Month: December 2016

Chihayafuru Part 1 and 2 – Movie Review

It is hard to imagine how a series about professional karuta, a traditional Japanese card game, could be so exciting, yet it is. Chihayafuru is one of the greatest ‘sports’ anime of all time if you could really classify it as such. The series imbues every moment with genuine excitement and a sense of beauty that is truly incomparable. One of my first thoughts when I heard it had been adapted to not one but two live action films was how would they capture the beauty of the animation, to my surprise they did it by doing something very simple; showcasing the game of karuta in reality for all its true to life wonder. These two Chihayafuru films definitely go hand in hand, as is the reason why we have decided to review them together. The first film follows karuta fanatic Chihaya as she reconnects with friends of the past and builds new friendships over the game of karuta, all in the lead up to the epic tournament finale that closes the first film out. …

Erased – Movie Review

How do you take a complex multi-volume manga or its fantastic 12 episode anime adaptation and translate that into a 2 hour live action film? How do you condense that story in a way that the heart of it isn’t lost in the process? It is a difficult challenge to overcome and for the most part the live action adaptation of the time travel mystery series Erased does an admirable job, until it all falls apart in a baffling final act that betrays the audacious climactic turn of events of the source material in favour for an illogical climax that lacks the same ingenuity and emotional impact. That said, for the majority of its run time Erased is a fine adaptation, as long as you stop watching before the final act. Erased follows Satoru Fujinuma (the always fantastic Tatsuya Fujiwara), a down on his luck aspiring manga artist who works as a pizza delivery driver for a living. Satoru has a bit of a secret however, he has the innate ability to relive events with …

Kyoto Tower Lights Up For Blue Exorcist Birthday Celebration

Japan has a heck of a lot of national pride, that’s for sure. When they do something, they do it well, and when it succeeds you bet your bottom dollar that everyone in the country will celebrate! Kazue Kato’s Blue Exorcist has been running for some seven years now: It quickly grew to mass popularity, and has stayed that way ever since. The Shonen Manga got itself an Anime adaptation a few years ago, with a second one on the way very soon, so there’s much for creator Kazue Kato to be happy about. With the passing of every year, Miss Kato heads online to celebrate the fictional birthday of Blue Exorcists twin heroes Rin and Yukio, with many others following her lead by creating fanart of the two celebrating another year. Well, because of the series’ increasing success, and with much more around the corner, it was not only the internet that celebrated the boys’ birthday this year but Kyoto city itself. The arc of which the upcoming Anime is focussing on is the …

“The Film Has Been Seen Enough”, Says “Your Name.” Creator Makoto Shinkai

Apparently there IS such thing as too much of a good thing, at least, that’s the case for Makoto Shinkai; the creator of modern Japanese Pop Culture’s biggest film since whatever it was that Hayao Miyazaki worked on last. You would have to be living underneath a fairly large rock not to know about the recent blockbuster film Your Name. The story of two literal star-crossed lovers living out each other’s lives through dreams was created by genius writer, director, composer, animator, Makoto Shinkai. You may be familiar with Shinkai’s other popular films 5 Centimeters Per Second, Children Who Chase Lost Voices, Garden Of Words, and a few key others. Those that know of Makoto Shinkai also know that he’s somewhat of an eccentric guy, especially when it comes to that of his passion projects. He is a meticulous perfectionist, and leaves absolutely no stone unturned, and it’s thanks to this that he is now asking that people around the world STOP seeing his latest film. Seeing as it is still being shown in select …

Starting the New Year with Wrestle Kingdom 11

  Before Wrestlemania, and hell before the Royal Rumble, there is no wrestling event that kick starts the New Year quite like Wrestle Kingdom by New Japan Pro Wrestling. Having become more widespread since Wrestle Kingdom 9, thanks to localisations efforts and the inclusion of an English color commentary team (which was great in Wrestle Kingdom 9 but certainly left A LOT to be desired in Wrestle Kingdom 10). We are now getting ready for Wrestle Kingdom 11, set to take place on January 4 2017 (January 5 for those living in the Outback) inside the one and only historic Tokyo Dome. It’s been said many times before, but this is Japan’s equivalent of Wrestlemania being held in New York’s  Madison Square Garden. Wrestle Kingdom 11 certainly has a lot of buzz for it, but the star power is lacking… thanks mainly due to some of the biggest NJPW stars of the last 5 years now becoming fixtures of WWE. So much of what made Wrestle Kindgom amazing is now missing, with the likes of …

Jump Festivus – Lost in Mistranslation Episode 94

It’s a holly, jolly time of the year and the guys decide to spend it the one way they know how; conversing about the Shonen Jump popularity poll. They also give each other gifts, but that’s  really more for them…unless you count their words as your gift. Congratulations if you do and enjoy the happiness that attitude brings. If you don’t…there’s always next year. -30-

Compare the Pair – Digimon World: Next Order Presents Vita and PS4 Graphics Side by Side

Oh how refreshing it is to be back in a world where Digimon games are seeing a Western release. No sarcasm there, simply genuine happiness. Doubly so considering that it is one of the few franchises that has tried to make use of the PS Vita, otherwise known as the world’s most under-utilised gaming device. That being said, Bandai Namco’s latest trailer for Digimon World: Next Order may just show reason for people’s aversion to the console. Handheld in nature, the Vita has never, and will never, compete visually with its more powerful, home-locked brother. Combined with the comparative lack of large scale releases, the Vita has seen far less attention outside of Japan. Of course this is a self fulfilling prophecy, as the lack of sales results in companies not porting to the Vita, resulting in a lack of sales, resulting in a lack of ports to the console. Nothing new there. Regardless, the Western release of Next Order shall apparently only see a PS4 release and the trailer that is about to follow ultimately …

A Touch Of Anti-Magic – Black Clover Special Anime Episode PV Released Online

There are a set of modern Manga gracing the pages of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump that make up what I’d like to call the publication’s “Comback“. In the early 90s began the “Golden Age” of Shonen Jump comics, and this spanned almost two decades until very recently wherein which those that were left over came to an end. With One Piece being the only series from the time left to continue indefinitely, Shueisha have made efforts at revitalising Shonen Jump. Gone are the days of Slam Dunk, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Rurouni Kenshin, but these new artists are paving a new way into the future. With Kohei Horikoshi’s My Hero Academia, Daisuke Ashihara’s World Trigger, and Yūto Tsukuda/Shun Saeki/Yuki Morisaki’s Food Wars! at the forefront of the serialisation’s battalion it’s hard to deny that we’ve reached another great generation of Manga production. One not mentioned, but one just as popular as those listed is Yuki Tabata’s Black Clover. A Fantasy Manga reminiscent of many others, Black Clover quickly gained quite the fanbase across the world. It’s heavy-handed but well-written combination …

First Promotional Video Revealed For Boruto: Naruto Next Generation Anime

With every popular Manga comes a popular Anime series, and considering how popular Naruto still is even after it’s finale it’s only natural to assume that it’s Manga spin-off/continuation, Boruto: Naruto Next Generation, would too get it’s very own Anime adaptation. After Boruto: Naruto The Movie it was revealed that a Manga series based on the events of the film would be produced by Mikio Ikemoto and Ukyo Kodachi. The Manga, which has been running for a little while at this point in time, recounts the events of the latest film and continues onwards, telling a very familiar tale featuring some very familiar faces. TV Tokyo, who will be airing this new series, opened up a website yesterday dedicated to this upcoming Anime series. Alongside revealing the key art for the Anime, a promotional video was also posted, but it showed nothing more than scenes from both the original Anime and the aforementioned movie which disappointed some but still worked to build hype swell around a “franchise” with more than enough as it is. During this …

Yu-Gi-Oh!’s Sixth Series Revealed Courtesy Of Official Twitter

Yu-Gi-Oh!, unlike many Trading Card Games of late, has withstood the test of time. Originally appearing within the pages of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump back in the later months of 1996, Yu-Gi-Oh! has continued long into the new age, albeit with every new iteration spearheaded by someone other than it’s original creator Kazuki Takahashi, who moved on from it quite some time ago. As time continued to move ever forward, more and more Yu-Gi-Oh! Anime and Manga were produced alongside that of the actual Trading Card Game, the cards of which can be found almost everywhere around the world. Yu-Gi-Oh!, like Dragon Ball Z or Pokemon, is a worldwide phenomenon that simply will never end, and yesterday that was confirmed thanks to the series’ official Twitter account which revealed that, in 2017, Yu-Gi-Oh! will return in a brand-new Anime series. So far unnamed, the sixth Yu-Gi-Oh! series will follow the life and times of a young Duelist named Yusaku Fujiki; a somewhat shy boy who wishes to be as far removed from the spotlight as …

Live-Action Tokyo Ghoul Film’s First Teaser Image Released

Truth be told; I’m perplexed as to why a live-action adaptation of Sui Ishida’s hit Manga Tokyo Ghoul hasn’t already been made and released. It truly is one of the most popular Horror/Thriller Manga of contemporary times, rivalling even that of Attack On Titan and yet only now are we hearing about it’s upcoming film. Regardless, this has sent the internet into a whirlwind the likes of which only a live-action film adaptation of a hit Anime can. Partially revealed sometime ago, the live-action Tokyo Ghoul film has been in development for not as long as one would imagine. The development studio and cast behind the film have remained mostly quite about it’s progress and, in fact, the movie’s contents, but those of you who have watched or read Tokyo Ghoul can accurately guess what it is going to portray. The very first teaser image for the upcoming film has just ben released, and it shows both the main character Kaneki Ken (portrayed by actor Masataka Kubota) alongside his signature mask which, keen eyes may …

First Line Of Generation Two Pokemon Now Available In Pokemon GO

Niantic, the developers behind the once-explosive, Pokemon GO have always had plans to distribute Pokemon from the series’ second generation across the world of the augmented reality video game, but specifics on when that would come about were never revealed. Educated speculation dictated that once the developers saw a decline in the popularity of the title that they would begin with the rolling out of the next generation, and it seems as though now is the appropriate time. It’s close to the end of 2016 and it is looking as though Pokemon GO has quickly run out of steam, lasting but a few months before simmering down to what it is now. Granted, those few months were absolute lunacy, with many non-players hoping that the craze would fade away sooner rather than later. Personally, I thought the game would remain far longer in the public eye but it is now little more than a memory, hopefully the introduction of baby Pokemon from Generation Two will help fuel the the train of popularity once again. The …

Yamcha Is The World’s Strongest Fighter In This New Dragon Ball Spin-Off

The problem with most people of this day and age is that they only remember the bad times as they disregard the good. Yamcha, whom you should all be very much aware of, is the butt of an endless stream of jokes with many considering him to be, perhaps, the most useless characters to ever grace the pages of Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball Z Manga and it’s Anime adaptation. That, for the most part, is a fair point…ONLY if you’re considering Dragon Ball Z. You see, Yamcha was once quite the force to be reckoned with during the days of Dragon Ball, but time has forgotten that, and he is now only known as little more than a failure of a fighter. He WAS, for a short while, the star player of a baseball team, but that was overshadowed by, well…Goku’s constant battle against world-ending evil. Fear not, fans of Yamcha! Shonen Jump Plus, a digital Manga run by Shueisha so far only available across Japan, has begun featuring a brand-new Manga based upon Akira …

Final Fantasy XV – Review

Well folks, it’s finally here; the game we’ve all been waiting for nigh on a decade now…or was it longer? Though understanding regarding the development processes of a video game vary, I think everybody can agree that they are simply happy that this period of waiting is now over. Of course, that means that everybody can now play the XV (nee Versus XIII) adventure they have so longed for, finally, and perhaps contentiously, putting that one burning question to rest; Is it as good as we’ve hoped? The Hype Train, as it has so been dubbed, is a rather perilous facet of pop culture. With passengers pinning their hopes and dreams on a station not yet reached, joy can turn to malice in an instant depending on how well their dreams and ideas mesh with the reality presented to them. Of course, this effect is only intensified by a particularly lengthy journey and with more than a decade of trailers, concepts and plans behind them, Square Enix lay bound to the tracks before this aforementioned train. …

Creepy – Review

General consensus dictates that neighbours are meant to be trusted. You, as a citizen of the area, are to band together with others like yourself to form a small but tight community. You see one another on a daily basis, you interact with each other whenever you can, and because of this a specific bond is formed between yourself and your neighbours that breeds positivity in your local area. There’s nothing safer than your home, but there’s nothing that can put you more at ease than knowing that your general area is too just as safe. Fact is…the people you interact with while mowing the lawn or watering the garden aren’t the same when behind closed doors. That’s not too scary though, it’s a simple truth of this world, the frightening thing however is the severity of that difference. In Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s latest theatrical project “Creepy“, we’re taught that the world’s most dangerous people aren’t only shown on the nightly news…they could be right next door. A special “thank you” must be extended to The …

The Squids Aren’t Alright – Lost in Mistranslation Episode 92

Phew, that Death Stranding sure is a humdinger ain’t it? Two trailers, one game, a bunch of dead seafood, what’s it all about? Well, if you were looking for answers, you better believe you won’t find them here. However, if you were looking for some friendly discussion regarding the intensity of Mads Mikkelsen and the potential evil of cephalopods, then you’ve hit the jackpot. -30-

First Promotional Video Released For My Hero Academia Anime’s Second Season

Kohei Horikoshi’s My Hero Academia is one of the most popular Shonen Jump Manga in the publication’s modern era, and it’s Anime adaptation is seemingly no different. An instant hit, this series gained large-scale popularity across the world, with Viz Media being forced to release the Manga digitally through it’s Weekly Shonen Jump app by sheer demand of widespread audience. The Anime adaptation, which has been legally streamed across the world, met with much he same reception as it’s source material so it’s no surprise that, almost as soon as it’s first season ended, it was revealed to be getting a second. Bones, the studio behind the series, has just revealed the ver first promotional video for the upcoming second season, and although it’s only some thirty seconds long it’s still enough to get the blood pumping. Unfortunately the release period for the second season has yet to be disclosed, but we WILL be seeing this in 2017, and it is more likely to begin airing in the earlier months rather than the later, but …

Premiere Gameplay Trailer Released For Marvel VS Capcom Infinite

Now that it has been officially revealed and the world is excited for the upcoming crossover title Marvel VS Capcom Infinite, it’s time that we start seeing more of what this new addition to the much-loved series of fighting video games has to offer. To end this year’s Capcom Cup tournament as a part of the PlayStation Experience conference, Capcom released the very first gameplay trailer for Marvel VS Capcom Infinite featuring the same four fighters that were present in the game’s reveal trailer which was only released yesterday. Alongside footage of X, Ryu, Captain Marvel, and Ironman brawling, Capcom also released quite a fair bit of information regarding the game’s new mechanics, the most exciting of which is the removal of 3-hero teams to instead only accommodate 2, and the implementing of a new in-battle mechanic that allows players to harness the power of the Marvel universe’s Infinity Stones, each representing a different type of power. Reborn Rivalries: Universes collide once again in this all-new crossover clash for the ages, where players select their …

Live And Let Die! Sony Officially Reveals Marvel VS Capcom Infinite

It was only a few days ago that we at SnapThirty reported on a rumour circulating the web that speculated on the release of a Marvel VS Capcom 4. As part of the rumour it was explained that the official reveal would come as a part of the 2016 PlayStation Experience conference, and that it would be made available sometime in 2017. Well, we’re currently at the back end of this year’s PlayStation Experience, and just as the rumour explained; a new Marvel VS Capcom has officially been announced. As expected, the reveal was delivered in the form of a short teaser trailer that depicted what many assume to be the flagship fighters of this particular iteration duking it out 2-on-2. On the Marvel side is none other than Ironman but surprisingly supported by a more recent fan favorite Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers). Those two are pit against new Capcom mascot Ryu (Street Fighter) fighting alongside a familiar face with a shiny new body; X (Mega Man X). The group of four go head-to-head-to-head-to-head for a good …