2013 is drawing to a close and despite all the bad things that had happened, the world somehow keeps spinning. It has been a crazy year for my life but rather slow year for my blog. I have always tried to avoid publishing too many meta posts or posts that carried too little contents. So this is a good opportunity for me to publish all those things I wanted to say but could not fit them into a proper post. Enjoy and feel free to share your thoughts!
The Wind Rises and Hayao Miyazaki’s retirement
This time, Miyazaki really seemed to be serious about it as he publicly announced his retirement at the Venice Film Festival. I did wonder how long his ‘retirement’ would last. Plus, there were several definitions of retirement. He might no longer direct feature-length anime but that didn’t mean that he would not be involved everything Studio Ghibli does after this.
Like many fans around the world, I didn’t want him to stop making anime. For the past decades, Miyazaki’s films played major role in pushing anime into the international arena. Unfortunately, I could not see any other director capable of playing that role so far. Will anime stumble back and return to being just another subculture again? I hope more people get to see anime instead of those mediocre computer-generated animations which are making tons of money from kids and families.
Speaking of Miyazaki, have you watched The Wind Rises? I am dying to see that movie but it seems like I’ll have to wait until next February. Nevertheless, the film had a limited release last month so that it would be eligible for the Oscars. I think it has a good chance of winning.
Questioning the good-versus-evil theme: reflection of Thai political crisis
Political turmoil is the only thing worse than zombie apocalypse and having the Red Wedding spoiled by your friend. Some of you might have been hearing lots of confusing news about how Bangkok was allegedly undersigned by certain group of people who claimed to be the majority (which they didn’t). I’d rather not bear you with the details. Let’s just say that the demonstrators wanted to stop the election because they were uncomfortable with the choices made by the true majority. What’s interesting was how lots of people firmly believed that they were ‘the good guys’ and that the ones opposing them were ‘the bad guys’.
What I wanted to say is that we tended to see everything in black and white, that there must be the good and the bad and that it’s the good guys’ duty to defeat the bad guys. This way of thinking was not very healthy during political conflict. We are all human beings and we are full of flaws and differences. The problem here in Thailand is not that bad guys are roaming unchecked, but rather the inability to see that there is no bad guys, only the ones who are different. The day we see other people as equal to ourselves and be patient about their differences would be the day we have peace.
Surely, several factors contributed to this way of thinking, including the stories told in books, movies, plays and, especially, animation. That’s why I often found myself fascinated by anime that had no clear evil character. Many of those titles were, unsurprisingly, produced by studio Ghibli.
What if ‘Game of Thrones’ were made into anime series?
If you are fan of A Song of Ice and Fire books or Game of Thrones TV series, then you must have had quite a year. Because I am also an anime fan, I often wondered what it would be like if ‘Game of Thrones’ were made into anime series. One advantage that could clearly see was that the anime version would have bigger buildings, crazier costume and more magical creatures
It is understandable that the TV series had limitations, especially when it comes to the matter of budget. If you had read the books, you would know that the landscapes, cities and fortresses in the TV could hardly match to what’s written on papers. I missed the giant stepped pyramids of Yunkai, three-sided castle of Riverrun with its massive flood gate, the magnificent Qarth and its great port and, of course, the giant chain of the Blackwater. Westeros and Essos are the lands full of wonders both man-made and natural. The novels were actually written so that it would be ‘unfilmable’. But when it comes to animation, it would be much easier to create those things.
The same thing could be said about magical animals, mainly dragons, White Walkers, mammoths and dire wolves. TV show obviously saved its CGI budget only for vital scenes and avoid showing these creatures in less important ones. In anime, we could have dire wolves in every scene! But on the other hand, limiting the fantasy elements to minimum might be more compatible with the nature of the show which was the realistic portrayal of political struggle.
Canne’s blog reached 6th year mark on November 4
This is the second year that I completely forgot the birthday of my blog! On November 4, I posted my review on Natsuyuki Rendezvous without realizing the significance of that day. But on a serious note, even if I remembered the day, what would I do? I could not write another ‘anniversary post’. That’d be extremely boring, wouldn’t it? Despite my rather slow update, 6 years is still quite an achievement for a small anime blog like mine.
Happy New Year and looking forward to 2014!
2014 will probably be another busy year for me. So I may not be able to speed-up the pacing of this blog. But rest assured. I am keeping it regularly updated, like I always do. Finally, I thank all of you who read, follow and comment in this blog. You are my inspiration and my precious friends.