Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Preludes and Nocturnes

I got some stuff to write, and is planning to sleep, but a thought is spinning in my head and I don't think I'll be able to sleep until I put this on paper.

My favourite anime people are Hideaki Anno, Shinichiro Watanabe and mangaka Go Nagai.

Anno is by far my favourite, as he has done Evangelion and Kareshi Kanojou no Jijou, also Gunbuster, Nadia: Secret of the Blue Water and animated parts of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and Grave of the Fireflies. I also found his 2004 Cutie Honey live action and 2007 animated TV series to be quite refreshing.

Neon Genesis Evangelion deals with a lot of deep psychology and philosophy - mainly Goethe, Nitschze (did I spell that right?) and teachings from the Torah.

I had no money to watch these incredible animations, as a child, so I read up academic studies on them online.

It was not until later that I got my hands on their DVDs. Amazing stuff. Amazing, amazing stuff.

Anno's style is a deconstruction of each character as the series progresses. I get the Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket effect, when you suddenly stop eating the dish you are enjoying, and begin to observe it from fresh perspectives.

Much care and attention was given to the profiles and the minds of the characters as it was to the cool mecha fighting animation sequences.

In Evangelion, Anno asks questions on humanity, identity, relationships (embodied both in Gendou and Shinji's problems as well as thge AT Field which represents barriers between people as well as an energy shield system for robots), religion, faith, responsibility, maturity and youth.

A heavily-layered story gets better with repeat viewing, while shallow ones are just things you watch once. There is nothing I have encountered in this world which I enjoyed and is as deep as Anno's work other than Neil Gaiman's, Alan Moore's and Grant Morrison's comics writing.

Evangelion's depth is as comparable to Morrison's Invisibles, though lacking the intricate tapestry of Gaiman and Moore's out of this world, almost supernatural creativity.

KareKano is also a tour de force in studying insecurities.

And all this, from a man who was a fanboy and wanted to make female animation characters' boobs bounce.

In fact, in all of the boob-bouncing, in the middle of it all, Anno manages to sneak in heavily-layered personality complexes.

I believe that the best anime creates a world violently and deconstructs its characters subtly.

The best execution was Shinichiro Watanabe in Cowboy bebop. Cowboy Bebop is the perfect anime. Greatest Under Heaven. Everything came together perfectly. Their world is both advanced and backwards, and comes through BAM! right smack in your face from the first space toll booth scene.

And slowly, yet surely, we learn of Spike realising his destiny with nonchalance and a laid-back attitude - facing pre-destination with free-will. Faye's yearning for a home - personal space - displaced through time as she was.

These things echo themselves in many other different things that construct beautiful fractal story patterns.

And finally, there is Go Nagai who started revolutions with simple stories of giant robots and transforming girls who get naked all the time.

Go, through application and revelation of base human instincts as seen in Mazinger Z (righteous fury), Devilman, Violence Jack (an appetite for destruction), Cutie Honey (love and sex), and the controversial Harenchi Gakuen (hypocrisy), launched not only comic books and TV series, but whole genres of art.

Go was the true rebel. If Osamu Tezuka was the father of manga and anime, Go showed what it was capable of, pushing boundaries and never content to stay safe within the lines.

Okay. I need some sleep. Will be writing later tonight. I owe some people some stories. Hopefully, it will be as deep on multiple levels as Anno's, as perfect as Shinichiro's and as revolutionary as Go's.