Monday, August 15, 2005

Steam Boy & Howl's Moving Castle

I was able to watch these two movies a couple of weeks ago. My sister bought these DVDs from her suki at Metrowalk.

Maybe this is the legacy of Voltes V. It has left me an aficionado for manga and anime. Maybe Marcos too since he banned the show. As in all things though ultimately everything depended one me, it was my decision. I willed to be an aficionado. Yes aficionado and not otaku, since I have not yet reached that level culture hermitage. You will not see battle aura emanate from when I cannot watch Cooking Master Boy or Voltes V, not that much anyway.

Anyway Otaku is not really a term of endearment. Especially since the term was first applied to captured serial killer Tsutomu Miyazaki, a loner obsessed with hentai (pornographic anime and manga) and who acted out his fantasies on his victims.

Steam Boy (2004)

The moview is a perfect example of a steampunk story. It is set sometime before the 1900s. A family of scientists have devised and capture the world's most potent steam power. The discovery though does not come without its price and aside from an accident events are set in motion that will divide the family. In the sidelines are different syndicates and government agencies bent on monopolising the use of the device.

This dystopian alternate reality is beautifully drawn and the characterization is superb. One of the strengths of this type of Japanese animation is the complexities of the characters and their relationship. Fascinating story, but not as engaging or effective as the director and co-writer's, Katsuhiro Ôtomo, former work Akira (1988).

I cannot pin-point it but there seems to be something missing from the ending of the story.

Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle or Hauru no ugoku shiro (2004)

The movie is a love story between a cursed 18 year old girl and magician against the backdrop of war. The fantasy world uses a mixture of magic and science in order to achieve its aims. Our lover's story is supported by an odd assortment of beings witches, wizardresses, a hopping but helpful scarecrow, a boy who disguises himself as an old man and of course the moving castle. Howl of course is the magician. The story progresses smoothly and focuses, correctly, on the two leaving only hints and sub-plots about the other characters. The movie keeps you engaged until the last frame. I enjoyed this anime. There was ony one thing that un-nerved me a little bit the name of one of the witches, Sarimun. It was awfully to close to Saruman. Then again there just might be something with the translation.

Of the two animes I believe my favourite would be Howl's Moving Castle for additional reviews go here. The story was good, the animation although not as beautiful as steamboy was pretty, and the ending seemed right and complete. Not many loose-ends and unfinished business.

Hayao Miyzaki the other great anime's done by Miyazaki include but not limited to the following:

Spirited Away or Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi) (2001)
Princess Mononoke or Mononoke-hime (1997)
Kiki's Delivery Service or Majo no takkyûbin (1989)
My Neighbor Totoro or Tonari no Totoro (1988)
Castle in the Sky or Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta (1986)

For me, my favourite Miyazaki movie would be My Neighbor Totoro. Go figure.


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