TL;DR – It’s fine, nothing amazing but not a complete mess.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
I’ve been quite enjoying the jaunts into the world of Altered Carbon as of late. A world of switching bodies and switching cast members. A world of excesses and a world of death that is only real death half the time. I’ve watched both seasons, so when I heard there was an animated movie, well I had to give it a watch and well … it’s fine.
So after the events of the Second Season (I think, but I’m not entirely sure), we open on the planet Latimer. Here a young girl Holly (Brittany Cox/ Ayaka Asai) is running from her life through the upper streets as air cars and large holograms walk around her. She is being chased by two thugs, who are trying to catch her. Running into a club she is almost at a needle casting facility when a ninja slaughters the two thugs and turns on her. Things are bad but then Takeshi (Ray Chase/ Tatsuhisa Suzuki) arrives to save the day. Teaming up with local CTAC operator Gina (Elizabeth Maxwell/ Rina Satô) they get Holly to the safety of the Yakuza or as it turns out maybe into significantly more danger than she was before.
Now, this is an interesting film, in that we are usually a bit cagier about spoilers with films, but then it is also hard to talk about this film without getting into spoilers for both past seasons and a big reveal in this film. So with that in mind, there will be some big [SPOILERS] around character points going forward but not for the ending.
TL;DR – A love letter to the past and a beautiful story in its own right
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
It has been a long time since Star Trek ventured into the realm of animation, indeed, The Animated Series to this day fits awkwardly into the Star Trek universe thanks to the question marks as to its canonicity. But today Star Trek takes some steps back unto this uncharted frontier with a Short Trek full of joy and beauty.
So to set the scene, we open in on a documentary called The Tardigrade in Space as it explores the life of a humble tardigrade Ephraim flying through space looking for a place to lay her eggs. A place that is warm and safe, which is what she found right up until the moment the USS Enterprise appears out of warp and trashes the asteroid she had picked. But then a starship with a nice warm warp reactor would be the perfect place to lay her eggs, unfortunately, a DOT-7 maintenance droid called Dot has different ideas.
TL;DR – Its music, story, animation, worldbuilding, and characters that you really care for even though they are all broken in some way
A while back I took a moment to write about Why I loved Star Trek DS9 and since it was a great time of writing I have been meaning to get back at it again. I had a couple of choices but with the announcement that Netflix is producing a ten-episode live-action remake of Cowboy Bebop, well I got instantly dragged back in time to my high school days when the show rippled through my life with every beat of those conga drums, and well I instantly knew what to do next. Why Cowboy Bebop? Well, there are a lot of reasons, the music, story, animation, characters, but more than anything, it was the way it shaped how I viewed television and animation as a medium and got me more and more interested with how it is all made. It is also one of the go-to shows, as well as Samurai Champloo (サムライチャンプル), that I recommend whenever someone want to start exploring animation. So with that in mind let us dive into the neo-noir space-western from Shinichirō Watanabe (渡辺 信一郎) all about trying to escape the past and then realising that you can’t, and then also Ed, hello Ed.
In the Cowboy Bebop world, the human race has expanded out into the Solar System when the first Astral Gate (a faster than light transport system) exploded next to The Moon raining down Luna debris on Earth. The world had one choice escape or die on Earth and so they expanded out terraforming the Moons of Jupiter, Venus, creating the crater cities of Mars, and also Asteroid outposts across the Solar System like Tijuana (TJ). By 2071, because the human race is spread out across such a large region of space it has meant that enforcing law and order has become a challenge, so the powers at be implemented a bounty system and so Cowboys spread out chasing bounties and bringing back criminals to face justice … for a fee of course. This is where we meet our crew of the Bebop the ship they travel around the Solar System catching criminals while trying not to have to spend all its bounty on repairs.
TL;DR – This is an
interesting take on the End-Of-The-World genre
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
When I say to you Zombie Apocalypse, I think for many people the first thing
you would do is suppress a sigh. As a genre, it has been used multiple times
and these days one could say that it has been done to death as long as they immediately
followed it up immediately with ‘pun not attended’. However, every now and again,
a new show will use the setting to explore something new and today we get to
look at just such a show.
So to set the scene, we open in on Day 42 with Jack Sullivan (Nick Wolfhard)
the only known survivor in his town. 42 Days ago portals opened up over his
town and monsters and zombies came flooding out attacking the town. Some escaped,
some were rescued, but more still were turned into zombies to roam the streets.
Abandoned by his foster family, Jack survives by hiding in his foster brother’s
treehouse and using that as a base of operation. He is trying to find his best
buddy Quint (Garland Whitt) and rescue his flame June (Montse Hernandez), but
first he needs to survive being hunted by a monster angry because Jack poked
its eye out.
TL;DR – This is a well-made
animation, with an interesting story, world and characters. Full of interesting
juxtapositions like magic and technology.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
I was thinking the other day of my joy at the old Monkey Magic stories. It had me wonder that it has been a long time
since I have seen a good travel story where a group of disparate people are
brought together through fate and then discover all their flaws and joys in the
face of shared adversity. Well as fate would have it just a couple of days
later a little surprise dropped on Netflix which was everything I didn’t know I
So to set the scene, we open in on a desert wasteland on an alien (maybe)
planet with a disintegrating moon floating in orbit. Our first clue that this
is an interesting place is the image of a giant bull trampling across the
plains in search of a toilet. We cut to a town on the frontier full of dust,
wood, and a casual disregard for life. There are humans and other creatures,
and all sorts of robots, mechs, and mechanical augmentations. In the streets
walks Sam (A Special Associate Model) (Kamali Minter) from the faraway kingdom
of Botica. She does not seem to fit the tone of the local area, making friends
in a land of gunfights and wanton murder. But she is on a mission to find a
lost prince and the one person who can help her do that Philly the Kid (Kenn
Michael). One issue is that he does not really want to help, also he is cursed
and can’t die, also he had a large bounty on him that everyone is trying to
collect. So Sam, Philly, and Casey (Kamali Minter) a maintenance droid head off
on the mission in their pink coin-operated Mustang that can transform into a
bull. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will
be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – The animation is
fantastic, that characters are charming, and the stories really hit home
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
For a while now, I have been wondering what show is going to fill that Adventure
Time sized hole that is still in my heart. For a long time it was Steven Universe, but with that gearing
up for what might be its final movie I was wondering if anything else would
come along. Well, I don’t know yet if Twelve
Forever will fill that hole, but at the very least it is interesting as all
So to set the scene, it is Reggie’s (Kelsy Abbott) twelveth birthday, but what
should be a time of celebration for her is turned into a disaster when her
mother Judy (Bridget Everett) uses the time to help her move into the next
stage of her life, the one with deodorant, shaving and bras. Reggie does not
want to grow up, all of which is put in the spotlight when all her old toys are
put into the garage sale. However, all is not lost because her and her best friend
Todd (Antony Del Rio) have a secret, they can escape to a magical realm called
Endless Island. They decide to hide the old toys by burying them under the
ground. The only issue is that on Endless Island what you bury has a habit of
coming to life in unexpected ways.
TL;DR – This is an
interesting premise and it is playing with some interesting themes, even if it
doesn’t quite always come together.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
In recent years Netflix has been starting to make a big push into the anime arena
possible as a way of holding off some of its competitors. Well in the same week
that Neon Genesis Evangelion finally
made its way on to the streaming service we get an adaptation of one of the
most famous manga series 7Seeds.
Well, you have animation, set in a post-apocalyptic world, and add a growing
mystery, well count me in.
So to set the scene, one day Natsu Iwashimizu (Nao Tōyama) wakes up in the
middle of the ocean on a sinking ship. The last thing she remembers is having a
big dinner of all her favourite things and then she wakes up all alone. But
before she has a chance to process what is going on Mozu (Kazuhiko Inoue) is
screaming for her to get into a life raft. The two of them, along with Arashi (Jun
Fukuyama) and Semimaru (Katsuyuki Konishi) find themselves on an abandoned
island filled with odd creatures and plants. Is there anyone coming to help
them? Where are they? Is there anyone left? Well, the answer to that is a large
no because a cataclysm has happened. Now from here, we will be looking at the season
as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.