Steven has been watching My Neighbor Totoro, and comments, “I watched it twice, and I’m still not sure what story it was telling. I’m not even sure there was a story. In fact, I’m not even sure there needed to be one.”
Try watching it 50 times!
True story – when I first saw Totoro, my daughter was about two years old. I actually picked the movie up in the $5 bin at Wal-Mart. I brought it home thinking she’d like it.
She became a Totoro addict. There is something in this movie that is like crack for little kids. I don’t just mean she wanted to watch it often; I mean she wanted to watch it eight times a day. In succession. Back to back.
After dealing with tantrum after tantrum I finally had enough and sent the damn disc to my parents’ house a thousand miles away across four state lines. As far as my daughter knew, we “lost” it. Somehow we weaned her off Totoro.. though my sister, evil incarnate that she is, suddenly “found” the disc and sent it back.
I hope that it won’t be toddler crack like last time – especially since my daughter is now four and maybe if her reaction to the film is non-insane, I can actually enjoy it myself. I am quite keen to see whether the 4-year old in the film matches up to the four year old on the sofa. When we were watching Sugar, she was kind of indifferent to the Kannnon character who was also her age, but as Steven mentions, in Totoro the four year old actually acts four years old. So, it will be quite interesting indeed to see whether my daughter recognizes a kindred spirit or not.
Steven mentions that his loyal readership at Chizumatic is probably on the order of 200 hits a day, and mentions that he toyed with the idea of putting a web counter on the main page. Speaking from experience, I hate web counters.
Continue reading “traffic”
To continue my discussion of circle symbolism in Haibane Renmei, the next circle of importance is the physical Wall that surrounds Glie.
Continue reading “Circles: The Wall”
Studio Ghibli is producing an anime version of Ursula K. LeGuin’s classic science fiction series, The Legend of Earthsea. It is being directed by Moro Miyazaki, son of the legendary Hayao.
For a fan of science fiction alone, this would be incredibly exciting news. As a fledgling otaku my anticipation can now extend along the anime axis as well! Of course there is no guarantee that the junior Miyazaki is as talented as the father, nor is there any guarantee that a piece of literature will survive the transition to film. Bicentennial Man was a real stab in the heart for Asimov purists, and I’ve ranted on the H2G2 movie before. But there are successes – witness the glory that was Blade Runner (an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?). I think that the anime format suits the subject matter far better than live-action and have high hopes indeed.
Most of those high hopes being fed by what I’ve already seen of the film, of course. You can view the trailer as a Flash movie at Ghibli.net or at YouTube.
There’s also a production blog (translated by Nausicaa.net).
While I am sure there is an infinite supply of this sort of thing out there under the dot-jp domain, this particular Haibane fanart gallery happened to be indexed by google. There are of course the usual obsessions with swimsuits, but what I found much more interesting were the concept art of scenes we never actually saw in the series, such as Reki taking her Flight, and Rakka’s cocoon bursting. And this scene of Raka and Reki in kimonos is just surreal, yet also somehow appropriate…
Of course, the Haibane rock band also, well, rocks. Go, Reki! And I note that the artist has a particular thing for Nemu…
Shamus notes with some amusement that a large number of political bloggers are now blogging about anime.
I can attest to the fact that political blogging is draining. I was never a fan of the partisan scalp hunt. Lately I have just lost interest – especially given it all seems to make no difference in teh end. I find myself fighting the same battles over and over again.
I have long had a passion for science fiction, and Steven opened up a world of anime that I can enjoy with my daughter as well. This stuff is fun to talk about. Let other people handle the jihad or crusade or whatever. This just suits me better right now.
Of all the recurring symbolism in Haibane Renmei, that of the circle is the most intriguing. This will be a series of posts. Thefirst of these is teh circle of Glie itself – or rather, the existence of the Haibane.
The circle of Glie is not a physical one that appears on screen, but is implied – the circle of life, death, and rebirth. All Haibane had a previous life, they were then reborn from a cocoon into Glie. The cocoon is the womb, and the painful eruption of the wings is the first draw of breath as a true Haibane.
more, including spoilers, below the fold…
Continue reading “Circles: Glie”