Tokyo Godfathers [東京ゴッドファーザーズ] (2003)
Starring Aya Okamoto, Toru Emori, Yoshiaki Umegaki, Kouichi Yamadera, Kyouko Terase, Mamiko Noto, Seizo Katou, Yuusaku Yara, Satomi Koorogi
Directed by Satoshi Kon
This is the most normal anime Satoshi Kon made. There’s nothing in it at all that’s confusing or mind-bending. Absurdly improbable, sure, but not flat-out bizarre. The film’s world functions in a more or less realistic way. This did leave me a bit bored with it early on. I love the more psychedelic aspects of his other films, so I was disappointed to see a relatively down-to-earth narrative here. But as the film went on, and the characters grow more depth, I too grew more attached to them.
The concept is simple enough. Three homeless people find an abandoned baby in a trash pile on Christmas Eve. Then they spend the next week until New Year’s Eve searching for the child’s parents. As a holiday film, it has its share of Christmas miracles, but it’s not just some sappy happily-ever-after fairy tale. The main characters are all homeless, and there is always a palpable sense of bleak despair hiding behind even the most cheerful scenes of the film. Kon walks a razor’s edge here as he makes a film that is both uplifting and depressing at the same time.
Continue reading Stephen reviews: Tokyo Godfathers (2003) →
Silent Möbius: The Movie 2 [サイレントメビウス2] (1992)
Starring Naoko Matsui, Maya Okamoto, Chieko Honda, Hiromi Tsuru, Toshiko Fujita, Gara Takashima
Directed by Yasunori Ide
Oh boy, here we go again. I really didn’t want to dive back into Silent Möbius, but I figured that I would need to tackle the sequel before my memories of the first film faded into complete obscurity. I figured correctly, because even more than most sequels, Silent Möbius 2 absolutely requires knowledge of the first film to make any sense. It also turns out that the sequel was a vast improvement (not that that’s saying much), which I did not expect at all, and it tackles exactly the biggest problem I had with the story of the first film, which was that they had skipped over why Katsumi joins the police after discovering her powers.
The sequel begins immediately after the events of the first film, and it just assumes that you saw all that and don’t need any kind of refresher. This works out rather weird since the first film had a frame setup and after the main story it switched from Katsumi hating the police to four years later when she is a member of the police force. This film starts after the events of the flashback but still well before Katsumi became an officer. In fact, I wonder why they even bothered making the two films separate. They are so short and so integral to each other that they really would have been better had they just been edited into a single film.
Continue reading Stephen reviews: Silent Möbius: The Movie 2 (1992) →
I heard these podcast things are big on the Internet, so I bought a headset and I’m ready to pod! And now, like the cat above, I’m just sitting here by the mic waiting for a call… that’s how it works, right?
I’ve honestly been on the fence for a while about this. I’m not the most conversational person to those that I’m not familiar with, so I always imagined podcasting would be a scary thing that would haunt my dreams. My basic thought process that stopped me was, “I have a hard enough time dealing with people in person, so why not talk to them over the Internet! That makes perfect sense!” But y’know, sometimes you just have to “feel the fear and do it anyway” (to quote the title of a book I’ve never read).
So if you’ve got a podcast and you’re looking for a guest, I’m available! My mic is smokin’, my ears are bristlin’, my voice is crackin’, and that re-cord button is a-itchin’! Hit me up! I’ll just be waiting with this headset on in the meantime!