Saturday, February 23, 2008

anti-anime & time travel

I have recently noticed that I am quite "anti-anime" in my thinking. I intentionally avoid watching Japanese cartoons, and when someone I really respect talked about watching some I started to think about why. I remembered my scary room mates in college that would non-stop watch anime all day, every day. When they went to class they would leave the TV on playing anime and if I changed channels or anything they would get mad, because they wanted to hear and see it the minute they walked in the door. I kid you not. But added to that, when ever my Japanese friends came over they would ignore them. You would think you would want to talk to people who come from the land that produced your desires, but I guess they were too busy watching anime. Too busy infact to even clean their dishes. Now I'm a dirty person, but when you share a kitchen with people I expect a little bit of cleanliness. No luck there. They would leave ALL their dishes in the sink, every last one. At first I would wash their dishes for them, but I finally had enough and said (while they were watching anime) "I'm not going to wash anymore of your dishes!" and one of the two really responded, verbatim, "It's OK, we'll just buy new plates next time we go shopping." Gong! What the heck. A final oddness was they would often watch really creepy almost porn-ish anime. And I'm liberally minded. But public cartoon porn is just weird. So basically these guys gave me psychological damage apparently, because I have always kind of avoided Japanese cartoons after that. Well, after being inspired by the blog post previously mentioned, I decided to check out something. A few days ago I had stumbled (literally) across a review of a Japanese anime movie titled (in English) "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" and so I gave it a try. My first non-forced not super mainstream Japanese cartoon (i.e. not Akira, Princess Mononoke, etc) It was cool! It was childish (no more than an american G rating I'm sure) I guess, and few plot holes bugged me. But I saw an old school Indian Jones movie after that, and even that had some big plot holes, so I started thinking that movies can be kind of like watching a dream, they don't always make total sense when you scrutinize them, but we can have a lot of fun if we just let go and just enjoy it. The movie itself is based on a time travel story (no surprise, read the title!) but it is more than that, it explores relationships and life, like most good Japanese movies.
And continuing on that time-travel theme (must admit I have an interest in those kind of movies I guess) I saw an awesome independent film. If you like to think when you watch movies, please watch "Primer" And this film gives such inspiration to independent film makers everywhere, it was made for about US$7000 and its awesome. Makes you think, it looks cool, a bit of a geeky flavor, and had a nice complex but satisfying plot. Coolness. Big thumbs up on this one, if you can find it.
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