Embracing the end of the world

Neon Kusanagi

I’ve seen Ghost in the Shell many times; the most recent happened to be Friday night. It is a beautiful film, both beautifully animated and beautifully directed, only 80 minutes long too, and just as importantly, every time I watch it, I feel like I’m interpreting it in a slightly different way.

I first stumbled across Ghost in the Shell as a young teenager and was almost exclusively interested in the film’s iconic visuals. You know, like Batou pulling his gun in the crowded market-place and the abrasive sound of the gun fire, the Major’s brief yet brutal kung-fu fight in the midst of that shallow river; only her shadow visible against the calm water. The list goes on, yet with each new viewing, it is the film’s more introspective moments that continue to haunt me.

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For your consideration, Blue Comet SPT Layzner

Layzner hero Eiji

Mecha anime has always been a bit hit or miss for me. I’ll often find that I’m not as attracted to the mecha as I am to the science fiction stories they inhabit. That is to say, I enjoy a lot of good mecha anime because I enjoy a lot of good science fiction. I suppose it was inevitable, then, that I would eventually stumble over the works of a certain Ryosuke Takahashi, one of the founding fathers of the ‘real robot’ genre. In recent times, he has directed the likes of Blue Gender and Flag, but the majority of his most influential anime was created during the Eighties, one of which happens to be ‘Blue Comet SPT Layzner‘ (1985).

As of this post, only 9 episodes have been fansubbed, but I liked it enough to have watched them all this past weekend. I wish I could say that I’d always planned to watch Layzner, but the truth is that the recent batch torrent attracted my attention because the series has a cool name. The same thing happened with ‘Legend of the Galactic Heroes,’ too, for shame!

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