Posted in Music, Next Music From TOKYO

Next Music from Tokyo vol 13 tour – Oct 5-10, 2018

Next Music from Tokyo or should that be Next Music from Tokyo & Taiwan? Because for the first time in the tour’s history, it will be inviting a band from Taiwan to perform. It’s a band that has toured in Japan so it would seem that some Japanese fans are aware of them. Four other bands from Japan will be coming too. Two are bands from past volumes. There’s Otori making their second showing and Mass of the Fermenting Dregs making their third appearance (the first band to do so on the tour). I had previously seen this band in the in Vol 8, which was the first NMFT show that I ever attended and I’ve  attended every show ever since (except vol 12). The other two bands are new to the tour and both are all female trios: UlulU and Paranoid Void.

It kicks off with two shows in Toronto on Friday October 5 and Saturday October 6. Then in Montreal on Sunday October 7 and ends in Vancouver on October 10. Tickets can be purchased online now.

Videos after the jump.

Continue reading “Next Music from Tokyo vol 13 tour – Oct 5-10, 2018”

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Posted in *Recommended, Food, Reviews

Food Fight! Japanese Cheesecake [日本のチーズケーキ]

Uncle Tetsu VS Yoko Cheesecake

Food Fight! posts will be totally biased where I compare the same or very similar foods and declare a winner (or not). For this inaugural edition of I have sacrificed my health and waistline to compare two Japanese cheesecakes that are currently available in Montreal.

Before we go on, it’s important to note that Japanese cheesecake is significantly different from traditional or Western cheesecake. Japanese cheesecake is perhaps more similar to a sponge cake than a traditional cheesecake. The Japanese version is also known to be very jiggly and fluffy. I’ve seen the terms “cotton cheesecake” or “soufflé cheesecake” to refer to the Japanese cheesecake as a way of differentiating it from its Western counterpart.

TetsuVsYoko

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Posted in Art & Animation, Fantasia 2018, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Penguin Highway – film review – Fantasia 2018

PenguinHighwayPenguin Highway / ペンギン・ハイウェイ (2018)

DIRECTOR: Hiroyasu Ishida
WRITER: Makoto Ueda
CAST: Kana Kita, Yû Aoi

Synopsis

Adpated from a book, a 4th grade boy has a crush on an older woman who works at the dentist’s office that he goes to but that’s not the only thing on his mind. When penguins start appearing in his town, he decides to investigate with his best friend.

Review

This film exhibits one of the great things that make animation a special medium. There are simply things you can draw that you couldn’t possibly replicate in real life or even with the aid of photo-realistic computer graphics. That sort of imagination and creativity are on display in this film.

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Posted in *Recommended, Fantasia 2018, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Inuyashiki – film review – Fantasia 2018 [Recommended]

Inuyashiki-poster-723x1024Inuyashiki (2018)

DIRECTOR: Shinsuke Sato
WRITER: Hiroshi Hashimoto
CAST: Noritake Kinashi, Takeru Satoh, Kanata Hongo, Fumi Nikaido, Ayaka Miyoshi

Synopsis

A father who gets no respect from his family finds out he has cancer and then he gets hit by something really bright. Instead of death he finds out that he’s become a cyborg with amazing abilities. He decides to help people with his new abilities. However, there is also a high school teenager who became a cyborg with the same amazing abilities but he decides to kill and eventually goes on a murder spree that the police cannot stop.

Review

I’ve read a couple of the early volumes of Inuyashiki so I had some familiarity with it before watching this movie. The older man, Ichiro Inuyashiki (Noritake Kinashi) as the hero against the young high school teen, Hiro Shishigami, (Takeru Satoh) as the villain makes for an interesting contrast from the start. We can see why and how each one decides to do something different with his new cyborg body. Both actors are excellent in their roles. Satoh is very convincing as a dangerous psychopath but he also have a few people he cares a lot about. It’s practically refreshing to have a villain that’s actually fleshed out and feels like a real person (well in the emotional sense).

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Posted in Fantasia 2018, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Bleach – film review – Fantasia 2018

Bleach Live Action 2018 FrontBleach (2018)

DIRECTOR & WRITER: Shinsuke Sato
WRITER: Daisuke Habara
CAST: Sota Fukushi, Hana Sugisaki, Ryo Yoshizawa, Taichi Saotome, Miyavi

Next Screening: Sat July 28, 2018; 11:45 AM

Synopsis

A manga adaptation of the same name, this movie focuses on Ichigo, a high schooler with a high spiritual energy. So high that he can see ghosts whom he helps out. This attracts a soul reaper/shingami, Rukia, who transfers her powers to him. But there’s a cost involved and Ichigo must train in order to face some formidable foes such as Hollows who are souls turned vengeful.

Review

Although I’ve heard of Bleach I had no idea what it was about and I’ve never read the manga or watched the anime. But as someone who is unfamiliar with the source material I could tell that certain details were missing or that at least I was wanting for more details about certain characters or the world of soul reapers and hollows. The film feels lean and efficient in what it decides to include in its story. Luckily, it’s nothing that severely hampers the story. Continue reading “Bleach – film review – Fantasia 2018”

Posted in Fantasia 2018, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Louder!: Can’t Hear What You’re Singin’, Wimp – film review – Fantasia 2018

Louder!-_Don't_See_What_You_Are_Singing-TP.jpgLouder!: Can’t Hear What You’re Singin’ / 音量を上げろタコ!なに歌ってんのか全然わかんねぇんだよ!! [Onryo wo Agero Tako! Nani Utatten noka Zenzen Wakannendayo!!] (2018)

DIRECTOR & WRITER: Satoshi Miki
CAST: Sadao Abe, Riho Yoshioka

Synopsis

Sin is a star singer of a metal band who actually dopes himself to help him sing as loudly as possible. But after blowing his vocal chords he encounters a street musician named, Fuka, who barely sings above a whisper. After hearing her pathetically quiet performance he decides to help her sing loudly without restraint. Events lead them both to being on the run from Sin’s music concert promoters.

Review

The director Satoshi Miki was present at the screening and his advice to not think but feel is one that would be wise to heed while watching this movie. Don’t expect the story to make any sense. There’s a randomness and unpredictability to the plot that would be best not to spoil. This feels much more kinetic than his previous films I’ve seen. The acting is pretty good, being over the top but in an appropriate manner. This is a movie that takes place in a heightened sense of reality with some musical sequences and slapstick comedy.

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Posted in Fantasia 2018, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

The Travelling Cat Chronicles – film review – Fantasia 2018

travelingcatrhoniclesmovieThe Travelling Cat Chronicles / 旅猫リポート [Tabineko Ripoto] (2018)

DIRECTOR: Koichiro Miki
WRITER: Emiko Hiramatsu
CAST: Sota Fukushi, Yuko Takeuchi, Mitsuki Takahata
AUTHOR: Hiro Arikawa

Synopsis

Adapted from the novel of the same name, a young man can no longer keep his cat and visits a series of friends in order to find a place of his cat to live. The cat is not particularly happy about this and we hear his thoughts during his owner’s travels.

Review

This is a tearjerker and one that does it well even when you see the sadness coming a mile away. It uses various tropes that I won’t reveal but anyone familiar with the genre will probably spot them. As expected the story is fairly episodic as the young man, Satoru (Sota Fukushi) visits each friend and then flashbacks occur showing his past with said friend. His final visit is to his aunt and the crying definitely get dialed up a notch.

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