Spirited Away, A Children’s Tale.

Spirited Away

I know many people may find it hard to stomach, but I was far from impressed with Hayao Miyazaki‘s Spirited Away. Well, to be honest, while I’m a fan of Miyazaki’s films, his last several films have left me less than impressed (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo). I did enjoy Spirited Away slightly more on re-watching it.

 My problem with Spirited Away was quite simple, that it was a children’s story. Sure, a lot of Miyazaki’s films are aimed at a younger audience, or can be enjoyed by children and adults alike (such as how ten year olds whom I’ve known enjoyed the superb Princess Mononoke), but while I could enjoy My Neighbour Totoro for instance, which was unabashedly childlike but also charming, aside from its art, Spirited Away had left me both cold, and made me feel as if someone were paternalizing me.

This is a “Things I Like” post, and as such, it’s not a review per-se, but my thoughts on the series. Spoilers should come as no surprise, this post will have very small amount of spoilers.

Continue reading

Grave of the Fireflies; a “Holocaust Movie”.

Grave of the Fireflies

I’ve watched Grave of the Fireflies a couple of years ago, and to be honest, I totally didn’t expect what I got. I was watching it with a friend with whom I’d been watching a movie every two weeks, I had this anime movie DVD at home, so I brought it along. What I received was a heavy story, a depressing story, in anime form.

For those who do not know, I hail from Israel, and the state religion is Judaism. One of the dates commemorated in Israel is the Holocaust (and Bravery) Memorial Day, which is held each year a week before Independence Day. As a student in the Israeli school system, we’d get taught over the issue every year, at least during our younger years, and talk of the Holocaust permeated much of the public discussion in Israel, always in the background.

More than that, aside from the memorial day, when all TV broadcast were dedicated to the issue, we’d get films related to the issue at other times of the year. As such, when I say “Holocaust movie”, there’s a certain meaning to it.

Yesterday I’ve happened to watch a documentary film about the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki‘s atomic bombing, but this post was coming for some time anyway.

Continue reading

Geek Fashion; A Surprise Encounter.

Well, I’ve recently come across a list with the markers identifying one as an “otaku“, according to a survey held in Japan. One of the items had described “Anime T-Shirts”, as a negative thing, and I thought that impression should be fixed.

I do agree, there are the totally drawn, overdrawn, over-the-top fashion-victim shirts you see people wear, such as the neon orange and yellow 100% drawn Dragon Ball Z T-Shirts, but there are plenty of shirts one can wear, and which look good, even, and perhaps especially when those who view them do not know that they mark one as a geek. Heck, I’m sure many non-geeks will proudly wear them.

Lagann, on one of my new shirts!

I had the “pleasure” of going out and buying some l0ng-sleeved more fashionable shirts yesterday, and to be honest, I felt quite a bit like Madarame, from Genshiken. My older shirts are very comfortable, but being flannel, they tend to give a certain pajama feel. And I decided something had to be done. Well, imagine my surprise when I saw Lagann at a very mainstream shop.

Continue reading

A Tired Old Cliche; Genre-Breaking(?) Micro-fiction.

The Good (Blondie).
Image via Wikipedia

This is a short story, micro-fiction, in fact, that I’ve penned on the 8th of January 2007. To understand this story, you need to understand that it is direct homage, and build-up on the Man with no Name trilogy which is the character, or even Archetype portrayed by Clint Eastwood in Sergio Leone‘s “Spaghetti Westerns“. As many homages, in a way it does not only pay respect to the genre, but breaks it down to its components in such a manner that there’s hardly any story left. The other influence is The Gunslinger, the first book of The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

This will also be relevant for the upcoming entry, “The Primacy of Colour”, which deals with genres and how we buy into the wrong stuff, the ‘trappings’, things for instance that look like mecha anime, but hardly are. This is only about 500 words long, so I hope you enjoy it.

Continue reading

Rocky Road to Dublin. Music Monday.

This just happens to be posted on Monday, that thing is less important to me. This is another non-geeky music choosing, and well, next post dealing with music will have something quite special, including a couple of different songs in Hebrew.

Anyway, this time I’ll talk about yet another old Irish song, Rocky Road to Dublin (this post is posted from school, so most links will be added when I get home), another song from the 19th century, of which there are a great many version. This time I’ll focus on two quite different versions, the stripped down and the grandiose.

Continue reading

Claymore. An Uknown Fondness.

Claymore is an anime based on a manga of the same name, that I had recently watched. I had not found it very engaging in the beginning, but by the time the series ended, I was quite fond of it. There is no one thing I can point at that I really liked, or was well-made, but for some reason, I’ve liked it. I do think I know when the transition was made, perhaps.

Clare the Claymore at the front, her nemesis at the back.

This is a “Things I Like” post, and as such, it’s not a review per-se, but my thoughts on the series. Spoilers should come as no surprise, this post will have certain amount of spoilers.

Continue reading

10k Views Milestone. Also, Twitter-tastic.

Greetings and Salutations, loyal readers, and new visitors. I am aware that Figure Friday did not go up on schedule, and for that I am sorry. I have no real excuse, but merely would state that I’d been feeling out of it for several days, somewhat a combination of sleep deprivation and weather (going from one extreme to the other, and back again). It’d go up when I feel like making it, and we’ll all hope that’d be soon!

Geekorner fanart

Jake Richmond sends his wishes. Figures and miniatures :)

Anyway, this blog post is here to commemorate, and perhaps celebrate, the occasion of this blog passing 10,000 views (or rather, 10,087), which happened somewhere along early Thursday, and much earlier than I’d originally planned.

Continue reading

Naruto’s Intelligence; Anime vs. Manga.

I usually prefer watching or reading a show in the original form it was released, book, manga, anime, whatever. The new creation can be valid and good on its own, but for the definitive take on the story, one should look at the original.

In anime and manga, this is quite important. We all know how some shows begin serialization before the original story is finished, and thus have to not only change things, but make up a lot of it as they go along (Fullmetal Alchemist), or that they descend into more and more “Filler episodes” of original and usually subpar material (such as Naruto and Bleach). But sometimes they go beyond.

The infamous "Shadow Clone Technique" in action. Overkill!

Read more:
Continue reading

NaNoWriMo and Reader Questions.

We’ll begin with my NaNoNoWriMo 2009 thoughts, and move on to my questions to those of you loyal readers of my blog.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, where one attempts to write 50,000 words during the month of November, with the emphasis being put on quantity over quality, trying to get people to write. I am not going to write a novel, and if we are honest, it’s been several years since when “National” had truly been the focus of anything.

And so, I present to you NaNoNoWriMo, which stands for National Non-Novel Writing Month. In the end, NaNoWriMo is all about setting a goal to yourself anyway, so I’m thinking I’ll be writing posts and ideas, and attempt to get to the 50k words mark (not all posts and thoughts would get posted immediately, but at the normal blog(s) spacing, and perhaps some will not get published at all). The posts will include philosophical musings I would like to elaborate on, perhaps a short piece of fiction or two, and posts. Posts for this very blog, or for my personal blog (say, about morality and politics), posts about Role-playing theory, and so on and so forth. Another option is to write about 40k words, and spend time editing and revising some of the texts of one or more of my RPG projects.
I might collect them all in one big PDF at the end of the month and share it.

Now, some questions to those of you who read my blog, or blogs:

  1. What would you like to see my write more about?
  2. What would you like me to write less about?
  3. Why do you read my blog?
  4. Does my blog give you something you don’t get from other blogs/sites, if so, what is it? Feel free to list more than one.
  5. I began my “Things I Like” non-reviews as quite short (see the Tenjho Tenge, Gurren Lagann and Damages posts), and moved to considerably longer posts, which range upwards of 1,400 words (such as RahXephon, Mai-HiME, and 07-Ghost posts). How do you feel about that?
  6. Continuing the above, I tend to pick one thing in the Things I Like posts and focus on it, should I just keep that one thing, which is what I did in the shorter posts, or do that and also add other interesting bits?
  7. How do you like my “Non-review reviews”, where I give thoughts on things, and elaborate on interesting things, but you can’t tell from my posts what the series/book is about?
  8. Anything you want to tell me, or talk about?
  9. I am nearing 10k views on the blog. Does anyone want to do some piece of art (photoshop, doodle, haiku..) for the event? :)
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Media Month in Review – October 2009.

So, it’s time to cover what-all I’ve watched/read during the month of October. I’ve went to Icon 2009, the largest Israeli convention of the year, which might get a post of its own. I’ve also begun my third and final year of my B.A., which had been helpful in reading more books.

I am considering every so often perhaps making a post where I give one paragraph to several movies/books I don’t want to talk about at length, but want to give more than a sentence. Opine below.

Uninhibited Media Consumption? Click picture for source.

Read on for my media consumption of lastmonth, which had been quite significant, though I’m not sure if as significant as the spending list. Then again, buying takes less time than consuming what one buys!

Continue reading