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GamelogoBy Australian Ninja

Remnants & Relics. Buttonhole *Special* Feature

Welcome dear reader to Remnants & Relics, the first in an ongoing series of features looking back at various aspects of yesterday's video games. This series is one that I'd hoped to kick off many months ago, but I just haven't had the time to do it justice, until now. So consider this your opportunity to put on your best pair or rose-tinted glasses, open up a luke-warm can of clichés and prepare to hop aboard the way-back-machine.... It came from beyond two dimensions! -A Look Back at Isometric Gaming-

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ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

ACMI Day Tripper

Welcome Buttonhole readers to another feature that is so choc-full of goodness that I've divided it into several sections. The top half is about the Indy video games showcased at ACMI. The bottom half is about the Pixar exhibit. It's ridiculously long and all terribly interesting to read, so you may as well read it in two halves, or just the parts that interest you. After reading about the ACMI exhibits on their website and getting more than a little excited, I decided to make the perilous trek to inner Melbourne. With time on my side and money stuffed in my pocket I ventured forth to the train station. Once on board I passed the time by staring out the window, reading a volume of Dark Horse's Concrete and snacking on tasty fruit. Arriving at Flinders St, I wandered around until inevitably finding my way out of the rat-maze like station.

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ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

Classic Comic-book Review. Kraven's Last Hunt

"Here lies Spider-Man - Slain by the Hunter" So reads the grave of one of histories greatest superheros. "But he's not dead, is he? What happened to everyone's favourite web-slinger? Spidey seems to be alive and well now, what with his three movie deal and a string of monthly Marvel comic-book titles to his name, so why was he buried six feet under? The year is 1987. The company is Marvel. The character is Sergei Kravinov also known as 'Kraven the Hunter.' Back in the 60's Stan and Steve (Lee and Ditko, respectively) churned out a heap of cool villains for the title "Amazing Spider-Man." Doctor Octopus, The Cham

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She: The Ultimate Weapon DVD Cover She: The Ultimate Weapon. Anime DVD Review

Wha, er, ah, huh, Why am I on a Japanese Box?

Publisher: Madman

Sun, 29 April 2007

Ichibod Profile Pic_JDEPP by: ichibod

Welcome back everyone to Uncle Ichibod's world of Anime.
Today's taste from our friends at Madman is She: the Ultimate Weapon - Another Love Song.

Now I Know this is kind of lazy (actually it's very lazy but I just ate lunch and you know you are supposed to wait 30 mins before operating a keyboard) but I think the best way to give you a quick overview of STUW is to just regurgitate the blurb on the DVD jacket....

"Chise is a cute and delicate teenage girl who was transformed into the Ultimate Weapon, even though she wants nothing more than to be a normal girl in love. As the war escalates, we see more of the fearsome destruction inflicted by her on both enemy and friend alike, and we meet the cold-hearted Commander Mizuki, an earlier, less powerful version of the weapon Chise has become."

Again I am confronted with that problem of watching only a small part of a complete series that leaves me wondering what I missed and what is to come. But that is the pull of any half decent Anime! Hook the viewer and then make them part with serious amounts of cash to see the complete series.
[Ninja's Note: He's right folks, Anime keeps stealing my money. It's like a drug, you always need more.]

She: The Ultimate Weapon Screen 1
You know what would be weird? If we were really fictional characters and people wrote amusing captions about us.
"What! - Are you high?"
Any good series will leave you salivating at the end of each disk for the next release. Or if you're lucky enough to purchase a complete box set you wonder just how you can watch all six disks at once and still remember what the hell just happened.

Enough of my complaining and back to the subject at hand.

Scratch the surface of what at first would appear to be a run of the mill action heavy show (laced with fan service) but surprisingly it falls deep into a big statement on love and War.

Chise (pronounced Chesay or as I was prone to calling her Cheesy) our main character is torn between her ever increasing destructive powers and her love for her school sweetheart. She has little control over how she is being used in a major military campaign that sees her battle not only enemy and friendly forces, but her own will to exist. "I must kill before I am killed"
Little is said about the conflict the characters are thrown into. Who is attacking? Why are they attacking? These questions become meaningless in the sheer senselessness of war.

The beginning of this DVD introduces us to another 'Ultimate Weapon' in the form of Commander Mizuki. She is a hardened soldier that experienced the loss of her unit in an earlier conflict. At a point close to death Mizuki chooses to become an Ultimate Weapon test subject.

Although when we are introduced to Commander Mizuki it becomes painfully obvious that she is close to end of her role as an Ultimate Weapon. Chise on the other hand is a young innocent school girl that would not appear in any way shape or form to suit the model for an Ultimate Weapon.
Very little is said about how Chise became the Ultimate Weapon in the first place. Although we are constantly reminded of her fragile state of mind as her destructive abilities increase. She is closely monitored by a crack team of military men and scientists and if you like spoilers, - then look elsewhere - ha ha, got you!

But seriously I have read up on some of the sub characters and their involvement in this series, and seen how they move into some very serious roles.

One thing I'd like to mention from STUW is the fact that there is a character called Shinji or Shuji (I really should have written that down) and a character called Tetsu or Tetsuo. Now is it just me or does just about every Anime that has come out in the last 20 years have at least one character called Shinji, Shuji, Tetsu or Tetsuo? SMS your answers now!

She: The Ultimate Weapon Screen 2
I'm your privaaate dancer, your daaanncer for money....
I am definitely hooked on She: The Ultimate Weapon and can't wait to watch the whole series (cue the cash register cha-ching, cha-ching noises from Madman).

Possibly that's why Madman send these wonderful DVDs my way to tease me with just a sniff of what could be. Then they wait patiently for me to work my butt off to afford to buy the next volumes in the series!
My house is now built from Anime DVD covers (a more deluxe version of the cardboard box).

She: The Ultimate Weapon is one property to watch. It's a slow burning series that will deliver the goods to those that wait. All good Anime fans know that you can't give it all away in just one DVD.

Hell sometimes they don't even give it away in the whole series and release a movie after the series has been released that actually changes the ending of the series! (See Evangelion / the End of Evangelion)

STUW really is what fans of the action / war style of Anime will love, with just a few science fiction elements to enthral people like me. Throw in some big words that people like to hear, and then use them in sentences that we don't actually understand but can nod our heads to respectfully - hoping to appear more intellectual than we really are.

Visually STUW did not stand out from the crowd. Although a great use of darker shading mixed in with very bright visuals helped to express the play of light and dark, good and evil. There are definitely Animes with better presentation out there.
But take nothing away from STUW, what it may lack in the visual experience it more than makes up for in the story department. With the boom in Anime productions reaching our shores, thanks in no small part to Madman, there is also an influx of Animes that lack a lot of credentials in the story department.

Before I finish I must put in my new favourite tag line that I have stolen from Chise: "I am a demon, I am a monster, I am death"

by: ichibod

More articles by ichibod

Enjoyable story and great action. I'm hooked!

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More Toons

Q&A with Handy
Tales from Earthsea. Anime DVD Review
Armageddon Expo '07 Report
Le Chevalier D'Eon V1. Anime DVD Review
Manifest '07 Report

Which of these animated shows is the funniest?
The Simpsons
South Park
Family Guy
King of the Hill
Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny etc.)
The Flintstones

ToonlogoBy Borgieman

Manifest '07 Report

Ninja's note: Once again, it's time for another Buttonhole report on the Melbourne Anime Festival, otherwise known as Manifest 2007. If you missed Ichibod's feature on a previous Manifest, check it out here. This Manifest coverage comes to you courtesy of forum regular and newest Buttonhole contributor Borgieman, a cool guy who knows his Anime and has been known to play a video game or two. So read on true believers! A Day at Manifest 2007

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ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

Only Yesterday. Anime Review

The problem with having favourite films is that every time I watch another Studio Ghibli film it becomes my new favourite. It kind of renders the word 'favourite' meaningless when every Studio Ghibli film takes my breath away. Still, I can't complain about being thoroughly entertained by this whimsical and insightful film, "Only Yesterday". This gem was directed by Isao Takahata, well known for his anime film Grave of the Fireflies. Although Only Yesterday is a light hearted film that ambles along at a leisurely pace, it still manages to explore themes such as love, work, family relationship struggles, following your dreams and country versus city living. In the film, the main character Taeko decides to take a working vacation in the country, getting away from her office bound job and unexpectedly starts t

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ToonlogoBy Jason

Speed Grapher V1. Anime Review

Well, "I don't like it" was my initial feeling when viewing this Anime for the first time. Subsequent viewings haven't changed my views a great deal. Nothing really stands out as being absolute shit but it seems that this series tries too hard. It's almost like they were more interested in creating something 'edgy' and confronting but sadly forgot to include an even remotely palatable story. The hero of this particular piece is a bloke called Tatsumi Saiga. Tatsumi is a photographer and a veteran war journalist for whom taking photos has become somewhat of a fetish. Although he seems to have become jaded - nothing is worth wasting his film on - that is, at least until he stumbles across an exclusive club for the mega rich

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