“Tonight, in this very town, something big is going down.”
A Ghost Trick print for Anime North this weekend! Purchases of this print will also come with a free complimentary postcard, with the promo art for the Ghost Trick zine I’m hosting (available mid June 2017)! I’ll be in the AN Artist Alley at table G15. See y’all there!
Independent Animated Films From ~The Previous Year
Phantom Boy. This is the story of a New York boy who has an illness, but becomes a hero. The boy escapes his hospital-bound body to go check on his family, but soon he uses his ability to solve crimes. It’s another detective story by the makers of A Cat in Paris and it uses the same animation style.
The Boy and the Beast. This is the most recent movie made by the famous anime director who made Summer Wars, Wolf Children and The Girl Who Lept Through Time. This film is about a boy who ventures into the realm of monsters and grows up under the guidance of a beast. Later he reconnects with humanity.
Big Fish & Begonia.
This movie was funded in part thanks to social media and became a surprise box-office sensation.
Long Way North.Before working on this film, the director worked on the animation of The Secret of Kells and The Painting. His style here consists of contourless shapes in gorgeous pastel colors. The story is about a teenage girl who goes to the Arctic to look for a lost boat in late 19th century Russia.
Miss Hokusai. This is an episodic anime film about a female artist in Edo Japan who has to deal with work, her eccentric father and a sick sister. It’s based on the life of the daughter of Hokusai, the artist who drew the famous big wave with mount Fuji in the background. The film showcases some of his artwork.
My Life as a Zucchini.
This is the Oscar-nominated stop-motion French film. It’s an adaptation of a semi-autobiographical novel about a boy who goes to live in an orphanage. It’s realistically somber, but it’s also full of charm and even hope. The children’s performances are phenomenal. The Blu-ray comes out in May.
The Red Turtle. This is the Oscar-nominated French film co-produced by Studio Ghibli. It’s a beautiful and quietly contemplative fable about the stages of life. I would say avoid the trailer if you haven’t seen it and intend to watch it because it’s a mini version of the whole film. The Blu-ray comes out in May.
Louise by the Shore.
From the director of The Painting and it’s even more beautiful. It’s a deliberately slow and introspective story about an elderly woman who is left alone in a seaside town vacated during the winter.
Jack Frost & Danny Phantom, "Well one of us is gonna have to change."
If North had known the catch–that when Jack asked, “Can I invite a friend to the party?” he’d meant, “Can I invite a human to the party?”–he probably would’ve said No.
“What are you talking about?” Jack laughed, face scrunching up in amusement, crossing his arms. He looked a bit out of place without his staff (it was a masquerade party, and he’d come dressed in the black and white garb of a popular American superhero named Phantom), but Jack’s eyes still shone with the familiar glint of a trickster. “Danny’s not human. Not entirely.”
“Ah, but there is the issue, my friend. Part human is still human.” North explained, casting a wary glance across the room. The boy in question chatted animatedly with Tooth, Bunny, Coatlquetzal, and the Groundhog. Danny himself had a blue hoodie, brown pants, and a certain crooked staff in his hands. North tried to shake off the uncanny resemblance; if Danny only had a white wig, he’d be identical to Jack Frost.
Danny wasn’t having any trouble seeing the guests, though, despite being well past the age of most believers. North wasn’t sure if the boy was a medium or had nonhuman heritage, but it didn’t matter. It was still dangerous.
“There are many spirits here who would take advantage of a human,” North pointed out. “Not at my party, perhaps. But after.”
“Danny? No. he can take care of himself.” Jack said.
North raised a skeptical eyebrow, so Jack called over, “Hey Danny! Come meet Santa.”
From across the room, Danny and Jack shared a knowing glance, and briefly North wondered what was going on between the two. He didn’t have much time to ponder it, though, as the teen tactfully broke away from his conversation and ambled over with a smile.
Danny offered a hand to shake. “Nice to meet you, North, Jack’s told me a lot about you. And… my dad’s a big fan,” he admitted sheepishly.
North shook the offered hand, casting a confused glance to Jack, who just grinned, eyes sparkling. “So North seems to think,” Jack started out before North could get a word in edgewise, “That you’re human.”
A pause, and instantly, Danny grinned too. “I knew that whole ‘watching you 24 hours a day’ thing was BS.” He turned to North, eyes dancing with such amusement that North irrationally wondered if he was Jack’s twin. “Are you asking for a demonstration, then?”
North blinked. “Demonstration?”
Grinning, Jack stole his staff, and Danny stepped back, hands clenched at his side.
And then a white ring appeared around the teenager’s waist.
Heads turned as the bright flash grew, parting over Danny’s form to completely change his appearance. The hoodie and pants transformed into black and white hazmat; Danny’s black hair inverted to white. In an instant, the human was gone, replaced by Phantom, ghost superhero of legend.
North’s jaw dropped. Jack, behind him, laughed.
“See? What did I tell you? That was priceless!” Jack sauntered over to lean an elbow on Danny’s shoulder. North blinked. Now Jack and his guest were both wearing the same outfit, and except for the height difference and one’s green glowing eyes, the two looked identical.
Danny poked Jack in the chest. “Yeah, but now one of us is gonna have to change.”
“Bloody hell,” whispered Bunny from somewhere behind North, echoing his thoughts. “I can barely handle one Jack Frost–what’re we gonna do with two?”
The Phantom Kangaroo is a reported out of place kangaroo or wallaby; sometimes only their footprints are seen. These phantom kangaroos have been seen all over the world including Japan, France, the United Kingdom, Poland and the United States. Several explanations have been put forth to try and explain these kangaroo sightings including that they may be escaped from zoos, escaped from circuses or even caused by mass hysteria.
04 of 15 - Modern Compendium: Full Moon - Beast Phantom Cat
Although cross-cultural myths are becoming more common these days, thanks to ease of travel and the internet’s increasing ubiquity, there are still very few stories that appear in a wide variety of disparate cultures. The Phantom Cat, which can be seen from North America to the United Kingdom to Denmark to India, is one of these myths.
Generally speaking, the actual story behind the Phantom Cat is pretty mundane. Typically someone will be out for a walk, or even just looking out of their window, and see a gigantic black cat in the distance casually skulking through the brush. In more extreme cases, people have claimed to see them near the carcasses of recently deceased farm animals, tying them to mysterious cattle mutilations. Although responses to these sightings vary, it’s not uncommon for the local constabulary to be called out – in England, where Phantom Cat sightings are fairly common, there have actually been cases where the Royal Marines have been called out to search for the beasts.
Explanations for Phantom Cat sightings are about as varied as you’d expect. Cryptozoologists are convinced these animals are surviving Ice Age fauna, the general population seems to view them as escaped exotic pets wandering the suburban landscape, and skeptics look at the vast majority of Phantom Cat sightings as dark-colored ordinary domestic felines. And to be fair, humans are really terrible at judging the size of things, especially small objects, from a great distance.
At any rate, the cross-cultural ubiquity of Phantom Cats puts them way up high in the Beast family – right at the top, in fact. They aren’t hugely powerful, as is typical for the Beasts, but the Phantom Cat does get one of the Absorb skills, so its not a total loss.
For more info on this and every other demon in the modern Compendium, have a look at our extensive Data File, right over (here).