Manga Madness: City Hunter (1993)

* Beginning its serialisation way back in 1985 and ending in the early nineties, Tsukasa Hojo’s City Hunter is a classic manga that hasn’t entirely aged well. The series has never received a full official release in English, and considering its near-constant barrage of sexism, homophobia, and transphobia, perhaps it is for the best if […]

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Manga Madness: Oldboy (2003)

****½ The world of manga-to-live-action adaptations is a grim one, full of thoughtless cash-ins, overstuffed plots, and writers with little understanding of their source material. It is a place where often mediocrity is the most that can be hoped for, and the live-action companions of well-loved franchises are hidden away by fans hoping to hide […]

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Manga Madness: Initial D (2005)

* Set in the world of illegal Japanese street racing, Initial D tells the story of young driver Takumi Fujiwara (played here by Jay Chou), who unwittingly becomes a legend amongst the racers of his local Akina mountain pass for the skill he demonstrates delivering tofu from his father’s shop. Originally beginning serialisation in 1995, […]

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Manga Madness: Tokyo Zombie (2005)

** Originally published in underground manga anthology Ax in 1999, Yusaku Hanamura’s one-volume Tokyo Zombie is undoubtedly, and unashamedly, a cult manga. Drawn in a heta uma (‘bad but good’) style that forgoes the stylish character design and detailed background work found in mainstream series, it is 155 pages of gory violence, graphic sex, and […]

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Manga Madness: Mushishi (2006)

*** If there was ever a live-action manga adaptation that actually looked promising, Mushishi is it. Based on Yuki Urushibara’s award-winning fantasy manga and directed by Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo, the film pairs a story suited to live-action with a skilled director familiar with manga and the process of adapting it for the big screen. […]

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Manga Madness: Death Note (2017)

* Let’s just start with the obvious: Death Note is a mess. Watching it is like ticking off a check-list of How To Make The Worst Manga Adaptation Ever: Adaptation of a multi-volume series in under two hours? Check. Nonsensically altering the plot to make it ‘appeal to a Western audience’? Check. Completely missing the […]

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