Crash (1996 Movie)
My second watch! Not to be mistaken with the much detested 2004 Oscar-winner of the same name, Crash is a classic ero-drama that shocks and awes to this very day. I still adore it, even through some of its more methodical moments. Cronenberg’s work does tend to lose the attention of many, but he always captivates me. Watched this right before Getting Any? for a car sex double-feature!
Getting Any? (1994 Movie)
The #KitanoSweep continues! In the midst of all its vulgarity, it’s easy to overlook how beautiful the escalation is in Getting Any?. What starts off as a relatively grounded sex comedy transforms into wackiness beyond that of any spoof, just as the protagonist devolves from a fuckboy to a voyeur to something far, far nastier. Side-achingly funny.
Gurren Lagann The Movie: The Lights in the Sky are Stars (2009 Movie)
Relentlessly optimistic. Relentlessly vigorous. Relentlessly relentless. Everything about Gurren Lagann is absolutely, incomprehensibly relentless to the point where it turns into pure spiral energy on its own. For such a marvelous and jaw-dropping spectacle even on rewatch, it’s insane how relevant this story remains both politically and philosophically. Its left-wing identity is far from just aesthetic, seeping with heart and passion from every corner. Fight the power!
Let There Be Light (1946 Movie)
An American propaganda film from 1946 that never saw a release until 1981, Let There Be Light is a pretty incredible achievement and a milestone for the portrayal of mental illness in films. The propaganda can get a little upsetting for all the wrong reasons, but it took some incredible balls for John Huston to make a movie like this. Its efforts were not wasted, even if the military deemed it counterproductive to their operations.
Maboroshi (2023 Movie)
Mari Okada certainly has her own voice, but it’s not one I particularly love hearing. Maboroshi plays around with some interesting mechanics and ideas, often to great effect for a select few sequences. However, not everything is explained all too well, and when things do finally click for you it’s fairly underwhelming. The story this film tells is a fairly conventional one with a vague, simplistic message. An entertaining watch, but messy and unmemorable.
Soylent Green (1973 Movie)
The film everyone knows the ending to but no one has seen! We all know the secret of Soylent Green (the movie and the food), so it can be easy to overlook how disgusting the twist was back when it premiered. Unfortunately, what’s left now is little more than a decently fun sci-fi detective picture. Good stuff, but not all too memorable for the modern viewer.
Monsters: 103 Mercies Dragon Damnation (2024 Short Film)
Monsters’ only real claim to fame is its connection to One Piece. Sadly, this release does little to elevate its status. Everything from animation to compositing to directing to even comic timing is incredibly flat. It makes me question why anyone bothered making this in the first place.
Universe (1960 Short FIlm)
Astonishing for a 1960 release. Used as a source and inspiration for 2001: A Space Odyssey (especially evident by Douglas Rain’s narration), Universe manages to capture the sheer volume and astonishing intrigue of what lies beyond our planet. Thanks so much to the National Film Board of Canada for uploading this accomplishment to YouTube for free!
Air Twister (2022 Video Game)
Somehow, Yu Suzuki’s newest game seems to have flown completely under the radar. Probably because it was originally released for Apple Arcade. Either way, Space Harrier and After Burner II are two of my favorite coin-munchers, and Air Twister is loads of fun. The art direction is somewhat questionable and there is quite a bit of grinding, but the core gameplay loop is exactly what I was hoping for. Valensia’s soundtrack gives the package so much additional personality!
Rance IV: The Legacy of the Sect (1993 Video Game)
Not particularly all too different from Rance III. The narrative is a bit heavier on worldbuilding and lore. Combat was actually pretty annoying in this one, especially since you have to grind more. I also played through Rance 4.1 and Rance 4.2, which were fun enough side stories.
Sayonara o Oshiete ~Comment te Dire Adieu~ (2001 Visual Novel)
Madness drenched in sunset. Sayooshi is everything I wanted it to be and more, which is very high praise considering how excited I was to get around to it. It’s one of the most striking, unnerving, layered depictions of mental illness and individual isolation that I’ve ever seen. I feel like I could write an entire essay on this work based on my sheer passion alone. A classic of both ero guro and denpa. Michiho Ishino’s artwork is gorgeous and Momoko Sapporo’s score is an all-timer. Shout-out to the outro song, as well!
Codex Seraphinianus (1981… Encyclopedia?)
Calling Codex Seraphinianus a novel is somewhat disingenuous. It’s more of a fictional encyclopedia, I guess? The entire thing is one of the most bizarre, insane literary experiences I’ve ever had and I honestly can’t describe it even remotely well. Seek it out however you must.
A Scanner Darkly (1977 Novel)
Philip K. Dick is quite the name as far as sci-fi goes, and A Scanner Darkly is largely considered to be among his best works. It’s a great experience, but I’m more partial to the weirder Dick who wrote the VALIS trilogy and other anomalies. His use of dark comedy spices up what is already a strong portrait of drug addiction. Bob’s identity gets lost and his reality falls apart in increasingly convincing ways. Excited to check out Linklater’s rotoscoped film adaptation!
Scenery (1976 Album)
Incredible vibes! So glad I listened to this one on a rainy night. Fukui’s piano is absolutely unmatched, and he especially gets to show it off with “Early Summer”.
Spiritual Paralysis (2024 Album)
I’ve been a big fan of UMAMI ever since I came across his net series Interface. Spiritual Paralysis is my first album from him. It’s a lot more melancholic and emotional than I expected it to be! Good stuff.
Sayooshi was easily the highlight of my week. I’ve been anticipating reading it for over a year now and only recently gave into using less-than-ideal translation methods. The fact that my experience remains as amazing as it was despite that should serve as a testament to its quality. Seeing Gurren Lagann in theaters was etherial and Codex Seraphinianus was a fantastic find, too!