Jojo Rabbit

The movie was released in 2019 in other parts of the world but we had to wait until 2020 for a Dutch release. Luckily for me not a lot of spoilers on Twitter for this movie compared to The Rise of the Skywalker, looking at you fanboys. I was hooked when I saw the trailer, being a fan of Taika Waititi’s work since the release of ‘What We do In the Shadows’. The best way to treat Hitler’s legacy is to put it to shits with a dose of satire.

The movie follows Jojo, a boy who joins the Hitler Jugend in order to become a man and who often has conversations with his imaginary friend: Hitler. Mind you, he is 10 years old so they way Hitler interacts with him is portrayed kind of childish.
His initiation with the Hitler Jugend is during a camp led by Captain Klenzendorf, a washed up officer who was removed from the front because he has only one good eye left. The older members of the Hitler Jugend see that Jojo is a bit cowardish during the training exercises and force him to kill a rabbit with his bare hands. When Jojo fails to do this he is nicknamed Jojo Rabbit, the cowardly boy. In a last act of desperation to show everyone he is brave, Jojo steals a hand grenade of the captain during a training exersice and throws it with all his might. Sadly the grenade bounces off a tree and lands right next to him, sending Jojo to the hospital.

After rehabilitation Jojo is left in the care with Captain Klenzendorf to do menial jobs to support the Reich by collecting metal, posting draft letters and distributing posters to keep morale up for the citizens. His mother doesn’t want Jojo to be inspired by the nazi’s and keeps her hopes up for the end of the war, with the Germans losing. One day Jojo comes home before his mother and hears a noise upstairs. Hidden behind the walls he finds a Jewish girl, who has been allowed to life there by his mother. Torn between his loyality to the Reich and his love for his mother, Jojo is confronted with his image of the world and the choices he has to make.

While the movie is portrayed as a satire, the harsh reality of the ruthlessness of the nazi’s was also shown, with the execution of traitors of the Party. Jojo keeps thinking he is a nazi, while actually he is just a boy whose head been filled with propaganda.

After my boyfriend pointed it out, I have to admit he is right about this, all the funny bits of the movie were all in the trailer which was a bit of a shame. But a real shout out to Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell’s characters. Scarlett Jo showed the real shine I have been missing since ‘Lost in Translation’. She really portrayed the loving mother and kept her son in the dark of the dangerous work she did.
Sam Rockwell as Captain Klezendorff was a very surprising roll, he already knew the war was ending in a loss and struggling with his own feelings as a gay person. Just keeping up appearances and playing an important role saving Jojo’s life.

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! – Ep.1 The Greatest World!

After being on anime hiatus for a couple of years, I am slowly getting back in to the flow of watching it again. I got myself a Crunchyroll subscription and started binge watching series again. And sometimes you find something new like Keep Your hands Off Eizouken which was released on the 5th of January. So that’s fresh off the boat.

In 2016 the manga was released by Sumito ลŒwara and finally came to life as an anime in 2020. A live-action adaption will be released in the third quarter of 2020 in Japan. The story follows three high school girls as they pursue their dream to create their own anime.

One of the main girls of the series is Midori Asakusa who has been hooked on anime since a very young age and is intrigued with how it’s made. Upon entering high school her love for anime has turned into an obsession in creating concept art and turning her school into a stage for her anime. She is hesitant to join the school’s anime club as she is bad with dealing with crowds, but her friend Sayaka Kanamori convinces her to go to the screening.

At the screening they encounter a girl who is being chased by Men In Black. She takes Asakusa’s hat as a disguise, but her pursuers see through it and give chase. Kanamori recognises the girl as the famous model Tsubame Mizusaki and the two girls see it as their duty to save the damsel in distress.
Mizusaki is eventually cornered by one of the Men In Black, men who have been hired by her parents to keep her from joining the anime club. Asakusa uses the stage trap door to detain the MIB and the three girls make their escape.

Mizusaki and Asakusa find out that they share the same passion of creating an anime, with Mizusaki designing the characters and Asakusa giving them a background. Kanamori is interested as she smells the money they can make of it. Together they will create their adventure.

I was scrolling through the new releases on Crunchyroll when this anime caught my eye. The opening theme has a catchy weird tune that I like and the style of drawing is refreshing. I completely get Asakusa & Mizusaki’s way of fan-girling over anime and both characters are very passionate about their dreams. Always good to follow your dreams. And then you have Kanamori in contrast, she is totally not interested in the visual concept of anime, only in the monetary value of it. She’s almost like a producer that sees the monatary value of a good serialisation.
An interesting premise was build for the first episode and I have to admit I am hooked for more. Sadly that means I have to wait another week for a new release ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Mandalorian – season 1

The Mandalorian
The Mandalorian

I have to admit that I initially took out a Disney+ subscription solely for the Mandalorian, but the channel started to grow on me as I could see the movies again I have forgotten about.

This series was inspired by the canon character Boba Fett and his background as a Mandalorian. The term Mandalorian isn’t mentioned in the main movies but it did spin off in the franchise to huge popularity. Which ultimately led to the making of the series developed by Jon Favreau, the guy some of you know as Happy Hogan in the Marvel franchise. Each episode was directed by a different director like Bryce Dallas Howard, Deborah Chow and Taika Waititi. The first season has eight episodes.

We are introduced to the Mandalorian who earns his keep as a bounty hunter bringing in targets for the Guild. His latest target is a mark which has been active for 50 years and many bounty hunters have perished trying to acquire it. The client is an Imperial in hiding who really wants this asset in his grasp. After dispatching the heavily armed guards of the hiding place of the mark, Mando is confronted by the The Child. This Child is called baby Yoda by many online, because he shares the same race as Yoda.

Mando struggles to deliver the Child to his client, who clearly want to vivisect the kid. Because of this he busts him out with guns blazing aided by his fellow Mandalorians whom have been in hiding for a long time. During his travels fleeing from the Guild and Imps (Imperials) Mando meets people who either help him or try to take the Child to the Guild as per contract. In the end he knows he can’t keep running until he eliminates the ones who keep hunting him across the galaxy. The 7th and 8th episode show us the lengths the Imps want to go to acquire this child. Mando ends up as a clan of Two and he either has to find the Child’s family or train him when he comes of age. This Is The Way.

When I am really honest, I am not a big fan of Boba Fett. I came to love Star Wars because of Darth Vader and the droids. But the announcement of the series had me stoked, because I do love a good background story.

When watching it I got the space western feeling, with Mando being the lone gunslinger torn between loyalty and doing the right thing. I mean who would honestly let those Imp meanies hurt the little green cutie. Pedro Pascal is a great fit with his deep voice for Mando, giving him a lot of character which is quite difficult in this role as we don’t see his face until the last episode of the season. So he almost voice-acting the whole series. Bringing in Gina Carano as a Rebel Shock Trooper was a great addition to the cast. She adds a strong female character as balance to Mando’s and overall testosterone filled action. Another good female role is the Mandalorians Armorer, doesn’t have much screen time but fill an important role as the keeper of the Mandalorians Creed.
IG-11 was an unexpected surprise for me as a humorous sidekick voiced by Taika Waititi. The droid provides an interesting arc for Mando, who distrusts droids, but ends up respecting and trusting the droid for what they have been through.

The planets seen in the series give off a desolate, remote feeling. As if the people were living out their lives at the edge of the galaxy. The atmosphere is gritty, with music giving us this westerny feeling. Just like the westerns which take place outside the large cities in the rural communities, these are the rural planets of the galaxy. Hope always seems far away in these places, our gunslinger is bringing hope and a little bit of change where otherwise would have been none. Because of this he is collecting like minded beings forming a gang which accumulates in larger changes as the season progresses.

I have to wait until Fall 2020 for the second season of this cool new story inspired by Star Wars. It seems far away but it will be fall before you know it.