Sunday, August 21, 2011

Live-action Noir is turning out as badly as you'd expect

Some time ago, it was announced that Noir was optioned for a live-action cable-TV series for the Starz network.

Then last week, BTF member Fluffy found the casting slides and character descriptions... which have made their way around to the usual places, spurring quite a bit of ranting and wailing and gnashing of teeth. The changes are rather jarring, that's for sure. And the detailed descriptions and sample casting scenes are even more troubling

60's Paris would be kind of cool, sure. Changing the Soldats to an ancient Muslim clan of the original "Assassins" -- kind of lame and missing the point. But the character changes seem like worst of "pont-missing". Mireille (now "Dubois" instead of "Bouquet") is merged with Altena's scant backstory. And is married. Kirika seems to have been merged with Chloe's personality. And there's more male regular characters, and a lot of sleeping around between them. There's apparently even a scene where Kirika sleeps with Milosh, only to find out he's been sleeping around himself. So she kills him.


So that's been simmering for a bit, only now, a few casting audition videos have been showing up. And my eyes have rolled so far to the back of my head that I don't think they'll ever reset themselves.


I really didn't expect much, I guess. But the things I mostly liked about the show seem to be the things left out, so it remains to be seen if I'll much bother with going out of my way for this one.

Anyway, plenty of discussion over on the 'Fan, for those that can stomach it. Feel free to add your own

Friday, August 05, 2011

Michiko to Hatchin revisited

My glowing summary of Michiko to Hatchin still stands. In fact, I think it's even better than what I said -- the flaws are trivial compared to the outstanding work by the variety of animators brought in to the project, all directed by the vision of Sayo Yamamoto (who sadly hasn't been seen since. And I really mean sadly, as I weep at her absence).

My rewatching has only reinforced -- no, superseded! -- the fact that I think this is a tremendously well-done work. That it's built of outstanding components, that it's telling a grand and universal story, that it's got the art direction and animation of a world-class offering... And yet it's gotten nowhere.

I really can't fathom why. In the "golden" era of anime licensing, I'm pretty sure this would have been snatched up, and I'm sure the producers were counting on that. But it mainly disappeared from view. A couple of European countries picked it up, but otherwise *poof*... gone. And I'm physically hurt by that fact.

There are tremendous and unique things going on in this show. The expressions, the consistency, the characterizations -- they're fun and friendly and so very much a break from the usual anime cliche dreck, that I am profoundly disappointed in the US anime import community for totally neglecting it. The crash in the economics of importation is a big factor, and maybe there were some drastic price differentials that I'm not privy to, but the result is still something that breaks my heart, especially considering some of the drek that did make it through the pipeline.

Add to that the fact that Ms. Yamamoto hasn't had another substantial project since this, and I'm so greatly saddened that I just can't express it adequately.

I've been a bit stingy with my purchasing lately (I should really buy Eden of the East and the Casshern reboot), but if this were to show up, I'd buy it instantly at full retail if I could. It's definitely in my new top-5 (whatever those shows are) and may very well be a timeless favorite when all is said and done.