Saturday, December 24, 2005

Anime - GANTZ

I love anime. Been watching it since I was a little kid. Now that the Japanese explosion is in full swing there is more of it available than I will ever have time to watch. :)

A recent series I've seen is called GANTZ. This anime is NOT for children, but for a more mature audience. It paints a picture of modern society and peoples which is rather gruff and without pink glasses or any kind.

The story unfolds as Kei is a a train station waiting for his ride. A homeless man falls on the tracks. Most of the people there stare, but none make a move to help him, including Kei. But then a childhood friend Kei has not seen in years jumps down to the tracks and seeing him, asks him to help. Grudgingly, and with his inner thoughts revealed, Kei eventually gets down there to help him. The get the man out, but since no one else is still providing any aid, Kei and his old friend end up getting hit by the oncoming train.

Enter GANTZ - Kei and his friend are rematerialized in a typical Tokyo apartment where other people who have recently died appear. GANTZ, a giant black ball, has messages appear on its surface and gives them instructions on an alien they need to go out and kill.

They've been given a second chance at life, but if they do not complete the missions they die permanently, they can get killed during the mission as well. And they can't leave a confined area during the mission. Once it is done though, they go back to their regular lives until called again.

Filled with violence, some sex, and disturbing social thoughts and images, a deeper story begins to develop as Kei slowly thaws out of his apathy and begins to care and get involve.

The ending to this is harsh and also took some thought to figure out on my part. My take on it is that GANTZ and the old lady were running a test on humanity. She picked the main participant and then put him in the game which GANTZ keeps changing and cheating, to prove whether someone like Kei can become a champion for humanity or not. Luckily, he is and GANTZ stops. Truly bizzare series

Happy Holiday Wishes!

Regardless of your religion or beliefs, just wanted to wish you a set of Happy Holidays! May you have fun, stay healthy, and progress on all your goals for the coming year!

News - Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles

Howdy, all!

Just wanted to let you know that 3 sample Chapters of "Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles" are now posted at the site The book should see release around June 2006 from HardShell Word Factory. It is a YA Fantasy Adventure.

Talia didn’t want to be apprenticed, not even to the prestigious Dragon Knight’s Guild. She is taken to the school by a cross-eyed dragon and his partner, Kel. A dizzying, madcap ride leaves her less than eager to be a knight, but soon she finds out the guild has need of many types of people. Running into the dragon and squire again and again, she comes to realize the unlikely pair are outsiders in their own school—participants of the dragon-human pairing ritual, which in the end didn’t work quite as intended. They are stubborn loners who are determined to overcome the obstacles in their path and make a true pair, as was intended. Or are they?

As Talia’s first year at the guild evolves, she must deal with the quirks of the Administrator, her lessons, the odd rules of the school, the students, the mystery of Clarence and Kel, and somewhere in there, possibly decide what it is she wants for her own future.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Movie of the Week - King Kong

Have been eagerly awaiting this release once I saw the previews, but then almost got cold feet as they started the mega hype campaign (normally a bad sign). Went to see it Friday, trying to keep an open mind, and was thrilled to find it to be all I had hoped for and more.

CGI and special effects were outstanding overall. Kong himself was MARVELLOUS! Not only did they study gorilla form and behavior, which is obvious, but the big ape himself is oozing with personality.

Kong does not appear for the first 115 minutes, but that was fine by me as it gave plenty of time for us to meet and become acquainted with everyone else embroiled in the story. There are many wonderful characters, from the manic director, the ego filled actor (who much to my surprise was the lead from Early Edition - yay!), the playwright, the actress, the captain, his first mate, and the stowaway turned crew.

The island was creepy, the islanders even more so. Lots of jungle and creatures and icky bugs and more. Tons of action! And even a love triangle, which was lovely to watch as in several parts the ape and the playwright mirrored the same emotions toward Ann.

The recreations of New York in the 30's was very impressive, and loved the in-joke about Fay Raye currently being busy doing a movie for RKO. (For those who might not be familiar with King Kong, Fay Raye (sp?) was the girl in the original black and white King Kong.

Absolutely a must see! Whether you've ever seen a King Kong film or not, this is very mcuh worthwhile. Impressive piece of work. ****!!!

Movie of the Week - Narnia

Based on the beloved books, Hollywood brings us Narnia - The Lion, the Witch, and the Warddrove. Quite a nice film and from what I can recall (having read the book a long time ago) pretty faithful to the original work. Same awesome CGI work, especially on Aslan and Mr Thomas. Doesn't beat Harry Potter or LOTR, but still worth seeing, and definitely a great way to introduce a new generation to these great children's books. ***

Small Christmas Miracle - Christmas Cards are ready!

Bwahahahaha there's been a small Christmas miracle - I actually have gotten my Christmas cards ready this year! Of course, I still need to get them to the post office, so all bets are off, but I have come much closer than last year. Last year time just seemed to evaporate and I got no cards done at all. Been feeling guilty about it all year and so I strived to do better this year. And, yes, I've done it! It may not seem to be a big thing to most, but with all the stuff going on, work, promo, family, etc it is a nice litttle accomplishement. Heh.

Happy Holidays to all!
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