AHoodedFigure (Level 7)

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The last Japanese animated work I watched was Ganymede Elegy, a Cowboy Bebop episode.
 
Before that there was pretty much nothing, not even much animation, for a long time.
 
Unless you count the brilliant Avatar: The Last Airbender, which some people don't. 
 
Why they don't, I cannot precisely say. I know that Anime often means strictly Japanese animation to people, but to me it's just as easily meant a style that can easily be emulated, and learning about the production of Avatar it was STEEPED in anime techniques and general respect to Eastern ideas, yet is apparently still not pure enough for some people.
 
I imagine this argument has already gone over many times here, and although I want to express myself about it I don't mean to be opening old wounds for anyone, yet I find it irritating that an artform that was popularized by Japan must somehow stay there. Never mind Korea, which has its own thriving animation industry, or China, which is trying desperately to catch up. The people who created animation there aren't Japanese, though I imagine the old success story of Japanese animation never escaped their minds, and no doubt inspired them. Never mind France or the United States, who have wonderful animation traditions with plenty of cross-pollination, yet happen not to be Japan.
 
What about stuff in Japan that doesn't follow the Anime style, though?: animation that takes directly from other traditions rather than modeling off of what we expect to be Japanese animation. I guess that's the other side of the categorization problem for some. No easy answers, I guess.
 
For me, if this particular site was to encompass animation and drawn cartoons, that would be enough, but sadly Screened and Comic Vine have sort of pared off the ends of that. This place was meant to capitalize on the fandom out there. It would have been a nice place for Avatar fandom to dwell, I imagine, and since the old debate I guess it's taken up some sort of residence here, last I checked.  
 
The kind of things that are largely popular to anime devotees seem too repetitive for me to even summon the will to care, so I stick to the things I know, that expand horizons rather than clone themselves, but as I imagine my joining Comic Vine would also feel, this would leave me off in the corner, grumbling about all the stuff that doesn't fall easily into established fan categories.
 
Could this place be opened up to attract more native Japanese speakers, perhaps? That would be interesting. Turn it into a source bolstered by sources closer to the source, to overuse a word.
 
I came back for several reasons. I miss this place, its color scheme, its stark differences with the rest of Whiskey Media. Giant Bomb was my first, and it's where I live now as far as Whiskey Media is concerned. This is like a comfortable cabin, though, for me. Somehow there's a promise lying deep in here, somewhere. Don't know if it'll ever be realized, but I can't say I'll ever give up hope.
 
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to smooth out the wrinkles of the wallpaper. Feel free to browse my tiny library. Borrow anything you like. Take your time.
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I'm a bit surprised that I wasn't more curious about this 3 piece collection of films based on Otomo Katsuhiro's short works. Around that time I still was incredibly fond of Otomo's work, and still revered his Akira as a masterpiece.  It wasn't until someone reminded me that Memories existed by recommending I see Magnetic Rose, that I finally got acquainted with this gem of a production.  I will say, though, that its reputation as uneven, and thus flawed on the whole, is justified.  The middle work, Stink Bomb, is a single joke played out WAY too damned long.  But Cannon Fodder manages to set a distinct mood with its art style that transcends the ease with which people seem to reject it (the only thing that bothered me about it, other than the ending that seemed to lack a strong punch (though I get where it was going, so it's not so big a deal), was the lazy foley work when people walked around).
 
I understand why the two other works get mixed reviews, though.  The first piece, Magnetic Rose, overshadows the rest.  It is a tightly scripted, excellent example of science fiction done in the literary, discovery style.  I can't remember the last time I was gripped so tightly by ANY film, let alone a work of animation. It has to be experienced if you're willing to discover the potential of animation to tell a story.
 
Magnetic Rose was written by the late Kon Satoshi, with haunting music by the always masterful Kanno Yoko.
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I like dour characters.  I guess a lot of people don't, from all the silly backlashes against people who don't fit normative roles.  I'm not exactly the most chipper person myself, so when I see people in real life or in entertainment who don't affect an attitude that is meant to portray interest when there is none, I'm instantly intrigued.
 
Lil from the series Ergo Proxy is thoughtful but subdued, and in the bleak town of Romdeau she acts as our lens into that world, and she personifies it at the same time.
 
The structure and plot of Ergo Proxy irritates me, but I find myself drawn by the style and design, and the show's unwillingness to paint a happy face on things.  It's too bad I won't get to see the whole thing, because its style and substance are reasons why I won't give up on anime yet.
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I'm still trying to understand what people mean by the term "anime," since I've heard anime creators say that anime is inclusive because the characters featured are often   of indeterminate background.  It's not the first time I've heard people say blanket statements by people who work in the industry they're commenting on not quite meshing with others' interpretations. 
 
I watched early dubs of Galaxy Express 999, Gatchaman and Battleship Yamato (the latter will always be Battle of the Planets and Starblazers to me), but it wasn't until I was in my teens that fan subs were first making their way to conventions and BEGINNING to get serious attention.  Back then I pronounced it "æ-naim", knew that it meant Japanese animation, and I thought Akira was the coolest thing I'd ever seen.  Over the years I began to realize things like Akira the works of Miyazaki were the rare exception, and I felt alienated by the ultra-detailed fan knowledge that didn't seem to be following anything that appealed at all to me.
 
I think part of the problem is that there is such a specialized knowledge that goes into this sort of hobby, people forget to bring the rest of those who might find something to like along for the ride.  I liked this stuff back then, I followed it, and now, coming back to it when this site launched, I realized I was left way behind.  You want people to take anime more seriously and stop stereotyping it?  Begin some outreach for old stragglers like me.  Otherwise you're always going to have these sorts of problems.
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Without skipping a beat:
 
Watched Cowboy Bebop: The Movie.  Great, great, great.  Could have done without the poor depiction of certain minorities but long, involved action sequences (bit confusing, couldn't quite tell why they were happening, but still), bigger plot but still firmly in the universe.  In one of the interviews they said that Bebop was already cinematic, so all they had to do was make a well-polished episode and their job was done.  They were right.
 
I just wish there were more movies, is all.  Bah, now I'm back to missing the show again.  Short fix.
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