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Anime

Penguin Highway review

Quite a few films, live-action or animated, take a while to reach their eponymous highlight. That’s not the case with the recent stateside release of director Hiroyasu Ishida’s Penguin Highway. Working from Tomihiko Morimi’s (Eccentric ...

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Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn review

When works are adapted for other media, there’s always the risk that something will be lost in the process. Certainly, that’s a possibility with Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn, which is twice removed from its ...

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Sailor Moon S: The Movie review

When Pioneer Entertainment Sailor Moon S: The Movie arrived stateside in 1999, it trailed the original theatrical Japanese release by a half decade. While the film showcased the irrefutable charm of the animated television series, ...

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Liz and the Blue Bird review

Visual media habitually employs a big, broad approach when depicting relationships. All too often, social bonds are represented in a simplistic manner that reduces the nuances of communication into caricature. We’re probably so accustomed to ...

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Tackling Fear with Tito and the Birds

Tito and the Birds’ producer, co-director, and co-screenwriter Gustavo Steinberg thinks most modern children’s films are little more than escapist entertainment. Having witnessed the haunting surrealism and muffled moralizing of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate ...

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A Silent Voice review

In the hands of most creatives, a film that explores bullying, disability, and social isolation could become nauseatingly preachy. But with a script penned by K-On!!’s Reiko Yoshida and direction provided by Naoko Yamada, A ...

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In This Corner of the World review

In the United States, terms like ‘liberty’ and ‘freedom’ are quintessential expressions, underscoring an emphasis on individualism. But in Japan, life has traditionally skewed toward collectivism. As such, the word, ‘ganbaru’ is ubiquitous in conversation. ...

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Love Live! The School Idol Movie review

The expression of indefatigable determination is Love Live!’s dominant theme. Undoubtedly, the anime’s first two seasons drove this point home, as viewers watched the perpetually energetic Honoka Kōsaka rescue the Otonokizaka Academy from closure, as ...

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