Archive for anime

Why You Must Watch “Kino’s Journey” (even if you hate anime)

Posted in animation, anime, reviews/opinions, television with tags , , , , on August 30, 2009 by reccaphoenix

After a long state of disillusionment with most anime, I found a real gem in Kino’s Journey (キノの旅) And trust me, because being a film nerd, I’m very picky about my films and TV series.

Many people dislike anime because they find it “poorly/cheaply animated” and “too difficult for non-fans to understand,” or they don’t like the exaggerated facial expressions and stylistic devices found in many popular series.  Many also complain of overly lengthy stories with too much “filler” material, lack of depth, and how many series are similar to one another.  “Film people” especially tend to dismiss anything not directed by Hayao Miyazaki without a second thought.

Luckily,  Kino is here to provide a breath of fresh air for all the jaded film people (and non-film people) out there.  Here’s my breakdown.

Why you should watch Kino’s Journey:

  • Episode count and structure: Kino’s Journey is only 13 episodes and the structure is episodic.  No complex character histories and stories to keep track of, no filler, no extended battle sequences.
  • It’s really deep: This series makes you think.  And not in an over-the-top preachy way, either.  It’s almost a type of existential wandering story.
  • Simple but awesome: No over-the-top battles and magical powers here, folks.  The premise is almost neorealist in its simplicity: the two main characters, Kino and Kino’s motorrad (motorcycle) Hermes, travel around the world, stopping in each place for only 3 days.  That’s it.  But don’t let that simplicity fool you because as I said before, this series is full of psychological depth.
  • Good animation and design for a TV series: Don’t expect the animation quality of something theatrical like Ponyo, but you’ll be surprised by the quality here.  It’s simple like most anime, but I feel that the simplicity works for the story, which is “simple” in itself.  The style is also really neat – Kino travels through a fictional, almost steampunk kind of world, so the designs of clothing, machinery, etc. are all very “retro.”  Check this out:
Kino and Hermes

Kino and Hermes

girlfromkino

nice background...

….see what I mean?

  • Really good sound design: animation sound can be tricky because everything has to be created.  And oftentimes anime sound is just “there.”  However, in Kino, especially in episode 12, I noticed some very creative and effective sonic transitions and distortion.  By the way, the music for this series is quite good.  It’s got a sort of ambient-world feel to it.
  • No weird Japanese-culture things: You don’t have to know anything about Japan or anime to watch this series.  Anyone can watch it.  Except young children, because it can be a bit scary at times.

Watch this show!  Try it out!  It’s only 3 discs (13 episodes) and will only take about 5 hours to watch all the way through.  Recca highly recommends it!

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Coloring Books!

Posted in anime, artwork, comix, disney, fun stuff to do, merchandise, nostalgia, television, video games with tags , , , , , , , on June 15, 2008 by reccaphoenix

I stopped coloring in coloring books for fun around the age of 9. The only coloring I ever did after that was on my own drawings, or with kids I was babysitting. But, after reading a hilarious post at X-Entertainment devoted to “Sh*tty He-Man Coloring Books,” I wanted to color something. Something nostalgic. From my past.

And lo and behold, I found an awesome site with all sorts of COLORING BOOK scans from cartoons, video games, and anime of the past. I did a nice picture of Super Sailor Moon (which, on second thought, has WAY too many complexities to be colored by a kid….) but that was unfortunately lost. So, lacking anything to color with at the moment, I will present to you my Corel-Paint-Crayon-Tool-colored masterpiece, “Bauhaus Mondrian Pony” (click for full size):

Happy coloring! And feel free to link to your own colored page (only 1 please) in your comment!

AKIRA + Clockwork Orange a.k.a. OHHHHHHHH!

Posted in animation, anime, cinema, clockwork orange, manga, reviews/opinions with tags , , , , , , on November 4, 2007 by reccaphoenix

reccaspriteOHHHHHHHH!

The other day I saw a website point out this similarity and then it occurred to me – AKIRA (the manga/comic is waaaay better than the film btw) is basically A Clockwork Orange in cyberpunk Japan, at which point I said something like “OHHHHHHHHH!”  Rival gangs in which the members dress alike, who take drugs w/drinks, a kid who gets taken in and re-programmed by the government.  That’s where the similarities end, as Continue reading

Simpsons + Futurama + Captain Harlock!!!!!

Posted in animation, anime, cinema, comix, manga, shameless parody, television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2007 by reccaphoenix

So I was perusing a digital copy of Part 2 of the 2nd official Simpsons-Futurama crossover comic [wish I could find part one, anyone wanna send it to me? 😉 ] when….ANIME REFERENCE!!!!

no f—in way!

and not just any anime reference, CAPTAIN HARLOCK, my favorite space pirate, from the under-appreciated space-opera-awesome universe of Leiji Matsumoto!  This was the biggest “omg that’s hilarious!” moment since Excel Saga spoofed Galaxy Express 999.