Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988) “Destruction as the Cause of Becoming”

I found Akira, a landmark animated film which introduced the Japanese animated films to the Western audience, to be an eclectic mess. During the first and even the second watching of the film it seemed that way. Later, as I managed to put the pieces together (and some parts of the film are fragments of… Continue reading Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988) “Destruction as the Cause of Becoming”

Perfect Blue (Satoshi Kon, 1997) “I Am Who I Am!”

Satoshi Kon is arguably, alongside Hayao Miyazaki, the most important Japanese director of animated films. Perfect Blue is his first film and this directorial debut can be compared to David Lynch’s Eraserhead due to sheer boldness and far-reaching artistic vision. The film begins with a show staged for children featuring a Japanese version of Power… Continue reading Perfect Blue (Satoshi Kon, 1997) “I Am Who I Am!”

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Hayao Miyazaki, 1984) “Purity of Earth”

From the very first scene of Nausicaä we can see that we are in a place of magical beauty. The trees, a windmill and the surroundings are coated in what looks like a spider-web or frozen snow; the flakes are falling around a man riding strange creatures, wearing a mask, looking bird-like. The man breaks… Continue reading Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Hayao Miyazaki, 1984) “Purity of Earth”

Princess Mononoke (Hayao Miyazaki, 1997) “Fight for the Cursed World”

In 1995 Hayao Miyazaki took a group of artists and animators to the ancient forests of Yakushima, which inspired the landscapes in the film. At the beginning, the narrator says: “In ancient times, the land lay covered in forests, where from ages long past, dwelt the spirits of the gods. Back then, man and beast… Continue reading Princess Mononoke (Hayao Miyazaki, 1997) “Fight for the Cursed World”