Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

Anime: A Primer

By Lai Lai Boy in Culture
Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:57:29 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

Despite the growing fan base for Japanese animation, or anime, in the U.S., Britain, and other Western countries, the medium is still misunderstood by the many individuals, even many who consider themselves fans. Many people consider anime simply as "tentacle porn." That does not do the justice to films like Tonari no Totoro, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi , or the Rurouni Kenshin OAV. What follows is a short primer/history on the medium, including notable titles and important figures.

History of Anime
In the West, Japanese animation, anime, has become increasingly popular, often to the bewilderment of the Japanese themselves. It has become popular with "nerds" as well as what most would consider the mainstream.

Historically, the first Japanese animation was created before World War II. It, however, has its roots in the earlier traditions of Japanese comics, or manga. Unlike in the U.S., Japanese comics do not solely consist of super hero fare, an important fact to remember when dealing with anime, as the two mediums are deeply intertwined. Many of the early animation titles included Chinese myths, including "The Journey West", which would see life several times in the history of anime. In retrospect, most of these early cartoons would seem crude, but they were important first steps in the medium.

As the World War approached, many propaganda cartoons were created. Most featured the benevolence of Japanese rule for the "lower class" Asians and the barbarism of the Western world. As more and more resources were poured into the war effort, there was little time or capital to create animation outside of propaganda. Of course, Japan lost World War II and Douglas McArthur and the U.S. military set about changing Japan; this change pervaded Japanese culture and anime was no exception.

These American influences had a profound effect on the anime and the Japanese. The cartoons of Disney quickly became popular (Emperor Hirohito wore a Mickey Mouse watch to his grave and named one of his horses "White Snow" after Snow White). Osamu Tezuka was no exception. Widely considered the father of modern anime (and his Tetsuwan Atomu or Astroy Boy in the U.S. is often incorrectly considered the first anime), Tezuka was an early fanatic of Disney, which can be seen in his comics and anime; the story telling is grand in scope, while the characters have wide emotive eyes. This is one conceit often imitated in anime and one that Westerners pick up on nearly immediately. Outside of tradition or the Japanese style, this is done in many anime to give a character a wider range of visual emotional cues than would be possible with smaller eyes; it's an idea that comes from manga and it's need to convey ideas more succinctly.

Tezuka's canon is a list of memorable titles. These include Tetsuwan Atomu, Astro Boy, and Jungle Taitei, known as Kimba the White Lion. In the ultimate irony, many have accused Disney of ripping off Tezuka's work with the Lion King. These works are often highly philosophical, exploring and questioning Buddhist ideals and Japanese philosophy. Tezuka created many other titles, including A Thousand and One Nights, unflinchingly based upon the original work, erotica and all.

Also influenced by Disney, production company Toei began imitating Disney release schedules, with releases every one or two years, with Oriental myths. Notables include The Adventures of Sinbad, The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon. The fortunes of Toei and Tezuka crossed when Toei released Alakazam the Great, a film based on Tezuka's adaptation of The Journey West myth.

The 70s
Thanks to Toei's work and Tezuka's popularity, television anime, like Tetsuwan Atomu, became an important part of Japanese television. The 1970s saw a rise in many types of animation: giant battling robots, magical girls, and space operas. With the popularity of Star Wars, sci-fi anime became increasingly popular. Space Battleship Yamato, a Japanese version of World War II set in space became extremely well known and its creator, Leiji Matsumoto, became popular enough to create anime from his other manga, including Captain Harlock, Macross, and Galaxy Express 999, all of which reached new plateaus of popularity. All three series are known for their drama, action, and distinctly Japanese perspective.

Battling robots, a genre often considered synonymous with anime, also saw a boom during the 1970s. The invasion of the mega robots was led by the classic Mazinger Z and Japanese mosnters films, like Godzilla and Ultraman , but exploded with the Mobile Suit Gundam series. Gundam, a disappointment in its initial television run (it was canceled during its run and the creators had to scramble to finish the series) became such a popular series that it singly handedly created the glut of giant robots in the late 70s, 80s, and 90s, including at least eleven spin-off series. Japan's premier anime magazine, took its name from a word in Mobile Suit Gundam; Newtype. The series involved the "Earth Federation" battling the rebel space colony of the Zeon. Past the exciting battles, the series became famous for its Matsumoto style drama and character development. Of the many anime released in the U.S., Gundam is the epitome of the complexity of anime characters - the Zeon are the bad guys, but bad guys with feelings, dreams, emotions, and motives. The good guys are childish, selfish, limited, in a human sense. This did (and continues to) contrast with the black and white world of American children's cartoons.

During the late 70s, anime was dominated by television series; Doreamon featuring a blue robotic cat from the future became a classic; he and his friends continue to be Japan's most popular cartoons. Master thief Lupin, created by Monkey Punch, began thieving during the 70s as well. Based on the 17th century fictional French thief, the Japanese Lupin III was touted as the descendant of the French thief.

Ironically, Japanese anime was making a move back towards theatrical presentations, thanks in part to Hayao Miyazaki and one of the most popular television characters, Lupin. Considered the Japanese Walt Disney, Miyazaki started his career at Toei. He worked on many early Toei films, including Panda Go Panda. After his work at there, Miyazaki worked on several television series, including World Masterpiece Theatres. In 1979, Miyazaki move to Tokyo Movie Shinsha to direct his first film, Lupin III: Castle of Caglisotro. Widely considered the best Lupin movie, Caglisotro (Steven Spielberg has commented that Caglisotro is among the greatest action movies ever made) put movies back in the anime focus.

The Golden Era
The 1980s are often considered the golden period of anime; a dizzying amount of new (and more importantly, original) series graced Japanese TVs and cinemas. In 1982, Urusei Yatusra debuted. Marking a new era of romantic comedies in anime, Rumiko Takahashi's series about a young Japanese boy and his unwanted alien fianc quickly became one of the most popular anime in Japan. When Yatsura ended, it was by replaced (the very next week, in the very same time slot), by another romatic comedu, Maison Ikkoku. Ranma , Takashi's next series, took the romantic comedy of formula of both series, combining the slapstick of Yatsura and story progression of Maison Ikkoku and became a smash success in its own right.

The smash hit Dragon Ball also began its run in the 80s. Author Akira Toriyama based his quirky manga on the Chinese "Journey West" myth, with Goku playing the monkey in action filled adventures. Reasonably popular in their original series, Goku and company reached major success with the martial arts oriented Dragon Ball Z sequel series. Despite its status as childish and as a "gateway drug" (and thus attracting the worst fans), Dragon Ball Z is still often considered one of the most important series in America for the anime invasion.

Theatrically, Miyazaki released Nausica of the Valley of Wind An epic tale of a girl in a post apocalyptic future, the film was replete with ecological themes that Miyazaki's films would become known for. Nausica did so well, Miyazaki was able to found Studio Ghibli with Isao Takahata, Ghibli has become well known for a string of artistically and financially successful movies, including, Laputa: the Castle in the Sky (1986), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) and The Crimson Pig (1992); and Takahata's Grave of the Fireflies (1988), Only Yesterday (1991) and Pom Poko (1994).

1988 saw the release of Akira. Set in post apocalyptic Tokyo, Akira follows a biker gang mixed up in a bizarre government project. The sci-fi story is one often considered the epitome of Japanese anime; many American fans have gotten into anime through Akira; whether it be copies from showings in local anime clubs or late night broadcasts on the American TBS or Sci-Fi Channel television stations.

Many TV series saw theatrical releases as well, including Urusei Yatusra's lyrical second movie Beautiful Dreamer. Super Dimensional Fortress Macross another mecha series, well known for its mechanical design, saw the release of its popular Do You Remember Love film.

The 80s also marked the beginning of one of the most integral parts of anime fandom, the OAV or Original Anime Video. OAVs are direct to video releases, often featuring high production values. However, OAVs were much cheaper to create than movies, so they quickly gained popularity among production companies. OAVs are known for series that would not appeal to the mainstream, including pornographic titles.

As bubble popped on the Japanese economy, the anime business was hit hard. The runaway success were stopped dead in their heels. While Totoro and Akira ended the decade well, consumers became choosy with the glut of OAV series.

The 90s
As the traditional companies and studios began to falter with the Japanese economy (Ghibli aside), a spot opened up for new companies. This niche was filled by Gainax. Considered more artists than businessmen, Gainax was made up mostly of young people who had grown up on the earlier anime. As fans of the medium, they released series and OAVs for fans. This included Gunbuster a giant mech parody and Otaku no Video, a frightening and delicious look at Japanese anime fans. Gainax also created, a very Miyazaki-esque series, Nadia. Ecologically themed, the series ended up on NHK (as Miyazaki's Future Boy Conan did).

The 90s also saw the rise of anime in America. A few (by no means many) of the titles seeing release in the U.S. were pornographic OAVs. Fox News and the L.A. Times went after the industry in the early 90s, after Central Park Media released the softcore I Give it My All.

During the early 90s, the anime industry in Japan was lambasted for a lack of creativity. Despite the successes of a few series, like Giant Robo, most anime was a rehash, either unofficially, or officially, like the Dragonball/Z sequel, Dragonball GT.

Gainax jump started anime in Japan once again with Neon Genesis Evangelion. On the surface, Evangelion is another giant robot series, with roots as far back as Ultraman. However, with a cynical new attitude, Evangelion was able to attract fans back to anime. The series featured intense sexual and violent content (that nearly got it knocked off TV twice). Often cited as one of the most artistic anime ever produced, it has become a fan favorite in the West as well.

Since then, however, anime has been in the doldrums. For the most part, since the mid 90s, anime has been stuck in a pit of blandness, with most series again going back to older series. However, this has been changing since the end of the 90s: exciting new ideas have sprung up. Stylistically, anime has matured - as can be viewed in the jazz influenced, Lupin III inspired Cowboy Bebop or the Internet themed Serial Experiments Lain.

Quick FAQ
Is all anime pornographic?
Though, looking at much of the anime released in the States, especially during the early 90s, it might seem as if 90% of anime is pornographic, it is quite the opposite. Japanese anime as a whole is intended for a wide audience. These include anime for children, teens, men, women, and yes, pornography.

Japan does have a less Puritanical attitude towards nudity, however, and many series intended for children do feature some nudity. This is largely harmless, as in Dragon Ball when the rustic Goku goes swimming naked.

Anime does feature intense violence too, though, for the most part, it pales in comparison to a typical R-rated movie.

One the one hand are films like My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, the Rurouni Kenshin OAV, and The Castle Cagilostro On the other end of the spectrum are productions like La Blue Girl; ninety five percent of anime falls in between, not art, but not pornography either.

Why do anime characters have big eyes/weird hair?
Anime eyes, while not in every series, are often used. The eyes come from Disney cartoons, through Osamu Tezuka's manga and are used to quickly give emotional cues to the audience.

Anime hair helps to differentiate characters; the girls in Tenchi Muyo might be harder to tell apart without their wild, colored hair. Additionally hair says something about the character; Kasumi (or Misty, in America) from Pocket Monsters has red hair, cueing in the audience to her quick tempered personality.

What are fansubs?
Since anime is released first in Japan, many Western fans (especially as anime began invading America in the early 90s) became impatient with local release schedules. These fans procured copied of the Japanese anime (sometimes from Japan, sometimes from Chinese/Asian pirates/fans) and provided them with English subtitles. These vary wildly in quality (both visually and with the translation). This was seen as a way to introduce anime that would never see a release in the U.S. Before the Internet was popular, fansubs were usually put on blank VHS tapes and usually traded or bought for a small price (enough to cover expenses). Now many digital fansubbers create fansubs on their computer and distribute them via IRC, the web, and file sharing services.

Recommended Series
This is a small "getting started" list. This is not a list of all the best anime, but what I consider a good introduction to the medium and why.

My Neighbor Totoro, Laputa Castle in the Sky, Kiki's Delivery Service, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away
All films by Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, each films captures a sense of wonderment (the first three a childish wonderment, but childish in the best sense of the word). All films would appeal to the art house crowd, the latter two especially. Spirited Away, set to be released by Disney in America later this year, contains some bizarre imagery, while Mononoke contains some violent content.

Rurouni Kenshin
The first OAV is a good introduction to anime, sad and powerful, well made, with an incredible score. It was released as Samurai X: Betrayal and Trust in the U.S. There is also second OAV series (that takes place chronologically after the first OAV and TV series) and a humorous television series. For the art house crowd, the first OAV is a treat. The first OAV is extremely violent (but with a purpose).

Cardcaptor Sakura
A charming little series, created in by the all-female artists group CLAMP. Descended from Sailor Moon and Pocket Monsters, it features the fourth grader Sakura attempting to catch magical cards that have escaped their guise. The series is surprisingly realistic, when it comes to Sakura's school life.

Record of Lodoss War OAV
One for the Dungeons and Dragons set, Lodoss was based on an actual game of D&D. Despite that, fans of fantasy will find an interesting, three dimensional tale.

Cowboy Bebop
One of three "space cowboy" series, Cowboy Bebop takes the Lupin formula of adventure and close calls, puts it in space with a jazz influenced feel and soundtrack. An absolute pleasure, but contains some mildly violent content.

Serial Experiments Lain
Lain is a very interesting series, centered on how a girl gets lost in the Internet, in technology. Very intersting (even with a "recap" episode that shows things that never happened in the series).

Capsulated History of Anime
Right Stuf: History of Anime
The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Related Links
o Nausicaa.n et
o Capsulated History of Anime
o Right Stuf: History of Anime
o The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917
o Also by Lai Lai Boy

Display: Sort:
Anime: A Primer | 305 comments (272 topical, 33 editorial, 3 hidden)
If you read (1.47 / 38) (#2)
by medham on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:31:05 PM EST

The "Porn Clerk" story, you'd know that all anime customers are interested in the graphic depiction of the rape of minors, often by supernatural creatures, as if that excuses the barbarity.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

Umm...No (4.33 / 3) (#3)
by thecrypto on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:47:29 PM EST

I don't know if you are joking or not, but, anime is not all tentacle rape. Examples would be Metropolis and Princess Mononoke are great examples which don't include tentacle rape or even nudity.

Try seeing those animes before making a judgement on that.
Security is only as strong as the weakest link
[ Parent ]

Well (1.23 / 13) (#4)
by medham on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:50:01 PM EST

How old is "Princess" Monokke? And do you know what that means in Japanese? "One Eye?" Do I need to draw you a picture? The sublimated rape is always there in the represented violence of the jism-splattered male gaze.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Your trolling aside (4.66 / 3) (#6)
by Lai Lai Boy on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:54:04 PM EST

Mononoke Hime translates as Spirit Princess.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Wrong (1.55 / 9) (#7)
by medham on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 09:58:53 PM EST

"Mono" = "one." "Oke" = "eye." Haven't you ever read a Japanese translation of the Odyssey?

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Wrong! (4.83 / 6) (#9)
by Lai Lai Boy on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:03:07 PM EST

You dope, the Japanese language has 107 syllables, as opposed to English's 3,000+ (sourceJack Seward's "Easy Japanese"). There are many homonymns.

From Nausicaa.net

Q: What does "Mononoke Hime" mean?

Hime means "Princess" in Japanese. Ghibli has given Mononoke Hime the English title, "Princess Mononoke". Mononoke Hime (or Princess Mononoke) is what San, the heroine, is called by other people, since she was raised by a mononoke and looks and acts like a mononoke.

So, what is a mononoke? Good question. ^_^; It's a monster/ghost/spirit.

Mononoke means "The spirit of a thing". Basically, the Japanese blame mononoke for every unexplainable thing, from a major natural disaster to a minor headache. A mononoke could be the spirit of an inanimate object, such as a wheel, the spirit of a dead person, the spirit of a live person, the spirit of an animal, goblins, monsters, or a spirit of nature. Totoro is also a mononoke.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Ya ya ya (4.00 / 1) (#17)
by Happy Monkey on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:27:47 PM EST

So "Mononoke Hime" would translate to "Princess Gremlin"? I think they made the right choice, even though they were risking confusion in Americans never seeing her referred to by that name.
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
the problem with English speakers (4.16 / 6) (#19)
by Lai Lai Boy on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:29:41 PM EST

There's the problem with English speakers: they assume everything translate perfectly into this magical language.

Wake up, words in other languagues, especially those outside the Latin-Germanic base, have nuance that is untranslatable in English. Mononoke is one of them. Gremlin is not the best translation in this situation. Forest God or Forest Spirit probably would have been

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

how do people know what it means... (1.00 / 1) (#60)
by dr k on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:41:55 AM EST

if you can't translate it?

I mean, if you really can't define a word even in its own language...

Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

Japanese (5.00 / 1) (#72)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:15:46 AM EST

Many English words have different definitions under different cirucstances.

Additionally Japanese is unclear on purpose. Usually this refers to grammar, but it's considered polite in Japanese to be unclear, so as not to say anything definite.

Also, I would assume in a language with 100 odd syllables, some words have to take on similar meanings.

For example kami usually refers to God, or god, but can mean any kind of magical spirit (in addition to the unreleated meaning of "paper")...usually "God" is differentiated with the honorific sama, to make kami-sama.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

nihongo (5.00 / 1) (#87)
by mjordan on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:45:33 AM EST

あなたは日本語を話し ますか。 (Anataha nihongowo hanashimasuka?)

[ Parent ]
Dekiru yo (none / 0) (#98)
by Dancin Santa on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:10:07 AM EST

demo taipu dekinai.  IME wa kowareteru.

[ Parent ]
Min-na, (none / 0) (#111)
by Rocky on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:44:26 AM EST

shizukani shiro yo!

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
[ Parent ]
Pardon? (none / 0) (#121)
by mjordan on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:27:11 AM EST

Either your message is utterly impolite (if not offensive) or I simply don't understand it. What does it actually mean?

[ Parent ]
"Shizuka-ni shiro yo!" (none / 0) (#133)
by AngelKnight on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:35:52 AM EST

A rough translation in this context is: "please be quiet" or "please be silent"

[ Parent ]
Cool. (none / 0) (#135)
by mjordan on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:52:23 AM EST

That's what I thought it could mean. It's pretty rude, though.

[ Parent ]
Actually, (none / 0) (#235)
by Rocky on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 10:41:48 AM EST

it's a little closer to STFU.

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
[ Parent ]
"Urusai" (none / 0) (#254)
by Lai Lai Boy on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 07:41:18 PM EST

You could always say "Urusai". It means loud, annoying, and when said by itself can mean shuddup.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Yep! (none / 0) (#289)
by Rocky on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 09:47:02 AM EST


If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
[ Parent ]
,,I (none / 0) (#197)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:55:17 PM EST


[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Damn MS IME (none / 0) (#198)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:57:24 PM EST

Wonder why the IME didn't work.

In any case: Un, demo joouzu ja nai ;)

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Kami-sama (none / 0) (#234)
by Matrix on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 09:49:54 AM EST

Can't Kami-sama be literally translated as "Lord God", which is close to the phrasing used by certant Western religions to refer to that diety? (Thus, why this convention started?)

"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

Un! :D (none / 0) (#253)
by Lai Lai Boy on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 07:39:47 PM EST

Yeah it can :D But it helps differentiate kami the spirit and kami the god.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

I was being a bit too wry... (none / 0) (#186)
by Happy Monkey on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:58:39 PM EST

Mononoke means "The spirit of a thing". Basically, the Japanese blame mononoke for every unexplainable thing, from a major natural disaster to a minor headache.

I was mainly responding to this sentence.

Gremlin is not the best translation in this situation. Forest God or Forest Spirit probably would have been

Indeed, gremlins generally are spirits of technology, which would be just about the antithesis of what San was. Being a bit more serious, I suppose dryad or faerie would work better, though it is obvious that a direct 1-1 translation is impossible, especially when discussing beings from folklore.
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
Mononoke (none / 0) (#305)
by Ubiq on Fri Aug 09, 2002 at 12:13:00 PM EST

I usually translate it as "Furies", even though that's really from Greek mythology.

Furies, pl. (Greek Myth.) The avenging deities, Tisiphone, Alecto, and Megra; the Erinyes or Eumenides. (Webster's)

Furies, (classical mythology) the hideous snake-haired monsters (usually three in number) who pursued unpunished criminals [syn: {Fury}, {Eumenides}, {Erinyes}] (WordNet)

Even though the word refers to three specific deities it is from a polytheistic religion, it has references to snakes (like the worm-things that came out of the affected boar-gods) and they avenge injustice (which is how the boar-gods see it).

[ Parent ]
Your explanation fails ... (5.00 / 1) (#105)
by mjordan on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:01:02 AM EST

... to explain the missing "n". The princess' name is "mononoke". You explained "mono" and "oke". Still a "n" is missing. (And why do you belive that "mono" is "one"? "mono" (物) is "thing". "One" is either "ICHI", "ITSU" or "hitotsu". "Eye" is "me" (目). If I'm wrong, please correct me.) Lai Lai's explanation sounds correct to me: "mono" (thing), "no" (genitive particle like "of"), ke (気 - spirit). (Yes, I do love IME. =B)) BTW: Does anybody know what "kokaku kidotai" translates to? It surely isn't "Ghost in the Shell", although that's the English title of this anime.

[ Parent ]
translation (none / 0) (#152)
by drtim on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:17:51 PM EST

First of all note that my knowledge of japanese is limited, but kokaku can mean
  • convention; usage; old customs; old etiquette
  • customer; client; patron;
  • lone traveller
I'm putting my money on the last one. The word kidoutai has me a little eluded however, but the kanji translated literally would mean "Mechanism" "Move" "Squad". One has got to love Jim Breens WWWJDIV.

[ Parent ]
Mononoke (4.25 / 4) (#10)
by thecrypto on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:07:24 PM EST

The Princess is a 20 something and mononoke does not mean One Eye. It means (vengeful) Ghost or Specter
Mononoke is also the heroine of the story and is usually at odds with the main male charecter.
Try watching the movie.
Security is only as strong as the weakest link
[ Parent ]
Um (5.00 / 1) (#240)
by BLU ICE on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:36:00 PM EST

You are talking about tentacle rape as if it was a bad thing.

"Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
"As good as gold."

-- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

[ Parent ]

Oh, quit the trolling. (none / 0) (#29)
by haflinger on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:52:10 PM EST

Most anime fans did not read, or post to, or get in any way involved with, that story. Sheesh.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
Au contraire! (none / 0) (#67)
by lumen on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:34:34 AM EST

Though I imagine most k5ers heard about said blog through k5, this rant entry (dated July 23rd, as opposed to True Porn Clerk Stories' posting date of July 28th..hmmm) of Megatokyo's Dom first clued me in. Anime fans frequenting *Megatokyo*?

No way! =8^)

[ Parent ]
Classic fallacy. (1.00 / 1) (#138)
by haflinger on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:08:09 PM EST

Most people frequenting Megatokyo are anime fans.

The reverse is not applied, though. Most anime fans do not frequent Megatokyo. If they did, it'd be one of the top sites on the web. :)

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

True. (none / 0) (#216)
by Dragomire on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 12:15:37 AM EST

I forget how I even found Megatokyo. Maybe it was a link on 8-Bit Theater or something? Speaking of 8-Bit, I haven't been there in a while either....

[ Parent ]
? medham's slipping (3.00 / 1) (#124)
by lordpixel on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:08:47 AM EST

Hey, come on. If you can't be bothered to do better than that, just skip K5 for today and go outside.

I used to find most of your trolls amusing, due to the reasonable quanlity construction, but that's just pitiful, dude.

I am the cat who walks through walls, all places and all times are alike to me.
[ Parent ]

Thank you (1.28 / 14) (#134)
by medham on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:51:05 AM EST

And as a follow-up, how many jism-splattered Robert Heinlein paperbacks do you own?

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Popularity (3.50 / 4) (#20)
by godix on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:31:12 PM EST

As the old rule says, 90% of anything is crap. For a short while America only saw the 10% that wasn't. Before anime became popular the niche market it was in would only support either high quality or porn. Once anime started becoming more mainstream it became economical to bring over all the crap anime Japan has, which explain why we're subjected to Pokemon or Sailor Moon. There is still high quality anime being made (Lain for example), but America is quickly mining out the gems of animes past.

"The series [Evangelion] featured intense sexual and violent content"

Umm, I must have slept through it, but where was the sexual content? I don't recall anything worse than a PG13 movie. Maybe it was in the ending that no one can seem to explain.

One thing that you didn't cover is the different worldviews. Nausicaa or Princess Mononoke provide a vastly different view of nature than america's 'it's all cute cudly animals waiting to be run over by a bulldozer' view. Maison Ikkoku or Perfect Blue teaches you a lot about Japanese culture just by the background assumptions or character motivations in them (although keep in mind they show Japanese culture about as well as Saved By The Bell shows high school culture). Serial Experiment Lain, if you can figure anything out in it, will provide lots of viewpoints you've probably never considered.

Eva (4.00 / 1) (#24)
by Lai Lai Boy on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:38:10 PM EST

"The series [Evangelion] featured intense sexual and violent content"

Not my thinking - the station that ran it nearly pulled it off twice. For Misato's (offscreen) sex scene and one of the fights.p

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Pokemon and Sailor Moon? (2.00 / 1) (#25)
by haflinger on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:38:53 PM EST

Granted, they're not good, but I'm guessing you've never seen Techno Police.

Pokemon is high art in comparison. :)

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

Boah (3.66 / 3) (#42)
by Lai Lai Boy on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:54:13 PM EST

Forget Techno Police, the Boah makes Sailor Moon look like Shakespeare. It makes me cry.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Do you mean Baoh? (2.00 / 1) (#128)
by haflinger on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:55:40 AM EST

If yes, see its ratings. Disturbingly high. :)

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
indeed (typo!) [n/t] (3.50 / 2) (#208)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:40:09 PM EST

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

The Ultimate Teacher (3.50 / 2) (#75)
by godix on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:19:13 AM EST

Forget any other anime, when you want bad anime go rent The Ultimate Teacher. This combines the fine plot quality of Dragonhalf, the humor of Grave Of The Fireflies, the in depth characterization of Speed Racer, and the good taste of Curse of the Overfiend all into one anime.

[ Parent ]
Sounds like a winner... (3.50 / 2) (#82)
by Dragomire on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:17:12 AM EST

Let me check if it's available for sale or rental near me. ;-

[ Parent ]
Rent (3.50 / 2) (#86)
by godix on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:38:28 AM EST

I rented The Ultimate Teacher from Hollywood Video. I believe this is a national chain so there may be one near you.

Another one, although god knows where you'd get it, look for The Titanic anime. It's actually done by Italians if I recall correctly. The thing rips off Disney scenes so much that you could make a drinking game out of it. It has a 3 or 4 minute rap song done with about 20 seconds of animation repeated played god knows how many times (there's some graffiti on a wall saying 'RAP' just in case you couldn't identify the music style). I know it isn't Japanese anime, but I saw it at this years Anime Central con during the 'bad bad anime' hour which is why I'm reminded of it now.

[ Parent ]

I haven't seen it, but... (none / 0) (#298)
by haflinger on Wed Aug 07, 2002 at 12:04:05 PM EST

This sounds like a Blondie reference.
there's some graffiti on a wall saying 'RAP' just in case you couldn't identify the music style
In the late-seventies music video for Rapture, there's a scene that sounds exactly like this. Rapture was one of the early pop-music rap tunes; anyway, Blondie hired a rapper to do a rap bit on the song. When he walks into the video, the camera pans over to reveal the RAP graffiti on the wall. This was necessary, as most Blondie fans at the time had never heard of rap, and I think this is even before the development of hip-hop.

However, it sounds to me as though the animator is carrying an enthusiasm for Blondie into the perpetuation of this anachronism.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

Aiiee! (3.50 / 2) (#97)
by ffrinch on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:07:53 AM EST

I can proudly say that "The Ultimate Teacher: The Fearsome Bioreconstructed Man" was the first anime movie that I ever walked out on.

I sat there with my mouth wide open in shock for the first twenty minutes, and decided I couldn't take it any more after the scene where Ganpachi had thousands of pairs of underpants (!!?) torn off him, and he was standing atop a mountain of them.

It's the stuff nightmares are made of... ;)

"I learned the hard way that rock music ... is a powerful demonic force controlled by Satan." — Jack Chick
[ Parent ]

Actually, it has its fans. (2.00 / 1) (#125)
by haflinger on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:14:27 AM EST

Not too many ratings, but check out its ratings on IMDb. The average is 7.1/10. Techno Police, on the other hand, still is waiting to get 5 votes. "It's. Like. The. Gate. To. Hell." :)

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
Blue Seed (3.00 / 1) (#47)
by R343L on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:34:34 AM EST

Blue Seed also has an interesting view of nature. It's a very complicated weaving of Japanese mythology with fantasy deploring modern culture's destruction of nature. There is a lot of interplay between evil and good products of nature and evil and good humans. Apparently a lot of the mythology references are lost on native Japanese...but I wouldn't know, not being very fluent in Japanese language or culture. :)

"Like cheese spread over too much cantelope, the people I spoke with liked their shoes." Ctrl-Alt-Del
[ Parent ]

EVA ending, sex and violence (4.50 / 2) (#56)
by bodrius on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:14:10 AM EST

"The series [Evangelion] featured intense sexual and violent content"

Umm, I must have slept through it, but where was the sexual content? I don't recall anything worse than a PG13 movie. Maybe it was in the ending that no one can seem to explain.

There is definitely sex and violence in the EVA ending, although of course, the theatrical version is the only one I would qualify as "intense".

I think if anything it probably had to do with the implicit seriousness with which the subjects are dealt with.

The first episode in EVA, for example, doesn't show that much, but the violence that is implied could be considered disturbing, particularly if you notice its recurrent thread (hard to argue about this without spoilers).

On the same vein, Misato's sex life is not shown on-camera, but what is implied and what is "shown" off-camera is a bit more serious than playful nudity or innuendo. After all, that was the point.

I would think the series in general would some executives nervous and uncertain as to how to deal with it. It's often your typical giant-robot anime, but it keeps reminding you every other episode that it's really a long therapy process for Shinji (and implicitely, for its creator).

I actually found the ending crystal clear, to the initial amusement of some of my friends. That turned into worry as I insisted on raving about Jungian archetypes, Gnostic scriptures, Kabbalah and the Pendulum of Foucault.

So it may be one of those "Cthulhu in R'lyeh" things, where sanity and understanding are mutually exclusive. :-)
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]

Asking for EVA spoilers (none / 0) (#90)
by godix on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:16:11 AM EST

I'm going to discuss Eva's ending here. Consider this your spoiler warning.

"I actually found the ending crystal clear, to the initial amusement of some of my friends."

Please explain. I believe I understand most of the ending. I figured out how Seele was attempting to cause the third impact and Gendou was secretly opposing it. I understood that the third impact was really a 'group mind' type of experience that was more of an evolution of humanity than a destruction of it. The part I really didn't understand is what the hell does this have to the first 8 episodes? What were the Angels, why were they attacking, how did their attacks spark the group mind experience, and if Seele wanted the third impact why did they make the NERV program to delay it? As far as I could ever tell the last 4 DVDs fit in much better with Lain than the early Eva episodes while the End of Eva movie changed some characters so much it just couldn't fit in with the TV series.

[ Parent ]

Some answers (none / 0) (#107)
by curien on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:23:34 AM EST

I understood a little bit more, but I just attended a "Mythology of Evangelion" panel at Otakon last weekend :-} Let's see what I remember.

The Kaballah (which is heretical Jewish scripture) asserts that God created the universe by splitting Himself. The reason this is heretical (to both Jews and Christians) is because, in this view, God is not an individual, He is the sum total of the (divided) universe.

The Third Impact was the process by which Instrumentality, or the reunification of Creation, was achieved. It is not an elevation of Man to God-status or God-like status. It is the recreation of God, with Man as a part of Him.

Gendou did not want to prevent Third Impact. I myself am a little hazy on this part, but it seems to me that he just didn't want to do cause it on Seele's terms. Although the NERV motto, "God's in heaven and all's right with the world" seems to bely that NERV (or its creators at least) were happy with things the way they were and didn't particularly care for Instrumentality. OTOH, the Evangelion project was known as the "Human Instrumentality Project". :-} In any case, NERV wasn't created by Seele, it was created by the UN.

The Angels really are just that: they are angels. In the series, mankind is trying to achieve Instrumentality... in a sense, they are trying to eat from the Tree of Life. The Angels are there simply to prevent Mankind from doing so. If you study your theology, you'll find that the Angels are very similar to Man (in the series, isn't Man the 13th Angel or something?), but Man ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, while the Angels partook of the Tree of Life. As such, the Angels really have no understanding of morality... they are simply doing what they are built to do.

Murder your babies. -- R Mutt
[ Parent ]

I really haven't studied my theology then (none / 0) (#295)
by X3nocide on Wed Aug 07, 2002 at 01:20:27 AM EST

Because I was under the impression that angels were created before man. A number of doctrines seem to also assert that there are a finite number of angels. I don't think I've ever anything saying the angels ate from the tree of life.

[ Parent ]
Spoilers... (none / 0) (#120)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:13:12 AM EST

I don't think Ikari wanted to prevent 3rd impact - I think he wanted to control/direct it. He wanted his wife back!

The idea was that both the Angels and Men are the children of Adam (and so 99.99% identical) - but (here's the spoiler) one side is descended from Eve and the other from Lilith - a legendary female demon that tried to seduce Adam. (Actually, depending on the legend, she was just Adam's first wife).

Anyway, (1) both the Angels and Seele had the idea that only one side could continue to exist once Men discovered their true origins and heritage and (2) Seele was trying to force humanity to evolve into what sounds like the Buddist Nirvana. Not sure what connects (1) and (2) except that the Angels didn't want humanity to evolve.

To understand American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservative
[ Parent ]

Eva is a joke played on fans (4.00 / 1) (#161)
by Kragma on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:57:01 PM EST

Essentially, it is. The ending, both the TV series ending and the alternate ending presented in the theatrical End of Evangelion (due out soon in the US on DVD) are, quite honestly, total bullshit. The endings do end the stories for the characters, but the events in the show go almost entirely unexplained. This is intentional for 2 reasons:

1) It keeps people interested. Eva aired in 1996, people still talk about it.

2) It would be impossible to explain it all. Hideki Anno pained himself into a corner with this show. There's no way he could write and ending that could tie together everything in the series. So he covered it all up and made it even harder to understand. This forwards #1 as well.

Fans will try and draw parralels between the ending and what was going on in Hideki Anno's real life. Usually in these parralels, Shinji is Anno. This is fitting because in End of Evangelion, Shinji fails and humanity is wiped out. Anno failed to end this series, even with the gigantic budget of the movie.

Lain and Boogiepop Phantom do a better job of presenting a complex story. The answers might not be clear, but they are there. There are no answers for Eva, only groundless theories that don't make much sense at all.

[ Parent ]

I tend to agree with this line of thinking [n/t] (4.00 / 1) (#195)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:53:45 PM EST

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Eva (none / 0) (#233)
by Matrix on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 09:46:32 AM EST

I agree. Eva is a good series, but its nowhere near the be-all and end-all of anime its fans make it out to be. Its barely coherent, and its supposed "mysticism" and "imagery" are mostly accidents.

The truly amazing thing is that FLCL does Eva better than Eva does. In the midst of all the insanity, you've got the same sort of imagery and musings on the nature of humanity and the world as Utena and Lain and Boogiepop Phantom. (See footnote) And you've got an ending that provides closure, and everything that's happened gets explained or makes sense.

Now, the footnote. Boogiepop Phantom is a very interesting example... Most anime is original or based on manga. It later sometimes gets made into radioplays or live-action shows/plays/whatever. Boogiepop Phantom started as a live-action pop horror TV show and got an anime version later. I've only seen the first two episodes, but I loved the bit with the "bugs".

"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

Spoilers (5.00 / 1) (#175)
by bodrius on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:35:53 PM EST

The problem is that I really think the background on Kabbalah and Gnosticism is necessary.

It might be too much or too little, I don't know, I'm no scholar on Kabbalah, but here I go:


The orthodox myth of Kabbalah, created if I remember by Isaac Luriah, says that Creation was imperfect, and that the nature of evil to this imperfection.

Basicly, God contracted unto itself to create a void on which to create the world, and then emanated its essence into this void for Creation. But the essence of God was too much for the void to receive at once, so it was channeled through vessels that filtered it, the Sephirot ("numbers").

The Sephirot, however, were unable to contain the divine presence and broke. The breaking of the vessels meant that the divine substance in the World was not balanced at the end of Creation. It exists both in excess and in scarcity, sometimes too harsh, sometimes too merciful. In some interpretations this gives rise to a symmetric "anti-Tree of Life" that represents the corrupted essence of God, that stops the divine essence from flowing into the World (this may get into a very symbolic interpretation of circumcision according to the Breaking of the Vessels, and vice versa).

The problem is that the breaking of the vessels interrupted the flow of the divine essence, breaking the connection with God. The flow is "clogged" and this is the source of evil and unhappiness.

The goal of Kabbalah is to recollect the fragments of the divine essence and repair the vessels, and recover the connection between the World and God, specifically between Man and God (because Man is closer to God than anything else). This implies, among other things, the negation of identity (and time), which is an illusion brought by the absence of the Divine Light, since God is the only thing that IS ("I AM" is the name of God, and all that).

This is done through Tipheret, the central Sephirot which usually represents the Messiah, a priest-king with a direct connection to God. Tipheret channels the Divine between God and the Kingdom, and is in perfect equilibrium between the different Sephirot (each of which highlights a different aspect of the Essence for which they are Vessels).

Gnostics and Kabbalah share a lot of mythology and symbols. In Gnosticism, Creation was not just imperfect... it was an aberration, brought by Sophia (Lilith, the femenine principle, mother of demons), which gave birth to the demiurge (an imitation of God) and the material world without the help or approval of her male counterpart, Christ the Androgynous Man (Adam). Ashamed of her mistake, she abandoned the demiurge and the world, so the demiurge made himself the God of the World.

For Gnostics, the goal of the mystical process is not to repair the connection to the real God, but to undo the mistake that was Creation. Humans are fragments of the Divine Essence that must go back to "That Which Has No Limit", part of a conspiracy by Sophia and Androgynous Man to destroy the world and bring its divine parts back to God.


Ok. That should help to clear up (according to me) some things. Actually, insert "According to Me" before every statement in what follows:

- An "Impact" is the physical manifestation of the Divine Presence flowing into the material world. When that connection is made, Creation can be made and "unmade". "End of Evangelion" is very graphic.
  This happens when the vessels (Sephirot) are repaired to the point where the flow can be sustained. The vessels could be broken again in the process.
- Gendou does not oppose the Third Impact. He wants it to go according to HIS schedule (which he seems to believe is actually faster than Seele's, until the later episodes).
  The reason is that Gendou has different goals than Seele's. I would align Gendou with Hebrew Kabbalah and Seele's with the Gnostics, in that sense. Seele's wants to dissolve the world and return to God, they are tired of existence.
- During an "Impact", Man returns to God, and becomes God. The absurdity of individuality is dissolved. It would be possible for Man to evolve and return to existence as something greater, with a connection to the Divine... or to stay fully in the Divine Essence.
- Inside EVA-01, as sacrifice and altar, Shinji takes the place of the Messiah, Tipheret, Medium between Heaven and Earth. As such, he channels the Impact and it is to him that the decision falls.
   Shinji is an inadequate Tipheret to say the least, very disbalanced Tree-wise, with a strong desire to retreat from the world and return to the womb... that's why Seele put him in that
position at that particular moment.
- NERV was not created to delay the Impact. NERV was created to coordinate it.
  There had been already a Second Impact, with consequences different from what Seele intended. NERV was created to force the Third Impact in Seele's terms, bringing all of Mankind together with God. This required someone/something acting as Tipheret to control the situation.
- The Angels were meant to be defeated because they were prophecized in the Qunram texts (Dead Sea Scrolls) they keep referring to in the series. This would seem to indicate that Gendou has a different edition than the rest of us do, but the translation and release of those texts was not without its shady business, so it's a nice plot-device.
- As to the nature of the Angels, they are fallen angels, away from the Divine Presence. They want to get in touch with the Divine, and they are therefore attracted immediately to Adam, the Primordial Man (in the image of God and of its nature). If they touch Adam, and open the path to God, an "Impact" occurs which is not nice if you don't have your Tipheret in place.


Concerning the Sephirot and the Tree of Life:

The Tree of Life has 10 Sephirot, and a hidden 11th one, each of which represent an aspect of the Divine Essence (and an aspect of personality). Most of the Sephirot arise from the interaction of previous Sephirots, as the Divine descends to the World. Confusingly enough, scholars affirm that each Sephirot contains all the other Sephirot inside.

Going in-depth into the Tree of Life would be too much for a comment, but suffice to say that you can group them into Three Pillars, and that they descend from the top (Divine/Abstract/Uncomprehensible) to the bottom(World/Concrete/Understandable) by alternating between the pillars.

The Left Pillar corresponds to Law, Judgement, the Written Torah. This is the jealous God that punishes. It is thought, but not action (or wisdom). Justice, but not Love.

The Right Pillar corresponds to Mercy, Love, the Oral Torah. This is the Creator that gives, and forgives. It is action, wisdom, but not thought. The initial move in creation goes to this pillar, and is then regulated by the Left.

The Middle Pillar, the Path of Man, arises from the interaction between the previous two and represents some points of equilibrium between the two tendencies. These Sephirots are the ones that provide a Path/Channel between God and Man after Creation.

The Tree of Life is considered in Jungian psychology a symbol of wholeness, a mandala. By breaking personality in these abstract components and connecting them, and then studying its interactions, it can help the psyche repair its excesses and deficiencies and become whole.

The fact that Kabbalah sees its function as precisely this kind of "therapy" on the God-Image makes it very appealing to say its a projection a self-healing process, and that it has useful symbols to represent the psyche.


Which means:

The first 8 episodes are background for the characters and the story.

Mainly it's about Shinji and his imbalances. He, like Gendou (but perhaps not as much), belongs to the Left Pillar and has real trouble understanding emotion. He retreats from the emotions, the Right Pillar, to avoid feeling hurt.

However, Evangelion is very much about disbalanced people. Viewed from the kabbalistic point of view, this makes them appropiate representations of different Sephirots.

If you think that Gendou is aware of this (and he does have a Tree of Life projected on his office all day), then it is their little insanities which makes them useful to him.

Misato, for example, works almost purely by instinct.

Asuka is all about action, and in battle, rage.

Rei is completely alienated from anyone's emotions, including her own. She does what she's told, because it is written.

You can see the pattern... you cannot have a story about broken personalities if you don't give them some background and space for the viewers to get familiar with the characters.

I don't think the series is about religious symbology using neurotic characters as metaphors. I think, like Jungian psychology, Eva uses religious symbology as metaphors for the character's psychological issues.

Phew. I think I avoided as much baggage as possible.

There's more in there. Shinji as Truth inside an Eva as Golem (if you know the legend of the Golem), Seele as the Old Wise Men that Preserve the World (reversed), Project Marduk, the Magi, etc. But I suspect this is already too much over-interpretation for most people.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]

Incredible (none / 0) (#293)
by bowline on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 09:29:09 PM EST

That is a fascinating interpretation of Evangelion. I know next to nothing about Kabbalah or Gnosticism, but the explanation fits pretty well with the series.

It would be fun to start a discussion on the symbolism and myth involved in Eva, but this article probably isn't the place. Among the mysterious bits: the "blood type" or color of the AT fields, Yui's fate, the origins of Rei, why every character except the final angel confused Lilith for Adam, why Lilith bleeds LCL, etc.

[ Parent ]

Link to Superstring theory? (none / 0) (#297)
by xenthar on Wed Aug 07, 2002 at 07:28:40 AM EST

Some time ago I read an article here on k5. It mentioned folding the strings into 10 dimensions, but as theory evolved an 11th was added.

"The Tree of Life has 10 Sephirot, and a hidden 11th one"

-- Conciousness is contagious. Work on improving yours, it will affect the world.
[ Parent ]

No sex in EVA? (4.00 / 1) (#118)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:02:31 AM EST

Umm, I must have slept through it, but where was the sexual content? I don't recall anything worse than a PG13 movie.

Okay; just because they don't show Misato getting a facial doesn't mean the intensity wasn't there - I wasn't really comfortable letting my son watch the episode where they explain that she sleeps around because she's looking for happiness and a father substitute. Nor was Asuka's suicide attempt in the bath tub all that tame - even if the standard "sex" fair was missing.

Overall I think that was the point with EVA - it fucked with the characters' minds (and yours) not their bodies.

To understand American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservative
[ Parent ]

When will you geeks learn (1.52 / 25) (#30)
by Demiurge on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 10:57:09 PM EST

Cartoons designed as toy commercial for Japanese children do not qualify as high art.

Neither does shitty, book-a-month fantasy churned out by some hack compare to Flaubert.

Why not? (0) (none / 0) (#33)
by inerte on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:11:13 PM EST

Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.
[ Parent ]

Totoro (4.00 / 1) (#36)
by Lai Lai Boy on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:33:39 PM EST

Totoro is not a toy commerical. Merchandise for it was not even made before until the Japanese public began demanding it.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

I demand a life-size Totoro! [n/t] (4.00 / 1) (#130)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:09:01 AM EST

This is an excellent example of a fairly dull but decently spelled signature.

[ Parent ]
LoL. I wanna ride to work in the cat bus! (none / 0) (#166)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:20:27 PM EST

My 5 year old loves Totoro.

To understand American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservative
[ Parent ]

Hehe (none / 0) (#194)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:52:37 PM EST

So does my gf ;D I love it when she says Neko Basu, it's so cute :D

Of course, I put the Totoro doll she gave me on my computer ^o^

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Cat Bus! (none / 0) (#232)
by Matrix on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 09:37:43 AM EST

The cat bus kicks ass! I first saw Totoro about a year ago, and my first reaction upon seeing it was "That is SO cool!"

I think that might be Miazaki's (err... right name?) weirdest creature.

"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

The Cat Bus Rocks [n/]t (none / 0) (#290)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 05:34:09 PM EST

This is an excellent example of a fairly dull but decently spelled signature.

[ Parent ]
I wish! (4.00 / 1) (#38)
by br284 on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:36:56 PM EST

If only your statement were true. I've been dying to get my hands on some transformable Veritechs from Macross for some time. They are out there, but as limited edition thingies that are currently running for around $70 - $80 a pop. :-( I really do want a cool deak toy to supplement my Skull-One poser, which is not fun to play with.


[ Parent ]

If you can find it, get "Skyfire" (none / 0) (#273)
by irrevenant on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 08:41:20 PM EST

The Transformer "Skyfire" is a direct Veritech rip-off. Of course, these days, it's possibly even harder to find than the actual Veritechs. :(

[ Parent ]
YUp [NT] (none / 0) (#291)
by br284 on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 05:38:39 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Translation (4.75 / 4) (#44)
by Tatarigami on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:14:21 AM EST

"When are you going to stop believing the evidence of your own eyes and experiences and start listening to the half-informed opinions of someone who bases his claims on Washington Post editorials?"

Not soon.

[ Parent ]
Anime is just like any other medium (4.25 / 4) (#53)
by bodrius on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:50:10 AM EST

Which means:

- 90% of the material is crap
- 99% of the public likes only crap
- This makes the 10% that's really worth it, really hard to find.
- It's the top 10% of that 10%, 1% of the material, what makes it all really worth it.

Of course cartoons designed as toy commercials are not high art. Neither are violent fantasy wrestling matches with an incoherent plot and bad animation. Or "tentacle rape" videos where "split her wide open" takes a very literal meaning.

On the other hand, I don't consider the latest Talking-Animals-On-CGI high art either. Or the latest (heck, ANY) Arnold Schwazneger(sp?) action movie. Or porn, which happens to represent the absolute majority of the motion pictures produced and consumed in the market.

Do you judge cinema by the standards of Ace Ventura 2 and Armageddon? If you don't, then don't judge anime by the standards of Dragonball X.

The question in both cases is whether high art is produced among all the trash. In my experience, anime has a slightly higher ratio of quality these days.

On the other hand, if you don't want to bother with anime (or movies, or books, or anything) that's your prerrogative. But you're missing some very creative and interesting work out there.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]

I agree with the most of what you just said, but.. (none / 0) (#274)
by irrevenant on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 08:42:34 PM EST

How do you define 'crap'. Isn't there a tiny possibility if "99% of the public likes only crap" that _you_ might be mistaken on the definition of 'crap'?

[ Parent ]
Subjective definitions (none / 0) (#279)
by bodrius on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 05:09:10 AM EST

Crap, like most definitions of quality, is a subjective definition.

In my case, crap is the default category on which everything false. By meeting a set of criteria, something is promoted from crap to a higher level of perceived quality... repeat process recursively until the thing is judged to be of the highest level of quality whose criteria it meets.

Criterias are what makes the definition subjective, because they depend entirely on what I would consider quality of direction, acting (voice-acting in anime), script, originality, animation if applicable, etc. My priorities on all of these subjective judgements are, as well, subjective (I consider script and originality most important, where other people are obsessed with direction, for example).

Regardless of YOUR definition of crap, however, I believe two things are true:

- If you are discriminating on quality, your concept of crap may be different, but it will still encompass 90% of what everyone likes. It may just be a different 90% of crap.

- If you are not discriminating on quality, usually you will depend on society in general to filter media and provide pre-made judgements, you will not pay too much attention to the quality; you'll enjoy more than 10% of the material by lowering expectations, but you probably will miss the best.
   You can also avoid the filter and just enjoy all the crap as it becomes available to you. That's the state of mind I get if I can't sleep at 3 o'clock in the morning and cable TV beckons. Upon lack of alternatives, crap is tolerable.

There's nothing wrong with eating at Taco Bell, just don't pretend it's gourmet food. That will only help mislead people about the nature and quality of Mexican cuisine.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]

WTF? (none / 0) (#278)
by gbd on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 01:43:58 AM EST

If you don't like it, sit at home and read your Bible or whatever trips your trigger. Nobody is forcing you to watch anime. Modern, evolved societies have these concepts called "freedom of expression" and "freedom of speech." If you resent living in a society where these principles are present, may I suggest Cuba or Communist China? I'm sure you'd like it a lot better.

Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]
Funny... (3.00 / 1) (#40)
by br284 on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 11:47:53 PM EST

... that you write an anime article. I just purchased and watched "Perfect Blue" today. I have to admit that it caught me by surprise, and fucked with my head big time. Can't wait to unleash it on some friends...

And for all the Robotech bashers out there, it may not be the best translation of a series, but at the time it was far superior to anything put out by American animators. Remember that the original Macross series came out in 1982. I don't know of any animation that has remained so relevent for that long. Furthermore, I would advise people to watch "Macross: Do You Remember Love?" in order to appreciate the style and execution of the condensed storyline (actually, it's a movie within the Macross universe). The art is beautiful and the sound editing was pretty solid. Once more, as you compare it to modern American animation, remember that this came out in 1984! Macross Plus, eleased 11 years later, is also technically marvelous, though I still like DYRL better.


Perfect Blue (4.00 / 1) (#45)
by Dragomire on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:20:08 AM EST

This anime is one of the best, IMHO.

An engrossing story, excellent visuals, and mostly beleivable characters all end up making Perfect Blue a well rounded title.

I also think the "If Hitchcock and Disney got together, they would make this film" quote is very apt.

I highly reccomend this film to anyone who wants to see non-fantasy, non-giant robot, non-big eye people anime. But, I also reccomend the subtitled version (as I do for most anime). In 99% of the cases, the English dubs just sound out of place, and not in synch with the rest of the audio in anime titles.

[ Parent ]

PB -- was it worth it? (a late-night miniessay) (4.50 / 4) (#102)
by lumen on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:56:24 AM EST

It was very good, but intensely chilling...perhaps much more so than necessary. I think I'm glad I saw it -- good message, mindbending premise and execution -- but I'm not sure if the payback offset the horror. At the end, I was relieved, but not vindicated. The good guys didn't have to win for this have occurred, nor did it all have to have been a dream -- the 1986 cartoon When the Wind Blows was downright agonizing to watch right up until the end, but I am unequivocally glad to have seen it, and would definitely do so again. See that; I imagine you will be glad you did. I cannot say the same about Perfect Blue.

Again, I'm not arguing that the film was without at least some merit. I think that no other medium could cover those issues so well; since animation isn't real by its very nature, there is no line therein between reality and fantasy but that which we draw. Perfect Blue, by virtue of its medium, ensures that we can never draw that line. That the film was produced, so far as one can gather, with virtually no human exploitation, could not be more appropriate.

While I acknowledge that the violence in the film wasn't *primarily* gratuitous, I can't help but feel that the degree to which it was leveraged towards its various messages was unsatisfyingly small. Perhaps I'm just unusually rape-sensitive. The faint of heart, if such sensitivity is an apt qualification for counting oneself as such, need not apply and ought instead ponder the often fundamentally exploitative nature of the various media at great length and at relative peace.

That is unless, of course, your sense of the barbarity of humankind is sorely deficient, you feel that the medium will suitably insulate you from any significant emotional involvement with the film, or (if you will excuse the expression) you like to be freaked the fuck out. In that case go right on ahead.

That the experience of seeing Perfect Blue was of such intensity might be the best praise it could be given. It is a rare piece of art in any medium that can move one (well, me at least) to tears, to create such a sense of dread (admittedly attenuated with time, but far from extinguished many months afterwards) about that which it condemns, and to inspire such relief upon returning to the peaceful anonymity it promotes.

In the end, I remain conflicted as to the value of a piece that inspired such a reaction to such an extent. Can relief, and as such pain, be a significant component of the aesthetic experience? Ought it be incorporated into critical models? What is its value in art, and to what extent is it valuable?

For if we torture someone such that they think valid and virtuous thoughts, potentially more valid and more virtuous thoughts than in any other being, and in greater number, inspiring actions more valid and virtuous than performed by any other being, and in greater number, are our methods any less monstrous? If we see full well the value of these messages but we cannot abide the path that led us to them, that path is surely not good.

I was not forced to see Perfect Blue, certainly not in any conventional sense. I was physically free to get up and leave at any time, and it might simply be a quirk of my psychology, and mine alone, that led me to sit the film out and wait for its resolution. Any sane person might have said "screw this; I'm uncomfortable, perhaps I'll watch this some other time." I stuck with it because I wanted some degree of closure, resolution, some form of artistic "justice" if you will. I didn't find it. On a visceral level, I would not think to recommend this film. On reflection, however, my qualm with it is one of degree, not of kind. Perfect Blue is not fundamentally different from this piece I saw at the Carnegie Museum of Art sometime last year, a large panel with an orange almost-triangle on it that was tantalizingly close to closing. Both it and Perfect Blue violated the way I like the world and my surroundings to work; I like triangles to be trisided/trivertexed and their angles to sum 180 degrees, while I much prefer not to behold imagery and the representation of action that horrifies me.

So yes, it's art; no, I didn't like it much at all; if you see it, hope your impression is far more pleasant than mine, and if it isn't, here's to a speedy recovery; if not, you *are* missing something, but exactly how much is debatable. If nothing else it certainly prompted me to think.

The notion that there is some clear axis of good and bad is, to a certain extent, a rhetorical device. Ethics (and a few other schools of thought), at least so far as I've read about it, has yet to spawn an ethical calculus, a system of choosing actions from available options, that really satisfies me. In time, I think, ethics will evolve, as will the various sciences (both social and natural), and I think we'll get much closer to figuring out what really is optimal conduct. And no, I don't think that traumatic -- or even generally benign -- brainwashing is a good mode of promoting optimal (good, virtuous, right, or what have you) conduct. But I seriously digress.

[ Parent ]
I liked the movie.... (3.00 / 1) (#178)
by Dragomire on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:39:08 PM EST

but I can totally see your point of view.

Yes, the movie is disturbing in some aspects. And although the violence is never really shown happening in a graphic sense, the aftermath of the violence is very graphically depicted.

I disagree with you on some levels, but since you do so eloguently put why you feel as though you do, I can respect your opinion.

Thus, I rated your post a 5.

[ Parent ]

I couldn't get into Perfect Blue (3.00 / 1) (#115)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:56:20 AM EST

Dunno why - I know people love it, but I just couldn't care about the girl's problems.

To understand American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservative
[ Parent ]

I'll second that (3.00 / 1) (#137)
by ethereal on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:04:42 PM EST

Robotech was the "gateway anime" for me; unfortunately I then didn't really latch onto it again until years later. It was so different from the other cartoons available in central Indiana at the time that it just blew me away.


Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

It was cool! People _died_ in it on camera! (4.00 / 1) (#214)
by Cheerio Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:49:42 PM EST

I loved Robotech when I was a kid. Not my first introduction to Anime but still one of my favorites.

I couldn't believe the first time I saw them accidentally fire the main guns of the SDF-1. I saw people melt on screen. You knew they were dead. (They later edited that scene out but it's still on the videos AFAIK.) It was far different than everyone parachuting out of crashing planes/helicopters in G.I. Joe. It made a big impression on me as far as what was a well done cartoon and what was not.

As far as I'm concerned almost any Anime is better than American cartoons.

[ Parent ]
DBZ (none / 0) (#259)
by Lai Lai Boy on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 11:42:22 PM EST

One memorable scene in Dragonball Z has a plane blowing up (I believe it's when the Saiyajin invade Earth, Nappa and Vegeta), and the plane and everyone on it is obviously killed, but the English dub has Ten Shin Han yelling "I see their parachutes, they're okay!" despite the lack of any animated parachutes.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

How can you discuss anime (2.75 / 4) (#48)
by rjo on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:44:03 AM EST

and not mention Ninja Scroll!?!?

good movie but stupid end fight (none / 0) (#50)
by demi on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:51:11 AM EST

I really, really loved Ninja Scroll when I first saw it. I liked Samurai Shodown and its characters a lot, especially Nicotine from SS2. In a lot of ways, the movie plays out like a video game with levels and bosses, and a ludicrous end fight, with molten gold, the bad guy jumping out at the end, etc. Blah. I still like that movie though.

[ Parent ]
Ninja Scroooll (none / 0) (#71)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:09:54 AM EST

i didn't think much of Ninja Scroll. Perhaps because I saw it after Kenshin (which is in every way better) or because I saw the English dub, but I wasn't too fond of it.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

There's no accounting... (none / 0) (#229)
by rjo on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 05:45:56 AM EST

for some people's lack of taste.

[ Parent ]
Very nice. (4.50 / 4) (#51)
by Dragomire on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:55:06 AM EST

I am happy someone else went out and did this topic, for my post on it surely would have been somewhere in the 6k-8k word area. =-)

But, I think you fail to mention some of the newer animes that have been coming out, and bringing the genre back into popularity in both Eastern and Western places. Titles such as :

Ghost in the Shell
Jin Roh
Blood: The Last Vampire
Perfect Blue

As well as others.

But, I must commend you on noting the origins of the (Western title) Astro Boy series. The recently released Metropolis is also a work based off of the same creator.

I think anime goes in cycles in the West. Some titles, like the very pornographic Orustoki (sp) Doji: Legend of the Overfiend, get popular for their graphic depictions of sex and violence, while others like Sailor Moon or Ramna 1/2 get popular for their wacky characters and art styles.

Akira is rightfully credited with bringing more anime to the West, but I remember watching Robotech, Battle for the Planets (and I want to see the original Gatchaman now), Voltron, Tranzor Z, Speed Racer (yes, this is anime), Astro Boy, 8th Man, and Star Blazers (Space Battleship Yamato) when I was a kid.

Anime really influenced cartoons of the 80's and early 90's in America as well, with Transformers (a giant robot type cartoon, but mostly produced in America IIRC), Go-Bots (a Transformers rip off), M.A.S.K. (transforming vehicles and drivers in power suits), Thundercats (think of it as a space opera in a way, with characters with funky hair), and even He-Man and the Masters of the Universe took a lesson from anime in more smooth production (as opposed to the quickly thrown together cartoons from before).

I love my anime. From my porno-type (Legend of the Overfiend), to my more quirky humor laden anime (Devil Hunter Yoko (Mamano Hunter Yohko), Ramna 1/2, Slayers, and Project A-Ko), to my serious story telling types (Perfect Blue) to my violent yet oddly serious in tone type (Jin Roh, Blood: the Last Vampire, Ghost in the Shell, Kite); and of course, my Akira (own original VHS, as well as special edition 2 disk set in collector's tin). All in all a very nice article to show people some fallicies and misconceptions about anime.


Ack! (3.00 / 1) (#63)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:52:48 AM EST

I didn't even think of Speed Racer. Ack, I knew it was anime, of course, but it didn't even figure in for me >. I'm too young, I suppose.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Transformers. (4.00 / 1) (#112)
by haflinger on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:47:41 AM EST

Transformers (a giant robot type cartoon, but mostly produced in America IIRC)
Mostly in a sense. The Saturday morning cartoon was American.

However, the movie is all Japanese artists (despite being a Hollywood-financed production, with Hollywood voice actors). Check this list and pay close attention to the names of the production staff. Unfortunately, IMDb doesn't list all the animators.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

New Transformers Comic (none / 0) (#258)
by Dragomire on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 10:41:41 PM EST

If you haven't had a chance to check it out, there is a new Transformers comic book out. Actually, a few of them. =-)

Dreamweave is publishing them. Transformers: Generation 1 is a 6 part series, which changes a few things from the TV and movie continuity. But, the art is fantastic, and the story is actually not half bad. Pat Lee draws the Transformers in a mixture of the animated shows/movies, and the toys.

Then there is another series called Transformers: Armada, which takes place before the Transformers come to Earth. And there's another series being released in October taking place before the Transfromers come to Earth.

All in all, if you enjoy the animated shows/movie, and like comics, I suggest trying to find these books. Generation 1 is up to issue 4 now, and I think the first few issues are actually calling for a high price....but I also think they'll release a trade paperback when they are all out.

[ Parent ]

Transformers (4.00 / 1) (#129)
by AnalogBoy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:08:49 AM EST

Are alive and well today in Japan, and, IIRC, don't suck as much as our saturday morning cartoon versions.   I always thought the original transformers was the greatest cartoon of my youth, and i still believe that.  The movie was awesome for some light entertainment, and some of the episodes weren't half bad.   They didn't dumb down or moralize everything like the cartoons today do (like they did in the earlier 20th century).  

Optimus Prime in 2001: Megatron just destroyed an entire civilian science base! I'm going to go try to make friends with him, because its the right thing to do!

Optimus Prime in 1986: Megatron just destroyed our base.   I'm going to kill him now.

Save the environment, plant a Bush back in Texas.
Religous Tolerance (And click a banner while you're there)
[ Parent ]

Transformers: The Movie (4.00 / 1) (#173)
by Dragomire on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:24:01 PM EST

I simply love this movie. I actually used to watch it enough to be able to quote 99% of it.

I recently went out and bought it on DVD, which is uncensored (has the two curses "Oh Shit" and "Damn it" that were ommited from later VHS releases), but doesn't have a lot of extras. It does have some storyboards, and an interview with Vice DiCola (the composer of the soundtrack's score), but that's really it.

I also went out and bought G.I.Joe The Movie as well. That at least has about 19 of the famous "And knowing is half the battle" clips as part of the extras. =-)

Is this a sign of my mis-spent youth?

[ Parent ]

Life would be so much simpler as a transformer. (none / 0) (#242)
by AnalogBoy on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 03:39:03 PM EST

I would, of course, want to transform into something quite lethal.   Given my size, a M1A1 Abrhams would be sufficent.  Plus, i'd configure myself where the gun could be used megatron-style.

(ya, i know, in the machine wars megatron was a tank).
Save the environment, plant a Bush back in Texas.
Religous Tolerance (And click a banner while you're there)
[ Parent ]

Static (none / 0) (#277)
by irrevenant on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 09:03:08 PM EST

Optimus Prime in 1986: Megatron just destroyed our base. I'm going to kill him now.

Hmm. My recollection of classic Transformers (haven't really watched the newer ones including Beast Wars) had it going something like this:

1. Decepticons launch dastardly plot.
2. Autobots catch wind of dastardly plot and show up to stop the Decepticons.
3. Decepticons go "Eek! Looks like their might be actual conflict! Run awaaaaayyy!!!"
4. Repeat 1-3 and label as new episode.

Meant the movie came as quite a shock. But in a good way. :)

[ Parent ]
Yet Another Omitted Series Post (5.00 / 2) (#57)
by lumen on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:15:41 AM EST

I'd volunteer three as definitely worth checking out. First,

- Shoujo Kakumei/Revolutionary Girl Utena. Aside from having a remarkably palatable theme song (it's no Duvet, but for J-Pop -- which I don't generally enjoy -- it's not bad at all), Utena is more or less about very atypical high school students and their respective quests for ultimate power. It's full of mythological trappings and is consistently intriguingly mysterious.

The Utena movie is worth checking out as well. It's just so weird...the animation is top-notch, very surreal, though not nightmarishly so. Head-scratching ending, but a very interesting ride.

- The Rurouni Kenshin OVA. This is an interesting piece set during the Bakumatsu period (mid to late 19th century, the end of the Tokugawa shogunate). Much darker than its counterpart series, this tells the story of an up-and-coming assassin who just happens to be an swordsman of unearthly prowess (that is to say, quite interesting to watch). Fans of SNK's "Last Blade" (aka Bakumatsu Rouman) series of fighting games will recognize a number of elements in the OVA, including characters in each wearing the blue uniforms of the Shinsengumi, the Tokugawa loyalist police force of the time.

- FLCL. Gainax's contemporary 6-episode triumph. Impressively animated -- it dips into several styles (there are a few manga scenes, as well as a South Park-style scene) -- FLCL is full of cultural references, makes very little sense the first few times through, and looks very good while doing so. If you like your weird caffeinated, FLCL is definitely worth your time. Its pacing is, shall we say, athletic. Much better than some other parodical series (Excel Saga doesn't hold a candle to it), IMHO.

Whoops..rementioned Kenshin...watch it anyway [nt] (2.00 / 1) (#58)
by lumen on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:17:29 AM EST

[ Parent ]
FLCL (2.00 / 1) (#74)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:17:50 AM EST

I haven't seen FLCL, but now i want to :D

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Definitely see it (none / 0) (#215)
by pyra on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 12:06:02 AM EST

But be prepared to watch it twice, as your brain will melt somewhere during the first couple of episodes and you won't fully appreciate the whole series until you watch them again.

"It was half way to Rivendell when the drugs began to take hold" - Hunter S. Tolkien "Fear and Loathing in Barad Dur"
[ Parent ]
Yes, if you enjoy puzzles (none / 0) (#264)
by mishmash on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 04:14:25 AM EST

When I first started watching this series, I mistook it to be some sort of extended music video. The plot was often confusing enough to look completely non-sequitur, and the soundtrack often dominated the flow and pace of the scenes. :-)

On repeated viewing, though, there does seem to be a substantial story running through each episode. But I think it's just so darned hard to figure out what's happening that most of it will zoom by in casual viewing as a caffeinated blur set to hard rock.

For example: Canti the robot, rooting around the bridge for little bits of red plastic. (He's trying to re-make the back of his monitor head?)

Another example: Naota seeing a shoe floating down the river, followed by a brief glimpse of four girls on the river bank pushing a fifth (Mamimi) into the water. (She's being bullied at school? And taking it all out in a bout of serial arson?)

[ Parent ]

Look for these k5 guides in your local bookstore: (1.80 / 15) (#59)
by dr k on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:38:24 AM EST

  • The K5 Guide to Zombie Movies
  • K5's Masturbation for Dummies
  • You Friendly Kuro5hin.org Guide to Every 2nd Edition D&D Module Ever Produced
  • K5 Tales: Strange Places I Have Inserted My Index Finger
Do we really have to be this patronizing?

Destroy all trusted users!

Too late. (none / 0) (#114)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:52:57 AM EST

You can find the AD&D reference materials here.

To understand American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservative
[ Parent ]

quick! (none / 0) (#159)
by dr k on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:26:58 PM EST

Someone write a story about it!

Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

I find it kinda offensive (2.00 / 3) (#182)
by afree87 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:38:24 PM EST

that a few people have rated this 5. The article begins with "Yeah yeah, I know you think anime = rape, but anime is a medium, not a genre." Replying instantly with "anime = rape" shows that you are
  • a moron;
  • an idiot;
  • a complete and utter imbecile;
  • (let's steal from Catcher in the Rye) a faker;
  • a phoney;
  • a snob.
If you're giving this guy a 5, then E r i c ought to be trusted by now.

So, dr k, I bow down to your excellent put-downs! I am at your mercy, O Cool One! Nothing you say can be regarded as geeky! Humbleness is coming out of my ears, O Most Popular of All Popular Men! I admit that I am an anime sinner, and even Cardcaptor Sakura must be regarded as vile pornography. I will repent!
Ha... yeah.
[ Parent ]

BTW (1.00 / 1) (#183)
by afree87 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:40:21 PM EST

Trolled you back.
Ha... yeah.
[ Parent ]
Hi there. (5.00 / 2) (#209)
by dr k on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:00:48 PM EST

What the hell are you talking about? Are you sure you replied to the correct comment?

Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

A couple more series of note (3.00 / 1) (#62)
by lumen on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:51:57 AM EST

Love Hina - Amusing tale of a twentysomething who, in the process of searching for his childhood sweetheart, ends up becoming an RA at an all-girls dorm. Far less burlesque than the setup might suggest (it's actually rather sweet), Love Hina is cute but not as intensely (aggressively?)cute as, say, Card Captor Sakura (which I like a lot, but whose "Leave It to Kero-Chan" scenes have been known to nauseate my parents with cuteness) and as such might an be easier-to-digest series for some people.

Gravitation - interesting story of a young pop star's career and relationship with a mysterious romance author. The only yaoi series I've yet seen, quite genuine and fun.

On LH (none / 0) (#64)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:56:06 AM EST

I adore Love Hina, but it follows Maison Ikkoku pretty closely. That being said, I adore the animation and design and frankly LH is a blast to watch.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

A must see (4.42 / 7) (#65)
by Dancin Santa on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:15:55 AM EST

Fast action and tentacle pr0n is alright, but if you really want to see the power of anime, Grave of the Fireflies delivers.  The story is so clear you won't be scratching your head at the end trying to figure out what the ending was all about (Akira, Evangelion) nor will you feel like the people around you oversold the flick (Totoro, Naussica).

yes! (4.00 / 1) (#66)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:19:04 AM EST

D'oh, that needed to be on the recommended anime list. I watched it at my local anime club, but didn't watch the end...it slipped my mind. Grave is truly stirring.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

True (3.00 / 1) (#73)
by bodrius on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:16:51 AM EST

It's probably the best recommendation for someone who has trouble taking anime seriously...

But be warned: you may not be confused, you may not be dissapointed, but you will almost certainly end up crying and feeling sad for the next few weeks.  

Great movie, but not your "happy-feel-good" movie of the week. Some people don't realize that.

I saw this movie for the first time on my local anime club screening. For apparently purely sadistic purposes they showed it, if I remember correctly, right after "Slayers" or some other slapstick comedy.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]

Eva's meaning (4.00 / 1) (#76)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:19:35 AM EST

I've argued that Eva had no real point; it was just a mess of half baked religious imagery with no real ending that was thrown together and considered the epitome of new anime (which people trying to make up explanations) since.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Literature Class (4.00 / 1) (#104)
by novas007 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:00:45 AM EST

I could say the same thing about so many books we read in literature classes. Mark Twain says (in Huck Finn, i believe) that the contents should just be _read_, and not analyzed. Few authors write the way literature teachers pretend they do. Most authors write because they enjoy it, and they don't intentionally embed 10 themes that students can write essays on.

[ Parent ]
I apologize for the rant.... but please read. (2.00 / 1) (#156)
by HidariJoe on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:44:34 PM EST


What the problem is that 95% of literature teachers will talk about the themes that are so ridiculously obvious that it will bore you to tears. That and the fact that most critical theory is so ass backwards and tainted with personal beliefs rather actually READING the book

You have a point though, yes you should just READ the book. However, after when your are done, it is GOOD to, you know, THINK about it. And after THINKING about it, would it be nice to talk about it? And perhaps write it down to structure your thoughts?

Mark Twain wasn't just 'writing a story' to sell books and entertain people. Which is why people still think it's important to read his books.

No they don't intentionally imbed the the 10 embeded themes, but it doesn't matter because THEY ARE THERE.

Moby Dick has A LOT of homoerotic undercurrents (a group of men obbssessively hunting for the biggest white whale, oh and it's called 'Dick'). Is that the only way to analyze and read it? no. Is that the only thing going on in there? no. But it is fun and interesting to read about.

If you only want to scratch the surface, that's fine, you're the one missing out.

---Rise Phobos, Knight of Mars! -Howling Hank Murphy
[ Parent ]

erm (2.00 / 1) (#179)
by novas007 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:59:07 PM EST

That wasn't what I meant at _all_. I love reading. I love talking about books that are worth talking about. (Although I could argue that many books in high school lit classes are mischosen, but that's more personal opinion. Why wasn't 1984 on the agenda? bleh. Not that I need it to be on the list to read it (quite the contrary) but it's easier when you talk about them with other people on the same reading schedule, and have the book at their fingertips).

My point is that every lit class I've ever been in had a teacher who pretended to be above the rest of the class (like you mentioned, about the obvious themes). Reading and analyzing aren't pointless, but literature classes (most of the time) are pointless. Why do I need a teacher to act as anything but a moderator/prompter as I talk about my opinion of the book with my classmates? (Note that this isn't a statement against teachers in general- just literature teachers in their current incarnation).

Also, my point as it relates to the parent is that it really doesn't matter whether the themes in Eva were part of a drug-induced haze, and whether they were thrown together in a hurry. The themes are THERE. That was my point (and, apparently, my point is quite like yours).

(And yes, i DO like parens).

[ Parent ]

Twain (4.00 / 1) (#193)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:50:48 PM EST

I heard that Twain aside, was as most of his asides were, sarcastic in nature, more of a wink to the reader. After reading Twain's essays, it's hard not to agree.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

The point. (2.00 / 1) (#122)
by mjr on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:40:36 AM EST

The point is terror. I'd like to be more specific but I find myself falling too far short of the feeling Evangelion evokes. Shinji's circumstances are utterly terrifying. And the whole terror is far more than the sum of the individual terrors.

[ Parent ]
nah... Eva had a point... (4.00 / 1) (#151)
by Skywise on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:02:41 PM EST

The overall point was always that you had to live your life for yourself.  That includes social relationships, government control, and even religion.

And Shinji's overcoming his own self-fears and doubts to realize that... saved the world...

And that's what makes the series ultimately controversial... because it means that about 80% of the series was a mcguffin.

[ Parent ]

FYI (none / 0) (#294)
by bowline on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 09:53:33 PM EST

A MacGuffin is a Hitchcock term for what you might call a "red herring" of a plot device. It moves the story along, but isn't really what the story is about. Everyone knows that the story is really about sex.

Forgive me for being a smarty pants, but Hitchcock amuses me.

[ Parent ]

Grave of the Fireflies (3.66 / 3) (#88)
by godix on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:49:53 AM EST

It should probably be noted that this was the most despressing movie I've seen since Schindlers List. It is a very good movie, but if you watch it expecting a Sailor Moon or Ranma type anime you're in for a serious suprise.

Akira's ending was farly straightforward, what about it did you have problems figuring out.?

Evangelion ending was somewhat hard to figure out, but not all that difficult. The thing I haven't figured out, and no one I know can figure out, is what the last 4 episodes have to do with the first 8. I got the distinct impression that at episode 8 the animators suddenly decided to make Serial Experiments Lain.

[ Parent ]

In fact... (4.00 / 1) (#155)
by Frigorific on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:34:35 PM EST

If you're more given to trusting the "authorities" than your fellow K5 readers, Roger Ebert places it among the great overlooked movies.

Who is John Galt? Rather, who is Vasilios Hoffman?
[ Parent ]
More suggestions (from a "shoujo" fan) (4.33 / 3) (#68)
by fraise on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:38:53 AM EST

Ah! My Goddess, which came out in OAV (5 episodes) and recently in movie form. The artwork is stunning, and the storyline is pretty good as well. A goddess descends on Earth to grant the wish of a university student, he wishes that she stay with him forever, and then all kinds of strange things start happening.

Noir, a 26-episode OAV about two female assassins, one French, one Japanese. The Japanese girl (Kirika) has lost her memory, and the French woman (Mireille) takes her on as a partner as both delve into their mysterious past. The story is gripping, and was handled very well - there is no moral. The music is excellent ("soft" techno/trance).

Sailor Moon (Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon) - yeah, I know I'm probably going to get flamed for suggesting this one, but this is without a doubt an anime classic, and I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned in the article (though the article most definitely has a shounen slant - for those unfamiliar with anime genres, shounen is "boy's" and shoujo is "girl's", roughly - there are others as well). The series lasted 5 years, the seasons were named, in order: Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon R, Sailor Moon S (Super), Sailor Moon SS (SuperS), and Sailor Moon Stars. Sailor Moon goods still sell like hotcakes in Japan, and the live-action musical is still running and popular. It's generally agreed that the best seasons were R and S, with the worst being SuperS. My favorite seasons are S and Stars - I love the artwork in Stars, and even though it's embarrassing for someone my age, the final episode (200) occasionally brings tears to my eyes. The first link is a Sailor Moon community, the second is widely recognized as the definitive Sailor Moon site.

Finally, The Mysterious Cities of Gold. This one is often looked over because it was shown on Nickelodeon (US children's cable channel) in the 1980s, so many people don't realize it's anime. There are probably k5 readers who watched this as a kid - it was one of my favorites. Visit the website for info.

Also on Nick (4.00 / 1) (#69)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:08:05 AM EST

Interestingly (and I learned this from The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917) both The Nozzles and Manxmouse are anime.

I was surprised - I saw both growing up and thought they were American.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Good choices (4.00 / 1) (#70)
by bodrius on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:08:49 AM EST

Although I can't help but mentally flame you for the Sailor Moon reference. I guess it's too shoujo for me.

"AMG" has been imitated ad nauseam by other "magic genie" animes, but the original is still pretty good. Both the excellent artwork and a story that has at least some depth help.

"Noir" became one of my favorite anime series recently.  I hate the music with all my heart (well, the techno beat to be precise), but it's my only complaint.

I don't consider it shoujo, though. I guess this is where the shoujo part stops, because "Mysterious Cities of Gold" doesn't seem very shoujo either....

"Mysterious Cities of Gold" was a French/Japanese enterprise. It's a very liberal adaptation of an adventure books for kids by some american author. Excellent series for kids, and it even had documentaries with real history mixed with the outlandish fiction. However the music, I'm afraid, was terrible, this time in a more profound and utterly terrifying way than "Noir"'s.

Another French/Japanese enterprise, I think by the same people, that some might remember fondly was (I hope I'm translating correctly, I saw it in Spanish) "Spartacus and the Sun Beneath the Sea": two kids join "Spartacus" (a gladiator) in a chronologically confusing adventure to save a futuristic civilization that lives underground. As they travel through the Earth's strata to the underground civilization they encounter different historical episodes, apparently trapped at each strata.

I would also consider "Shoujo Kakumei Utena" an obligatory recommendation. It's extremely good plot-wise (and I'm no shoujo fan), and very, very weird (in a good way... mostly). Note that there's enough innuendo for this to be adult-oriented.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]

Sailor Moon - when it's good, it can be very good (3.00 / 1) (#80)
by lumen on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:49:34 AM EST

As a rule, the seasons get better as they go on. Unfortunately, getting there that often involves trudging through a lot of high-school pettiness, interminable and insubstantial boy-chasing (which never made sense to me in Usagi's case, especially when she has full knowledge of her destiny and true love yadda yadda yadda </rant>) and other uninteresting stories in that vein. The Electra-complex vibe you get from Chibi-usa, on the other hand, is just plain weird.

In general, I don't find that it's worth it, but there are a few rather interesting story arcs. The lengths to which Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune go (in the S Season) to fulfil their duty is worth watching, as is the development of the mystery of Hotaru. As the end of the first season also demonstrates, Sailor Moon is strongest and most watchable when the theme of sacrifice arises. In general, though, I can sympathize, if not generally agree, with the aforementioned mental flame.

[ Parent ]
If it makes you feel better, (4.00 / 1) (#85)
by fraise on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:36:32 AM EST

... I never watched all 200 episodes, and there are several that I don't like, for the reasons you mention (boy-chasing and plain old uninteresting stories, but hey, it was written for pre-teens and young teens). Plus sometimes the fight scenes are interminable, but the jokes in some are pretty good - it helps to know about Japanese culture. For those reasons, I too can understand the mental flames.

In my opinion the anime is nowhere near as good as the manga, but then, the author herself agrees! (The author being Naoko Takeuchi.) The manga is much more mature and philosophical, not as sappy. Takeuchi's artwork has an ethereal flair to it that the anime simply doesn't live up to, with the best attempts being in the final season. I didn't mention the manga in my first post because the article is about anime, and anyway, the English translation of Sailor Moon sucks, quite frankly. For those interested, I recommend buying the Japanese original and scrounging up a fan translation.

[ Parent ]
Fansubs: unquestionably better, nearly always [nt] (3.50 / 2) (#103)
by lumen on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:58:20 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Clarification (4.00 / 1) (#89)
by fraise on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:52:14 AM EST

No problem about the mental flame, I actually understand it.

Just wanted to clarify that I don't consider Noir or MCoG to be shoujo either, but that's why I said my recommendations were "from a shoujo fan", since there don't seem to be many other females who watch anime on this site :) (Just wait and see, now that I've said that, dozens will start posting!)

"Ulysses 21" is another French/Japanese co-production, it ran on French public television a couple of years ago (as reruns). My boyfriend and I woke up at 7:30am on Saturdays just to watch it - the animation looks kind of corny nowadays because of its age, but it's a nice sci-fi/mythology story.

[ Parent ]
Ulysses 21 (4.00 / 1) (#117)
by Ghost Shrew on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:59:58 AM EST

I remember watching that Saturday mornings... I guess I've always been an Anime geek. I loved Cities of Gold, and woke up freakin' early Sunday to watch Robotech, despite the fact that the channel ran the episodes out of order :( My parents did find it a nice way to get me up in time for the early morning church service, though.

Ulysses 21 was hard to follow when you're like, 8 or so. But I still remember some of the interesting ideas they had. I seem to remember an infinite pathway at some time, basically a Mobeus strip. Weird. But maybe I'm remembering a totally different cartoon.

Free tabletop RPG!! Grey Lotus
[ Parent ]

Ulysses 21? (4.00 / 2) (#141)
by batlock on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:14:50 PM EST

You mean "Ulysses 31".

[ Parent ]

Do you _have_ to be a female to be a 'Shoujo fan'? (none / 0) (#272)
by irrevenant on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 07:35:13 PM EST

Obviously shojou anime were created with a female audience in mind, but so what? Many females enjoy shonen manga so why not for males and shojou anime? (Is there a less unwieldly word than 'female' to incorporate young girls, (female) teens and young women through to old women?)

[ Parent ]
Ah! My Goddess... (4.00 / 1) (#77)
by lumen on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:22:57 AM EST

Once you get beyond the fact that Belldandy exists solely for Keiichi's benefit -- that her happiness is completely dependent upon his -- it's quite enjoyable, and as gorgeous as you say. Her sheer domesticity is sometimes overwhelming, although the story is well-written enough such that my disbelief was almost always suspended in this regard. She is a goddess, after all. When push comes to shove, the series and movie dip into some profound themes and downright majestic imagery.

Also of note in that particular series is its use and intriguing reshuffling of some elements of Norse mythology. Yggdrasil is cool.

[ Parent ]
Holy shit, lol (3.00 / 1) (#142)
by AmberEyes on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:25:52 PM EST

THANK YOU. I'd been trying to remember the name of that damn Nickelodeon show for several years now.

I'm amazed. That's great. Now, I just need someone to tell me the name of that music video I saw about ten years ago that's driving me crazy, and I'll be able to sleep at night again.


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
The Music Video: (3.00 / 1) (#163)
by Mephron on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:15:43 PM EST

It's probably Matthew Sweet. He did two. One was 'Girlfriend', using footage from Urusei Yatsura and Space Adventurer Cobra; the other was "I've Been Waiting", which used footage from the first Urusei Yatsura movie.

[ Parent ]
Geek chow (2.05 / 20) (#78)
by psychologist on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:33:59 AM EST

I don't want to disrespect here, but whyever do geeks think it makes them in any way cooler to watch japanese films? Because that is the prime motivation of most people watching these films - they want to be the ones that know more than their American counterparts, so they go gaga over a few crappy japanese cartoons.

Be original. Explore more than what everyone else is exploring.

Have you watched a South African film? A Camerounian documentary? A Venezualan soap opera? An Indian musical? A Nigerian Movie? A German comedy? A french romance? A Russian TV show?

Agreed... (none / 0) (#81)
by lumen on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:14:55 AM EST

There's no reason why an interest in Japanese media ought to stop there. On the other hand, there's no pressing reason why one oughtn't dig a bit deeper into Japanese culture.

but whyever do geeks think it makes them in any way cooler to watch japanese films?

If everyone else you know is watching Survivor, for example, any respite from contemporary American media can seem like the bleedin' Holy Grail, and with varyingly good reason. If anime can be an escape hatch from ubiquitous, mediocre contemporary American media (television, music, cinema, or what have you), more power to it. As has been mentioned, a lot of it is similiarly mediocre, but I think it ought to be promoted -- if not just for the gems discussed here, then its considerable value as a "gateway medium."

[ Parent ]
Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#226)
by psychologist on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 03:37:51 AM EST

Rather than jumping from American to japanese films, which are the two film types the media is selling you, why don't you move to something entirely new. Lack of imagination?

[ Parent ]
hrm (5.00 / 1) (#83)
by Dragomire on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:23:51 AM EST

I certainly don't feel any cooler by watching anime, or Indian, or French, or any other independent/foriegn films (which I do watch). On the contrary, it reaffirms my geekdom.

However, I'm also considered lower class by geeks, because my geek knowledge does not rate up there with the people that can tell you how many nose hairs a certain geeky celebrity has or some other nonsense. In essence, I'm a geek to the geeks.

About the only really cool thing-- even non geeks might appreciate this-- I can attest ot is that Bruce Campbell tells people to leave a message for me on my voice mail. Personalized, not taken from a movie. Then again, most non-geeks don't know who the fuck Bruce Campbell is....

[ Parent ]

German Comedy (5.00 / 1) (#92)
by ti dave on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:52:11 AM EST

Oh, that's rich.
Why are you sending the gentle readers on a snipe hunt?
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Did I hear snipe? [OT] (none / 0) (#116)
by br284 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:58:30 AM EST

I've been looking for one of those damn things since the sixth grade. Everyone else has apparently caught theirs, so I must be doing something wrong...


[ Parent ]

Au contraire (5.00 / 3) (#93)
by Tatarigami on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:02:29 AM EST

Because that is the prime motivation of most people watching these films - they want to be the ones that know more than their American counterparts,

My motivation isn't as complex as you might think. I was cooler than my American counterparts before I even heard of anime. Now I watch it simply to be entertained.

[ Parent ]
Right. (5.00 / 1) (#113)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:50:31 AM EST

Like, we'd be actually much cooler if we watched Friends.

I watch anime because it presents more and harder science fiction than anything else available in the American market. The fact that it's animated is secondary.

Hell, Lain explores concepts like "how can an eternal God have a beginning?". Trigun, despite mixing comedy and stock good/evil issues also goes deeply into the nature of pacifism and has a more nuanced portrayal of priest than I have ever seen out of Hollywood. When was the last time an American TV series explored any of these issues?

To understand American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservative
[ Parent ]

It's kinda like Radiohead (none / 0) (#147)
by axxeman on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:43:50 PM EST

It's fucked up the way we are.

Being or not being married isn't going to stop bestiality or incest. --- FlightTest
[ Parent ]

more special than thou (5.00 / 3) (#177)
by NFW on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:37:48 PM EST

Why do jocks think it makes them in any way cooler to pledge allegiance to a sports team?

Answer: Because.

If you want to be "original" or special, or unique, because that's what you like, then have at it. If someone else gets a kick out of an athlete or two, or a musical genre, or a video genre, or knitting, croquet, or a class of beverages, so be it.

Why do you care what they enjoy? You disparage total strangers. You assume that you know what's better for them. You've got issues. Psychologist, heal thyself.

But as for anime, I could take it or leave it. I enjoyed some, was bored by some. I'm glad this got posted though, I'll check out a couple of the recommendations.

Got birds?

[ Parent ]

Know before you speak. (5.00 / 1) (#192)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:48:55 PM EST

My next article was going to be the milestone in Akira Kurosawa's canon. The greatest director the public never knew.

Additionally, I'm lucky enough to take bits of at least 3 cultures and I've watched movies from all three.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Why just 3 (3.00 / 2) (#227)
by psychologist on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 03:39:32 AM EST

Is it because big biz only sells you 3 types of films?

[ Parent ]
Ha!!! (none / 0) (#252)
by Lai Lai Boy on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 07:38:40 PM EST

When big biz starts selling Bangladeshi film we'll talk

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Cooler? No. Enjoying Myself More? Yes. (none / 0) (#223)
by DarkZero on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 02:46:03 AM EST

To most geeks, regardless of gender, Japanese anime is offering them all of the things that they've always wanted. The entertainment culture of the United States is one that favors reality shows and episodic comedies or cop/lawyer/doctor dramas over science fiction and fantasy shows. If you like dramas about cops, lawyers, or doctors going about their daily lives or enjoy reality game shows like Survivor or Fear Factor, American entertainment is definitely for you. For fans of science fiction and fantasy, Japanese entertainment, especially anime, offers something that's more their style.

There's also the fact that geeks, who are generally more prone to reading books or watching movies than watching sitcoms, are attracted to the coherent arc storylines in anime. In Japan, TV shows are more often than not treated like movies. They tell a coherent story within a single season and they end after that season, much like a miniseries on US television. And like a miniseries, any new episodes of the show during the next TV season is not a continuation of the same story, but instead a sequel series with a new name and completely new story. For people whose tastes tend more toward drawn out stories with solid beginnings and endings than a weekly dose of light, thoughtless comedy, anime offers something that they can't get in the US.

And of course, many of us also watch whatever other foreign films we can. But unfortunately, the only other thing that's really available in the United States is a relatively small amount of Hong Kong action films. Anime is readily available both on DVD and on the internet in fansubs, but French and German films or Bollywood musicals are few and far between. We can only broaden our horizons as far as those horizons are available to us. But I'm sure that if you asked anime fans what movies they've watched that are from countries other than Japan or the US, they'd name just about everything else that's available to them on DVD in the US: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brotherhood of the Wolf, miscellaneous Jet Li films, and possibly more obscure films like Nosferatu.

And as for this bit about being cooler than everybody else... pfft. That's just a ridiculous stereotype that doesn't make any sense. Most anime fans watch anime because they like it, and the idea that they suffer through it so that they can have some sort of "edge" on their peers by knowing more about obscure foreign TV shows is just idiotic.

[ Parent ]

Talk to the hand (5.00 / 1) (#225)
by psychologist on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 03:36:42 AM EST

I don't have anything against Anime. It is just sooo cliche, and isn't at all cool. Expand your mind if you really want to be cool.

[ Parent ]
I hope you're not a real psychologist (none / 0) (#230)
by Tatarigami on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 08:19:27 AM EST

I realise trolling is 'just' trolling on K5, but this shameless attention-whoring seems pretty unhealthy for an aspiring mental healthcare professional.

I guess we can pin our hopes on the chance that you're doing a term paper on us.

[ Parent ]
I don't need your attention (none / 0) (#250)
by psychologist on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 06:16:02 PM EST

And I don't want you to give it to me. If I make dud points, point them out. If I make valid points, counter them. If you don't want to reply, I will never know, and will never miss it.

[ Parent ]
Cooler? (5.00 / 1) (#262)
by bodrius on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 12:23:47 AM EST

Do you really think there's a single person out there who doesn't watch Anime and thinks favorably about those who watch it?

I have not found a person who would consider me cooler because I watch Anime (usually quite the contrary), except for those who ALSO watch Anime. They would consider me cooler for the same reason sport jocks consider other sport jocks cool: they can talk about sports.

"Have you watched a South African film?"

Yup. Not impressed, so far. I've learned the hard way that nationality is not a good indication of greatness, and exoticity is not an indication of quality at all.

Although I do have my prejudices: italian movies with American names in the title are painful to watch.

"A Camerounian documentary?"

No. Would you care to recommend one, and tell us what it was about that impressed you so much?

"A Venezualan soap opera?"

Dude, I'm Venezuelan, and if you're watching our soap operas you're not cooler. You just have either a higher stamina than most people, or your brain has turned to mush already.

We have these thinks 10 hours a day back home. Take it from someone with experience: Do Not Watch Them.

"An Indian musical?"

Almost everyone who has cable has seen one.

"A Nigerian Movie?"

Care to recommend one?

"A German comedy?"

Care to recommend one?

"A french romance?"

Care to recommend one? I have seen a couple and was not impressed... but then again, I'm not into that genre.

French comedies, however, can be pretty good. Forget about the Jerry Lewis jokes when you go watch one.

"A Russian TV show?"

Care to recommend one? And tell us where to get it (TV shows are harder to find than foreign movies)?
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]

French Romance (none / 0) (#268)
by aWalrus on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 11:47:26 AM EST

For french romance, I'd highly recommend fan fan. One of the greatest (and weirdest) romance movies I've seen. It rides a slim line between what is considered romantic and what is borderly psychotic the whole movie. Watch it if you can.

By the way, I agree with you. Watching any of that stuff does not make you cooler/smarter. It's just what you like. No reason to feel superior to anyone else because you like a different salad dressing.

[ Parent ]

Blue Submarine No. 6 (3.33 / 3) (#79)
by matzon on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:40:55 AM EST

Though Blue Submarine No. 6 is distribued via 4 cd's I thoroughly enjoyed it!! I wonder why it wasn't mentioned. It has an great plot, and the quality just awesome!

Yellow submarine (none / 0) (#281)
by Derci on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 01:47:09 PM EST

I watched one episode in a DVD store and didn't get anything. It was all so blurry. I think that Vandread (from the same studio) is much more fun.

[ Parent ]
two more omissions, if i may (3.00 / 1) (#84)
by Ziller on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:27:43 AM EST

the first is an ongoing series called Hellsing. It's about a british group of both human and non-human vampire hunters, set in a sort of gothic near future. although the plot is nowhere near as deep as, say, evangelion, it's made up pretty well by the fact that the action is stunning and the visuals generally very good. the entire first season is available -- fansubbed -- on the 'net... or so i've heard ;-)

second, the movie Blood: The Last Vampire, also featuring vampire hunting, but this time at a us airbase in post-ww^2 japan.

One skilled at battle takes a stand in the ground of no defeat
And so does not lose the enemy's defeat."
Blood? (none / 0) (#94)
by tweek on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:03:06 AM EST

Why mention blood if you don't mention what came before?

The first anime I ever saw was "Vampire Hunter D".
I had heard samples in a few songs and went out to find out from what movie they came. I wasn't able to find anything (the internet had not yet caught up with popular culture). I started to get into anime from picking up various mags and decided to buy D.

Imagine my surprise when I heard one of my favorite samples in the movie!

Next up was Akira, followed by Nausica, Battle Angel Alita, Ninja Scrolls and countless others.

Some people call me crazy but I prefer to think of myself as freelance lunatic.
[ Parent ]

Oh yeah and I forgot to mention (none / 0) (#95)
by tweek on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:05:59 AM EST

The usual suspect:

"Ghost in the Shell" - next to Vampire Hunter D, this has to be my all time favorite anime. Something about the deeper meaning of life always stuck with me. Admitedly the comic is so much better but I'm still a fanboy. I can't wait for Man/Machine Interface.
Some people call me crazy but I prefer to think of myself as freelance lunatic.
[ Parent ]

Yokohama Shopping Log (3.00 / 5) (#91)
by mjr on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 06:49:06 AM EST

Nearly all anime is little more than worthless repetition of a few puerile themes. Of the remainder, a large share are superficially promising but ultimately lack substance; Noir was one such disappointment. Another few are first-rate movies dressed up as anime; Grave of the Fireflies is my favorite of these.

I can name a few animes that manage to avoid all those traps well enough. (You may be more liberal, of course.) The first is Yokohama Shopping Log, which is the indisputable king of anime; it's a crime to mention any other in the same breath. But I'll list two others all the same: Evangelion and FLCL.

Weird tastes (4.00 / 1) (#174)
by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:35:13 PM EST

YSL was just... odd. Surreal is what comes to mind. Was it the refusal to explain the odd circumstances of the show, while all characters accepted it as the norm, that appealed to you?<?P>

The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick." - John Dos Passos
[ Parent ]

The traffic lights. (none / 0) (#263)
by mjr on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 02:50:34 AM EST

Her beloved owners have left long ago, but remember and care for her, and one day will return. She looks out over the submerged ruins of a happiness she once knew and looks forward to knowing again, one day. Meanwhile, she runs her cafe, though no customers visit.

Isn't there more in these simple circumstances than in a hundred ordinary animes? Maybe I just have weird tastes, like that occasional person who's deeply moved by the cliched lyrics they heard in some house music. I don't know.

[ Parent ]

What counts as anime ? (4.00 / 1) (#96)
by salsaman on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:06:45 AM EST

Is it the fact that it is hand drawn ? Would a film like Final Fantasy: Spirits Within count as anime. It certainly shares some similarities with a lot of the films mentioned, both in terms of plot and execution.

Others (4.00 / 1) (#100)
by ffrinch on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:30:59 AM EST

It's an interesting question, and it's worthy of note that Ishin-Anime and AnimeCoalition (two groups that devote themselves to the subtitling of anime) have done some of the "Run=Dim" TV series, which is also completely computer animated (and awful, IMO).

A lot of regular anime has 3D CG in it as well too.

Not to mention all the 2D computer animation that companies like Production-IG use.

I still don't count it as anime unless it's mostly nice and flat though. :)

"I learned the hard way that rock music ... is a powerful demonic force controlled by Satan." — Jack Chick
[ Parent ]

Could have been a discussion (4.00 / 3) (#99)
by PresJPolk on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:12:17 AM EST

Too bad your submission has been overrun by name callers and other negative people, Lai Lai Boy.

Can't say I didn't try. [n/t] (3.00 / 1) (#191)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:46:28 PM EST

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

It helped me (none / 0) (#231)
by PresJPolk on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 09:26:42 AM EST

I'm looking into Urusei Yatsura thanks to this. :-)

[ Parent ]
Hehe, that makes me feel better :D [n/t] (none / 0) (#255)
by Lai Lai Boy on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 07:43:03 PM EST

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Other good series: (5.00 / 1) (#101)
by ffrinch on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:48:20 AM EST

Personally, I hated the Rurouni Kenshin OVA; I think the original manga is far, far better.

Some of my favourite series are:

Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou - one of my favourite romance series (a tie with Marmalade Boy). It's absolutely hilarious, yet still deals with important issues. It's just a pity that the TV series ends halfway through the plot of the manga, with no plans for more.

Saishuu-Heiki Kanojo - This is currently airing in Japan, and is another romance. Not just any old romance though, it has ... quite a twist. The animation is stunning, I can't wait for episode four...

Trigun - The series follows Vash, the Humanoid Typhoon, a bounty of $$60,000,000,000 on his head, as he travels a desert planet. I don't know anyone (who has watched it) who does not like this series.

Azumanga Daioh - This is based on a comic strip (not a comic book, a series of 4-panel strips), so episodes are broken up into several short chunks. People I know describe it as "the anime version of crack", I don't know whether that's a recommendation or not...

Kokoro Library - Yep, that's right, a show about a library. The entire first episode is about the trainee librarian chasing down a woman who forgot to return a book. What could be more exciting than that? ;) Nah, it's heartwarming, really...

"I learned the hard way that rock music ... is a powerful demonic force controlled by Satan." — Jack Chick

I have only seen about half of Trigun... (none / 0) (#286)
by Fireklar on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 07:23:12 AM EST

but it's my favorite anime series so far.
[ Parent ]
Quickly: some more series' (4.00 / 2) (#108)
by ipinkus on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:34:14 AM EST

Check out Trigun, and Outlaw Star if you're looking for something Cowboy Bebop-esque.

If you're looking for some more blood then take a look at Berserk. The ending is quite interesting.

More comedy: Love Hina, and Love Hina Again

Some good fansubs:

  • Scryed
  • Generator Gawl
  • Hand Maid May

Outlaw Star? (3.00 / 1) (#139)
by ethereal on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:09:16 PM EST

I dunno, I didn't like Outlaw Star near as much as CB. I think they got the formula of Adult Male + Adult (more or less) Female(s) + Cute Kid + pet/robot/comedy relief wrong somehow, or maybe I just don't like the art style as much. The characters are drawn almost entirely, but not quite, in correct anatomical proportion; perhaps I'm just not happy living on that edge :)


Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Outlaw star was fun... (3.00 / 1) (#164)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:17:11 PM EST

But definitely not in the same class as Bebop! Not to mention that all-fan-service-all-the-time episode which does nothing but hand ammo to the anti-anime crowd...

To understand American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservative
[ Parent ]

Love Hina Again (3.00 / 1) (#184)
by afree87 on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:42:01 PM EST

You mean that wasn't supposed to be pornography? :) OVAs such as Love Hina Again are so plagued with fan service that it makes one want to... never mind...
Ha... yeah.
[ Parent ]
Gawl--no need for fansubs (5.00 / 1) (#244)
by Phelan on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 04:14:55 PM EST

Heck, you can rent it at blockbuster. I did. You can also buy it at amazon.com

[ Parent ]
Yet Another Other Good Series Post (4.50 / 2) (#109)
by Matrix on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:37:38 AM EST

Well, time for me to chime in and drop some series names that others seem to have missed...

Seikai No Monshou: The anime adaptation of the first three novels of a popular series of Japanese science fiction books. Anyone who likes the writing of Lois McMaster Bujold will probably love this. To the anime bashers: this series has no giant robots, no excessively hyper females, and none of the other elements of "typical" anime science fiction. It shares more with modern American space opera (David Weber, Lois McMaster Bujold) than it does with other "anime" type shows. (Available on DVD in North America.)

Read Or Die: Watch or die. Three-volume OAV series about a secret agent known as "The Paper". Great action sequences, cool animation, and an amusing take on Bond-type spy movies. (Currently available fansubbed, I believe it has since been acquired by Manga Entertainment.)

.Hack//Sign: An anime adaptation of a single-player console RPG about an overwhelmingly popular MMORPG. You never actually see the players, only their characters. Great music, from the same group that did the music for Noir. Good plot and art, too. Less philosophical than Lain, and more sensible, but very definitely worth seeing. (Currently available fansubbed, I believe it has been acquired by ADV.)

Jungle Wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu: Your mind will snap. (Currently available fansubbed, I do not believe any American company has had the guts to acquire it yet.)

Let me add my voice to those endorsing Escaflowne, Cowboy Bebop, FLCL, Kare Kano, Trigun, and Utena. All are worth seeing, though FLCL and Utena are most definitely not for the weak of mind or the easily disturbed.

"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett

Fist of the Northstar - my personal favorite (4.00 / 2) (#110)
by the original jht on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:39:22 AM EST

It was a wonderful example of apocalyptic chop-socky.  Originally I had a tape of the movie a friend of mine had recorded while over there many years ago - eventually I got to see it in English but the dialog was pretty much what I expected from watching the inflections of the characters in the original Japanese.

It didn't stop me from buying the DVD a couple of years ago, though.  Kenshiro rocks!

- -Josh Turiel
"Someday we'll all look back at this and laugh..."

Live Action Version (3.00 / 1) (#172)
by Kintanon on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:19:41 PM EST

They made a live action version of Fist of the North Star with some brute of an American as the main character. It was absolutely heinous! But really, if you need something hysterical to watch one friday night see if you can find it, it's a laugh a minute!!!


[ Parent ]

A few of my favorites (3.00 / 1) (#119)
by nytflyr on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:12:23 AM EST

a few that have been mentioned, a few that have not. Riding Bean, Metropolis, Ninja Scroll. I dont know if this counts, its live action by Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell), but it plays out like anime!

Bigger than big, stronger than strong (3.00 / 1) (#126)
by Rand Race on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:25:24 AM EST

As a child my first exposure to anime was the english version of Tetsujin 28-go; Gigantor.

It was pretty cheesy 60s style anime, but worth it for the theme song if nothing else.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson

Gigantor Theme (3.00 / 1) (#168)
by Dragomire on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:31:43 PM EST

Helmet did a version of the theme song on the Saturday Morning: Cartoons Greatest Hits CD. Pretty awesome version, if I do say so myself.

[ Parent ]
Another (3.00 / 1) (#176)
by Rand Race on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:37:01 PM EST

The Dickies did a cover of it in the early 80s too. Cool, but a bit too fast.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Cowboy Bebop (2.00 / 3) (#127)
by Silent Chris on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:35:39 AM EST

I actually stayed away from this cartoon on name alone.  I'm more of a mainstream anime fan.  When I caught an episode on Cartoon Network, it had me hooked.  I definitely recommend it, but suggest not bringing any kind of practicality to your viewing (the episode previews, for example, are often the weirdest I've seen).

I call Cowboy Bebop "One of the best animes with the worst names".  I mean, com'on.  People tell me this is a direct translation -- it still seems really off.  Even "Cowboy Jazz" or "Jazz Cowboy" would be better.

Wha> (4.00 / 1) (#132)
by oooga on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:16:50 AM EST

Cowboy Jazz? WTF? I've never seen it (okay, a little, at a friends house) but I'm guessing you don't work in marketing. Cowboy Bebop is a great name.
Taking my toast burnt since 1985
[ Parent ]
"3,2,1 Let's Jam!" (5.00 / 1) (#136)
by Netsnipe on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:58:13 AM EST

'Bebop' is a style of jazz (Kano's soundtrack and the series's jazz intro rocks!), and is the also the name of their spaceship. While 'Cowboy' is slang for bounty hunter in the society depicted in the show. So in conclusion, "Cowboy Bebop" is a totally appropriate name. Everything about the show simply oozes with style.

Andrew 'Netsnipe' Lau
Debian GNU/Linux Maintainer & Computer Science, UNSW
[ Parent ]
I want to marry Yoko Kanno :D [n/t] (none / 0) (#202)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:02:00 PM EST

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Bebop (5.00 / 1) (#140)
by ethereal on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:10:14 PM EST

The name of the ship is "Bebop" (I believe you can actually read this on the hull at a couple of points). I just chalked it up to the Japanese habit of seizing upon an interesting-sounding English word.


Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Like "Bubblegum Crisis" is any better!? (none / 0) (#148)
by Skywise on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:53:04 PM EST

At least Cowboy Bebop has some connotation with the show... (Cowboys and the music... er... the ship...)

[ Parent ]
The name (none / 0) (#153)
by adamhaun on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:21:17 PM EST

Actually, "Cowboy Bebop" isn't even a translation. It's the original title, which was spelled out in Japanese( as "Kauboi Biboppu", IIRC). There was really no reason to change the name, and they would have pissed off a lot of fans if they did :).
-- Adam Haun No, you can't have my email
[ Parent ]
love this show (none / 0) (#165)
by ReverendX on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:17:12 PM EST

A friend of mine loaned me the soundtrack to this show... it's awesome; very unique. I had seen parts of the show on Cartoon Network before, but never actually watched an entire episode. I like watching shows in order though, so I found all the episodes online. (but in Japanese w/ english subtitles.) After watching the show in japanese, I can't ever go back to the english Cartoon Network ones. I highly recommend Cowboy Bebop.

Being able to piss in an allyway is however, a very poor substitute for a warm bed and a hot cup of super-premium coffee. - homelessweek.com
[ Parent ]

Not A Translation (none / 0) (#222)
by DarkZero on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 02:12:52 AM EST

The eyecatches between commercials that say "Cowboy Bebop" (such as the one that says "The Show That Will Create A New Genre Unto Itself -- Cowboy Bebop" or something very similar) are not edited. Cowboy Bebop, the two English words, were the actual name of the show in Japan.

[ Parent ]
Cowboy Bebop (none / 0) (#249)
by Lai Lai Boy on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 05:20:04 PM EST

I've never understood the problem with this name. It sounds like people just don't know about jazz styles and that's the problem. I never felt the horror at the name others describe.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

IMHO... (3.00 / 2) (#143)
by emagius on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:31:45 PM EST

The only worthwhile anime is The Slayers (along with its Slayers Next and, to a lesser extent, Slayers Try). Just about everything else takes itself too seriously (although RoLW: CotHK and Ah! My Goddess get points for their SD spin-offs) and/or falls flat on its face. Maybe it's just me, but I find it hard enough to suspend disbelief long enough to take movies/television seriously with live actors -- with anime, it's even worse (OTOH, I have no problems with more serious manga, graphic or non-graphic novels).

Tylor! (2.00 / 1) (#150)
by BushidoCoder on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:00:00 PM EST

If you liked Slayers, you'll likely enjoy the Irresponsible Captain Tylor too.


[ Parent ]

Hehe (none / 0) (#219)
by Lai Lai Boy on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 12:24:55 AM EST

Heh, I loved Tylor, hate Slayers :D

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Excel Saga? (none / 0) (#239)
by avani on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 01:26:03 PM EST

It may fall into your category of "falls on its face", but by no means does it take itself seriously. Its a mock of anime/suspension of disbelief/Japanese culture/etc. thats IMHO fairly well done.

Not to mention having my favorite anime ending theme ;->

[ Parent ]
Slayers?! (none / 0) (#261)
by bodrius on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 12:06:21 AM EST

Well, ok, The Slayers was a nice spoof of the whole AD&D idea. And it never took itself too seriously.

But to continue it into multiple series was stretching it a bit too far. Like making Ace Ventura into a movie... no more depth than a typical In Living Color sketch, which is great in 4 minute pieces, but is painful to watch in a 100-min sitting.

There are better comedies out there, if you don't like serious anime:

- Excel Saga, for the MAJOR WTF factor.
- FLCL, for a shorter WTF factor.
- Kodomo no Omocha, for the romantic comedy genre (on crack)
- Ping Pong Club, if you don't get offended by some bathroom humor
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]

Some of my all time favourites... (3.00 / 1) (#144)
by batlock on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:32:46 PM EST

And I can still hum most of the theme songs...

Cats Eyes! (none / 0) (#154)
by HidariJoe on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:27:16 PM EST

I love Cats Eyes.

I mean how could you not love 3 cute sisters, who are the best thieves in the world!

---Rise Phobos, Knight of Mars! -Howling Hank Murphy
[ Parent ]
My 2cents... (3.00 / 2) (#149)
by dJCL on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 12:58:45 PM EST

I agree with most of the comments. I enjoy music as much as most other things and my favourite anime titles have some excellent music(for my tastes) Escaflowne, I love the soundtrack for that series, especialy the gregorian chant'ish song used during the first dragon flight. Cowboy Beebop was an exploration in stories along with music. They themed it well, in the dessert: do a cowboy/western style. Dealing with the Heavy Metal Queen - you can guess the style.

My all time favourite for music is definatly Macross Plus. The music of Sharon Apple is amazing, I love dance style music, and yet sometimes she can get a nice slow and yet still enjoyable piece. I also enjoy that one visually.

There is still much anime for me to see, my friends told me I have to watch perfect blue, and after seeing a good Anime Music Video(AMV) with it, I agree.

Anyone else have some recomendations based on a good anime with some great music. My tastes are rather ecclectic, so just be you...

my sig was too long, and getting annoying, so this is all you get. deal with it.

Perfect Blue (none / 0) (#171)
by Kintanon on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 04:15:23 PM EST

Perfect Blue is an AMAZING Anime, you should definately watch it without distractions though as the plot is very intricate and you may miss important details if you have things going on around you. I saw it for the first time last weekend and it was great!


[ Parent ]

Yup... (none / 0) (#207)
by dJCL on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 09:35:21 PM EST

It's on the aquire/find a copy to watch list.

my sig was too long, and getting annoying, so this is all you get. deal with it.
[ Parent ]

Music (none / 0) (#245)
by Lai Lai Boy on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 04:57:36 PM EST

Cowboy Bebop has an incredible score thanks to the delicious Yoko Kanno. It moves from jazz, to hard rock, to classic rock (in the movie) effortlessly.

.hack//sign has great opening/ending themes and BG music. I've heard the music for Noir is similar but I haven't seen it yet.

Taku Iwasu's score for the Rurouni Kenshin ranks up their with Williams for movie scores.

Serial Experiments Lain has a prety good soundtrack, but it has two great Japanese vocal themes on the OST CD, plus the incredible Duvet by Boa (an English band, so the theme is in English). There is also a techno/industrial remix CD called Cyberia.

I just reviewed the OST for Sen to Chihiro on Animefrigne. Anything by the composer, Joe Hisashi, is great, especially the Sen to Chihiro, Mononoke Hime, and Totoro soundtracks.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Rumiko Takahashi's other works (4.33 / 3) (#157)
by dasunt on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 01:48:32 PM EST

First of all, a little bit of trivia : Rumiko Takahashi was one of Japan's first female millionaires due to series such as Ranma 1/2.

Btw, if you enjoy Ranma 1/2, there is a translation project for the manga that weren't released in the US (vol 15+, IIRC). A google search should return some results.

She also did Inuyasha, which is a series I haven't watched yet, but is supposed to be pretty good.

However, a lot of fans like her mermaid trilogy : Mermaid's Forest, Mermaid's Scar, and Mermaid's Gaze. The manga can be ordered from amazon.com. The first two of them were transformed into anime, but both are pretty rare now. Unlike her other works, the mermaid trilogy isn't humorous - instead, its macabre horror.

Inuyasha (4.00 / 1) (#190)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:43:44 PM EST

Inuyasha has its momements, but IMHO it's no Ranma or Lum

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Anime is just white males with Asian fetish (1.20 / 24) (#160)
by Thinkit on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 02:32:47 PM EST

Actually, in particular very _young_ Asian females are wanted.  I think it's just pretty sick.

White males with a fetish. (4.00 / 1) (#162)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:11:30 PM EST

That explains why it's so popular in Japan.

To understand American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservative
[ Parent ]

Japanese <i>girls</i> no less. [n/t] (3.50 / 2) (#201)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:01:15 PM EST

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Wow (5.00 / 1) (#167)
by hamsterboy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:30:53 PM EST

What a charmingly shallow and completely unfounded remark. I salute you.

Say this again after you've seen Akira. I'd like to see if you can still mean it.

[ Parent ]

Akira Is fab (none / 0) (#181)
by rf on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:34:30 PM EST

I remember the first thing I saw of Anime was BBC2 showing it with subtitles about 8 years ago and I saw the scene where one of the girls gets punched. It turned my stomache.

It would have been about 4 years later when I decided to buy the video, through mail order then, and I loved it. It has such a grand scale and hints at so many other things going on which your not really let into. I read some of the Akira manga, at 10 volumes there was no way I was going to read it all, and there was indeed a lot of the story left out in the film. Still my favourite anime.
[ Parent ]
10 volumes ? (none / 0) (#187)
by nodsmasher on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:15:25 PM EST

its 6 graphic novels or around 30 some manga's
and theres more then some left out, the movie is basically graphic novels 1, 2 and the very end of 3
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
[ Parent ]
High expectations (none / 0) (#303)
by Roamerick on Thu Aug 08, 2002 at 10:29:34 AM EST

You think someone who comes out with such a comment has even the slimmest chance of understanding Akira? You're being way too kind.

[ Parent ]
I'm not white, troll boy [n/t] (2.66 / 3) (#199)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:58:27 PM EST

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

golden era 80s: KOR! (3.66 / 3) (#169)
by bolthole on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 03:53:17 PM EST

How could you do a summary of the "golden era" of the 80s, and not mention KOR??

Kimagure Orange Road. based on the manga around 82, broadcast around 87.

Classic love story of a high school guy, Kasuga Kyosuke, and the love triangle he falls into. This series has one of the most realistic people reactions. It uses some amount of farce, but the way it deals with "real-life" emotions, is unparalleled. There's some amount of formula, but there are also episodes that have nothing to do with the core 'love triangle' problems. For example, there is an entire episode dedicated to Kyosuke's sister, Manami, and how she feels about her place in the family.

This series is a MUST-SEE, for people who want actual plot in their anime, and dont need explosions and tentacles to keep their interest. Only trouble is, you cant rent it at your average video rental place, like you can some others. So see if you can beg some die-hard fan near you to let you see their fansubs, or if you're really lucky, their LD or DVD collection of it. I recently bought the DVD set from animeigo. Yaaay!!!

KOR (none / 0) (#200)
by Lai Lai Boy on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:00:29 PM EST

KOR is good and I'm this far away from putting down the $200 to get AnimEigo's box set, but it doesn't seem that influential to me. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think so. As it were, if I mentioned every series worth seeing, this would be twice the size of thelizman's Isreal trilogy. I just tried to mention some general interest, gateway type flicks.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

KOR not influential? (none / 0) (#211)
by bolthole on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:23:45 PM EST

Are you kidding me? :-)

If I recall, Piro/Fred listed KOR as one of his biggest influences back in the day, that eventually encouranged him to do megatokyo

I dont remember which one it was, but i figured out one of his plot twists was practically straight out of KOR :-> (and he agreed)

[ Parent ]

Um... (none / 0) (#220)
by Lai Lai Boy on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 12:26:52 AM EST

When Piro starts making anime call me. Otherwise, has much as it's influenced him, covering manga, including American versions, is way out of the argument of this essay.

That probably sounded harsher than I meant, and I enjoy MT, but MT has nothing to do with the topic as such.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

anime, manga, ... (none / 0) (#224)
by bolthole on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 03:21:18 AM EST

whats the difference?

just kidding :-)

okay, okay, I forgot the topic is "anime". But I thought the underlying idea was to inform fans, and potential fans, about how things have evolved, and some good shows along the way. KOR is memorable as one of the best shows.

And it *has* influenced other anime. considerably.

I cant go into large details without spoiling endings of TWO shows, but there is a big chunk of the KOR ending, reguarding a certain tree, that another anime copied, albeit with a somewhat different relationship between the characters. I think I remember someone complaining on kuroshin (or maybe it was rec.arts.anime.misc) in the last 3 weeks or so, about how some US distributor had mangled the relationship between two characters meeting by a tree, etc.

I ignored it at the time, but after finally seeing the ending of KOR, I thought, "hey waitaminit..."

[ Parent ]

Okay (3.00 / 1) (#180)
by psicE on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:01:12 PM EST

That's good and all. But, Pokemon. I mean, Pokemon!

I know, that's not at all representative of anime. But still, it should be illegal to make something that bad. Well no, it shouldn't; but anyone broadcasting it should be required to give a flashing black-white disclaimer before playing that godawful intro song.

Pure Genius (none / 0) (#302)
by Roamerick on Thu Aug 08, 2002 at 10:27:30 AM EST

Pokemon is an abberration which, ineed, should have been confined to the darkest crypts of world media. But it is also an excercise in marketing genius. The whole cartoon is an advert for merchandise which is designed around a viral concept - the more you collect, the more you need, the more your friends will need. The deplorable Digimon is a cheap knock-off, but you can see the idea has caught on. Pity that things like these are giving Anime a bad name, although anyone who judges Anime by the standards of Pokemon and the latest Dragonball series should really be dismissed as an ignoramus.

[ Parent ]
History: NTSC Helped Anime Grow In The US (3.50 / 2) (#185)
by EXTomar on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 05:43:24 PM EST

It is true! How little do people realize how a trival thing like video encoding can help revolutionize (or retard) the growth of a fantastic entertainment niche.

Take the way back machine to the early 1990s. Anime was very much a "niche in a niche" fanbase existing in the shadow of more traditional Sci-Fi. Before the invention of DVD, broadband internet, etc. there were only 2 ways of getting Anime and one invovled your wallet.

You could buy Anime straight from Japan but that invovled knowing some Japanese and calling at the right times of day(10 hour timezone difference across the international date line no less). Or if you were really lucky you knew someone who spoke English and bought the stuff for you and shipped back Federial Express(before FedEx ;-) ). In any event the perfered format of choice of store bought animation in Japan at the time was by far Laserdisc.

The other way you could get Anime is instead of having that friend run up your credit card bill buying expensive foriegn LDs just tape it straight from the air. Box up a bunch of them and ship them back Federial Express.

The very important thing here is that Japan took the US NTSC video encoding standard as a shrude move to sell compatible consumer electrontronics. Broadcasted TV was NTSC and VCRs just record the given signal. Laserdiscs were encoded in NTSC. In the days before the idiotic region code enforcement, you can just buy/borrow/beg/get a video from Japan and it would just work in your US equipment.

This is key because other places like Britian also had their fanbase but had to go through the pain and suffering of video format conversion. In the US you could just VCR-to-VCR copy 2nd generation tapes to get a crappy quality but still watchable tape to give to a friend interested in a show but in Europe this just didn't work as well. Anime Fandom in the US/Canada blossomed and grew rapidly in the 1990s while other places scrambled to come up with better ways of getting NTSC->Pal conversions to work.

These days, DVDs are of course digital and aren't encoded NTSC, PAL or anything. This plus the advent of wider availability of broadband has helped the rest of the world catch some of the shows that people in the US (and Japan :-)) watch.

"shrude", huh? (4.00 / 2) (#189)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:43:17 PM EST

I'm pretty sure that Japan settled on NTSC for reasons that have nothing to do with the American video tape market. Especially since when they were picking the standard they would have had to have foreseen a USA home video tape market a good twenty years in the future.

To understand American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservative
[ Parent ]

Maybe for other economic reasons then (4.50 / 2) (#203)
by gauze on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:17:47 PM EST

like figuring most of their export equipment would be for the US NTSC market and might as well kill 2 birds with one stone.
As many will tell you it's not because of NTSC's technical merits

There's nothing wrong with a PC that a little UNIX won't cure.
[ Parent ]
Exactly. (4.00 / 2) (#206)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:59:44 PM EST

The USA was their primary market after WWII, and their primary source for technical knowledge as well.

To understand American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservative
[ Parent ]

There is some truth here. (5.00 / 1) (#196)
by haflinger on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:54:00 PM EST

You're overstating the case, though. Most anime fans in the early '90s were not watching 2nd-generation dubs. (I know, I lived with one for like a year.) They wished they were. However, more typical was the 11th generation or thereabouts.

Japanese NTSC did make the conversion easier, but there was still a huge effort put in by fansubbers to make the tapes more accessible to people who didn't know any Japanese. Some of the early fansubs were quite comical. I distinctly remember one who was using an Amiga with a genlock to do the subs. He hated the Amiga passionately. In fact, I think he hated everything passionately. He would editorialize on everything that was wrong with the world when the credits were rolling.

He was really, really funny. :) Anybody know who I mean?

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

who is the audience? (3.00 / 1) (#188)
by biggs on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 07:17:45 PM EST

This article behaves like an introduction to anime but you would need to be very familiar with anime to even make sense of it... Decide who your audience is.

"Rockin my 'hell I made it' wetsuit stitch so I can swim in elevators crazy wet through piss" -Cannibal Ox
FLCL (4.33 / 3) (#204)
by brozier on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:30:13 PM EST

FLCL, also know as Furi Kuri, is the latest release (in the US atleast) from Gainix. It's spoofs on mecha anime, the matrix, even south park (yes there's a 30 second scene featuring a character depicted SP-style). The first disc should be out now or very soon as I just got an e-mail from animenation.com about it's release. This is by far the most ouf of control anime i've ever seen and it's got really-really good music - maybe even better music than the Cowboy Bebop movie, which was recently shown in NY. FLCL should be available on kazaa.

I can't think of a subject, so.... (4.00 / 2) (#205)
by ShockingAlberto on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 08:33:19 PM EST

Anime has also had a great influence on the world of gaming. Yuji Naka was once quoted as saying that his inspiration for Sonic the Hegehog was Hayao Miyazaki's Panda Go Panda (God only knows what inspired him to create NiGHTs). Even now, Shigeru Miyamoto has talked about how he feels the "cartoony" look of Zelda is the right direction for him to take the series. American animation has also had an effect on gaming. Miyamoto spent his childhood watching Disney cartoons, and the result is easily seen in his games (Link is simply a sword-wielding Peter Pan and Mario's world looks like something out of Alice in Wonderland). With the current increase in cel-shaded games, the lines between gaming and animation are blurring. Where will this take it? I'm hoping for a cel-shaded Final Fantasy, quite honestly. :)

Anime? *yawn* (2.00 / 6) (#210)
by What She Said on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:12:10 PM EST

I find anime to be one of two things: irritating or boring.

I'll sit on the front porch and watch grass grow before I'll watch anime.

Lain (4.50 / 2) (#212)
by bugmaster on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 10:40:36 PM EST

I think calling Lain "a show about internet" is doing it a great injustice. In reality, Lain has many different themes, such as identity, religion, and the mind-body problem. In addition, Lain actually makes the viewer care about the characters -- not something many movies in general manage to accomplish.

I could go on of course, but I don't want to inadvertently post any spoilers. Suffice to say that I would recommend Lain alongside Akira or EVA (even though all three shows are radically different).

I agree (4.00 / 1) (#218)
by Lai Lai Boy on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 12:23:57 AM EST

Well, i feel the same way about all the anime I mentioned, especially those I recommended. Calling CB a space western doesn't do justice to its wry humor and pulp qualities, calling Totoro anything doesn't do justice to the sheer joy it brings. I agree, but I'm limited (like you were) about spoiling and time/space.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

A counterview of Lain (none / 0) (#271)
by X3nocide on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 07:25:37 PM EST

Lain is a show about a girl with no affect and her relationship with electric noise. I don't mean techno here, I mean like transformers on the powerline buzz. Each episode is called a "layer," in which each layer adds depth to the meaning of the show. Of course 13 layers is more than enough depth, its too complex even. So (like a certain other series) the ending heads transandentalist. Lain, the god who doesn't know it.

[ Parent ]
Mindfuck (none / 0) (#301)
by Roamerick on Thu Aug 08, 2002 at 10:23:35 AM EST

I have to say that the discovery of Serial Experiments was a boon for me. I managed to watch the series end-to-end, and I have to say it scrambled my neural pathways in a way that only really good anime can. It's truly what I'd define as a mindfuck, but ultimately satisfying in its conclusion.

[ Parent ]
One thing I want to know (none / 0) (#213)
by whojgalt on Thu Aug 01, 2002 at 11:25:48 PM EST

I'm not realy interested in the subject, but after skimming it it looks like a well done article. But the one thing I really do want to know about anime was not covered. How do you pronounce "anime"? Is it A-NIM-AY, or A-NEEM-AY, or AH-NEEM, or some other variation?

If you can't see it from the car, it's not really scenery.
Any code more than six months old was written by an idiot.

Anime (none / 0) (#217)
by Lai Lai Boy on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 12:22:15 AM EST

In Japanese it's a (like in father) ni (like knee, I suppose) me (like may)

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Many Ways (none / 0) (#221)
by DarkZero on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 02:05:18 AM EST

Average American Way: A (as in "at")-nih (as in "nit")-may (as in the month of May)

H4rdc0r3 l33t fanboy way: Ah (flat "aaaah" sound that I can't find an example for)-nee (as in "knee")-may (as in the month)

Japanese Way: Ah (flat "aaaah" sound)/a (as in "at")-nih (as in "nit")-may (as in the month, but slightly less hard)

Generally, the last one is the most correct, as it is the way that most Japanese people pronounce. The "A" in "anime" in the last way is kind of variable, because I've heard "A"s in the first syllable of Japanese words pronounced in completely opposite ways by different speakers, even if it's the same word. The second way, the fanboy way, is mostly taken from the half-assed knowledge of Japanese that most fanboys commonly have. They know that "A" in Japanese is pronounced softly, that "I" in Japanese is pronounced like the "ee" in "knee", and that the "E" is pronounced like a sort version of the "ay" in "May", but they don't realize that syllable stresses in Japanese are the reverse of the syllable stresses in English. English stresses the middle syllable of a word more than the beginning and the end, but Japanese stresses the beginning and end syllables of a word more than the middle.

[ Parent ]

Wha? (none / 0) (#228)
by Lai Lai Boy on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 03:57:14 AM EST

Did you just call me a "H4rdc0r3 l33t fanboy" ;D

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Stress in Japanese words (none / 0) (#236)
by Yosho on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 12:32:46 PM EST

English stresses the middle syllable of a word more than the beginning and the end, but Japanese stresses the beginning and end syllables of a word more than the middle.

Actually, Japanese words are not stressed at all in the manner that English words are.  Every syllable is given even stress; rather than changing the stress to alter the word's meaning, however, the pitch is altered.

Most words rise in pitch at the beginning and drop at the end, but it's common for phrases to rise at the beginning and drop at the end, without alteration inbetween individual words.

[ Parent ]

I agree and so do my Japanese text books [n/t] (none / 0) (#248)
by Lai Lai Boy on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 05:15:50 PM EST

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Hmmm... (none / 0) (#251)
by DarkZero on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 07:30:00 PM EST

I guess I stand corrected, then. However, the main point still stands, even if the evidence doesn't: Most anime fans pronounce "anime" with a very hard "nee" sound in the middle, which is technically correct Japanese pronunciation because the letter "i" is the same as the "ee" in English, but because of the way the words in Japanese are structured and pronounced, it's actually very different from the way that any native Japanese speaker would pronounce it. It's the same case for the word "sakura", which is the word that really drives this point home for most anime fans. Just looking at the word and not actually hearing it spoken, most anime fans assume that it's pronounced "Sah-koo-rah". Then they hear it spoken in an anime series and learn that because there's no stress in the middle like there would be in English, the "ku" almost sounds like "kuh" (similar to the English word "cut", I guess).

[ Parent ]
Japanese pronunciation (5.00 / 1) (#282)
by jejones3141 on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 06:20:49 PM EST

Anime is what's called a garaigo, a borrowed word. Japanese often shortens words as it borrows them; "television" turns into terebi, and indeed, "animation" becomes anime. The shortening doesn't correspond to etymology--probably the standard extreme example is a borrowed term for an increase in base pay rate, which started out as "bēsu appu" (base up) and eventually turned into "bēa." (I once had to maintain some code that had been maintained by a fellow who spoke Chinese and Japanese as well as English, and it took me a while to realize that he used "tem" as short for "temporary"...)

As for pronunciation: it's "ah-nee-meh." Note that I don't indicate stress. Japanese is not like English, which stresses accented syllables. Japanese syllables do vary in pitch, but advice I've read for people learning Japanese is to focus on not using English stress accent, and wait until later to deal with pitch variation.

[ Parent ]

Macross and Leiji Matsumoto (none / 0) (#237)
by Rojareyn on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 12:57:54 PM EST


The article mentions that Leiji Matsumoto was involved in the Macross series. If memory serves, this wasn't the case. A quick check of the Macross Compendium confirms this.

As an aside, I'd have to classify Leiji Matsumoto's works as some of my favorites. His themes of humanity are very inspiring and way ahead of their time.


GITS! (5.00 / 1) (#238)
by Stomil on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 12:58:30 PM EST

I don't know how it was possible to write an introduction to Anime without mentioning Ghost in the Shell?!

Space (none / 0) (#247)
by Lai Lai Boy on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 05:14:53 PM EST

Every one is bemoaning this series or another. This would have been a 7 part series if I mentioned every anime that became even marginally popular in the States.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Production Quality (none / 0) (#241)
by Mr.Surly on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 02:43:40 PM EST

While I have watched (and enjoyed) some of this genre, there are some major annoyances:

  • Animation Quatliy: Most anime that I've seen has abominable animation quality. Not necessarily the skill of the artist so much as poor frame rate. It's seems somewhere around 10 frames a second. Also, why is it that when a character is shown speaking, only their mouth moves, and its the same 3 frames rotated over and over? Overall, it seems the animation is rushed, and therefore crappy.
  • Voices: Why must every character speak very quickly, or have a high squeaky voice (usually both!)? Also, the lip-sync is usually horrible. Assuming it was (probably) originally in Japanese, this is a serendipitous by-product of the poor frame rate used for speech (above); the lip-sync probably sucks equally across any dubbed language.

Responses (5.00 / 1) (#246)
by Lai Lai Boy on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 05:13:47 PM EST

As for production values, most tv series are made cheaply, which means that they might be animated at 10fps (which is the classic anti-anime argument), but the same can't be said for modern movies or even OAVs. As for the lips, again, there's basically tv series.

Why must every character speak very quickly, or have a high squeaky voice (usually both!)? Also, the lip-sync is usually horrible. Assuming it was (probably) originally in Japanese...

That is the argument against dubbing and for subtitles. Anime is in Japanese, and that's the way it was meant to be watched. Though I disagree with your "bad lip sync" comment when the anime is in its native Japanese, in conversational Japanese often subjects are left out of sentences, and people utter what we would consider fragments. While translated directly it doesn't make sense, it does in Japanese to a Japanese speaker. This does raise problems in dubbing because English, among other languages, doesn't allow this on a consistent basis, so the dubbers have to improvise, often speaking fast.

As for squeaky voices, I'm not sure what anime you're talking about, but often Japanese voice actors for men or young boys are female (most notably, Goku, from Dragonball Z and Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin), giving them higher pitched voices. In English, often the dubbers do not understand the characters, so they are type cast, or they think it is cute or more appealing to give characters high vocies.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Classic Arguments (5.00 / 1) (#256)
by DarkZero on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 07:55:49 PM EST

These are some of the classic arguments against anime. Mostly they're just from misinformation and misunderstandings, but they do have some merit to them.

Most anime that I've seen has abominable animation quality. Not necessarily the skill of the artist so much as poor frame rate. It's seems somewhere around 10 frames a second. Also, why is it that when a character is shown speaking, only their mouth moves, and its the same 3 frames rotated over and over? Overall, it seems the animation is rushed, and therefore crappy.

This view of anime is mostly because of the anime that appears on Cartoon Network, such as Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Mobile Suit Gundam, and Gundam Wing. In the case of the first three, those series were mostly made in the '70s and '80s, and thus had appropriate budget and skill level (read: low) for their time. If you were to compare any of these three to more modern anime, current anime series like Cowboy Bebop and Big O would outclass them in exactly the same way that Invader Zim or Justice League outclass GI Joe and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in terms of production values, skill level, and general presentation.

Gundam Wing is just a total oddity and I don't feel that it's representative of most anime from its time (mid-'90s) AT ALL. Rather than having a consistent presentation of decent, acceptable animation in every minute of the show, the production staff of Gundam Wing decided to split the show up between absolutely beautiful scenes with great lighting and horribly choppy, half-assed scenes with extremely poor animation and/or scenes where the characters and objects in the background were little more than squiggly lines. It is an example of creatively budgeted animation the likes of which I had never seen before and so far have thankfully never seen again.

So, basically, if the low production values of some series bothers you that much, you should stick to either anime TV series that were made in the last decade or any of the OVAs or movies from the last fifteen years. You should be pretty safe there, barring oddities liek Gundam Wing.

Why must every character speak very quickly, or have a high squeaky voice (usually both!)? Also, the lip-sync is usually horrible. Assuming it was (probably) originally in Japanese, this is a serendipitous by-product of the poor frame rate used for speech (above); the lip-sync probably sucks equally across any dubbed language.

Dubbing sucks. This is not something that is unique to anime. The characters have ridiculous voices because about half of the dubbed anime that's produced is made by no-name voice actors that get by by doing voices for the sort of crappy American cartoons that air in syndication at 6AM on Sunday morning. That's talentless, unprofessional voice actors that are paid accordingly. As for everyone speaking very quickly, that's probably because dubbers in the US try their best to both literally translate the Japanese script AND sync the mouth movements. Unfortunately, after you translate Japanese into English, you usually get more words than the original script had because of Japanese words that don't have an exact English equivalent, and thus must be split into two- or three-word combinations of a noun and adjective(s). Worse, as Lai Lai Boy pointed out, English is much more redundant than Japanese and does not allow the sort of small sentence fragments that can make up full sentences in Japanese (He explained it a lot better than I did). Put the two translation difficulties together and you have a lot of words that need to be spoken in a small amount of time, which is where quick, barely sensible talking comes in. This problem is not present in subtitles, of course, because subtitles don't have to fit so much information into such a small amount of time. They can stay on the screen for a couple extra if need be.

[ Parent ]

Tee hee (none / 0) (#257)
by Lai Lai Boy on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 09:27:09 PM EST

That's talentless, unprofessional voice actors
Chris Sabat?


[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Annoyances (none / 0) (#260)
by bodrius on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 11:49:16 PM EST

- Animation Quality: this happens both to American and Japanese animation. The quality has improved over time, and you're not used to the same lousy animation as you were before.
  Try watching some 70s-80s American cartoons some day. GI-Joe is already pretty bad, but try something like "Sealab". One of the things I love about "Adult Swim" in Cartoon Network is that their spoofs on old cartoon series spoof the animation quality as well.
   On the other hand, if you're watching modern Anime with low frame-rate, it's because the animation sucks. Watch some other anime.

- Voices: If it's dubbed it's dubbed and mostly it sucks. I'm sorry, but I have yet to see a really good dubbing for Anime in English (I have seen it in other languages, though). Dubbing is in general a compromise, and dubs created for mainstream audiences tend to compromise even more by substantially altering the dialogue.
   Japanese voices are different than American voices, and Japanese dialog is different than American dialog.
   Japanese consider a high-pitched voice normal, particularly in female characters. They would probably consider many US-dubbed American "normal voices" too masculine. It's a cultural thing.
   Like many other cultures, Japanese dialog uses more fragments and internal monologues. For some reason, American fiction (video, animation or literature) doesn't really use internal monologues that much... except in film noir, where they went overboard.
   Ironically, American dubs can substantially increase the internal monologues as well, because the industry in general seems allergic to another tool rarely used in American fiction: silence. So avoid dubs as much as possible.
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]

animation quality (none / 0) (#265)
by tgibbs on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 09:10:38 AM EST

Animation quality is comparable to that of American films for the same medium. Big budget theatrical releases, such as Miyazaki's films, are fully animated, while TV releases show limited animation. However, the Japanese have been far more creative in working around the constraints of limited animation, for example, by using rapid cuts between still drawings, achieving "more with less."

[ Parent ]
animation quality (none / 0) (#275)
by biggs on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 08:53:08 PM EST

None of the responses here have pointed out the simple fact that while there are fewer frames in anime than in western animation each frame tends to be far more detailed and more time consuming to produce. It's simply a different process. Case in point, compare dragon ball z to something like a batman cartoon, there may be more frames in batman, but I'm far more impressed with dbz..

"Rockin my 'hell I made it' wetsuit stitch so I can swim in elevators crazy wet through piss" -Cannibal Ox
[ Parent ]
Few unmentioned ones (none / 0) (#243)
by jurgisb on Fri Aug 02, 2002 at 03:48:56 PM EST

Here is a few movies / series that had no mention yet, and while they may not be overwhelmingly groundbreaking, they deserve to be watched:

Armitage III (OAV, not the movie, subbed) - nice sci-fi flick, not overly outstanding, but very good imo)

Green Legend Ran - I like this world. And the atmosphere. And... well, most everything. As to what it is about, it's hard to describe, watch and see :P

OK... i'll have to list my unmentioned favorites (none / 0) (#276)
by biggs on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 08:58:23 PM EST

3x3 Eyes!!!!!! fantastic horror drama, it can't be beat.. beautiful.. Other stuff by this guy is also wonderful... all purpose cultural cat girl nuku , blue seed or how about gunsmith cats or what about DOMINION TANK POLICE! classic! incredibly smart and funny.

"Rockin my 'hell I made it' wetsuit stitch so I can swim in elevators crazy wet through piss" -Cannibal Ox
[ Parent ]
3x3 eyes... (none / 0) (#288)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 09:20:39 AM EST

I enjoyed "perfect collection" but what else is there that's available in the USA?

To understand American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservative
[ Parent ]

favorite anime themes: (none / 0) (#266)
by tgibbs on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 09:28:27 AM EST

Teenaged girls Monsters with tentacles Monsters with tentacles assaulting teenaged girls! Teenaged boys lusting after teenaged girls! Giant robots Teenaged girls inside giant robots! Teenaged boys inside giant robots lusting after teenaged girls inside giant robots! But the oddest to me is the popularity of what I call the "I Dream of Jeannie" theme: A beautiful woman with magical powers enters the life of a guy and insists on moving in with him. Even though he seems completely undeserving, she is absolutely devoted to him. Far from appreciating this windfall, he does not welcome this state of affairs. But somehow, he can't seem to get rid of her, and her magical powers create all kinds of problems.

A MUST See: InitialD (none / 0) (#267)
by compmajor on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 11:41:41 AM EST

The InitialD (or Initial D) series is one of the best ones out there, in my opinion, and has not generated too much interest in the US. I do not know what company has picked it up, but you can purchase the DVDs on many anime sites. I would also recommend purchasing the music to this series, as the music is excellent. It is the story of the son of a Tofu Shop owner with extraordinary driving skills, and various other Street Racers who seek to be the best. This anime has a very good plot, and you fall in love with the characters early. The animation is very crisp, with the cars being computer generated. You can actually learn something about how cars work / race driving skills and techniques if you pay close attention.

TOKYOPOP Picked it up for US release [nt] (none / 0) (#269)
by Lai Lai Boy on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 03:47:01 PM EST

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

The one worth your time (5.00 / 1) (#270)
by X3nocide on Sat Aug 03, 2002 at 05:02:36 PM EST

The only one that really stand above the rest to me is Trigun. Its high on style and low on pandering to the lowest demoninator. Women aren't oversexed objects. While it has a few biblical references that really don't make sense, its not so bad as to make it uncomprehensible. An apple with a bite out of it indicates a fall into sin, although it really isn't nessecary, or even correct to some people's interpretations. The plot is well thought out, even if it borrows from a few hoky American movies, which ironically were borrowed from Japanese films. This series achieves a happy balance between an enjoyable experience and a serious exposition, which resolves itself wonderfully.

Underneath the violent gunplay is a pair of philosophy centering around death, unconditional love and beauty. Can you kill the spider to save the butterfly?


Trigun (none / 0) (#287)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 09:19:02 AM EST

is my all time favorite anime series after Evangelion.

Sorry - I know just enough about the kaballah and the apocolyptic stuff to get a kick out of all the biblical references. :-P

To understand American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservative
[ Parent ]

Anime for grown ups (none / 0) (#280)
by Derci on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 01:39:56 PM EST

This thingie has been posted in the short form in a mailing list, and then in my journal in "that other site"

Hi all,

When I first heard that there's such thing called "anime", I started devouring it like crazy. I downloaded and watched a lot of serieses (Hime-chan, Fushigi Yuugi, Lain, etc). That was about 2 years ago (seems I joined the anime mailing list at around December 1999.. that does not seem so long ago).

{ All my excitement was because I always felt deprived of animation. When I was young, I always envied my friends who could watch Jordan and Lebanon on TV (where all the good serieses, like Mighty Mouse, Inspector Gadget etc. were), while I was stuck with channel 1. }

But now, all that excitment is over, because all the shows I watched are either for kids or just plain boring.

So, I'm looking for anime for grown-ups. Something smart and preferably funny, just like Bebop, Simpsons, Futurama, Daria and Dilbert are.

Inverse requirements (what the anime should not have):

  1. Plots that start interesting but gets screwed or start to be boring - happens in most of the Gainax serieses: Envagelion, Kare-kano and Mahoromatic.
  2. Long, boring moments of silence - Lain, what else? :)
  3. Dumb characters - like Yuki from Fushigi Yuugi.
  4. Plots that go to nowhere: Typical in Rumiko Takahashi's series, like Ranma (he loves her but refuses to admit it for 5 seasons) or Inuyasha (monsters, and more monsters, and more monsters)
Okay? Thank you.

Nitpick on spelling (none / 0) (#283)
by semantix on Sun Aug 04, 2002 at 09:37:49 PM EST

So how is it spelt? Caglisotro? Cagilostro?
Both these spellings appear in your story.

I always thought it was Cagliostro.  But I could be wrong.


So, my brother goes out yesterday.... (none / 0) (#284)
by Dragomire on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 12:29:06 AM EST

And buys a whole shitload of anime titles. Well, kind of.

He bought the original Vampire Hunter D, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (I think that's the sequel's name), the box set containing the ENTIRE Neon Genesis Evangellion series, and Devil Hunter Yohko 4 and 5. He also bought that Mandy Moore movie, but he's odd like that. All in all he spent around $200 on DVDs.

Well, at least I'll have plenty of new anime to watch while at my second job! I'll just convieniently stop by my mother's house and borrow them off of him before work Friday night. =-)

American Comics (5.00 / 1) (#285)
by mwhite on Mon Aug 05, 2002 at 02:16:59 AM EST

I think that most of the opinions voiced on American comics in this thread are mainly based on ignorance of the American comic industry. American comics are a lot more diverse than some of you seem to give them credit for being. Anyone see "Road to Perdition?" When you were watching it, did you realize it was based on a comic book/graphic novel? Watch "Ghost World?" Did you realize that was based on a comic/graphic novel? When you were watching "From Hell," did you realize that was based on a comic book/graphic novel?

In terms of sales, I would agree that superhero comics dominate the American marketplace. However, the majority of comics in the US have nothing to do with superheroes. Also, in terms of quality (quality is subjective, I know...), I'd say superhero comics are fairly low on the totem pole when compared to the other genres and sub genres of comics produced in the US.

After going through the links I give in this post, I defy you to make the same types of comments. They're just not representative of the facts.

(news, reference, essays, etc.)

http://artbomb.net ( If you don't go to any of the other sites, make sure you at least go here.)



(artists & writers)


Anime links:


Funny you should mention Road to Perdition (none / 0) (#292)
by Lai Lai Boy on Tue Aug 06, 2002 at 12:04:31 AM EST

I believe there was an interview where either Hanks or the script writer mentioned that the style of Road to Perdition was based heavily on "Lone Wolf and Cub" a manga/movie with the same basic plot, but involving a samurai. You can find out more about that film at AnimEigo.

As for American comics, I'm a huge fan of Gaiman, and I understand there is an underground of American comics that aren't piddling things with spandexed super heroes, but the majority of mainstream American comics

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

Yay for links (none / 0) (#296)
by Tatarigami on Wed Aug 07, 2002 at 05:26:42 AM EST

I dub thee 'Guy Who Really Knows Comics and Related Art-Forms'. Feel free to update your sig accordingly.

Thanks for the links, it's great to have that kind of range in the resources provided.

[ Parent ]
Leiji Matsumoto had nothing to do with Macross (none / 0) (#299)
by Tzaquiel on Wed Aug 07, 2002 at 03:58:23 PM EST

The creator/writer/designer/director was Shoji Kawamori, who went on to do mech designs for a great many things (especially around 96-99), including Escaflowne and the Armored Core series of videogames.

Macross was his post-dropping-out-of-college brainchild.

Interestingly enough, he approached Bandai (one of the rightsholders of the original Macross series) and said to them 'You know, we really don't have consumer video technology that I feel is suitable for my series. Let's shoot a second set of negatives and store them in airtight containers until one comes along.' Of course, Bandai nearly laughed him out of the room (shooting an entire peice of animation TWICE is difficult in ways hard for anyone outside the industry to grasp) but he ponied up a decent bit of the money for it, so they went along with him - and that's why AnimEigo's Macross DVD's look so beautyful.

And no, this isn't apocryphal . . . it was part of the speech he gave at Otakon '98.

"Ouch ! What do you do ?"

Italy's Anime legacy (none / 0) (#300)
by Roamerick on Thu Aug 08, 2002 at 10:21:15 AM EST

I don't know if it's been mentioned before, but Italy has, bizarrely enough, one of the highest concentrations of anime on TV than any country I've lived in (and there have been many).

As a child in Rome I was raised on Doraemon, Madzinga, Gundam, Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999 (which racked my brain with its storylines for months) Fist of the North star and Lupin as well as on the excellent Urusay Yutsura (sp?), Maison Ikoku and the original Dragonball.

All of these series and some more obscure ones (Sampei comes to mind, a whole series about traditional japanese fishing methods) are forever re-running to this day. A treat for any Manga lover, if you can stomach the Italian dubbing.

With an upbringing like that, is it any wonder that I still collect the occasional pearl as soon as it's released on DVD!

More series (none / 0) (#304)
by Roamerick on Thu Aug 08, 2002 at 10:36:47 AM EST

To add some favs:

Battle Angel Alita

The Wings of Honnemaise

Perfect Blue

No one seems to have mentioned them, so here's credit :)....

Anime: A Primer | 305 comments (272 topical, 33 editorial, 3 hidden)
Display: Sort:


All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!