Showing posts with label anime. Show all posts
Showing posts with label anime. Show all posts

Monday, March 20, 2017

Diva's Recap of "Ghost in the Shell" 14-Minute Preview (Spoilers!)

At a small "Ghost In The Shell" fan event last Friday, 17 March 2017, Red Dot Diva had the chance to watch a 14-minute sneak peek of the live action movie in 3D.

Despite the furore over the casting of Scarlett Johansson as Major (which is based on Motoko Kusanagi in the manga by Masamune Shirow) and "whitewashing" of the popular franchise, the film looks visually stunning. It took just a few minutes for Red Dot Diva to feel immersed in the near-future cybernetic world, and she wished it was a full movie screening instead. 

"Ghost In The Shell" is a story about a cybernetic anti-terrorist field commander Major, who is determined on going after a hacker called The Puppet Master. There may be a larger purpose to The Puppet Master's plans to take control of Hanka Corporation's artificial intelligence programs, and Major begins to uncover her past and question about her own existence.

For the live action movie, instead of The Puppet Master, the main enemy is cyborg ghost-hacker named Kuze (Michael Pitts). Or rather, Kuze will a mix of the two anime characters in the upcoming film directed by Rupert Sanders.

( WARNING : SPOILERS AHEAD )

Sunday, July 31, 2016

STGCC 2016: More Guests Announced, Including Emma Rios, Jacob Chabot and Stephanie Hans


The announcement for the second wave of Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention (STGCC) guests was released when Red Dot Diva was having her holiday in the UK.

Unlike in previous years, Red Dot Diva is glad to see that there are a few more noteworthy women creators in the guest list. She hopes that their presence at the convention will help boost the profile and confidence of other female creators locally in the region.


One of the female creator guests is Spanish artist Emma Rios, who has her very own graphic novel called "I.D." published with Image Comics. She is also part of the creative team for "Pretty Deadly" with popular writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and the scifi-fantasy series "Mirror" with artist Hwei Lim. Prior to these published works, Emma has also illustrated for Boom! Studios ("Hexed") and Marvel ("Doctor Strange", "Amazing Spider-man").

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Movie Review: Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人) 2 : End Of The World - Not Enough Crunchy Bits

Even though the live action movie "Attack on Titan" Part 1 did not meet most of the fans' expectations, it still had a pretty good box office run both in Japan and locally in Red Dot Island.

Part 1 made SGD 3.8 million (USD 4.8 million) in its opening week in Japan, and over here, gross takings was over SGD 818,000 after four weeks of screening at only 15 locations.

Red Dot Diva watched the preview of Part 2 earlier this month and was all set to enjoy a similar "fear experience" that was the most enjoyable aspect in the first movie.

To her surprise and disappointment, the follow-up film had fewer hungry Titans stomping and much less gore, with hardly any character development. In fact, some of the characters were hardly even seen or had spoken dialogue - like Sasha, for instance.

Instead, there was a lot of dialogue which slowed down the pace considerably, making the movie harder to sit through without feeling impatient. The action did pick up toward the end but by then, one would hardly care enough for the young cadet team to root for their victory.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

"Attack on Titan" Movie: Interview with Haruma Miura, Kiko Mizuhara and Director Shinji Higuchi

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Meeting a fandom's high expectations is a rough deal, especially when a beloved anime is adapted to a different medium. So, it was inevitable that there was a gamut of reactions from those who have already watched "Attack on Titan" (AoT) Part One.

These ranged from the sheer disappointment of hardcore AoT lovers, to the "it's pretty OK" mentions by those who are not too invested in the franchise. Then, there are also the horror fans who relished the uncomfortable existential terror that ran through the course of the film, and those who loved the movie anyway.

AoT's creator Hajime Isayama, who is involved in the production, said that he was perplexed by the hate hurled at the movie adaptation, and assured that he as well as the director, writer and producers are taking in various opinions to better understand the fans' reactions.

Nevertheless, "Attack on Titan" topped the box office in Japan, with takings of about 600 million Yen (about SGD 6.8 million) on opening week.

Fans outside of Asia are eagerly waiting for the English version, and this week, FUNanimation announced the North American premiere dates. The Titans are set to stomp into theatres on September 30 for Part 1 and October 20 for Part 2.

Thanks to local distributor Encore Films, Red Dot Diva had a chance to ask AoT actors Haruma Miura (Eren), Kiko Mizuhara (Mizaka) and Director Shinji Higuchi a few questions:

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Movie Review: Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人) Part 1 - More An Appetiser Than A Main Course

Whether the live action movie adaptation of "Attack on Titan" (進撃の巨人) is worth feasting one's eyes upon would depend on one's palate.

Essentially, "Attack on Titan" is about the remaining clusters of mankind battling to survive against enormous creatures who stampede through the cities' barricades, and whose single purpose is to devour every single human being in sight.

Both the original manga written and illustration by Hajime Isayama, as well as animated series, are hugely popular with anime fans. For such fans, the live action movie may turn out to be a disappointment.

Red Dot Diva understands that there is an almost impossible challenge to adapting the character-rich world of manga and anime into a two-part movie, but in this case, she felt that the key changes made were not entirely to the film's advantage.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

ICDS 2015: Meet Guest-of-Honour Cosplayer Jin (behindinfinity) at *Scape 22 & 23 August 2015!


Red Dot Diva tips her hat off to cosplayers in general. These hardworking folks invest a lot of their time and soul into their craft. With many cosplay and anime events happening all year round in Red Dot Island, active cosplayers are almost always hard at work imagining, planning, designing and working on their costumes.

What's different about International Cosplay Day compared to other similar events is that it is an annual worldwide celebration that occurs on the last Saturday of August. So, even if one does not have a convention to go to, it would be a good excuse to get into a costume and gather with some friends to celebrate the joy and camaraderie of cosplay.

In Red Dot Island though, International Cosplay Day Singapore (ICDS) has taken on a local flavour. Fellow geeks from The Neo Tokyo Project have been organizing a fan-driven weekend gathering for the last 6 years!

This year's edition of ICDS, which will remain at *Scape, is held on 22 & 23 August, 11 AM to 7 PM. The website was updated a few weeks ago, and holds some interesting information, including the name of a special guest.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

STGCC 2015 Causes Local Geekdom To Squee By Announcing Adam Hughes As Guest


STGCC 2015 finally announces their first round of guest announcement, and they certainly did not skimp on the surprise factor.

ADAM HUGHES
This year, internationally reknown and Eisner award-winning comic cover artist Adam Hughes will make his way to the convention! Red Dot Diva could almost hear the local geekdom squee with delight upon knowing that Adam Hughes will be here. She was aware that the fans have been hoping and requesting for Adam to attend STGCC for many years. 2015 is the year that this wish is set to come true.

For those who are not familiar with Adam Hughes he is well-known for drawing women figures beautifully in a pin-up art style, and has worked for the biggies like DC and Marvel, as well as Dark Horse, Archie and Lucasfilm. His variant art covers are highly sought after. A few years ago, he returned to sequential art and was the artist for mini-series "Before Watchmen: Dr Manhattan", written by J. Michael Straczynski.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Holy Mecha!!! GUNDAM Docks At Singapore, 4 - 28 June 2015!

Pic: ©SOTSUSUNRISE

Giant robots (also called mechas) from space war drama franchise GUNDAM will be arriving in town on 4 - 28 June 2015 in an epic exhibition called "Gundam Docks in Singapore"! "Gundam Docks in Singapore" will be the largest GUNDAM exhibition in Asia.

This is such a perfect timing because of the month-long school holidays that will be underway here on Red Dot Island, and a new generation of fans will be inspired to the world of science-fiction, robotics and imaginative story-telling.

GUNDAM first started out as a anime series back in 1979, a couple of years after Star Wars Ep IV was released in theatres worldwide. The first series "Mobile Suit Gundam" (機動戦士ガンダム, Kidō Senshi Gundam) was written and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino. It was the first space war televised anime series and its stories sparked a whole new world of imagination. GUNDAM's follow-up media properties, like manga and video games, build up an even larger following, and it is now one of the the biggest and lucrative toy collecting franchises there.

Naturally, through the years, the hype caught on in other countries (especially East Asian language-speaking ones, where there is a large number of anime/ manga lovers) and Red Dot Island is definitely one of them.

Now, thanks to leading toy maker/ video game publisher Bandai Namco Asia and Takashimaya Department Store, fans of GUNDAM will be able to take in the glorious sight of the mechas docking in on the island next month! This event of gigantic proportions is to celebrate the 35th anniversary of GUNDAM model kit and SG50, Singapore's 50th birthday.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Geek Invasion Is Set To Begin In Jakarta At ITGCC!

The success of STGCC has spurred its organizer Reed Exhibitions to extend a similar blend of geeky fun and excitement to Jakarta later this year.

Reed Panorama Exhibitions (RPE) will be launching Indonesia Toy, Games and Comic Convention (ITGCC) at Hall C, JIExpo on 22-23 November 2014. This is the chance for Indonesian fans to get together and celebrate the love of manga, toys, comics, exclusives and collectibles! As in the case in Red Dot Island, the show will give local Indonesian creative folks an avenue to showcase their talent and product. Familiar segments of the show like panels, Walk of Fame and cosplay runways will also be held at ITGCC.

The launch of ITGCC is our next step to unite pop culture fans in Southeast Asia. After seven amazing editions in Singapore, we are glad to be able to bring the same excitement to Indonesia where all of loyal fans will have an opportunity to unite and enjoy the vibrant international content from the East and West,” said Ms Rita Magnus, Senior Manager, Project and Content, Pop Culture Cluster.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

ICDS 2014: Cosplayer Dat-Baka Is Like Light Chili Sauce - Hot and Sweet!

International Cosplay Day Singapore (ICDS) was held at *SCAPE last Sunday, 25 August for the third year. This year's guests were cosplayers Kamui and Dat-Baka, as well as popular photographer from the Philippines, Jay Tablante.

Red Dot Diva and Red Dot Dude (aka Andre Chee) arrived at the venue early to scope out the place. People were just about arriving for the day's events, so it was a good time to greet Jay Tablante at his booth before it got crowded.

It is always delightful to chat and swap biceps with a physically trimmer Jay, who mentioned that he had been eating healthier and working out regularly in jujitsu. Jay also told us he's trying to finish up his next book!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

STGCC 2014: More Hot Guests Means More Hunky Biceps for Diva!


Just as fans were about to calm down from squealing after fan favourite Humberto Ramos was announced as one of STGCC 2014's guests, organizer Reed Exhibitions pumps up the adrenaline by adding 12 more names on the guest roll!

Returning to our shores will be one of Red Dot Diva's most favourite, most awesomely-bicepstuous artist and New Times Best-Selling writer - David Mack.

At last year's STGCC, David's booth was so hot it was radiating like red Kryptonite. Fans stood by for several minutes, just to admire at him drawing "live", and he sold off most of his books and art prints. Red Dot Diva would know - she was helping him out at his booth. (Read her experience here.)

Together with Eisner-Award artist Cameron Stewart, the two will be representing part of the team of "Fight Club 2" - a 10-issue graphic novel series just announced last week at San Diego Comic-Con "Fight Club 2" continues the story of the popular 1999 movie by Chuck Palahniuk which starred Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. David Mack will be cover artist for "Fight Club 2", while Cameron Stewart will pull his weight doing the story's artwork.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

STGCC 2014: Guest Announcements - Humberto Ramos and More Heading Our Way!


And there we have it!

Yesterday, the organizer of the Singapore Toy, Games and Comic Convention has officially announced the First Flush of Guests for this year!

As in previous editions of the "coolest" (or "hottest" - in Red Dot Diva's opinion - Biceps galore!!) pop-culture convention on the island, there will be guests coming from the East and from the West.

Who are they?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Interview: Studio Ghibli's Geoffrey Wexler Talks About "The Wind Rises"

It is a rare chance indeed to be able to meet an executive from the Japanese animation film outfit, Studio Ghibli, founded by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata.

Through the years, the animated movies from Studio Ghibli, like "My Neighbour Totoro", "Princess Mononoke", "Grave of the Fireflies" and "Spirited Away", have touched the hearts of audiences all around the world, despite language and cultural differences.

Yesterday morning, in view of the local premiere of Oscar-nominated "The Wind Rises" on March 19, Red Dot Diva had the opportunity to interview Geoffrey Wexler - Chief of International Division from Studio Ghibli, and one of the Executive Producers of the English language version of "The Wind Rises".

"The Wind Rises" - purportedly Hayao Miyazaki's latest and last film - is a tale about the life of aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi, and his legacy of a killing flying machine - the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter used during World War II. The long awaited English-dubbed version features well-known voice actors like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci.

Held in a cozy meeting room at the swanky Fullerton Hotel, a very warm and knowledgeable Geoffrey Wexler (or Jeff, for short) shared about "The Wind Rises" as well as his insights on Studio Ghibli and the animation industry.

Monday, June 17, 2013

STGCC 2013: First Wave of Guest Announcements!


Red Dot Diva received an email yesterday morning that gave her chills.

The totally squeally kind of happy thrill-chills. 'Coz the email contained the first wave of official guest announcements for this year's STGCC!

For some weeks now, her friends have lamented about the lack of updates and were fidgety for any kind of info. Although bits and pieces, and some rather obvious hints have filtered through the Internet.

A few weeks back, Red Dot Diva's aquaintance, local cosplayer Victoria noticed and posted an announcement that was on Vampy Bit Me's website. The popular US-based cosplayer had listed her upcoming appearances and mentioned Singapore. By that, one could already put one's money down that she would be here for STGCC.

And Red Dot Diva's knew some people who knew some things but were sworn to secrecy. To give them credit, they were pretty respectful of the knowledge they had, and most of news not been leaked in a "Stomp" kind of way.

Now, who are the other guests announced that got Red Dot Diva's in a tizzy?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

NYCC 2012: An Alternative to Comic-Con?

This is the 7th year of New York Comic Con (NYCC).

The event is run by the good folks at ReedPOP (whose local setup, by the way, also runs Red Dot Island's STGCC). And from all bets, attendance numbers for NYCC 2012 is set to garner another record high.

Considering the recent "mainstreaming" of what used to be the geekier side of pop-culture, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center will be jam-packed with noobs and old-timers come October 11 to 14th 2012.  Fact is, the three-day and four-day tickets have already been sold out a couple of weeks ago. And NYCC has never quite "sold out" this much, this early before.

Sigh. Signs of the times.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cosplay Photography Secrets Revealed By Jay Tablante At Geekology 101

Last Saturday, a unique cosplay + photography event called Geekology 101, with special guest and well-known photographer Jay Tablante, was held at Grid MMS located at *Scape.

Red Dot Diva decided to drop by the event after lunch and as she approached *Scape, she felt a growing sense of trepidation. No, she wasn't nervous about meeting Jay Tablante, or being surrounded by cosplayers at all.

*Scape is just one of those places that makes Red Dot Diva feel obscenely old.

The energetically youth-centric venue was a good centralized spot to hold a mini cosplay event though. Held at Level 4, there was a small exhibition of more than 20 pieces of Jay Tablante's beautiful cosplay photography. A few local cosplayers of mainly anime characters were in attendance.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Geekology 101 - A Cosplay Photo Event One Can *Scape To

So what if it rains like giant poodles and tom-cats during the monsoon season?

There are still a number of fun indoor events one can go to, and there's one coming up this Saturday -- right in the heart of Orchard Road!

Red Dot Diva strongly recommends those with a thing for cosplay or model photography (or both!) to sashay their way to Grid MMS, 4th level of  *Scape, for Geekology 101!!

Geekology 101 will be a one-day only event, featuring the work of one dude who is the drooling-envy of most geeks. See, he basically gets paid to work with beautiful ladies almost all the time!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Comics XChange 2011 -- More Local Flavour For This Comics Event

After the shrewdly mixed stew of East and West elements at the recent STGCC 2011, Red Dot Diva thinks it is a good time for something more local. Something laced with curry-flavour with generous portions of sambal belachan.

Comics XChange 2011, organised by the Association of Comic Artists Singapore (ACAS) in collaboration with Moontique & Story Kitchen, aims to be just that.

Held at the Goodman Arts Centre (90 Goodman Road) on 1st and 2nd October 2011 from 10am to 8pm daily, Comics XChange 2011 is holding a host of more locally-relevant programs, including panels and workshop/ seminars with a slant towards the business side of things.

Take a look at the menu offered during Comics XChange 2011:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

STGCC 2011: Interview With Cutie Cosplayer Kipi

Red Dot Diva openly admits that this STGCC-related article and a few more following are long overdue. Do blame the delay on her mundane day job and busy life schedule. And erm.... other distractions.

But she thinks that fans of these subjects of interest would still enjoy the information and tidbits gathered that week.

Not being a major anime, game or cosplay enthusiast did not deter a curious Red Dot Diva from getting a little up-close and personal with popular international cosplayer Kipi, at the STGCC Media Preview a couple of days before the convention started.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

DC Comics Leaps Into STGCC 2011 With A Few Surprises!

The Red Dot Island may be small. And our conventions may be very much niche-based and less crazy than those held in the USA.

The locally-hosted conventions like ComiFest and Anime Festival Asia tend to serve the sizeable anime and manga crowd here and around the region instead of running a more generic pop-culture program.

Still, with a continued focus on a mix of East and West, Red Dot Diva thinks that the Singapore Toy, Games and Comic Convention (STGCC) 2011 has managed to get some pretty cool "Western-comics" guests this year.

Being so far-flung from most Westernized pop-culture hubs, she is always grateful when those who hail from USA, Canada or UK are willing to travel such long distances to our Red Dot Island, just to meet their Asian fans. That shows *a lot* of heart.

For one thing, it seems that DC Comics will be back at STGCC 2011 in a bigger way than before! DC has been a strong supporter of STGCC in the past years and last year, happy fans got to meet Gail Simone and Ivan Brandon.

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