The swirling nothingness: Shuzo Oshimi’s vampire manga Happiness

The swirling nothingness: Shuzo Oshimi’s vampire manga Happiness

Shuzo Oshimi’s Happiness is a beautiful clusterfuck that I can’t get enough of, but let’s get one thing clear: there’s absolutely nothing happy about Happiness. It all begins when high-schooler Okazaki is bitten by the vampire Nora. She grants him two choices: either live like her, or die. Really, he has no choice.

The flower bloomed

Before you decide to watch Flowers of Evil (Aku no Hana,) please ask yourself these questions: do I purely want bishounen, or bishoujo, characters in my anime? Am I always looking for attractive characters? Should anime always look the same? If you’ve answered in the affirmative to any of these questions, forget about Flowers of… Continue reading The flower bloomed

The end of Psycho-Pass

One wouldn’t think it to look at them, but Shin Sekai Yori and Psycho-Pass were like two peas in a pod. Both deal in dystopian futures, social commentary and rebellion, both attempt to obfuscate their commentary by presenting it through morally-questionable speakers, and both refuse to end with everything neatly resolved. Suffice to say, I… Continue reading The end of Psycho-Pass

The Flowers of Evil

First, imagine an alternate version of FLCL, where Naoto hooks up with the loose-canon Mamimi and revels in her pyromania, falling ever deeper into her psychosis, burning away their boring world together. This is The Flowers of Evil (Aku no Hana,) a manga series (and soon to be anime) that begins like any of the… Continue reading The Flowers of Evil

Broken Apple: Shin Sekai Yori

Many of us are optimists and like to think there’s an innate sense of goodness within us all, but given a God’s power, how would we react? Shin Sekai Yori (From the New World) answers that question within its first 3 minutes: upon the discovery of psychokinesis, civilisation regresses into a thousand year-long dark age,… Continue reading Broken Apple: Shin Sekai Yori

Farewell Satoshi Kon

It’s difficult to express the disappointment I felt when I learnt of Satoshi Kon‘s passing last week. Since then, many heart-felt tributes have been published and half-way through writing this, I started wondering whether it was worth posting at all. Alas, what is blogging if not personal? I liked his films and, at the risk… Continue reading Farewell Satoshi Kon

The end of Death Note: a poison, creating wicked hearts

Death Note is a “… poison, creating wicked hearts”, said the concerned prudes at Chinese schools after some ‘corrupted’ kids were discovered to be using their home-made murder pages to curse fellow students. This was back in 2005; the first time I’d heard of the now famous Death Note. Since then, I’ve always been interested… Continue reading The end of Death Note: a poison, creating wicked hearts

Death Note – 15 – It's been all sorts of fun, L

It’s around about now that we realise Death Note is becoming more than a very good anime series. It’s becoming one of those “OMFG-WTF-CLIFFHANGER!?!” types. I can feel the hysteria surging within me. 15 episodes in and the twists and turns of the story are still as unpredictable as ever. Watching it makes me a… Continue reading Death Note – 15 – It's been all sorts of fun, L

Death Note – 2 – Hiding behind a notebook

I’m surprised by just how fast Light is losing grip on reality. In only this second episode he coldly considers killing his family if they were ever to piece together his part in the (now world famous) mass-murdering case, while later he shows no signs of regret upon murdering (using the Death Note, obviously) a… Continue reading Death Note – 2 – Hiding behind a notebook

Death Note – 1 – Wicked, manipulative and morally deranged

Death Note is a Shounen Jump anime, but forget the generic conventions those two words invoke. Just like Bleach, this is a story that depicts the soul reaping world of “Shinigami” but where Bleach’s version of the afterlife is jammed with pouting pretty boys and nothing else, Death Note’s vision is dark, cold and lifeless.… Continue reading Death Note – 1 – Wicked, manipulative and morally deranged