Entries Tagged as 'Classics'

Friday Night Anime Block, Feature Edition: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

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Ahh, the classics. I can’t believe I’ve neglected to include this in the Friday line up so far. Hayao Miyazaki‘s Nausicaa. It’s entirely probable that you’ve seen this already, but I can’t help but give due deference to one of the more formative films of my life.

Picture, if you will, a young boy growing up media-less in the wilderness of Northern New England in the early eighties. When one day his family discovers it’s possible to rent a VCR for the weekend; they’d only had two broadcast channels up until then.

Yes, I said VCR, stop snickering.

This was one of the first films they rented. I can’t suppose what stroke of fate led them to it, a Father’s love of Scifi and a passion to impart it to his children, or perhaps a desire to ride out the impending blizzard with the comfort of animation. Nevertheless. There was the young Etruscan (if such a thing could be said to exist), camped out during the worst storm of the year with a bowl of popcorn at the foot of the couch, marveling at this new piece of technology and watching what is frequently referred to as one of Miyazaki’s greatest works; the boy’s first exposure to anime. I can recall that the Father was so impressed that by the end of the weekend, before the VCR had to be returned, every neighborhood child (all three!) had been around to the house to watch it with us. Not to mention educated about ecological disaster.

And after that, we watched Weird Science. Booyah!

The odd thing is, sometimes I still dream of these images.

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Friday Night Anime Block: Gasaraki

<begin> I had forgotten how much I’d enjoyed this one until my sibling kindly reminded me. Therefore it becomes a necessity that I share it with you.

Tonight the feature is Gasaraki, which focuses on a world where the United States is at war with a fictional Middle East nation and Japan, naturally, steps in to provide demoniacally fueled mecha armor (as if that wasn’t enough right there) to help counter a brutal engagement by the US forces. As I’m sure we’re all predicting, Trouble necessarily ensues.

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Musical Interlude: Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday Sings album. Unadorned and straight from the soul. Feel free to lie back on the couch and let out an “aaaaahhhhhhh….”

Weird Wednesday: Classic Japanese Cartoon Propaganda?

KUMO-TO-CHURIPPU translated to “Spider and Tulip”

In this 1943 film, an evil spider tries to capture and eat what looks like a ladybug girl. However, she is given shelter to in a tulip, and the spider is blown off by a sudden strong storm.

I find it interesting that this time period was the same year that Japan was involved in WWII against the U.S. and our allies. Perhaps, the U.S. represents the evil spider and Japan the pretty ladybug girl in this classic cartoon. I still find this strangely beautiful and artistic.