By Sam Reeve
Happy winter solstice! From now on the days will only get longer, so thank goodness for that.
Today’s artist, known as Saccstry, specializes in creating terrifying, grotesque and adorable little girls. I’m normally not a huge fan of digital art, but I just can’t look away. If the sample below doesn’t quite satisfy your weird art lust, check out Saccstry’s gallery on Deviantart.
Big explosions! Motorcycles! Clown gangs! Drugs that give you telepathic powers! Children with old-people faces!
Akira is a bizarro cult classic through and through. It’s a six-volume manga series and anime film. If you read comics, I highly recommend the manga. If you watch cartoons, check out the anime.
It’s about this teenager, Kaneda, and his motorcycle gang, as they tear their way through the post-apocalyptic city of Neo-Tokyo and discover a strange conspiracy concealed within the remains of old Tokyo. The military have in their possession a group of young children with telepathic powers that are dangerously destructive. After an accident, gang member Tetsuo finds himself undergoing tests and force-fed drugs and developing telepathic powers of his own.
What results is a complex battle between motorcycle gangs, military, strange cults, and telepathic street children. The military is trying to control their child-weapons, Kaneda is trying to control Tetsuo, and Tetsuo is trying to control and increase his powers. Underneath all that, there is another child hidden away by the military, the cause of the destruction of Tokyo – Akira.
It is complete chaos as Tetsuo’s power spirals out of control and threatens to destroy the city again, and everyone else, fighting each other, trying to stop him by whatever means necessary. The manga goes into incredible depth, plotting out the stories of all the different factions at work, where the anime focuses more on the relationship between Kaneda and Tetsuo, but either way it’s raw and chaotic. It’s a cyberpunk masterpiece.
The characters are desperate, angry, and aggressive. The art style is cool, with that distinct ’80s/early ’90s feel you get with things like Dragonball/Dragonball Z and Ghost in the Shell. The story, however, is in a class of its own. It’s got the cult feel of the Warriors, but with powerful political and social complexities that are terribly frightening when read within the context of a culture that, less than half a century prior, fell under attack by atomic bomb.
You can enjoy the film for the action-packed thrill ride that it is, but if you want to read more into the apocalypse/post-apocalypse representations, there’s that too. On a side note, if you want to read more about that aspect of Akira, I wrote an essay about it a few years ago for uni. The point is that if you haven’t seen it/read it, you should. Right now.
S. T. Cartledge comes from the fabled Land Down Under. His first book, House Hunter, was published in 2012’s New Bizarro Author Series. He enjoys making potatoes act out his fantasies.
by Tracy Vanity
I’m really glad I don’t know how to make animated gifs because I spend enough hours a day dicking around on the internet. Thankfully there are people out there who have dedicated their time to the art of animated-gif-creating so I don’t have to bother learning and can just repost their shit.
Since this is the 1st Twisted Tuesday of the year I wanted to do something other than post twisted videos. Believe me, I have like ten years worth of fucked up youtube vids to post. And there will be plenty of time for that…
For this post, I want to get reader/lurker involvement. One or more of these various moving images should inspire your fingers to fly across the keyboard in response, be it a simple “wtf IS that?” to an anecdote about your life, to a made-up story that just slapped your ass. Anything. Whatever your reaction is, post it! You can even do it anonymously if you’re shy.
So I’m going to post 13 animated gifs with an accompanying Roman numeral so that you may reference it in your response if you so choose.
Just like you, I don’t know the origin of most of the shit I come across and just add my own interpretation. That’s really what the internet is here for: fuck context, it’s all about your reaction…an internet Rorschach test if you will. Just post your immediate reaction to anything you see.
Now on to the Animated Gif Apocalypse!
By Sam Reeve
In Demon City Shinjuku the evil dude, Rebi Ra, defeats Genichirou and causes an earthquake that destroys the Shinjuku part of Tokyo. The area is invaded by demons and becomes a post apocalyptic hell for the inhabitants. 10 years later is when Rebi Ra plans to finally resurrect the rest of the demons to turn the entire world into hell.
After a decade of chaos in Shinjuku, Rebi Ra is back, kidnapping President Kozumi (who had ushered in world peace). Some floaty ghost-like guy who seems to be Kozumi’s protector asks Kyoya for help in defeating Rebi Ra. Kyoya also happens to be Genichirou’s son, and he teams up with the President’s daughter Sayaka.
They enter the demon city, fight off bad guys on the way, are joined by a child side-kick and then finally get to battling with Rebi Ra.
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: Demon City Shinjuku is a good anime for the Halloween season. It’s filled with demons, angry spirits, and bloody battles. I found the art to be better than most of the anime I’ve watched this month, and the story wasn’t terrible (although after watching Wicked City I see they have lots of similarities).
The best part was probably the setting. I love post apocalyptic stuff, and the demon city was pretty cool. You never knew what would pop out next!
Here is a trailer for the movie that’s set to some mildly annoying metal music.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK: The final battle was a total let-down. Very boring and brief, which sucked pretty bad since I was expecting something epic like at the end of Akira.
Below you can find the full movie with English subtitles. Enjoy!
By Sam Reeve
Today for Japanese Horror Month we have the anime short film Blood: The Last Vampire. It was directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo, who also was a key animator of Akira. In 2009 a live-action version of this movie was made, but I can’t comment on that one since I haven’t seen it. This movie is doubly appropriate for this month because it takes place just before Halloween!
It’s 1966 and Saya, the last true vampire, is handled by some American suits. They use her to destroy bat-like demons that can take on human form. It’s suspected that one of these creatures has infiltrated an American air base, so they send Saya undercover at a school next to the base to find them. She does, which of course leads to some awesome demon fights.
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: I was most impressed by the animation, but the story itself wasn’t bad. It’s by no means original, but at 48 minutes long, it’s just an entertaining, well-animated ride with plenty of monster action.
Still not sure? Watch this trailer!
By Sam Reeve
Today for Japanese Horror Month we have Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, which is based on the third novel in Hideyuki Kikuchi‘s Vampire Hunter D series. Kikuchi also wrote the novel on which Wicked City was based.
The setting for this is a bit confusing: Apparently it takes place far into the future, which would explain all the fancy technology like super fast motorcycles, fancy weapons and space-age suits and rockets, and it also accounts for the general post-apocalyptic state of things. What it doesn’t account for is the Victorian and wild West aesthetics that clash with the futuristic stuff. ANYWAY…
I’m lazy and don’t feel like coming up with a description for the film, so here’s a good one that I found somewhere else:
It is many thousand years in the future. Vampires once ruled the night but have seen their numbers reduced by fearless bounty hunters. One such hunter is D, the half-breed son of a human mother and vampire father. When a girl from a rich family is taken from her home by the vampire Meier Link, her father contracts both D and the Markus brothers (a rival group of hunters) to race to retrieve her. As the heroes fight their way through Meier’s hired guards, they begin to suspect that the girl may have gone with him willingly.
Besides that, I would add that D has a little sidekick who provides a fair bit of comic relief: He’s a parasitic demon-growth on his left hand who helps him out by sucking up evil spells, seeing through walls, etc.
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: There are lots of monsters, vampires, ghost-like things and fights between all those wacky creatures – meaning it’s a great movie to watch during the Halloween season. The story itself was alright, though some of the dialogue and romantic bits got a bit lame near the end.
The only thing I disliked was the clashing aesthetics that couldn’t be explained, and of course the whole vampire romance thing is really played out (especially for those of us who have viewed this after having endured the Twilight craze).
Below you can watch the full movie, dubbed in English. Enjoy!
By Sam Reeve
Today for Japanese Horror Month we’ve got Bio Hunter, an hour-long anime film from the 90’s. The original manga was authored by Fujihiko Hosono, and the animated adaptation was directed by the guy who brought us Ninja Scroll.
The eponymous bio hunters Komada and Koshigaya are biology teachers by day, but the rest of the time they hunt down people who’ve succumbed to the demon virus. The virus slowly turns people into crazy demons, which at first they can control, but eventually they stop being human completely.
Komada is infected, and though he can choose when to turn into a demon, it gets harder for him as time progresses. He meets a girl who was being chased by thugs, and as all movies go, he helps her and the two bio hunters get involved. The girl’s grandfather is a famous fortune-teller who’s on the run from a politician infected with the virus.
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: This movie won me over in the first couple minutes. It opens with a young couple having sex, which wasn’t very interesting, but all of a sudden the girl starts moaning about being really hungry. She keeps complaining that she’s starving to death, then transforms into a monster human. The man, who had been in the process of fondling her tits, gets a hand bitten off. You see it from behind and think “she bit it off with her crazy monster mouth”. NOPE. Her left breast had turned into a gross toothy mouth. SOLD.
The story is decent, and you’re never far away from some demon monster action, and if you top that off with some tentacle fellatio at the end, it’s a pretty good ride and definitely worth a viewing. The fortune-teller also looks like yoda, so there’s that.
The style and quality of the animation also brought me back (90’s kid here), so that was great too.
Below is the English-dubbed full movie. If you’ve seen Bio Hunter or end up watching it, let us know in a comment below what you think! Enjoy.