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Tag: samurai

Spirit Hunters: The Way of the Fox, by Paul Kidd – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Spirit Hunters. Book 1: The Way of the Fox, by Paul Kidd. Illustrated by Angie Kae (KaeMantis).
Raleigh, NC,, Western Australia, Kitsune Press, September 2014, trade paperback $31.97 (470 pages), Kindle $7.99.

product_thumbnailSpirit Hunters is set in the realm of traditional Japanese mythology, vaguely around 900 or 1000 A.D. if you know your Japanese history. It begins with the rebel lord Sanuki nō Tazadane trying to annex the lands of Kitsune Mountain.

“Lord Sanuki’s castle and treasury both mysteriously burned to the ground two days later …” (p. 3)

Asodo Kuno, a young and handsome, but not terribly bright human samurai, a junior deputy of the sixth rank (a bottom-rung position) in service to Magistrate Masura of the Imperial court, is traveling on foot to the sword tournament at Iris Castle, where Magistrate Masura is presiding over contests of swordsmanship. Kuno hopes to win the tournament to achieve promotion to a higher position. He meets Kitsune nō Sura along the road:

“A fox woman lounged upon a fallen log like a reclining Buddha, eating a roasted chicken leg. Beside her, there were the embers of a camp fire and a pair of backpacks ready for travel. The fox woman had a long, clever pointed muzzle, and great, green eyes filled with humour. Her body was human in size an shape – excepting for its lush pelt of fur, her fox head with muzzle and long pointed ears, and her long, elegant red tail. She wore a priestess’ robes decorated with images of peaches – with each peach missing a single bite. The fox called out to Kuno in a loud and merry voice while she wriggled her black-furred toes.” (p. 12)

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USAGI YOJIMBO gets a successful pitch for a feature film

by Patch O'Furr

The indie comic by Furry favorite artist Stan Sakai is a “funny animal series set in 17th century feudal Japan”. The rabbit samurai has never appeared in animation, except for brief appearance in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV cartoon. (A TV show pilot from 1995, Space Usagi, never aired because of lack of toy company backing and bad business involving the Bucky O-Hare comic; “anything with a rabbit in space was considered off limits”.)

Now, Usagi is in a short film that was made to present to Stan Sakai, the TMNT-affiliated creator who’s been guest of honor at a number of Furry cons. It earned his approval for feature film rights.

… And it’s intended to be stop-motion animation!

Lintika Film Studio made the pitch video.  They’re a shoestring-budget collaboration of local San Francisco Bay Area animators.  Executive production is from Fon Davis. Fon gave me a tour of his local studio (Fonco), and showed me the original, iconic spiral hill from Nightmare Before Christmas that he animated.  He’s an incredibly generous supporter of indie productions, known for hosting panels at San Diego Comic Con.  Lead animator on the pitch is Justin Kohn, known for working on all of Henry Selick’s features and supporting the Bay Area animation community.

The short’s director from Lintika says:

It’s still a work-in-progress and about 90% complete. We’re currently working on the sound mix and refining the film for the DVD release which will include behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, deleted scenes, and interesting details regarding the making of the featurette.