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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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daftpunkdvd Daft Punk / Leiji Matsumoto - Interstella 5555

Music DVD Review

Publisher: Virgin

Mon, 15 November 2004

Fazz Profile 01 by: Fazz

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A groundbreaking project, “Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem� is the result of a collaboration between popular French house band Daft Punk, and legendary “Japanimation� director Leiji Matsumoto. It’s the world’s first (to my knowledge) “house musical�, a story set to the soundtrack of Daft Punk’s “Discovery�. For fans of Daft Punk and/or Leiji Matsumoto, this is the Bee’s Knees! It is, simply, one of the greatest ideas ever come to fruition. The music, the action, the story and the characters all come together to create an amazing and new visual/aural experience unlike anything else.

Naturally, you can’t expect a terribly deep storyline or rich characterization from a movie which has no dialogue. Despite being based entirely on the strengths of “Discovery�, “Interstella 5555� has a passable storyline with loveable characters. It’s no deeper than Jamie’s toilet. It’s probably best to just sit back and enjoy the show.
Basically, this is the gist of it: an alien band (nameless in the opening sequence), is kidnapped by an evil manager who turns them into humans and markets them as “The Crescendolls�, the Earth’s newest and greatest pop act. They’ve had their memories wiped, and their alien wardrobes made redundant and their skin changed. Shep, a pilot with a spaceship shaped like a massive guitar, recieves the distress call from the band’s home planet and cruises off for Earth. What follows is a edge-of-your-seat chase, a heroic rescue scene, an untimely death, a gigantic battle and a hero’s return

In fact, the brilliantly effective characterization in “Interstella 5555� is a big part of this film’s appeal. The hero, Shep, is a brilliantly simple character. He goes to the rescue because he’s a huge fan of the band and begins to fall in love with the band’s female guitarist (this scene is realized in a beautifully animated dream-sequence). Basically, most people can identify; we’re cheering for Shep because we can relate to his position. Considering this is, in essence, an hour-long music video that’s quite a feat!

The visuals are absolutely cutting-edge. Created with what was obviously a reasonably large budget (would we expect any less from Daft Punk?), Leiji Matsumoto’s retro-classic characters are brought to life. Visually, this film is awesome. There’s barely a spot of dodgy animation, and the coloring is rich and vibrant. Aurally, if you’re a Daft Punk fan, you’ll love it. What happens on screen so perfectly fits the “Discovery� album, you’ll swear the album and film were written, recorded and animated in one cohesive stage. Daft Punk is widely considered to be “the best House band on the planet�, and rightfully so. What they’ve created here is a fun, enjoyable album that is perfectly blended with another art form.

If you’re a fan of either the band or the director, you won’t need to be told to run out and snap up a copy of this DVD. “Interstella 5555� is wonderfully animated, fun to watch and easy to get into. Anime, while it is quickly becoming “cool�, has never entered the realm of “hip�, which is something completely different. “Interstella 5555� brings anime into the world of celebrities, designer clothes and limousines, and it seems a perfect mix. This film seems to belong somewhere right outside the regular definition of “anime�, it transcends the clichés, but owes a great deal of its success to what came before it.

Video:
This DVD has a flawless visual feel, relatively free of compression artifacts and other associated digital glitches. The Menu System is imaginatively animated displaying various scenes from the film. For an anime film which has been animated using new technology, it retains an innocence and vague familiarity with such classic 80’s Japanese animation as “Astroboy� and “Battle of the Planets�. A visual feast if ever I saw one.

Audio:
Daft Punk. Brilliant. While not being a huge fan of “Dance� music in general, and House in particular, I found this DVD to be one of the more enjoyable anime films I’ve seen in recent years. The soundtrack, as I stated earlier, blends perfectly with the amazing visual landscape that is created.
This DVD features a DTS 5.1 soundtrack, a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and a Dolby Digital Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Special Features:
This DVD has a host of special features including the French and English versions of the film, interactive play, wallpapers, production featurettes and wonderful biographies of both Leiji Matsumoto and Daft Punk. This disk also boasts an impressive array of multiple angles featured in the various video clips and scenes.

Final Verdict:
Utterly awesome! As an idea kicked around by myself in my band days, and, I’m sure, countless others without the finance to realize it, it’s so amazing to see something like this done in such a perfect way. I highly suggest purchasing this DVD. It’s a fresh and worthy addition to any DVD collection.


by: Fazz

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Overall:
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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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