Review – Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist


Anime Reporter button bashes furiously because I can never remember the combos after the nostalgic wonder that is Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist.

Street Fighter - Assassin's Fist 00

Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist first came into being as an online series of twelve videos. These were later restructured into six episodes for television, then into a TV movie and, finally, into an extended DVD/ Bluray release. The final, two and a half hour film is what I’ll be taking a look at today.

Already, some readers might feel that two and a half hours is a little bit too much time to spend looking at cartoonish, video-game style fighting in one sitting. This would certainly be true, but Assassin’s Fist is far from the camp, awkward affair you might expect. Assassin’s Fist was penned by Joey Ansah and Christian Howard, both of whom also star in major roles throughout. It’s very clear that both men have a tremendous amount of respect and affection for the Street Fighter series. Street Fighter carries a certain mythology with it, both in the video games and the numerous anime adaptations. Ansah, who also directed the film, has stated that he wanted Assassin’s Fist to feel like a part of the series and it’s certainly easy to see this. Careful attention is paid to build on existing plots and character traits while also adding fresh material to proceedings. While a lot of respect and attention is certainly paid to what has come before, Assassin’s Fist is easily accessible for Street Fighter newcomers, taking care to introduce characters and concepts clearly with extra nods and winks thrown in for diehard fans.


Assassin’s Fist is, in many ways, an Read more ›

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Posted in Live Action Film, Reviews

Review – Toriko manga Volume 24

Toriko Manga volume 24 cover

Anime Reporter dons the manga bib once more to sample the culinary delight that is Toriko Volume 24.

Naturally, anyone who isn’t up to speed with the events of the last volume, or indeed the series in general, would perhaps benefit more from a glance at some earlier reviews.

Spoiler Alert

Those of us who are up to date can move on, without fear of giving away too much information. Last time, we got to see the final blows of the fight against the dreaded Four Beast and the salvation of the human race as a result. While this was mainly down to the Four Heavenly Kings and their tireless appetites and raw power, the day is not yet won and their fate is out of their hands. Luckily Komatsu has been on the job, managing to craft a readily available and easily duplicated antidote for the Four Beast’s toxin. Volume 24 starts with Komatsu and the other chefs doing what they can to get the new creation to everyone who needs it.

Naturally, after overcoming such a terrifying new foe, Toriko spends a little time trying to figure out exactly how strong he’s become and even earns a new ability out of the bargain.

What follows is a pretty well-paced storyline which takes the focus off Toriko for a while. Having played a huge part in Read more ›

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Posted in Manga, Manga Series, Reviews

Review- The Princess and the Pilot


Anime Reporter takes off with The Princess and The Pilot, the upcoming anime film from Manga Entertainment based on Koroku Inumura’s light novel of the same name.

The Princess and The Pilot (TPaTP from here on out) follows two people, you guessed it, a princess and a pilot. Fana is, well she’s not actually a princess just yet, but very early on the film she becomes engaged to a prince, so she’s pretty much a princess-in-waiting. Unfortunately, she said “yes” to a prince whose nation is in the middle of a pretty gigantic war. As time passes, the war becomes more troublesome and, to make matters worse, it’s totally getting in the way of Fana’s impending wedding day. This is put ever so slightly into perspective when a large scale attempt is made on Fana’s life. As Fana is about to Read more ›

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Posted in Anime, Anime Movie, Reviews

Review – Soul Eater manga volumes 21-22

Soul eater volume 21

Anime Reporter keeps the Shinigami train going with Soul Eater manga Volumes 21-22.

Soul Eater manga volumes 21_22 (1)

As this series seems to do with great joy, Volume 20 ended with quite a few jaw-dropping twists, so anyone less than up to speed should check out an earlier Soul Eater review here.

Spoiler Alert

As for the rest of us, we can march proudly onwards, safe in the knowledge that Darth Vader was Keyser Soze’s clone the entire time. That and the rather abrupt thing Read more ›

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Posted in Manga, Manga Series, Reviews

Review – Giovanni’s Island (2014)


Anime Reporter visits Giovanni’s Island, Mizuho Nishikubo’s historical anime film set in post World War 2 Japan.

Many of those familiar with Nishikubo’s work may know him best for his work collaborating with Mamoru Oshii as animation director, particularly for his acclaimed work on Ghost in the Shell, but Nishikubo has long since proved himself to be an attentive and knowledgeable director. For insight on some of Nishikubo’s thoughts on his latest project, take a look at my recent interview with him while he was attending the UK premiere of Giovanni’s Island.

Based on the true life events of Hiroshi Tokuno, Giovanni’s Island details the takeover of several remote Japanese islands by Soviet forces in the fallout of the Second World War. Junpei, the character based upon Tokuno, and his little brother Kanta are well used to Read more ›

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Posted in Anime, Anime Movie, Reviews

Interview with Mizuho Nishikubo – Director of Giovanni’s Island


Today, Anime Reporter received a great honour, in the opportunity to talk with Mizuho Nishikubo who was in attendance at the UK premiere of his anime film, Giovanni’s Island. Many anime fans will already be familiar with Nihikubo’s work; he’s been a long time collaborator of Mamoru Oshii, even serving as animation director on Oshii’s acclaimed Ghost in the Shell. Nishikubo was also in charge of the animation for that most spectacular and jarring piece of anime featured in Kill Bill. Anime Reporter’s full review of Giovanni’s Island can be found here. Here’s a quick run-through of what the film’s about:

After World War 2, several remote islands to the north of mainland Japan were invaded and effectively claimed by the Soviet Union. Almost seventy years later, the Japanese and Russian governments still disagree over who has a legitimate claim to the islands.

Giovanni’s Island  is based on real events, focusing on two young brothers living on one of the islands when their home is overthrown. Nishikubo uses the boys’ innocence as a lens for capturing the harsh realities of war. This is particularly effective when we see Jenpei, the older brother, turns to fantasies out of his mother’s favourite book, Night on the Galactic Railroad, to escape.

It was a sincere pleasure to speak with Nishikubo and incredibly difficult not to fall into a fit of pure anime-fan glee Read more ›

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Posted in Anime, Anime Movie, Interviews

Review- Soul Eater volumes 16-20

Soul Eater Volumes 16_20 (3) Death Shinigami

Anime Reporter takes a gander at Soul Eater manga volumes 16-20 now, picking up from the rather dramatic finale that was Volume 15. With that much in mind, the following spoiler alert is probably unnecessary.

Spoiler Alert

Soul Eater Volume 16 coverSo here we are, Maka and Soul have overthrown the wicked witch and Soul has finally become a fully fledged Death Scythe. Volume 16 sees Maka and Soul trying to master some of their great new abilities as a team. Meanwhile, the other illustrious star students are adapting to their new war-time roles as members of the new strike force, Spartoi.

These story arcs boil down to a revelation that being a Death Scythe is still a long way from reaching the full extent of their power and Maka and Soul are still more or less wading around in the kiddies’ pool while the strike team storylines amount to a lot more action and fight scenes without a lot of story behind them.

Soul Eater Volumes 16_20 (1) Maka Soul Death Scythe

Soul Eater Volumes 16_20 (4) Kid DeathWhen everyone gets around to remembering that Death the Kid has been kidnapped, the Read more ›

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Posted in Manga, Manga Series, Reviews
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