Beautiful Darkness is more than a title – Review/Analysis

The following is a review/analysis. If plot details or analytical conjecture would ruin the experience for you, please read the album first. Enjoy!


Beautiful Darkness Panel

Aurora the Sprite


A dead child is only the beginning of cruelty in Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoet’s Beautiful Darkness. This eurpoean graphic album, available stateside from Drawn and Quaterly, juxtaposes the life of a child with the death of child in a manner that breaks the heart and chills the spine.  Continue reading

Ennugi – The Value of Death in a World with Extra Lives – Review

“What do I know of plumbing? Do I plumb? Have I plumbed?” – Luigi

There are games and then there are experiences. A game invites you in, gives you options, and let’s you play within the rules. An experience resonates and changes you. Some games engender experiences. Some don’t even try. When you encounter an experience in the wild, unburdened by marketing or expectations, it’s a glorious day. The day of Ennuigi.  Continue reading

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers Rewatch, Episode 2: New Frontier

Our Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers Rewatch continues. Read about Episode 1: Phoenix first if you like or dive in below. These synopses will be featured on the Beta Mountain wiki, a great resource for those interested in a deep dive on the show. Comments, likes and shares are always appreciated. 

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers 

Episode 1: New Frontier

Written by: Robert Mandell


The Rangers have assembled for the first time at B.E.T.A. the Bureau of Extra-Terrestrial Affairs. They await the arrival of the eminent Dr. Owen Negata, a green brain on a flying plate. Dr. Negata informs the Rangers of their next mission. It seems Captain Kidd has reached out to the Rangers offering an exchange. Information on the abducted humans in exchange for a trade alliance. The Rangers must travel to the planet Tortuna to negotiate the deal. Continue reading

Is Ghibli Magic Replicable? – Mary and the Witch’s Flower Review

Attention: This review contains analysis and therefore spoilers. 

Is Ghibli magic? Those two word arrive together more often than not and the pairing is rarely disputed. Is magic replicable? Mary and the Witch’s Flower, the new release from Studio Ponoc seeks to expand the magic beyond the walls of the venerable studio. Unfortunately, while the beauty of the imagery, and its close approximation to Ghibli’s style, cannot be denied, it takes more than beauty to make magic.  Continue reading

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers Rewatch, Episode 1: Phoenix – Some One Asked For This

We take a break from our regularly schedule Bionic Six Rewatch (don’t worry, it will return) for an essay someone actually asked for. An Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers Rewatch. These synopses will be featured on the Beta Mountain wiki, a great resource for those interested in a deep dive on the show. And in a way, Galaxy Rangers is a sibling to Bionic Six, same production company, similar bionics, different setting. 

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers 

Episode 1: Phoenix

Written by: Robert Mandell



“In 2086, two peaceful aliens journeyed to Earth seeking our help. In return, they gave us the plans for our first hyperdrive, allowing mankind to open the doors to the stars.” Continue reading

Whisper of the Heart – An Artist’s Tale – Review

Whisper of the Heart is not typical of Studio Ghibli. It starts with a John Denver song, “Country Roads.” John Denver’s sincere folk provides an anthem for the film. In a way, it’s the perfect soundtrack. Whisper of the Heart is the John Denver song of Ghibli movies, personal, open-hearted, obvious, and engaging. The characters resurrect the song throughout the film. Revising it, replaying it and reinterpreting it. Though the original lyrics ultimately mean nothing to the characters or the audience, the mood and tone of heart-on-your-sleeve longing provide the essential ingredient. Continue reading

Bionic Six Rewatch, Episode 1: Valley of Shadows – No One Asked For This

There are things that don’t exist in the world, because no one wants them, such as an in-depth analysis of a forgotten eighties cartoon. This column sets out to answer questions that no one asked. Enjoy.

Bionic Six

Episode 1: Valley of Shadows

Written by: Gordon Bressack


Somewhere in Africa a man with a long, white beard stumbles out of the jungle. Around his neck he wears a medallion stolen from RunDMC. This won’t be the last instance of cultural theft in this episode. This is Brent Holworth, but we don’t care yet. Continue reading