It seems like all of the natural disaster movies starting in the Nineties used the conventions of monster movies: the tornado, the asteroid, and the volcano all have a malevolant purpose to them. The trailers have these disasters and more, which make me wonder how much of them are going to be a rote copy of popcorn trash like Armageddon or The Core, or if they bring in some of the delightful campiness of the Monster Island fare.I couldn't make it through the Anime Boston report -- Harry Knowles can be incoherent -- but I have to wonder if anime is a fad that's passed. It certainly seems that most of the series coming out these days are all targeted at the 14-18 market, and out of the various houses only Geneon is really taking chances with stuff like Paranoia Agent.
Are the Japanese in the mood for a disaster movie that shows the destruction of Japan? Does the movie reflect a pessimism among Japanese people? (Battle Royale taken one step further.) Or do certain people, including filmmakers, enjoy showing death and destruction? The stupid NBC earthquake movies end on an 'optimistic' note, but to show death and destruction for the sake of entertainment... it seems rather sick.Looks like GITS is probably the only series worth watching, I hope there is demand for a third season. It's unfortunate that Cowboy Bebop ended so quickly. If Joss Whedon had his way, he'd do Firefly for at least 100 episodes. What do you think of Gothic Made? (www.gothicmade.com) Reminds me of 5 Star Stories but I don't know if it's the same guy. Local anime club is having its showing at Saratoga library this afternoon, but I don't see anything interesting, besides GITS, season 1. What do you think of Chrono Crusade, Master Keaton, or Dokkoida, or Genshiken? (See No Name Anime, www.nnanime.com)
This interview is strangely topical: speaking on Patlabor 2, Oshii talks about his desire to blow up Tokyo.Even Battle Royale had two kids escape in the end; I have my doubts whether Tokyo Sinking will differentiate itself from a compendium of American disasters. Back in the Nineties, the disaster movie in America was a surrogate: we didn't have any real threats or enemies, so we had to make up our own, whether it was giant rocks, neo-Nazis in the closet, or Crimson Jihad under the bed. Japan never really had a 9/11 of their own (Aum was a tragedy, but a different kind) so I think that they're grasping at straws for an identifiable bogeyman. Now the question is whether Tokyo Sinking will be more like Deep Impact or Armageddon.As for animation... What do you think of Samurai Champloo? I think that Shinichiru Watanabe really missed the mark on it; it's not really something I can get into entertainment like Cowboy Bebop, let alone grindhouse homage. I've tried to get into samurai-themed anime before, with stuff like the Kenshin OAVs, but the character designs are too much of a distraction for me.If Gothic Made is by the same guy that did 5 Star Stories, I could see that, but the designs looked to "kiddie" for me, like Kingdom Hearts or something. I could never really get into 5 Star Stories either, but that's just personal preference. Master Keaton is supposed to be pretty good, and has a rather unusual premise, with its middle aged, jack of all trades hero; I'll probably pick it up when a discounted collection comes out. Dokkoida looks like another parody anime -- I liked Excel Saga, but in a "you can only get away with that once" way. Chrono Crusade is just nuns with guns; it might be amusing to see Bizarro America and Bizarro Christianity in the eyes of the Japanese, but in the end it's still a show for teenagers. Genshiken is more anime-about-anime-fans: not sure if it was based on an h-game like Comic Party, but I don't think it could top the original Otaku no Video.As far as seinen fare (targeted at men in their early twenties, like Patlabor or GITS), offhand I could think of stuff like Paranoia Agent and the experimental Texhnolyze.I guess the problem is that the OAV market has become pretty niche, at least from what I can tell about what makes it over here. So there might be a little more variety in TV programs but it's still spread thin across more market segments.There's always Goro Miyazaki's upcoming Earthsea movie...
haven't seen anything of Samurai Champloo
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