All posts by wintermuted

Part-time wandering artifact, part-time student, Wintermuted's travels from the wastelands of California's Coachella Valley have crystallized his love of all-things soulful & strange. A child of the VHS era, and often working for the anime man, his voyages continue onward in the name of bridging generations of Japanese popular art together. Can also be found via twitter.com/winterkaijyu , as well as wanderingkaijyu.blogspot.com !

Bridging The Gap’s “Oh, The Horror!”Halloween Countdown!

Growing up in the latter half of the 70s horror movie boom which included such high profile works such as The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn Of The Dead, Halloween, and others, my childhood was well-versed in the art of nightmare weaving before the onset of slashers reduced the format into scant numbers, and dopey kill counting. So it was especially important that in the latter years that I searched for scares that matched those that affected me so strongly in my younger years. Thankfully, through the video age, it became easy to see that there were others throughout the world who felt similarly. Who knew that the art of scary was more than being hacked apart by a zombified goalie, or a wisecracking bundle of foam latex. They knew that horror could run deeper than that. And appropriately, Japan has often had a well attuned frequency between the natural and supernatural worlds, making it an ideal place to explore the blackest corners of the human mind.

With only days remaining until the veil between worlds fades yet again , it felt appropriate to go ahead and share a few horror favorites from the hallowed vaults. And since there’s no real shortage of great works, I’ll be making picks from both the manga and anime worlds. And besides, nothing suggests the creeping approach of winter better than a good, scary story to read at bedtime.

Keep in mind that these are merely my opinion, and am quite aware of the vastness of great horror works available. Just sharing ones I’d love to see more folks embrace over time.

So let’s get into it, shall we?

the prophetess, Hinoto
the prophetess, Hinoto

Continue reading Bridging The Gap’s “Oh, The Horror!”Halloween Countdown!

Space Battleships In A Moe Universe

Yamato, the ancient namesake of Japan. It seems as if great renewal is the primary theme throughout the world at this particular time. Not only has Japan’s political power just recently shifted in a most dramatic fashion, but the public’s love of all things Uchu Senkan Yamato is quickly reaching phoenix levels in no small manner. All across the nets have been blurbs and shouts involving the long-awaited live action opus, starring none other than SMAP’s Takuya Kimura in the role of Susumu Kodai, as well as a bold looking new animated feature (Fukkatsu-hen), set for release this December.

The significance? When the series was brought stateside via Westchester Films in the late 70s under the name, Star Blazers, the show was one incredible gateway drug, turning this quiet kid into a ticking timebomb of addiction. The thought of going a week until the next Saturday morning fix was frightening, to downright depressing for a first-grader. Imagine my reaction to the show’s storyline, and the shock I felt when (gasp!) characters died! Characters dying in a cartoon? ARE YOU KIDDING? Needless to say, this was akin to a great awakening. Shows like this weren’t screwing around. And the rest, is..well you know.

Now that a long standing legal battle over creative rights is over, it seems that a long delayed Yamato renaissance is finally coming to pass, with an entirely new generation who may have at least been children at the time of the original 1974-75 series’ run at the helm. Thankfully, this happens while several of the original key staff are still with us. Things being how they are today, the pervading feeling seems to be one of longing. Longing for a time where men were men, collective faith was paramount, and sacrifice was potentially necessary to defend honor. It is the quintessential Space Opera, merging science fiction, westerns, mysteries, WWII naval epics, and hearty drama, establishing a wholly new kind of anime saga. It’s probably safe to say that next to the massive contributions that Osamu Tezuka & Go Nagai gave to the worlds of anime/manga, there were fewer creations as influential as Uchu Senkan Yamato.

Continue reading Space Battleships In A Moe Universe

Bridging The Gap: An Intro!

Hey all!

Just giving a quick shout of thanks to Gendomike & the AD crew for allowing me to share thoughts and memories with all of you. Now this will be the first of hopefully many journeys through the looking glass, where the face of early US anime fandom melds minds with that of today’s loyal armies. When not tapping away in the labs of my own personal art & geek site, I may also chime in with thoughts on current & older titles, trends, habits and soforth, once or twice a month. The time outside of this is spent continuing my film studies, as well as composing music for the little movies inside my head. Long and short, this’ll serve as a little oasis from the unrelenting clusterfudge I have so enthusiastically created for myself.

So, in order to make this workable, first, a quick dip into the past. I grew up not only surrounded by the golf courses & gaudily placed palm trees of the California desert, but with a very rarified affliction; a very early love for anime, live-action tokutatsu series, and of course the weekly Kaijyu-fests that tv could only provide throughout the late 70s and early 80s in hilariously dubbed form. The near blackout of US tv anime in the late 80s eventually led to the burgeoning of anime on VHS. ( remember, the only alternative to this were cruddy, third gen tapes found at your local Star Trek convention-no joke.) I am what many anime historians consider a 2nd wave fan (the first being the Mach Go-Go-Go! & Tetsuwan Atomu in america phase). I can vividly remember the day my brother sneaked a copy of Urotsukidoji into my virgin VCR.(!!!) And as crazy-old that makes me sound, it’s been a bizarre yet exciting ride. It’s strange to express just how much has changed. Whether collecting videos, figures, and art books, or eventually helping within the US industry, there’s always been something to keep the admiration strong. And to think that all of this came due to a small, but stalwart cadre of geeky low-techs, believing that something special was indeed coming from the east.

So it’s time to dust off the old flashlight, it’s exploration time….First post coming very soon!

YukiOkita