Category Archives: Special Features

News, trailers, things I like, in short all kinds of crazy but cool stuff

Special Features Presents: Happy New Year & Blogging Resolutions

Hello everyone, and welcome to the first post of the new year. I wish each and every one of you that is reading this, especially all of you that are following my blog, a very happy new year. Last year was a rough year for a lot of people, and I truly hope that 2018 is going to bring only good and warm things for all of you and your loved ones. And of course a new year brings the inevitable New Year’s Resolutions. Well, I know a lot of people make these, but I never quite believed in them. So, I thought that this year I would call them Blogging Resolutions, as I will be spending a lot of time this year on my blog and all of your blogs as well. But let’s translate this into what this post is actually about: pretty much all the things you can look forward to (or at least I hope you will be looking forward to it lol), on my blog in this year. As I mentioned in my final post last year, I want to bring a bit more structure into my blog.

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Yup….a bit more structure can definitely be good at times ūüėÖ

That doesn’t mean I am going to be focussing on only one thing. This is still a multi-topic blog and that won’t change. What I do plan on doing is at least cover every main theme of my blog (Movies, Anime, Books, TV-series and Korean Dramaseries) with at least one post each month. In that way everyone should at least get coverage of one of the things they like viewing/reading the most. That said I also plan on having theme months. Which means that each month I will be focussing on one topic of my blog more than the others. Lastly, I have a few new features that I hope to add as well, but you can find more details about that below. As with all things in life, and as most of you also know, there is always the aspect of real life hiding in the shadows. Which means that plans can always change because of events that happen in the real world that are beyond your control. But that said, where would we be without any sort of plans? So without further ado, lets get cracking and see what 2018 is going to bring!

Movies

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Well, it goes without saying that my movie reviews will of course return for the next year. If there would ever come a year that I don’t watch any movies, I have probably been replaced with an evil clone body. In 2018 we will get an enormous amount of different films that I am looking forward to very much. One of the biggest events will of course be Marvel’s Avengers Infinity War. With the largest superhero cast ever created for the big screen, this movie is set to take over the box office by storm. But there are more things to look forward to. The inevitable sequels such as Jurrasic World Fallen Kingdom, Pacific Rim:Uprising, The Equalizer II and a new Predator movie will hopefully bring us more of the same goodness that we loved in the originals. But three films I’m particularly looking forward to seeing are Meg (Jason Statham taking on a huge pre-historic shark), Ready Player One (Steven Spielberg’s new film, that looks like a geek’s dream come true) and Alita Battle Angel (the live action version of my favorite manga). These, and probably many others, are all going to make an appearance at some point on my blog.

Anime

imageLast year I started for the first time with watching seasonal anime (I usually only watched shows that were already completed), and it was something I enjoyed very much. The main reason for this being I could exchange thoughts on episodes right after they showed. It goes without saying that I will continue that in this year. Attack on Titan season 3, and hopefully the third season for Sword Art Online are definitely the two shows that I’m looking forward to the most. But of course, as I am pretty much behind on almost every anime in existence, there are some older shows that will get their reviews as well here. First up is the long overdue Girls und Panzer (and what a wonderful surprise that turned out to be), but you can also expect reviews for ¬†Ganz, Psycho Pass season 2, Tokyo Ghoul and many others both old and new. I also hope to attend Animecon 2018, where I will give you a full report of that incredibly wonderful event just like I did last year.

Books

imageLike anime I have a list of books that I still need to read that will probably be enough to build a skyscraper of a 1000 floors with. But I love reading, and I definitely want to get to that part of my many hobbies a lot more this year. I own every Karin Slaughter book that has been published to date, but have yet to read her final three offerings. She is just about the only writer that I read that doesn’t write about science fiction and fantasy. The Warhammer 40000 universe has always held me interest and I plan on reading the twelve part novel series The Beast Arises in it’s entirety this year. Besides fiction I also love reading making of books on movies, and you can expect reviews for a few of those as well, including Big Trouble in Little China, Ghost in the Shell and Bladerunner 2049. And then there are of course comics and manga, which I’m sure will also get hit with my hard hitting reviews (ahum….right…moving on).

Tv series

imageThe world of television changes each year. New shows keep being added and quite honestly it’s become pretty much impossible to follow every show. But I’m pretty sure that I will in all likelyhood be able to discover some new shows this year along the way. But that’s not to say the old favorites are going anywhere. One review you can definitely expect from me is the eight season of The Walking Dead, that no matter what anybody says I still love to death. The second season of the science fiction series The Expanse is also still on my review list as well as Homeland season 6, Lethal Weapon season 2, and 24 Legacy. If all goes well, and this is a big if, I also hope to revisit one of my favorite alltime science fiction series Babylon 5. An amazing and truly highly underrated gem that some of you might never have even heard of.

Korean dramas

imageI love watching Korean dramas but one of my biggest problems with them, is that so many of the cool ones aren’t available for me to watch. Luckily Netflix is beginning to get a few of these as well now, which is awesome. Two of the dramas that I failed to complete last year are Pinocchio and Missing Nine. I hope that if all goes well, these will be featured on my blog in january. Two of the dramas that Netflix have on offer are Black and Stranger. I have already progressed about halfway with Stranger, and I’m really looking forward to Black. The story for that about a grim reaper that tries to uncover a serial murder mystery while at the same time falling in love with a mortal woman, sounds intriguing to say the least. I can’t wait to get started on that one. But I’m pretty sure that new shows will also enter my to watch list, as just with regular tv series, Korean Dramas continue being developed as well.

The New Stuff

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Can you please stop talking now?

For those of you that have made it to the end of this post, I thank you for your patience. I know this post is pretty long, but I am almost done. (What do you mean you don’t believe me?) So, as I mentioned I also have a few new features planned for my blog. Curious about what they are? Well, here they come:

  • Bloggers in the spotlight:¬†Last year the number of new bloggers I have met were astounding. Some of them have become great friends, not to mention the ones that I already knew. As I am running a multi-topic blog I plan on doing a monthly post that will cover 3-4 bloggers that either write about anime, movies or books in order to put them in the spotlight. I have always said that the most wonderful thing about blogging is exchanging thoughts and meeting new people, and this is my way of showing my appreciation for that.
  • Competition time:¬†My blog is starting to creep slowly towards the magical number of 1000 followers. I honestly still can’t believe this, but I really could not have done this without all your terrific support and love. That’s why I want to give back some of that love to all of you. As soon as I will hit the 1000th follower I’m going to run a competition giving you a chance to win some (hopefully) amazing prices. More on that later in the year.
  • The monthly choice:¬†Starting in February, depending on the theme of that particular month, I want to give you all a chance to present me with a suggestion for a review I should be doing. I will choose one of these suggestions completely at random and the blogger who “wins ” will of course get an honorable mention.

Phew…..this was one heck of a long post, and to think that the year has only just started! Hopefully, despite it’s length, you still enjoyed reading this one. Let me know what you think of all these plans and what you are excited about the most in the comments section (or if you don’t like anything that was mentioned here, feel free to let me know as well lol). As always, thank you for reading, and let’s make 2018 a wonderful year!

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Special Features Presents: And now…the end is near!

Don’t worry, I am not going to be closing down my blog. This is just the final post that I am going to be writing. For this year that is. Everyone has been saying it: “Wow, has this year flown by”. And it certainly has. For me this year has had it’s ups and downs. More downs than ups if I am going to be honest, but I don’t want to write my final post of the year as a depressive one. In short I want to make this a cool and fun post to celebrate the end of this year. And what better way to do that, than in showing you all my favorite things that I read, watched and played in 2017. But before I start on that I also want to say that this first full year of blogging has been amazing. I have seen my blog grow in ways that I really did not expect. I have met an awful lot of new bloggers along the way, and some of them have turned into a couple of really amazing friends. Combined with the people I already knew I can really say that I could not live without my blog anymore. It’s become a part of me, and I want to thank each and every one of you that has ever read a post, left a comment or a like. You really are all amazing, and I hope the new year is going to bring you all only fun and good things. And now, let’s kick off this end of year post shall we?

Favorite movie of the year: Bladerunner 2049

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If someone would have told me a few years ago that¬†Blade Runner 2049¬†would end up as my favorite movie of the year I would have flat out laughed out loud. As I really thought that this sequel to such a classic science fiction masterpiece would be doomed to fail. But I was proven wrong. This beautiful movie had everything in it. It expanded the story of the original film, and combined with breathtaking visual effects, some solid acting and a brilliant score this one is simply the reason why I love movies so much. I can’t wait to own this one on dvd, to watch it over and over again. My absolute number one film for this year.

Favorite anime of the year: Your Lie in April

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One of absolute highlights of 2017 was the watch-a-long with¬†Weekend Otaku¬†for the breathtaking animeseries¬†Your lie in April. I know this one was released in 2014, ¬†but for me it was the first time I saw it this year. What can I say about this beautiful show that has not already been said? It’s an emotional roller coaster that this show takes you on, but it’s one well worth taking. You would be wise to stock up on numerous boxes of tissues because I guarantee that you are going to cry multiple times. But this is a show that is simply put: perfect. I had never thought I would like a slice of life show as much as I ended up enjoying this one. It’s still my number one alltime anime series to date.

Favorite Korean Drama of the year: Goblin

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On the front of Korean dramas I have had a very disappointing year. As in: I saw way too few of them (Sorry about that¬†Kay). I plan to really watch more of these next year, as there are quite a number of them that I still want to see. My favorite pick for this year was really easy though.¬†Goblin¬†was an amazing drama with high production values, a beautiful and heartwarming story but best of all were the characters. They really made this series into an incredible fun watch. I’m not one that usually likes comedies, but the humor in this drama was just hilarious. I really had to laugh at so many scenes. But this certainly wasn’t a comedy as there were also many exciting, tearful but also quite horrifying scenes. If you have never seen a K-drama before this might be a very good place to start.

Favorite Tv Series of the Year: Stranger Things 2

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When a first season for a series is highly succesful and a second season gets announced, fans look forward to it, but obviously are very anxious for it at the same time. What if it sucks? Stranger Things is a show that proves that a second season can be just as good, if not at times even better than the first one. While overall I did think the first season was just a tiny bit better, this second season was just a blast from start to finish. The entire 80’s vibe, the wonderful characters (both old and new), and the storyline combine to make this a show that you can’t stop watching until you have finished it. It was an absolutely amazing watch, and I am already looking forward to next year where season 3 will hopefully give us that same experience again. Stranger Things is simply put: awesome!

Favorite Book of the Year: Sisters of Battle

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Ugh, as with Korean Dramaseries, reading books this year has really been underwhelming. I have such a huge pile of books that I still need to read, and because of the wonderful¬†Dani¬†,Kim¬†and Didi¬†my Good Reads to read list has completely exploded. (Thanks for that girls ūüėĘ Just kidding, you know I love you¬†ūüėä). And now there are the wonderful Lashaan and Trang¬†that also keep adding books to this seemingly never ending list. But I did read some books this year, and my favorite was also one that I finished quite recently¬†the Sisters of Battle Omnibus. This one was just a blast to read from start to finish. Great characters, explosive battlescenes and just a terrific science fiction setting are just a couple of the things that made this novel so much fun. But the girlpower is what gave this book it’s real edge. This was a pageturner and a book that I could hardly put down.

Favorite Boardgame of the Year: Eldritch Horror

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When it comes to boardgames it simply doesn’t get any better than this.¬†Eldritch Horror¬†is a fantastic horror/fantasy boardgame that I gave a well deserved perfect score. It’s a joy to play, even when playing it solo, because of the great narrative components it contains. You will find yourself racing across the world trying to prevent an ancient evil from awakening. In the meantime you will experience all sorts of adventures that are always different whenever you play this game. If you love reading books or watching adventure movies, this is a game you should definitely consider adding to your collection. Trust me when I say that you will not be disappointed by this in any way.

Final thoughts

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Well people: that’s it. Time for me to call it a day. At least for this year that is. I hope you will all enjoy the upcoming final day of the year. If you are going to be using fireworks please make sure you aren’t going to blow any of your hands off. I do want to see each and everyone of you back safely next year. Speaking of next year, I will continue to write about the things I love the most, but I do want to bring a little bit more structure into my blog, as it has sometimes been going all over the place. I have also been thinking of a few new features I want to add, but that is a story for later. As always thank you for reading this and for your amazing support the past few months. See you all next year! ūüėÄūüėÄ

Special Features Presents: Christmas Tv Series Episodes

Well, it’s that season to be jolly. In other words Christmas is almost upon us. Tomorrow a lot of people around the world are going to be spending this holiday in a variety of ways. I always love Christmas despite the fact that I also get a bit melancholy around this time of year. I tend to reflect on the things that have happened the past few months, and besides the good stuff there is also the inevitable bad stuff. But I’m not going to be turning this into a depressing post but rather one that will hopefully put you in the Christmas spirit a bit. We all of course have our favorite Christmas movies, and you have probably noticed quite a number of these being shown on a variety of other blogs these past few days. But instead of focussing on movies, I wanted to do something a bit different and focus on the small screen instead. There are a lot of television series that have had some kind of Christmas episode in them, and I thought I would showcase a couple of them here. Minor spoilers are ahead, so you have been warned. Okay, in no particular order lets see what Santa has in store here….

Robotech: Episode 35, Season’s Greetings

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Robotech is an animated series that is composed of three unrelated Japanese anime, that were combined in America into one show. It is a terrific science fiction series that I have been a fan of for more than 30 years now. Robotech featured a really beautiful Christmas episode. In it, one of the show’s main villains the maniacal Khyron, unleashes a devastasting attack on Christmas eve, in an attempt to demoralise the human race. But instead of losing hope, the survivors band together and start to sing Silent Night. It is a very powerful moment, and one that really shows that one should never lose hope, no matter how bleak things might get.

Knight Rider: Episode 211, Silent Knight

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Who doesn’t remember Knight Rider? The 80’s, The Hoff and a talking car called K.I.T.T. It really doesn’t get any better than this. In the second season Knight Rider got into the Christmas spirit with the Episode Silent Knight. Michael is on his way to the annual Foundation Christmas banquet, when he runs into a gypsy kid called Tino. He is unaware that Tino has stolen a gold watch from a trio of bankrobbers that are now hot on his trail, as they are afraid he might indentify them. Well, this one was certainly entertaining and a bit of goofy fun. And of course this being a Christmas episode, everything eventually works out.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Episode 310, Amends

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a highly succesful television series created by Joss Whedon (Yes¬†that¬†guy again). It starred Sarah Michelle Gellar in the titular role, playing a young highschool girl that was the Chosen One with the power to fight vampires and other things that bump in the night. Her great love was the vampire with a soul, Angel. In this really warm and beautiful Christmas episode, Angel is haunted by terrible visions of his past where he was still the evil vampire Angelus. He hears that the only way to get rid of these visions is by killing Buffy. Angel can’t bring himself to do this, and prepares to sacrifice himself by waiting for the sun to rise and burn him to a crisp. But the sun never comes, instead it begins to snow and Angel and Buffy enjoy each other’s company walking through Winter Wonderland. Awwww………

Bones: Episode 309, The Santa in the Slush

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Bones was a really fun C.S.I. type show where the forensic doctor Brennan teamed up with F.B.I. special agent Booth to solve a variety of crimes. Where C.S.I. was very serious for most of the time, Bones usually threw a great amount of humor into it’s episodes that distinguished it from the rest. In this really fun Christmas episode Brennan and Booth investigate the death of a Santa Claus that was found near the sewers of a mall. One of the funniest scenes of this episode is when their investigation leads them to a “Rent-A-Santa” business where they have to interview a bunch of Santas. And of course another great scene is where Booth and Brennan end up beneath a mistletoe. Yes, you can say it again: Awwwwwwwwww.

Supernatural: Episode 308, A very Supernatural Christmas

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Ah, Supernatural. Such an incredibly fun show. One could almost say that this is the Buffy of our time and you would not be very far of the mark either. Now entering it’s 13th season, the show tells the story of the two brothers Sam and Dean Winchester. Both of them have been raised by their father as “Hunters” to fight supernatural evil ranging from demons, spirits and pretty much every other horrible entity you can think of. Supernatural did it’s own version of a Christmas episode in season 3. The two brothers investigate a series of grissly murders where victims get pulled up through the chimney. Their search leads them to a kind of Anti-Santa, who is actually an ancient demon. This episode has a number of great scenes especially the one where the two brothers exchange Christmas gifts.

Chicago Fire: Episode 110, Merry Christmas, Etc.

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Chicago Fire is one of my favorite binge worthy shows. We follow the lives of the brave men and women of the Chicago firedepartment, as they go about their daily routines. Featuring very memorable characters and high octane action and danger, trust me when I say that once you start out with this series you can’t stop. In this Christmas episode a few of the firefighters get accused of stealing a high value necklace after putting out a kitchen fire. I have to be honest that while there are some Christmas activities in the background, this is the only episode on this list that won’t really give you that warm Christmas feeling. But that’s okay, as it’s still a fun and exciting watch.

Merry Christmas!

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This list could go on forever, as there are so many great TV series over the years that have done Christmas episodes. But it has to end somewhere, and these were certainly a few of my favorites. Most of you will probably spent the upcoming days celebrating Christmas, as I am going to be doing myself as well. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas. All of you are amazing, and this blog certainly would not be the same without your continued support and kindness that all of you have shown me. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas I hope the upcoming days will be fun for you as well. As always thank you for reading, and see you at the next post!

Special Features Presents: First trailer for Alita Batle Angel

After a bit of a strange week of blogging, and my recovering from a rather nasty flu (you can read all about that right¬†here), today marks the first day that I hope to get back to normal blogging operations. Erm, yeah I don’t quite know what that means either. I’m at least going to try and make an effort to catch up on some posts that I have missed, and try and write some stuff myself again as well. They say there is such a thing as not believing in things that are a coincidence, but I sometimes beg to differ. I literally acquired the first volume of the Deluxe Edition of the Battle Angel Alita manga, this weekend. For those of you not familiair with it, Battle Angel Alita is a long running manga series. It features a young innocent looking cyborg woman called Alita, that is found and rescued at a Scrapyard by a cyber doctor where she was dumped. Floating above this Scrapyard is the floating city of Zalem. While the people at Zalem seem to enjoy a life of luxury, the people at the Scrapyard live in poverty and try to get by as best they can. It soon becomes apparent though that Alita is no ordinary cyborg, and is in reality a deadly assassin skilled in the legendary martial arts of Panzerkunst.

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The first volume of the Deluxe Edition of the manga. Expect a review for this one next year. 

Now getting back to that coincidence, friday the first trailer for the live action movie of Alita seemingly came out of nowhere. It was a movie project that has been rumored for ages now, with director James Cameron having said that he has always been interested in making a film for this. It seems that plan has now finally been put into motion. Although Cameron doesn’t direct, he is quite involved in the project. And I have to say that what is on display in this trailer is really awesome. Not only does it look rather unique, we also get a pretty good cast that bring the characters to life. I for one can’t wait to see the final product, which will make an appearance in the theatres next year. For your enjoyment I have provided the trailer for you to watch, and judge by yourself. Let me know what you think of it in the comments section below.

 

Special Features Presents: Countdown to the Last Jedi

In a few more weeks Star Wars fans from all over the world will be flocking to the theatres to finally see the latest installment from that galaxy far, far away…..Adventure, excitement, bah a Jedi craves not these things. No, a Jedi maybe not, but a Star Wars fan like myself does. I honestly can’t wait to see this movie, and I am actually counting down the days to finally see it. So, I thought it would be a cool idea to write a series of reviews, just like I did in my Countdown to Halloween¬†feature. Only this time instead of horror, the focus will be on science fiction films. I will be reviewing one of these films each week. So, what is there to look forward to? Well, you can check my selection of films down below. And of course I had to end with a Star Wars film. Thanks for reading. The Force will be with you: always!

1. Kill Command

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2. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

 

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3. Tron: Legacy

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4. Serenity

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5. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

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Special Features Presents: Coming up next……

Earlier this week I realised something that actually shocked me a bit. In a little bit less than two months we will be saying goodbye to the year 2017. I don’t know if this is just me, but seriously this year has rushed by so fast! But maybe the reason might simply be it’s because I’m getting older or something like that, but I do wonder where this year has gone off to in such a hurry. As the year 2018 is already slowly beginning to appear on the horizon, I thought it would be nice to let you all know what will be coming up next in these last two months of the year on my blog. I will try to release some diverse content so that hopefully everyone is going to have something to look forward to. So let’s take a look into the crystal ball of the future shall we?

Anime

imageYes anime is definitely still a part of my blog. It has been lacking a bit in the past few weeks, I have to admit, but let me just ease your minds: there is plenty of that still going to be heading your way.¬†Ergo Proxy is a series that I know a lot of you have been waiting to hear my thoughts on. Rest assured the post for that one is coming this month.¬†Girls und Panzer¬†is an unexpected delight. I had skipped over this series quite a number of times in the Crunchyroll line up. But because of a recent post from¬†The Otaku Judge¬†on the Girls und Panzer film, I decided to give it a go. And I’m glad I did. Other anime you can expect reviews for are¬†Deadman Wonderland,¬†The Skycrawlers¬†and¬†Bakemonogatari.

Tv series

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I am really playing catch up to a lot of things at the moment, and as such have fallen ¬†behind on some of my favorite television shows. But that does not mean I don’t occasionally start with something new.¬†Television series based on movies are usually a very bad idea and have an awful track record. Ofcourse there are exceptions to this rule, and the¬†Lethal Weapon¬†tv series certainly is one.¬†Prison Break¬†returned this year to our small screens with a one time 9 episode event series. It¬†used to be one of my alltime favorites, and that’s why I am really looking forward to watching this.¬†Star Trek Discovery¬†is the newest Star Trek tv series, and while I am still debating on whether or not I actually think it’s a good show, it’s certainly not bad either. Besides reviews for these three series, you can also expect posts for¬†Homeland¬†season 6,¬†The Walking Dead season 7, and¬†Fear the Walking Dead¬†season 1.

Korean Dramas

imageKorean dramas are so much fun, but unfortunately as with almost everything I have really started to run behind on these (sorry¬†Kay). The first one is¬†Pinocchio¬†a somewhat older series, but one that I have so far been enjoying for quite a bit. The second is one that has been on my to watch list for ages and that’s¬†Missing 9. The main reason for watching this one is that it includes one of my favorite Korean actors Jung Kyung-ho. The second reason is that it reminds me a lot of Lost, an alltime favorite series of mine, as it tells the story of a group of people that survive a plane crash and get stranded on an island. Both of these are up for reviews in the coming months.

Movies

imageNo big suprise that of course movies will also remain a big part of this blog (at least I hope it won’t be a surprise that is lol). Yesterday I saw the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe,¬†Thor: Ragnarok. It was a fun filled film, and that one will be up first when it comes to movie reviews. With the releasedate of¬†Star Wars: The Last Jedi, coming ever closer, I am planning on doing a series of posts similar to the¬†Countdown to Halloween¬†feature. And it will be given the name Countdown to The Last Jedi (duhhhhh). I’m not yet going to reveal which movies will be included, but of course they are all going to be science fiction. Other movies you can expect reviews for are John Carpenter’s classic¬†Christine and¬†Justice League. But with movies I expect a few others to be added to this list along the way.

Books

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Ughh, my Good Reads to read list is growing daily, and I probably won’t be able to complete it until I am close to entering a retirement home. I do want to finish a couple of books by the end of the year though, so I still have hope of including at least a few reviews for those as well. I am currently right in the middle of the¬†Sisters of Battle Omnibus written by James Swallow. Part of the Warhammer 40000 universe, it has so far been a very entertaining read. For those who want a bit of nostalgia, I’m also planning a review for the¬†Mini-comic collection of He-man and the Masters of the Universe. The last two books on my list for this year are¬†The official making of Big Trouble in little China and¬†the Star Wars novel¬†Thrawn by Timothy Zahn. This last one especially is one I am really looking forward to as it marks the return of my favorite villain from the Expanded Universe that became canon again (erm, yes I am going to explain that one when I write the review for it).

Boardgames

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Yes, I still play boardgames, even though the last review for one of those dates back to May this year. I hope to publish at least one more review for a boardgame and that is for the incredible¬†Xenoshyft Dreadmire. This is a really fun but incredibly tough deckbuilding game, in which you have to defend your base from a horde of bloodthirsty alien creatures. The artwork for this game is off the scales, and it will be a delight to show it you in all it’s creepy glory.

In closing….

So, that’s pretty much what I have planned for the final two months of this year. In between these posts I also hope to catch up on some¬†tags and awards that I haven’t yet made posts for. As with all things, these are all plans that can be subject to change, as you never know when real life decides to throw a wrench into everything again. But hopefully that won’t happen. In closing I want to thank each and everyone of you who continue to support my blog. I really could not do this without you! So: Thank you all ūüėÄ Let me know in the comments section below if there are any things that you are looking forward to in particular (or if there is nothing on this list that grabs your attention, which is fine as well of course, but I definitely hope that’s not the case lol). Thank you all for reading, see you on the next post!

Special Features Presents: Countdown to Halloween

Hello everyone. Hope you are all doing well. I want to make an announcement for a special feature that I am going to be focussing on in the next couple of weeks. As most of you know, the horrorfilm is one of my favorite moviegenres. I can enjoy really bloody horrormovies as much as a good and subtle psychological thriller. Now, as Halloween is a celebration of all things horror, and it usually means we get a new dose of bloody goodness that will hit the cinemas, I thought it would be fun to do a sort of countdown to the 31st of October. You know, that day when all hell will break loose, humanity will end and creatures that go bump in the night will take over the world. Erm, yeah I know I like to exaggerate. So how am I going to do this? Starting next week, I will review a classic horrormovie from a franchise that has released at least 5 or even more movies. The post for that movie will feature a review for that film, as well as a brief overview of the rest of that franchise. So which movies are going to be reviewed? You can see the list down below. So, lock the doors, check under the bed, and try not to be afraid……..much……

1. Saw

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2. Friday the 13th

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3. A nightmare on Elmstreet

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4. Final Destination

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5. Halloween

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Special Features presents: First full length The Punisher tv series trailer

Netflix has been expanding their list of Marvel tv series quite steadily. It all started with Daredevil back in 2015, and since then they have rounded out their universe with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and the most recent one The Defenders. In season 2 of Daredevil a character was introduced that made an enormous impression on pretty much everyone. That character was Frank Castle aka The Punisher. Played by Jon Bernthal, who most people probably recognise as Shane from the Walking Dead, he single handedly created the best live action Punisher to date. It was pretty much inevitable that he would get his own series. In fact there were so many people that wanted this to happen, that it would have been weird if they would not have listened to the fans.

And listen they did as the first season of The Punisher will be making it’s debut later this year. Today the first full length trailer for the series was released, and I can honestly say that I was completely blown away by this. In fact I dare say that this is without a doubt the best trailer that I have seen for the entire year. The trailer is accompanied by the terrific song One by Metallica, and to say more about it is to spoil your fun. I have included the trailer for your viewing pleasure down below. Enjoy it, and please let me know what you think about it in the comments section. I would love to hear your thoughts about this one.

Special Features Presents: Embracing the End of life as we know it.

A few weeks ago Karandi from¬†100wordanime¬†held a contest to celebrate the fact that she had started her Facebook page for her blog. The price for this would be a post written by her on any topic the winner would like. To my big surprise I recieved a message from her telling me that I had won the price! ūüėÄ Now I think most of you already know her as she is I think without a doubt one of the most active bloggers of us all. Pretty much everywhere that I look she manages to give a reaction to posts by other blogs, and also writes a ton of stuff every day for her own blog. She also is one of the kindest persons amongst us, always giving a nice response and needless to say I have the utmost respect for her. It was a great honor to have won this contest, and I asked her to write a post about one of my favorite topics, the post apocalyptic genre. She has made a terrific post for it, the result of which you can find below. All words below are written by her, so if you have yet to discover her wonderful blog, please head over there and subscribe now. I certainly have enjoyed this post, and because it can’t be said enough: thank you very much Karandi for this great price.

Embracing the End of Life as we know it.

This post is for Raistlin who won the 100 Word Anime on Facebook launch competition. Thanks as always Raistlin for your support and for the great topic.
What is the appeal of post-apocalyptic stories? Really, they are set after the end of civilisation as we know it so you could almost assume that any story worth telling was already done and finished. Why not go back and talk about that mutating virus, that war, those final days before the asteroid hit or before the aliens conquered humanity and wiped out everything else?
Well, because that’s hardly the end of the story.
As Ian Malcolm put it in Jurassic Park (or at least the script writers did): life finds a way.
The end of the world is fun and all and watching people try to survive the cataclysm can certainly be good for a few laughs, tears and gasps of surprise, but the more meaningful story, or at least I’ve always found, is in what happens next. What are the next steps for those who don’t disappear in a blaze of glory or have their candle snuffed out?

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As usual, anime has a plethora of examples to draw upon when thinking about any particular genre. And while I was very tempted to make this an Evangelion post when Raistlin first gave me the topic, I resisted temptation because I still haven’t actually gotten around to writing my review of that anime, and ultimately Evangelion is about an absolute refusal to embrace an unpleasant reality and about the many ways people escape or fight against a grim reality.
So where did I look instead?
I actually had to start with Trigun. While not set on Earth, the story takes place after humans for whatever reason have left Earth to colonise another planet, but due to a particular individual they end up crashing onto a desert planet where survival is quite the feat even before you throw in a certain lawless lifestyle. Despite this, and despite some clearly villainous characters, the main cast of Trigun are decidedly optimistic in their outlook on life. Sure, survival is hard, but while the overall situation can’t change, small steps can be taken each day to secure survival and to help others.
It’s really impossible to watch Trigun and not be infected by Vash’s positive outlook. He isn’t some young and naive child clinging to a dream or an illusion to escape the daily grind. He knows how bad things are and he even knows he is actually responsible for some of the issues, and yet he’ll still flash most people that cheeky smile of his and hit them with “Love and Peace”.

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No. 6 is another anime where a main character lives in a world that has been essentially destroyed and the only survivors are in the numbered cities. Privileges are quite restricted and as a child, owing to his intelligence, Shion was on track for a very good life. However, one act of compassion, helping a run-away child, had both Shion and his mother face hardships.
Now, in some stories this would be where the main character became bitter and twisted and would vow revenge against the regime, but Shion is mostly accepting of the situation. He continues to act in a way that doesn’t damage his personal integrity, while finding ways to compromise within the frame of the law. Ultimately his hand is forced and he does go into hiding and finds himself at odds with the city, but even then most of his actions are to save the city rather than to see it brought low.
Both of these characters demonstrate strength and perseverance in the face of inequality and injustice. They put the lives of others before themselves and they seek, in small ways, to make their worlds just a little bit brighter for those around them.

And for me, this is what I love about post apocalyptic stories. They give the best and worst characteristics that humanity carries with them a chance to shine.
Thanks,
Karandi
100wordanime.wordpress.com

Special Features Presents: Kenji Kawai, the God of Anime and Asian cinema soundtracks

This is going to be a bit of a different kind of post than you are used to reading on my blog. Because this is a post about music, or to be more precise soundtracks. A great movie soundtrack stays in your mind, and actually helps to increase the enjoyment of a particular movie. In the Western world we ofcourse have legends like Hans Zimmer or John Williams, that have produced a great many memorable soundtracks.  Who can forget the dark sounds of the Dark Knight trilogy, or the impressive Imperial March from the Star Wars franchise.

As much as I love the sounds of these, I have come across one composer throughout my many years of watching movies and anime, that has impressed me the most. And  that is Kenji Kawai from Japan. His soundtracks are simply speaking completely out of this world, and have given me goosebumps all over, every time I hear the sounds of them. Today I thought I would share a few of his impressive music compositions, from various anime and Asian films. I hope you will enjoy listening to them. Here they are in no particular order.

Ghost in the Shell: Opening Theme

This one is probably his best known composition. The opening theme to the brilliant anime movie Ghost in the Shell, is hauntingly beautiful. The video below is a live performance that is absolutely amazing.

 

The Battle of Wits

Taken from the soundtrack of the Chinese historical martial arts epic, A Battle of Wits, this is one of my favorite songs from Kenji Kawai. It starts off slow, but then at 2:10 it becomes this incredibly epic orchestral piece, that literally produces goosebumps whenever I hear it. If there is only one video you have time for, this is the one you should listen to. Absolutely breathtaking.

 

The Sky Crawlers: Opening Theme

Another song from an anime movie, this one is called Sky Crawlers. I have not yet seen this movie, but I bought it just for the soundtrack. Yes, I kid you not, I bought a film solely for the soundtrack, not even caring if it’s any good. Another hauntingly beautiful song, this is almost dreamlike.

 

Avalon: Log in

This song is taken from the highly underrated 2001 live action movie Avalon. It was a brilliant movie with a truly epic scope, made even more impressive by the score. This song is another epic masterpiece, that comes to life at the 0:30 mark, when a choir and orchestra explode and produce a song that is not of this Earth. Another live performance, that only increases the awesomeness of this song.

 

Ghost in the Shell: Nightstalker

To close things off, I give you another song from the Ghost in the Shell soundtrack. It is the shortest song on the list, lasting only 1 minute and 34 seconds, but it is truly amazing. My only regret is that it’s so very short, but luckily you can always push the repeat button. A completely unique, very bleak but also very atmospheric song.

 

Final thoughts

For me Kenji Kawai is the absolute master of movie soundtracks. His compositions are simply amazing, and I can never get enough of them. He has a very recognisable sound, and usually whenever I see a new movie or Animeseries that Kenji Kawai has made the music for, I manage to identify it immediately. If you are interested in hearing more of his work, I suggest heading over to YouTube where you can find more of his amazing sounds. As mentioned in the beginning, this is the first time I have made a post like this, so I would love to hear your thoughts on it. Did you enjoy this post? Have you heard of Kenji Kawai? What do you think of his music, do you love it or hate it? Let me know in the comments section below. As always thank you for reading, and see you at the next post!