Rockstar games putting nerds in check!
Rockstar games putting nerds in check!
One of my favorite costumes from anime boston
So I saw the first episode of Gatchaman Crowds this week, and I can say 1 things for certain, there is little connecting it to the original series, from what I can surmise, the name, the fact that they are a secret organization,and the phrase “BIRD GO!” are all that this series has in common with its predecessors. Crowds takes place in modern day Japan, where the team is already established, except for the show’s protagonists, an eccentric High School Girl named Hajime Ichinose with a fetish for notebooks, through a random encounter she discovers that it is her destiny to fight for the peace of humanity against the mysterious entity known as MESS, as member of the Gatchaman crew. She shortly afterwards meets Sugune Tachibana, a much more seasoned member of the team with a samurai complex, who at the end of the first episode is save during an attack from the MESS by Hajime. There is little info given to us about the rest of the G-Crew, but it’s certain to be touched upon in future episodes. I personally found the departure from the original series to be to wide of a gap, when compared to a series like Saint Seiya Omega that is littered with nods to it’s parent series, this seems almost insulting. I’m also not a fan of Hajime, I’ve never been fond of air headed protagonists in action shows where there is a team dynamic, and her Happy-go lucky persona was grating within the first 5 minutes. And then there are the costumes, again going back to my comparison to Saint Seiya Omega, a show where the sustained the iconic look of their cloths, and then in Crowds we are given this garish clunky looking CGI armor, that looks NOTHING like the Gatchaman of old. I’m probably going to pass on this series simply because of the slap in the face it is to old school Gatchaman fans like myself, I’d probably be more forgiving it the name wasn’t attached, but sadly it is, but who knows I might go back to it later.
So I’ve just seen what could easily be described as a love letter to Tokusatsu fans in the US, Pacific Rim. Directed by Guillermo Del Toro of Pan’s Labyrinth fame, this robo romp stars Charlie Hunnam, and Rinko Kikuchi and Idris Elba. The story takes place 8 years in earth’s future, gigantic monsters know as Kaiju are invading via an interdimensional rift, deep in the ocean, and are wreaking havoc on all majors cities. The governments of the world band together to create the Jaeger program, Jaegers are giant robots which require two man teams to that are perfectly in sync to pilot it, that are designed to fight these massive monsters, and hopefully put an end to the invasion once and for all. We’re introduced to Raleigh Becket, played by Hunnam who not long after losing his first partner five years prior, is asked by his commanding officer Stacker Pentacost played by Idris Elba to take up the fight once more for humanity’s last stand against the Kaiju. He eventually is partnered with Mako Mori played by Rinko Kikuchi, a pilot in training with personal vendetta against the Kaiju.
The film’s greatest strength is it’s visuals, which are a feast for the eyes, from the aesthetic of the Jaeger designs, to the pilot uniform, there is no shortage of pretty things to look at. Del Toro’s eye for detail is not wasted in this film, with nods to old Kaiju films like Godzilla, and anime like Neon Genesis Evangellion.
The strength of acting comes out more from our supporting cast than the films 2 protagonists though, while I found Kikuchi & Hunnam very likable, the performances were rather flat, especially in comparison the larger than life performances of Charlie Day, Idris Elba, and the always epic Ron Pearlman.
A personal gripe I had is that this film fails the bechdel test, Rinko Kikuchi does not interact with the only other female in this film, a nameless russian pilot, it’s a nitpick but in a film that is trying to break the summer blockbuster mold I found it disappointing.
And then there’s the action, there is lots of it, and the movie only slows down from it when it needs to. You’re not forced to trudge through 20 minutes of “wacky shenanigans” ala Transformers 2, and the melodrama is thankfully very minimal.
All in all, this is a must see for the sci-fi geek in all of us, It’s fun, action packed, and it’s the type of movie that knows what audience it’s playing to. I give it 4 out of 5.
The Doctors are in!