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Matt Schley
For Matt Schley's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jul 16, 2018
'Akira': Looking back at the future
On the 30th anniversary of the release of the animated version of 'Akira' in Japan, we examine the enduring legacy of Katsuhiro Otomo's sci-fi classic.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jul 15, 2018
The enduring appeal of 'Akira,' the manga
Katsuhiro Otomo's cyberpunk masterpiece, "Akira," has gone through multiple English-language incarnations throughout the years, but reader demand has never wavered.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jul 14, 2018
The pain and the passion that fueled the creation of 'Akira'
When I tell Kuni Tomita the anime classic "Akira" turns 30 years old this month, she shakes her head and laughs.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Jul 14, 2018
My deep dive into 'Akira' only scratched the surface of its legacy
A few months ago, I proposed to the editors at The Japan Times that we do a piece paying tribute to the classic cyberpunk anime film "Akira," which turns 30 years old on July 16. They were enthusiastic and the pitch ballooned (not unlike Tetsuo in the film's final scene) from a single article to an "Akira"-themed weekend to an entire Akira Week (or rather, #AkiraWeek).
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jul 13, 2018
'Akira' soundtrack featured music worthy of a visual masterpiece
A crack of thunder. Pulsing polyrhythmic percussion. The roar of a passing motorcycle. A haunting symphonic chorus.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jul 13, 2018
Reshaping the sound of Neo-Tokyo for 'Akira'
If you were watching anime in English in the 1990s and 2000s, chances are you've heard a dub recorded by Les Claypool III. Some of the films and series that passed through Claypool's studio, Magnitude 8 Post, include "Macross Plus," "Ghost in the Shell" and "Cowboy Bebop." In 2001, Pioneer Entertainment came to Claypool with an intriguing project: assemble a new English dub (the dub sampled on Bwana's "Capsule's Pride," in fact) and 5.1 surround soundtrack for its remastered rerelease of "Akira." Claypool shares some memories of the project:
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jul 12, 2018
Collecting 'Akira,' one scene at a time
Joe Peacock vividly remembers the first time he saw "Akira," the influential sci-fi anime film that turns 30 this month.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Jul 11, 2018
Speak Japanese like a biker punk from the future with 'Akira'
Those looking to give their Japanese a bit of biker edge could do worse than take in a screening of the classic sci-fi anime "Akira."
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE FOREIGN ELEMENT
Jul 10, 2018
'Akira' inspires generations of foreign animators
Enthusiasts pour their souls into labors of love honoring Otomo's classic anime film and manga series.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Voices / VIEWS FROM THE STREET
Jul 10, 2018
Views from Tokyo: Do you remember the first time you watched 'Akira'?
People in Shibuya offer their thoughts on Katsuhiro Otomo's classic 1988 film and the 1982 manga series.
Japan Times
CULTURE / TV & Streaming / Wide Angle
May 31, 2018
Rainy season is a great time to binge-watch anime
The anime season that began in April is winding down, meaning that those who prefer to wait and ingest their anime in one flat-out, high-speed burn are starting to look around for series to binge.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 18, 2018
'Liz and the Blue Bird': A brilliantly executed return to an anime favorite
At my high school in the U.S., it was said that while the athletes were the talk of the school, it was actually the band kids who were embroiled in the juiciest drama.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Apr 5, 2018
'After the Rain': A problematic love story deftly presented with emotional heft
"After the Rain" ("Koi wa Ame Agari no Yo Ni"), the 12-episode anime series that finished airing March 30 (and is streaming worldwide via Amazon Prime), centers around 17-year-old Akira Tachibana, a high school student who falls in love with Masami Kondo, the manager at her part-time job, who is 28 years her senior.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Mar 29, 2018
The anime industry readies for another gold rush
If you didn't already know that the anime industry was in the middle of a boom, a quick look around the trade fair AnimeJapan would give you a pretty good indication.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 14, 2018
'B: The Beginning': Netflix anime gets a 'B' for effort
Whatever you've thought of their quality up until now, Netflix's original animated series have definitely rocked the boat in some way, whether by assembling an international production team ("Castlevania"), putting an X-rated twist on a classic franchise ("Devilman Crybaby") or, uh, inspiring people to take selfies with huge Toblerone chocolate bars ("Neo Yokio").
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Feb 21, 2018
'Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms': Mari Okada's visuals tell a moving story
Mari Okada is one of the most prominent — and prolific — writers in anime today. A native of Chichibu, Saitama, she's perhaps best known for penning a pair of deeply personal titles that take place there, "Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day" (2011) and "The Anthem of the Heart" (2015). But Okada has contributed to a range of genres, from sci-fi to horror to live-action. What ties these seemingly disparate works together is her interest in people who have been, in some way, emotionally damaged, and the way these people ultimately (re)form human connections.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film / Wide Angle
Jan 25, 2018
2018's anime lineup offers plenty of potential
Over the past few years, the success of several films — including, most notably, Makoto Shinkai's record-setting "Your Name." — have proven that anime directed by someone other than director Hayao Miyazaki can still attract a wider audience.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jan 17, 2018
'Devilman Crybaby': The franchise is back, but with extra sex and ultra-violence
if "Crybaby" presages what's to come from Netflix's investment in anime, it's going to be an interesting year for the medium.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jan 11, 2018
A super robot returns a little older and a little wiser in 'Mazinger Z/Infinity'
It has been 50 years since the publication of the first manga by Go Nagai, the mastermind behind classic properties such as "Devilman," "Cutie Honey" and "Mazinger Z." To mark the occasion, a number of Go Nagai anime adaptations are out this year, including the film "Mazinger Z/Infinity" (Jan. 13).
Japan Times
CULTURE
Dec 14, 2017
Anime didn't see any massive hits in 2017, but there was a lot to watch
It takes only two words to sum up why 2016 was always going to be a hard act to follow: "Your Name."

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