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"The sound of the bell of Gionshoja echoes the impermanence of all things. The hue of the flowers of the teak tree declares that they who flourish must be brought low. Yea, the proud ones are but for a moment, like an evening dream in springtime."
- Kuno Tatewaki , age 17 [/i] (English translation of Heike Monogatari)
"Unearthlier happy is the rose distilled, Than that which withering on the virgin thorn. Grows, lives and dies in single blessedness" - Kuno Tatewaki , age 17 (Variation of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 1, Scene 1)
Confession: I have a huge crush on Tatewaki Kuno. Any boy who still practices calligraphy (and keep an ink stone with him at all times in case of any surges of romantic compositions) and can recites passages of Heiki Momogatari or Shakespeare by memory is quite the catch. Not to mention he has a good leg and money enough in purse. He would make an excellent match for Beatrice. <3
I enjoy a series that makes me think or feel on multiple levels, such as Eve no Jikan, Ergo Proxy, Kino's Journey, Higashi no Eden, Revolutionary Girl Utena, or Sensekai Yori just to name a few.
I also love iyashikei, slice of life; dreamy, think pieces with wonderful character development and rich backgrounds. I particularly enjoy leaning a great deal about how the world the anime is constructed in works and what life would really be like for someone who lives there. The ARIA series, Mushishi, Studio Ghibli's vast works, YKK, Haibane-Renmei, Please Save My Earth, Juuni Kokki, Tortov Roddle are just a few of these.
I like anime whose story has paid attention to details or is told is a unique way, such as Haruhi Suzumiya or Juuni Kokki. Details really make a anime and its characters for me, so if it doesn't give me enough of them I tend to get bored easily! I want it gorgeous and well thought out! Unique ideas for how to portray a scene or experiment with a new style of art never hurts though...
The last important factor to a great anime to me is the Music. In many ways, music is the most defining factor of how a series or film will impact me. There have been several things I've seen that would likely have only received mediocre grades, but for their excellent and/or moving OSTs.
I also watch A LOT of short and independent films and animation from different countries. While I understand the importance of keeping MAL 'Japanese-friendly,' I wish another site existed like it that allowed me to catalog ALL of my favourite animations instead of just those that are Japanese and Korean.
[size=150]Please join me for some lovely conversation in
[url=http://myanimelist.net/clubs.php?cid=19257]Cinema of Japan![/size]
Animation of the Week
Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet (Release Date August 7, 2015 )
Inspired by the beloved classic, Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a young, mischievous girl and an imprisoned poet.
Hailing from a number of countries, Canada, France, Ireland, Lebanon, Qatar, United States, the art styles in this film were really what brought it home for me. The images below are a competent demonstration of the eclectic beauty of the film. Fans of Shaun Tan, Chagall, Klimt, and Symbolism out there are likely to enjoy this film. The music alone is worth the journey.
Tsuki no Waltz (Waltz on the Moon) [Ishizuka Atsuko 2004] 5 mins.
[b]Honourary Favourite by Yamamura Koji[/b]:
Bavel no Hon (Bavel's Book) [Yamamura Koji 1996] 5 mins.
15 Favourite International Animations:
--Work in Progress--
1. The Man Who Planted Trees [Frédéric Back, Canada 1987] 30 mins.
2. Hedgehog in the Fog [Yuriy Norshteyn, Russian 1975] 12 mins.
3. The Lost Thing [Shaun Tan, Australian 2010] 16 mins.
4. The Reward [The Animation Workshop, Denmark 2012]: Mikkel Mainz; Kenneth Ladekjær; Glenn August; Jonas Andreassen; Josefine Hannibal; Karen Bennetzen; Ole Christian Løken; Paolo Giandoso; Tanja Nielsen.
Watch it here or read about the process here
5. The Rabbi's Cat (French: Le Chat du Rabbin) is a 2011 French animated film directed by Joann Sfar and Antoine Delesvaux. Based on the graphic novel(s) by Joann Sfar.
6. La Sorcière from Prince et Princess (6 shorts originally from Ciné si) [Michel Ocelot, French 1989] 11 mins.
7. Tír na nÓg [Fursy Teyssier, Le Discrets, French 2007] 4 mins.
8. [Tie] The Old Man & the Sea/My Love - [Aleksandr Petrov, Russia/Canada/Japan 1999/2006] 20/26 mins.
9. The Monk and The Fish [Michaël Dudok de Wit, The Netherlands 1994] 6.5 mins.
10. Phantom Inventory - L'inventaire Fantôme [Franck Dion; Les Armateurs, French 2004] 9.44 mins.
11. L'acteur [Jean-François Laguionie, Les Studios du Languedoc French 1974] 6 mins. Seen here: http://vimeo.com/9745073
12. Kérity, la Maison des Contes/Eleanor's Secret [Dominique Monféry, La Fabrique, Franco-Italiano 2009] 80 mins.
14. La Leyenda del Espantapájaros (The Legend of the Scarecrow) [Carlos Lascano/Marco Besas, Elemental Films Spain 2005] There is a particularly cool blog entry about the "Making of" this animation by Carlos Lascano here, for those who are interested in such things.
Top 10 Childhood favourite anime:
1. Sirius no Densetsu (The Sea Prince & The Fire Child)
This was the first anime I saw as a child and it changed me completely. This movie was my first lesson in how to feel and has some of the richest and most beautiful music I have ever heard. It is FAR better than Romeo & Juliet and to this day I cannot hear the words "Piale loves Malta" without feeling tears well in my eyes.
2. Andersen Douwa Ningyo Hime (The Little Mermaid)
My second lesson in how to feel, I have always identified with the character of Marina/the Little Mermaid and was convinced for years that I would die as foam on the waves. I learned to play the harp because of this film.
3. Sekai Meisaku Douwa: Mori wa Ikiteiru (12 Months)
One of the very best tales I ever heard. This was one of my first lessons in being a good person and friendship. I learned about my name in conjunction with the galanthus (snowdrop) flower in the film not long after seeing it for the first time, so it will be magic to me.
4. Unico -
I still sing Katy's song all the time. When I grew up I wanted to be a kitty witch more than anything else in the whole world. I still hold that dream very close to my heart.
5. David the Gnome -
This isn't included on this site, sadly, but it is one of the most awesome children's series ever created.
First of all it a Spanish animation studio produced the thing AND it is based on a Dutch book about gnomes. Not a faerie tale or a story, but just one of those books about gnomes. Like Lady Cottington's book of fae but for gnomes. How awesome is that? It's a great series and still so much fun to watch!
6. Sekai Meisaku Douwa: Hakuchou no Mizuumi (Swan Lake)
One of the best renditions of a ballet into story that I've seen.
7. Sekai Meisaku Douwa: Hakuchou no Ouji (Wild Swans)
Another favourite tale, beautifully done here.
8. Ranma 1/2
This was my introduction to the world of anime as actual Anime so I will always love it and still find it immensely fun to watch. It's also one of my favourite OP's in the history of the world. Watching Ranma 1/2 is like eating cake with boba tea - it's sweet and fun and delicious and a little bit fluffy.
9. Hoshi no Oujisama Petit Prince (The Little Prince)
My favourite book as a child and one of the only things I was allowed to watch on television (of the non-PBS variety). I tried re-watching it recently and it was not watchable for long than about an episode :( But it still holds a place in my heart.
10. This was hard. It is a toss up between Paddington Bear and Belle & Sebastian. I think I will vote for the latter since this is an anime site afterall.
10. Meiken Jolie (Belle & Sebastian)
Long before the awesome band there was a show (and books!) which I would watch religiously along with David the Gnome on Nickelodeon (gods bless you 1980's tele producers for being so goshdarn smart!) <3 I was only allowed a very limited TV period, so I had to make it count. And this always won (well, and the BBC).
Some “Favourite People” who should be on my list, but are not:
These are usually the amazing people behind the scenes, such as art directors. An abridged list of favourite works will be be added in Italics next to their name.
Ogura Nobutoshi - Gankutsusou, Higashi no Eden, ROD OVA, Shinsekai Yori, Utena, xxxHOLiC Rou, Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei (Tatami Galaxy), Fuujin Monogatari I suspect he might be the one responsible for the art styles I’ve been so impresses with in each these series. Kobayashi Shichirou - Nodame Cantabile, Otogizoushi, Utena, Tenshi no Tamago, Tenshi no Tamago, Unico, YKK, Fuujin Monogatari Kuri Yoji - What hasn’t he done that isn’t incredible? OK, names: Fuyu no Hi, Stamp Fantasia, Love of Kemoko, Fashion… really this list just keeps going. Just do yourself a favour and watch his works. Kawamoto Kihachiro – because he is awesome and designs some of the most beautiful bunraku in the known world. Some features include: Chuumon no Ooi Ryouriten (Oni, House of Flames, Hanaori, Fuyu no Hi, Dojoji Odera [Temple], other various, amazing bunraku (puppet animation) projects. Okamoto Tadanari - Chuumon no Ooi Ryouriten (Restaurant of Many Orders 1993), Okonjoururi, and various bunraku (puppet animation) projects. Shigeru, Tamura - Glassy Ocean, Ursa minor Blue, Phantasmagoria
Besides being one of the first female Japanese animators, Okuyama Reiko also worked on: – Andersen Douwa Ningyo Hime, Grave of the Fireflies, Chuumon no Ooi Ryouriten (Restaurant of Many Orders 1993), Fuyu no Hi, Nakamura Ryutaro - Unico, A Journey Through Fairyland, Colorful, Kino no Tabi, Lain, The Life of Guskou Budori, They were 11 and also for his use of sound to enhance the overall work. One of the best Manga-ka EVER: Nakamura Asumiko - Copernicus no Kokyuu, Le Théâtre de A et B, Utsubora (among countless other great works). Isamu Hirabayashi - 663114 Yabuki Kimio - Twelve Months Yusuke Kishi – author of Shinsekai Yori. Ōmori, Takahiro - Director, Storyboard writer, Screenplay writer. Stage Director, &/or Key Animatior of Aria the Natural, Kuragehime, Haibane Renmei, Hotarubi no Mori e, Hell Girl, Natsume's Book of Friends, Baccano!, Durarara!! and Samurai Flamenco.
Also want to give credit to a certain manga-ka I’ve recently become obsessed with: Matsumoto Jiro , who is best known for such works as: Jigoku no Alice, Manga of the Dead, and Becchin to Mandala.
Lastly, I want to shout out to a few favourite studio producers while I have a moment: Studio 4°C, Shirogumi, Brains Base, Madhouse Studios, Ai ga areba Daijobu, Tamura Shigeru Studio, Studio Deen, Toei Animation, ViZ <3.
Among my Favourite Anime not mentioned in my Top Five:
*Howl's Moving Castle (really should be in the top five because it fluctuates between HMC and Spirited Away
*Clannad (recently bumped)/ After Story/ all the in-betweens
*Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei / Tatami Galaxy
*Spice & Wolf
*Gegege no Kitarou
*Seirei no Moribito
*Eden of the East
*Hunter x Hunter
*Kyou Kara Maou
*Attack on Titan
Other Favourite People:
1. Akino Arai
[size=180]There are SO many anime and independent works I've not mentioned here that I am working on lists for so I hope you will be patient with me as I ever so slowly catalog them properly!!
I deeply hope you enjoy your stay and come by for a chat again soon![/size]