Japan Has Me Excited About Entertainment Again

It is easy to fall down the rabbit hole of complaining about how disrespectful “modern” reboots are to the fans and source material, how out of touch Hollywood is when it comes to adapting classic stories, and how generally bland and over-played current IPs are, but if we look towards the east at what Japanese creators are doing, there is hope in entertainment again.

Here are four things that have me excited about what’s out there and coming soon:

Eiichiro Oda Kept Creative Control of One Piece

I was so burned by the likes of Cowboy Bebop, I scoffed at the idea of a One Piece series. I have never been more happy to be wrong in my life. One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda (who knows his world better than anyone) made sure he kept creative control of the Netflix Series One Piece…and it showed. The series had all the elements of the over-the-top manga and anime, made sure the actors loved the original characters they were playing, and left the “modern audiences” preachiness behind. Men could be tough, cool and save the day, women could be strong without being the unbelievable “strong woman” trope, and audiences could be allowed to just have a great time watching a show. Plus, Iñaki Godoy, who plays Monkey D. Luffy is contagiously optimistic and enthusiastic, Emily Rudd and Jacob Romero “understood the assignment” perfectly taking their characters to the screen. As for Mackenyu as Roronoa Zoro and Taz Skyler as Sanji. Well, THIS is what women want to see, Hollywood. More of them, please!

I recommend a binge if you haven’t, and cannot wait for the next season. Eiichiro Oda himself has already let us know a certain “Cotton Candy Lover” is joining the crew:

Godzilla is Back in Full Retro Rampage

I know we’ve done several posts on the forthcoming Godzilla: Minus One movie, but dang, it is going to be good. Godzilla is the Universal Monsters of Japan. There will be remakes, reboots, tributes and sequels forever celebrating this movie giant (or Kaiju in Godzilla’s case). However, when handled by the right creatives, Godzilla is never boring. This is the case with TOHO Studios, who brought us several Godzilla films including the epic Shin Godzilla in 2016. They announced this latest film, set in post-WWII Japan, on “Godzilla Day” (Nov. 3) last year. It hits theaters Dec. 1, and looks like it will take no prisoners!

Hayao Miyazaki is NOT Retiring

Just one week after Godzilla’s release is the first new Studio Ghibli film to come to the big screen in a decade, The Boy and the Heron. When this film was first announced, it was common knowledge beloved director and Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki would be retiring from the business. Well, it was recently announced the 82-year-old is in fact, ready for more. Studio Ghibli executive Junichi Nishioka told interviewers this month at a film festival Miyazaki is coming into the office everyday and already working on ideas for a new project. When you love what you do, what exactly are you retiring from? If The Boy and The Heron trailers are any indication, Studio Ghibli is still capable of breaking your heart, stealing your breath, and providing a feast for all your senses.

Of course, there will be still be hot garbage and preachy actors coming from the entertainment world, but it is nice to see there are great things as well. I’m looking forward to more Ghibli style imagination, Kaijus done right and hot honorable swordsmen in the future.

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