Tag Archives: macross

Bridging The Gap: That Moment

bonus points

 

Whenever I discuss any creative medium, one often is remiss if unable to bring up moments of vibrant inspiration. Moments that not merely find themselves as great water tower conversation starters, but moments which find themselves endlessly replaying themselves over and over again. And this isn’t merely in regards to anime, film, and so on. It can be found in a great book, or even a still work of street art. It’s that runner’s high instant where the creator, and the self seem to match spirits, if for only a second. It can be a few seconds of sheer, unadulterated beauty, or even overwhelmingly absurd. To look back and really consider this, it only happens a small number of times. And when it does, they tend to stick around, coloring a great deal of what makes us–us.

 

 
So when I think of this in the anime world, I can but pick out a disparate few that remain important personal milestones. As great series’ of artwork and behind the scenes rigor that somehow transated themselves into pure sensory transcendence. Some people call them Classic Moments.

Or as I sometimes  lovingly call them, “High-Fiving-God” Moments.
Here are a few of mine, in no particular order..

 

Tetsuo’s Olympic Performance

tetsuokei
Growing up heavily into 1980s fears of dystopian hell, as well as under threat of technological ahnilation, there was something about seeing our great scientific  secrets unveiled by way of unbridled youth. And in one of Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark feature, AKIRA‘s many iconic moments, we get a penultimate expression in Tetsuo’s arrival at Neo-Tokyo’s neglected Olympic Stadium, a place housing revelations about his own newly-aquired psionic abilities. So much destruction had already taken place since prior to this, but to see such a mammoth structure uprooted, all while a psychically controlled Kei attempts to stop him while one of the more experimental pieces by Geinoh Yamashirogumi screams with guitar wails and drones, and the military and science establishment looks on helplessly. Nature reasserting its dominance over mere custodians. It’s an orgy of sight and sound that has lost none of its power for me.

 

Naota At The Bat

naotabat2
Having already thoroughly enjoyed a majority of what would become Gainax’s last great work, Kazuya Tsurumaki and crew take their manic rock infused fever dream, FLCL  into metaphorical nirvana come the finale of episode 4, Furi Kiri. While admittedly, a majority of this OVA had been leading to this moment by placing quasi-disaffected protagonist, Naota in a fortitude contest against the enigmatic Haruko. Living in the shadow of a never-seen elder brother, his presumptuous nature is taken to extreme task when he finds himself in needing to save his boring town of Mabase by way of using his “bat” to swing at and hopefully stop a careening satellite from slamming into the Earth. All set to the tune of Crazy Sunshine, by cult faves, The Pillows, the scene is so thrilling, so poetic, so patently delirious, it could only be made so in anime form.

 

A-Ko’s Platform Game Gone Awry

akomissile
Forgiving the reality that the OVAs that followed leave so much to be desired, the original animator’s anime, Project A-ko remains a dynamo of inspired lunacy nearly thirty years on. But the gag that never ceases to leave me smitten takes place in the final third, as rivals A-ko & B-ko are forced to cease their mass destruction-laden feud in order to rescue the obnoxious C-ko from gender-ambiguous aliens who have descended upon the Earth with terrifying force. A-ko, the redheaded heroine of exceptional strength lacks the ability of flight, and quickly must improvise a strategy of reaching the humongous alien craft by way of playing leap frog with Self Defense Force Jets (most of which are shot down, leaving A-ko little choice but to jump from jet to jet). BUT it’s upon getting closer to the ship that our hapless hero takes on a nightmare run that would give many platform game lovers some form of PTSD! Apparently mostly animated by Dirty Pair designer/animator, Tsukasa Dokite, A-ko breathlessly leaping from missile to missile, with her donning the most exasperated face remains an all-time medium favorite.

 

Hikaru’s Lack Of Proper Valkyrie Knowledge

gerwalkmode
Man, I still love me some Macross. Perhaps the ultimate fan anime. Part soap opera, part space war saga, part self-conscious satire of the very young phenom of otaku. Not merely because of the fact that it was a watershed moment for me as a lover of Japanese cartoons, but of how all these seemingly disparate elements came together almost seamlessly. It was also the first transforming robot show to truly take full advantage of its gimmick, and create something that was on a whole, convincing from an engineering perspective. Without merely telling us how the UN SPACY’s latest fighter units worked, we discover the big secret via an outsider character in our lead, Hikaru Ichijo, a civilian whom while sitting in the cockpit of a demonstration Valkyrie, is mistaken for a real pilot, and ordered to take off as alien invaders begin pummeling Macross city.  Being suddenly surrounded by plumes of smoke and flame, the shock has only just begun when he falls into a tailspin. With the comlink instructions of one Misa Hayase (the officer who inadvertently assumed he was a fighter), Hikaru selects configuration G (aka Gerwalk Mode), and the resulting action..Let’s just say it remains beautifully timed, and lovingly animated for a low budget tv anime from the early 1980s. This is how you deliver a surprise. (Also look carefully for all the animation studios Hikaru’s Valkyrie pulverizes along the way!)

 

Lupin III’s Hardcore Parkour

rupaaaan
While it has become increasingly niche to consider Miyazaki’s Cagliostro Castle to be  the cream of the Lupin III crop, I remain a Cagliostro devotee largely because it remains one of the most directorially consistent, and entertaining of the franchise. But what also makes it such a remarkable experience even now, is the animation and art direction which continue to impress me. There are just too many great action and comedy beats here to list. So when I have to pick one that gives me the face-cracking smiles every time, it has to be the scene in which the mater thief uses the cloak of night to climb his way to a castle tower to reach the captive princess, Clarisse. With merely a little rope with hooks, a few taut-string rockets, and a cigarette lighter to assist him, his mission to reach from one tower to another is pure comic suspense. From the lush background, to the tile roofing, to all of Lupin’s stumbling amidst the breeze, it’s all the setup one needs before he loses that one little rocket…and..

 

Nagato’s Big Reveal

yuki
As budgets for animation have increased, spectacle in our anime has exponentially followed suit. The problem then, of course lands in how it is delivered. While I may have expressed enthusiasm about a number of wild moments, the biggest element that binds them all together is simple; a sense of build. Great moments cannot merely happen, they must be earned. They must come as a response to all that has come before it. The precendent must exist before it can be broken. And in the initial season of the surprise hit, Haruhi Suzumiya No Yuutsu, it comes almost out of nowhere, and in the process it lives up to the buildup in regards to a single character; the largely silent bookworm, Yuki Nagato. Throughout the course of the show’s original out of chronological order narrative, we are privy to the revelation that Nagato claims to be an alien. A being from a digitized world overlooked by an all-seeing data overmind. And as the stories build, we get fragments of her abilities, but it’s nothing compared to when the show’s centra narrator finds himself in a perplexing life or death situation in an empty classroom of all places. The moment of her appearance is exciting enough, bit the ensuing battle culled almost perfectly from the Tanigawa light novels is astonishing to the point of masterful. Turns out she’s the real deal, and the reality is beyond comprehension. One classical theory out there is that all art is a conversation between artists, and in the case of the cyber-battle over a once-very-skeptical lead character, this is the kind of visualization of such a world that has long been neglected in film form, and more common on cyberpunk literature, made corporeal in a high school fantasy setting! It’s wholly bonkers and brilliant. Heck, it even does The Matrix one better by exhibiting what happens to mass, manipulated by way of code. The kind of marriage between concept and action that is capable of greater inspiration.

 

Nagumo’s Heartfelt Apprehension

shinobu2

There’s just no denying it. Patlabor 2 will always remain in my heart as not only my favorite Mamoru Oshii film, but one of the unsung great Japanese films. Yet unlike the HEADGEAR-inspired science fiction action comedy that it had been up to this point, 2 is a quiet, taut, and contemplative masterpiece that features some of the most poetically beautiful moments the medium has ever seen. While there are indeed moments of action here and there, some of the most gripping moments tend to be the calm moments in between storms, sometimes even after the worst has occured. And in a tale about a future Tokyo psychologically ravaged by an unseen terrorist force, it is all about how a nation reacts, and how simmering feelings can reach a boiling point, never to be fulfilled. So unlike all the previous moments I have made mention of, it is in the finale of Patlabor 2 that I found a deep kinship with Oshii, and character artist, Hiroyuki Okiura. It is with the quiet second in command of the SV2 mobile police unit, Shinobu Nagumo, that so much is said by saying very little. Emotions are complicated, and even more so with those no familiar with expressing openly. It’s widely known that Nagumo was always Oshii’s favorite Patlabor character, so when he’s finally able to grant her center stage, it is with a quiet confidence, and studied patience that he grants her a unique dignity, regardless of the complexity of her current situation. Taking down the perp has never been so pensive, yet resolute. Yep. Not an action moment, but one that calls out the goosebumps like few others.

 

And there’s several more where these came from..

 

Have instances of “That Moment” in your anime memories? Ones that made you want to stand a cheer for their electricity? Share them with us!

 

 

Bridging The Gap: 30 Years Of Macross, 7 Hours Of Love

 

Taking a most unusual detour from its previous home at UCLA, I took a short trip from home to spend a few hours as part of american anime lover history celebrated 30 years of mecha, music, and love at Macrossworldcon 2012. This time, taking place deep in Arcadia (no, not that one), CA. , and within a modest-sized business & shopping center, virtually hidden from any manner of public view.  After badge pickup, and a colorful yet narrow walkway leading to the heart of the event, I found myself surrounded by a virtual cityscape of toys and items commemorating decades of the Macross franchise, from the original groundbreaking series, to the candy-heavy Frontier. UN S PACY heads from numerous generations and backgrounds convened in what remains a remnant of the anime con that once was..

 


We arrived just in time for a “Free Art Contest” where a group of talented sketch artists tried their hand at delivering a memorable Macross image with only two stipulations; A) Image must contain an audience-selected character from the franchise, and B) they only had ten minutes to make it so. (Sadly, my idea: An image of hapless Valkyrie pilot, Hayao Kakizaki–a character often characterized as a plate of steak, or a ball of flame, was never voted in.)

“Run For Your Life, Minmay!”

Couldn’t help myself from being knocked nostalgic, and also expressing deep excitement at the evolution of character and mecha goods on display. There were times when it felt like member-owned toys and items would never stop coming in to take residence on one of several counters set against the main event room’s walls. Was wonderful enough just to be in the presence of it.


But toys, raffles, and art aside, the major centerpiece of my trip occurred when beloved singer, songwriter (and inimitable voice of Lynn Minmay herself), Mari Iijima took to the main floor, and performed a short and potent set of songs. With Sunset Beach, and a haunting rendition of the legendary Ai Oboete Imasu Ka as the only Macross tracks, we were host to two of her personally written songs which were equally, if not more impressive. True to her ever-self-defining nature, the set was both emotionally charged, and wildly disarming.  (Fave track of the day, “Anatano Tame Ni Jibun No Tame Ni” offers up both a charm-filled sense of longing, and a dramatic sense of real knowing that was impressive. A stirring hint that her latest recorded effort, “Take A Picture Against The Light” may be her most deeply personal to date.)

 

 

So in all, my day in Arcadia was one filled with smiles, melancholy, and togetherness. A strange feeling again filled me as I stepped out of the venue, back into the real world that we all share, aware that I had just left a room of shared dreams and memories so many would never see. Perhaps just as well, as the event itself embraces something that is far too often missing from modern cons, a sense of unseen, yet solid community.

 

 

For Further Investigation..

http://www.macrossworld.com/

http://www.marimusic.com/

Streaming Classics To Be Thankful For!

Trouble navigating the classics online? Don’t worry. I’m here to help..

After some thought of the many out there (myself included) sharing thoughts on the growing number of streaming anime out there vying for our attention in a steadily growing new point in history for the medium in the states, it only felt right to spend some time sharing thoughts on an often overlooked quantity amidst the rabble. I’m talking of not only some of the shows I grew up with in those simpler times of either catching them via televised signal, or VHS copies lent to me via friends, and even an overlooked wonder that more folks truly need to give some time to. So let’s have at it this month, as we explore some streaming classics to be thankful for!

Space Pirate Captain Harlock

Oh, come on, you know we were going in strong with this one. And for those unfamiliar with Japan’s equivalent to Krypton’s favorite son, one must really spend some more time embracing your inner rebel, and give the adventures of Harlock and the crew of the ever iconic Arcadia a good watch. As a rule, I’m often not the biggest fan of the so-called “romantic hero”, but in the case of the title character, and the sweeping universe created by the one Leiji Matsumoto, it is an intoxicating mix of Japanese idealism & classic derring-do, made all the cooler by way of a fun supporting cast (I’ve had this lifelong kinship in Tochiro Oyama. Can’t help it.) . All the more beguiling for me has always been the universe with which Matsumoto manipulates his characters, and its a universe fraught with human frailty, and longing. Something that few to no other space-borne creations have ever embraced. Like I just mentioned, romantic. There’s no better way to explain it. And the action can still be remarkably brazen. Oh sure, it’s pure pulp, but supercool pulp, with some very interesting time capsule Japan material for the curious.

Here!

Fist Of The North Star

There are just some shonen action shows one cannot apologize for. And why bother? Buronson & Hara’s post apocalyptic bloodfest is a super-long, over the top game changer for action shows in the early 1980s. Definitely a product of not only the success of films like George Miller’s Mad Max, but also possibly of Sogo Ishii’s hyper-charged biker flicks with a little Bruce Lee in there for flavor. (not to mention the burgeoning number of violent martial arts video games coming out at this time) Add an eclectic cast of bulky maniacs, some interesting acupuncture-based martial arts, and a supertanker of human plasma, and you have a free-for-all take on the romantic action hero. Kenshiro isn’t merely a classic bad ass, but something of an extension of the kind of hero Harlock is, albeit without any real fear of interloping where he deems it necessary (Akira Kamiya, we love you.). Much more nihilistic in tone than Matsumoto’s signature superhero works, the show can, and often drags at times. But just when one thinks Hokuto no Ken will wander off into atypical Shonen Jump lumbering zombie mode- up comes another increasingly ridiculous villain to hook us into grabbing another bag of popcorn. When one considers just how massively popular this franchise has been after so many years, one owes it to themselves to see what all the noise is about.

Here!

Superdimension Fortress Macross
Okay, now this one’s a bit of a cheat, I know. But there’s just something about this unbelievably silly melange of genre & sudsy drama that still packs enough punch to create fans years long after its initial 1982-83 run. Thinking of just how many US fans alone were borne from the near-untouched Macek version of the Macross tale, it makes the head spin, even for one like myself who used to have a strictly set apointment time for this show. (4:30 Monday through Friday) Simply a coming of age tale set amidst a strange mixture of anime standards, the series made noisy the careers of many a notable artist, including Shoji Kawamori, Haruhiko Mikimoto, Kazutaka Miyatake, Toshihiro Hirano, Ichiro Itano, and is almost singlehandedly responsible for the emergence of the anime idol in Mari Iijima. Also possibly the first full-fledged “otaku’s anime”, the show is still an impressive achievement regardless of it’s limitations by today’s technical standards. Another cool thing, is that the show is featured on hulu in three incarnations (including the ADV dub from a few years back featuring a return English performance of Iijima as the Super Idol herself. How often does this happen?) for your convenience. And all headed by none other than stalwart first generation anime director Noboru Ishiguro, need we really say more?
Here in Sub or  recent Dub
Hell with that. Gimme my Battloids!

Esteban: Mysterious Cities Of Gold
Now this one isn’t necessarily a major name on my list, but it does have enough nostalgic quality to warrant a recommendation. So often, we hear little to nothing about the shows of DiC, and the French co-productions that came though this bunch long before the Sailor Moons & Power Rangers. (Yes, even 80s cartoon shows like Inspector Gadget, Heathcliff, & Dennis The Menace came from this unlikely alliance.) Airing in Japan at around the same time as Macross in Japan, and based on The King’s Fifth by Scott O’Dell, Esteban is the tale of a young lad in Barcelona who’s mysterious past is half revealed on the deathbed of the man long thought to be his father. Little Esteban is shocked to discover that not only he was adopted, but rescued from a sinking ship, and possibly linked to the mythical land of El Dorado, the golden city long held to be a South American legend. Almost immediately, he is en route to discovering more about his past by way of the man who had rescued him, a navigator named Mendoza who’s motives are anything but clear. Soon, Esteban experiences a most unusual set of adventures and makes some unique friends on the way, including a kidnapped Inca princess, and the last remnant of a vanished culture. The show, while far from great, does have in its arsenal some great story to spare. Not to mention a great deal of brain fuel for kids. Remembering this from its days here as part of Nick Jr. are filled with thoughts of summer for some reason, and it is hard to resist in areas, even if the music is a bit on the cloying side. And of course, the US version also comes with some quasi-historical cappers for each episode that border on laughable now, but is a fascinating new way of looking at how anime was utilized in the localization game oh so long ago. Oh, and the finale is pretty awesome. Seriously worth checking out.

“all i know is that i don’t know anything!”

Nobody’s Boy: Remi


Oh boy, I never imagined this one ever making it over here, but if there’s ever a massive coup for bringing a truly classic series here, this is it. This mother of a show (and I mean that in a multitude of ways) is a brutal reminder of the power of the anime artform, and its will to wring the emotions in the most amazing ways. It’s back to the late 70s , it was a time when anime knew how to lay it on thick, and this tale is of the kind that legends are made. So much of what we know and love (or hate) about tragic tales in the animated form is laid bare in this, also a tale of a young orphan in old France, who discovers that his parents aren’t who he thought they were, thus beginning a journey that is both heartbreaking, and strengthening. Directed by the usually action oriented Osamu Dezaki, and based upon the book Sans Famille by Hector Malot, this is the counterpoint to classics such as Candy Candy & Heidi. It is understandable that many may wish to dismiss a show like this today, but it must be said that after all the gimmickry & flash boils down in most shows, I’d be bold enough to say that anime hasn’t had this kind of go-for-broke emotional storytelling in many years. Remi is an often devastating show that delivers the emotional goods with enough aplomb, and hope for an entire year’s worth of shows. Dog Of Flanders has nothing on this beast.

Getting my Kleenex crate right now..
Lastly on my little list…I just had to save this for last.

Galaxy Express 999


It’s back to Leiji Matsumoto with his eternal companion piece to the Harlock saga with a much more personal tale of life, and the neverending series of lessons that can be learned merely by going out into the world (or in this case, across the expansive bounds of deep space!). The legend of young Tetsuro Hoshino, and his longing for a mechanized chassis takes a nasty turn when his poor mother is gunned down by game hunting Count Mecha. Burning with thoughts of revenge, his initial dreams of going machine are warped into plans of revenge, and his fateful meeting of mysterious beauty Maetel may either be the door toward achieving his deepest wishes, or destroy him in the process. Matsumoto’s legendary manga is another piece of longing for a Japan that had been experiencing great change in a mere few decades, and uses the visage of growing up in space as metaphor for this dramatically changing landscape. And the anime series directed by the often wonderful Rin Taro, plays like a most unique operatic/concert experience regarding the journey of life, and the price of our collective dreams. Later made into perhaps my personal favorite anime feature film of all time, GE999 may come off as more than a little overtly conservative to some, and intermittently insane to others, but it is a truly dreamlike & challenging journey where the hits often outweigh the misses, and deserves a firm place in history. Oh, and it also features Harlock, Ooyama & Emeraldas from time to time. ‘Nuff said.

Farewell Days Of Youth

And now for a little something extra:

At Your Own Peril:

Okay, now even though this is by many a classic series, to see Tomino’s claim to fame dubbed and edited in this manner still smarts to this day. But if you’re curious as to the Mobile Suit Gundam origins, and not ready to break out the wallet for some pricey imports, I suppose this is a nice, quick way to get acquainted.

That said, sweet mother of crap, Seriously guys. All this makes me think of is this.

Now on the slightly better side is the treatment that was given to the 85-86 sequel, which in many ways is almost better than the adored original! There’s not a great deal here that hasn’t been said before, but I do love the series in ways that the later shows just couldn’t hold a glow-stick to. Only one problem, the lack of proper opening animation and music. I can only surmise that the music licensing was a bit too steep, thus leaving us with this strange opening. So in the name of complet-ism  , here you go!

Join me next time, as we continue to explore some more favorites that are out there if we look hard enough. So much out there worth supporting. With hope, we can see an even more diverse library of titles for fans to sink their teeth into!

This belated post is dedicated to the memory of the one and only Yoshinobu Nishizaki. One way or another, you were an inspiration. We salute you.

Analog Diaries III: The Path To Legend

The life of a responsible older brother of a hyperactive eleven year-old was practically a full time job by the time the VHS maelstrom was upon us. And growing up in a community, mostly divided between wealthy retirees & small-town denizens, there was little place for those with tastes outside the typical. And as there were many a time when our video rental binges would become not unlike a romanticized trip to a junkyard. ( filled to the seams with crap, yet host to a bevvy of hidden treasures) For every Suspiria, we’d find four or five Witchcraft‘s. And even at this point, I wasn’t one-hundred percent about this anime thing.

It didn’t help when looking for titles that were dubbed for western audiences, the dearth of these led to some pretty interesting discoveries.
Most notable in this sweepstakes run were the ones we found, carrying the logos of Celebrity Home Video’s Just For KIDS emblazoned on them. And these little hauls of fun came bearing images & characters that were familiar, but upon viewing them, they sure weren’t the icons I remembered them being.

The first in this series of releases that had us doubling over was their version of the Captain Harlock origin feature, Arcadia Of My Youth(1982). Recut and dubbed, the film was repackaged as Vengeance Of The Space Pirate. Now as I had been accustomed to the tales of Harlock via friends & tapes of the tv show long ago, it was pretty clear kids were getting a huge dose of false advertising.(Not to mentin the kind of violence on the cover that would never fly in this day and age. Han Solo this! ) Missing roughly forty minutes of its epic running time, the film whisks by at a Cliff’s Notes clip, and features some oddball, yet competent (for its time) dubbing. If one can survive the stilted dialogue delivery, they may not be able to contain themselves as the newly liberated space cruiser Arcadia leaves a locked down Earth to a song only the worst Barry Manilow-lover would go nuts for. We’re on the verge of a crucial, emotionally fulfilling sequence, and all we get is theme music best fitting of a 2:30 in the morning Vegas show after a sixteen hour sucker’s streak at the tables. (If I could share this monstrosity with you via a video –Someone get on this. This pain must be shared!) Even as the cut is somewhat tolerable(albeit a little too literal at points), the film is missing so much of what makes ‘s film such a vital piece of Leiji Matsumoto history.

All that was left post this initial viewing, was me in disbelief, and a very out of sorts little brother.

Could’ve been worse…It could’ve been THIS.

Which leads us to a tape I ran into at one of the local Blockbusters that grabbed my eyes with a mad fury unrivaled.

Clash Of The---whaaa?
Clash Of The---Wut?

That’s right. Celebrity also had the home video rights to the legendary Macross 1984: Ai Oboete Iimasuka? (Do You Remember Love?), and really gave it the business. A chop-shop treatment at best, this not-Macross Macross is the anime equivalent to a victim of Dr. Herbert West; Mangled , bizarre, and ultimately only good at haunting the living. Not only is the film missing some crucial moments (including one very significant death scene – seriously, if you’re going to sell this to kids, it might be best to know what you’re selling.), but it also features dubbing that is the very definition of….Awkward.

Sound familiar?(I vaguely remember the same studio and actors being used in the dub for HK favorites such as the original Police Story. ) In short, it was nice to have a home version of the Macross feature, but to settle for such a painfully wasted opportunity. It’s something that still stings to this day. If only they had taken care of this situation long ago. C’est La vie.

As a good guardian for those weekends while the mother unit was busy keeping us well fed and raised, we had our fair share of experiences such as these that kind of gave us a gauge from which to measure how video companies were treating something so regionally based. And even as the claws of anime love had yet to dig irrevocably into my being, there was a growing curiosity within me to continue to look into what was so attractive about it. And how was I to know that everything was soon to take on shapes never before witnessed when a little movie came over, and began playing in major metropolitan areas throughout the country.

Being a kid in Theater, and up for the chance to check out something outside the ordinary, I was invited by classmates to catch this film in a new theater in Palm Springs that also served as the region’s art house location. Even as there had been some talk about the film’s impact that had steadily growing over the west, nothing could prepare me for the sheer visceral impact of Katsuhiro Otomo’s little movie , AKIRA.

A film that truly requires no intro of any kind, this one viewing evoked feelings for the medium that had yet been experienced. And that is very much in the manner as films such as AKIRA must be digested as, an experience. Not being familiar with the incredible source material, it was something akin to allowing ones’ self to be absorbed into the chaotic world of these characters, and to drink in the dystopic fury of what must have been brewing deeply within many folks in Japan at the time. The film felt like a much needed purging of emotions in a rapturous package that helped illuminate my mind to the possibilities of manga art, and its animated extensions. Coming out of that theater, dizzy, and drunk with love for the film, it became something akin to what was referred by Professor Brian O’Blivion in Videodrome as “a new part of the brain”.

And it is also possible that in those pre Subs Only Watching/Japanese studying days, that it was the sensational dub licensed by Streamline Pictures from Kodansha  that helped seal the deal. Utilizing only a handful of familiar-sounding actors (These guys, anyone?) to play what is essentially an epic-sized cast was no mean feat. And even as a great deal of it is played for camp value, it at least was translated & performed well enough for many to accept it, and embrace the achievement that Otomo and company had brought to the world stage.

Aside from being such a landmark piece of work, it became something of a prophecy for the relationship between us siblings. While both of us being well-versed in film as kids, few films would ever have the same kind of jarring effect that this one had, especially once Orion & Streamline brought the film to American VHS not too much later. And once this film came into our possession, it felt as if little was to remain the same for the both of us.

The Future of Love

How will they remember love?
How will they remember love?

Many people look upon those who express love for characters as having “given up” or “retreated from reality.” While it’s true that they have turned their backs on their fellow flesh-and-blood humans, it is woefully inaccurate to suggest they have “given up” on romance and love.

Continue reading The Future of Love

Macross Frontier 1–Now that’s what I call a big bang!

Don’t ya feel so manly watching them fast fighter planes?

Don’t ya feel so manly watching them fast fighter planes?

I’ve seen most of the original Macross TV series, the movie Do You Remember Love?, and Macross Plus. This new series, Macross Frontier, was exciting to me for simply one reason–it marks the return of Yoko Kanno to the helm of the music department (she also wrote the music to Macross Plus). Who knew it would have some of the most exciting aerial battles I’ve seen in a while, too?

Continue reading Macross Frontier 1–Now that’s what I call a big bang!