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Hanover Fist:

Drama, Horror, Psychological, Sci-Fi
MyAnimeList overview - Torrents: 720p, 480p

Memories is a collection of three short films produced by Katsuhiro Otomo of Akira fame. My favorite of the three is Magnetic Rose, whose script was written by Satoshi Kon - another whose work I've loved in anything he does.

Magnetic Rose focuses on a deep space salvage ship which receives a distress signal. They find a giant space station surrounded by derelict ships and an anomalously strong magnetic field. Two crew members enter the station to find the inside decorated like an opulent opera house, but in varying states of decay. They learn the station was owned by an opera diva named Eva Friedal, suspected of the murder of her husband. As they explore further, strange sights and encounters assail them.

In Stink Bomb a lab technician with the flu mistakenly takes an experimental drug that reacts with his flu shot. He soon becomes a walking weapon of mass destruction due to his pestilential body odor.

Cannon Fodder is set in a walled city that is always at war. Each building has a cannon and the entire population is devoted to maintaining and shooting these cannon.

The film dates from 1995, so the animation is a bit old, but each short has its own unique charm. It's well worth the time, if just for the intense psychological trip of Magnetic Rose. However, the black humor in Stink bomb is fun as well as the thoughtful nature of Cannon Fodder.

Magnetic Rose
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Stink Bomb
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Cannon Fodder
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Hanover Fist:
Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu
<Parasyte - The Maxim>

Action, Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
MyAnimeList overview
Torrents: 720p mkv/mp4, 480p
XDCC: 720p mkv/mp4, 480p

In my mind, this is the show to beat for Anime of the Decade.

It begins with alien spores quietly raining down from the sky one night. Tens of thousands of Japanese people are infected: The spores burrow to the brain, eat your head and take over your body. The parasites then become carnivores/cannibals, eating other humans. The mass media dubs the initial killing spree as the mincemeat murders. The parasite portion can morph to whatever shape it can conceive of and their potential intelligence rivals humans.

Izumi Shinichi is listening to headphones in his room that night, blocking one of the pathways to his brain. The spore then gets sneezed out of his nose and Shinichi freaks out when he sees it. After his flailure, it burrows into his hand, working its way up his arm. Shinichi uses his headphone cord as an improvised tourniquet, which prevents the parasite from reaching his head. In moments it takes over his right arm, but is now trapped there. Shinichi and Migi (Japanese for "right") must then learn to coexist.

Parasyte began as a manga in the late '80s and early '90s. After watching episode 1, I snarfed up all ten volumes in one sitting. I've been inflicting this show on five different friends weekly and have seen each episode a good six times. Every change I've noticed from the manga has only been an improvement to make the plot flow better or to make the art and setting more timely.

The animation is just beautiful and the backgrounds are breathtaking at times. I'm told the delinquent clothing styles match current Japanese trends. I did start a game with one friend to spot the CGI people in the background. They're actually used quite well, often a little out of focus and obscured by the high quality cel-style main characters. The director is not afraid of gore, but the camera angles don't glory in it. The setting feels very current and real. While some scenes happen at school, a lot more occurs in the rest of the city or even the countryside. I love the soundtrack which ranges from quiet piano pieces to dubstep and a metallic OP song.

Overall, this show gets a 10 out of 10 from me.

Screencaps courtesy of RandomC as usual, and a little googling.
(click to show/hide)

A new parasyte is hungry,

... things get messy.

A spore outside of Shinichi's room.

The ear route to the brain is blocked.

After an epic sneeze,

... it tries to work its way up his arm.

Curses! Foiled again!

Early on, the parasite is not very coordinated.

Shinichi confronts his posessed hand with a knife,

... but Migi is strong and fast enough to survive.

With an uneasy truce they learn to coexist. Migi hits the books.

Migi explains what it deduced about parasites, but lacks any memories as a spore or before.

Migi can sense other parasites,

... but it takes some convincing to get Shinichi to investigate.

Not all parasites were lucky enough to land near a human.

This one gets angry and threatening.

But Migi has studied a lot and will prevail.


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