Original band does wonderful isolation version of the Cowboy Bebop theme song

The SEATBELTS, the original band that recorded the theme song to the amazing Japanese anime TV series, Cowboy Bebop, have recreated the song in social isolation. "Tank," the jazzy theme song, was recorded at home by each of the ten individual players. The song has always been memorable and this performance nails the its intensity and excitement.

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AI turns mugshots into anime portraits

Selfie 2 Waifu takes photos of people and draws an anime-style portrait. The results are outstanding. In this example, a completely normal-looking person is transformed into a ridiculous cartoon character. See the twitter thread below for more examples.

Based on U-GAT-IT: Unsupervised Generative Attentional Networks with Adaptive Layer-Instance Normalization for Image-to-Image Translation Based on the official pretrain model Basic principle: we will not save your selfie without your permission, all privacy-related actions will be clearly notified. Contact me: creke at creke.net

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This gorgeous Dune fan art is like an epic art nouveau Anime adaptation of the series

These were made by artist Chezka Sunit. And as excited as I am about that new live-action Dune movie, I'm already craving an anime version using this artwork 'cause it's gorgeous.

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Dune Series #5 Paul Atreides of House Atreides. 🏜 I'm planning to do two versions of Paul, this and him being the Muad'Dib of the Fremen. #dune #frankherbert #paul #atreides #digitalart #scifi #artnouveau #artdeco

A post shared by Suumum (Chezka Sunit) (@suumum) on Feb 12, 2020 at 12:09pm PST

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Re-upload. The first quality was so bad. Sorry. Dune Series #9 Alia Atreides (St. Alia of the Knife) Thank you for being patient and always supportive of this series, lately I've been swamped with work plus this lockdown is kinda driving me nuts. I miss cycling and hiking. I had a real blast doing this, I love Mongolian, Tibetian, Bedouin, Slavic traditional clothes a lot. I use them for inspiration all the time! Also insects and plants! Hoping everyone is well! ✨💖🗡💖✨ #dune #frankherbert #alia #atreides #fremen #stillsuit #arrakis #digitalart #scifi #artnouveau #artdeco

A post shared by Suumum (Chezka Sunit) (@suumum) on Mar 21, 2020 at 10:50am PDT

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Dune Series #8 Reverend Mother Jessica (Jessica Atreides) of the Fremen of Arrakis. 🏺💧🏜 Tough day for most of us (specially if you're from where I'm at), with everything that's been happening lately. All these news surrounding this epidemic, I hope you still have it in you guys to press on for the next weeks/months. Read the rest

Video: Behind the scenes of the Astro Boy anime (1963)

Osamu Tezuka's iconic Astro Boy TV series premiered on New Year's Day, 1963. (First episode below.) By some accounts, the cartoon was watched at its most popular point by 40% of Japanese people with a TV. I love watching cartoonists draw familiar characters and the above behind-the-scenes footage from the Astro Boy production is a real delight.

(via r/ObscureMedia)

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Netflix's CASTLEVANIA show is so much better than it has any right to be

Netflix just released the third season of its anime Castlevania adaptation, and I certainly never expected to be so excited such a thing. Sure, I played the games a little bit as a kid. But I don't usually go in for that much anime, or that many video games adaptations.

This one, however, is written by Warren Ellis and directed by Adi Shankar, and it was been a consistently enjoyable ride. Ellis himself acknowledges that he's never played the "vampire jump game" at all, and just used Wikipedia to figure out the relationships worth mining to tell a good story. And at that, he succeeded. The dialogue is hilarious and crass; the bloody, brutal action sequences often make me squee with delight; and the characters are all complex enough to make you want to spend time with them, even when they're absolutely awful people. Hell, this show might have the most empathetic and sympathetic depiction of Dracula I've ever seen — which is impressive for a dude who starts a global war to feast on humans.

I'm only halfway through season 3 — which adds Bill Nighy and Lance Reddick to an already-excellent cast that includes Richard Armitage, James Callis, Alejandra Reynoso, and Jamie Murray — and I'm eager to finish the rest.

If you're looking for something to keep you occupied during your self-quarantine, and you don't mind a lot of blood and cursing, I highly recommend it. If the plot-based trailer above doesn't intrigue you, then perhaps this will: Read the rest

The trailer for Netflix's new "Ghost in the Shell" series looks like a 90s kids' cartoon

While I respect Netflix's decision to go with 3D CGI instead of a more traditional anime-style animation, this reminds me of when I was 9 years old and obsessively watching ReBoot on Saturday mornings. At least Scarlett Johansson isn't in this one?

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 hits Netflix in April 2020. Read the rest

Interview with Kai Lan Egg, a Hong Kong protest artist who specializes in anime pro-democracy memes

Matteo writes, "Kai Lan Egg is an anonymous artist from Hong Kong. He started drawing illustrations of the Hong Kong protest primarily using a Japanese anime style to encourage the people around him to stand against the progressive erosion of the Hong Kong independence." Read the rest

Anime running vs the actual thing

Next up: Pokemon vs actual pets.

(h/t Adam Savage) Read the rest

Propane Genesis Evangelion

King of the Hill is "The greatest anime of the late 90s," writes Gamblor on YouTube. QED. Read the rest

Watch this far-out Japanese animated "documentary" about UFOs (1975)

"That's a UFO! The flying saucer" (これがUFOだ! 空飛ぶ円盤) is a Japanese "documentary" about unidentified flying objects. It was first screened in 1975 at the annual Toei Anime Festival hosted by the famed Toei Animation studio, creators of Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball. The short film features classic UFO encounters like the Betty Barney Hill abduction case of 1961 and the 1948 story of Kentucky Air National Guard pilot Captain Thomas F. Mantel whose plane crashed while he chased a UFO.

(r/ObscureMedia) Read the rest

Akira Animation Cels! Cartoonist Kayfabe Show and Tell

The boys, Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and Tom Scioli got hold of a couple animation cels from the classic anime and couldn't help but show them off. A fun glimpse into the analogue way of producing animation. Come for the cels, stay for the Katsuhiro Otomo storyboard books.

Also, in case you missed the Cartoonist Kayfabe coverage of the Akira manga:

Subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel for more vids celebrating the medium of comics. Read the rest

Live-action Cowboy Bebop coming to Netflix

Classic anime hit Cowboy Bebop is to become a live-action show at Netflix, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The live-action take tells a jazz-inspired, genre-bending story of Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Fay Valentine and Radical Ed, a rag-tag crew of bounty hunters on the run from their pasts as they hunt down the solar system's most dangerous criminals. The Netflix series arrives as a live-action feature take starring Keanu Reeves has been toiling in development at Fox for nearly a decade.

Produced by one of UK broadcaster ITV's studios. No cast yet. Read the rest

Do not miss this anime trailer for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

Absolutely stellar work by comic artist and "animotion" director Dmitry "Ahriman" Grozov of Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Follow Ahriman on Patreon and Instagram.

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Game platform Steam set to ban sexy toons

Steam is reportedly cracking down on "scantily clad cartoon women" in its online gane platform. Publishers of adult-themed anime visual novels say they've been told to remove offending titles or leave town.

"It's an anime titty holocaust," HuniePot, the developer of HuniePop, a match-3 puzzle game where players also chat up busty anime girls, said in a tweet. Thursday night, HuniePot tweeted that it received an email from Valve, the company that operates Steam, saying that HuniePop, "violates the rules & guidelines for pornographic content on Steam and will be removed from the store unless the game is updated to remove said content."

MangaGamer, a company that localizes and publishes several Japanese visual novels, told Motherboard in an email that it received a notice from Valve Thursday morning for its game Kindred Spirits.

Steam is, in other words, panicking and excluding a genre from its platform without explanation. It's allegedly warned at least one publisher over material they don't even publish on Steam.

These seems to be a general unwillingness to directly address two facts at hand:

1. Much of the material in question depicts childlike characters in sexual contexts.

2. Some of the people selling it are misogynists and some of the adjacent fandoms are tinderboxes of rage and entitlement.

Instead, we have vague objections to vague policies. This enables Steam to push out anything superficially similar, a pattern that could later be used to push out sexual and political minorities and anything else that might make trouble in the serene walled gardens of content. Read the rest

Cyberpunk anime ad for Murphy's Irish Stout (UK, 1997)

Probably the best cyberpunk anime ad for stout ale in the world. [via Tim Soret] Read the rest

Blog collects clips of anime floppy disks

Anime floppy disks is dedicated to collecting depictions of floppy disks in anime, but offers occasional special treats such as magneto-optical disks in anime.

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Watch Super Mario star in fairy tale anime

Released in Japan in 1989, Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Bros is a series of three fairy tale animations starring the Super Mario characters. From the Mario Wiki:

The series contains: Super Mario Momotarō, Super Mario Issun-bōshi, and Super Mario Shirayuki-hime‎. The two former episodes in the series are retellings of fairy tales of the same name, while Super Mario Shirayuki-hime is a retelling of the Western fairy tale Snow White

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