Japan and America both have a long history with the superhero genre but despite obvious similarities, the differences between the way the cultures have approached the genre make for some pretty different stories. One only needs to look at the Japanese Spider-man TV where our hero Tatsuya gets his power from an alien from the planet Spider, as well as a giant robot instead of a radioactive spider. Despite the massive differences between the way the two cultures treat the genre, there’s still an immediately recognizable core that makes a superhero. It’s something that makes My Hero Academia, the new anime adapted from the manga by Kohei Hiroshi and Hirofumi Nedi, a fascinating look at the evolution of the superhero genre as our fiction crosses borders at an unprecedented level. It doesn’t hurt that My Hero Academia also represents the best of what it means to be not just a superhero, but someone who loves them as well.
About Author: Jerry
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Anybody who knows me will probably have surmised that Bloodborne is a game tailor-made for me. After all, I love the works of H.P. Lovecraft, I love games with strong atmosphere, I love subtle storytelling, and of course I also love to swear at screen and throw my controller in frustration a lot.
I’m kidding (a bit) because Bloodborne ended up being the most even handed game I may have ever played. It’s such a tightly constructed game that it began to affect my ability to enjoy other games. Witcher 3 is a sprawling epic RPG and a labor of love but now I find its clunky controls and repetitive combat jarring. Platinum Games’ Transformers: Devastation fares a bit better with its tighter controls but as a result I found myself instinctively going back to Bloodborne’s control scheme and wondering why I was dodging instead of attacking. Bloodborne is a game that infiltrates your headspace in such a way that you end up viewing other games through that lens.
It’s funny how much a series can change in a season. When Galavant first came out, it was a filler show placed in the gap Once Upon A Time left that month and outside of some golden musical numbers, the show seemed to have been given about that amount of thought. It seemed to be directly paralleling itself to The Princess Bride and Monty Python and The Holy Grail by parodying a story so rote I’m not sure it ever actually existed. Even so, I found myself drawn to it. It was amusing enough and Alan Menken’s score was darn good, especially the opening number (which season 2’s opening song bitter points out did not win an Emmy) and there seemed to be some real gold there. The ending for the first season struck me as particularly bold, daring ABC to give it a second season while also acknowledging the unlikelihood of that.
It’s so unlikely that the first song of the second season seems to be simply bragging about the fact that the show was renewed at all. One of the fascinating things about this second season was how deliberately it broke up the structure of the first season. The hero Galavant (Joshua Sasse) was separated from his squire Sid (Luke Youngblood) and love interest Isabella(Karen David) to be trapped with the former evil king Richard(Timothy Odmundson) on a pirate ship, Sid is stuck attending to evil queen Madalena(Mallory Jansen) and her bodyguard/fellow king Gareth (Vinnie Jones) Isabella is trapped in her home kingdom to be betrothed to a ten-year-old. It’s such a defiance of the previous season that this season almost feels like a reinvention of the show. The new Galavant feels less like a parody of some adventure story that doesn’t exist and more like a low-budget adventure show that happens to be really funny.
Without Wes Craven I might not have gotten into horror.
I probably didn’t know it at the time. I was four and the idea of directors and writers wasn’t really that prominent in my brain. What was prominent was a snarling one-liner spewing killer that was everywhere at the time: Freddy Krueger.
If you ask me, Freddy Krueger is easily the best of the well-known slasher monster as well as the most accessible. If you want any proof, just look at the Freddy mania that gripped America in the late eighties and early nineties. Even now he’s a household name, occupying the same mental space as Frankenstein and Dracula. Not only does the brilliant presence of Robert Englund provide not just the menace of other slashers but the charisma of a rock star and a gleeful bully. Freddy Krueger was someone who fascinated kids as much as he terrified them.
I’d been excited for the collaboration between Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. since it was announced. While I’ve been routinely impressed with the comic they’ve been putting out thanks to both Johns’ understanding of the character as well as JR JR’s gorgeous art, it was what I was expecting. Nothing about it reached a level of character-defining that some of Johns’ superior work has done.
Until Superman #39. This comic is maybe the best Superman story since the New 52 began with only Grant Morrison’s Action Comics #13 standing as its rival. This may sound like damning it with faint praise since this has been a rough few years for Superman. It hasn’t all been terrible. As stated, Grant Morrison’s comic had some spectacular highs and Greg Pak’s run on Action Comics has been a lot of fun. What makes this comic incredible is how it changes up the dynamic of Superman while still enforcing the things that make him such an amazing hero.
Welcome boys and ghouls to the first episode of 1001 Frights! Where we discuss horror and venture to discover the one thousand and one best horror stories of all time! Your hosts Jerry and Bobby will be taking you through in-depth discussions of their favorite horror stories, not-so-favorite horror stories, and stories you suggest! They can be anything from a book to a film to a video game to a rock opera. If it counts as horror we’ll try and put it on the list until it gets bumped off! (which won’t be for a while) So give it a listen and if you have any horror stories you’d like us to cover or questions to answer be sure to contact us @sonofether or @luckyrevenant to axe us! ehehehehehe!
Stories covered in this podcast:
- The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe
- Nosferatu directed by F.W. Murneau
- Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits by Garth Ennis and Will Simpson
- Resident Evil 4 directed by Shinji Mikami and Hideki Kamiya
Resident Evil HD is just like the Gamecube release of Resident Evil but even prettier so you should all buy it. Wow, that was easy. Who’s up for Red Robin’s for lunch?
(Editor’s Note: Jerry we’ve talked about this)
In the year 2002, Resident Evil was still considered both a commercial and critical darling and were waiting for the fourth installment, which would not shake the gaming world until three years later. At the time director director Shinji Mikami would pause throwing out games and starting from scratch to go back to basics. And thus was released Resident Evil for the Gamecube, often called REmake by its fans, which retold the initial story of the first game. It wasn’t simply a port of the game like the Gamecube releases of Resident Evil 2 and 3 were. The game was completely reworked. The puzzles were more complicated, the game was bigger, the mansion looked prettier, and the voice acting… well, in Capcom’s defense have you seen the rates union actors require?
Larry Wilmore has a tough act to follow. Taking over a spinoff show from a massively successful show is already a daunting enough task. However it isn’t just Jon Stewart he’s having to follow up. Larry Wilmore also has to succeed the nine-year pop culture icon Stephen Colbert by occupying his former time slot. There are a lot of pitfalls he has to avoid, not the least of which is avoiding simply becoming ‘The Black Daily Show’ or ‘The Black Colbert Report’ . Fortunately, Larry Wilmore has shown himself to be one of the sharpest comedians in the Daily Show’s roster. He’s managed to still be incredibly funny while discussing difficult issues and without losing the edge to what he’s discussing. It’s also hard to argue with the pedigree.
Princesses aren’t uncommon in video games. It’s pretty safe to say that princesses have been in video games for only slightly less time than video games themselves have existed. Most of the time you are saving them. Games like Mario and The Legend of Zelda feature this all-too common story hook. Everyone agrees these games are great but it doesn’t give the princess much to do (though I guess Zelda got to be a ninja and a pirate so maybe she doesn’t count) Sometimes you’ll get to actually play as the princess. She’ll join our heroes, go on adventures, and maybe even bust a few heads. These games, however, are not about what it’s like to be a princess. Princesses don’t lie around all day waiting for someone to rescue them and very rarely do the go charge into battle against armies of orcs. Being a princess holds responsibilities, duties, and the fate of an entire nation depends on you.
Swashbuckling adventure stories lend themselves well to self-parody, perhaps better than any other genre. It probably has to do with the genre already being rather comedy-heavy and light-hearted to begin with, but movies like The Princess Bride, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and of course Monty Python and The Holy Grail have been cult classics due to how they play with the formula, the latter going into outright absurdity. Galavant is the newest attempt to join that list with one added twist. It’s also a musical with new songs in every episode. Such an ambitious idea alone is worth taking note for the month it takes up Once Upon A Time’s time slot.
The story opens with a song about our hero Galavant (Joshua Sasse) and how he’s gone off to rescue his one true love Madalena (Mallory Jansen) from the clutches of the evil King Richard. (Timothy Omundson) Unfortunately, when he comes to interrupt the wedding, he’s found that Madalena actually rather likes the comfort and privilege of being a queen. A depressed Galavant leaves the castle and proceeds to drink himself into a blind stupor. Two years later, he’s approached by Princess Isabella (Karen David) who needs her help to save her kingdom. With his squire Sid (Luke Youngblood) with them, they head off to adventure and hijinks.