Free screenings of Japanese Anime at Oslo Comics Expo June 11th -13th

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Yes, free. FREE! No catch. Promise.

Mangapolis, Films from the South and The Japan Foundation are, together with Oslo Comics Expo, planing to host free screenings of Japanese Anime at Ringen Kino in Oslo.

The movies in question are Mind Game (2004), Genius Party (2007) and Genius Party Beyond (2008). Free Screenings is exactly what it sounds like, no entrance fee to see the movie! To avoid complete chaos, you will still have to claim a free ticket at Ringen Kino from May 29th

First come, first serve.

 

Facts about 5 pokémon’s true origin

While we’re waiting for Pokémon: The First Movie to be shown in Cinemateket, just so we can cry about it like we did the first time watching it, I made a list of facts about 5 Pokémon’s origin. Not the kind of facts like Gastly not having arms and still be able to learn Ice Punch, I’m talking about a majestic Dragonair evolving into a sloppy Dragonite and why Ash is always ten. I’ll explain the Dratini evolutionary line in this article, but wait for the next article where I’ll write about 5 disturbing facts about Pokémon to find out why Ash is always ten. So tune in next week, or stay ten!

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Jynx

Ok, so everyone probably thought Jynx was based on fashionable black women, because she was black in the first generation. The Pokémon Company ended up in big trouble because someone actually filed a complaint about this character. But did you know that Jynx is based off on a Japanese snow hag called Yuki-Onna? She’s like a Japanese version of Queen Elsa from Disney’s Frozen, but Yuki-Onna’s tale is a lot darker. Some legends say that Yuki-Onna, much like Jynx, doesn’t have feet and she wanders around on snowy mountains looking for young men. She then asks the men to carry her and then she freezes them to death. This would also explain Jynx’s ice-powers and psychic abilities. Yuki-Onna might be evil,but in the Anime Jynx is actually Santa’s helper!

Seviper

Did you know that Seviper was supposed to be the fully evolved form of Ekans? It was shown in the 77th episode of Advanced Generations during the Trainer’s Choice that this could be the case, but most fans just deemed it wrong because they didn’t know. This is confirmed in its early designs, its eyes were different. The shape of its body totally reminds us of Arbok, while the hexagons on its back is kept on the Seviper we know today. Another thing that proves it was in the same evolutionary line as Ekans and Arbok, are its divided sections underneath it. Game Freak changed it so it could be rivals with Zangoose instead just like mongooses and hubu vipers, because they thought it would be weird if Zangoose didn’t have an evolutionary line.

Mareep

 

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Mareep

Not only does its name reference to Mary’s little lamb while it is combined with sheep, its name is also an anagram of Ampere, the SI-unit of electric current! Mareep and its evolutionary line might be based on Philip K. Dick’s famous science fiction novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, but Mareep itself has golden fleece because of Jason’s Golden Fleece from Greek and Roman Mythology. Originally the Golden Fleece didn’t do much except guaranteeing Jason the throne, but in Rick Riordan’s book, The Sea of Monsters, it had healing abilities and is used to recover Thalia’s Tree, the tree that protects the camp. What’s cool about this is that Mareep learns Cotton Guard as it levels up, a grass type move that raises the user’s defense!

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Arcanine

Did you know that originally Arcanine was in the legendary trio with Articuno and Zapdos. On a tablet behind the counter in Viridian City Pokémon Center, Arcanine was shown with the three legendary birds of Kanto. What on earth was it doing there? The fact is, it can actually fly. Yes, it’s legs aren’t even on the earth because when Arcanine runs, according to the pokédex, “it runs aegily as if on wings”. So why isn’t Arcanine a legendary Pokémon? Arcanine was downgraded to only being species legendary, because Game Freak thought it would be weird having two birds and a dog. So they gave Arcanine a pre-evolution and replaced him with Moltres.

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Dragonair

Dragonair’s backstory is about a tiny girl that is discovered by a bamboo cutter, INSIDE OF A FRIGGIN BAMBOO!! Believing she’s a gift from the above, he and his wife adopts this little girl and she grows rapidly every day becoming more and more beautiful. They call her Kaguya, princess in Japanese, and as the days go by her parents find richness in various bamboos just like how they found her, but the story takes a drastic turn when a king has taken notice of her, and the the mood saddens for everyone when she reveals she is from THE MOON!! She then begs her parents of help to go back to the moon, and confesses that she has grown very attached to the earth. Imagine not only being rejected by a girl, but she tells everyone she is an alien just to get away from you!

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Find out exactly how she is related to Dragonair by watching her Studio Ghibli produced movie, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, at Cinemateket October the 12th 16:00. I’ll be there so be sure to talk to me if still don’t get it and I’ll explain everything to you!! :D

Steven W. Hailstone

 

 

Poke a Pokemon

FilmFraSør has a thing going on where they’ll show Pokémon: The First Movie on the big screen at Cinemateket in Oslo 12th of October, and therefore Mangapolis will be featuring a few articles on Pokémon until that happens! And I thought what better way to write an article about Pokémon than to talk about the upcoming remakes of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire.
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A lot of people probably remember these games; they were the biggest thing when they came out. A lot of changes happened to the game. Pokémon finally had colors, double battles, abilities and natures. Genders were no longer based on the attack IV, which allowed females to be as strong as men. Yaay, equality for both genders.

Ancient Devolution!
If you’ve been keeping an eye on OmegaRuby and Alpha Sapphire, you might have heard about the Mega forms of Groudon and Kyogre, Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre. This could explain the dark, mysterious area above Lilycove City that looks like distortion world. Game Freak have never brought back a map from the older games since Gold and Silver where you could visit Kanto, so they wouldn’t do that here, but this could mean that OR/AS is set back in time! Usually the games are set two years apart from eachother, but what if you could travel back in time to when Groudon and Kyogre’s legendary and … groundbreaking fight took place?

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Mirage Island
Remember that crazy old dude in Pacifidlog City that never saw an island? It was said that this island hosted the Liechi Berry, a berry known for its excellent use in blending and poffin making. In later generations it’s been easier to get a hold of this berry. Look at the clouds at the bottom right, do you see what island could be hiding there? That’s right; once again you’ll get the chance to NOT finding goddamn island, but now in 3D!
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To The Moon And Beyond!

A rumour back in the days said that if you waited until one of the scientists in Mossdeep City told you there had been 99 successful launches you would get to travel to the moon to catch the legendary pokémon Deoxys or Jirachi. Now it seems like it could be a thing, because the trailer from E3 features a big rocket ready for launch!

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And what about this weird path? It could be the path that leads up to Champion Steven that took forever in the original games. Whatever it leads to in the upcoming games, it’s in 3D!

Warrior Legend Interview

Link to English version here.

Warrior Legend, Norges svar på en mangasatsing, eller bare en hobby med kvaliteter?

For å følge opp posten jeg la ut her forrige uke om Warrior Legend har jeg fått til et kort intervju med Rising fra prosjektet.

Bakgrunnen til Warrior Legend er rett og slett ren interesse innenfor tegneserier, tegning og fortelling. Prosjektet er en tegneserie som er basert på japansk tegnestil, manga som det heter i bokform der borte, men med en egen tvist!

Gutta bak prosjektet kaller seg selv Rising og Red Lion, prosjektet deres har allerede pågått en årrekke internt dem imellom.

Warrior Legend tar mye tid, men manus er ferdig og karaktergalleriet er så si fastsatt, det er selve produksjonen som gjenstår. Hvor dette vil ta veien blir en interessant ting å se. Rising og Red Lion har valg å lage og skrive WL på engelsk, for å ivareta fortellermåten de har bygd historien på.

Rising som er hovedansvarlig for prosjektet nå, ha har en blogg der han oppdater jevnlig om prosjektet. Der legges det opp blant annet karakterskisser, tegninger og andre ting relatert til Warrior Legend som du kan sjekke ut på linken under.

Besøk: www.RisingDesignWorks.blogspot.com

Så første spørsmål, hva handler dette egentlig om?

Rising: Dette er en fantasihistorie som foregår i en fiksjonell verden veldig lik vår egen tilbake i middelalderen med en egen touch. Historien tar hovedsakelig for seg hovedpersonen Ozias. Ozias vokser opp i en velstående by, Augo, men som samtidig er svært lukket og vanskelig for han siden Ozias ikke opprinnelig er fra Augo og han drømmer om å utforske mer av verden enn bare byen han bor i. En dag skjer det store forandringer da hele verden blir utsatt for en katastrofe; Augo blir utsatt for et angrep. Dette  angrepet fører da videre til at Ozias havner i en situasjon hvor seriens hovedfiende truer hele den verden Ozias kjenner til! Ozias har spesielle evner som han oppdager underveis som vil hjelpe han på veien.

Hvorfor heter det Warrior Legend?

Rising: Vel det er av forskjellige betydninger, men man vil lett forstå det når man kommer et par kapitler inn i historien. Noe av hemligheten ligger allerede i logoen, men er vanskelig å tolke om du ikke har lest historien! Men det er jo noen i serien som må være en Warrior!

Hva er målet med prosjektet?

Rising: Målet er å gi en manga som vi skal gi ut gratis til å begynne med for å fange folks interesse. Hva som skjer fremover er vanskelig å si, bortsett fra at vi kommer til å jobbe med dette, det føles ikke bare lenger som bare en hobby men en storsatsing. Vi mener vi har en såpass bra og gjennomført historie som andre faktisk burde lese og oppleve!

Når regner dere med å være helt ferdig, når kan vi se resultat?

Rising: Vanskelig å si det, og kommer helt an på tiden og resultatene, men WL er delt opp i 14 kapitler. Målet, innen året 2014 er over, er å være ferdig med kapitel 1. I løpet av 2015 så burde en god del mer være gjort, men en slik produksjon tar sin tid. Sjekk ut bloggen så vil det komme dato på ting der når den tid kommer.

Hvordan fungere bloggen som kanal for prosjektet?

Det er hovedsakelig en nettsideside for meg personlig til å promotere det jeg driver med, men det har jo hovedfokuset på dette prosjektet, siden det er det jeg driver med om dagene. Det hender at jeg slenger opp noe annet fra tid til annen.

Tid, det forstår jeg, dere er bare to stykker, stemmer det? Hvordan fungerer det på noe så omfattende?

Rising: Vel det har gått veldig bra hittil, Red Lion er min barndomsvenn og vi har alltid delt disse interessene sammen ved å lage noe slikt som dette, så samarbeid er ikke noe problem. Ja prosjektet har tatt mye tid og det er det jeg føler har gjort det så bra også, for da blir alt mye mer gjennomført.

Driver dere med dette på fulltid?

Rising: Vi begge har jobbet med dette prosjektet ved siden av våre liv og fulltidsjobber. Red Lion kommer til i en periode nå å fungere som assistent og rådgiver mens jeg står for hovedproduksjonen av mangaen. Inntil videre.  Men på fulltid hadde vært drømmen.

Stemmer det at det er mer bak Warrior Legend enn disse 14 kapitelene? Du har nevnt for meg at dette “bare” er en forhistorie til en annen historie!?

Rising: Ja det er det, jeg vil ikke fortelle hva det bygger opp til, men Warrior Legend foregår 800år før noe annet! Jeg vil ikke at folk skal tenke på Warrior Legend som en forløper til noe annet, det er bare noe som har hendt tidligere.

Noe du vil si til de som har lest dette intervjuet og kanskje fanget interesse for WL?

Rising: Vel, først vil jeg takke for at de har lest alt dette, for at de kanskje går inn på bloggen og følger med på hva som skjer fremover og gleder seg like mye som oss til at dette kommer ut!

Det kommer til å bli postet mer om Warrior Legend her i løpet av kort tid så, følg med på Mangapolis.com eller bloggen min.

Let´s talk anime with Aya Suzuki

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At this years annual Frame by Frame animation seminar in Oslo one of the guests were Aya Suzuki, a british-japanese animator, that gave us a talk about her experiences working on anime in Japan. Aya has had the pleasure of working with both Hayao Miyazaki and Mamoru Hosoda on such films as The Wind Rises and Wolf Children.

Mangapolis didn´t miss the opportunity to have a chat with Aya Suzuki. Quite naturally the conversation started off with Hayao Miyazaki and Mamoru Hosoda; how many times do you talk to anyone that has worked with the two names anyway? The topic had to come up at some point, and there can´t be a better topic to break the ice.

Having worked with both of the famous directors Suzuki could tell that Miyazaki and Hosoda couldn´t be more different in the way they work. Where Miyazaki likes to have full control and is involved in all the stages and aspects of the movie; Hosoda manage to rely more on the people around him and he trust them to do their part. Miyazaki will redo everything himself if he´s not satisfied; while Hosoda gives animators a very brief instructions of what he wants, and trust the animators to produce the best possible result.

Aya Suzuki´s dream to become an animator started when she was a teenager. In Japan “everybody” watch anime and the interest doesn´t end in childhood. While in Europe most people will stop watching animated series when they enter the teenage years the Japanese has a completely different culture; there is an anime aimed at all ages, so when you grow out of one series, there is always another waiting. In Japan no one ever has the chance to grow out of anime, it´s a brilliant business strategy, Suzuki laughs.

Of the animators between the age of twenty and thirty the majority are female animators, but the numbers even out as many of the female animators marry and “retire” as they enter their thirties. Suzuki feels that Miyazaki´s movies influenced both girls and boys of her generation in a great way; so Suzuki was not the only one that developed a dream of becoming an animator.

Every animator has his or hers speciality within animation, Suzuki reveals, there are basically two main categories that animators fall into: There are those that grew up with Bruce Lee movies (she smiles as she says this) and are extremely good at animating action scenes. For those in this category action scenes comes naturally and they master the movement of the action like they are choreographing a dance. But usually the same animators come short when asked to do “every-day scenes”; these scenes are the other category where Aya Suzuki feels more comfortable.

There are those animators that can master both categories like Takeshi Honda and Toshiyuki Inoue.

Aya Suzuki tries to challenge herself and develop as an animator by taking on projects where she has to animate action. Even though she claims that action scenes is not her speciality I was extremely impressed by her action scene from Death Billiards (2013) that she screened at the Frame by Frame seminar.

Like most animators in Japan Aya Suzuki works as a freelance and has been involved on many different projects for many different studios. At the same time is very usual for freelance animators to work exclusively for one studio even though they are not directly employed by them. It is extremely hard to get into the big studios, like Studio Ghibli, and it is impossible to get a job there by normal means. You will have to be recommended by someone.

Suzuki was recommended to join the team working on Wolf Children because she had worked on Sylvan Chomet´s The Illusionist which is a movie Hosoda happens to be influenced by. And from there she was recommended to other studios, and this is the usual arrangement between the big studios in Japan, Suzuki says. To be recommended by one studio is a sign of quality and in this way freelance animators can jump between the studios.

These days Aya Suzuki has a permanent job in Europe on the weekdays and works as a freelance from her bedroom in London in the weekends. She has often planed that she will have to say no when they call from Japan, but usually she somehow ends up accepting more projects instead. There is always some project that sound tempting, she laughs.

How The Wind Rises Inspired Me

The Wind Rises is the movie about Miyazaki´s favourite topics: Planes! Now, I am no airplane buff, so I can only imagine how good this movie is to those that are! The details in this movie really make me wish I knew more about planes so that I could appreciate all the amazing planes and engines and all that stuff.

That is why, after seeing the movie, I wanted to do a little bit of research on the subject. I wanted to see if the planes depicted in the movie was actual planes that had existed. I knew the Zero had existed of course (I was not asleep in history class), but I noticed a lot of other planes that were in the movie that I had never heard of, or recognised, so this got me interested. As I am a huge fan of steam punk these pre-jet engine planes appealed to me. That is all the excuse I need to dedicate an evening to this. So, “TO THE INTERNETS”, i cried and jump-started my google search engine set to image search. Engage!

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Fun Fact:Studio Ghibli is actually named after the Caproni Ca.309 Ghibli World War II fighter aircraft designed by the very same Caproni that Jiro meets in the movie.

All the scenes with the italian aviator Caproni shows off some really funny-looking planes from an early and experiential phase in the history of aviation (between 1910-1920). The Great War gave aviators new possibilities through military funding that spawned a lot of experimental designs (some more successful than others).

In the movie Caproni comes flying in on a really strange looking aircraft that I can´t believe would even fly, but the plane is an actual plane designed by Caproni, the Caproni Ca.31. And it flew (even though the first version of it, the Ca.1 model, crashed on its maiden flight)!

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I can´t help to notice a little detail in the background in one of the scenes where Jiro and Caproni walks on the wings of the Ca.60; you can see a plane that looks similar in design as the planes from Porco Rosso.

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Maybe this is just me reading to much into it tho. If I knew more about planes I would probably know the references (if there is any).

The Caproni Ca.48 was a bomber plane designed by Caproni in 1917/18 and was another plane that you would not believe could fly when you look at it.

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I think the only plane that flies in the movie (in a dream mind you) that never flew in reality is the Ca.60 model. And it never reached past a prototype. But check that out; MADNESS, it could never fly!

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I can honestly say that I now know a little bit more about planes now that I have seen The Wind Rises and after it inspired me to look further into the world of planes. I still have a long way to go before I am a proper airplane buff, however.

 

Anime at Frame by Frame March 15th at Filmens Hus

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The annual Frame by Frame animation seminar is back at Filmens Hus/Cinemateket March 15th. The great thing about FxF is the intimate and laid-back format of the seminar. A great place to get familiar with the animation industry and to have conversations with both the veterans and rookies in animation. If you have a good idea for an animation and looking for a place to discuss it with those in the industry; FxF is the place for you. Bring your portfolio!

This year Japanese animation is represented by a screening of Miyazaki´s The Wind Rises (2013) and special guest Aya Suzuki. Tickets for the movie is included in the seminar pass.

For those not familiar with Aya Suzuki; she is an animator that has worked on some of the major anime productions in Japan, including The Wind Rises (2013) and Wolf Children (2012) that are both titles which has screened under the Mangapolis Anime Programme at Films from the South.

Please check out Aya´s blog here.

Together with Films from the South we at Mangapolis will hold an interview with Aya Suzuki that will be posted both at this site and over at filmfrasor.no. So after you meet her at FxF you get another chance to know more about her in our interview.

Oh yeah, before I forget to mention it; Lars Hemmingby will hold a short presentation of the Mangapolis Comic at FxF. A showcase of concept art from the horror-gothic-steam punk-weird science-film noiresque-murder mystery-zombie-extravaganza-o-rama-tron-o-matic that is Mangapolis: The Comic.

Frame by Frame poster by Christopher Nielsen

 

Wolf Children To-Do List

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As hinted at in the previous post Film fra Sør Distribusjon has decided to distribute Wolf Children for the big screen in Norway. And the movie is already ready for screenings in Bergen, Trondheim and Oslo from the November 15th 2013, with more norwegian cities pending.

Firstly, one of the reasons Films from the South decided to distribute Wolf Children at all was because the incredible reception the movie has enjoyed at Films from the South Festival in 2012 and 2013. So all those that took the time to drop by to watch Wolf Children has indirectly helped the launch of Wolf Children to commercial cinema.

Second, you might not realize this, but if Film fra Sør Distribusjon picked Wolf Children by those criteria, there is no reason not to think that more anime will be picked in the same way in the future if people keep showing interest for anime at film festivals.

Film festivals are the perfect place to test films for the market. And as it stands now the anime films in the Mangapolis program, during Films from the South, has had two great years audience-wise. If this keeps up, we could help more anime films reach commercial cinema in Norway.

Oh yeah, the to-do list:

1. Go see Wolf Children on the big screen to support anime

2. Visit the Wolf Children Norge Facebook page and like it

3. Support anime at your local film festival to help influence the distribution of anime in Norway

Cheers!

 

Mangapolis at Desucon: Cosplay & Japan 2013

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It´s that time again folks! A short report from Desucon: Cosplay & Japan 2013!

This is the second time I have been to Desucon: Cospay in Oslo, some might remember my first visit last year. At this time around my experience at the event would be a bit different. First of all, I had the experience from last year´s Desucon: Cosplay and Desucon 8 this summer, so I felt more prepared. Second, this year I was actually in the official event program with a short presentation of the Mangapolis Anime Program at Films from the South 2013 and also to talk a bit about the recently announced Mangapolis Comic.

Obviously, Desucon being Desucon, I had a whale of a time this year as well! The people were just as friendly and just as awesome as last year, if not even more so. My presentation went swimmingly and I had a great time hanging out in the “Chillrom” during both the drawing competitions.

This year I was accompanied by Frank Nam Kha Nguyễn, that was armed with his camera and as trigger-happy as humanly possible. All photos in this post are all shot by Frank.

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Above is a photo of the “Chillrom” where the drawing competitions took place and where I, for that reason, spent a lot of my time at Desucon: Cosplay. I did not win any of the competitions btw.

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Cosplay Speed Dating in process

The fun thing about Cosplay Speed Dating is that you must stay in character, so better hope you are not paired up with your arch nemesis!

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Some of all the awesome merchandise available at some of the many stands.

One of the main events at Desucon: Cosplay is of course the Desucon Cosplay Championship where the winner will go on to compete in EuroCosplay 2014.

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The three finalists on stage, waiting for the verdict

 

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The winner of Desucon Cosplay Championship that will go on to compete at EuroCosplay 2014 in the form of a Death Knight from World of Warcraft

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The winner announced!

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Master cosplayer and cosplay judge at Desucon: Cosplay, Tine Marie Riis. Here in a Spellthief Lux costume from League of Legends. Check out her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CosplayerTineMarieRiis

At Desu.no you can see even more photos from Desucon: Cosplay and even more costumes to admire. Perhaps you will be inspired to join the Cosplay Championship next year!