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Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000)
Vampire Hunter Junior
Seeing this movie in a theater is awesome. The action seems to jump right out at you. What impressed me most was the attention to detail in every aspect of the movie. I was less impressed with the plot, however, but I got used to it after a while.
I would NOT recommend seeing the original especially if you liked the newer version. The older movie is far from the quality of Bloodlust. (But if you like what I call "old school anime" go right ahead).
Ginga-tetsudô no yoru (1985)
Stays true to the author's intent.
Kenji Miyazawa intended "Ginga tetsudo no yoru" as a book for children. But in it are truths that everyone big and small look to find. No one is comfortable with death. Everyone searches for answers. As I read the book before seeing the movie, I was amazed to see how accurately and wonderfully the director and animators were able to capture the feeling of this fantasy. It may be too arty for some, but I feel that more often than not, viewers will come away with a deeper sense of what death can do for life and what life can mean if given a chance.
As for the cat characters, this seems to be a consistent image that surrounds Miyazawa. Some of the stories he wrote were populated by cats that would take human roles. Interestingly enough, in Kenji Miyazawa's biographical anime (Shoji Kawamori's Spring and Chaos) Miyazawa is portrayed as a cat. Maybe the cats exist to shield children from the pain that these harsh truths might bring. But not shield too much
Sometimes it is easy to look at a work like Night on the Galactic Railroad and say, this is just a fantasy. Perhaps Miyazawa wanted us to think that, maybe at first anyhow. But the true beauty behind this animation is that by creating a fantasy world so wild and vibrant, it forces us to see who and what we really are.
Kôkaku Kidôtai (1995)
If You Liked it (or couldn't understand it...)
Didn't do the manga justice. Nope no way.
This doesn't mean the movie is bad. In fact it is quite spectacular. But if you're interested in finding out even more about the ideas in the movie, I suggest you find a copy of Dark Horse Comics' translation of the manga (Japanese for comic book) version of Ghost in the Shell. Masamune Shirow's notes on various aspects of the story are translated and included in the index. The art itself is beautiful and deserves a look.
Digimon: Digital Monsters (1999)
I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks Digimon is NOT a Pokemon rip-off. Did you know that Digimon toys came out in Japan before the Pokemon video game?
My comment is specifically about the Tamers series. I wake up early every Saturday to see this show. I think Digimon is the only cartoon kids should watch on a Saturday. The characters in the show are able to think for themselves and learn and grow from their mistakes. And not in a Sesame Street way either. Henry, Takato and Rika are allowed to make mistakes and grow, much the way that real human beings are supposed to do. Even the enemies get to learn from their mistakes.
And the most wonderful amazing thing about this show is that it isn't just about the tamers. We see their families at home trying to understand what is happening all around them. Lee's father and his friends are working just as hard on their end to bring the children back safe from the digital world. Where most children's shows show adults as faraway parents who enforce the rules, on Tamers children can see adults and kids working together.
So do you see this in Pokemon?
Ok you're right, but then again...
Being a long time anime fan, I find that in order to find the stuff that you want, you have to take what you can get. When I first started buying anime, there were hardly any dual language DVDs available and the dub tapes were just about all there was in the store. I had to settle for dubs most of the time.
I do like dubs. I like dubs that are able to stick to the original Japanese plot. HOWEVER... I'm afraid that Cardcaptors is not one of those series. I don't want to spoil the Japanese version for any of you so you have a fair warning... in the original Japanese story Julian (Yuki) and Tori(Toya) are a lot more than friends. This is even more obvious in the CLAMP manga that the anime was based on. And in the Japanese version Lee has a crush on YUKI not on Sakura. Either children in Japan are expected to be able to understand this stuff, or, as it seems to be the case these 'cute girly shows' are not just for kids.
Nelvana did a poor job of dubbing CCS but they did an even worse job translating it. Why bother to make the names more American sounding. The worst name change was from Toya to Tori. In Japanese Toya means peach arrow, Tori means bird.
Anyhow, I guess you can't blame them. Here in the US anime is for children. In Japan, anime is for everyone. Sadly, for those of us who appreciate the original, we'll just have to wait until it comes out on DVD. (I know for a fact you can find it if you want to)
Tenkû no Esukafurône (1996)
Was this really made by Shoji Kawamori?
I love Escaflowne. It is one of the most beautiful and touching Anime I have ever seen. That said, I also feel that it had no place on children's television.
But is this really the work of Shoji Kawamori? The man who designed mecha for Macross and directed Macross plus? The great animation director? Well sure. The mecha (machines like Escaflowne and the Red guymelif(sp?)) are awesome. They take up the whole screen.
But the thing I love most about Escaflowne is the balance between Mech and shojo (girls) style. The setting of the story is also one of the best things about the anime. It feels like you're taken back to an Italian castle in the middle of Middle Earth. The rough relationship between the Taro deck that Hitomi uses and the setting really hits the mark.
Most of all, the character relationships, the outline of fate and the endless questioning that all the major characters go thorough make the story worthwhile and fun to watch. The story surely will keep you guessing and wondering