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Cat Shit One is an animated movie hitting movie theaters some time in early 2010. It is based on a manga series, known in the US as Apocalypse Meow, written and illustrated by Motofumi Kobayashi. In both the manga and the anime, Americans are depicted as cute rabbits, a pun on the Japanese word for rabbit, usagi (USA + GI). Does it bother you to see cuddly animals shoot each other up?
In this 2005 gem, William M. Tsutsui (Univ. of Kansas) explores the role of the Godzilla film series in popular culture. Despite Godzilla’s remarkable public presence, it is surprising, Professor Tsutsui observed, “how little scholarly attention this giant radiation-breathing reptile has received, either in Japan or in the West.” Donald Ritche, whom Tsutsui described as “the dean of American film critics of Japan,” once damned Japanese cinema as “‘a plethora of nudity, teenage heroes, science-fiction monsters, animated cartoons, and pictures about cute animals.’” Only a handful of scholarly essays on Godzilla have appeared, and few “have attempted to contextualize the film historically.” In his talk, Tsutsui set out to correct that: “I would argue,” he declared, “. . . that the Godzilla films can provide us valuable insights into Japanese culture since World War II.”
Animators traced a real performance by Susumu Nishikawa (guitar), Takeshi Taneda (bass guitar), and Yutaka Odawara (drums) to create this version of Suzumiya Haruhi no Tsumeawase (涼宮ハルヒの詰合). It was featured in the very popular anime Lucky Star, which focuses on the lives of four high-school girls. Cool clip.
The anime The Sky Crawlers was adapted from the novel by the same name. Directed by Mamoru Oshii (of Ghost in the Shell fame), the movie was released in theaters in Japan on August 2, 2008. The anime won the Future Film Festival Digital Award at the 65th Venice International Film Festival. It is a beautifully made film, but to understand its premise you need to read several interviews with Oshii. “Isn’t this comfortable life that we have achieved,” he says, “a monotonous purgatory that doesn’t end until we die?”
De anime The Sky Crawlers vind zijn oorsprong in het boek met dezelfde naam. Geregisseerd door Mamoru Oshii (bekend van Ghost in the Shell), werd de film op 2 augustus, 2008 in Japanse theaters uitgebracht. De anime won de Future Film Festival Digital Award op het 65e Venitië Internationale Film Festival. Het is een heel mooi gemaakte film, maar om het te begrijpen moet je enkele interviews met Oshii lezen. “Is dit comfortable leven dat we voor elkaar hebben gekregen,” zegt hij, “niet een monotoom vagevuur dat niet eindigt totdat we dood zijn?”