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Porco Rosso

Porco Rosso and Fio Porco Rosso is another film directed by the outstanding Hayao Miyazaki.  This film is about a half human and half pig names Porco.  Porco was human at one time, when fighting in the Italian Air force during World War I.  Porco went by the name Marco Rossolini while human.  He was one of Italy’s finest pilots during the war.  He was greatly affected by the wars trauma and turned into a pig.  Porco has a very Lasse faire attitude about once being human.  He often cracks jokes about not having to pay taxes because he is a pig and not a human.  Porco has many women in awe of him.  For some reason women flock to him. 

 

 

For example, Gina, who runs a sea pirates/pilots hotel and restaurant has shown the most love interest in Porco.  She has known Porco since he was a human or called Marco.  Gina is a very attractive young lady.  She has many pirates and air pilots interested in her.  The pirates are irritated that she has taken a liking to Porco.  They are also jealous because Porco is the town hero as their local bounty hunter.  He always catches the pirates in action when they are attempting to rob from others.  Porco is seen flying to the rescue in his red-fighter plane at almost all times.  That is until hot-shot, American pilot Curtis comes into the picture.  Curtis is mesmerized by Gina’s beauty and longs to be with her.  He claims he will be famous in Hollywood someday.  Curtis decides to take Porco on in hopes of winning over Gina.  During the airplane fight off, Porco’s plane is damaged extensively.  He is forced to make an emergency landing.  He takes his plane to the Piccolo Company to get fixed.  There he is shocked to learn that his friend will not be fixing it but his friends granddaughter, Fio, will be.  Fio is very excited to start renovating and repairing the plane.  She does so perfectly.  She decides to ride off with Porco, when the plane is finished, as his “hostage”  from the Italian Air Force.  Fio makes Porco think about his past.  She asks him many questions.  She even gets him in trouble a bit with the pirates.  When she makes a deal that she will marry Curtis if Porco does not defeat Curtis in an airplane fight.  Even though Fio subjects herself to marriage, she is saving Porco’s life from the pirates killing him.  Porco and Curtis are up in the air for a great deal of the film trying to take each other down.  Both of the pilots have jammed ammunition that will not shoot.  It is decided that they will land and finish the fight man-to-man.  The film

shows Curtis and Porco beating each other past recognition.  A bit much for the young-eyed viewers.  Porco is about ready to give up when Gina flies in.  Porco’s energy is renewed by her presence.  Porco end’s up defeating Curtis. Porco is about to send young Fio back to Italy with Gina when she leaps on Porco and kisses him.  Porco magically turns back into his human form as Marco Rossolini.

This movie has a decent story line.  It, however, does not fit most of Miyazaki’s enviromnental lessons to his young anime viewers.  The film shows some pretty water seens and light fluffy clouds as the backdrop.  This makes the movie rather artistic.  I was surprised by the amount of fighting in this film.  The film had long drawn out seens of airplane fighting and human fighting.  I began to lose interest and focus during these times.  I could see a male audience being more captivated by this film than a female audience.  I watched this movie with my five younger brothers and they quite enjoyed it.  I may have dozed a few times during it but made a conscious effort to reconnect and watch the film a second time!  The films story line was average.  I liked that Fio was able to take over the Piccolo Company.  I assumed  that Gina and Porco got together after he turned back to human.  The movie was decent and somewhat captivating.  I would disregard the PG rating though with the large amount of fighting.  As a parent, I would recommend Ponyo or Princess Mononoke for a better children’s choice for a film.

By: Lindsey Pifher                     

A Deeper Look Into Laputa

Producer Miyazaki seems to like to put ideas into the minds of his viewers which do not seem to make sense at first.  Change is every present in this world and Miyazaki is pushing for change in the right direction.  Just when society thinks of a situation one way, Miyazaki makes us think in such an abstract way that it can easily change our opinion on the matter.  People’s opinions can not only change but it can make people want to do something for the better of the world.
In the movie “Laputa: Castle in the Sky” Miyazaki apparently wants to correlate a cooperative relationship between nature and technology.  It seems like an oxymoron to have natural technology but that is exactly what the source of Laputa’s power is.  It is a stone that no human has produced artificially and it is the greatest source of power the world has ever known.  It seems to instill in the viewer’s mind a beautiful relationship of technology how it can actually help preserve nature.  People might think of technology as the reason for why there is so much pollution or why nature has problems.  This is simply not true and Miyazaki illustrates this in his film: “Laputa: Castle In The Sky” by showing how technology helps and protects nature.  (Lioi, 2)  He uses a robot to illustrate the potential that humans have when war is not in our minds.  That potential is to live in harmony with the living.  (Lioi, 9)  With this revelation, it is clear that humans are the threat to life but can also do a world of good.
The thought of what life could be like if everything was perfect is an inspiring thought.  Miyazaki uses the beauty of the landscapes in some of his scenes to depict how the mind can imagine what “perfection” would be like.  It begs questions such as: “is this kind of utopia out of reach?” and “what might we do to get closer to this perfection?” (Lioi, 14)  With this movie, I believe that Miyazaki wants us to believe that though absolute perfection is out of reach, we can still try to reach it.
The thought provoking genius of Miyazaki is astounding because it can make the viewer think differently about an issue entirely.  It not only made me change my mind, it also made me want to better myself toward perfection.  Miyazaki has successfully proven that technology is not an opponent of nature.  Sometimes society makes it seem that way because of how technology is abused.  He reminds us that human nature is something we must control in order to live a better life.

This is where the article came from.

Lioi, Anthony.                                                                                                                           “The City Ascends: Laputa: Castle in the Sky as Critical Ecotopia.”    ImageText. 2010. Web. 27 Mar. 2011.                                               <http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/archives/v5_2/lioi/&gt;.

 

Matt Ellis

Spirited Away

**spoiler alert**

Cover of the DVD

Ten-year-old Chihiro Ogino is moving with her parents to a new town when they become lost and find what appears to be an abandoned amusement park.  Chihiro’s father decides to explore it while a reluctant Chihiro and her mother accompany him.  They soon discover a stall with food, and Chihiro’s parents sample the food, but find themselves unable to stop eating.  Chihiro soon realizes that she is in a magical world when she sees her parents literally turn into pigs.

Running to get help, Chihiro finds a boy, Haku, who smuggles her into a large bathhouse and tells her to find a job so she can stay there until he can help her recover her parents and escape.  Haku also hints that he knew Chihiro when she was little.  Haku instructs Chihiro to see Kamaji at the boiler room to ask for work.  Kamaji, a six-armed, grumpy, but kind-hearted fellow, says he has no work for Chihiro and entrusts her to Lin to take her to Yubaba.  Yubaba, the cranky, elderly witch who runs the bathhouse, agrees to let Chihiro work for her, but takes all of Chihiro’s name except the first character of her first name, which Yubaba calls “Sen.”  Sen later learns that Yubaba controls her servants by taking their names.

While working, she sees a masked spirit, named “No Face,” outside of the bathhouse.  She leaves the door open and he enters the bathhouse.  Sen’s first customer is a heavily polluted river spirit that all of the other workers avoid.  When Sen successfully cleans the spirit, it rewards her with a dumpling-like object.  Afterward, Sen discovers that Haku is actually a dragon, and when he is attacked in this form by shikigami in the form of paper birds, leaving him seriously wounded, she feels him the dumpling.  Haku coughs up a gold seal and an odd black slug, which Sen squishes.  When Haku remains unresponsive, Kamaji tells Sen to visit Zeniba, Yubaba’s identical twin sister, who owns the seal, so the curse of the seal can be lifted.  Kamaji gives Sen train tickets for her to be able to travel to Zeniba’s swamp.  She is accompanied by Boh, Yubaba’s giant baby son, whom Zeniba had turned into a mouse.

During this time, No Face swallows a spirit in order to use his voice and makes fake gold nuggets to order food and other items from

Yubaba and Chihiro

the staff.  No Face becomes larger as he eats, and swallows several spirits after Sen declines his offer of gold.  Later, Sen lures him out of the bath house by feeding him the remainder of the dumpling, which causes him to vomit until his stomach is empty and he is back to his normal self.  No Face accompanies Sen and Boh/mouse to Zeniba’s house on the train.

Sen visits Zeniba, who she finds is very friendly and pleasant, in sharp contrast to Yubaba.  Zeniba says that Sen had broken the seal’s spell by her love and caring and that the slug that Sen killed was a curse that Yubaba had placed on Haku to make him her slave.  Haku, now fully recovered, comes to pick up Sen.  No Face remains with Zeniba.  On the way back, Haku says that if they return Boh, Yubaba’s son, to Yubaba, she will free Sen and her parents.  Sen returns the favor by helping Haku remember his full name by reminiscing as a child when she fell into her hometown’s river and was saved by the current (Haku in his river dragon form).  The river’s name was the Kohaku River, and Haku’s real name was Kohaku.  At the remembrance of his name, Haku is completely freed of Yubaba’s spell.

Haku in Dragon form

At the bathhouse, Sen returns Boh to Yubaba, but the witch has one final test: Sen has to identify which of a group of pigs are her parents.  Sen looks closely, then says that there must be a mistake; her parents aren’t there.  This breaks the spell on the pigs and forces Yubaba to give Sen the rest of her name back and let her go.  Now “Chihiro” again, Haku leads her to the entrance of the spirit world, saying that her parents are on the other side but warns her not to look back (he did not explicitly state a reason for this), though they promise to see each other again.  Chihiro meets her parents, and they continue on to their new home.

*wikipedia.org

Brent Allison is a graduate of the University of Georgia.  He completed a dissertation about the impact of Anime fandom in the United States on the informal education of Japanese culture.  He is also a contributer to the book The Japanification of Children’s Popular Culture: From Godzilla to Miyazaki edited by Mark I. West.  Within this book, Allison writes a chapter centralized on interviews that he conducts with a total of twelve anime fans of ages 13-18 at different fan conventions across the United States.

Allison discusses several different aspects of anime with these teenagers including the social interaction that results, their emotions that result, preferences within anime, and other entertainment factors.  However, he also asks them if and what they learn about Japanese culture from viewing anime.  Some of the responses he receives are as follows:

“You can learn that women are sometimes on a lower status in Japan.  ‘Women need to be quiet,’ and ‘Men need to be a little louder,’ but especially back in the 1990s, it was still considered, you know, the woman being the silent type..”

“They [Japanese women] need to be more demure and more, I dunno, how should I say this?  They have to be quiet.  And I guess that’s why I like the stronger women in anime because most of them, females in Japanese anime, are told to, like, cook and clean and basically be the perfect housewives.”

“Well the whole tea ceremony things are in a lot of animes… [We] once went to this Japanese arts school kind of thing.  We went through a whole tea ceremony and, like, origami and calligraphy.  I mean I walked through stuff like that and everything.”

While it is evident, that these statements are given by teenagers, it is also evident that there is some learning taking place about Japanese culture while kids are watching these movies and/or shows.  They are picking up on gender roles in Japanese society and comparing it to our own society.  They are also taking the initiative to learn about some of the practices they are viewing by going out and experiencing it for themselves.

Allison also posed the question of whether the viewers preferred “Subs” or “Dubs.”  “Subs” being the original Japanese version of anime films which contain English subtitles for the American viewer and “Dubs” being the version of the film in which the original voices have been dubbed over by English-speaking actors for the American audience.  The response he recieved substantially surprised me.  The majority of the viewers said that they preferred “Subs.”  Some of their responses were as follows:

“I hate dubs because they just, they ruin it.  Like, for example, in ‘Tenchi,’ I love the character Aeka in Japanese, but then, like, when they dubbed her in English, they gave her this old lady voice.  And, I mean, I’m sure their actress is a good actress.  I mean, I understand that they don’t really wanna look at the Japanese because they won’t get their own feel for the character.  But I just hated the character Aeka in the dub, but I loved her in the sub, so I was kinda torn.”

“Um, subs are better just because dubbed just kinda sounds bad, you know?… They’re just not into it.  They’re all like… ‘Even though I’m from Japan, I have a Southern accent.’  Please, god it sucks!”

“The voices don’t fit the characters or they get the timing wrong, or there’s something not quite right about seeing your favorite characters speak English, so I prefer subtitles, but I’m also not opposed to dubbed.”

According to these statements, the majority of kids actually prefer reading while they watch TV.  This is probably one of the most beneficial things that could come out of a television series.  In order for kids to keep up with reading the subtitles and watching their favorite shows, they have to learn to read quickly, which whether they realize it or not is giving them a valuable skill in their education as well as for use later in life.

This may not be the case for all adolescents who are avid fans of anime, but if some are learning about other cultures and picking up practical educational skills in the process of something they enjoy, then I’d say that anime is successful as well as beneficial.  This is a good and fun avenue for kids to be exposed to other regions of the world.

[A list of Allison’s credentials can be found at http://www.animefandom.org/cv.html]

[Also to read more from this book, check your local library or visit http://www.amazon.com/Japanification-Childrens-Popular-Culture-Godzilla/dp/0810851210 to purchase it]

-Beth-

Ponyo

Movie poster

**SPOILER ALERT**

Gake no ue no Ponyo is a 2008 movie written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, with the English version featuring voices of such famous stars as Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Liam Neeson, Cloris Leachman, and Betty White.

“The plot centers on a fish-girl who lives in an aquarium in her father’s underwater castle with numerous smaller sisters.  When her father takes her and her siblings on an outing in his four-flippered submarine, Ponyo is driven by a desire to see even more of the world and floats away on the back of a jellyfish.  She ends up stranded on the shore of a small fishing town and is rescued by a boy named Sosuke, who cuts his finger in the process.  She licks his wound when he picks her up, and the wound heals almost instantly.  After taking a great liking to her, Sosuke names her Ponyo and promises to protect her forever.  Meanwhile, her father, Fujimoto, is looking for his daughter.  Upset that she ran away, he believes the humans have now kidnapped her, and he calls his wave spirits to return Ponyo to him.  After the wave spirits take Ponyo away, Sosuke is heartbroken and goes home with his mother, Lisa, who tries to cheer him up to no avail.

Ponyo and her father have a confrontation, during which Ponyo refuses to let her father call her by her birthname, “Brunhilde.”  She declares her name to be Ponyo and voices her desire to become human, because she has started to fall in love with Sosuke.  Suddenly she starts to grow legs and turn into a human, a consequence of the human blood she swallowed when she licked Sosuke’s finger.  Her father turns her back with difficulty and goes to summon Ponyo’s mother.  Meanwhile, Ponyo, with the help of her sisters, breaks away from her father and releases his magic to make herself human.  The huge amount of magic released into the ocean causes an imbalance in the world, resulting in a huge tsunami.  Riding on the waves of the storm, Ponyo goes back to visit Sosuke.  Lisa, Sosuke, and Ponyo wait out the storm at Sosuke’s house, and the next morning Lisa leaves to check up on the residents of the nursing home where she works.

Ponyo and her sisters

Granmamare, Ponyo’s mother, arrives at Fujimoto’s submarine.  On her way there, Sosuke’s father has seen and recognized her as the Goddess of Mercy.  Fujimoto notices the moon has come out of its orbit and satellites are falling like shooting stars.  Granmamare declares that if Sosuke can pass a test, Ponyo can live as a human and the world order will be restored.  If he fails, Ponyo will turn into sea foam.  Sosuke and Ponyo wake up to find that most of the land around the house has been covered by the ocean.  Lisa has not come home yet, so with the help of Ponyo’s magiv, they make Sosuke’s toy boat life-size and set out to find Lisa.

While traveling, they see prehistoric fish swimming beneath them.  After landing and finding Lisa’s empty car, Ponyo and Sosuke go through a tunnel.  There Ponyo loses her human form and reverts into a fish.  Sosuke and Ponyo are taken by Fujimoto into the ocean and down to the protected nursing home where they are reunited with Lisa and meet Granmamare, both of whom have just had a long private conversation.  Granmamare asks Sosuke if he can love Ponyo whether she is a fish or human.  Sosuke replies that he “loves all the Ponyos.”  Granmamare then allows Ponyo to become human once Sosuke kisses her on the surface.  The film ends with Ponyo jumping up and kissing Sosuke, transforming into a little girl in mid-air.”

This movie is based partially on the original version of The Little Mermaid, but with a happier ending.

Ponyo and Sosuke

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponyo

Laputa: Castle in The Sky

When I watched the movie “Laputa: Castle In The Sky” I thought the story went a little slow at first.  However, even the slowest parts of the movie could be enjoyed because of the inspiring background in nearly every scene.  After having read the post “The Father of Anime-Hayao Miyazaki” and how Miyazaki was a master of painting, I can see why he made sure everything in this movie was so stunning.  The movie also picked up speed so after about an hour so it was both breathe-taking and exciting for the last hour of the film.  The visuals of the film also helped me as the viewer forget about the tension in the story of the film.  This relief of tension where the viewer could relax on an alternate focus from the story seemed to be a reoccurring theme of the film.
The main focus of the movie is all about a castle which is hidden in the clouds.  The main character is a little girl who is a princess to this forgotten castle and has attained a special crystal heirloom from her grandmother.  This crystal is the key to many secrets of the castle in the sky and many people want its powers for their own desires.  The main villain is a prince to the castle and wants to control the crystal and the castle for power.  Throughout the movie, the crystal falls into different hands and the main character Sheeta and her friend Pazu help each other keep the crystal from being misused.
The movie had a unique focus on how important children could be in a plot.  This feature made it most appealing to children because they can identify with the characters in the film.  This ties in with the post about Miyazaki, I also read how he focuses on the happiness of children.  This stands out to me now that I think about the film now because Sheeta and Pozu seem to be a happy-go-lucky couple as long as they have each other.  Everything must turn out well with their future in this films simply because they are children.  Of course in almost any child’s film in Western culture there is a perfectly happy ending.  Even in the middle of this film when there are still trials to overcome, the children almost seem blissfully unaware of the task at hand at certain times in this film though.  This gives the film a lighthearted feel and relief of the plot many times.
This movie emphasizes the moments in which we need to enjoy life no matter what we may be going through.  Just looking up in the sky once a while and thanking God for the day on the way to a stressful class can be a relief that many of us need.  The movie is littered with ways in which the viewer can take a break from stress and if we remembered to take breaks in life, maybe we could eliminate some of our own stress.

 

 

Matt Ellis

 Kiki’s Delivery Service

When starting out the movie Kiki isn’t sure about herself, she won’t do anything without the help of her parents; she is definitely dependent upon them for all parts of her life. Even when she is headed off on to her journey, tradition says that witches are supposed to leave home at the age of 13 to find themselves and progress their powers, she last-minute decides to use her mom’s instead of the broom she made herself. Kiki’s leaving is her first step of becoming an independent. She is attempting to be self-sufficient.

Almost immediately after leaving Kiki realizes that she doesn’t have a skill to offer the town and that her flying skills aren’t up to par. She wobbles through the sky, with her radio blaring proving how much of a child she still is. Once into the town she immediately gets into trouble by almost causing a wreck, however Tombo (a boy who is overly interested in flying) distracts that cop thus allowing her to get off the hook. Luck starts to change for Kiki when she meets Osono a baker who gives her a place to live and helps her come up with the idea to start her own delivery service.

Suddenly the 13-year-old becomes more focused on working then making friends and being a kid. Kiki doesn’t realize this until she looses her witch powers, like being able to fly. Coincidentally the next day Kiki’s friend Ursula comes by for a visit and realizes the trouble that Kiki is currently facing. So Ursula decides that the best thing to do is for Kiki to come to her cottage in the woods. From this trip Kiki realizes the importance of being a kid, having fun, and believing in what she is doing.

Once back into the city Kiki finds out that her friend Tombo helium balloon launch went wrong and he is now flying through the city holding on to only a rope. Kiki heads to the city to try to help the rescue efforts and quickly realizes the only way she will be of any help is if she is able to fly. Her attempts to fly eventually lead to success and she is able to save Tombo thus proving that Ursula was right. She needed to believe.

            This film is constantly showing children the importance of having fun and actually being a kid. Children aren’t supposed to be worried about working until they are older, friendships are more important. Osono repeatedly tried to show this to Kiki but she wasn’t willing to listen since she craved independence. At the end of the movie Kiki learned that it was okay to depend on people while being independent. She also learned that friendship will withstand anything as Tombo showed her time after time.

            This is a great movie to watch with children of all ages. Even though younger children won’t understand the themes they will enjoy the bright colors, fun scenery, and interactions between the characters. Also it is a film without any violence, which is extremely hard to come by! This is a perfect film for preteens, at this age children don’t want to listen to their elders, but Kiki’s trials and tribulations show that elders do actually know what they are talking about. 

                        Kiki’s Delivery Service is both in Japanese and English. The Japanese version won numerous awards and was the highest grossing film in Japan in 1989.

 Posted By: Emily Beiting

 

 

 

My Neighbor Totoro

is a 1993 film about two children who find this imaginary world where they discover these loveable and amazing creatures they called Totoros. No adults can see these Totoro creatures, only the children.

  This film has developed many themes in which anyone can connect to while watching. One theme would be imagination. These children are able to go “into another world” and explore and learn about these mystical creatures. Kids, more than adults, use their imagination to go on adventures and learn through exploring others “worlds” in their minds. This film does a great job at showing children it is okay to use your imagination and have fun! I think as adults, people forget how to use their imagination or just decide not to use it at all. Children need to explore and go into a different state of mind that they have created, to learn and experience life in a different matter.

Another theme presented throughout this film is how important family is to this family. The mother, in the entire movie, is placed in the hospital and the director never presented a reason why. The father and two daughters decided to move into a house closer to the hospital, and their mother. Being that the mother was not able to be around, a neighbor friend tends to help around the house and take care of the girls to help the father out when he is a work. I believe that because of the situation of the mother, the family is growing together more. The two sisters get along very well, except for an incident at the end, which is not what we usually see in families today. This movie can help show siblings how to create a close bond with each other for the sake of being family. Not only children, but also the whole family can learn from this movie how to form a close relationship, before a tragic situation happens.

 This movie can teach children how to use their imagination and other families a lot about the relationships we form as a family. I would recommend taking the time to watch this movie with your children, not just for entertainment, but also to learn from it as a whole. Here is a website for you parents to read more about how imagination can help your children. http://www.nagc.org/index.aspx?id=1154.

(Posted by: Megan Fisher)

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

is a 1984 film about a princess, Nausicaa, who must save her people in the Valley of the Wind from the toxins and enormous insects of the Toxic Jungle, which is rapidly spreading and killing off the human race.

While entertaining, this film is also meaningful as well as educational.  It is available in its original Japanese version with English subtitles which can promote reading as entertainment as well as a full length version dubbed over into the English language by a variety of Hollywood names.  The major theme within this film is that the dangers of pollution and destruction created by humans will ultimately destroy them if they do not change their ways.

The time period in which this film was released reflects a time period when Japan was struggling environmentally.  The nation had undergone a change from an agricultural society to an industrial society and in the process a great amount of Japan’s natural beauty was destroyed.  More specifically, in 1984, the year in which this film was released, Japanese citizens were proven through government surveys to be less concerned about environmental problems than the majority of European nations who resembled them and their scenarios.

This theme is displayed throughout the film through the use of the visual trope (an image repeated throughout the film) of the colors red and blue.  Red appears whenever Miyazaki wants to connotate anger, war, danger, or destruction, whereas blue appears in moments of tranquility, peace, and purification throughout the film.  Some uses of the color red include the eyes of angry insects, destructive fire, and blood.  Some uses of the color blue include the eyes of insects when they are at peace, unpolluted underground caverns, and the clothing of both the noble Nausicaa and the legend of a man in blue who will save the Earth.

Through the uses of color, Miyazaki is blatantly making the statement that there is inherently far too much red in the world that is overtaking the blue.  If an end is not put to it, then mankind is destined to destroy itself.  Through an animated PG film Miyazaki is successful in communicating that we need to be conscious of our actions in the real world.  While the destruction of the Earth is a huge statement that teenage and pre-teen viewers are in no way capable of tackling, it presents them with the possibility of the issue.  They can make a start of dealing with this issue by making an effort to recycle, not littering, and being respectful to the environment.  If they take it to heart, these young viewers can grow up making a difference that could potentially effect their futures.  After watching this film, you can talk to your child about these issues.  Click on the link below to see what other kids have been doing as well as some things your child can do. http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/action/way04.html

(Posted by: Beth Costello)

Anime has a long history, starting at the beginning of the 20th century when Japanese filmmakers were experimenting with Western animation techniques.  Very few films created during this time have survived to be around now.  However, some cartoon strips and individual scenes have managed to make it.  Animators in this time period used things like the chalkboard technique and paper animation.  Apparently most of these films were silent, which makes sense.  Two surviving films from 1917 and 1918 (An Obtuse Sword and Urashima Taro, respectively) were found in an antique market in 2007.  Pre-World War I animators in Japan had a hard time of it.  They couldn’t compete with foreign producers, such as Disney.  They started making “talkies” in 1933.  The first full-length animated film was made in 1945.

By the 1970s, anime developed further, moving continuously away from Western culture and creating sub-genres like Super Robot.  The Japanese film market had shrunk due to competition from television.  Anime production companies were going bankrupt.  Because they needed to try something new, many young animators were promoted to directors.  They started experimenting a lot more, leading to successful television productions, such as Tomorrow’s Joe. This is when our director, Hayao Miyazaki, became particularly famous.  He and his partner started up a series of literary based anime (World Masterpiece Theater).  A genre known as Mecha was also started at this point in time, realistic science fiction, unlike the Super Robot genre.

Anime was accepted into mainstream Japanese culture during the 1980s, the “Golden Age of Anime.”  People started producing it a lot more and budgets went up.  Sports anime made its debut in 1983.  Miyazaki’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind was made in 1984 and became the most influential anime movie of all time.  In 1988, Akira set records for being the most expensive anime movie ever produced.  (The same creators produced Steamboy later in 2004, which then took over.)

The 1990s and 2000s are when the rest of the world really took notice of anime, with the production of TV shows like Dragon Ball Z (dubbed into more than a dozen languages worldwide), Sailor Moon, and Pokémon.  Miyazaki’s Spirited Away took first prize at the 2002 Berlin Film Festival and won the 2003 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.  TV Tokyo clamped down with censorship on violence and sexuality in anime.  Instead of mainstream Hollywood movies having influence over anime, things were now the other way around, with movies like Megazone 23 having strong influence over The Matrix.

A more sleazy side of anime has come into focus lately, with the development of a porn and rape genre known as hentai.  Just like any other form of “entertainment,” there are those who would take and pervert the cool things.

America has been really influenced by anime this last decade with the development of TV shows, such as Transformers and GI Joe: Sigma 6.  Anime has become somewhat of a cash cow.

Posted by: Amy