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Shaman King: anime remake marks the beginning of a new shaman fight



Exactly twenty years have passed since the debut of the first television adaptation of Shaman king, two long decades in which fans of the charismatic characters born from Hiroyuki Takei’s pencils have never stopped clamoring for a complete and faithful makeover of the original manga (for all the details about the work we suggest you consult our special on the Shaman King manga). It took some time, but also thanks to the considerable popularity that the series’ multiple spin-offs have found, that seemingly impossible dream is finally becoming a reality.

Apparently consisting of just 52 episodes, the Shaman King remake landed on the Japanese television circuit on April 1 and soon. will also appear on Netflix Italy, although at the moment we still do not know if the work will only be subtitled or if it will even present the dubbing in Italian. While we wait for the streaming platform to officially launch Shaman Fight on Bel Paese as well, we’ve watched the first episode in Japanese, and here are our preliminary impressions of the studio’s makeover. Bridge.

The shaman, the nerd and the legendary samurai

Following the lead of the remake of Dragon Quest: Let’s Go – The Great Adventure (by the way, here you will find our preview of Dragon Quest: Dai – The Great Adventure), the first episode of the new Shaman King anime opens with one of the most important scenes of the manga, Anticipating the introduction of the main antagonist of the story for several episodes.: a very powerful shaman who lived a thousand years before the events told in the series and reincarnated as one of the two children born to the slender Asakura Keiko.

Fearing that one of the twins will harbor the soul of the evil ancestor. HaoWise householder Asakura Yohmei reluctantly attempts to kill both grandchildren, but a fatal moment of hesitation allows the first unborn child to summon the invincible Spirit of Fire to defend himself from his grandfather’s attack and disappear without a trace. A fatality, as we said, that Takei’s comic even referred to chapter 143, but that ultimately represented the triggering event of the whole story, since it indelibly traced the destinies that from that moment would touch both the protagonist Asakura Yoh than evil brother Hao.

The true story of Shaman King begins thirteen years later, when a deceased student bursts into the Saigan Temple cemetery in hopes of taking a shortcut and making it to high school on time. Short, bright and constantly dedicated to study, Oyamada Manta meets almost by chance the carefree Yoh, who already during their first meeting proves to be capable of to be able to converse with the spirits of the dead.

Terrified, the student decides to run away, but the next day poor Manta realizes that the strange boy she saw the night before is her new partner, who nevertheless pretends not to know him so as not to reveal his secret to the whole class. . Increasingly determined to discover the true identity of his partner, Manta decides to follow him and, once away from prying eyes, Yoh presents himself to him as a shaman, who is one of the individuals who they act as a link between the underworld and the afterlife.

In fact, the child can merge and possess the spirits of the deceased, which once inside their body allow them to temporarily exploit the skills and fighting techniques they possessed while still alive. That is exactly what happens with the spirit of Kubizuka Amidamaru, a legendary samurai who 600 years earlier was sentenced to be beheaded for killing numerous people, and who, following a curious chain of events, will decide to become a partner of Yoh himself in the next Shaman Fight.

An encouraging new beginning

By watching the first episode of Shaman King, the intention to modernize Takei’s work and simplify it as much as possible, without giving up make a faithful adaptation of the comic. Unsurprisingly, the staff wisely used the time available to unify the first two chapters of the manga, summarizing the basic passages and eliminating superfluous or even repetitive ones.

An operation that, judging by the title of the second episode, which suggests the exclusion of three entire chapters after all the “fillers”, we are sure that it will not be an isolated case at all. If on the one hand these authentic cuts go back to the need to contain the number of episodes and consequently the budget to allocate to the series, on the other hand there is the concrete possibility that the Bridge studio wants to give the story. a new and less ambiguous look. On the other hand, we are talking about a work that has been on its shoulders for more than two decades, and that already at the time struggled to take a clear and precise course, continuously altering and often unjustified the role of the secondary characters. In this sense, the choice to introduce the key figure of Asakura Hao, who will act as the main antagonist of the whole story, beforehand, could be successful, as the scene of his stormy resurrection. anticipates shocking revelations and potentially dramatic developments. A juicy appetizer of what is to come, and that therefore manages to capture the viewer’s attention and intrigue them about the fate of the twins from the first minutes of the vision.

Despite tweaks intended to make the script more serious, compelling, and above all smooth, the Shaman King remake However, he hasn’t given up on his original comic streak., which has always found its maximum expression in the funny character of Manta. Very briefly and promptly armed with a dictionary, the shy and cowardly high school student acts as a rational observer of events and being completely oblivious to spirits and shamanism, his reactions to the oddities that crowd Yoh’s world are exaggerated and funny as we remember them. Like the fights, the exchanges between the carefree Yoh and the rational Manta were one of the winning elements of the product.

If we feel more than satisfied with the work done on the script and on the characters, whose characterization has been perfectly respected, the elements that we currently have in our possession do not allow us to unbalance with judgments about the animations, also because this first episode does. make. sequences not present. particularly excited. On the other hand, the character design has already convinced us, such as the clean line of the Toshihiko Sano suits and reproduces with absolute precision the delicate features of the main actors, which instead appeared too raw and disproportionate in the television series produced in 2001.

The level of detail won’t be very high, but after all, Takei’s own drawing style has always been subdued, so much so that his characters seemed too thin and caricatured even on the most serious boards. Effective chiaroscuro and pleasant light effects all contribute to creating a pleasant and fascinating product, the quality of which is above average.

Nothing to complain about, for now, about the track dubbed into Japanese, which to the delight of historical fans involves the same vocal interpreters who participated in the 2001 anime. So far the only character that boasts a different voice is the Yoh himself, voiced this time by the talented Yoko Hikasa (Pitohui / Elsa Kanzaki in Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online). As we had hypothesized in our previous article, the new vowel combination seems much more correct than the previous one, since Hikasa has a youthful and calm tone and perfectly in keeping with the tones generally used by the gentle and calm Asakura Yoh.

If the opening and closing themes seemed less inspired to us than those that accompanied the previous television adaptation of Shaman King, the same cannot be said for the soundtrack composed by Yuuki Hayashi, which includes some somewhat attractive songs.


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‘Da 5 Bloods’ should win the award for best soundtrack of the year



On April 25 we will meet the winners of the ninety-third edition of the Oscars. The winners will be chosen thanks to the vote of all academics, a process that, it must be remembered, is not the same employee when choosing the nominations.

In the case of the category of best original soundtrackIt is the Music Branch (musical branch of the academy, that is, those composers, musicians and lyricists with the right to vote) who chooses the Oscar finalists.

That is why the nominations have always been more important and relevant to me than the winners; This is a recognition obtained thanks to their colleagues, which was evident in some of the mentions over the years (the case of Alex North or Thomas Newman, composers respected by film music composers but who fail on the spot. time to be chosen to win the award.).

This time, we have a eclectic selection of scores, which although it is far from representing the best of the original soundtrack in 2020, does deserve respect and consideration.

Terence Blanchard deserves to win the Oscar this year … but will probably lose

The score that should receive the award is “Give 5 Bloods”. Brothers in Arms ”, composed by Terence blanchard. Nineteenth professional collaboration with the director Spike lee, Blanchard finally enjoys the merit that his work deserves. You can listen to it on Spotify.

After a (belated) first nomination for “Infiltrated in the KKKlan” (“BlacKKKlansman”), Lee’s new film allows him to unleash his jazz skills (remember that Blanchard is one of the highest rated trumpeters of recent times.) to transfer to an orchestra with an American tone. Get a narrative staging that is sometimes reminiscent of the long-awaited master Jerry Goldsmith and culminates in moments of triumph, perhaps reminiscent of the best John Williams.

It sounds stale, with a type of music rarely found in movies these days.. It is an admirable score and has the problem of sharing footage with a series of Marvin Gaye songs that do not coerce his sense of heroism.

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Additionally, this work by Blanchard has garnered the film’s only Academy Award nomination. This data is interesting to say the least and leads to the idea that the Music Branch was very clear from the beginning that this score deserved to be considered one of the 5 of the year.

The works that have only deserved one nomination in this category are usually works of enormous quality that demonstrate that a score can stand out despite the film that accompanies it, is the case of ‘El Bosque’, ‘Resistencia’, ‘Los Girasoles’ or ‘El Violín Rojo’.

Except for the last title, they do not usually come out victorious since they do not have enough support to win the award, since this award is usually received for other circumstances (as an accompaniment to the best film of the year, as a drag from other technical awards or artistic and regulars as consolation, especially to the nominees for best picture).

It’s rare for a movie to win only in the Best Original Score category.. In any case, it is extraordinary that the Academy has recognized Terence Blanchard as’ Da 5 Bloods. Hermanos de Armas’ is one of the best movie soundtracks of recent times.

The forecast: “Soul” will win

Everything indicates that the winner will be ‘Soul’, a work already commented on when reviewing the most relevant soundtracks of last year. Recall that the original score of the latest Pixar film is written by both the duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross as for the jazz player Jon batiste but they did not work together to develop it.

This fact seemed to take its toll at the time of the nominations, through a disqualification (something that has happened previously with soundtracks of this type) but the Academy has seen with good eyes (and ears) the musical work, and the soundtrack has become The favorite after winning at the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and the Critics Choice Awards, something that had not happened with an animated film since ‘Up’, from the same studio.

‘Soul’ is receiving these awards because it has an advantage in its favor and it is the jazz genre has an important narrative weight within the film. Still, the work on the soundtrack is scarce as you have two parts each working on their own.

Reznor & Ross create a strange electronic pastiche for sequences that take place in the afterlife (or more here) and Jon Batiste enhances the jazzy nature of the protagonist with short, dynamic notes of jazz in the real world. You could say that “Soul” is being rewarded by music that on certain occasions it is diegeticIn other words, it is heard by the characters in the film and does not belong in the score.

And that is One of the best ways to win the Oscar for best original soundtrack is usually to accompany a movie where the music is relevant.Check out the aforementioned “The Red Violin” or “Around Midnight” by Herbie Hancock (a score full of pre-existing songs that outrageously snatched the award from “The Mission”).

Everything indicates that Reznor & Ross will win their second statuette after ‘The Social Network’ and Jon Batiste (who is also the leader of the famous television show ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’) will enter this select club of winners.

Much more interesting would be to award Reznor & Ross for their other Oscar-nominated soundtrack: “Mank.” For this work, both artists have had to leave their comfort zone and with the help of the orchestrator Conrad Pope and the saxophonist And Higgins, I have recreated the world of Hollywood of the 30s 20th century.

Composers abandon electronics and have produced an orchestral soundtrack whose starting point is Bernard Herrmann (composer of ‘Citizen Kane’) but that ends which unfolds through a beautiful romantic waltz and a series of jazz tunes. It is evident that Reznor & Ross lacks tables to be able to develop this score narratively and although the final result is irregular, there is no doubt that it is a soundtrack worthy of admiration and that shows that they are capable of surprising in other areas. and genres.

However, the score has little chance of winning as they compete against themselves for “Soul”. It is often said that when an artist is nominated twice, it is more difficult to win because the votes are divided. In my opinion, I think this is very rare, since the ballots for the best original soundtrack do not include the names of the candidates and have also won the composers John Williams and Alexandre Desplat, in 1977 and 2014 respectively, even with this circumstance.

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James Newton Howard He is one of the favorite songwriters of recent times, especially as a result of his collaboration (now non-existent) with M. Night Shyamalan. He is a solvent, interesting film music composer, with a professionalism and elegance available to few. Therefore, it is still surprising, and much, that at this point in the film, the composer I still don’t have an Oscar for his good craft.

With ‘Noticias del Gran Mundo’ he has a new opportunity, the ninth of his career (two of them were for best original song) but everything points to it being empty. Newton Howard is one of the Music Branch’s most beloved and respected composers, and sometimes he doesn’t need a blockbuster movie to see his work rewarded (the aforementioned ‘The Forest’ or ‘Resistance’).

With permission from “Hidden Life”, “Big World News” is his most important job in years and it has ended up getting nominations even for the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs (something unusual since Newton Howard is not so relevant for these awards).

Personally, it seems like a correct work but it falls a bit short within the composer’s ability. His music for the end credits is extraordinary but I wish the rest of the score had been just as risky when it came to musicalizing the western and the adventure, something the composer has previously done with better results in works like ‘Oceans of Fire’ or ‘Wyatt Earpp’, a fundamental soundtrack of the genre in the 90s.

Many wonder how James Newton Howard could go home empty again and the answer is obvious: needs a major award-level movie to win. He has the respect and professionalism to do a good job and be nominated but he needs a powerful film capable of generating conversation on the subject of the awards, something that the last candidate this year does have.

The great rival of the Pixar and Disney movie

“Minari. Story of my family” by Emile mosseri it’s a atypical soundtrack, strange and that has reached the nomination pushed by the great potential in terms of awards that the film has had.

Mosseri must be the first surprised to have landed an Oscar nomination, since this very young 35-year-old composer, Berklee graduate and leader of an independent marching band, has hardly worked in the movies. This is his fourth film and it develops an interesting potential that I am proud that the Music Branch has received and awarded a nomination.

The music of ‘Minari’ stands in stark contrast to the idyllic tone that Lee Isaac Chung seeks to capture with his images. This is an atmospheric soundtrack in new age tones that can feel fresh and cozy at the same time. It even develops an alienating tone within its seemingly simple instrumentation. It is a very suitable sound for what the narrative of the film intends.

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Mosseri builds his score from two beautiful songs sung in Korean that return us to a sound more typical of the 80s / 90s, similar to the works of Angelo Badalamenti at that stage.

It is a curious soundtrack and it has been lucky enough to be accompanied by a film that has enormous potential in terms of awards, hence its recognition since in other circumstances it would surely have gone unnoticed. Right now is the only alternative to competing with “Soul” for the award in this category.

It should be noted that other works that were in the preselection such as the extraordinary ‘Blizzard of Souls’ by Lolita Ritmanis have been left out, while works as enjoyable as’ The Call of the Wild’ by John Powell or ‘The Incredible Story of David Copperfield ‘by Christopher Willis, they weren’t even on the list.

It is worrying that, more and more, the same names and titles are repeated in the different awards. Look forward to the times when, despite having fewer ceremonies, there were more opportunities to get creative with the music on the soundtrack.


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why the spin-off with Greta Gerwig and Meg Ryan didn’t come to fruition



It took seven years since the completion of “How I Met Your Mother” until it was confirmed that we will have a sequel directed by Hilary Duff telling us the story of how he met the father of his son. However, it has not been the first attempt to try to take advantage of the success of the series starring Josh radnor, since already in 2014 a spin-off could be launched that was going to have the participation of Greta Gerwig and Meg Ryan.

A project that seemed promising

The origins of “How I Met Your Dad” date back to February 2014, the month before the end of “How I Met Your Mother” divided fans of the series, and some of them hated it with a passion. This was likely one of the reasons CBS didn’t work too hard to move the project forward, but Let’s go over the details a bit earlier.

Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, creators of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ were behind her, participating in the writing of the pilot episode script with Emily Spivey, creator of the comedy ‘Without hitting an eye’, also counting on the collaboration in that facet of Gerwig , who was starting to make a name for himself in Hollywood at that time thanks to his participation in ‘Frances Ha’.

The episode was filmed with Rob Greenberg, signer of seven episodes of ‘How I Met Your Mother’, behind the cameras and telling the story of Sally (Gerwig), a young woman somewhat lost in life who is thinking of getting divorced despite having been married less than a year ago, getting advice from his friends on how to proceed.

The reason for his “death”

The cast of “How I Met Daddy” also featured Drew Tarver, Nicholas D’August, Andrew Santino and Ryan, who was going to act as the narrator in the series, that being one of the main points in common with “How I Met Your Mother.” Everything seemed to go smoothly, but in May of that year it became known that CBS had decided not to give the green light to the project, but the reason was something unexpected: Bays and Thomas refused to reroll the pilot, which ended up leaking long ago. later.

Of the chain they highlighted that there were elements of the pilot that did not work, so they wanted to see if they could solve the problems, following a bit the same formula as with ‘The Big Bang Theory’, whose premiere was postponed a year to re-record the episode, changing from step to part of its cast.

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CBS’s refusal to go ahead with the material they had allowed 20th Century Fox, producer of the series, tries to find a new home for the project. At that time there was talk of a possible interest on the part of Netflix, NBC and FOX, but an agreement was not reached, the contract with the actors expired and Bays himself confirmed in July through his twitter account that the project was dead.

In this way, Gerwig was free and had plenty of time to focus on ‘Lady Bird’, her acclaimed first film as a director that she dedicated herself to writing. I confess that I am curious to know what would have come out of “How I Met Your Dad”, but not enough that in return we probably would have run out of the movie starring him. Saoirse Ronan.


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Trailer of ‘LOL: if you laugh, you lose’: Amazon announces the premiere date of the comedy program presented by Santiago Segura



Ten humorists and forbidden to laugh. With this premise that seems the reverse of the mythical ‘Don’t laugh, it’s worse’ is presented ‘LOL: If you laugh, you lose’ the new Amazon Prime Video comedy program whose The premiere will take place on May 14 as revealed in its official trailer..

Presented by Santiago Segura As masters of ceremonies for this game, Yolanda Ramos, Sílvia Abril, Rossy de Palma, Paco Collado, Mario Vaquerizo, El Monaguillo, Edu Soto, David Fernández, Carolina Noriega and Arévalo will be the ten comedians who will have a double mission: make others laugh but not smile.

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TO International format based on Hitoshi Matsumoto’s Japanese original and of which Amazon has already developed several local versions in countries such as Italy, Germany, Mexico, Japan or Australia, among others.

Miguel Martín is the showrunner of the series in which Santiago Segura will challenge these comedians for six hours, with the collaboration of Cañita Brava and Xavier Deltell, to see who manages to stay serious until the end by competing for a prize of one hundred thousand euros that will be donated to an NGO of their choice.


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