Of all the anime I’ve seen this year, probably the one that deserves blogging the most is The Tatami Galaxy. Life imitates art; and looking back on the past year, or the part of my life which, in many ways has abruptly stumbled to an end of sorts I can qualify the title. For me, it really has been a Tatami Galaxy kind of year.
If the anime blogosphere is a living purgatory, then the bloggers are the helpers, themselves stuck, but willing to point others in the right direction. As we see our friends come and go, sometimes it feels like there’s only a few of us left, but seeing people change is fulfilling in itself, and there’s always new people to help. And the same old faces, too; seeing a change in them is the best of all.
After Life, directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, is one of most interesting films I’ve seen. Set in an (unspecified) purgatory, it’s about dead people choosing one memory (and one memory only, the rest fades) to carry with them into (an also unspecified) eternity. Upon choosing, that memory will be recreated on a film-set and recorded with you as the star. You take the resulting VHS with you. The recreation is a massive team effort, with actors, props and all kinds of film-making devices.
If you can’t choose a memory, or simply refuse to, you become a part of the staff at purgatory, helping others to move on. One man has trouble choosing his memory, and so is given a big box of VHS tapes (containing his entire life) that he spends his time pouring over, trying to remember the things he did in his lifetime. Searching for something big and meaningful, eventually, he just chooses a memory with his wife and him; an old couple, sitting on a park bench, talking. The small things can mean so much.
In what ended up being one of the cooler mornings I’ve had recently, I stumbled upon Koji Morimoto’s Attraction via twitter. Not knowing what to expect, but hearing it paired with the words “interactive anime”, I clicked.
What followed was one of Studio 4C’s latest experiments with the anime medium. Their involvement with the upcoming (and looking stellar) Catherine action/adventure game by Atlus has been highly profiled, but Attraction seems to have slipped under the lens of most anime fans. It’s a pity, too. While it is about a rather done-to-death topic (the perils of smoking) and, in the end is a public service announcement for the French Government, there’s lots of cool things going on with this that should be brought to attention.
One of the saddest things about NANA is that its creator Ai Yazawa (who has been fighting against an unspecified illness since 2009) hasn’t been able to finish it. NANA is a story of dreams and ambition, and the characters have struggled too hard and for too long to be left hanging. I hope Yazawa rediscovers her desire to finish it.
I’ve been going through a lull in blogging lately. Although I’ve been trying hard (and succeeding, surprisingly!) to keep up with a certain trio of currently airing series, I’ve also been feeling quite passive, too. Even still, the desire to trudge on with this whole writing thing has never left me, so, thank you if you’ve been persevering with me for a few years now. I honestly wish I could be a more consistent blogger for you, but let’s forget all that for now, for I have finally found something ‘new’ to write about!
I started out intending to write a review of the show Noir, but while researching (okay, I’ll admit using Wikipedia) I discovered Noir’s spirital successors, Madlax and El Cazador de la Bruja. Each show was animated by the studio Bee Train. I thought, great, I can do one big “girls with guns” trilogy review, but when I started watching El Cazador, I knew that it deserved its own review. Unfortunately, the show needed its own review because of what it did wrong, not what it did right.