I’m a follower of people in the anime industry, but mostly, it’s just the (good) directors I like to keep tabs on. I delve into their works and the more I find, the more I trust in those same people to deliver yet more good anime. Hayao Miyazaki is a popular example, and Masaaki Yuasa is another. I have faith his talent and I’m happy to sit here, passively, and take whatever he throws at me, which is why I now find myself both fascinated and horrified by some of the reaction to the first episode of The Tatami Galaxy.
I’m totally hyped about seeing the first episode of The Tatami Galaxy (Yojohan Shinwa Taikei). It finally aired this evening in the beloved noitaminA block and is already streaming on Funimation‘s video site, but… I’m region blocked! It’s been a while since I’ve been excited enough about a series to feel as frustrated as this, but, alas, rather than implode, I’ve decided to start writing this post instead! (However, if you’re based in North America, you can stream The Tatami Galaxy for free, like, right now! You guys are so lucky!)
Pretentious has long since become a word within fandom used by a person to express aghast that another could ever truly enjoy something that he/she doesn’t. It’s no longer a matter of taste, but of pretention, we’re all merely deluding ourselves by enjoying such ugly, complicated and confusing stories.
People regularly whine about “ugly” anime, complaining that if a series is ugly, then it’s not worth watching. Natsume Ono‘s style is the finest modern example. Her latest work can be seen in the new House of Five Leaves (which began only last week on noitaminA,) but you may also know her as the creator of Ristorante Paradiso.
Her trademark, polarising style lays in her character design: big, round eyes; wide, thin mouths; pointy noses; they inspire a certain sense of revulsion (with their ‘shark’ eyes and rubbery facial expressions) and would never be considered attractive in the conventional sense, but then, that’s the point; Ono is doing it on purpose, therefore, complaining that her characters are ugly is like complaining that the sky is blue; it’s just her style, so why get so hung up on it? At least it’s trying to set itself apart from the rest (originality.)
Just two years ago, I’d seen very few Japanese live-action films, only to eventually realise that my interest in anime was linked to a broader fascination with the whole spectrum of Japanese art; what I get from anime, I hear in Japanese music and see in Japanese film, too. This runs deep for me and I can’t explain why, but anyway, since that point, I’ve seen dozens of Japanese films; I have favourite directors and keep finding new music (the latest being World’s End Girlfriend).
Every new film is just the tip of another ice-berg, revealing only further depths of art and beauty. One of my biggest regrets about this blog is that I haven’t documented this journey into live-action nearly well enough, so, I’m sorry about that, guys, but this post, I hope, will at least go some ways to making amends, because last night I watched Air Doll and just had to write something.
I can at least promise you this. I won’t suddenly just up and leave; I won’t go out at the top of my game; the end won’t be glorious, no, it will be a long, drawn-out and disappointing affair.
I realise it’s been a long time since I last wrote, and I’m sorry if you’ve been hitting this blog every day since looking for a new post (Remember guys, that’s what RSS is for.)
I guess you could say I fell off the (anime) wagon; I was half-way through writing a post about Durarara!! when I realised I just wasn’t feeling it as well as I should (my writing, that is. Durarara!! is really good, but you knew that already.)
When something like that happens, that vague lack of inspiration, it’s usually as sure a sign as any that I’m burnt out and need a break (and this blog was going so well in 2010, too!) Alas, it’s now April already and a new season beckons. Continue reading “Statement of intent: Spring 2010”