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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I guess I have to emphasize that I'm not really into anime in general. I've watched only three or four series and up to a dozen films. There are things I appreciate in them but unfortunately even after so small sample they seem to be at least as cliched as Hollywood movies (cliches are little different though so at least the first series I watched, Zettai Karen Children, felt fresh).

I plan to watch more anime at some point but it's pretty hard to figure what. At the moment the only two on my watchlist are Urotsukidōji: Legend of the Overfiend (which I already have) and Elfen Lied (which I need to find somewhere).
It is tricky to pick through the cliches of any given genre and those cliches can, and do, cause aggravation. And should you be able to discover those sans-cliche, it is SO very worthwhile.
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I guess I have to emphasize that I'm not really into anime in general. I've watched only three or four series and up to a dozen films. There are things I appreciate in them but unfortunately even after so small sample they seem to be at least as cliched as Hollywood movies (cliches are little different though so at least the first series I watched, Zettai Karen Children, felt fresh).

I plan to watch more anime at some point but it's pretty hard to figure what. At the moment the only two on my watchlist are Urotsukidōji: Legend of the Overfiend (which I already have) and Elfen Lied (which I need to find somewhere).
Like in Japanese live-action film there is great variation in anime/manga. Actually manga has so much variation in style and theme that a Japanese scholar even said it was more varied than literature itself (there is manga ABOUT anything, they even adapted into manga a lot of western literature). Anime is more restricted than manga but still is quite diverse.

It is true that most anime is aimed at younger audiences and features young characters but there exists a lot of stuff exclusively aimed at mature adults that does not feature the tropes common in teenager anime. These series and movies below are good examples:

Hyouge Mono (2011) a very sophisticated series about a middle-aged lord in late 15th century Japan, Space Brothers (2012), about two brothers in their 30s who are pursuing a career as astronauts, and Monster (2004) about a divorced Japanese doctor who is living in Germany and is in pursuit of a serial killer that he had saved in a surgery 10 years before (and he didn't know he was "evil"). There is also March Comes Like a Lion (2017) a drama about a shogi (Japanese chess) player and Haibane Renmei (2002), an art-series that although features young-looking characters who behave in a "cutesy way" it mostly avoid any other cliches (and is my favorite anime of all time, over even Miyazaki's stuff).

There is a recent anime film called In this Corner of the World (2016), about the daily life of a Japanese housewife in WW2. It is the best-animated film that I watched since Spirited Away. Other nice movies are Millennium Actress (2002) and Tale of Princess Kaguya (2014).

I noticed from going to conventions that Western fans of anime tend to be young and they watch only the teenager stuff. So, in the West we get a very biased viewpoint of anime/manga. A huge amount of adult anime/manga that is very popular in Japan is not even translated because it does not appeal to teenagers or otaku.







Kamikaze Girls (2005) is an interesting film but I'm not sure if it's a good one. Perhaps you could view it as a hangout film in which case it's okay. The film just sort of meanders for the first hour, the director loved the world building but I'm not sure if the film has much in the way of a plot.



The films takes on these Amelie twists where we get all these side stories. The director uses color very well and it's constantly giving you something to think about which makes is a supposed comedy(I didn't laugh once). I think that the root problem with the film is that the drama comes from Ichihko's story yet the budgetary restrictions allow for Momoko story to be much more dominant.



After watching all of Nausicaš, and discovering that I had indeed seen a majority of the film before (and not just caught a little of it on tv as I guessed yesterday), I suspect that I originally saw the controversial Warriors of the Wind cut, since the scenes that were new to me correlate to what Wikipedia says was edited out of that first English version.



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After Life

After Life is beautifully shot and directed. It has important things to say about life, death, and our memories, and packs powerful meanings into its two hour run time.

The problem is that it's deathly boring. It was basically a documentary, but a narrative documentary. And the "documentary" just wasn't interesting enough for me to love it, or even like it for two hours. I can appreciate its style and its methods, but it just was not my cup of tea. None of the characters felt real or interesting, except perhaps the girl (Shiori?). There were some "memories" relayed by characters that really clicked, and some that just didn't.

So basically several hits within this movie and quite a few misses for this movie. An interesting watch and fascinating concept, and even executed well to some degree, but not much more.




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A Hen in the Wind

My first experience with Ozu was definitely a positive one. I didn't love this movie, but I definitely appreciated it and liked it enough to give it a good rating. The characters for the most part felt relatable, and I definitely liked Tokiko (not so much Shuichi, her husband). The dialogue was often sparse yet effective and we are given space to connect with and try to understand the characters.

Which got a little tiresome by the end to be honest. I kept on hoping the plot would pick up at some time and it never did, until Tokiko gets pushed down the stairs. And then the movie started to annoy me. Shuichi, her husband, showed his inner ***hole and after pushing her down the stairs asked her if she was okay for three times and then went back upstairs to pout. Then Tokiko "nobly" apologizes to him and... well... they make up. But it's not satisfying.

But besides the ending, for the most part I really liked it. Very solid nomination.




After Life (1998)



Now, this is what I would call a "critics bait". It is basically a cliche of a movie that a movie critic is "supposed" to like. Yes, it talks about the meaning of life: if you had to choose one event of your life, the one scene that you think was the "peak", what would be it? Well, life is complex and big and true happiness is not achieved in the moment but in the big picture. There is not a "best moment" in life.

The way the movie is acted and directed makes it fell like those uber boring Kiarostami movies. Although this is not as boring as those ones, it still is quite boring. The issue is that it felt a bit disjointed and so it lacked a proper sense of "groove". Overall though, the characters are interesting, the concept was interesting, and the setting was interesting. The rather bucolic setting actually reminded me of Haibane Renmei which was made 4 years later so it might have had some influence from it.

Overall, I would not say it is a bad movie. I would say it is a project of a good movie that did not reach its full potential. The disjointed way it was directed really made it hard to grasp.



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'Kamikaze Girls' (2004)

Dir.: Tetsuya Nakashima


Nakashima's fourth film is a bit of a pre-cursor to his 5th (Memories of Matsuko) - with lots of bright oversaturated colours, whimsical storytelling, offshoots and quirkiness. It's a farce fantasy comedy and has a rather soap opera feel to the aesthetic, which I'm not sure I bought into, but the costumes were great.

It follows the beautiful Momoke who insists she's not lonely but seems to have something missing in her life. All of a sudden biker girl Ichigo enters and changes her life through a series of trips, stories and anime segments we arrive at the fantastical end.

At it's core, 'Kamikaze Girls' is a film about finding a corner of the world you relate to, being yourself and learning what friendship is. It's quite beautiful in that respect and there is a long stitching sequence in the middle of the film that is quite emotive given that it's almost an analogy (Momoke is trying to stitch her life together, always searching for the fabled dressmaker, but all along she was happiest doing things herself). This ties in with the small theme of anti-consumerism and individuality in the film too, which is always a welcome bonus.

Overall, just the type of nomination I was wanting from this HoF.





Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind / 風の谷のナウシカ(1984)
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Starring: Sumi Shimamoto, Yōji Matsuda, Yoshiko Sakakibara

Sometimes an artist's early work may seem crude or underdeveloped in comparison to their later pieces, however even this early in his career, Miyazaki created a spectacular film which inspired and influenced the projects that followed. And while his lines may have gotten cleaner and sharper over the years, and his backgrounds more detailed, it never felt as though his first films were overshadowed by his more recent work. Even though I'm not personally a fan of the majority of Miyazaki's filmography, it's clear that he is an extremely talented individual, and I always admire his passion and dedication to his craft.

Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind contains many elements and themes that will later become common tropes in Miyazaki's films, particularly the ones that share its central environmental concerns, like Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. Both Mononoke and Spirited Away present pollution in an ugly, festering manner, however the Sea of Decay in Nausicaš is absolutely beautiful, and the familiar yet alien-looking designs of the plants and insects found there are incredibly fascinating. Even though the story borrows heavily from other sources, this is arguably one of Miyazaki's most creative pieces.

The music - with the glaring exception of whatever that ďlalalaĒ track is supposed to be - is simply fantastic, and its blend of classic and electronic sounds fit the sci-fi/fantasy setting of the film perfectly. I liked how, instead of being a story about good vs evil, the film focused on how fear is the root cause of many problematic and violent decisions. I do find the choice to alter the colour of Nausicaš's pants from the white of the manga covers to a shade that's barely distinguishable from her skin tone to be a little uncomfortable though. With the numerous up-skirt shots, particularly earlier in the film, it often seems like she's not wearing pants, and that has to be an intentional decision.


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I do find the choice to alter the colour of Nausicaš's pants from the white of the manga covers to a shade that's barely distinguishable from her skin tone to be a little uncomfortable though. With the numerous up-skirt shots, particularly earlier in the film, it often seems like she's not wearing pants, and that has to be an intentional decision.


Just curious, how did you watch it? I know that due to deteriorated color, some older prints had a bit of an orange-ish overcast to the point that Nausicaš's hair, which is meant to be red, and eyes were the exact same color, other colors also became dulled, and yes, her pants were almost the same color as her skin - causing a rumor to circulate for years that Nausicaš wasn't wearing pants, which is why Miyazaki had the film remastered in 2014, the chief difference being that he had the colors re-balanced.
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Speaking of values and philosophies the ecological message is way too preachy here.
While I don't think the themes are overbearing at all, it's been 35 years since Nausicaš came out, and many people still don't take environmental concerns seriously. So we might actually need more films preaching about awareness haha.

(and too much child's faith triumphing in a film that doesn't feel strictly children's movie) [...]
The contrast between preachy naivety and harsh setting just didn't work for me.
Many children's films (particularly those from the 80s) have a darker setting, that by today's standards don't seem to fit with what we would necessarily consider appropriate for younger audiences. The tone of Nausicaš is much the same. These films work for that demographic because the characters with unsullied child-like innocence or hope prevail. Some adults may find that juvenile, but I feel as though that contrast provides a message which promotes optimism in spite of despair, which is definitely something younger viewers should see.



Just curious, how did you watch it? I know that due to deteriorated color, some older prints had a bit of an orange-ish overcast to the point that Nausicaš's hair, which is meant to be red, and eyes were the exact same color, other colors also became dulled [...]
I opted not to use my room mate's DVD, and instead watched a digital copy that was reportedly of the BluRay edition. Nausicaš's hair was clearly red, and eyes brown.

I did look at screenshots comparing the supposedly altered colours later, and the correction didn't seem to make a huge difference. It does in the night-time scenes (which I noticed while viewing it), but in the daylight those pants are still very close to flesh tone.



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ObersturmbannfŁhrer Hans Guaporenzky!

Found you at last! Any last words?



Okay, I'm gonna give you one last chance. I know you only like anime girls, but I heard you have some very tasty 3D videos on your HDD. If you give me the IDs, I will spare your life! Tell me the code! Tell me the freakin' code!

Also, you have to admit that Welcome to the N.H.K. is the best anime ever made. Don't even try denying this!

@thread: Some good nominations. Obviously, Japanese cinema is the best in the world, and anybody who denies this simply lying to themselves.
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I do find the choice to alter the colour of Nausicaš's pants from the white of the manga covers to a shade that's barely distinguishable from her skin tone to be a little uncomfortable though. With the numerous up-skirt shots, particularly earlier in the film, it often seems like she's not wearing pants, and that has to be an intentional decision.
I was considering to mention this too. Especially during that first encounter with enraged ohmu I could have sworn she was flying without pants (I mean why wouldn't she, right)
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@thread: Some good nominations. Obviously, Japanese cinema is the best in the world, and anybody who denies this simply lying to themselves.
South Korean is the best