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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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Karas V1 Anime Cover Karas. Anime Movie DVD Review

And now for something completely the same...

Publisher: Madman

Sat, 19 May 2007

Aussie_N6 by: Australian Ninja

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I sure do seem to be watching a lot of Anime lately. The sheer number of titles being released these days is just phenomenal. Most of them are pretty darn good too. Joining the masses of 'pretty good' Anime movies is Karas.

This film is full of your typical demon super battles, with humans caught up in the middle. Although this genre of Anime has been done to death, Karas is a fresh take on it and entertains from start to finish. The most notable thing about the film is the visually spectacular animation and lovingly rendered backgrounds and characters. The work put into the visual design for the characters and the city they inhabit really paid off.

Karas V1 Anime Screen 1
*sigh* Memories of Tron.
Basically 'Karas' is a type of warrior who protects our world from demons. Being an action Anime film, there are plenty of demons to behold in this intense action packed gorgeously animated feature.

Karas is a role that has passed to many people - just think of The Phantom; same costume, different person. The abilities of a Karas seem to be limited only by his imagination. He seemingly gets all his abilities from the Karas suit of armour, which has a Samurai like appearance.
If you think of Green Lantern he has only that one power ring, but can create virtually anything with it - or emulate any other super-power - that's what Karas' abilities reminded me of.
In addition to having nearly unlimited powers, a Karas can also transform into a jet-like vehicle to travel at crazy speeds, leading to some incredible cat and mouse sequences with Karas tearing through buildings and flying around the city.

While the story is not overly complex, I watched the film several times to get a better idea of what it was about. It all makes sense when you watch it, but then when it came to writing about it, it just made my brain hurt trying to remember what happened. Yes, it was Anime Amnesia. A rare condition I've learned to live with.

So Karas hunts and kills Demons. Demons that like to feast on human blood. The humans don't survive; they die screaming in an agonising death.
Demons bad. Karas good. Simple enough. Only it's not that simple, some demons are having a change of heart about their vocation [Do they have hearts? I'm not getting close enough to find out]. They have decided not to kill humans. One demon in particular, he stays in human form and actively goes around looking for other demons and kicks their asses. Plus he has cool shades and golden revolvers. When you're a demon who owns sweet golden revolvers and wears stylish sunglasses, your profession as an ass-kicker is pretty much locked in - so don't bother going to the demon guidance counsellor.

Karas V1 Anime Screen 2
...And then this dude totally flipped out like a ninja and killed the badass other dude and then his head like totally exploded
The story focuses on the various battles of Karas with evil demons, the sub-story of the good rogue demon who hunts other demons, and the detectives investigating the whole hullabaloo - in this case being a series or rapidly escalating events that leave a trail of blood drained corpses.

Add to the mix Karas' female guide and watcher-type - who motivates him to kill the demons until they are dead, and you have some interesting characters and intriguing story elements. The man in the Karas armour is at times confused about his role, the watcher girl has a black and white 'kill all demons' philosophy. However when a young sprite-like demon girl calls on Karas to stop his demon slaughter rampage, he lets a big ugly demon go for the first time and questions his actions and role as a Karas.

While the story is really enjoyable, I never got into it enough to care about any of the characters. And I watched it three times. So it's good, just not that good. The tension builds up nicely. The special animation effects and pyrotechnics are awesome. The battles are spectacular, but ultimately the film ends in a rather unsatisfactory manner with just another Demon vs. Karas battle - you'd almost expect a "to be continued" afterward but there 'aint one. Just battle, credits,
Bam! Film over, I just knocked it down a notch.

by: Australian Ninja

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More articles by Australian Ninja

Amazing action heavy battles and gorgeous animation all around. An enjoyable high quality film that could do with a sequel to expand the story and character development.

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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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