A Man with a Flashlight

“Japanese animators are reaching for the moon…”
April 16, 2007, 1:55 am
Filed under: Movies, The East

“… while most of their American counterparts remain stuck in the kiddie sandbox with their underage audiences.” – Manohla Dargis, commenting on Satoshi Kon’s new anime Paprika, at the New York Film Festival in October. (Nod to Goyablog.)

If you haven’t dipped your toes into anime yet, then you have no idea how right Dargis is. Here’s your homework: Princess Mononoke, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Ninja Scroll.

The visual style is light years ahead of American cartoons. But that’s not even the point – what really distinguish animes are the plots, which take full advantage of animation’s ability to show an audience just about anything that can be imagined.

Here’s the trailer for the film Dargis was talking about:

From Dargis’s description, I’m a little wary – it looks like it may be blighted by the Matrix-style elevation of complication over character that made Ghost in the Shell: Innocence nearly unwatchable.


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