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Tag Archives: 2010

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not to be confused with that other "colorful"


Colorful (Keiichi Hara, Sunrise)

Back to blogging about cartoons I am after what felt like an eternity without internet access (that and other business). As such the backlog I’ve acquired is tremendous, and I think I may even have some of the shows I picked up, and now I’m also way out of the loop when it comes to anime…but anyway, I digress. Two weeks ago (or was it three?) I finally had the chance to watch this film, which I’ve been keeping an eye out on for quite some time (also after I watched Coo). Since I watched Coo, I’ve already taken a liking to the director, for his stubborn and almost methodical approach to his work, not only in terms of the framing and some such technical stuff, but also in terms of the content, like the dramatic aspect. And he does it while still maintaining a high degree of visual interest for the two hours or more his films run. 2010 saw Hara’s return to movies with Colorful, a film which more or less continues in the trend I’ve seen set in 2007’s Coo.


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Encounters In Space

Two of the many high-profile anime movies released last year in Japan are due for release on DVD/BD this month (as of this writing, one has just been released), which give this otherwise dull month a reason for excitement. Incidentally, the two films were part of those films that I’ve been looking forward to since first hearing about them, not because they both looked like intricately realized thought-provoking masterpieces of art, but more so due to the way the two looked and felt: fun. It has long been said that anime is great because it is “more mature” and “more intelligent” than ordinary cartoons, but that kind of thinking unfairly categorizes the medium in a narrow-minded way. Sure, anime can be a vehicle of social commentary (some of which succeed at this) and philosophical discourse (while most have failed at this), but if it doesn’t meet a certain degree of fun and entertainment first of all, then it won’t be as effective as a whole. It becomes boring, and at times even unwatchable. Mamoru Oshii’s 1989 OVA series Gosenzosama Banbanzai is an example I can name off the top of my head which capably combines fun and lively directing and animation with socially relevant scripting and content. It’s a bit of a shame now to find what the director has come to these days, come to think of it.

While the first 2010 film has been released just recently, the other film–Takeshi Koike’s Redline–should come in two weeks (if I remember correctly). If anything, that film should be one of the most jaw-dropping spectacles of pure animation in years, and should be a welcome watch to anyone–animation geek you may be or not. Not a lot of anime films have achieved a very high level of supreme catharsis and electrifying entertainment since 2004’s Mind Game, but Redline promises to deliver, at least for the second part.

And sure enough, the anime film released just recently has become one of the highlights of my February.

Welcome to the Space Show (Koji Masunari, A – 1 Pictures)

One of the two films of 2010 I’ve watched which focused on children (the other being Mai Mai Miracle), Space Show flies high, even reaching the far reaches of deep space. It succeeds at achieving a full sense of scale and scope, endowing the film with light-hearted humor and heartfelt emotion through its simple characters. Even though the movie is spotted with pacing issues which take away from the flow of the film in exchange for immersion, but for what it’s worth, the film as a whole is very strongly directed with interesting and full animation work. What’s great about films like this is its ability to reach beyond ages, to be fun for kids and even adults alike. It’s a strong, simple work, something that I would even put alongside Mamoru Hosoda’s films in terms of appeal.


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I mentioned a few posts back that I was planning on doing a 2010 anime recap of sorts. Actually I wanted to do it before the new year starts, but the schedule of anime wasn’t really cooperative. I wanted to wait until I watched all the final episodes of all the anime I was still keeping up with, so I got late again. Why wait, you ask? Well, sometimes a good anime that has been consistently fun to watch during its run can suddenly turn sour at the very last episode, and at worst cases it can even diminish the overall impact of the anime. Normally these are brought about by untied loose threads and abrupt cliffhangers for sequels that probably won’t get produced until a few years later (I’m looking at you Kaiji).

Luckily the fall anime season wrapped up this week, and I finally watched the ends of all my shows. As always, things like this are only based on personal enjoyment and preference, but differing opinions are still welcome. In fact, I’d like to hear them.

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