Here’s a simple piece of advice for when the enthusiasm for one of your hobbies or interests starts to wane: seek out something that represents why you were a fan in the first place. The time I could spend grumbling about how everything’s moeshit, or watching stuff just because other people are watching it, could instead be spent watching something different and enjoyable. Which is what I did.
I’ve not been following much anime at all lately. I’ve watched a few films and TV shows, I’ve recorded some music and I’ve been busy with real life things. As for the last season or two of animu broadcasts, I’ve seen precious little. To break the cycle I idly turned to my backlog. First up, chosen more or less at random, was Nadia: Secret of Blue Water.
I honestly don’t know what’s come over me in the past few weeks. I haven’t had time or inspiration to post anything (I still upload a pic or short missive on Tumblr fairly regularly…‘regularly’ being a relative term) but what I’m most annoyed at myself for is not having the motivation to reply to comments. Rest assured that I’ve read each and every one of them and I appreciate the fact that at least my readers have the time and effort to write something, even when I haven’t.
Last weekend was a lot of fun though, and kicked me out of my little funk for a while. Ironically I watched more anime during the course of Sunday afternoon that I had during the past month…with the exception of finishing my childhood fave The Mysterious Cities of Gold. LIFF always has a lot of interesting things on offer but the anime line-up this year was impressive: I didn’t get time to see Gintama and One Piece isn’t my thing but I was able to make it to Mardock Scramble: The First Compression, Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0 and Redline.
Considering the challenges in the ‘feature-length retelling of the TV show’ concept, I sometimes wonder why the studios bother. They need a keen eye for what to retain and what to leave out in order to condense the storyline effectively, it has to entertain the viewers on its own merits so we can momentarily forget the old version but at the same time it has to remain true to what made the original good enough to be worth retelling.
RahXephon for example suffered greatly from the condensed plotline issue and Eureka Seven lost a lot of the spirit of the TV show, so both were disappointing to me. The Evangelion rebuild in particular is an undertaking I personally wouldn’t enjoy being responsible for since it’ll piss off a significant proportion of the fanbase regardless of what the production team do. Over the past decade and a half it’s bred so many conflicting opinions that whatever approach is taken, it’ll hit somebody’s sore spot square-on.
At last: a live-action anime adaptation that doesn’t suck! I picked up Cutie Honey purely for the lulz and on the grounds of being a Hideaki Anno completist, but wasn’t surprised at the hour and a half of over-the-top campness. What was surprising was how entertaining it all was; I haven’t seen any of the old adaptations or the original manga but thanks to those mind-boggling trailers that were going around I only had a vague idea of what to expect.
I find the Anno-isms to be a bit wearing in live-action format for some reason but given the old Gainax manifesto in terms of comedy, it’s a fitting choice of director in a roundabout kind of way. The packaging lists the director as he always is (i.e. as a ‘legend’ and the maker of Evangelion) but ominously Eriko Sato is introduced proudly as ‘Japan’s top swimsuit model’ and it raises no defence whatsoever against any accusations of being superficial, mindless fluff. It’s reputed to be one of MVM’s biggest sellers over here, too. No kidding.