Time Travel Banned In China

The times are (not) a changing in China as The Hollywood Reporter has an interesting piece about a fairly vague and open to interpretation edict sent down by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television in regards to how those mediums (which does not cover literature or theater) will handle time travel.

“Producers and writers are treating serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged anymore,” SARFT said.

Time Travel isn’t exactly a big thing in China when it comes to these mediums, as there is only one TV series, Myth, that’s running that has anything to do with it, and the last movie of any note according to the report was way back in 1989.

“The rationale [for the time travel ban] is that whatever isn’t possible in the real world belongs to superstition,” said film critic and journalist Raymond Zhou Liming.

The new guidance also allows the SARFT to be able to pull any show anytime it wants, since it’s a State issue, but as others note, it’s essentially an overall chilling effect even if it’s something that’s rarely used. As we’ve seen in the US, science fiction and time travel with it is often used to provide modern social commentary. This was used heavily in Star Trek back in the 1960′s when it challenged many social norms by painting a very different future using the concerns of the day with struggles, race relations, war and more. Science fiction has long been the form in which to work out these issues in a seemingly safe and non-threatening enviroment.

Where this can land some trouble is with Hollywood, who is wanting a bigger and bigger stake in the Chinese TV and theatrical market, because of the size and scale of it all with the audience that they want to get their products in front of. Suffice to say, it’s hard to believe movies involving time travel, even of the short form nature like Source Code, will find themselves a welcome home there now.

Time Travel Banned In China

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DC Comics Sets Hidden Gems Sale On ComiXology

DC Comics Sets Hidden Gems Sale On ComiXology While we had a relative period of calm and quiet before, ComiXology has had a number of good sales recently and they’ve kicked off a really fun one today that’s worth checking out. Running for three days starting now, they’ve got a DC Comics “hidden gems” sale with some series that may not always get the attention they need. While you do have things like Action Comics and some Batman books in here for the usual 99 cent sale price that’s definitely meant for impulse buys, there are other things to really take a look at. Two in particular that are real faves and definitely deserve a bit more love is that of R.E.B.E.L.S. and Power Girl, both of which I’ll be grabbing some missing issues of that I need.

Here’s the complete title list (selected issues on sale only in some cases):

  1. Action Comics
  2. Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne
  3. Catwoman
  4. Countdown to Mystery
  5. Detective Comics
  6. Hard Time
  7. Mysterious
  8. Power Girl
  9. R.E.B.E.L.S.
  10. Secret Six
  11. T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents
  12. Tales of the Unexpected
  13. Welcome to Tranquility

[Source: ComiXology ]

Magi Episode #01 Anime Review

Magi Episode #01 Anime Review An Arabain themed anime seems to come alone once in a thousand years, so it’s worth taking the time to visit this world.

What They Say:
Legend has it that magical items wielding mysterious powers and treasures are buried inside the Dungeons of ancient dynasties. Alibaba is one of many who dream of capturing a dungeon. One day, he meets a young boy named Aladdin, and together they set off!

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the manga Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Magi is the latest series to arrive from Aniplex and A-1 Pictures. The series is based off of the manga of the same name by Shinobu Ohtaka that runs in Weekly Shonen Sunday and has amassed fourteen volumes since it began in the summer of 2009. The series features something we don’t see too often in anime with an Arabian Nights theme, something that definitely helps to set it apart a little bit. While A-1 Pictures doesn’t always hit it out of the park, I’m generally interested in seeing what projects they end up working on since there’ll at least be some visual cues that draw me in. And with this being Arabian themed, that just enhances the appeal.

The show certainly works with its quirky visual design in some fun ways, though I’m sure there may be some that place a racial context to the portrayal of the people at this time. The series introduces us to young Aladdin as he’s gained the ability to get what he wishes for as it sets the really atmospheric view of things. That’s just prologue though as we’re thrown into the city itself after that where we meet with Alibaba, nearly twice the age of Aladdin and much more serious with his worldly desires as he searches for a dungeon where he can find the treasures of his dreams. Aladdin is quite unaware of all these kinds of things and really comes across as very simple at best and kind of naive in general. Which makes him hanging out with Alibaba kind of dangerous since Alibaba looks out for himself and uses whatever he can to achieve his goals.

Aladdin’s time in the world is certainly one where he doesn’t quite understand, such as when they see a slave girl getting into trouble and he uses his flute to call out his djinn that grants his wishes. It’s kind of comical but just in a weird sort of way since the blue arms and body parts coming out only go so far, but they get the job done. That reveal gets Alibaba all the more interested in using Aladdin until he can get the flute from him outright. The manipulations are kind of cute and certainly don’t work in Alibaba’s favor in the end, but it helps to show how the two come into a sort of working agreement about things as they spend more time with the merchant that has provided a different point of view in the episode. For Aladdin, he just can’t wrap his head around how these people operate and even calls out Alibaba over it in the way the only someone that age and younger can.

In Summary:
The opening episode is light on action until near the end of the third act, but that’s just done to cement Aladdin’s ability and how he wants to try and put Alibaba on the right path. You can appreciate the way some aren’t in favor of slavery, you find it in every modern telling, but often it just feels forced and fake to some degree. The opening of this series isn’t a strong one in terms of story since it has a fair bit of ground to cover and a few ways to do it, but mostly because we don’t really get a good sense of who Aladdin is and that feels like it’s a bad thing to happen. Alibaba gets more of the real screen time and character driven material, giving us a mildly complex character in terms of what he wants out of life and how to achieve it, making him more faceted than the usual good/bad types. I’m cautiously optimistic about the series though if only because it has the potential to be a real visual treat with some non-standard areas. I like this pairing of characters and want to see more of the djinn as well to see what’s going on there since it’s such a potentially fun character with its design.

Grade: B

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

‘Game Of Thrones’ Production Designer Feature Revealed

‘Game Of Thrones’ Production Designer Feature Revealed HBO is massaging the different aspects of Game of Thrones nicely by tackling a lot of different aspects of what it takes to build and create the world that the characters act in. While it’s easy to be expansive when writing a novel, and George R. R. Martin is highly detailed in describing the world, that puts a lot of pressure on the actual production designers. THe new feature, clocking in at two and a half minutes, sits down with production designer DEborah Riley, who is stepping up for a big role in the fourth season after what was created in the previous seasons, and goes into it rather nicely with this new piece.

One Piece Episode #657 Anime Review

One Piece Episode #657 Anime Review

One Piece Episode 657

It鈥檚 not easy fighting back when you鈥檙e treated like a rag doll by your opponent.

What They Say:
Bartolomeo searches the Colosseum for Luffy but stumbles upon the medical center for the losers of the battles in the ring – but is everything at this center as it seems? Meanwhile, Rebecca has to fend off Rolling Logan’s vicious bone-crushing grip attack or meet her certain doom!

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The arcs coming together, slowly but surely, continues to be one of my favorite parts of any main storyline that One Piece runs. Seeing how all the different threads come together, the out of the blue collisions that happen and the general chaos of it all since it usually involves a whole lot of running around makes for a fun experience when done well. This storyline has a lot of things in the air and we saw some of it come together already, only to split again, but it鈥檚 handled the various focuses well, especially giving us a lot of time on the Sunny recently. But now events are shifting back to the arena more, which gives Luffy a little more time, but also continues its focus on Rebecca.

Finding Luffy is part of what鈥檚 going on as Bartolomeo connected with Zoro before and is such a fan of the Straw Hats that he鈥檒l do anything he can to help them. His idolization is spot on early on here as we see how excited he is by the idea of it all and it鈥檚 comically wonderful to see as it鈥檚 pretty infectious. Unfortunately for him, he鈥檚 having a hard time finding Luffy and ends up searching a subbasement in the arena where medical treatment is being offered. What we see though is that deep into this, there鈥檚 an area where the losers from the arena are kept sealed up while waiting to be looked at but instead appear to be left there to be pacified until they can all be dealt with in a more lethal manner. That all of these strong people 鈥?and strong personalities 鈥?end up sitting there waiting feels really off though. A darker secret in the arena is no surprise, especially with Doflamingo operating the island, but this just feels too easily setup.

The arena itself in all its action gets a good bit of time as well, noting once again that Rebecca has escaped largely unscathed in all her appearances there. Reinforcing that, you know she鈥檚 going to suffer a bit here and that does happen as she gets hit hard from Rolling Logan, practically playing with her like a doll. There鈥檚 some fun fighting with all of this, and the strain that Luffy is going through in watching it with the others below that adds to it, but the dynamic of the fight of course changes along the way and it鈥檚 a pretty decent slugfest, especially as Agilia ends up coming to Rebecca鈥檚 aid and working together, lightly, to take down Rolling Logan. It鈥檚 a decent bit overall and giving Rebecca a little more screen time in the arena with the fight isn鈥檛 a bad thing, but it also feels like we really need to start progressing, which we do get just at the end here with Luffy finally getting on the move again.

In Summary:
After some really fun episodes that focused on the Sunny and her crew along with Law and Doflamingo, we鈥檙e back to some of the other characters for a bit. Bartolomeo is a decent addition to the show for this arc and I鈥檓 enjoying his involvement and am curious to see where it goes, since it鈥檚 fun to have someone who idolizes the Straw Hats around for a bit. He鈥檚 moving closer to a few other discoveries, but not quite. A lot of focus is given to Rebecca again as her fights continue and that keeps the action quota filled while doing it well, even if it鈥檚 not filled with over the top Devil Fruit fighters going at it. A fun episode overall that is slowly but surely advancing things.

Grade: B

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

Fourth Ralph McQuarrie ‘Star Wars’ Tribute Released

Fourth Ralph McQuarrie ‘Star Wars’ Tribute Released The tribute to Ralph McQuarrie, the man behind the visual design and conceptual artwork for Star Wars, has its fourth installment released on the official YouTube channel and it’s definitely continuing to be an interesting work. The latest installment is one that definitely shows an area of how the film changed Hollywood as it introduced a lot of people to the actual job of concept artist and the level of importance that it could have. It’s a job that they do say has been around for years and years beforehand, but as the shift to more visual effects oriented films came into play, the role took greater importance in helping to shape the scope of the project. With the tribute here, we get to hear how his influence worked on so many kids from there on out and how what he did was essentially the turning point for Hollywood in a lot of ways.

(Updated) Amazon’s Kindle Services Suspends Digital Manga Publishing Titles

(Updated) Amazon’s Kindle Services Suspends Digital Manga Publishing Titles According to a tweet via Digital Manga Publishing this afternoon, Amazon has lifted the suspension of their account and has likely opened up a new line of dialogue between the publisher and the Kindle service.

Amazing, exciting, wonderful news! Thanks to the absolutely MASSIVE outpouring of fan support Amazon has responded and reinstated our Kindle

Original Article:

The cycle continues with what various devices/publishers want to allow through their services as the Amazon Kindle team has now formally suspended the account for Digital Manga Publishing which has numerous boys-love and yaoi titles available there. This comes in the wake of the last few weeks where various ebook publishers were under a roundabout attack as Paypal began to drop the ability to purchase via particular sites due to content that they found offensive, in essence providing a new muzzle for adult content. You can read the fallout and backtracking that Paypal did here .

This isn’t the first time that the Kindle team has had to deal with this as there were several flare ups in the last few years over novels with content that made some people squeamish to say the least, but through all of the take downs and authors being de-listed, the manga side which dealt with similar content never got taken down.

Here’s what Digital Manga had to say on the subject:

As March 15, 2012, Digital Manga Inc.’s account has been suspended from the Kindle platform. While we’re working to try and amend the situation, we will not be able to publish titles to the Kindle for the foreseeable future.

Our account was suspended under troubling circumstances – we have had titles cited for “content violation”, and while we screen every title to ensure they adhere to Kindle’s standards, their guidelines are notoriously vague, and prohibit “Pornography and hard-core material that depicts graphic sexual acts.”

There is no definition of “pornography” versus “erotica” officially available from amazon. In the past, we considered our titles the latter, and strive to comply with Amazon’s guidelines. However, with such vague guidelines and a veritable library of erotica in written and drawn form already available on the Kindle, it is difficult to discern exactly what rules Amazon wanted us to comply with. We also find it disheartening that our titles depicting male homosexual romance have been banned while erotica depicting other forms of intercourse flourishes. What makes relationships between men more objectionable than erotic tristes between men and women? This is a question we imagine you’re all asking yourselves right now, and a question that we need Amazon to answer for us.

While we work to restore our account, we encourage yaoi fans to explore alternate platforms for reading manga. Our titles are available on emanga.com, Nook (including free apps for your PC, iPad, or Android tablet), and on the DMP App for Apple products and Android Tablets. This event has also led us to pursue the possibility of making digital manga available through other platforms. We look forward to continuing to bring you all the best in manga content, yaoi or otherwise, and appreciate your continuing support.

If you would like to make your voice heard in regards to this issue, we encourage you to contact Amazon at [email protected] Vote with your voices and your wallets, and help us ensure that Amazon doesn’t censor the content you want to consume. We know our fans are intelligent adults, and we feel that it’s wrong for a big company like Amazon to dictate what is proper for adults to read.