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Discuss all topics related to anime.
561

Wandering in the Wilderness
Topic by: ahogue
Posted: August 23, 2006 - 1:43 PM PDT
Last Reply: September 30, 2006 - 2:37 AM PDT

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author topic: Wandering in the Wilderness
ahogue
post #1  on August 23, 2006 - 1:43 PM PDT  
I watched the first disk of Princess Tutu.

It's really well done. It has a kind of visual wittiness about it which is really appealing, and it has a lovely, unusual look. I was immediately intrigued and though it was very girly (lots of pink for my taste), I really wanted to like the show.

That was all going along fine until I realized that Princess Tutu is about a ballet superhero who vanquishes her foes with the magical power of her leet dance moves. Ugh! I'd rather watch Breakin' Two: Electric Boogaloo (which incidentally has the best title in all of film history, but I digress).

Too bad, I had really high hopes for this one. It would probably be perfect for younger girls with an interest in ballet, or maybe if you want to try to get your kid into classical music this would be appropriate, as the soundtrack is mostly serviceably adapted little renditions of Tchaikovsky's greatest hits. In fact, Princess Tutu seems to be designed with such things in mind, i.e., to instill and encourage an appreciation of traditional European culture in children.

I wonder if it has become more common for anime to have European settings and themes. All the ones I've seen are fairly recent.
hamano
post #2  on August 23, 2006 - 4:19 PM PDT  
Wow, first Big O and now Princess Tutu... ye of little patience...

I watched a couple of Big O discs just last night with my kids and enjoyed it again. My kids however didn't like Princess Tutu very much. Too dark for them? I think it's aimed at a more Utena fanbase. It's certainly not "kid friendly" like Ojamajo DoReMi or the new Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z.

Princess Tutu reflects a long standing Japanese fascination with Marchen, both European AND Asian. It's not a new thing at all. There's some of it here, too, but mostly still among the young (the recent Sisters Grimm books, re-examinations of fairy tales by authors like Vivian Vande Velde and Bruce Colville, authors like Eva Ibbotson, Diana Wynn Jones and Shannon Hale.

In Japan the fascination extends to adults, as you might have noticed with some grown up anime like Jin-Roh. That one echoes the Little Red Riding Hood story, in quite a different way Neil Jordan did in In the Company of Wolves.

With Princess Tutu you do have to get past the fact that Ahiru is a little duckie and also a typical magical girl with transformations and stuff. If you didn't enjoy stuff like Cutie Honey, Devil Hunter Yohko, and Sailor Moon, you might find yourself prejudiced to not like Princess Tutu.

Anyway, my experience is that younger kids (tween and below) won't enjoy this show because it gets quite dark at darks and deals with some complex themes. Older kids and people with an interest in fairy tales (especially the darker aspects of folklore) might like it.
jross3
post #3  on August 23, 2006 - 4:34 PM PDT  
what part of "Princess Tutu" made you think it would be a gritty war-time action/drama?

But seriously, there have been other European-set animes. Hellsing of course was set in England, which is close enough. "A Little Snow Fairy Sugar" was set in Germany (not a modern one, but I'm not sure about the actual era). I liked it, even though it was almost certainly aimed at young girls; once I got used to the "cute" overload I really enjoyed it (how could I not like an anime that loves waffles as much as I do?).
Haibane Renmei's setting looked very European, although its exact location is a big secret, isn't it?

I'm sure there's more, but I'm too hungry at the moment to remember them.
hamano
post #4  on August 23, 2006 - 5:00 PM PDT  
Going back you can start with Tezuka's Princess Knight which was the first "European" anime that I can remember. He was probably influenced by Disney stuff like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty as well as Takarazuka.

The next big one was Hayao Miyazaki's adaptation of the classic story Heidi, Girl of the Alps.

The other famous early Euro-anime were Rose of Versailles and Candy Candy.

Many of these were influenced quite a bit by Takarazuka theater which liked to stage lavish romances set in a fairy tale Europe with nobility and royalty and such. Takarazuka and shoujo manga/anime shares a lot of fanbase, and you see many manifestations in anime (the 'Zuka Club in Ouran High School Host Club, the Flower Division Revue team in Sakura Wars...) even in shounen shows.

Of course a lot of sci-fi (especially steampunk), mystery and horror anime were set in Europe but that's similar to American films (American Werewolf in London, etc.) Nadia, Secret of the Blue Water owes its inspiration to Jules Verne and so is set in Victorian Europe. There's quite a bit set in Victorian England, from Hayao Miyazaki's Sherlock Hound to Victorian Romance Emma. In addition to Marchen Japanese shoujo creators seem to be fascinated by the Regency and Victorian Romance novelists, like Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters.
jross3
post #5  on August 23, 2006 - 5:35 PM PDT  
Come to think of it, Fullmetal Alchemist was set in Bizarro-Europe, if that counts for anything :-P
hamano
post #6  on August 23, 2006 - 7:02 PM PDT  
> On August 23, 2006 - 5:35 PM PDT jross3 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Come to think of it, Fullmetal Alchemist was set in Bizarro-Europe, if that counts for anything :-P
> ---------------------------------

The post-TV FMA movie was set in the "real" Europe...

There's a lot of stuff set in "bizarro" Europe. Kiki's Delivery Service, Berserk, I guess even Last Exile. That is also true in American Sci-Fi and Fantasy. The universe of Dune is a kind of bizarro Europe, with the empires and political intrigue and what not. Most fantasy, from LOTR to today's stuff, with trolls and unicorns and dragons and things like that, are based on Western mythology and folklore so they're also bizarro Europe.

Hey did you see the picture of my big tomato?
ahogue
post #7  on August 23, 2006 - 8:08 PM PDT  
> On August 23, 2006 - 4:19 PM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Wow, first Big O and now Princess Tutu... ye of little patience...
>
> I watched a couple of Big O discs just last night with my kids and enjoyed it again. My kids however didn't like Princess Tutu very much. Too dark for them? I think it's aimed at a more Utena fanbase. It's certainly not "kid friendly" like Ojamajo DoReMi or the new Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z.
--

Well, I'm thinking maybe 11-14, somewhere around there.

And before you call me impatient, I am sticking with Battle Athletes Victory for now, in spite of the fact that disc one was okay and disc two was little more than two hours of the main character sobbing.

(throws up hands)

The things I do for anime...


> ---
> Princess Tutu reflects a long standing Japanese fascination with Marchen, both European AND Asian. It's not a new thing at all. There's some of it here, too, but mostly still among the young (the recent Sisters Grimm books, re-examinations of fairy tales by authors like Vivian Vande Velde and Bruce Colville, authors like Eva Ibbotson, Diana Wynn Jones and Shannon Hale.
--

Don't leave out Angela Carter, or by "here" did you mean America?


> --
> In Japan the fascination extends to adults, as you might have noticed with some grown up anime like Jin-Roh. That one echoes the Little Red Riding Hood story, in quite a different way Neil Jordan did in In the Company of Wolves.
---

Which was based on an Angela Carter story, IIRC. Not such a great film.

The fact is, the fairy tale aspect, along with your assessment of the show as dark, were the main reasons I was curious to see it. The thought that this show might not be aimed at children (by which I mean, say, no older than 16 or so) baffles me!

Dunno, maybe watching all of EVA sapped my patience for things designed to cater to people half my age.

But thanks for the recommendation. At this point I have decided to just watch the first disc of anything I can get my hands on, and see which shows lure me into watching more. I have not managed to find anyone with very similar taste to mine, so that's my new strategy.
ahogue
post #8  on August 23, 2006 - 8:21 PM PDT  
> On August 23, 2006 - 4:34 PM PDT jross3 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> what part of "Princess Tutu" made you think it would be a gritty war-time action/drama?
--

I was hoping for something like this:

"Witches have red eyes and cannot see very far, but they have a sense of smell like animals, and know when humans are approaching."


> --
> But seriously, there have been other European-set animes. Hellsing of course was set in England, which is close enough. "A Little Snow Fairy Sugar" was set in Germany (not a modern one, but I'm not sure about the actual era). I liked it, even though it was almost certainly aimed at young girls; once I got used to the "cute" overload I really enjoyed it (how could I not like an anime that loves waffles as much as I do?).
> Haibane Renmei's setting looked very European, although its exact location is a big secret, isn't it?
> ---------------------------------

Hellsing and Haibane Renmei were two that I had in mind, along with Gunslinger Girl and...let's see...Noir. I'm sure there are others. All the ones I've seen are fairly recent. I can't draw any conclusions from that, though, because I haven't seen much older anime.
ahogue
post #9  on August 23, 2006 - 8:41 PM PDT  
I also watched a few episodes of Doki Doki School Hours and although it makes sense as a recommendation for someone who really liked (the absolute work of genius) Azumanga Diaoh, I guess I felt like there was probably something better out there to be found. I didn't think it was bad, but with AD so fresh in my mind it couldn't really stack up. Like trying to watch Samurai 7 after watching the original. I will probably go back to S7 sometime; after the initial shock I grew to like it a bit. Still not exactly inspiring, though.

Elfen Lied, which I have high hopes for, is on the way. Overman King Gainer will follow. And then I think maybe Nadesico...that seems worth a try.
hamano
post #10  on August 23, 2006 - 10:35 PM PDT  
> On August 23, 2006 - 8:08 PM PDT ahogue wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Well, I'm thinking maybe 11-14, somewhere around there.

I think that's too young, especially with an American audience... I mean, a 14-year old wouldn't really "get" Evangelion, even though most of the characters are 14, right? Unless they're kid's from NY or SF and grew up fast... NGE is really for 17 to 18 year old kids to feel awed by, up to maybe a 26 year old.

There certainly are elements of Princess Tutu that would be appealing to a younger, in fact VERY young audience, like the character designs. But I would be suspicious of any adult who would show Tutu to a tween or younger just to teach them about ballet music. That's a bit twisted, man!

> And before you call me impatient, I am sticking with Battle Athletes Victory for now, in spite of the fact that disc one was okay and disc two was little more than two hours of the main character sobbing.

Oh, yeah, Akari is a big crybaby. I would have given up on her, too, if it wasn't for the ingenious contrivance called the "Akari House" that the writers came up with. Every time they showed that thing it helped me snap the character back into perspective.

> The things I do for anime...

Well, there's a place for people who don't "get" anime... you don't have to try so hard; you'll have plenty of company.

> Don't leave out Angela Carter, or by "here" did you mean America?

America, and I was mostly thinking of authors who write for kids. Certainly there's a big adult following for Marchen in the West, too. But I don't think it's as mainstream and internalized as it is in Japan.

> Which was based on an Angela Carter story, IIRC. Not such a great film.

I agree with that. Jin-roh is a GREAT movie, though.

> The fact is, the fairy tale aspect, along with your assessment of the show as dark, were the main reasons I was curious to see it. The thought that this show might not be aimed at children (by which I mean, say, no older than 16 or so) baffles me!

If "dark fairytale" is the simple formula that seemed attractive, try Jin-roh if you haven't already seen it. I think the creators of Tutu wanted to maximize their viewership and included a lot of stuff that is kid-friendly. But you can tell from the ambiguity of how good and evil are represented in the series that children are NOT the main intended audience.

Curiously, they made a manga out of the TV series and took out a lot of the mythical and ambiguous stuff, to actually make it a manga for kids. Here's an excerpt from the wikipedia article on Princess Tutu.

"However, although the anime appears to be a magical girl show, it is actually more a fairy tale and meta-fairy tale, which adds a twist to the formal structure. It draws together many disparate elements of myth, fairy tale, ballet, and opera. Like many fairy tales, it's rich in wordplay, with names and terms are assign different layers of meaning, often across multiple languages (particularly English, German, and Italian). The soundtrack is classical and romantic, and episodes are often named for their most prominently featured ballet movements. Princess Tutu is in many ways your typical shoujo title, it's also something more: like Revolutionary Girl Utena, it inhabits a world of both magic and myth. It also shares Utena's strong feminist themes and undertones -- Princess Tutu remains one of the few anime series that never panders to a poorly stereotypical portrayal of female characters, good or evil. The heroine successfully blends the traits of a true hero and an ordinary person, until eventually there is no line in between the two. The major female antagonist defies genre categorizing, being simultaneously villainous, heartbreaking and heroic in her own way."

> At this point I have decided to just watch the first disc of anything I can get my hands on, and see which shows lure me into watching more.

Mmm... maybe try Fantastic Children.
hamano
post #11  on August 23, 2006 - 10:49 PM PDT  
> On August 23, 2006 - 8:21 PM PDT ahogue wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I was hoping for something like this:
> "Witches have red eyes and cannot see very far, but they have a sense of smell like animals, and know when humans are approaching."

Definitely Jin-roh territory. Maybe also this new show Kemonozume that I'm really into right now.

> > Haibane Renmei's setting looked very European, although its exact location is a big secret, isn't it?
> > ---------------------------------
>
> Hellsing and Haibane Renmei were two that I had in mind, along with Gunslinger Girl and...let's see...Noir.

What I think is that there is a mythical West that the Japanese have almost completely internalized, a sort of Busch Gardens thing in our imaginations that is inhabited by Western looking Japanese people. Because there are VERY FEW "foreign" characters in anime who don't behave like they are actually Japanese. Even if they shake hands rather than bow, there are always reminders that these characters are really inventions of Japanese imaginations. For example, you never see a younger sibling call an older sibling by name even if they are "European" or "American"... it's always Oniisama or Oneesama..."Elder Brother"/"Elder Sister"...
hamano
post #12  on August 23, 2006 - 11:15 PM PDT  
> On August 23, 2006 - 8:41 PM PDT ahogue wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I also watched a few episodes of Doki Doki School Hours and although it makes sense as a recommendation for someone who really liked (the absolute work of genius) Azumanga Diaoh, I guess I felt like there was probably something better out there to be found.

Well, there's nothing that is quite like Azumanga Daioh, and there's certainly nothing "better"... they made the anime even better than the manga with their choice of voice actors and the use of the Kuricorder Orchestra and Oranges&Lemons for the music. I'm curious what aspects of it made it seem like an "absolute work of genius" though. I'm not doubting you, I just want to know where you're coming from.

For me I really thought it was the "Sakaki, Chiyo, Osaka and Nyamo" show with the other girls and teachers as supporting characters. Tomo and Yomi and Kagura and even Yukari Sensei were amusing, but I thought they were at times interchangeable and even dispensible.

> Like trying to watch Samurai 7 after watching the original. I will probably go back to S7 sometime; after the initial shock I grew to like it a bit. Still not exactly inspiring, though.

I watched all of Samurai 7 and I thought it was a bit of a lightweight. It took itself too seriously, careful not to offend the source material, but I think that reverence kinda backfired. It just never got that exciting or that moving emotionally, in the end just serving to remind you how great the Seven Samurai film is.

> Elfen Lied, which I have high hopes for, is on the way.

Elfen Lied is a bloody, gory soap opera. And at the same time a kind of sweet fan-service harem show. So you'll certainly have a good deal of unconventional "harem" shows under your belt, after Azumanga Daioh, Gunslinger Girl, and BAV. As a harem show Elfen Lied is actually MORE conventional, with the nerdy nice boy character who has some missing memories living with a number of attractive girls of various ages and body types.

hamano
post #13  on August 23, 2006 - 11:57 PM PDT  
Speakind fo "genius" I just finished watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It was an impressively well structured film; in that respect it seemed to earn the critical accolades the film received when it was playing in theaters. And the goofy/sexy Kirsten Dunst is always a pleasure. Did you know her nickname was Kiki BEFORE she did Kiki's voice for Delivery Service?

Anyway, what I was struck by in the end was just how mundane the story was. Like after ALL THAT it turns out to be a story about a couple who have a fight, break up, then figure out they should really have another go at it and patch things up. Now I kinda wish the movie had an alternate ending that would be cooler, equal to the elaborate way the story is told.

I think any couple that's been married for over 10 years (maybe even 5 years) could have told Joel and Clementine what they finally figure out after nuking some of their brain cells. OK, technically the film was a tour de force. But so what?
woozy
post #14  on August 24, 2006 - 10:07 AM PDT  
> I wonder if it has become more common for anime to have European settings and themes. All the ones I've seen are fairly recent.
> ---------------------------------

I definately noticed this with Gilgamesh. As well as Kiki's delivery service and Howl's Moving Castle.

ahogue
post #15  on August 24, 2006 - 8:39 PM PDT  
> On August 23, 2006 - 10:35 PM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On August 23, 2006 - 8:08 PM PDT ahogue wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> There certainly are elements of Princess Tutu that would be appealing to a younger, in fact VERY young audience, like the character designs. But I would be suspicious of any adult who would show Tutu to a tween or younger just to teach them about ballet music. That's a bit twisted, man!

Well, maybe this is the stumbling block for me. I keep seeing these series which are plainly, 100% without a doubt aimed straight for children (to my mind) but for some reason it turns out that they are intended for adults. Perhaps it's a cultural difference.


> ---
> Oh, yeah, Akari is a big crybaby. I would have given up on her, too, if it wasn't for the ingenious contrivance called the "Akari House" that the writers came up with. Every time they showed that thing it helped me snap the character back into perspective.

Yeah, it's those little details that have kept me going so far.


> > The things I do for anime...
>
> Well, there's a place for people who don't "get" anime... you don't have to try so hard; you'll have plenty of company.

I do get anime, as far as I'm concerned. Here is a brief list of anime that I love (or ones I just enjoyed, which are asterisked):

Azumanga Daioh
Paranoia Agent
Boogiepop Phantom
Texhnolyze
Excel Saga*
Cromartie High
Ebichu The Housecleaning Hamster
Samurai Champloo
Haibane Renmei
Sumaria X Trust and Betrayal
Kare Kano
Gantz*
Gunslinger Girl
Niea_7*
Lain*
Jin Roh
EVA*
Last Exile*
GITS2
Spirited Away
Akira
FLCL
Perfect Blue*
Kino's Journey**
Cowboy Bebop*

I don't think this is the list of someone who just doesn't get anime. But either way, I'm not looking to join any clubs so you can define that however it suits you. :P

Admittedly I'm finicky and have had almost no success in defining exactly what my taste in anime really is. This is one of the reasons I'm so fascinated with anime.


> > Which was based on an Angela Carter story, IIRC. Not such a great film.
>
> I agree with that. Jin-roh is a GREAT movie, though.

I don't think Jin-roh was great, but it was a fine, fine movie and I don't fault anyone for thinking so highly of it.


> If "dark fairytale" is the simple formula that seemed attractive, try Jin-roh if you haven't already seen it. I think the creators of Tutu wanted to maximize their viewership and included a lot of stuff that is kid-friendly. But you can tell from the ambiguity of how good and evil are represented in the series that children are NOT the main intended audience.

I was under the impression that you considered PT unsuitable for younger children, so why would the creators deliberately include elements to appeal to them?


> At this point I have decided to just watch the first disc of anything I can get my hands on, and see which shows lure me into watching more.
>
> Mmm... maybe try Fantastic Children.
> ---------------------------------

Okay.
ahogue
post #16  on August 24, 2006 - 8:54 PM PDT  
> On August 23, 2006 - 10:49 PM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Definitely Jin-roh territory. Maybe also this new show Kemonozume that I'm really into right now.

Hm. Kemonozume looks good.


>> What I think is that there is a mythical West that the Japanese have almost completely internalized, a sort of Busch Gardens thing in our imaginations that is inhabited by Western looking Japanese people.

That has been my impression. I guess you could say there's a similar mythical image of Japan in the west.


>Because there are VERY FEW "foreign" characters in anime who don't behave like they are actually Japanese. Even if they shake hands rather than bow, there are always reminders that these characters are really inventions of Japanese imaginations. For example, you never see a younger sibling call an older sibling by name even if they are "European" or "American"... it's always Oniisama or Oneesama..."Elder Brother"/"Elder Sister"...
>
> ---------------------------------

I'm always delighted for some reason when I see an american or european character in anime. You have, eg, Samurai Champloo, with characters speaking broken Japanese so exaggerated that even I, someone who doesn't speak the language, can hear. Or in Azumanga Diaoh where the American only says, "Blah blah blah..." Asuka in EVA, so brash and rude that it couldn't have been a coincidence. And I love the way the Japanese pronounce German. Don't know why I enjoy this so much but I do.
ahogue
post #17  on August 24, 2006 - 9:13 PM PDT  
> On August 23, 2006 - 11:15 PM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Well, there's nothing that is quite like Azumanga Daioh, and there's certainly nothing "better"... they made the anime even better than the manga with their choice of voice actors and the use of the Kuricorder Orchestra and Oranges&Lemons for the music. I'm curious what aspects of it made it seem like an "absolute work of genius" though. I'm not doubting you, I just want to know where you're coming from.

I meant better than Doki Doki School Hours, not better than AD. That would be too good to be true.

Why is it genius? The music certainly has a lot to do with it. The music is utterly delightful. But mainly I think it's the sense of humor and the incredible sense of comic timing. AD frequently made me laugh uncontrollably just by its use of silence, particularly with Osaka's random reveries. Such gags as Sakaki's constant maiming by neighborhood cats: it might seem cheap and easy to repeat the same gag ad infinitum like that, but to sustain that and make it funnier each time is difficult and I can't remember the last time I've seen it done so well.

And all of this is mixed with a really pleasant -- never condescending or stupid -- sweet nostalgia which I found completely irresistible.

AD was frequently incredibly silly but it was also smart and amazingly well done, and it never made me feel stupid for liking it.


> I watched all of Samurai 7 and I thought it was a bit of a lightweight. It took itself too seriously, careful not to offend the source material, but I think that reverence kinda backfired. It just never got that exciting or that moving emotionally, in the end just serving to remind you how great the Seven Samurai film is.

Really, that's exactly the opposite impression I had after the first disk. To me, replacing the duel at the beginning of the movie with a silly guy jumping around in a "robot" suit did not strike me as either faithful to the original or too serious. The very last thing it did was remind me of the film.

I guess that changes later on.

Well, like I said it did not blow me away by any means. On the other hand I saw, by chance, the first episode of Wolf's Rain last night. Apart from the stereotypical cackling, squinty-eyed villain and the hero who looks like a gay porn star it looks surprisingly good. A little reminiscent of Texhnolyze but I'm sure it won't live up to that comparison.
hamano
post #18  on August 25, 2006 - 2:14 AM PDT  

>> I think the creators of Tutu wanted to maximize their viewership and included a lot of stuff that is kid-friendly. But you can tell from the ambiguity of how good and evil are represented in the series that children are NOT the main intended audience.

> I was under the impression that you considered PT unsuitable for younger children, so why would the creators deliberately include elements to appeal to them?

I wouldn't say "unsuitable" exactly... it doesn't have demons having intercourse with humans and stuff like that. "Not well suited" might be better. This is from direct observation of watching my own kids' reactions to it. They react more positively to something like the new Powerpuff Girls Z anime, which has almost zero adult appeal. In that way Princess Tutu is similar to Spirited Away, which I think is one of the least purely "kid-oriented" Miyazaki movies.

There're a lot of elements in Azumanga Daioh that appeal to kids as well... Tadakichi-san, the cute kitties, the slapstick stuff with Tomo and Yukari-sensei (again I know first-hand from direct observation) but every time Kimura sensei pops up or they show Kaorin swooning over Sakaki you're reminded who the intended audience is. In fact a lot of fan-service shows (Love Hina, Steel Angel Kurumi) have a LOT of things deliberately designed to have kid appeal, but are obviously not well suited for small viewers.

I think a lot of anime just has kid appeal because they're cartoons after all. Remember the controversy over Joe Camel? Looking at your list of anime that you liked and really liked, I can see a fairly clear preference for shows that are offbeat but very deliberately created for older audiences (adults, older teens).

I think the shows that I like the most are usually either aimed at younger audiences or deliberately designed to look that way. I seriously think that as anime, Princess Tutu is better than Paranoia Agent, Akira or NGE.
ahogue
post #19  on August 28, 2006 - 9:59 AM PDT  
> On August 25, 2006 - 2:14 AM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
In fact a lot of fan-service shows (Love Hina, Steel Angel Kurumi) have a LOT of things deliberately designed to have kid appeal, but are obviously not well suited for small viewers.

I think this is one of the things that really confused me when I first started watching anime, and maybe it still does. This mixture of boobs and child-like elements.



> I think a lot of anime just has kid appeal because they're cartoons after all. Remember the controversy over Joe Camel? Looking at your list of anime that you liked and really liked, I can see a fairly clear preference for shows that are offbeat but very deliberately created for older audiences (adults, older teens).

Good points. And I watched almost no anime as a child so I may not have the same kind of nostalgic reactions that many others would, I suppose.


> --
> I think the shows that I like the most are usually either aimed at younger audiences or deliberately designed to look that way. I seriously think that as anime, Princess Tutu is better than Paranoia Agent, Akira or NGE.
> ---------------------------------

Not sure what you mean by "as anime". You mean that Princess Tutu is something that could only be accomplished via anime as opposed to the slavish cinematics, of, say, all of Kon's output?

I always thought Satoshi Kon in particular was trying much too hard to garner comparisons to famous filmmakers, as if that's naturally what an amitious anime artist must aspire to if they ever want true credibility.
hamano
post #20  on August 28, 2006 - 2:11 PM PDT  
> On August 28, 2006 - 9:59 AM PDT ahogue wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> This mixture of boobs and child-like elements.

That didn't confuse me at all... boys will be boys was my reaction... in fact I think that kind of "mixture" is becoming more mainstream as gamers and their ilk become "core demographics"... that would go a long way toward explaining the initial appeal of something like Snakes on a Plane, conceptually if not in box office. And the ubiquity of Comics based movies and the popularity of Tarantino's films. I think this all indicates that the "adults" all realize that this is the market that is emerging, but they're still not sure exactly how to address it. The way they tweaked with Snakes as the internet phenomenon gained momentum, making it more R instead of PG or PG-13, I think backfired on them. Those internet fans actually want to see a clever PG-13-ish movie (like Hellboy) or even a not so clever movie like X3.

You're probably not in this target demographic, if you walked out of Superman....

> Not sure what you mean by "as anime". You mean that Princess Tutu is something that could only be accomplished via anime as opposed to the slavish cinematics, of, say, all of Kon's output?

It's something similar that I see going on in Bollywood. There's a hunger among filmmakers to be more "cinematic" in the sense of American (and to a lesser extent European) movies. The creators there want to be recognized in the West the way, say, Hong Kong filmmakers have been in recent years. I think this is a slippery slope, because some very creative people in Bollywood have abandoned their well established conventions to go for something that looks more "cinema"... Ram Gopal Varma's output reminds me A LOT of Perfect Blue.

I'm not saying Kon and Gopal Varma and Sanjay Leela Bhansali don't have the right to pursue this kind of vision. In fact they're taking a risky approach that doesn't guarantee artistic success, and in many ways I admire their guts. But a lot of times I feel that their "cinematic" ambitions go counter to the conventions of a well established art form that deserves respect on its own merits.

In the end, their efforts push me to judge their output against live action "cinema" and the works invariably fall short. Whereas something like Princess Tutu demand to be judged as anime, and I "score" it as a big success. Judged purely as anime, I think Millenium Actress comes closest to being a success among Kon's works. I like Tokyo Godfathers, but hey, that's a feel-good Xmas treat. Paranoia Agent and Perfect Blue, neither measure up for me as being excellent in the anime sense NOR in the live action sense, poor bastard chimeras that they are....

> I always thought Satoshi Kon in particular was trying much too hard to garner comparisons to famous filmmakers, as if that's naturally what an amitious anime artist must aspire to if they ever want true credibility.

I don't have a problem with that "ambition" per se. It's just disappointing because he can't deliver. Neither can some of these Bollywood directors. Bhansali makes state-of-the-art Bollywood musicals like Devdas. Then he went and made Black, a non-musical, which was really highly respected and well-received in India among critics and sophisticated film fans. But appraised fairly in the context of its ambitions, against similar Western movies, if falls way short of something like American Beauty, even.

John Woo, Peter Weir, they've both been creatively compromised since "going Hollywood"... it's a dangerous path...
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