My Hero Academia

(Welcome to Ani-time Ani-where, a regular column dedicated to helping the uninitiated understand and appreciate the world of anime.)

With Spider-Man: Far From Home already in theaters, and Joker seemingly not following anything from the comics, we don’t have any superhero movie to look forward to for half a year, until Birds of Prey comes out in February. This will either make people jump for joy or look for the next big superhero property to fill their craving, but if you find yourself among the latter group, here’s a secret: the next big superhero thing has been here for a while already, and it is fantastic.

Remember the Kurt Russell superhero movie Sky High, the one about superheroes attending high school? What if it was an entire TV show, and a really good one at that? Welcome to the world of My Hero Academia, where 80% of the world’s population has some kind of superpower which they call “Quirks.” It’s like a reverse X-Men where instead of super-powered individuals being outcasts and an oppressed minority, they are the ruling class and the overwhelming majority. We follow young Izuku Midoriya, a kid who is part of the 20% of people born without a quirk but still enrolls in the top high school for aspiring heroes in the hopes of becoming like a superhero after receiving a great power from the number one hero in Japan.

It is a fast paced, action-filled coming-of-age show about finding your place in the world, all while posing interesting questions about the practicality of a world with superheroes. Now let’s get to why you should be watching My Hero Academia. Read More »

zack snyder anime series

Zack Snyder is trying his hand at anime. The Justice League director is teaming up with longstanding creative partner Jay Oliva (The Dark Knight Returns) to create an all-new anime series for Netflix that will be set “in the world of Norse mythology.”

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mewtwo strikes back evolution trailer

The second-best Pokemon movie is getting a CGI remake and a fancy new title in the upcoming Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution. The CGI remake of the simply-named Pokemon: The First Movie celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Pokemon Company’s very first feature film, which marked the beginning of the franchise’s ascendancy to global phenomenon status. Watch the Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution trailer below.

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akira sequel series

Fans of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s 1988 anime classic are about to get inundated with Akira. On top of the embattled live-action feature film that has finally kicked into gear with Taika Waititi helming, Otomo has confirmed that he will be directing a new Akira anime sequel series, right as the original 1988 film is set to receive a 4K remaster.

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(Welcome to Ani-time Ani-where, a regular column dedicated to helping the uninitiated understand and appreciate the world of anime.)

It’s been six years since the anime adaptation of Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan first aired and despite the countless side and main characters who have been brutally killed, and the world-shattering revelations we’ve experienced, it feels like the story is just getting started. This means there’s no better time to give this show a try!

For those who haven’t seen the show yet, Attack on Titan follows a group of teenagers living inside cities surrounded by three enormous walls that protect the last vestiges of humanity from gigantic humanoid “Titans” that devour people seemingly for no reason. One day, the outer wall is breached by a colossal Titan and thousands died following the attack, including the mother of Eren Yeager, our protagonist. The show then follows Eren as he vows to join the military so he can kill every single Titan he can find.

From there, we get an intricate and thrilling story of hopelessness, fighting to find your place in the world, and a series of twists that keep changing everything you think you know about the world of the show. Also, there’s plenty of action. So let’s get to why you should be watching Attack on Titan.

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best foreign movies and tv streaming now

(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best foreign movies and TV streaming right now.)

I’m doing something a little different this week in celebration of the Netflix release of Neon Genesis Evangelion, the seminal anime series that has launched a million essays and even more memes. This entry of Pop Culture Imports is themed to Neon Genesis Evangelion and its creator Hideaki Anno, including the acclaimed 26-episode series itself, as well as the follow-up feature films The End of Evangelion and Evangelion: Death (True). Also featured is Anno’s excellent kaiju film Shin Godzilla and an NHK documentary series on Anno’s mentor Hayao Miyazaki.

Fire up those subtitles (because we’re sub, not dub, people) and let’s get streaming.

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Evangelion on Netflix

Fandom is a religion that thrives on killing its own gods. In Neon Genesis Evangelion, there’s a passing line of dialogue that suggests self-destruction is the natural endpoint of evolution. The Japanese television and film series periodically evokes deicide with exotic Judeo-Christian imagery, such as god-killing spears and figures nailed to crosses. Yet it’s known for the line, “The fate of the destruction is the joy of rebirth.” Evangelion is a franchise that evolved to the point of self-destruction, only to be reborn, or rebuilt, numerous times over. Its latest rebirth is on Netflix, where it became available to watch last Friday.

The ability to conveniently view one of the greatest anime works of all time should be cause for celebration among U.S. fans, whose main avenue for watching the series since the DVDs went out of print years ago has been illegal streams, expensive copies from third-party Amazon sellers, or the sketchy online market of bootlegs. Due to licensing entanglements, however, the situation with Evangelion has come to resemble Star Wars, whereby the original, unaltered theatrical trilogy is unavailable on home media. Here again, the version that is out there for mass consumption is different from the one fans first experienced, with redubbed voices, new subtitles, censored relationships, and missing music.

The reaction on social media had been typically harsh, enough so that it almost plays right into Evangelion’s metaphorical god-killing cycle, as complaints drown out discussion of the anime epic’s lasting virtues and the baby gets thrown out with the bathwater all over again. What’s important is that the series is catching a wave of renewed interest, and as it finds a fresh audience, it’s ripe for discussion, particularly as it relates to themes of personal dysfunction, social withdrawal, and the intersection between fan culture and storytelling.

This article contains spoilers for the entire series.

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neon genesis evangelion music

Neon Genesis Evangelion made its grand streaming debut on Netflix today, but as fans settled down to watch the seminal and influential anime series, they immediately noticed one thing was missing: Claire Littley’s cover of “Fly Me To the Moon.”

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Alita Battle Angel Featurette

Alita: Battle Angel was not a big hit in the United States, earning only $85.7 million at the box office earlier this year. But overseas, the movie performed much better with over $319 million raked in across international territories. We’re not sure if that’s enough to warrant a sequel, especially now that 20th Century Fox is owned by The Walt Disney Company, but maybe if the film does well on home video, there will be some hope to see the story continue.

Speaking of which, Alita: Battle Angel is coming to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital next month, and today we have a sneak peek at one of the special features you’ll find on the home video release. In the Alita Battle Angel featurette, director Robert Rodriguez talks about bringing a project to life that James Cameron was previously unable to realize due to the limitations of technology nearly 15 years ago, and we get to see how some of the Avatar director’s original art still inspired the movie. Read More »

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eden first look

Netflix is starting to become a mecca for anime, with the U.S. version of the streaming service pumping out a new anime series every couple months. But curiously, the Japanese version of Netflix has yet to release its own original anime series. That will soon change with the upcoming series Edenthe first Japanese Netflix Original anime set in a far future where robots roam the Earth and humans are thought to have gone extinct. Netflix has shared two new images in an Eden first look, along with descriptions of concept art and storyboards for the series.

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