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Loups-Garous anime is out!

In Japan, this past Saturday, the anime of the novel Loups-Garous was released in theaters! I’m sure it’ll take, uh, minutes for it to be pirated, but if you want to play fair, why not check out the book first? Then when you do see the anime legally one of these days, you can sniff and act all superior and say, “Oh, the book was better.”

Please enjoy the trailer:

Incidentally, I just found a review of Loups-Garous in, of all places, that internal bulletin of the international ruling class, The Financial Times. It’s actually a very interesting look at several works of SF in translation available in the UK, as all our titles are. It reads, in part:

Kyogoku meditates on a society so fixated on homogeneity and surveillance that there is scant room for freedom of self-expression any more. In a sterile, anodyne urban landscape, the generation gap yawns wider than ever; old and young seethe with mutual mistrust and antagonism. The loups-garous of the title – French for “werewolves” – are wayward youths, shapeshifting from respectful obedience to untamed, psychotic ferality, breaking free from societal constraints. As such, they reflect Kyogoku’s fascination with yokai, traditional Japanese fables. In this novel and his earlier The Summer of the Ubume, he’s exploring how folkloric monsters such as ghosts and werewolves might manifest in a rational, superstition-free era.

Now that’s some reviewin’!

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Loups-Garous, soon to be in convenient anime form!

Have you picked up Loups-Garous yet? Natsuhiko Kyogoku’s futuristic mystery is quite a trip—I’ve described it as a 500-page haiku. We’re not alone in admiring it—The girls are headed to anime this summer; it’ll open in theaters in Japan on August 28th, 2010. If you want a leg up on the plot, what better place to go than the original novel, handily and happily translated into English?

I can’t think of any.

To whet your appetite, check out the trailer on YouTube or, for that matter, right here thanks to the magic of embedding!

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And the hits just keep on comin’

We had some disruptions, sure, but rest assured we are still chugging along here at Haikasoru HQ. Indeed, today is our favorite day of the month—release day! Be sure to head on down to your local bookstore (or buy here online) our two new titles!

Loups-Garous Like serial killers? Dystopian futures that seem like utopias to its residents? Teen girls? Kooky avant-garde language? Best-selling author Carrie Vaughn is a fan, calling it a “weird future…that’s scarier than the monsters.” Natsuhiko Kyogoku is one of Japan’s most popular and strangest authors—imagine Walter Mosley mixed with Mark Z. Danielewski.

Of if you like your SF the way I like my muscles—HARD—then check out The Next Continent. By the Issui Ogawa, author of The Lord of the Sands of Time, this new title is about a private mission to the moon and the adventures that await. After all, what could possibly go wrong…

Do check them out, and drop us a line to know what you think of our latest Haikasoru books!

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Our neon future?

Neon is the tone and color of the future. Even the noir tendencies of cyberpunk and the Bladerunner aesthetic offered a vision of a mass culture gone wild and big big big! The antecedent of this aesthetic can be found in Times Square and Hollywood, and, of course, in Japan. Indeed, one might say we almost fetishize Japan’s culture of public advertising and glowing light. The latest example of Nipponofile neon fetishism was last week’s Internet fad: Hollywood director McG recently made a video starring Kirsten Dunst in an anime get-up dancing around Tokyo’s Akihabara district. (The video has been taken down from most sites due to a copyright claim, which is just as well as Dunst cannot sing at all.) But here’s a neat Creative Commons photo from flickr to give you a taste of the neighborhood:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/keitaro/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

And yet, there is another possibility for the future. São Paulo, Brazil recently eliminated most of its outdoor advertisements. This YouTube video gives us a good look at the city that once lived under an exoskeleton of what some call “visual pollution”:

Will this catch on? In Vermont, there is a law against billboards, though a few have been grandfathered in. When I lived in Brattleboro, a local drug store had and even occasionally touched up an ancient advertisement for Carter’s Little Liver Pills (not recommended for the liver since 1951):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zenmama/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

So, what will the future be like? São Paulo, Tokyo’s Akihabara district, or a four-stoplight “city” in Vermont? Probably a bit of each. But what future would you prefer to live in?

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