It is Jon’s birthday today (wish him a happy one), I gave him the opportunity to pick what ever comic related item he wanted to cover for the podcast. He kept the Dystopian Futures theme going by picking Akira – the anime movie to review.
For those that are not familiar with Akira, here is a little background on the material. It is based on a 1982 Manga series by Katsuhiro Otomo. As it was published in Japan, Marvel picked up the rights to distribute it in America under their Epic imprint. In 1988, Katsuhiro Otomo directed the anime version of the movie. At the time, it cost $5 million dollars to make and was the most expensive animated movie to date. Akira is an epic tale about teen angst, political corruption, family and friendship that ends in a giant psychic battle.
This may be one of the most influential movies of all time. You can see elements of the movie being emulated in other animated shows. Here is a quick clip of Kaneda sliding on his bike how many other shows pay homage to it.
There was talk of an American live action version of Akira in early 2000s but this never happened. Here is what it would have looked like…
Akira is a great movie (and even greater manga) but it does get a little convoluted in the end. I have seen the movie multiple times but still cannot figure out the ending. Jon and I still highly recommend watching it because it still holds up.
We have been doing dystopian future comics for a few weeks now and there are still several ideas we want to talk about in the coming weeks but a couple of weeks ago, I saw a movie that I thought was really good and would fit nicely into our Dystopian Futures conversation. That movie was:
Alita Battle Angel.
Alita Battle Angel is based on a 1990s Manga called Battle Angel Alita that was written and drawn by Yukito Kishiro. Here is the cover to Book 1 of the collected work…
Jon and I watched the movie and then were able to get the first book prior to recording the podcast. The movie is pretty faithful to the manga in who the story flows and how the characters look. The movie has Ito, the father character to Alita, had a wife and child. In the manga, he was single. The family dynamic probably works better for the movie.
I think what turned most people off to the movie are Alita’s huge anime eyes. In fact, after the first trailer, they reduced the size slightly of the eyes.
Those eyes are a little distracting at the start of the movie but you get used to them and eventually forget about them by the end of the movie.
It is a solid Sci Fi story about a girl finding love and her own identity. She fights to overcome the odds and comes out on top. It is a real underdog story and I think, that’s what I like about it. It is currently playing on HBO and I highly recommend watching it before listening to the podcast.
This is a movie that I think a lot of people passed on that should have seen it in the theater (myself included). If they do make a sequel, I would definitely see it in the theater.
There are always new titles being launched and we picked up 3 of these new titles, read them and loved them.
The comics that we are reviewing are:
Mech Cadet Yu #1 and #2 from BOOM! Studios. It is written by Greg Pak with art by Takeshi Miyazawa.
Ghost Money # 1 from Lion Forge/Magnetic Collection. It is written by Thierry Smolderen with art by Dominique Bertsil.
Sink #1 from Comix Tribe. It is written by John Lees with art by Alex Cormack.
These 3 comics are different from each other but are all worth your time. If you are looking for something familiar and fun then you’ll love Mech Cadet Yu. If you want something thrilling and abrasive then Ghost Money is what you want to read. And if you want something that will scare you but also make you think, then go by Sink.
Listen to the podcast to get the full details of all 3 comics and then go right out and support these comics by buying them.
The live action Ghost in the Shell movie starring Scarlett Johansson recently came out so we decided to do a Movie Face/Off!
Anime Vs Live Action
Jon and I will read the plot for the Anime movie first and then the plot of the Live Action movie. We will then discuss the merits of each movie and ultimately, let you know which one is the superior movie and why.
In case you have not guessed it, there are major spoilers for both movies in this podcast so fair warning.