Supernatural Detectives at Work
Based on the manga by Kafka Asagiri and Sango Harukawa, Bungo Stray Dogs (2016) adds a literary twist to a familiar anime genre, the detective comedy-adventure.
Hungry, homeless and friendless, Atsushi Nakajima (Max Mittelman) huddles by a river in Yokohama. He was kicked out of the or dismissed him as worthless scum who’d be better off dying in a ditch. As he broods on his ill-treatment, he’s puzzled to see a pair of feet Osamu Dazai (Kaiji Tang), a cheerfully eccentric guy who’s fascinated by the idea of suicide — as long as it’s painless.
Nakajima’s confusion increases when they’re joined by Dazai’s impatient superior, Doppo Kunikida (Patrick Seitz), who’s had it up to here with Dazai’s shenanigans.
Dazai explains that they’re both members of the Armed Detective Agency, a group whose members command super powers that enable them to tackle cases the police can’t. (They act more like detectives.) Kunikida can summon certain objects into exis nullify anyone else’s power with a touch.
They enroll Nakajima in the Agency. He’s eager to obtain food, a bed and company, but when he insists he has no special powers, the others snicker. Although he has no memory of his walks on the wild side, Nakajima can transform into a powerful white tiger. He wasn’t kicked out of the orphanage for bad behavior, but because the attendants were afraid of him.
Bungo Stray Dogs set a broadly comic tone. Like Vash the Stampede in Trigun, Dazai hits on every girl he meets. But instead of propositioning them for sex or even a date, as most hormonal anime heroes do, he asks girls he’s just met to join him in a love-suicide (an element in many Kabuki plays and other Japanese entertainments). Not surprisingly, he gets turned down.
All the main characters are named for famous Japanese writers. Most anime fans will recognize mystery writer Edogawa Rampo from Case Closed and the children’s author and poet Kenji Miyazawa from Night and the animated biopic Spring and Chaos. Junichiro Tanizaki and Ryunosuke Akutagawa enjoy international reputations. Others, including feminist poet Akiko Yosano and author Atsushi Nakajima, will be less familiar to Western readers.
The Armed Detective agents’ powers relate to their namesakes’ work: “Sangetsuki” (“Tiger-Poet”), Nakajima’s most famous story from The Moon Over the Mountain, is about a Chinese would-be poet whose arrogance and am transformation begins, he cannot change back. (The accompanying art booklet offers basic information on the various authors as well as the characters named after them.)
After setting up the viewer for a rollicking adventure-comedy, director Takuya Igarashi and his crew shift the tone abruptly with the introduction of cold-blooded violence. The Armed Detective Agency is pitted against the cadre of murderous black ops thugs, the Black that Nakajima can transform - and that there’s a staggering ¥7 billion (!) bounty being offered for the head of the ‘were-tiger.’
The Black Lizard goons pack machine guns, and command their own array of super powers. They have no qualms about murdering people, individually or in groups. But the Armed Detective Agency is no passel of push-overs, and Nakajima seems safe — as long as he’s with his new comrades. But the jolting shift in tone leaves the audience with anime equivalent of whip dropped Vash into an episode of Attack on Titan or .
Still, Bungo Stray Dog was a hit in Japan in 2016. The initial broadcast series was followed by a TV sequel and an OAV, and a feature adaptation ( Bungo Stray Dogs: Dead Apple) a U.S./Canada release in May.
The premise may sound simple, but - ine you had a magical wishing box What would you wish for? Wishing Box, the new CG-animated short, written and directed by Lizzie Zhang, explores the concept
Originally conceived by Zhang in 2013, the project is co-directed by Nan Lil, who brought her excellent animation skills to - leased in 2017, has won 12 animation awards to date and has screened in more The organizing committee of this year’s This summer, the short will also be
The short, which has a budget of 30,000 dollars, was produced by Studio X, the inhouse studio of the Academy of Art in San - dents to work together in a professional environment to produce a state-of-the-art - mation team working on Wishing Box incor
young artists from all over the world joined the team at the Academy of Art University Zhang and co-director Nan Li crafted a magical world in which a greedy pirate discover a legendary treasure box after chest seems to have granted only the mon but it also addresses weighty topics such as
“The Biggest challenge was working with 150 talented international artists “As directors, we had to know every part - tion line, which included many advanced
Character molder Bin Zhu was responsible in bringing to life the challenging - lenging and rewarding task of taking of both the technical and artistic parts of
“There are many ways to describe the little bit silly, while the monkey is cute, character creation is to incorporate those personalities into characters’ body type and make sure the personality traits of the two characters are is readable at all times, even effort in the designs, and the team is
Zhang says she plans to continue to learn and improve her craft as she embarks in a to design characters and to bring them been quite rewarding to spend time on this -
Not long ago, only a handful of corporate media executives had a stranglehold over everything you could see or hear. If you were an aspiring band, you had to tour for years, send demo after demo to lower level producers and agents in hopes of getting their attention. Then, if you were lucky enough to catch their ear, there was an even slimmer chance that they would put your music in front of an upper level producer who then might put you in front of a record label executive. And then if each of about two dozen more things went right, you would have the once in a lifetime opportunity of essentially selling your creative soul in exchange for minor sponsorship or, at most, a tiny percentage of record sales. The same basic premise also applied if you were an aspiring movie maker.
Now, with YouTube, the media game has changed forever. And, ironically enough, in the favor of the artist. If you are an animator, it’s never been easier to have your work broadcast and seen by the masses. If you’re a musician, it’s never been easier to have your music listened to and/or videos watched by potential fans.
And perhaps the most amazing part of it all? You have full control over your intellectual properties and can even monetize them at will.
Take that, corporate giants!
When it comes to making money from your original content, it’s never been easier. With a click of a button, you can allow ads to be played on or between videos in your channel that enable you to get paid small amounts of money after x-many views. Massively popular videos (hundreds of millions of views and more) can generate a continuous and generous cash flow that may be so large you’ll never have to work a 9-to-5 job again.