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Anime Television

Star Wars: Visions Review – A Fresh Take on the Galaxy Far, Far Away

Jake: A lot of people love Star Wars, and a lot of people love anime. So, Disney had a thought: why don’t we just put them together like peanut butter and jelly or whatever the opposite of toothpaste and orange juice would be and made Visions! 

Dan: Star Wars is an IP that has so much potential with how it’s set up. There are so many types of stories that can be told in the galaxy. The strength of Visions is that it isn’t weighed down by “canon” and all that junk. Disney basically handed the IP to a bunch of big anime studios and told them to go wild. In my opinion, it was the best choice they could have made because Visions absolutely slaps. Making this an anthology series with different stories and teams on each makes it something truly special.

Exploring the Galaxy Far Far Away with a Renewed Hope

Dan: It’s taken you about 20 something years to get me to finally find an anime I enjoy. I just had a stubborn youth and I now know what works and doesn’t work for me in Anime. There is so much here that 3/4th of these episodes could be their own mini-series. I want to start by focusing on the abandoning of “canon” to tell extremely cool and fresh stories. Even though I think “The Duel” was my least favorite of the batch, it had one of the coolest uses of lightsaber tech. A lightsaber umbrella was just such a cool visual and use of the Star Wars stuff we know to do something radical. Every episode feels like a fresh take on the Star Wars universe and approaches it from different angles. There are episodes about Jedi, droids, and all the other odds and ends of the Star Wars universe.

Each episode has a score that stands out as feeling familiar in the vein of John Williams but never strays into feeling like carbon copies. Each has its own style that lends to the style of the episode. Nobuko Toda and Kazuma Jinnouchi’s score for “The Ninth Jedi” stands out for me personally as does the episode.

Jake: Anime is good and more people should have an open mind, and I think this series is a great sampling of what anime has to offer people. 

This series is so fresh with ideas of what Star Wars is and what it can be. Some of these are great interpretations and others are great additions to the mythos.

The Animation Domination

Dan: Jake, you know more about these studios than I do, how did these episodes hold up to other anime’s these studios have done?

Jake: Well, that’s a bit hard to say because some of these studios are legends in the industry. Also, it’s important to note which directors were involved in each studio’s piece. 

Production I.G that did “The Ninth Jedi” is responsible for animating the cyberpunk classic, the original Ghost in the Shell, and Psycho-Pass. I think for a short one-episode story they really brought their A-game! 

Then there’s Studio Trigger, founded by Gurren Lagann director Imaishi Hiroyuki, that did two episodes, “The Twins” and “The Elder,” both being very different pieces. Imaishi did the “The Twins” and it has big Gurren Lagann drill energy with the color choices of Trigger’s film Promare. I thought that was all big energy, big action, and lots of heart. “The Elder” was  very different in pacing and style. It’s director, Otsuka Masahiko, doesn’t seem to have much directing under his belt but he did a great job. 

Science Saru, known mainly for its Netflix releases of Devilman Crybaby and Japan Sinks 2020, bringing us “Akakiri” and “T0-B1.” ”T0-B1” reminded me of Astroboy and Megaman added into the galaxy far far away, and spiritually it lives up to their Devilman remake. “Akakiri” also lives up to it more thematically. 

The other studios all did great work as well, I don’t think any of them didn’t deliver their best work. Kamikaze Douga, did “The Dual” and it very much is in line with their work on Batman Ninja. Gave us the brilliant style of “Tatooine Rhapsody” which seems way different than their other works that I’m familiar with like A Whisker Away. Kinema Citrus did great work bringing with “The Village Bride” bringing their own style out compared to their catalog of adaptions. Geno Studio’s “Lop and Ocho” makes me excited for what appears to be a pretty young studio with only a handful of work under their banner. 

Force Highlights

Dan: So before I get into the best episode, I need to talk about “Tatooine Rhapsody” because it feels like someone working on this series was doing this for me. Essentially the plot is a rock band in the Star Wars universe and Jabba the Hutt is in it. I love Jabba the Hutt and somehow this series made Bib Fortuna very cute instead of looking like something that crawled out of George Lucas’s nightmares. When I saw this episode, all I could think was that we need 20 more seasons of Visions because this is the absolute best use of Star Wars.

Now I am going to say something that may turn some heads, I think “The Ninth Jedi” is my favorite Star Wars thing since Rogue One. The concept is brilliant, the storytelling and character are brilliant, and it could easily spin off into its own series with the wonderful concept that was set up in a short 20-minute window. It uses the tropes of Star Wars that we all know and rely on when watching, reading, or consuming Star Wars concepts and flips them in interesting ways.

Overall, I think Star Wars: Visions may have knocked Mandolorian out of my post-Rogue One favorite spot. It doesn’t rely on nostalgia like Mandolorian does in some ways. It takes things we know like the ideas, objects, and themes but never reuses them in a way that could be lazy to get some quick cheers. It stands alone as its own unique version of the Star Wars universe. If you were on the fence, jump off and ignite your lightsaber because you’re going to need it with all the wild ideas this throws at you.

Jake: I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments about “The Ninth Jedi.” I really enjoyed the way it portrays lightsabers and their colors being loose and more of a reflection of their owner and their connection to the force. Also the colorless lightsaber was such a cool concept! Like it wasn’t just a which light it was just semi-visible energy. 

Visions is something I want more of and there are some of these episodes that I would love to see developed further into even just one or two more episodes. A few of them really left their ending open to further adventure and I want to see those adventures!

Categories
Episodes

Your Lie in April

Please take your seats and welcome to the GateCrashers piano anime music recital, where Jon and Ashley get mad at Jake for making them watch Your Lie in April. Tears were shed by all.

Stories covered:
Your Lie in April, Episodes 1-22

Subscribe now or listen below!

Halloween GateCrashers

The GateSlashers continue their dive into all things horror as the Grave Robber gathers a fresh group of innocents to experience The Night He Came Home. Yes, we’re here today to talk about Halloween 1978, and Halloween 2018, to get you prepped on everything Michael Myers before the new film releases this week!
  1. Halloween
  2. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  3. Interview with Marcus Parks (Last Podcast on the Left)
  4. James Bond 007
  5. X-Men
Categories
Episodes

My Hero Academia

Scarlett makes the case for the angry boy, Amanda sheds real tears over fallen heroes, and Dan can’t remember a single character’s name as the GateCrashers dive into the world of the mega-popular super-powered anime, My Hero Academia!

Subscribe now or listen below!

Halloween GateCrashers

The GateSlashers continue their dive into all things horror as the Grave Robber gathers a fresh group of innocents to experience The Night He Came Home. Yes, we’re here today to talk about Halloween 1978, and Halloween 2018, to get you prepped on everything Michael Myers before the new film releases this week!
  1. Halloween
  2. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  3. Interview with Marcus Parks (Last Podcast on the Left)
  4. James Bond 007
  5. X-Men
Categories
Anime Food

Making the Croquette Egg Sandwich from “Your Name”

Your Name (Kimi no Na wa-君の名は) directed by Makoto Shinkai and released in 2016 is a beloved award winning anime romantic story about two teenagers whose paths become intertwined with each other. This is my brother’s favorite movie and last month we finally watched it together and I instantly fell in love with this film. I was not expecting the emotions it would evoke and just how beautiful the story was. When we decided to do Anime August I knew I had to make something from this film. Below you will find the full recipe I used when making the Croquette Egg Salad Sandwich that way you can follow along during the video and make your own! Be sure to tag us on Instagram or Twitter if you decide to make this and tell us how your’s turned out! 

Ingredients

  • 8 large eggs (4 for egg wash, 4 for egg salad)
  • 1 tbsp Japanese mayo
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1-2 cups vegetable oil (for deep frying)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour 
  • Loaf of bread of your choice
  • Leafs of lettuce (optional)
  • Salt pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Bring two pots of water to a boil (1 pot for the eggs and 1 pot for the potatoes.
  2. While the water boils, wash and peel the potatoes then quarter them into chunks. 
  3. Once both pots of water are boiling add the eggs and potatoes to their respective pot and cover. Boil until fully cooked. 
  4. While the eggs and potatoes cook, finely chop the onion and add that, 1 tbsp of oil, and ground beef to a skillet. Cook until brown then drain the grease.
  5. Once the eggs are done, place them in an ice bath to cool. Peel once cooled and add them to a bowl and mash them up.
  6. Add mayo, mustard, salt and pepper to the mashed eggs, mix and refrigerate until needed. 
  7. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them and then add them to a large bowl. Mash them, add salt and pepper to taste and the ground beef mixture. Mix and combine well.
  8. Let the potato mixture cool and then form into ovals. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes. 
  9. Once the croquettes have chilled take them and dredge them for frying (flour–egg wash–panko). Set aside to fry.
  10. Once the croquettes have been breaded, add 1-2 cups of vegetable oil (depending on the size of your frying pot/pan) and heat it. Drop a few pieces of panko to test if it is ready, if they start to sizzle it’s ready to fry.
  11. Fry the croquettes until golden brown 1-2 minutes per side. Set aside on a cooling rack.
  12. Take two slices of bread, spread the egg salad mixture on both sides. Add lettuce if you wish. Take 1-2 croquettes and add to the sandwich.
  13. Plate up and enjoy!
Categories
Episodes

Fullmetal Alchemist

Join Jake and Amanda in their quest for the Philosopher’s Stone as they discuss the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise! Jake watched the first two episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Amanda devoured the entire franchise as a whole in preparation! Amanda shows that she’s a mega fan and Jake wants you to remember Shou Tucker.

Subscribe now or listen below!

Halloween GateCrashers

The GateSlashers continue their dive into all things horror as the Grave Robber gathers a fresh group of innocents to experience The Night He Came Home. Yes, we’re here today to talk about Halloween 1978, and Halloween 2018, to get you prepped on everything Michael Myers before the new film releases this week!
  1. Halloween
  2. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  3. Interview with Marcus Parks (Last Podcast on the Left)
  4. James Bond 007
  5. X-Men