Tag Archive: Kohei Uchimura

Review by C.J. Bunce

Two episodes in, and you’ll probably get drawn into at least three of the characters in the story.  Four episodes in, you’re thinking about who is going to to make it to the second season and how quick they can get that filmed and released.  Directed by Shinsuke Sato, Haro Aso’s popular manga series comes alive in Alice in Borderland, the live-action dystopian, Japanese noir-meets-steampunk thrill ride streaming now on Netflix.  Doomsday, Tokyo-style, is surprisingly violent, surprisingly thought-provoking, as a city finds itself mostly vacated (as in The Quiet Earth and 28 Days Later) and the remaining citizens must fight for their lives The Running Man-style or they’ll get zapped and killed The War of the Worlds-style.  Clever casting of characters introduces looks of action heroes from all sorts of Japanese video games, manga, and anime, all living (many briefly) in a world loosely pulled from Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice in Wonderland.  A gamer-themed series on the heels of the popular Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit, the result is a very different story allowing the audience to try to solve clues along with the players on the screen–what I was hoping for when I first heard about the book Ready Player One.

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One of the best Olympians so far in the 2012 Olympics is the really cool 23-year-old gymnast from Japan, Kohei Uchimura.  Every time I see him on TV I think “anime man” because of that haircut and his incredible action hero-type strength, speed and flexibility.  And that haircut–if you look at his teammates or fans, none of them look like this guy.  No, Uchimura has his own image going.  He looks like he should be starring in a live action anime movie.  He’s just got this anime action hero look down.  And he comes with the requisite superhero badass attitude and physical prowess.

Uchimura also carries a bit of cool background information with him.  Putting aside his resume of wins and medals and the fact that he won the men’s all-around gold medal this round, he has a coach named Kato.  Kato!  As in Green Hornet.  As in Pink Panther.  How can anyone have a better trainer than Kato?  Uchimura’s favorite hobby?  Sleeping.  So far so good.  Favorite food?  Chocolate.  And he won’t eat vegetables no matter what anyone tells him about diet.  His motto:  “Doing things at my own pace.”  This guy sounds like an ambassador for his generation.

So over lunch today I enlisted my co-writer pal Art Schmidt to help me figure out which anime character the Japan film industry needs to develop for the new movie starring Uchimura.  Art, with his knowledge of anime films, of course knew some right off the bat.

So here’s where we ended up.

Kaga Tetsuo is a character from Hikaru no Go.  Here he is:

Hmm… pretty close.  There’s another anime character named Tetsuo.  Tetsuo, the borg we have talked about before at borg.com, and member of the Borg Hall of Fame, from Akira:

“Just watch me attack the parallel bars with my borg arm.” (Though he might be disqualified.)

Or how about Vegeta, from Dragon Ball Z:

Hmm… we might have to adjust his part a little.

Dye the hair and you have Orochimaru-Sama from Naruto.

Or how about Goku from Dragon Ball?

That’s a lot closer to what I was thinking.  In the top photo above, Uchimura even has that forward head lean spot-on.

Maybe with a funky hat and some make-up, Ulquiorra Schiffer from Bleach?

Or Gin from the same show:

Then we come to Ash from Pokemon.

Even with the hat, Ash looks like he might be a doppleganger for our man Uchimura.  And look at “L” from Death Note:

Any other suggestions?  C’mon, Japan film industry!  We want to see this guy as an action movie star.

C.J. Bunce

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