Anime: Japan in WWII

I had a little downtime this weekend and watched In This Corner of the World (2016) on ROKU. It’s a beautiful film and a reminder that the victims of war are never the ones rattling the saber. It’s also good to watch films that portray war from the eyes of those you’re fighting (fought). There are two other great films that deal with similar subject matter. The first is The Wind Rises (2013) by Studio Ghibli / Hayao Miyazaki. The Wind Rises is a fictionalized biographical film of Jiro Horikoshi (1903–1982), designer of the Mitsubishi A5M fighter aircraft and its successor, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero¹. The second is Grave of the Fireflies (1988) and it’s the tragic story of two Japanese children orphaned during the war. It’s a difficult film to watch and does a good job chronicling the dangers children face (particularly) at the end of war. All three hopefully inspire you to always encourage those rattling the sabers to exhaust every measure possible to find peaceful resolutions.


The Remains of the Day (1993)

My Favorite Anime

This is not ranked. I’ve also given an explanation why it made the list. There’s always a kind of sadness when you finish great anime (like a good book or video game) especially when whatever you pick up next doesn’t quite meet the same expectations. This happened to me after completing KH1 and KH3 (Square Enix).

Robotech: The Macross Saga – The start of my interest in anime. I still post about Rick Hunter, Lisa Hayes, Max Sterling, Miriya Parina, and Lynn Minmay. I remember a trip to Boston with my dad in search of a copy of the Art of Robotech. Why was it groundbreaking? Prior to Robotech I had never seen anyone die in a cartoon. The death of Roy Fokker should make a list like this (see also Bye-Bye Mars).

Weekend 461.0

Naruto – Bear introduced me to the orange ninja. I was probably more interested in Naruto than he was towards the end. I love the filler episodes between story arches. I can’t believe it’s the 20th Anniversary of Naruto.

The Orange Ninja (and other links)

Belle – This is from the same director as The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. The subject matter is very serious — child abuse, death of a parent, and social media addiction — but the intensity is diffused by a beautiful score. This was my first post-pandemic movie in a theater.

Your Lie in April – A beautiful series about love and loss and what we take for granted.

Weekend 356.1 (Ending on a High ♫♫♫♫)
Weekend 357.0

5 Centimeters per Second – This was recommended by a friend. The context of the recommendation was a bit sad but everything in this film by Makoto Shinkai is perfect. I still check every train platform for what exists now only in memory.

Christmas 2018 Sabbatical (Principle of Connectivity)

East of Eden – Kind of a quirky series. I watched this during the pandemic and it was a great escape from the daily news. There were some great scenes of NYC.

Weekend 460.1
KH3 DLC Postscript

Clannad and Clannad After Story – I love the story of Naoyuki and Tomoya Okazaki (father and son) and The Road Home remains one of my favorite episodes in the series.

Weekend 214.1
Weekend 223.1 (filaments and figments)
New England Spring Rain
Weekend 299.0 (Great Company)

Spirited Away – NO list is complete without a title from Hayao Miyazaki and No Face remains one of my favorite characters. The opening sequence at the abandoned amusement park is pleasure island meets the wardrobe. My other Miyazaki consideration was The Wind Rises.

Weekend 172.0 (Aerotropolis Edition)
Weekend 272.0 (22.2 x 21.5 x 9.8 inches)
Christmas 2018 Sabbatical (Principle of Connectivity)
Weekend 461.0

The Tale of Princess Kaguya – I saw this with Bear at The Museum of Modern Art. My trips to Manhattan with Bear are always memorable.

Last Exile – I’m a sucker for anything with zeppelins (Fringe and Crimson Skies). The tech in this movie was very steampunk-like (reminiscent of Steamboy).

Weekend 233.0 (Contrails)

Screenshot is from Clannad

Weekend 525.0 (points, points, points)

I didn’t make the match on Saturday at St Mary’s because my travel plans were derailed* by Eunice. The train left Waterloo at 8:00 something and was cancelled after we arrived at Basingstoke (about 2/3 of the trip to Southampton). I haven’t seen the Saints WIN at home this campaign and the match against Everton would have been top shelf.

There were some positive outcomes though. Whether or not I was there three points is three points (points, points, points…). I met an amazing family of football fanatics on the return trip from Basingstoke on their way to see the match between Fulham and Huddersfield. It was three generations- father, son, and granddaughter! My post about Hereford and football is life is taking on extra meaning.

The other consolation prize yesterday was my first trip to a movie theater since the pandemic. I saw Belle and it’s from the same director as The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. My plan is to post a separate review BUT just want to highlight there’s a picture of a Brompton in the train station on a poster about travelling with bikes!

It’s time for coffee and another chapter of The Brothers York.

*See what I did there.

Weekend 517.0

Early start; I got my reasons.

(1) Fringe Intro [1985] [HD]

(2) Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse Of Reason – Remixed & Updated will be released on 29 October 2021

(3) Two books from Steven Levy that should be on every shelf:

(3a) Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution

(3b) Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changed Everything

(4) Slim titles with a BIG punch:

(4a) John Betjeman: Poems Selected by Hugo Williams (published by Faber and Faber Ltd.)

(4b) Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot

(4c) The Book in the Cathedral by Christopher de Hamel

Weekend 460.1

(1) Kingdom Hearts: 10 Coolest Looking Keyblades, Ranked (The Gamer)

(2) A Fleer PAC-MAC card from the 1980s. The Fleer Corporation is now defunct.

(3) Ferris Wheel and Skyline from Eden of the East. This was some of the best anime I’ve watched since The Last Exile. I also watched Steamboy during quarantine and it was okay. I like the time period but the characters were kind of insufferable and the animation was dark (as well as the story). I think 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is preferable.

KH3 DLC Postscript

I published my own theory about the end of KH3 before I played Re:Mind. I’m going back now to some of the worlds to take screenshots for #PS4Share. I really love the posters in Twilight Town and Scala ad Caelum. The latter is maybe one of the loneliest worlds in the entire series. The honor of that distinction used to belong to Traverse Town in KH. Traverse Town always felt like a dark ride, movie set, or the city inside of the SDF-1.

(1) Kingdom Hearts May Have Just Uncovered the Mystery Around The Darkness (GAMERANT)

(1a) Yelling About Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:mind (YouTube)

(2) Kingdom Hearts 3 ReMind – Data Young Xehanort No Damage (Critical Mode) (YouTube)

(3) Screenshot from Eden of the East. The detail is amazing (like the posters in Twilight Town and Scala ad Caelum)

(3a) Scala ad Caelum

(4) Speaking of detail…The Art of Cuphead is sitting on my desk.

The scan is from The Art of the Japanese Baseball Card by John Gall and Gary Engel.