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Niina Doherty

Introduction to Japanese Cyberpunk

Cyberpunk is an offshoot of science fiction, usually set in a dystopian future with a focus on “low life-high tech”; advanced technology in contrast with dire living conditions, pollution and social disorder. The genre has it’s beginning in the 1960’s and 1970’s with authors like Phillip K. Dick, Roger Zelazny and J. G. Ballard taking science fiction to darker paths …

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Film Review: All About Lily Chou-Chou (Riri Shushu no subete) (2001)

Rate This Movie SYNOPSIS: The problematic lives of teenager students for whom the singer Lily Chou-Chou’s dreamy music is the only way to escape an alienating, violent and insensitive society. REVIEW: Let me start by stating that this is not a horror film. For those familiar with Shunji Iwai’s previous works this comes as no surprise, as he has a …

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Film Review: Noroi: The Curse (Noroi) (2005)

Rate This Movie SYNOPSIS: A documentary filmmaker explores seemingly unrelated paranormal incidents connected by the legend of an ancient demon called the “kagutaba.” REVIEW: The name Koji Shiraishi is pretty much as synonymous with J-horror as Hideo Nakata or Takashi Shimizu. The film he seems to be best known for here in the west might be one of extreme violence …

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Film Review: Mail (2004)

Rate This Movie SYNOPSIS: A detective and his assistant help send restless spirits into the spiritual world. REVIEW: Based on the three volume manga series by Housui Yamazaki, Mail is a supernatural action drama by the director Iwao Takahashi. It follows detective Akiba (Takamasa Suga) who together with his Assistant Mikoto (Chiaki Kuriyama) goes around helping people who find themselves …

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Film Review: The Last Coffin (Saigo no Hitsugi) (2003)

Rate This Movie SYNOPSIS: In the movie, a strange crossword puzzle starts circulating amongst Chiri’s (Rena Komine) friends, and they soon begin getting murdered one by one in horrifying ways. At night, Chiri can seemingly view their deaths in her dreams, causing her to lose sleep. Depressed and confused, she wanders into an old orphanage where she spent her childhood …

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Film Review: Sukeban Boy (2006)

Rate This Movie SYNOPSIS: A raucous teen boy with a feminine face is teased everywhere, so his odd biker father dresses him as a girl and sends him to an all-girl school. The lad introduces himself as Sukeban, and a classmate, Michiko, takes him to after-school activities. Lessons on humility turn violent when a masked hatchet-wielding woman turns up. Jealousy, …

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Film Review: Tomie: Forbidden Fruit (Tomie: Saishuu-sho – Kindan no kajitsu) (2002)

Rate This Movie SYNOPSIS: Tomie terrorizes an artistically inclined young girl and her widowed father, slowly integrating herself into the family. REVIEW: Tomie: Forbidden Fruit is the fifth installment of the nine-part Tomie series. It’s directed by Shun Nakahara and stars Nozomi Ando as the infamous she devil, both of which do an adequate job in bringing yet another Tomie …

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