Miyazaki’s Quiet Protest of the Iraq War

I found this article on Cartoon Brew. I have always enjoyed Miyazaki’s social commentaries in his movies,  but his way of protesting the Iraq War was quite interesting. Also ,I knew Howl’s Moving Castle had that anti-war commentary attached to it, but I never thought it was a direct commentary of the Iraq War. I may need to re-watch it and do a retro-review…

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Hayao Miyazaki

by: Amid

Hayao Miyazaki didn’t come to the United States in 2003 to accept his Oscar forSpirited Away because of his opposition to the Iraq War, he recently told the LA Times:

“The reason I wasn’t here for the Academy Award was because I didn’t want to visit a country that was bombing Iraq. At the time, my producer shut me up and did not allow me to say that, but I don’t see him around today. By the way, my producer also shared in that feeling.”

Critic Daniel Thomas MacInnes offers some context to Miyazaki’s actions onThe Ghibli Blog:

It should be common knowledge to any serious Miyazaki scholar that he abhorred not only the Iraq War, but war itself. The idea of violence is depicted in his work as violent tragedy, slapstick mockery, or both…I don’t think very many Westerners know that the war in Howl’s Moving Castle was itself a reflection on the Iraq War. It was a comment on that war, viewed through the lens of Miyazaki’s long career.

Top 5 Cartoon Wedding Moments…

For those of you not in school with me, this is a rare glimpse of the blogger behind Art of the Cartoon.

So every week for Animation Mentor (The school I’m attending) I make an intro video to the week. I try to be entertaining, it is more of a way to get my face out there and to put some fun into other students’ workspaces. Anyway, this last video I did I talked about my Top 5 Cartoon Wedding moments. Enjoy!

If this gets a good response, I may post up more of my intro videos in the future…

90’s X-Men Animated Series: Japanese Intro…

I am huge fan of the 1990’s X-Men animated series. It is still the best cartoon X-Men out there (It’s out on DVD now!) I think the intro was classic:

However, after seeing the Japanese intro for the 90’s X-Men…

I kinda wish the 90’s X-Men looked like this. They even made another intro!

Can we get a special edition 90’s X-Men series set DVD and/ or Blu-Ray with selectable intros… PLEASE!

Review: Black Cat (anime)

Black Cat (anime)/dir. Shin Itagaki/ 24 episodes/ 2005 – 2006

I bought the Black Cat anime series on a whim earlier  in the year, about the same time I purchased the Beck anime series. I first watched Black Cat, a series I enjoyed, but then before I could ever write about it, I started watching Beck. And well, this happened.

Beck was one of the best anime series I have ever watched and the unfortunate side effect was that Black Cat was left as an afterthought. So for me, Black Cat has the unfortunate distinction of forever being paired with Beck.

So after a couple of months, I’m finally getting around to reviewing Black Cat, an entertaining series with nice visuals, an interesting set-up, and memorable characters, but the story sputters out towards the end.

(hit the jump for the rest of the review) Continue reading

Voltron: The SLR Camera! (1985)

I have a slew of reviews that should be upcoming (busy with school and work), so to break the monotony, I thought I would quickly post this:

In 1985, this came out…

voltroncam

It is a fully functional, transforming Voltron SLR –wannabe 110 film camera. Let me repeat in ALL CAPS and bold for emphasis. FULLY FUNCTIONAL AND TRANSFORMING VOLTRON SLR!

How come I didn’t know about this? And how do I get one now? I’m willing to switch from digital to 110 film (Do they even make 110 film anymore?)

Anyway. DO WANT!

From Gizmodo

SakuraCon 2009

sakuracon_20091

It was the first time I ever hit up SakuraCon. I meant to do it years ago when I was really into anime, but never got the opportunity. Glad I went this year, as the atmosphere itself is exhilarating and once again I find inspiration to keep on doing what I’m doing. 

I mean look at all this:

cosplay1cosply21

Now times that by 1000. I would say about 60% of the attendees were dressed up  in some way. That’s some dedication.

Oh one note: There is a fine line between between “cute”  and “um no, that shit does not look right on you.” I have to hand it to these cosplayers though, they have that “I don’t give a fuck I’m wearing this” mentality. I think SakuraCon is their safe haven. 

I was at SakuraCon Friday only! If you’re in the Seattle area, it goes on through Sunday. If you do go, can I suggest just chillin in one of the many anime theatres. I watched a lil bit of Giant Robo and Hajime no Ippo, that was great. Or maybe you could visit the classic console games room and play some NES, Sega, or even Atari 2600 games! Lastly I suggest you hit up the Artist’s Alley, one of the more inspiring moments was just watching those artists sketch away, which makes me think I need to get a table for SakuraCon next year. 

Who’s down for next year, SakuraCon 2010?

Set the VCR: Let’s burn the house down, there’s no turning back

Tomorrow, or today, err soon ,(April 5 in Japan) a brand new Fullmetal Alchemist series will be launching in Japan. From what I read, it will NOT be a continuation of the series, but a re-boot of the series in order to be more faithful to the manga.

Will it be as successful as the first anime series? We’ll see, but first I wanted to go over one of the many Set the VCR moments from the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime series. 

Fullmetal Alchemist (anime) “Mother” 2003

full-metal-alchemist1

Many of us can think of an event, an occurrence, a decision, or maybe a series of these in our past that drastically changed our lives. A change so dramatic, that we can safely think: “after that, there was no turning back.”  Do you remember any those times? Do you remember the feeling you had when you realized that everything had changed?  Were you confident and sure of your new paradigm? Or were you hesitant, worried, and a bit scared of what would happen next? Remember those feelings and emotions now?

Expressing these feelings and emotions through art is a daunting task for any form of art or media. Get it wrong and your audience will lose interest with the quickness. Get it right, and the skies the limit. 

This is where this next Set the VCR moment comes in: (Hit the jump) Continue reading

Review: BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad (anime)

BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad/ dir. Osamu Kobayashi/ 2004-2005 (26 episodes)

beckseattle1I started the Art of the Cartoon blog this past January. When it first debuted, my marquee header was a little different, and my good friend and running partner, Angel, thought the anime character on my marquee was Koyuki, the main character from BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad (It was actually Naota from FLCL, but anyway).

After one of our runs, she played the opening song from the series on her car stereo and went off on what a good series BECK was. She mentioned it was about starting a rock band and how they got through struggles. This caught my attention and I was intrigued by what kind of series about a rock band would impress her.

A month later I saw BECK the complete series on sale at Fry’s Electronics. I was tempted, but I did not pick it up (money’s tight y’know). Over the next couple of weeks, I kept going back to Fry’s and staring at that set (there was only one left) wondering if I should pick it up before it was too late. It wasn’t until after my birthday, and a break from school that I finally decided to pick up BECK, and see what the fuss my homegirl was talking about.

So how was it?

Flawed. Actually, there were a LOT of flaws. HOWEVER, when a cartoon series is so powerful that it makes me do this:

sigh

You know that something went immensely right. In fact, watching BECK reinforced the reasons why I decided to get into the field of animation in the first place. Hit the jump for the rest of the review…
Continue reading