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Games
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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Toons
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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Toons
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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Only Yesterday Anime DVD Cover Only Yesterday. Anime Review

Yesteday, Aussie Ninja's troubles seemed so far away

Publisher: Madman

Sat, 22 September 2007

Aussie_N6 by: Australian Ninja

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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.

Only Yesterday Anime DVD Screen 1
Azure skies and fields of endless green
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 to recapture her life as a ten year old girl. During her train trip to the country she starts reliving memories of her days at school; the awkwardness of adolescence, sibling rivalry and childhood innocence.

This leads Taeko to wonder if the ten year old in her is wiser than her present twenty-seven year old self, and is perhaps trying to tell her something. As she works picking benibana flowers (used for making rouge) and developing new friendships, she reflects on her life thus far and starts to appreciate country living.

She remembers as a child she always wanted to visit the countryside, and was jealous of the other school kids who would visit relatives during the school holidays. Now faced with the reality of a working holiday in the country, she begins to wonder if she could adjust to living this way all the time, as she finds it so refreshing and fulfilling compared to city living. During her stay with her distant relatives she develops new friendships and further reminisces about her childhood, told via more flashbacks that alternate with the present throughout the film.

One reason I particularly enjoyed Only Yesterday, was that it doesn't try to be some fantastical adventure full of excitement - it's more a brief window into Taeko's life, where you get to see the world through her eyes and memories. This contrast's well with the Miyazaki directed high adventure / fantasy films. Isao Takahata's earthy, sentimental style brings a light warmheartedness that on further inspection contains more serious issues. The same could be said of Miyazaki's films, but the differences when watching films directed by the two Anime veterans are subtle, yet obvious.

Only Yesterday Anime DVD Screen 2
Dreamy summer days, the kind that make you feel good to be alive
The trademark small moments and long pauses Studio Ghibli is known for are used to great effect here in this film. Long (sometimes almost static) shots of ordinary things happening (or not happening) lend a slow Zen-like tranquility and peacefulness to the film.

Combined with the soft watercolour style artwork and meticulous detail used in countryside panoramas Only Yesterday immerses you effortlessly into a world and way of life soon to be forgotten due to technological progress.

The simple rural Japan farming lifestyle that provides hard work for the body in a naturally beautiful environment with no room for the mundane to creep in. Set in the early eighties, before modern technology eclipsed traditional farming methods, there is a kind of sentimental (but genuine) sympathy developed for Taeko's character and her desire to experience new things, and find some meaning in her life.

Only Yesterday is a relaxing and hopeful film to watch, that narrowly dodges the 'guy meets girl' romance cliché of many films by giving equal focus to other themes. It's unapologetically sentimental, but in the best kind of way that really pulls at your heart, but not in a manipulative way as it could have been.

This Anime film is another superb effort from Studio Ghibli that I highly recommend. But then I have yet to find a Studio Ghibli film that I would not highly recommend (Here's hoping I don't have to renege on that statement when I review Tales from Earthsea very soon!)


by: Australian Ninja

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More articles by Australian Ninja




Pleasing as much to the eyes as the heart, Only Yesterday is a mature film that will resonate with you at a level most other films can only dream of

Overall:
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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
Futurama
Family Guy
King of the Hill
Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny etc.)
The Flintstones





Toons
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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Toons
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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Toons
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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