A podcast created to highlight and discuss all things gaming and nerdy.
Friend, fellow podcaster and hidden media genius, Andrew Alliance of The Show Radio podcast returns for another great chat. We catch up on what he’s been up to, his thoughts on changing media, new and favorite tech , discuss his brilliant blog post about Life Hacks, what games he’s currently playing and What it was like getting some hands on experience with the new Nintendo Switch.
Wicked City- 1987
My brothers and I had crates filled with all manner of VHS tapes of anime, kung fu and a host of other random Japanese and Chinese films. Most of them are still in my parent’s basement back in New York but the one that I miss the most and remember losing in recent years was Wicked City. In this dark fantasy anime, you’re thrusted into a world where a peace treaty between humans and demons has been in effect for almost a thousand years. The story follows a human, Taki Renzaburo and his partner of sorts, the beautiful demon Makie, as they’re charged with protecting a diplomat nearing the renewal of the peace treaty. However, an entire world of demons and assassins (some human) are doing all they can to see that peace is never renewed between the human world and the dark realm.
Fist of the north star (Hokuto no ken)- 1988
Fist of the North Star is the corner stone of many and almost certain to be at least in the top 10 of any serious otaku. The story takes place in a desolate post nuclear war ravaged world, where at any moment you can die from drinking eradiated water, run over by savage motorcycle gangs or beaten then eaten by anyone of the countless psychos or mutants. This tale centers on Kenshiro, the one true successor of the deadly martial art known as Hokuto Shinken, A fighting style that gives him the power to kill with a simple touch. As ken walks the desolate lands seeking justice for the weak, he’s haunted by visions of his lost love yuria and the death of his master at the hands of his own brother, Raoh. All the while being hunted by armies of mutants, challengers and assassins sent by his brothers, who all seek to take the mantel of the fist of the North Star for themselves.
Ghost In The Shell- (film-1995)
I can’t even tell you guys how many times I’ve seen this film. Though I haven’t watched it much in recent years, ghost in the shell remains at the forefront of my mind whenever asked or just talking about anime in general. Aside from the step up in quality of art and rendering of the 80’s into early 90’s, ghost in the shell has one of the best intro sequences I’ve ever seen on film. In the near technological dystopian future where almost every human is a now a cyborg or extensively enhanced-The story follows Maj. Motoko Kusanagi as she and her small band of enhanced federal agents hunt down the notorious “Puppet Master”, an international terrorist hacking into the minds of cyborgs and enhanced humans alike. Using this method, the puppet master is able to create a vast yet elusive network of terrorist. But after a brief run in with the puppet master, Maj. Kusanagi is left pondering not only her identity and existence but also the reality in which we all exist.
Ninja Scroll- 1993
Much like fist of the north star- Ninja Scroll is one of those anime almost everyone has seen, love/loved and certainly makes many a top 10 lists. In this much beloved film, we are following the travels and unfortunate events surrounding Jubei Kibagami, A highly skilled ninja without a clan. After being poisoned by government spy Dakuan, Jubei is forced into the middle of a massive attempt to take over the government and murder the shogun. While doing what needs to be done to receive the cure for the poison, Jubei finds that his old friend and clan member, Himuro Gemma (thought dead) is actually alive and the true force behind the government takeover and attempt on the shoguns life. Upon learning this, things get very personal for Jubei. Accompanied by Kagero, the official food taster of the Mochizuki clans chamberlain and his coercer, Dakuan- the trio set out to stop the takeover and destroy one the most powerful group of assassins. THE EIGHT DEVILS OF KIMON!
I can’t remember how I learned about this anime but it has turned out to be one of my favorites in recent years. Hellsing centers on The Royal Order Of Protestant Knights and their most powerful weapon against evil, Alucard, the first and most powerful vampire. Things are set in motion when the frequency of ultra violent crimes happening all over the world appear to be connected, the connection turns out to be vampires. The Hellsing organization sets out to investigate and find themselves up against the remnants of a neo-Nazi super group called Millennium. Working in the shadows for years, they have been secretly experimenting, infecting and creating rabid hordes of ghouls and synthetic vampires in an attempt to wage war and regain the glory of their fallen empire- The Third Reich! Employing every available weapon and strategy they can, even the occult and dark arts. The only thing that standing in their way is Hellsing, Alucard, an old clean up man named Walter and a young recently turned vampire named Ceras.
Cowboy Bebop- Series (1998)
Bebop is probably one of the most well known yet underrated anime series. Yes, it’s “known” but most people would more likely say they’ve heard of it than have actually seen it. The story revolves around a rag-tag group of bounty hunters, headed up by Spike Spiegel, an exiled hitman, his partner jet black, Faye valentine, Edward Wong and Ein, a rocket raccoon like genetically altered corgi. The crew hunts down bounties in world where just a few years after a massive space travel incident made earth uninhabitable, mankind has fled to the out-lying planets. Due the massive exodus, space piracy as well as all manner of crime begins to spike; growing beyond the control for the present law enforcement agency the ISSP (Inter Solar System Police), they make a radical decision by creating a legalized bounty contract system. That’s where our protagonist come in, chasing bounties, making money, being anti-heroes all the while their rambunctious leader Spike deals with issues from his past coming back to kill him.
Flame of Recca- Rekka no hono (1997)
The flame of recca is an awesome story of self-discovery and friendship. The story follows Recca Hanabishi, a young man who’s interested in becoming a ninja. Though he’s not truly ninja, recca likes to boast publicly that he is and anyone who defeats him earns his loyal service as a ninja. Recca eventually pledges his service to Yanagi Sakoshita, a young lady with immeasurable kindness, compassion and powers to heal. Through this meeting and connection, recca discovers he’s truly ninja, a descendant of the leader of the Hokage, a once noble and powerful clan that was dismantled by the shogun Oda Nobunaga. On his journey of self-discovery, recca also learns of the mystical powers of his clan and dormant elemental powers that lay within him.
Ronin Warriors- Yoroiden samurai troopers (1988)
I can still remember all those red-eyed early mornings I would wake up at 6am to make sure I catch this show. Though Short lived, running for only one season, ronin warriors were on the best anime of the late 80’s (in my opinion) and inspired a host of later anime. The premise was straight forward, five warriors, Ryo, Sage, Cye, Kento and Rowen assisted by teacher and mystical monk try to stop demon overlord Talpa on his quest to conquer, destroy and subjugate all of humanity.
Princess Mononoke (1997)
Princess Mononoke is one of those films that both the hardcore and casual anime fans love equally. Though myself and many other may view it as a copy of an earlier American animated film, Fern Gully- Princess Mononoke removes itself from that comparison in terms of action, visuals and bit more mature content within the telling of the story. In this tale, taking place in the muromadi period, a demon boar god attacks a village; prince Ashitaka kills the creature but is accidentally infected and becomes corrupted when the demons blood comes in contact with his skin. At first the corruption bestows superhuman abilities on Ashitaka but things rapidly take a turn when he realizes the infection is also slowly killing him, this sets the prince on a journey to find a possible cure. Ashitaka then meets Jiko-bo, a monk that tells him of a great forest spirit that can help him. However, Ashitaka runs into the reclusive forest princess, Mononoke. Upon meeting her, his journey takes a turn as they join forces to stop the death of sacred forest and all its inhabitants, including the forest god capable of healing him.