Written and Drawn by Taiyo Matsumoto
Taiyo Matsumoto has this shifting lens of reality. In this comics, he continually pushes the way we experience his drawings. No. 5 was manga inspired by Moebius. Tekkon Kinkreet was a wild trip viewing the city through the exaggerated experiences of children and GoGo Monster turned an elementary school into an alien landscape with new horrors and monsters behind every classroom door. Sunny Volume 2 is much less otherworldly than his other books but that makes it no less mesmerizing. Set in a home for unwanted children (not orphans exactly, more like kids whose parents for one reason or another are unable to care for them,) Matsumoto’s Sunny focuses in on the isolation of childhood as these children struggle through the normal insecurities of growing up but without the normal securities of a mother and a father who are there for them.
Superman's Infinite Crisis Freakout
During DC Comics' tentpole 2004 event, Infinite Crisis, the publishers put out a storyline that featured one of the best sequences of a superhero getting mind-controlled we've ever seen. The plot line follows Maxwell Lord, one-time businessman, who has gone full villain. In The Omac Project, Lord control's Superman's mind, making him beat the snot out of Batman and really mess up Wonder Woman.
In 2005 director Toshiaki Toyoda was poised to take his career to the next level. At that point only 35-years-old Toyoda had already gained a reputation as one of Japan's most promising filmmakers. Throughout films like "Pornostar (a.k.a. "Tokyo Rampage")", the Taiyo Matsumoto manga adaptation "Blue Spring", and the masterful ensemble prison break film "9 Souls" he showed that he could combine tongue-in-cheek comedy with brutal drama, but by mid-decade he was ready to release a film that would place him alongside the likes of international festival favorites Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Hirokazu Kore-eda. "Hanging Garden" was an unblinking look at the disintegration of the Japanese family starring Kyoko Kozumi and Itsuji Itao as parents who demand 100% honesty from each other and their children, but who end up holding damaging secrets from each other. Not since Yoshimitsu Morita's "The Family Game" had a filmmaker presented such a damning llok at the core of Japanse society.
Arias began his career at Dream Quest Images and worked on such titles as "The Abyss" and "Total Recall" before moving to Japan in the early 1990s. Regarded as an innovator of three-dimensional software, he also worked with DreamWorks Animation on "Prince of Egypt" and Studio Ghibli's animated classics "Princess Mononoke" and "Spirited Away".
"Japanese films are doing well at the moment and are strong in overseas markets," an Asmik spokesman said. "We are looking to build on that for the long term as well as the immediate future."
Arias will make his feature film debut with "Tekkonkinkreet", based on the popular manga by Taiyo Matsumoto, and is directing a short animated film for Japanese public television.
Another Arias project in pre-production is a live-action feature to be produced and distributed by Asmik Ace.
- Michael AriasMichael Arias
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