I got a new toy and I wanted to play with it, so I though I’d record a podcast. Hours of babbling and editing later, it became clear that, although my face is made for radio, my voice isn’t. I think I’ll stick to the written (or typed) word for now.
I haven’t watched much anime recently. Let’s see …. the Bakeneko (“Goblin Cat”) arc of Ayakashi — Samurai Horror Tales is a prelude to last year’s Mononoke and of a piece with it. I didn’t see any of the Olympic coverage; instead, I watched the first disc of the Battle Athletes OVA. It was okay, but I don’t know if I’ll watch the rest. I’m not even going to mention Strike Witches. What I most enjoyed watching was not anime at all (though some parts were animated): The Work of Michel Gondry.
Instead, I’ve been compiling little lists. Here’s the first in a series.
Five shows I would particularly like to see licensed for region one
1. Denno Coil: The best series since Haibane Renmei. It’s something like Serial Experiments Lain as retold by Hayao Miyazaki, with affinities to Haibane Renmei, and with an outstanding soundtrack. I expect that it will eventually be licensed, but it might take a while. Those holding the rights undoubtedly realize that they have something special and are probably holding out for more money than any region one company wants to invest at this time.
2. Oh! Edo Rocket: An unclassifiable show — sometimes utterly silly, sometimes dead serious. It straddles many genres: drama, farce, science fiction, horror, parody, action, fantasy, even musical at one point. Whimsical though it is, there is a real story under the arbitrariness. The soundtrack is of interest both to swing aficionados and to intellectual property lawyers. I’ve posted several excerpts emphasizing the series’ silly aspects on my video site: here, here and here. Because the series doesn’t fit neatly in any category, I figure that its chances of being licensed are slim.
3. Dirty Pair TV: Well, duh.
4. Animal Yokocho: A kid’s show that will please adults with a taste for absurdity. Many Japanese are fascinated by Lewis Carroll, and “Wonderland” episodes are common in anime, but usually they don’t catch the essence of Carroll’s insane but logical universe. Although Animal Yokocho never explicitly alludes to the Alice in Wonderland books, it is truer to Carroll’s spirit than anything else I’ve seen in anime. ((If you mention lolicons, I will delete your comment.)) It’s one of the very few shows that I would like to see with a good dub, but I don’t expect that it will ever be licensed.
5. Mind Game: One bizarre movie by Masaaki Yuasa, the man responsible for Kaiba and Kemonozume. A nebbish dies ignominiously, meets God and returns to earth, where he takes charge of his life. Things get strange, and they get stranger. I posted a couple of vividly contrasting excerpts on my video site illustrating just how eccentric Yuasa’a vision is. I figure the movie’s chances of being licensed fall between negligible and non-existent.