Netflix’s Castlevania: Review from a Castlevania Junkie

Recently Netflix has released the first “season” of Castlevania, a gory, animated version of the beloved Konami series featuring our favorite vampire killers trying to take down Dracula. I am a huge fan of Castlevania, from the platformer NES days to its Metroidvania-style games on the DS; I was curious to see how they would portray the game in a show format. There is definitely some potential if given to the right people. With only being four episodes long, how does show fare with the original material?

Long story short, some work is required but it is a good start.

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Having a Ball At The 2017 Anime Expo Masquerade

Following the heels of our Anime Expo intro article this year, our first main event we went to last night was the Masquerade, a cosplay and performance competition that has been running for over 20 years. This year’s event was MCed by Ezra Weisz and without a doubt, I can already say that this is perhaps the best masquerade I’ve gone to, solely from the strength of the MC himself.

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Bigger, Badder and Hotter than Ever: Anime Expo 2017

It’s the second day of July and Anime Expo 2017 is well under way! While the first official day has come and gone with a bang (along with the unfixed misfortunes of horrific Line Con), there are still three big days filled to the brim with events, guests, panels, and anything anime related. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, still don’t have plans, and want to check something out this July 4th weekend, definitely give Anime Expo a go!

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We Need #WonderWomanTAS

As Wonder Woman continues to break box office records, there still isn’t enough content featuring everyone’s favorite Amazon. That’s why artists Jermaine Dickerson and Taylor Cordingley have each been championing for a Wonder Woman animated series.

Both artists stop by Hard NOC Life, along with Keith’s DCTV Classics’ co-host Desiree Rodriguez, to talk about how an animated Wonder Woman can finally be the intersectional, feminist, and diverse series we’ve all been waiting for!

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Your Name: When Body-Swapping Encounters Adolescence

Your Name, Makoto Shinkai’s latest animated film, has been making news and setting records in Japan (it’s currently the second highest grossing film of all time over there!) and after watching it, I’m not surprised. Your Name initially comes off as a light-hearted comedy but evolves into a film that touches upon various relatable themes that are woven throughout this story of adolescence, nostalgia, and love.

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Please Cast These Actors in a Live Action Star Wars: Rebels

This Saturday, Disney will air the third season finale of Star Wars: Rebels, and by all indications, it’s going to be awesome. I’ve said it before, but Rebels is probably my favorite entry into the Star Wars canon since Empire Strikes Back. Season three has only solidified its GOAT status as far as televised Star Wars stories go. If you don’t believe me, be sure to check out last week’s episode set on Tatooine — which only made me want a solo Obi-Wan movie even more.

In tandem with Rogue One, Star Wars: Rebels is the perfect bridge between the prequels and the Original Trilogy. And not for nothing, Rogue One, in a way, featured the first live action incarnations of our favorite members of the Ghost crew. While Chopper was the only Rebel we saw on screen, if we ever get to see the rest in the future, here are the actors I’d like to see playing them.

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Translation or Whitewash? The Problem with Yo-Kai Watch in America

The art of “translating” a media property from one cultural context to another requires more than simple language transliteration. Translating works of art has existed from the moment people from different cultures encountered one another. But at what point does translating something for an American audience necessitate whitewashing as well? Today, we’re going to look at two animated properties available on Netflix — Yo-Kai Watch from Japan and Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir from France — to determine at which point whiteness trumps cultural context when making a kids’ show more acceptable to American audiences.

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Ghost In The Shell: Worse Than We Thought

On February 28, I saw a 15-minute sneak peek of the Hollywood adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. From the announcement of the project, this has always been a bad idea. But the announcement of the cast and story has made things much worse. Most noticeably, Hollywood adaptations of Japanese anime have yet to be successful. Either their stories veer too far from the source material, the director isn’t a good fit or the casting makes no sense. You would think Hollywood would learn, yet here we are, on the precipice of another anime-adapted flop.

Here are the takeaways from what I have seen of Paramount’s Ghost in the Shell so far.

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I Cape For Black Women

What makes a hero? Is it the super powers? The skill sets? The gadgets? Our intentions? Our actions?

I’m a comic book guy through and through so these are the questions that haunt me. There are moments in our lives that define us. That we allow to define us through our choices, our mistakes and how we respond to them. Sometimes those moments are big, sometimes they are minute. But in those moments we definitely learn the content of our character.

Here’s an example.

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Super Sixteen: Top Television Shows of 2016

It’s one of my favorite times of the year. It’s where I review the best and brightest that television had to offer in the previous year. If you haven’t already, you should check out my Top Films of 2016. Go ahead, check it out, I’ll wait. No really, I’ll wait. You back? Awesome.

As is the standard with my movie year-in-review, my television selections have to pass the Upkins Media Litmus Test.

Without further adieu…

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