Film Review – A Letter to Momo, by Hiroyuki Okiura

A Letter to Momo is a touching film designed to evoke emotion in anyone who has loved a parent or lost one (which is most of us). It accomplishes this with humor, good character development, and genuine feeling. It mimics the work of Hayao Miyazaki in an obvious and reverential way. It’s beautifully animated, if traditional,…

Film Review – The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, by Isao Takahata

Isao Takahata is fairly well known for his 1988 animated feature, Grave of the Fireflies, which is a heart-wrenching look at two orphaned children struggling to survive in World War II Japan. That film was hailed by many as a masterpiece of storytelling, and a touching look into the minutiae of war. Others found it…

Manga Review – Mushishi, by Yuki Urushibara

Adding manga to my curriculum was a last minute thought. I’ve never been drawn to manga (Japanese comic books), despite my love of Japanese pop-culture and appreciation of certain animes (Japanese animated movies and shows).  It’s always seemed so…ridiculous. I say this as a man who loves ridiculous and absurd things. Why something both Japanese…

Game Review – Persona Q Shadow of the Labyrinth

Had I not included it in my Japanese culture curriculum, I might have never finished Persona Q. It’s a long game, especially for a handheld system, and my final hour count came out to around 65 played. The majority of that has progressed over the last month, and before that in several chunks throughout the…