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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:58 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:48 pm
Quot wrote:
If anyone makes it to this year's Fantasia Festival in Montreal be sure and check out the latest from Yuasa Masaaki (the director of Mind Game).

Night Is Short, Walk on Girl – Anime about a college student following his dream girl through a surreal all-night used book store. July 30 & 31.


Thanks for the recommendation; this looks like a lot of fun. I'm not able to make it to Fantasia this year, but I'll keep an eye out for it as it starts to filter out by other means.


PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:55 pm 
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This is looking interesting: Genocidal Organ, apparently a sci-fi war film based around the premise of some nefarious figure able to inspire outbreaks of warlike tendencies amongst populations purely through the recitation of certain combinations of words. It is based on the work of Project Itoh, who died back in 2009 aged only 34 and who has had all of his novels posthumously filmed now by different anime studios - the previous two being Harmony and the steampunk alternate history take on a Frankenstein story The Empire of Corpses.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:45 am 
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Sorry about yet another post on the 2008-9 Golgo 13 series, but I’ve now finished the second half of it. If the first 25 episodes were equal parts showing just how much of a “world class super sniper!” Golgo 13 is, and then how he’s almost an angel of death figure, the final 25 episodes start to play around with the material in really interesting ways, that all interrelate with each other:

World issues
There are a lot of amusing allusions to ‘real world’ issues getting thrown into the whole series. They’re broad (especially the one in which “Robert Crump”, the megalomaniac, wager-prone owner of lots of New York real estate, including “Crump Tower”, has to be assassinated Lincoln-style whilst watching the rehearsal of a play! But there’s that fantastic final shot of that episode where “Crump Tower” still forlornly dominates the city skyline, its owner now gone), but they often help to sketch in the parameters of the situation as quickly as possible before the episode moves on to just how the assassination will be carried out (always keep a boiling hot pot of fondue to hand to dispose your hand assembled gun into!). There are allusions to drugs in cycling, and a rather bizarre episode that reolves around Hollywood studio executives trying to assassinate the upstart stars of Asian action films to protect their own market! (Which was perhaps a more relevant fear around the mid 90s to mid -2000s, but I digress!)

Women issues
Golgo 13 isn’t really healthy for women to become infatuated with! I’ve already mentioned in the previous post the great episode "Catherine the Cold-Blooded" with the “Real IRA”-styled internecine fighting between two women (one of whom was once Golgo 13’s lover and had a child by him, who died). That’s still the best of the ‘relationship’ episodes, especially as it’s the early sign that even with a past relationship Golgo 13 doesn’t really let that sway him – he’s only turned up again to assassinate the other woman in the conflict and the best way to do that is to tag along with his old flame. Her life, or death, is unimportant. But it does provide the answer of how to reach the target.

In the second half of the series there are many more lovelorn women scattered throughout the episodes. Some of the female characters couldn't be called particularly 'progressive', though some of the more iffy moments have at least a bit of nuance to them, especially in a couple of episodes where women attempt to use their bodies as bargaining tools (particularly in the ‘assassination of the prize-winning racehorse’ episode, where it’s the only thing that the daughter desperate to save her horse can offer as payment. But it awkwardly doesn’t work its magic and she just has to get dressed again!), but with Golgo 13 himself being such a blank the plight of the female characters are always more prominent, if tragic and doomed!

There’s an episode with the woman who accidentally killed someone and then just keeps running into Golgo 13 (in a bar, sharing a car to the airport and next to each other on the plane, which ends up crash landing). She’s mired in guilt, finds Golgo 13 has a moment of happiness and then follows him to witness his assassination and accepts being killed for having done so, with Golgo 13 leaving her dying on the ground. That also makes an interesting pairing with the ‘amnesia episode’ that I’ll talk about later.

Late in the series another lady with a child by Golgo 13 turns up – a prostitute who just ‘wanted a child’ and it was just chance that Golgo 13 was the father (although repeating this theme does make me wonder if he's ever heard of condoms!). Unfortunately she’s the current flame of a doppelganger assassin in that particular episode, and once the connection is discovered she and her child are used as hostages. But unfortunately that would only work if Golgo 13 cared about what happened to them! (That’s one of the closest episodes to entirely damning Golgo 13, if he wasn’t damned enough already, especially when he runs off without a word as soon as he finds out about the child! Though I guess he is being tailed at the time by a gangster too! Maybe its another element of the ‘body issues’ causing the most trouble that keeps coming up during the latter half of the series that I’ll talk about more later on).

And then there are the women who don’t have that intimate a relationship with Golgo 13 himself but have their men killed by him. Such as the girl roped into stealing an armoured car and fleeing with her criminal lover (he doesn’t make it), or the girl running an inn in the middle of the desert whose sympathetic but naïve brother returns from a heist with the money to make their lives a success (he doesn’t make it either, leaving sister and their blind mother to mourn him). There are a couple more that I’ll mention at the end.

So all the relationships are rather tragic and even if Golgo 13 isn’t directly involved in them just being in his orbit enough to appear in the show has already doomed one or both members of a couple!

(It probably goes without saying that this isn't exactly a feminist show, though really anyone who comes into Golgo 13's orbit isn't going to have a good time! Whilst a couple of episodes throw in some gratuitous nudity and sex scenes that are more or less necessary (the sex scene in the amnesia and Real IRA episodes are the only times that really works plot-wise), bizarrely the most explicit sexual content turns up in the opening and end credits sequences! Which means that it gets repeated dozens of times!)

The backgrounding and foregrounding of the ‘assassination of the week’

One thing this second half of the series does in a couple of episodes is to start marginalising the actual assassination itself. Sometimes it is completed at the start of the episode before the main credits! (As it is in the episode where Golgo 13 is escaping from his recent successful mission before a stray bullet hits his aircraft and forces him to crash land on an island in its own final stages of a Most Dangerous Game/Battle Royale/Predators-style fight between criminals from across the world against a new prototype battle armour suit! Will Golgo 13 succeed in bringing down the latest in weapon technology where fifty international terrorists failed? Of course he will, but not before the American general in charge of the operation makes a statement about the need for American imperialism! Before he gets shot in the head!).

At other times Golgo 13 is waylaid by other issues for the longest period and it looks as if the assassination may not occur at all (the amnesia episode being the main one. But also the final episode of the whole series in which Golgo 13 gets in a car crash immediately after accepting a contract and has to get a doctor to perform surgery on his right arm to get him back in working order), but eventually Golgo 13 cuts through all of those convolutions and emotional complications, often with a single bullet to the head!

I talked about it in the Hannibal thread too, but this is another series that takes the often problematic and futile feeling issue with television that everything has to go back to the status quo at the end of an episode and finds a way of making that work. It is as if Golgo 13 is constantly resetting everything to a zero sum state. Nothing is carried forward except the blank character himself (and the gunsmith, though he appears so infrequently and is relatively minor in the bigger scheme of things. Only as important to Golgo 13 in providing the means to complete his various assignments, and perhaps on the same level of utility as the ubiquitous airplanes Golgo 13 uses to jet around the world), and the series fully embraces this with every episode being standalone from any other. I was worried in the previous post that there would be an attempt to do a bigger story or attempt to wrap the series up, but nothing of the sort gets attempted and the series ends in the perfect way, with catching yet another taxi to the airport!

Money issues
The second half of the series plays around with money in interesting ways. In the first half of the series it gets made clear that Golgo 13’s price for every contract is $3 million in a Swiss bank account. At around the halfway point there are a string of episodes where at first it seems as if Golgo 13 is being ‘altruistic’ by accepting a job for less than his usual fee, such as the ‘Real IRA’ one or the episode "Murderous Crosspoints" where he is ‘cruised’ in a gym by a male admirer who wants to contract him out for a few hundred thousand dollars. In those episodes it becomes apparent after a while that Golgo 13’s actually been contracted out legitimately by other parties, and playing along with those who think that they’ve bought his services at cut price is the easiest way to carry out his goal. In that episode its all about delivering the ambitiously arrogant upstart to the boss he wanted to assassinate and having him, not killed, but reduced into having to be a slave to his boss. At least until the even more menial employee that the arrogant guy upset blows everyone up in retribution! (echoes within echoes down the hierarchy) And that’s something that briefly jars Golgo 13 too, seeing someone acting impulsively and emotionally to kill someone else, not for a practical purpose but just to dance in glee over revenge for some slight. At least until Golgo 13 shoots them!

There’s the race horse assassination episode "Law of the Pedigree" where the person trying to protect their horse (against the wishes of her father trying to kill it!) offers a fraction of the money, and her body, to call the contract off. But it doesn’t work, and neither does her attempt to use her own hunting skills to try and snipe Golgo 13 first during the race. Instead horse and rider end up dying within moments of each other.

Then there’s the episode in which Golgo 13 gets aggressively headhunted by someone who wants to force him to work as his personal bodyguard, which would also prevent Golgo 13 from accepting a contract to kill him instead! They do this by trying to buy him out and when that fails simply freezing all of Golgo 13’s assets, though leaving him just enough to complete his last ‘freelance’ contract. Which gives just enough opportunity to take up the contract from the opposition instead!

As with the issues over romance and children, characters are trying to use money to leverage Golgo 13 into doing their bidding. But they still don’t seem to realise that these things have no particular sentimental hold over him, so the potential loss of attachments, relationship-wise or monetary, don’t have the same impact on the character. And can even work to bring about a greater (or at least sooner!) tragedy than would have naturally occurred!

Body issues
This is the most interesting part of the second half of the series, as while it has been shown over and over that Golgo 13 cannot really be touched or harmed by external threats, what happens when the threat comes from within. When the machine of the body kept at its physical peak breaks down or is injured.

There’s the threat of physical deterioration, as in the amazing episode "One in 36,000 Seconds" entirely involving Golgo 13 having to stay motionless for multiple hours in order to await the perfect conjunction of two opening doors and the appearance of a target at the window of his jail cell. He takes illegal muscle relaxants (from a shifty cycling coach!) to lie there almost motionless and the entire episode is told from that position, fingers involuntarily twitching and it seeming that he will be unable to fire his gun. Until the alternative method of shooting gets revealed! (The shooting itself is an amazing moment of light and space that takes the episode into the territory of something like the conjunction of planet, spaceship and monolith at the beginning of the stargate sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Or the creation of the eye at the opening of Under The Skin. It is so spectacular that I can overlook that it seems unlikely that a jail would have a revolving metal door that spins on one central fulcrum point!)

But can he come back from that point? The coda of that episode involves Golgo 13 in a weakened state having to take on the cycling coach when he inevitably gets betrayed. That gets shown in an great sequence of Golgo 13 standing up and reaching for his gun in spasmodic, stuttering movements, as if he’s done irreparable damage to himself to carry out this job. He hasn’t and is physically fine next episode, but its quite a daring thing to push the body to such an extent (this episode pairs up well with the final one, in which Golgo 13 loses the use of his right arm in a car accident).

Then there is the potential mental fracture, shown through the classic ‘amnesia’ episode in which Golgo 13 gets caught in an explosion and forgets who he is. He is tended to by a (yet another) lonely woman who finds him fascinating and they try to solve the mystery of his identity Mulholland Drive-style. Golgo 13 doesn’t know who he is, but talks of his ‘body talking to him’ and urging him on, suggesting the sense that perhaps there doesn’t need to be a consciousness (let alone a moral one) behind the eyes any more when the physical body knows exactly what it needs to do in every situation.

Together they fight off threats. The woman can more than ably defend herself against goons, though the telling difference between them, and a sign of Golgo 13’s memory returning, is that while she can fight she cannot take having killed a man for the first time in her life, whilst he can. Then they escape to a cave and make love, which is the single time in the series in which Golgo 13 does anything more than just lie there impassively like a block of wood whilst the lady moans in orgasmic delight on top of him. In this case during the love scene he returns her kiss and closes his hand in hers. But its also the inevitable end of the relationship as Golgo 13’s memory returns and it turns out that he’s just been following the series of clues to his assassination target by following the trail of his preparations (the car, the gun, the cave perfectly overlooking the military ceremony). He carries out the job and while the woman says that she is fine to be killed for having witnessed him carry out his assassination (as had the woman in the episode earlier in the series), Golgo 13 is spared having to kill her by one of the soldiers gunning for him shooting her instead.

Unacknowledged issues
Won’t Golgo 13 run out of targets at some point? What if he ends up ravaging the criminal/political/business world of all of its low lifes? (Tinpot dictators and generals; shifty political figures with skeletons in their closets; mafia clans of various districts (apparently including L.A.!); local crime bosses; petty criminals, etc. Professional and amateur alike all meeting their end if someone has paid to take them out). Who will be left with petty feuds and $3 million burning a hole in their pockets to hire him?

Everyone seems to know who he is and how to contact him. Golgo 13 has been targeted a couple of times in various episodes but there never seems to have been a co-ordinated attempt to eliminate him by all of these forces banding together, which would seem to be the only way to even slightly have a chance against him!

Twelve recommended episodes
I really enjoyed all of the run of episodes from 20-45 or so (the last five tail off a little and start repeating themes covered more successfully earlier on, though the final episode of the series is great), but I thought that I'd add a list of the episodes that I particularly enjoyed:

"One In 36,000 Seconds"(Episode 45). The prison assassination with the revolving door and the wait for everything to come into alignment, whatever the toll it takes on the body.

"Air on a G-string" (Episode 7), which involves a violinist who had a string of his instrument break on him during a performance leaving him humiliated and with performance anxiety issues. He then gets replaced by his 'great Russian rival' to perform at a charity concert and hires Golgo 13 shoot out the string of his rival's violin and cause him similar humiliation. Amusingly Golgo 13 carries out this task perfectly but the rival just collects himself and continues on as best he can, rather than running off! So Golgo 13 fulfils his task but the man who hired him doesn't get the result he wanted! It's an early sign in the series of trying to throw in something other than just assassinations, whilst still retaining that moral tale aspect, and makes a good companion piece to the French wine connoisseur episode later on! (Episode 33)

"Fearless" (Episode 27), whose title might be an ironic allusion to the Peter Weir film. That involves a people who have miraculously escaped near death experiences (plane crashes, etc) and having been so traumatised by their survival into not knowing any fear, getting kidnapped by a cult as perfect candidates for brain washing and usage as assassins, with their next target being Golgo 13 himself. That makes a good companion to the earlier cult episode "The Saint That Reeks of Death" (Episode 16), that also involves Golgo 13 decimating an entire sect and its fanatical leader.

"Catherine the Cold-Blooded" - The “Real IRA” episode (Episode 26)

The episode "Love Moans on an Arctic Night" (Episode 28) about a woman who accidentally killed someone and then just keeps running into Golgo 13 (in a bar, sharing a car to the airport and next to each other on the plane, which ends up crash landing). She’s mired in guilt, finds Golgo 13, has a moment of happiness and then follows him to witness his assassination and accepts being killed for having done so, with Golgo 13 leaving her dying on the ground. / The amnesia episode "The Lost Assignment" (Episode 43), with another unfortunate meeting between a woman and our 'hero'.

"Melancholy Summer" (Episode 20) - the episode involving a lady left as a pariah on a Greek island waiting for her husband to return to her, unaware that he was just using her to escape the country. Or was he?

The final episode of the series, "The “Skill” of Angels and Devils" (Episode 50) (which in its opening car accident feels like it is alluding to the opening crash sequence of that Body Parts film!)

The wintery Canadian set episode "On Large Mouth Lake" (Episode 42) which has one of the best assassination set ups, with the killing of two moose with one bullet at the opening being the set up for the final killings (and the great set up and pay off of the red coat!)

"A Great Day For Ash" (Episode 39): the most amusing and ingenious way of reaching an assassination target! (And a satire of terrible avant-garde artists, and their landlords, that's up there with A Bucket of Blood!)

There's also the inevitable YouTube video tallying up all of the kills, which illustrates just how many head shots there are! Oh and by the way, avoid the English dubbed track of this one, which goes ridiculously over the top with its voice acting!

Last edited by colinr0380 on Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:55 am, edited 5 times in total.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:55 pm 
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Here's an interesting video running through NHK's recent list of top 100 anime titles. Its an interesting list, though I'm really showing my age in that a lot of the 2005-2015 titles mentioned have passed me by, and I'm more nostalgic for titles like Wings of Honneamise, Cyber City OEDO 808, Tokyo Babylon, Gunbuster and Devil Man!

Some of the older titles brushed past in the video are worth noting:
98: Macross: Do You Remember Love? (1984)
94: Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer (1984). Directed by Mamoru Oshii, later director of the Ghost In The Shell features, and based on the long running manga series by Rumiko Takahashi (who is also notable for the Maison Ikkoku and Ranma ½ series)
90: Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (1990)
86: Armored Trooper Votoms (1983)
79: Urusei Yatsura (1981)
75: Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato (aka Arrivederci Yamato) (1978)
65: The first season of the long running Yu Yu Hakusho series (1992)
60: The first season of Sailor Moon (1992)
59: Castle In The Sky (1986)
54: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
44: Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)
39: Future Boy Conan (1978) a very early Hayao Miyazaki TV series
38: Hoshi no Ko Poron (1974)
29: The original Space Battleship Yamato series (1974)
24: Case Closed (aka Detective Conan) (1996)
17: The original Mobile Suit Gundam series (1979)
13: Legend of the Galactic Heroes (1988) - up there vying with Macross and Gundam for title of 'best space opera' series!

Its interesting that all the Hayao Miyazaki titles mentioned in the list are very early in his career. Spirited Away turns up as an also-ran on the list below of just female contributors, but other than that there is nothing from the mid 80s on.

Interestingly the main site has the 'overall list' (the one discussed in the video and the ranking above), and then there is a separate 'male' and 'female' voters list! In the male list Mobile Suit Gundam and Neon Genesis Evangelion break into the top ten, Macross: Do You Remember Love is at 48 and there are appearances from:

46: Space Runaway Ideon: Be Invoked (1982)
49: Gan to Gon (1974) - another series from the creators of the Hoshi no Ko Poron show that appeared on the overall list
55: Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (1985)
65: The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1982)
66: Galaxy Express 999 (1979)
67: Chargeman Ken! (1974)
74: Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (1988)
78: Patlabor: The Movie (1989) (Yay!)
82: Space Runaway Ideon (1982) - the TV series
86: Planetes (2003)
88: Gunbuster (1988) (so it turned up somewhere at least!)
95: Lupin The Third (1971) - the original TV series
97. Mobile Fight G Gundam (1994)
99: Patlabor 2: The Movie (1993)
100. Toradora! (2008)

So lots and lots of giant mech animes and space battles on the male contributor list, whilst the female contributor list has the following of interest:

31: Reborn! (2006)
42: Hetalia: Axis Powers - The Beautiful World (2013)
54: Inuyasha (2000) - another Rumiko Takahashi adaptation
60: The Twelve Kingdoms (2002)
77: Heidi, Girl of the Alps (1974)
85: Spirited Away (2001)
88: Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac (1986)
90: Coil - A Circuit of Children (2007) - which looks really interesting
92: Nintama Rantarō (1992)
94: Durarara!! (2010)

It looks as if the female contributors list is generally weighted towards more recent titles (though even the original Mobile Suit Gundam series turns up at 65! And Future Boy Conan, Space Battleship Yamato and Urusei Yatsura feature fairly prominently on both) and perhaps surprisingly features more sports-related titles such as Inazuma Eleven and Ace of Diamond (both about baseball, at 98 and 99). Perhaps its seeing handsome young guys playing with each other that provides the draw! Or at least might explain why the all male swim team series Free! is at number 17 on the list!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:54 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:47 pm
From a formal standpoint, I think The Professional: Golgo 13 is still the most purely entertaining adaptation out of all the films, OVAs and TV series to come out of the Golgo 13 franchise, but it also strays from the spirit of the manga more in that the manga has a very meat and potatoes formulaic feel. In this sense, the 08-09 TV series is probably the most faithful to the manga, even down to the fairly pedestrian animation and art (the manga occasionally has interesting visual flourishes, but for the most part it is as unflashy a manga series as you'd find on the newsstands).

colinr0380 wrote:
67: Chargeman Ken! (1974)

Heh. Who says the Japanese lack irony? As noted on the wiki page, Chargeman Ken! was resurrected a number of years ago on Japanese social media as an example of an unintentionally hilarious "bad" old anime. Western anime fans caught wind of this and Chargeman Ken! has become something of a meme show for Western anime fans in recent years as well. Clearly its inclusion on ANY "top" list stems mostly from its reputation in recent years on social media.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:57 am 
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I still have the recent Blu-ray edition of The Professional: Golgo 13 in my to watch pile, so hopefully I'll get to it soon. The thing that struck me about the 2008-9 series was the way that it didn't really seem to click for me until at least fifteen episodes in, and there's something about seeing fifty iterations on the same kind of material that became quite powerful, perhaps putting the viewer into the mindset of a professional killer continually moving from one set of characters and location from week to week, everyone else getting wiped away with the end credits! Even those two or three repeated music cues during the episodes emphasised that interchangeable nature of things (After 25 iterations of each I think that I can karaoke-sing along with both of the opening credits sequences now! And I love the constant jazzy musical sting that opens each 'coming up on the next episode' trailer!), and its perhaps that cumulative nature building throughout all of the episodes of the series that provides the unique perspective there. It doesn't iterate much on the basic template, but that seems to be key to the whole point of the show too.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:49 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:08 pm
Very disappointed to see a lack of love for Your Name on here. I saw it for the third time last week, on this occasion in IMAX. It's one of my favourite films of the last few years, admittedly partly for personal reasons, but I still find it a stunning achievement. It's a genre film, being firmly rooted in Young Adult/Teen convention, and should be read as such, rather than purely as 'anime', and the Ghibli comparisons don't really work for me.

Maybe it's because I'm in my late 20s, but I love the film's central premise that as you get older, the autumnal romance of teenage years fades like a dream does after you open your eyes. The way the film relates this to place and environment, and city/rural dynamics, may not be original but is both intellectually convincing and emotive.

I think the accessibility of the film is a bonus, and comparisons to Titanic are cruel. The film may 'take you on a ride' on a surface level, but the wider implications of the dream scenario and the Japanese cultural implications of natural disaster and mass destruction are like nails which press against the fabric of the narrative.

If we have to compare it to Ghibli, I'd say that Your Name is much more like the films of the underrated Isao Takahata, rather than Miyazaki. Specifically Only Yesterday.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:33 pm 
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Sorry -- I don't see Your Name as being even remotely in the same universe as Only Yesterday.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:50 pm 
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I enjoyed Your Name a great deal--I found it utterly magical, and I agree with peopleonsunday that embracing its genre trappings can help one appreciate it.

However, I don't see much similarity between Your Name and Only Yesterday (and although I enjoyed the former, I think the latter is a flat-out masterpiece). How did you find them to be similar?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:58 pm 
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I didn't hate Your Name -- I enjoyed it mildly -- but felt it was sort of high-class cinematic junk food. Not even close to the level of Hosoda's Girl Who Leapt Through Time.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:21 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:08 pm
StevenJ0001 wrote:
However, I don't see much similarity between Your Name and Only Yesterday (and although I enjoyed the former, I think the latter is a flat-out masterpiece). How did you find them to be similar?

I may be slightly off the mark as I've only seen Only Yesterday once, but it was the urban/rural dichotomy and the way it intersects with memory, depictions of youth and that very Japanese sense of time passing which really brings Only Yesterday and Your Name close together. I really enjoyed Only Yesterday when I saw it, but I felt it was a little too much of a traditional drama, too literal at times, whereas Your Name uses the tropes of teen drama to explore a melancholy which only an adult could really relate to, which is more thematically ambitious, IMO.

On the topic of new anime in general, has there been any discussion of In This Corner Of The World and A Silent Voice on here? A used the search function but couldn't find anything. I saw both when they were in the cinema and really enjoyed them.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:24 pm 
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In This Corner of the World was excellent -- and I WOULD describe this one as Takahata-influenced (and not simply due to its topic). Looking forward to a BluRay release.

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