Animated by Hideaki Anno, Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01’s plot centers on Koji, an engineering student who accidentally discovers the Madox-01; a heavy mechanised, armoured exoskeleton. This military weapon, successor to the Madox-00, is equipped with a large array of weaponry and was designed to fight against heavy armoured vehicles. Glancing through the conveniently included instruction manual, Koji climbs into the Madox-01 exoskeleton.
Japanese anime has become a global worldwide culture for many reasons. Becoming popular in Japan after the second world war, anime provided an alternative format for storytelling. The common misconception in the west is that animation is primarily aimed towards the children, but this is not the case in Japan.
“For most Japanese consumers of anime, their culture is no longer a purely Japanese one (and indeed it probably hasn’t been for over a century and a half). At least in terms of entertainment, they are as equally interested by Western cultural influences as they are by specifically Japanese ones.”
The Mission (1986): Other than the all-star cast—Jeremy Irons, Robert De Niro and Liam Neeson—the score of this historical drama by Ennio Morricone alone makes it material for a best of list, and while it’s not the only great reason to watch the film, it’s definitely one of the reasons you’ll come back for more.
“If might is right, then love has no place in the world. It may be so, it may be so. But I don’t have the strength to live in a world like that…”
1993’s Ninja Scroll is critically acclaimed with good reason. The Japanese animated action thriller has its roots placed within the groundwork laid by Ninpocho, a series of historical fiction by Futaro Yamada; specifically Makai Tensho. For me, Ninja Scroll is one of the most memorable Japanese animated films that I have seen.
“If you so want the company of devils, you’d better hurry back to hell…” PRESS PLAY ►
Adapted by Ray Bradbury from his own novel, this animated TV special doesn’t stop at merely checking off the holiday’s most familiar elements. No, The Halloween Tree aims to do one better by delving into the very origins of the season’s many traditions, and while it may blaze through this ambitious endeavor at a breakneck pace, its keen instinct for setting the right mood easily wins you over in the end. The Halloween Tree is a creatively spooky good time.
Released: 14 September 1994 (USA, VHS) PRESS PLAY ►
The following review will focus on the 1995 dubbed release from Manga Entertainment.
Directed by Tsutomu Iida and released in 1987 Devilman: The Birth is an original video animation (OVA) based upon the Japanese manga series (1972-1973) of the same name, written and illustrated by Go Nagai.
Devilman: The Birth was followed by a direct sequel in 1990 titled Devilman: The Demon Bird, also directed by Tsutomu Iida. This sequel was also dubbed by Manga Entertainment and released in 1995. View ‘The Birth’ and ‘The Demon Bird’ together to understand why I personally consider Devilman as one of the finest examples of Japanese animation. PRESS PLAY ►