For those who think noirs are difficult to define themselves, defining and classifying neo-noirs are even more difficult. For instance, one of the defining features of noirs was the pervasive use of high contrast cinematography and shadows, with plenty of night scenes, but this was never a given in neo-noirs as perhaps the most famous neo-noir of all in Chinatown was shot primarily in the daytime. It could be said that the neo-noirs’ connection with classic noirs was closer to their literary origins then their cinematic ones; namely, the potboilers that featured detectives, a femme fatale, and a mystery, along with a suspenseful atmosphere. The neo-noirs also brought with them a social conscience that the noir progenitors lacked; although both seem to arise out of periods of socio-cultural turmoil, only the neo-noirs tried to depict that turmoil. Pinpointing when neo-noir started is perhaps even more difficult, but they seemed to become most prominent in the 70s. Read more of this post

From the Dustbins: Vampire Wars

The OVA boom was a wonderful time for anime.  Well, make that “a terrible time”, actually, because it was one of the greatest creative slumps the industry has ever seen.  Studios tried to rake in cash by appealing to the Western demographics that were wowed by the graphic violence and general maturity of titles like Akira, so they churned out volumes of forgotten pieces of trash that usually aren’t even worth the plastic of the VHS tape that they were distributed on.  I call it “wonderful” only because some of the greatest pieces of animated bullshit to have ever come from Japan were released as a result. Read more of this post