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Anime

Interview With Tenchi Co-Creator Hayashi Hiroki 79

paranormalized sent us this link to Animenewsnetwork.com's Interview with Hayashi Hiroki. He talks a lot about his work on El Hazard, Black Heaven, and of course, Tenchi Muyo, which are coincidentally enough, three of my favorite series. Interesting points about Ryoko's relationship to 'I Dream of Jeanie,' and why he tends to make shows about a young boy surrounded by hot girls (and why he strayed so far from that to make Black Heaven)."
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Interview with Tenchi Co-Creator

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  • ...should there be a vow of chastity for animé flicks?

    Naaah! Sex is usually half the plot!

  • Umm, Taco, you got it wrong. Animenewsnetwork [animenewsnetwork.com] isn't interviewing Hirashi Hiroki any more than /. is. Animenewsnetwork is linking [animenewsnetwork.com] to an interview with Hiroki-san. The interview seems to be an AIC exclusive.

    And on a totally unrelated note, why hasn't anyone introduced Taco to Key the Metal Idol? I'm wondering why this little gem has never goten the publicity it deserves. How good is it? I would say it's the best android/robot-related work since Bladerunner, and certainly the best android-related anime. And yes, I am including Ghost in the Shell and Bubblegum Crisis in that comparison.

    It has some elements of fantasy, (What are Key's mysterious powers and how are they related to the feelings of those around her?) and of sci-fi,(what are the Sipes,(short answer: military-grade humanoid robots),and what is their nature? and what is Ajo Heavy Industries doing with them on the streets of Tokyo?) blended together to form a great series with mysteries abounding.(what is the relationship between Key and these sipes?)

    The pacing is excellent, the storytelling incredible, and it looks like it won't disappoint with its last episodes, unlike Evangelion. I've watched up to Episode 14 so far, (13 30 min eps, 14 & 15 are 90 min each), and as soon as I'm done here I'll go watch the last one. Sigh. Will this piece of anime ever get the attention it deserves? Listen, just watch the opening sequence, nothing more. If the haunting style and brief glimpses of story elements don't draw you in, then you can leave without ever watching any of it again, and I won't ever bother you again, Ok?

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  • So you're saying Scooby-Doo doesn't reflect a subset of American culture?

    Perhaps it's not a complete reflection of the society in which it was produced but, after watching enough cartoons, a reasonably observant person would get the gist of what cutural values appeal to the audience from that particular country.
  • So submit some stories to Slashdot that have to do with comics. If there are as many comic book geeks as anime geeks, well, why aren't there any stories? Anime hasn't always had a category, you know; it got one after stories concerning it began appearing.

    Bitching about a problem may be easy, but it won't change things.
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  • I don't think the DVDs are available piecemeal, and I do have the first set, and there seems to be no apparent extras. Check AnimeOnDVD [animeondvd.com] for details if you really wanna know.
  • Or the End of Evangelion, as most people refer to it. Or is it rebirth, parts one and two?

    Anyways, a much better work than the original last two episodes, though still pretty darn weird and confusing. For instance, are there any other humans around at the end besides Shinji and Asuka? And what did Shinji's decision mean for the human race? Apotheosis, or the decision not to, as the case may/may not be, always leaves behind too many questions for nice neat endings with all the stray parts tied up... all in all, an cool film, but, as I put it at the club meeting where I saw it, "It's Evangelion! It's not supposed to make sense!"

    Oh, and I just finished watching the last episode of Key. It gets pretty weird too, at the end. I'm still not quite sure what gel really is, and I'm still in a state of emotional shock from this last episode, but a very good work, all the same.

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  • Revolutionary Girl Utena [duellists.tj]. I can understand why you left it out, though. Two thirds of the series have yet to see an english release, and getting someone hooked on Utena without offering them the whole series may be considered an act of cruelty.

    Personally I would rank Utena just a notch below Key the Metal Idol, and definitely above Tenchi , but then again, I prefer drama to comedy. I don't know how it stacks up to Lain, since I haven't seen Lain yet. Yeah, I've been sort of out of the anime scene since '98, and am just now returning to plunge into it again. Anime deprivation for 3 years, take some pity on poor little me. ;)

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  • I thought the interview was rather informative. I always wondered why the Tenchi plot line was so broken. Demand and big business pushed over creativity. Obviously capitalism even affects anime. Nevertheless, Tenchi is still an excellent anime.
  • Namely, personally, would you reccomend getting FY or Escaflowne first?

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  • by Judas96' ( 151194 ) on Monday February 19, 2001 @08:33PM (#419330)
    I like anime. I like comic books. I like wine sometimes. Same with beer. You know what I have found about liking something? You start off by pretty much loving everything you can get your hands on of it, but then after a while you start to develop a more discerning taste. For instance, when I started reading comics a few years ago, I read anything and everything I had money to buy. I ended up collecting a few series that I now recall in hindsight as pretty much being utter mainstream crap. Now my taste in comic books is a bit more honed and I tend to pick up less mainstream series and more collected series on non superhero stuff such as Sin City, Bone, Transmetropolitan, and so on. As my grasp of comics as a whole broaden, my tastes in comics slowly became more acute, so that I focus on what I love, and ignore what I feel may be crap. Anime is the same way. I have been watching various anime for a few years now, and my idea of what I like and look fore has narrowed down. I still watch the crap from time to time, because here in North America we are limited to what has been imported and translated generally. Since I am guessing most of us don't have a firm grasp of Japanese (baka!?!), it can be hard to get around this. But I still manage to find more stuff I like then stuff I dislike. I guess that is why I like anime so much and didn't just give up and look for something else... Now with wine and beer, I like pretty much anything I can get my hands on (especially after I have already had a few, but that is another story). My taste for these two alcoholic beverages is fairly new, so I am unable to discern between what is just alright and what is really, really good. My father knows much more about wines and talks about zinfandel and bordeaux and all I can ask in response are simple things such as whether the wine is white or red, dry or sweet, and if I am feeling especially intellectual, what year it was bottled in. My point is when you first get into liking any art form or cultural genre or beverage, if you enjoy what you see or imbibe, you enjoy pretty much anything you see or imbibe. As you are exposed to more and varied of the sub forms and such, you begin to develop a taste of your own, and start to decide what you want more of and what you will avoid like the plague. Anime may be an old idea to some by now, but many of us are just getting our first sip. I mean first taste. I mean first view of the animation style from the culture that actually developed it.
  • Sounds like Black Heaven to me. The Japanese title i think may be "Kacho Oji" but I could be way off. I know it is anime, but I am not sure if it was inspired or based on manga or just an original animation.
  • I have to put up an opposing opinion about Key: the Metal Idol. I've seen the whole series; heck, I was on staff for a university anime group and we screened the whole series and I thought it was just a slog in terms of pacing. The ending didn't leave me happy or sad in a thoughtful sort of way, but rather it just left me all pissed off. Key does have a great opening and I did like all the characters but there are many aspects of it that bothered the hell out of me.

    Personally I would recommend Serial Experiments: Lain over Key. Just as thought-provoking but with much better pacing IMO.

  • Hopefully this won't start up a giant argument over the end of EVA but anyhoo, here's my take on the ending.

    3rd Impact occurs and everyone on the planet is given a choice; become complete but in doing so, lose all boundaries and sense of self or stay incomplete and deal with all the problems of being your own person, but you get to retain your identity.

    It's faced with this choice, the big choice as it were, that Shinji does something utterly amazing; he grows a backbone and takes a stand. Instead of knuckling under and doing what will make others happy, he makes his decision for himself and chooses to remain who he is, incomplete and all. Everyone else, save Asuka, apparently chooses to be complete and no longer alone and thus join together as the soul/mind of the new god/humanity that is Unit 01.

    I'm doing this all from memory since it's been awhile since I've seen EVA and the movies so there's probably some gaps but i think I've gotten the gist down, IMHO.

  • OK, I agree that not all anime is good, but I am a big fan of Fist of the Northstar. Although I prefer romantic comedy anime mainly, I used to be one of these sad freeeeeks who liked anime for the gore, violence, naughty tentacles and stylized *everything*.

    Anyway, I still think Fist of NS is good- the English dub has some absolutely hilarious lines in it.

    "A little sloppy, but interesting technique"
    "These belong to you?" (Re: someone's arms)
    "As a matter of fact, you're already dead."

    Ok, it was funnier "down the pub" as we say in England, i.e. these quotes are much more amusing in context.

    The extra special thing about FONS is that it features highly entertaining bad dubbing. The fascinating thing is that it's not simply "bad acting", but the special sort of "US anime dub-acting" at its height. The lines are delivered in a special bad sort of way, not exactly hammy, but with undue emphasis on every single line, and stylized. Hard to explain, but delightful to experience.

    So, in summary:

    a) yes, not all anime is good.
    b) FONS has many redeeming qualities
    c) (I point I didn't actually make, but I put it in the summary anyway)- as someone else said- we tend not to get much bad anime sent from Japan, so what we see is of a higher quality on average.
    d) Another point I didn't actually make, but I just thought of it: Lots of people in this forum are seemingly suprised at how so many people canbe into anime: the giveaway point is that they say "Yes, so akira was very good, but...". The point is that they have only seen the first sort of anime brought over en masse from Japan- stuff with big guns, gore, tentacles and rock music. They've probably never seen for example, Tenchi Muyo, Fushigi Yugi or Oh! My Goddess...

    Graspee (anime geek and proud)
  • I suspect it's for three main reasons:
    1. Anime panders to their interests more - ie guns, tech, fighting, science, sci-fi, etc. Mainstream "Bruce Willis saves the world / Courtney Cox acts dippy and sleeps with someone" is hardly worth the effort of yawning at.
    2. Anime often tackles devious Japanese perversions, of which geeks have a mysterious interest in. That seems to be mainly because mainstream porn is so dull.
    3. They're frightened of real people. Anime allows them to watch the same morality plays as everyone else, without the threat of real people being involved.

  • I completely agree, but the reason that many anime freaks like "all" anime is that they haven't seen the bad anime. Have you seen some anime aired? They're FSCKING WEIRD. The reason that none of us see it is because if it's crap over there, no one over here is going to buy it and thus is not worth the effort. Also the fansubbers won't sub the anime because they don't want to waste their time on crap. So the only anime that we're exposed to is the good stuff.

    That's why some people think that all anime is good, which is utter crap IMHO.
  • by Enonu ( 129798 ) on Monday February 19, 2001 @03:08PM (#419337)
    After growing up in a Disney world, where animation was full of evil witches, lions, and mermaids, I frankly shat my pants when my first experience with anime was with Neon Genesis Evangelion. Here we have a main character who is emotionaly unstable, has the world on his shoulders, and is confronted with female sexuality at an early age (like we all do). To boot, this was all done with a theme and story based off the bible. This mind-f**k of a series left me questioning my own reality. I wasn't the same afterwards ...

    It is this change of pace, this shift from the mundane to the excentric and psychotic that makes anime appealing. I, however, am not deluded to such an extent to say that all anime is good. The Japanese have their own set of problems, just like American animation.

    To sum it all up, anime is different, variety is good.

    I'd also like to add that I'm enjoying indirectly learning about the Japanese culture through anime. I don't think that it's a coincidence that the few phrases that I know are:

    (forgive my to-English-bastardizing of Japanese)
    gomeno sai (I'm sorry)
    ariagato (Thank you)

    Perhaps respect is very important to the Japanese?
  • Find me an anime fan who thinks that all anime is good, and I'll make them watch Fist of the North Star. (I think it's fairly safe to say that is "bad" anime, since I've only ever met two people who liked it, and they saw a severely cut version)

    There is indeed a lot of crap in anime; but as another person mentioned, the worst of the crap generally doesn't get brought over to America. Thus, while anime as a whole has just as much crap as any other medium, what we are exposed to has far less than American-born mediums.

    There *is* a lot of really good stuff out there, though. If you thought Akira was "first-rate sci-fi," you should watch The Wings of Honneamise, Ghost in the Shell (although the manga is far better), Serial Experiments Lain, or Neon Genesis Evangelion. Well, the last two are a bit far-out enough that I hesitate in calling them sci-fi, but many people do simply because they're futuristic, so I won't argue. But they're quite excellent, nonetheless.

    Along another vein of thought; perhaps you don't see anime fans talking about crap because people don't *like* to talk about crap. Given a choice, people will talk about things that they like. So just because every conversation you see involves people gushing over their favorite series doesn't mean they believe all anime is fantastic; take a moment sometime to ask them what they've seen that they didn't like.
    --
  • Well, I appreciate this section, but that's only because Hiroki's a friend of mine, and you really know your firends have made it when they make it onto the main page of Slashdot, not as a poster, but as a subject!
  • (go ahead, mod me down ...)

    ** WARNING: Spoilers and ENDING below.

    Grave of the Fireflies is about as moving as watching Sally Struthers plead about starving Africans -- the main character made an unwise choice, and then refused to swallow his pride, even when faced with the need to save his sister's life (my opinion is he could have gone back to his 'aunt').

    In the end, it's a story of a young man who failed to mature enough to save himself, or the one remaining person he loved in this world. Unfortunately, the whole emphasis that the authors wanted to put out was more about "See the evils of war and how the Americans firebombed Tokyo! Ahhhhhh!"

    Which just doesn't work, because we all know war is horrible, and Good People(tm) get hurt and die, and this film actually puts the responsibility for the tragic consequences squarely on the shoulder of the boy himself.

    Now, my recommendation for sophisticated anime films:

    Perfect Blue -- A famous pop singer who wishes to change her career and become an actress dealing with controversial topics is stalked by her former adoring &ltsomeone&gt. Spectacular look at the psychology of the hunted, and some pretty sharp questions about the questions of stardom. The anti "VH1 Behind the Stars &lteveryone&gt" story.

    The End of Evangelion -- arguably the biggest mindfuck ever created. Not really understandable at any level unless you have the 26 episodes of the Evangelion TV series down pat, but that's a worthwhile investment in and of itself. No concise summary of End of Eva is possible -- to define it as merely yet another End of the World flick would be to do it a grave disservice.
    I personally like this movie because of the ambiguities -- endless conversation and debate with friends afterwards.
  • Might be considered what Sailor Moon should have been. A sophomore effort, it's much better than Sailor Moon, which suffers from the "Monster of the Day" syndrome.

    I'd also recommend Fushi Yuugi, the Mysterious Play, now that both seasons are out from Pioneer.
  • I'm surprised he didn't pick up "baka" since they most definitely say that a lot in animes.

    As for picking up arigatou from anime, I dunno bout that.. I thought words like arigatou and kanitchiwa (sp?) were common knowledge even amongst us dumb Uhhhhhmericans. Hell, we've got that damnable "Mr Roboto" song that say it over and over and over... and over..
    Fear my low SlashID! (bidding starts at $500)
  • "Most of anime fans are young male adults I don't think there is any young male adult in the world that is not interest in sexy girls, uh...of course there are people who are interest in sexy guys... but, anyway, the majority are interesting in "sexy girls." Second, "many girls" IS another market issue too."

    Truer words were never spoken...or something.

    Much of this interview bears a remarkable resemblance to what you get when you type out random text and run it back and forth through each of babelfish's languages several times.

  • I mean, I know I could buy the boxed sets and get everything, or they might offer them piecemeal, but are there any 'extras' that come only with the boxed set? And how much more expensive is it to get the DVD's one by one?

    Ah well, it's not a near term worry. There's a bunch of stuff I want to get for the next 6 months already, like a lucent-chipset PCI Modem, Square's recent games, a Dreamcast and Soul Calibur, etc. And would you recommend FY over Escaflowne, or vice versa? Thanks.

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  • All your bad english translations are belong to us. -- What you say!!
  • Well, it is a huge series, but there are television series that are longer, less interesting, and much slower. If you're comparing it to other OVA series, well, I can see why you felt it dragged.

    Well, I just watched the ending and can see why you might not have liked it. The whole nature of gel is still left a little vague (liquified soul? chi? something else?) and is supremely disturbing, and they did do something horrible to one of the main characters. But for me, I felt that the whole thing was of 'so good it hurts' quality. You know, like some really good books where horrible things happen to good people?

    Oh, and if you felt things just got too weird at the end, remember: the director once worked as an assistant director on Akira, so he comes by his weirdness naturally. And all in all, it wasn't half as weird as the End of Evangelion, and they got it right on the first time, which is more than can be said for Eva. ;P

    Anyways, I'll probably go buy Lain sometime in the next year, when I have some more money or something. And if you're looking for another good thought-provoking television series, try Revolutionary Girl Utena [duellists.tj]. They've only released the first 13 episodes (of 39) of the series, and are dragging their heels about releasing the rest, (Software Sculptors, a subdivision or something of Central Park Media: they probably want to finish Slayers first) but what other anime has the Student Council of a high school receiving orders from the End of the World? 8)

    One last note: Key was produced in celebration of Pony Canyon's 10th or 15th anniversary or something. That explains why they were willing to even create such a massive OVA series..

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  • Which is more than I would've expected from Eva...:) Oh, and is Rei still the same Rei from the earlier part of the series, or is she a clone? I'm asking because I missed episodes 23-24, or a couple of episodes around there. (I can't remember the episode number. :P)

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  • Overfiend rules! The rest of this shit is for pussies!
  • Being A long time fan of anime and other forms of Japanese media, as well as a resident of Japan, I have to caution you about pulling cultural hints from anime. I grew up as a member of an anime club (anyone ever hear of animania?) and became its vice president. I constantly watched the exodus of members to go on buying runs to Japan to pick up the new and latest stuff, each one coming back unexplainably depressed. I went myself to study and live. I had the same experience as I assume the people in my club did. I found that the Japan that people live in is not reflected in anyway by anime (outside of the crazy drunken old men :p ). Imagine my depression when I set out to find a world I 'knew' so much about only to realize that it didn't exist. After several months trying to grapple with this sense of loss I finally threw off the shackles of my assumptions and had a good time, continuing my education to get a masters in modern Japanese literature and now working an IT job in Yokohama. Through my further education and life experiences I began to realize that anime is actually more an escapist form of media rather than a reflection of Japanese culture. After all when you need to pay $1800 a month for thirty-five years to buy a small apartment in outer Tokyo, you can imagine the kid of social stress put on young and old members of society alike. In an effort to release some of this pent up desperation (I assume) that the script writers and artist project there emotions on the the celluloid. ...
    Anyway the point of this soapbox speech is to express to you the fact that it is DANGEROUS to study Japan through anime (though it's good for language aquisition). Support anime and by all means keep watching and enjoying it, but if you want to learn about Japan, please go see it for yourself.

    Northwest runs special deals every year or so offering round trips to tokyo for about $500 and during regular seasons the Japanese airline ANA is generally cheaper and has much better service (like a lcd display in the back of economy seats with on-demand movies and SNES games! COOL SHIT!)
  • You are right for the most part, but there are lots of little things that pop up. I don't think any real Japanese culture can be gleaned from DBZ or Gundam. That shows some shows are better at that than others.

    To say anime shows us all of their culture is like saying Baywatch or VIP shows all of our culture. There is a LOT more to it. (You _did_ mention excapist media)

    There are a lot of things I don't like about Japanese culture, and there are a lot of things I don't like about American culture, and there are lots I like about both too. It's dangerous to idealize culture because there are lots of complexities and how shall I say it, dark sides.

    And IMO TV anime generally really was made for kids ('cept for Hentai), but it's a little more accepted that college students and such to be fans too. I really enjoy watching it nevertheless.

    All this aside, I suggest for the general reader:

    The Anime Companion, by Gilles Poitras, It covers the "Japan" in "Japanese Animation" in good detail so that the reader can easily recognize the cultural aspects that seep into anime, some of them obvious or confusing, others are very subtle and still of some interest.
  • Now, you see, this is a problem I have with a lot of people when they talk about anime: "I'm still in a state of emotional shock from this last episode, but a very good work, all the same" I'm a bit confused by the fact that you seem to think that having an emotionally jarring ending detracts from the quality. To my mind, most great art tells a message, and the art that affects you most is that art which contains a viewpoint different than yours. Neat endings are a better fit for Disney movies, IMHO. If a work of art can make me keep thinking about it for a year after I first saw it, it is truly something amazing.
  • I want to see more stuff on Slashdot that's GOOD on Cartoon Network. You know, Dragon Ball Z. Maybe Outlaw Star.
  • ain't that the truth
  • Start with all anime. Now...

    (1) Eliminate all anime cintaining martial arts.
    (2) Eliminate all anime featuring giant robots.
    (3) Eliminate all porn anime.

    What's left is the really good stuff that the newspapers and TV and Slashdot trolls don't hype up because it doesn't fit their stereotype of anime.

    What anime do you like that isn't martial arts, giant robots or H-anime?

  • Yeah I think it will be...
  • Dear flamers, Why dont you all focus on the content instead of the subject? if you dont like anime, then just skip the topic. I dont see you sending mail to a newspaper just because they posted an article about a topic you weren't interested in. the most common flame is: is it news for nerds? is it stuff that matters? yes , for me it is news yes , for me it is stuff that matters. am I not a reader of slashdot? I dont read all articles either, but I know some people are interested in the articles I skip, I can understand that, so why can't you? Grow up please.
  • Serial Experiments Lain Key The Metal Idol Record Of Lodoss War (unless the little bit of action in the series actually counts as "containing martial arts") Tenchi Muyo (I picked up Tenchi Forever on a whim, and really liked it. I'm watching Tenchi Forever now) My all time favorite "Debunk the 'Anime has no story' myth" movie is Grave of the Fireflies. I consider this one of the 3 or 5 best FILMS I've ever watched. If anyone can honestly watch this film and, afterwards, say Anime sucks, I'll be suprised.
  • He says he liked "Shooting Star Manager", with the main character Ouji, who played music when he was young, but turned out as a middle-aged salaryman whose biggest problem is finding a seat on public transportation. Apparently it's a sadly profound statement about real life, and now I'm tempted to read it (even if there's no English translation, I'm learning to read Japanese).

    Google's not much help here. Can anybody come up with the correct name of this manga?
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  • I *do* think it would be much better if the anime news has some discernable linkage to technology/computers... for example, the past anime section articles on 'Anime and the Tech Lifestyle' and the interview with the creators of Serial Experiments Lain (a very internet oriented anime) and how they were attempting to portray the dilemmas and possibilities of a Wired society.

    Random stories about Tenchi Muyo, Dragonball, or whatever, without some connection to the major themes of Slashdot just seems to: 1) upset those who just don't like anime at all and see it all as 'noise'; 2) not generate insightful and relevant 'signal' commentary.
  • Key The Metal Idol

    Serial Experiments Lain

    Tenchi Muyo (I picked up Tenchi Forever on a whim, and really liked it. I'm watching Tenchi Forever now)

    Record Of Lodoss War (unless the little bit of action in the series actually counts as "containing martial arts")

    My all time favorite "Debunk the 'Anime has no story' myth" movie is Grave of the Fireflies. I consider this one of the 3 or 5 best FILMS I've ever watched. If anyone can honestly watch this film and, afterwards, say Anime sucks, I'll be suprised.

    Yay for the HTML format being default. -sigh-
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Here we have a main character who [...] is confronted with female sexuality at an early age (like we all do).

    We don't all, pal. Count your blessings...
  • I understand your point, but I think that there is a large amount of lousy stuff imported. I used to work at a comic book shop, which (as most do) quickly devolved into a comic book/anime/RPG/trading card/SF-Fantasy book store. I felt that it was part of my responsibility to know at least a passable amount about all of the things that we sold. So I watched way more Anime than I ever wanted to. I saw a moderate amount of good stuff. I also (first-hand, mind you) saw a lot of really bad stuff. Given -- the voiceover work in those that were dubbed was horrendous, and I'm sure that colored my perspective. At the same time, I grew up watching poorly dubbed Anime. Speed Racer, Robotech, etc. And other poorly voice-acted work. Most of the late 60s Marvel cartoons come to mind. And the old Justice League cartoon. (As an adult, there's little funnier than imagining Ted Baxter out of the blue saying to Mary Richards: ``Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice...''. I giggle thinking about it.)

    Anyway, we quickly became a haven for Anime geeks of all rationales. We were pretty much the only place in town. Before long, an Anime fan club [ncsu.edu] popped up. Or maybe it existed before and became prominent. I don't really know. They started having screenings of every piece of Anime known to mankind. We were inundated by a load of idiots that could speak of nothing but the Anime they saw last night. If one could believe them, it was all the best thing ever. I had seen some of it, and the majority is awful.

    I'm speaking from a film buff's point of view, to some extent. I'm not one, but I aspire to be. While, on occasion, the stories or possibly even dialogue (again, it's hard to tell due to the poor translations and acting) are good to excellent, the filmmaking aspects of it are almost always atrocious. I understand the tropes involved in, for example, speed lines (they existed for many years prior in manga and were adapted with some success to Anime), but just using the same ones over and over again for no reason or benefit is simply bad filmmaking. And so many other things about them are just so bad.

    I'm not saying that I don't like the occasional thing that is simply bad. You'll occasionally find me listening to some really cheesy music, or watching horrible sitcoms. All of us have our perverse streaks. But I don't evangelize those things as being good.

  • The pacing is excellent, the storytelling incredible, and it looks like it won't disappoint with its last episodes, unlike Evangelion.

    I won't comment on Key, since I never watched any. But if you found Eva's ending disappointing, have you seen End of Evangelion? It's basically a 2-hour-long replacement for the much-maligned 2 final episodes.

    I think it's the best part of the series. Asuka's final battle has to be seen to be believed. Heart-wrenching violence and tragedy against a backdrop of soothing classical music. Incredibly powerful emotional effect. It left me in a state of shock. If you're an Eva fan, you're really missing out if you haven't seen the film.

  • Since everyone raves about Lain I bought the first DVD.

    And color me "Huh?" !!

    What am I supposed to like here?? It just seems like obscurity for it's own sake. Some people think that if something is obscure and incomprehensible, it has to be really good and advanced.

    Is this the mindset you need to appreciate Lain?
  • so they get to post whatever the hell they find interesting.

    Menawhile, you know that yo can turn off anime stories and any other category?
  • Actually, if you watch the Powerpuff Girls (which can actually be surprisingly funny sometimes), you'll get just as good a view of "girl power" in America today.

    Personally I love Dexter's Laboratory.

  • What anime do you like that isn't martial arts, giant robots or H-anime?

    • Serial Experiments: Lain
    • Cowboy Bebop
    • Princess Mononoke (or for the whole family, incl. kids, "Kiki's Delivery Service" and "My Neighbor Totoro")
    • Perfect Blue
    • Neon Genesis Evangelion (OK, it's got giant robots, but it's good anyway and the giant robots aren't the point)
    • Ghost in the Shell (not the best anime ever made, but I happen to like it. doesn't deserve to be placed in the same category with DBZ :-P )
  • When I was in high school, I took Japanese instead of the standard french/spanish. I wasn't surprised to find that most of the kids in there were taking it because either they were interested in creating anime or were avid anime viewers.
  • Actually, I left it out because I've never seen it :)
  • Close, "gomen nasai".

    I'm currently watching Nadia and getting the
    word "sugoi!" (wow!/amazing!/incredible!)
    drilled into my head, since it seems that
    somebody says it every five minutes...

    Chris Mattern
  • Escaflowne. Fushigi Yuugi is neat, but the
    characters can be mind-bendingly *dumb*
    (especially Yuuki Miaka) that you want to beat
    your head against a wall. Besides, with
    Escaflowne you only need to buy one season, 26
    episodes.

    Chris Mattern
  • No... You just didn't watch it the right way.

    You need to see all the episodes to even begin to put it all together. Now, watch them all AGAIN. NOW you may understand it. Heh.

    It's THAT type of series.
  • The reason I choose Grave of the Fireflies isn't to show cause and effect. I didn't like it for that, either. Kid, live with the aunt (or whatever, forget her exact role) and get a job. Apologize.

    Anyway, the reason I picked that one is because it's easily understood. Sure, I could make someone sit through all 8 or 9 hours of Evangelion, then show them End. Or I could make them sit through all the layers of Lain, then make them do it again so they can even begin to understand it. Or I can say "Here's a good example of the GOOD stuff, the stuff with a story, and doesn't dedicate 6 episodes to a couple of guys standing around, grunting at eachother with their arms in the air" (see DBZ's Freeza "series", which could have been done in 3 episodes).

    It's a quick teaser to the heavier stuff. That, and I prefer my anime on DVDs, and the entire Eva series isn't available yet. I'd take DivX rips if available, though :)
  • WeiB Kreuz isn't hentai, has no giant robots, and no martial arts, but it does have a flower shop and some regular-non-akira-style motorcycles.

    weiB, like Love Hina, isn't released yet, and from the looks o fthings, it never will be. it's about 4 assassins who run a flower shop. the dialogue is good, and each episode gives some insight into the past of the characters.

    For more info, visit The White Cross [tripod.com] or Endlessly Clear White [icestorm.com].

  • Anything by studio ghibli is good, from Mononoke Hime to Laputa: Castle in the sky, and Porco Rosso. Most of the output of Studio Ghibli arrives in North America as part of the 'child animation' market, because it has very little violence.

    admittedly these are decent shows for kids, but there is a subtle artistry that makes them worth watching for everyone.

  • kanitchiwa (sp?)
    konnichiwa. Literally, "this day"; figuratively, "good afternoon" or "hello."

    I'm surprised nobody mentioned kisama.

  • shujo anime is the exact opposite of the anime stereotype (shonen). Though I'm not a big fan of Sailor Moon, other Shujo / magical girl anime are good, especially Fushigi Yuugi and Nausicaa.

    Here [xaxon.ne.jp] is a good resource for Shujo manga and anime.

  • by Confound ( 214049 )

    I'm not Alleria, but i'd recommend FY, just because everyone else seems to be buying Escaflowne. (I think it's one of the anime-of-the-month right now, along with so-goddamn-many-Gundam and CC sakura.)

    besides, i like the artwork in Escaflowne better, and i'm jealous of miaka for being so close to all those bishounen.

  • another person who isn't completely barmy over Lain! i thought i was alone!

    Lain tries too hard to capture the introspective tones of Evangelion, and squirms toward Matrix-esque super-31337-ness. lain is interesting to watch, if you're dropping acid, but it isn't really deep. the story telling style is cool, just a little overdone.

    yes, i watched all of it. twice.

  • Interesting points about Ryoko's relationship to 'I Dream of Jeanie,'

    J: How about "Ryoko"? Is "Nene" the model of "Ryoko"?

    H: No. Kajishima and I both like a classic America soap opera called "I dream of Jeannie"(1965-1970, copyrights Screen Gems, Inc.) We like Jeannie a lot and wanted to use her in our works back then. (I still like Jeannie now, sort to speak.) She is the original "Ryoko".

    Much love-comedy anime is really IDoJ mixed in with Three's Company. The original IDoJ show was Urusei Yatsura, a decade or so before Tenchi Muyo. Lum and Ryoko both pop in on the male lead without warning, but unlike Lum and Jeannie, Ryoko has street smarts and isn't clueless about life in 20th century Earth.

    Other series of this genre are Ah My Goddess and Mamotte Shugogetten. MS has aspects of all the other series (IDoJ, UY, TM, AMG), with the female lead Shaolin being at least as clueless about the 20th Century as Jeannie. And she has a magical widget that she (and a couple of dozen sidekicks) can live in, though it's much more compact (and not as vulnerable) as Jeannie's bottle. I'm up to manga book #11 in the series so far and hoping to find more.

  • Lain
    --
    $HOME is where the .*rc is
  • Does that mean that Tenchi is JR Ewing?
  • What anime do you like that isn't martial arts, giant robots or H-anime?

    Love Hina. Hasn't been released here yet, though =(.

    Anyways, get the fansubs. Get them now. Make sure you have the entire night to watch it, because you won't want to stop.

    -- Dr. Eldarion --
  • I think that it has to do with wanting to be independent, but really ending up just following a different bellwether. There are so many people out there that voice the fact that they want to be original, and just end up falling into a smaller-than-mainstream crowd, which is no better. In order to co-opt a thought from Evan Dorkin [houseoffun.com], one of my favorite people in my small follow-the-crowd mentality:

    A crowd of long haired people at a Soundgarden concert: ``We are all expressing our individuality!''

    A crowd of short haired people at a Soungarden concert after Chris Cornell cut his hair: ``We are still expressing our individuality!''

    • Kaze no tani no Nausicaa
    • Mononoke Hime
    • Escaflowne (features mecha, but that is not the point)
    • Kare Kano
    • Kiki's Delivery Service
    • Child's Toy
    • Tenchi
    There is pleny of good anime that does not fit into the American stereotype of hentai, giant robots and martial arts, it just seems that these things sell in the US, so that's all we see.


    ----------
  • Serial Experiments Lain

    "The creators of lain have made a progressive cyberpunk anime which is highly informed and operative on multiple layers, both figuratively and literally." Thought Experiments Lain [cjas.org]

    "It's a computer lover's show. If you can appreciate the appeal of a powerful computer, or the feeling of urgency associated with needing a new one, you'll like this show. If you live a good percentage of your life online, this show speaks to you. If you feel amputated every time you visit home because there's no ethernet, the makers of this show understand. Better than any other anime I've seen, lain examines our networked society and discusses the implications of our humanity becoming increasingly "wired". a Review [animegrapevine.com] of Lain.

  • J: and you make that Alien a fish? H: I like fish shape object.

    H:I like fish shap object.

    What a amazing Engrish transration! Hoolay!
  • Because there is an unhealthy preponderance of Anime content on Slashdot. I'll bet that there are as many comic book geeks out there (myself included), but there are never any stories on that subject. It's just another, IMO, poor editorial decision on the part of the editors of this site that their personal pecadillos force certain subjects down our throats. Obviously, I can ignore this if I want to, but shouldn't all news for nerds get included, not just news for Taco, et al.?

    It reminds me of an old Usenet joke. There should only be two newsgroups: alt.stuff.i.like and alt.stuff.i.dont.like.

  • Boy, I don't know, but it sounds a lot like the Kurosawa movie Ikiru [imdb.com] , an excellent (duh!) non-medieval film about a very similar subject. If that sounded interesting to you (as it does to me), you should probably check Ikiru out. Plug over. Sorry to waste your time.
  • and would say that art is *art* when it makes an emotional impact on you. However, with Key, I was refering specifically to the fact that there is a major tragedy in the last episode, one that left me feeling really bummed out. And thinking on the issue carefully, they could have removed said tragedy w/o any 'deus ex machina,' or somesuch, and thus, it's pretty clear that they left it in to give the last episode a greater emotional impact.

    So, here I am, slightly miffed that they didn't have a happier ending, or at least less bittersweet, but still impressed as heck by the work as a whole. "So good it hurts" is how I describe art like this, stuff that has enough tragedy in it to give it bite. Like The Warrior's Apprentice [allscifi.com], a work by multiple Hugo winner, Lois McMaster Bujold. [dendarii.com] Or a lot of stuff by Orson Scott Card. Or other great works of art.

    So, if you want to do yourself a favor, get yourself a copy of Key. It qualifies as great art by your criteria, so I'd think you'd enjoy it... :)

    -----
    IANASRP- I am not a self-referential phrase
    -----

  • I have less of a problem with the content of the ending then the way it was presented. So many hours spent giving out hints, creating wheels within wheels, and then 95% is revealed in drawn out expositionary dialog. It's as if the writers just got tired of the series and wanted to cut to the end.

    A similar, though not as serious critisim is due to Please Save My Earth. The episodes that exist are great, but then it ends abruptly just as it starts to get really good.
  • no, "kacho oji" is the name of Hayashi's anime.
    and I _should_ know considering I live in the
    right place and ocassionally meet him.

    Black Heaven was the name of the band.
  • Thank you for the correction. It was not very smart of me to post it in the first place before I had even read the interview.
  • It basically had a fully translated scanned copy of the last manga, and bits and pieces of other parts of the series. I dunno if it's still around or where it is, but if you've watched the anime, you might want to search around a little for it, or ask about it on one of the shoujo newsgroups. And if you do find it, could you let me know where it is so I can bookmark it? Thanks.

    And oh yeah, there's the whole 'talking head' problem with the last episodes, but Key remains one of my favorites, despite its flaws...:)

    -----
    IANASRP- I am not a self-referential phrase
    -----

  • Hey. This isn't a insult, flame, or personal attack. Please don't read it as such.

    Why are geeks so into cartoons? I'm down with watching Akira as much as the next guy but I still don't understand the correlation. It reminds me of one of those SAT analogy tests.

    Geeks are to toons as

    Kids:Icecream
    Signal11:flames
    KDE:GTK
    Fratboys:football

    Discuss.
  • Okay, obviously I'm not an anime nut. I've got no inherent problem with those who are. But it just seems to me that almost everyone who is falls into one category. Everything drawn on Japanese soil is excellent.

    This is simply untrue. I'll be the first to admit that there is some true quality anime out there. Akira happens to be a first-rate sci-fi action movie. But the idea that simply because something happens to use the same tropes over and over does not necessarily mean that it's good. Face it, amine is simply a sub-sub-medium. Not a genre, even. It's part of animation which is part of motion pictures which is part of visual art. (Okay, maybe I'm stretching it a little, but you get my point.)

    I do happen to be a comic book freak. I truly enjoy the (sub-sub-)medium. I think that it provides many interesting storytelling techniques. However, there is an assload of utter and complete shit out there. And you know what? It's probably the same percentage of crap as in any other medium. Including Anime.

    Honestly, if Slashdot readers want to continue reading about anime stuff, I am hardly the one to tell them that they shouldn't. I just find it hard to believe that there are that many nominally forward-thinking individuals that can continue to be scammed into believing that it's all good. There's nothing that's all good. It almost makes me want to believe that people are fooling themselves into thinking that way because they've invested so much of their lives in it that they can't let go now. Not that that's much better a reason.

    Anyway, I suppose that this is not the correct forum for this, but I keep seeing all the unadulterated gushing coming from this forum, and I felt that I had to put a different spin on it. Or something.

    Rant over. Sorry.

  • http://www.cjas.org/~leng/lain.htm [cjas.org]
    http://www.anipike.com/series5.html [anipike.com]

    And an undetermined amount of words:
    The ultimate geek anime. Give it time and it will blow your mind. You gotta get through the first episodes to be enlightened.
    --
    $HOME is where the .*rc is

  • Who better than the production company to wrangle in interviews with the creators and designers for shows. What more they provide a bunch of them in English! Very nifty IMHO.
  • Discuss. Well can't ignore something as authoritative as that!
    Geeks are more comfortable with having childish interests. This due to exclusion by the people who made up the word geek when they were little kids. And also, other geeks saw this stuff in Japan and it spread well. It's good entertainment. I know lots of people who aren't geeks or nerds who love the stuff when they see it, they just haven't seen it yet.

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