Urusei Yatsura: The Triumphant Return of Some Terrible Bastards

hisui_icon_4040_round I have to say I’m glad that there are still anime and manga licenses that can surprise me. Despite the number of crazy anime licenses (that are not Macross) that have been announced there is still about one a year that pleasantly surprises me. The one for 2018 was the fact that Viz said they were going to try and release the Urusei Yatsura manga again despite dropping the license twice before. I was generally content with the anime release from AnimEigo from a few years back but I can’t say I was not at least something secretly hoping for a full release of the manga even if it felt highly unlikely. So I was a bit blindsided in the best possible way by the news and have been waiting for the new and improved books ever since then.

This post is less of a review and more of my observations on the first volume. Like with some of my Type-Moon posts none of what I would write would even remotely be considered objective or measured. This has always been a series that I loved and was very important to my early hardcore fandom so to say I look upon this book with rose-colored glasses is putting it kindly. If anything think of this as a look into the thoughts of a super fan.
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Promare: Studio Trigger Yelling – The Movie

hisui_icon_4040_round I really wanted to name this Promare: Gainax Studio Trigger Yelling – The Movie but I was a bit too lazy to figure out how to add strike-through into the post’s title. I’m trying to get back on a slightly more consistent posting schedule so I’m avoiding doing anything to give myself extra work.

If you remember a REALLY old podcast on the blog we once talked about the unusual reputation that Studio Gainax had. It seemed there was a time where the studio was able to avoid an odd amount of criticism and have its hits be more forward-facing than its flops. It had its share of detractors and more nuanced analysis but it was a bit of a fandom darling when we recorded that podcast. Since that time they have fallen far from the limelight and they are as mortal as any other studio. The thing is Studio Trigger has sort of picked up that legacy thanks to many of its foundational members being former Gainax staff. I feel like for better and for worse at this point Studio Trigger had inherited much of the old Gainax position. They have the eyes and hearts of a specific part of fandom either waiting for their next work with bated breath or watching to see them fail.

The thing is despite all their ups and downs when Gainax did a film you knew you were in for a treat. The movie itself might not have been your cup of tea but it is going to be a wonderful spectacle with amazing animation and spectacular production. With this being Studio Trigger’s first full-length film it was interesting to see if they would also revive this part of the Gainax tradition. The movie feels very Studio Trigger so the only question is would it stand beside their more beloved works or would it rank alongside their more disappointing productions.

This is an extremely random note but I just wanted to note that I was writing this right after watching the Downton Abbey movie. I would not say that Downton Abbey and Promare and diametric opposites from each other but you would be fairly hard-pressed to find two movies that are as dissimilar from each other. It really has nothing to do with anything I just thought it was funny enough to share.

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Manga of the Month: Land of the Lustrous

Land of the Lustrous (宝石の国) by Haruko Ichikawa

hisui_icon_4040_round Back when Anime Strike was still a thing it was a bit of the kiss of death for discussion surrounding any series that was put on the service. With the need for subscription to both Amazon Prime and Anime Strike it made the service extremely unpopular. The double pay wall meant that all but the most dedicated (and well to do) fans used the service. Now the normal “alternative methods” of watching licensed shows still exist but shows that are not easily to stream tend to get left out of the general conversation of fandom. It takes a very special show to stand out in a way that a larger audience will spend the time and/or money to find a show that is not just dropped in their laps. Land of the Lustrous was one of those shows.

I was honestly surprised that people were talking about Land of the Lustrous despite being on Anime Strike. Now some shows on Anime Strike are just not very good so it makes sense they would disappear from discussions but even very good shows like The Great Passage did not stand a chance. So when Anime Strike finally died the few shows that people were still talking about before the lowering of the second pay wall stood out. One of the shows that I remember having lots of buzz was Land of the Lustrous. It was as impressive as I had heard and made me very curious to see what the manga was like. Haruko Ichikawa’s work on the manga opened my eyes even more.

The last time I did the Manga of the Month I mentioned the somewhat rare case where the manga and the anime but both very good but also have enough of a difference in execution to make both version worth experiencing. I’m happy to say that Land of the Lustrous falls into that same illustrious category. It gives the reader a very different experience than the anime but being just as good. That alone makes it worth talking about. The fact that the series is a unique mixture of philosophy, mystery, and action takes it from the realm of should talk about to must talk about.

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