Megumi Hayashibara

Megumi Hayashibara

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Paprika Review


Excellent
Like a KB Toys that stacks Kierkegaard and Jung next to the Nerf footballs, Satoshi Kon's ballistic Paprika couldn't be more ecstatically heady or peculiarly engaging. Following in a select lineage of hyper-intelligent anime, Kon's mash-up of technology, psychology, and a warped conga line of everyday utensils and spastic tinker toys could be the most intelligent science fiction enigma to pop up since Linklater went all "am I myself?" on us in A Scanner Darkly.

Dr. Atsuko Chiba has the honor of being one of the few psychotherapists to test out the next wave of psychological probing: The DC Mini. Designed by a jelly donut of a man named Dr. Tokita, the DC Mini allows Chiba to go into her patients' dreams, studying and interacting as her alter ego Paprika. She has made major breakthroughs with one patient, Detective Konakawa, but soon enough the DC Mini becomes a point of threat. It seems that certain proprietors of the Mini DC are committing suicide while in a waking dream populated by lunatic imagery including a disco-dancing refrigerator, teddy bears trotting around, and a monster mash of telephones, alarm clocks, and action figures. It becomes Chiba, Det. Konakawa, and Paprika's charge to find out who is behind these deeds and who has stolen one of Tokita's Mini's for their own use.

Continue reading: Paprika Review

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie Review


Very Good
Having never watched the Cowboy Bebop anime series, I have to say I was a little disappointed to see little in the way of either cowboys or dancing in the feature of the same name (which came out in Japan in 2001, but hit U.S. theaters briefly in the spring of 2003), but that's ultimately probably for the best. In the world of Cowboy Bebop, it's the year 2071, a time when the Earth has become almost uninhabitable and everyone has moved out to other planets in the solar system, like Mars. The plucky little band of bounty hunters who star in the film -- the closest thing to cowboys here -- are getting restless with picking up minor thugs for chump change. Fortunately for them, a terrorist explodes a tanker truck full of some germ agent on a crowded downtown highway - apparently they haven't fixed the traffic problem on Mars yet - killing dozens of people and getting a massive bounty put out on him.

Vincent, the "terrorist," baffles everyone, as he doesn't seem to have much of a motive, and might just be having anger management issues. Most of the Cowboy band - coolly magnetic Spike Spiegel, gruff Jet Black, and the very capable Faye Valentine - spreads out across the city to find out what the guy's problem is and what exactly what was the agent that he was using. It's a good excuse to show off the film's impeccable design, which incorporates familiar elements from Earth cities and reproduces them on Mars, presumably as the inhabitants' way of remembering their ruined home planet (several New York icons are used as background, including the Flatiron building and even, this being a 2001 film, the World Trade Center). Thus we get several scenes set in a North African-style bazaar, and even a climactic showdown on an Eiffel Tower, during a Halloween parade, no less.

Continue reading: Cowboy Bebop: The Movie Review

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Megumi Hayashibara Movies

Paprika Movie Review

Paprika Movie Review

Like a KB Toys that stacks Kierkegaard and Jung next to the Nerf footballs, Satoshi...

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie Movie Review

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie Movie Review

Having never watched the Cowboy Bebop anime series, I have to say I was a...

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