had I thought of this 3 hours earlier, it would’ve saved me ~350 mouse clicks. 🙄