Monthly Archives: February 2008

Awesome Book Week: Day 4 – Super7 Mook

INTERNATIONAL TOY…pirates?

If you’re already familiar with Super7, then you either already have this or want this really, really bad but you’re too much of a cheapskate to shell out the bread to call it your own. If you have no idea who or what the fuck Super7 is, here’s an abridged introduction: these maniacs have a rabid affinity for soft vinyl toys and toys in general that are weird/cool looking and/or are impossible to find. The Super7 team also has friends that are equally enamored with collecting. So enamored that I’m willing to bet that anyone featured in this book has treasure chests full of insanity that would put to shame any hipster’s paltry Dunny “collection.”

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Filed under art, capsule toys, gundam, mecha, reviews, sofubi, tokusatsu, toys

Awesome Book Week: Day 3 – Araki (published by Taschen)

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I really don’t know where to start with this one…as it would be an understatement to say that Nobuyoshi Araki is in his own world in which photography is at the center. I can’t say that I know much of anything about Araki, though I can say I was near overwhelmed at the astonishing amount of Araki’s work that manages to find its way within this book of monolithic proportions.

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(shown with a rear view of the slipcase)

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Flowers, street photography, a smattering of experimental photography, photos of his cat and photos that chronicle his life are what make up this enormous collection of Araki’s work. Oh, and page after page after page of photos of women. Highly questionable, pornographically outlandish photos of women. Tons of them. This is what makes this write up so hard. Sure the other stuff is good; it’s honest, charming and his flowers are swarming with color. Though most are nowhere near the intensity and impact of the nude and nearly nude photographs that singe your brain. It’s pretty hard to forget the numerous photos of women, each barely wearing a kimono, being suspended from the ceiling with nothing but rope. It’s my opinion that simply writing these off as pornographic and nothing but would be misinterpreting them. I’m at a loss for words when it comes to trying to understand just what Araki is trying to communicate with such photos or even the very idea, though I suppose that’s why they’re so interesting. At the risk of dealing with crybabies, I’ve chosen not to upload any of these photos. I mean no offense to Araki himself, but that’s not something that I have the time to come under fire for.

I’ll let you be the judge of such artistic entanglements on your own time…

Your local bookstore or library should have something similar to this book if not this very book itself, but if worse comes to worse, you can order it here.

araki.jpg
Nobuyoshi Araki
 

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Awesome Book Week: Day 2 – Queen of Japanese Movie

No that isn’t a typo, that’s actually the name of this book.

Queen Of Japanese Movie and CD

The book breaks down two dozen films into five different series and then lists each film within that series in the chronological order of its release date. All films glossed over in this book are listed below in the format just described.

Stray Cat Rock
Stray Cat Rock: Wild Jumbo
Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter
Stray Cat Rock: Machine Animal
Stray Cat Rock: Beat ‘71
 
Girl’s Junior High School: Bad Habit
Girl’s Junior High School: Trouble At Graduation
Girl’s Junior High School: Too Young To Play Like This
Bad Girl Mako
 
Girl Boss Blues: Queen Bee’s Counterattack
Girl Boss Blues: Queen Bee’s Challenge
Girl Boss Guerilla
Girl Boss
Girl Boss: Escape From Reform School
Girl Boss: Diamond Showdown
Girl Boss: Crazy Ball Game
 
Terrifying Girl’s High School: Women’s Violent Classroom
Terrifying Girl’s High School: Lynch Law Classroom
Terrifying Girl’s High School: Delinquent Convulsion Group
Terrifying Girl’s High School: Animal Courage
 
Sex And Fury
Female Yakuza Tale
Criminal Women: Killing Melody
Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs

I couldn’t make up some of those names if I tried. Those are all the literal English translations too; it’s not like I threw the original titles into some barely-working translator duct taped to a ouija board. Though the text herein is pretty light – and the text in English even lighter – unfortunately there’s no overview of “pink films” in general. At least there are short bios on Meiko Kaji, Han Bunjaku, Reiko Ike and Miki Sugimoto. Then again, it does say that it’s part of the Visual Book Series right on the cover so…

I knew going into special ordering this that I’d be getting a lot of eye candy and not a lot of analysis, but that’s fine with me given the layout and reproduction quality of the film stills and posters. I can thank this guy for previewing a book that I otherwise would have been unable to look at before going through the trouble of ordering it. I suggest checking out some of the scans he did to get a better idea of what this book contains. I’d scan more, but what’s the point if he beat me to it? I’m not kidding, look it over. Too bad the poor soul got shorted a cover and an obi.

What caught me off guard was the CD that comes with this book isn’t just some extra piece of plastic. Honestly, I could’ve cared less that it came with this book and was pissed that including it upped the price. It’s not bad though, not bad at all. I never would’ve thought that the soundtrack for Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter would’ve been so…groovy. Keep in mind, these were all made between 1970 and 1974, so it’s not that crazy for some of it to sound like something that would be backing James Brown’s wailing. Nor is it crazy for some of it to sound like something that would be playing in the background at a party while some guy with a shitty moustache incessantly screamed about “tripping out of his mind.” A nice surprise, but I could’ve done without it.

If I haven’t hit the point home hard enough, pay attention: this book is for die hard weirdos only. Honestly, I think it’s great, but without seeing any of these movies (only some are available in the U.S.), you can’t possibly appreciate the contents of this book. In other words, check out as many as you can. (Having an affinity towards violence and/or Japanese women is not required to view any of the aforementioned films but is highly recommended.)

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Awesome Book Week: Day 1 – Super #1 Robot

Super #1 Robot

This is a quick, informative history of Japanese robot toys from the days of yore that you never had a chance to buy because you weren’t even born yet. Bullmark, Takara, Clover, Ark, Takatoku, Popy and other companies that you’ve never heard of are covered in Super #1 Robot. This book is made up mostly of incredible photos of giant robots taken by Tim Brisko, while the remainder of the book is made up of text (in English) that has been researched by giant robot nerd extraordinaire, Matt Alt. If you haven’t heard a thing about it, let me just say that this book is a great look at why these types toys and this genre in general has remained popular for more than a quarter of a century. My only gripe is that it’s on the small side – maybe a little smaller than your outstretched hand. Though realistically, how many other people besides robot dorks like myself would shell out twice as much money for a book that’s twice as big? I would guess not enough to warrant the production costs of a larger book. Too bad. Here’s hoping that Matt, Tim and friends team up to do another book like this.

You can flip through a few pages of Super #1 Robot at Amazon if the name and cover of the book aren’t interesting enough. A better example would be to go read some of what Matt Alt has written and to see some photos that Tim Brisko has taken.

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John Hoffman…not such a bad guy.

Madison Fest flyer

…or I guess you could stay home and end your worthless life.

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a&o: the opposite of a poor “lifestyle” choice

Tomorrow: Awesome Book Week starts

May 1st 2008: Torrent(ial) Saturation begins

Before Summer 2008: a&o shirts (both free and non) available

…..you don’t believe me do you?

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“This movie raped my eyes.”

This is a direct quote taken from the IMDB entry for Ninja Resurrection. Also, this is actually an OVA, but whatever…

Ninja Resurrection cover

Sure I could write a lengthy review for this, but I would just basically be trying to find interesting ways to say that the character designs are nothing special and that it ends up being pretty flat overall. “Why even put it on here then?” GREAT QUESTION…glad you asked. Even though there are heads on stakes, innocent children getting killed, and both Satan and samurais are involved, Ninja Resurrection is nothing crazy. I’ll give you a second to reread that last sentence…

How can a recipe for such a deliciously perverse feast come out…so…boring? It’s like fucking up macaroni and cheese or ramen noodles. Sure, there’s some effort required, but both can be satisfying unless you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing. Then you’re just a terrible person. I got this cheap, and I didn’t hate it, but that’s about as much of an endorsement as you’re going to get from me for Ninja Resurrection. In fact, I don’t even feel guilty for not taking screen captures of it.

Before watching this I looked around online for a second to see what other agoraphobic shut-ins had to say about this. It was then that I stumbled into a puddle of misinformed crybaby tears. As mentioned above, these quotes are all taken from IMDB. Not only did they get me excited about watching this, but they’re probably about as good as the OVA itself.

“…this movie raped my eyes. This movie forcibly shoved unwanted imagery into my skull.”

“…if you like super disturbing anime gorefests that go beyond the definition of gore, then this is the one for you.”

“The blood and gore factor is excellent.”

“extremely violent”

“I hated this movie.”

“A revolting movie for gore-buffs only”

“…the violence is stomach-churningly gross and repellent.”

“Wow. Very offensive.”

Just what the fuck are these individuals watching? After watching Ninja Resurrection all the way through, it’s as if their comments suggest that the harshest thing any of them have ever seen is Are You Afraid Of The Dark? or maybe Tales From The Crypt.

The bottom line is that this isn’t worth seeking out, yet some how not terrible. I would recommend holding off on trying to get it until your loser older brother or fat roommate try to sell it to you for a dollar in an attempt to scrounge up money for their rent because they do nothing but try to smoke their dreadlocks all day.

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