Tag Archives: Animation

Time waits for no one

If you happened to gain a special power which allowed you to go back in time, what would be the first thing in your mind? Would you go back to the past so as to prevent some terrible mistakes that you have made from happening? I surely would and so would many other people, I believe. But someone somewhere would be likely to suffer as a result of this fortunate ability.

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Filed under Entertainment, Film, Japan

Highly recommended

On Tuesday, I receieved a bound-to-be very exciting novel called “Paprika“,  by a Japanese novelist, Yasutaka Tsutsui. The book was published just this month and this latest is the third of his books, after Salmonella Men on Planet Porno and Hell, that appear in English. You can read about him and his work on Wikipedia via the link.  Apparently, some have already ranked him alongside my dear Murakami. Others have even said that  he is more fun than my Japanese idol. From what I saw in an animated version of the book, I am inclined to agree with them.

I have been watching Paprika for a second time, especially to write about it on my blog. The story goes like this:

“The DC Mini, which is a scientific device that allows psychiatrists, scientists (or anybody who knows how to use it) to open the door to people’s dreams has been stolen. The aim of creating this revolutionary machine was to use it to treat mental and psychiatric illnesses by looking inside patients’ dreams. Whoever stole the DC Mini, which is not yet complete and has no access control program, can connect to a psychotherapy machine at any time and from any place and use it to intrude into the minds connected to it. And that was what happened.

The chef who works at the Foundation for Psychiatric Research where the device was developed was the first victim and had the dream of a severely delusional patient planted into his brain. While the chef was suffering from the patient’s fantasy, his brain waves and body deteriorated, almost to the point of death. Then Paprika, a fearless detective and therapist who represents Dr. Chiba, the head of the DC Mini development team, had to enter into the chef’s dream with the help of the device, in order to return him to consciousness. Things started getting worse when another of her colleagues behind the invention of this device was trapped into a collective, huge delusional dream. So, not only does she have to save him from his unconscious nightmare, she also needs to get the device back as soon as possible before it falls into the wrong hands such as “dream terrorists”.”

In short, in order to understand this gripping story, I strongly recommend obtaining the book and the DVD. Enjoy!

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Filed under Book, Film, Japan

When an animation can move you so much

Grave of the Fireflies is a 1988 Japanese animation. The story is about a boy and his younger sister who were both left orphaned as a result of an air raid which killed many Japanese, including their mother who died from burn wounds, near the end of World War II. The story is told in the style of a flashback on the last day of the boy’s life. He and his younger sister had had to go to live with their aunt as there was no one that the two of them could turn to. But later on their presence irritated her, resulting in them being treated badly. In the end, when they could not stand her any more, the little brother and sister decided to leave and squat in an abandoned bomb shelter. What happened after this is a very harrowing story.

This is one of the saddest animations I have ever seen and does not have a happy ending, although it is a well related tale of the impact of the war on those innocent victims who sufferred from this terrible event. I was deeply moved by this poignant cartoon.

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Filed under Film, Japan