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Movie Review: Princess Mononoke

Hemos posted more than 14 years ago | from the excellent-anime-done-by-the-master dept.

Movies 172

Princess Monoke, a wonderful anime film, was reviewed for us by frohike / Dan Potter. The film, done by Studio Ghibli / Hayao Miyazaki is currently coming to the US, and is popular in Japan under the name Mononoke Hime, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, with "translation" assistance by Neil Gaiman, of The Sandman and other literary undertakings. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie - click below to get the lowdown.

REVIEW: Princess Mononoke
Studio Ghibli / Hayao Miyazaki
Published in the U.S. by Miramax Films

Nutshell
Review:
Princess Mononoke is a Japanese animated film set in historical Japan that explores the trials of nature versus an ever-encroaching civilization. Famous artist/writer/producer Hayao Miyazaki has broken the charts with Mononoke Hime, released in the U.S. by Miramax Films as Princess Mononoke. This is a movie that anime fans and non-fans alike will delight in seeing.
Rating: 10/10
Reviewed by frohike / Dan Potter

The Scenario

The setting is historical Japan in the Muromachi era (1392-1573), during the time when firearms were first beginning to appear in the country. A raging monster enters the up-to-then peaceful village of Ashitaka, a young warrior. It plows with towering hatred straight towards the village, aiming to destroy it and kill every human it can find; so strong is the hate in the creature that the very grass it runs across wilts away to brown mush. When Ashitaka defeats the demon, it finally speaks to the gathered humans with its dieing breath. It tells them that it was a great boar protector-god of a faraway forest who was overcome with anger at the destruction humans had caused in his forest. The boar curses Ashitaka in the form of a consuming disease in his arm. As its already-dead body crumbles away it utters a scathing curse on humanity.

Such is the intensity present throughout much of Mr. Hayao Miyazaki's latest full-length film, released in the U.S. as Princess Mononoke. There are really two parts to a proper review of the American release of this movie -- a review of the movie itself, and a review of the cultural adaptation and dubbing -- so I'll handle those separately.

A small note before I begin, I was privileged to see this movie because Austin has a small but thriving film community that brings film festivals to town occasionally. It was shown in a (mostly =) normal movie theater (The Paramount), and it was attended by Neil Gaiman (more on Neil Gaiman's relation to the movie in a moment). The movie won't be coming out for the public until early November, and there is more information on that below.

The Movie: Mononoke Hime

As many anime fans are aware, Mr. Miyazaki, and associated Studio Ghibli, are famous for creating films that contain excellent artistic talent, entertaining stories, and are just plain neat movies. You may know that team for such titles as My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, and Laputa (Castle in the Sky in the American release). All of those good qualities are present in this movie, but at about twice the normal strength for a Ghibli film. The artwork and animation of Mononoke Hime is breathtaking, the scenery is fabulous, the musical score is worthy of comparison with the contemporary greats, and the issue is close at hand: man and his continuing detrimental effect on nature. Only, in Mononoke Hime, the battle is a bit more tangible.

The story begins when a forest-protecting boar god intrudes on a peaceful village and imposes a curse on the young warrior Ashitaka. His fate is to leave the village and discover what has unquieted the boar god so and cure his curse if possible. His journey takes him across streams, through enchanted forests, and finally to "Iron Town" (as it is called in the American release). Here he witnesses the reason for the anger of the forest gods: a city setup across a lake from a forest whose residents aim to mine the iron from the hills in whatever way possible so that they might make ends meet. The story is even more complicated when Princess Mononoke herself appears, a human child raised by the forest wolves who is also out to eliminate the Iron Town.

This story is noticeably darker and more serious than most from Mr. Miyazaki. On the other hand, it is not without its light-hearted moments, and it comes across as very well balanced in that regard. If you took the kids to see My Neighbor Totoro and that's all you've seen of Mr. Miyazaki's works, you might want to consider seeing this one first without the kids. It was definitely written for an adult audience. It is also probably one of Miyazaki's longest single pieces: it weighs in at about 15 minutes past two hours.

The Dub: Princess Mononoke

Ok, when Neil Gaiman first came out before the movie and stated that he had done a "cultural adaptation", I groaned. I'm sure I heard a number of other anime fans groan too, because we are all quite familiar with said adaptations. They usually involve a butchering of the dialogue until it's not recognizable, replacing the good music with bad, and just generally tearing the show up to make it sell with American marketing.

If that's what you're expecting, you'll definitely be disappointed. It took a little bit of getting used to the English voice actors/actresses, but overall they are very good. Having seen the Japanese version a few times, I can say that the translation and "adaptation" is also very good. Mr. Gaiman said that his goal was to make an adaptation that made you feel like you were watching a movie produced in English, not a foreign film that's been dubbed; he succeeded quite nicely in that goal. The lipsyncing is very good, and the only real changes were a few extra bits and phrases thrown in near the beginning to try to insert a bit more historical background for a non-Japanese audience. Way to go, Neil! You just produced the first dub that I, a die-hard subtitled-anime fan, actually enjoyed and would recommend!

This goal was also helped by the all-star cast. While the voice acting talent of some of these folks hasn't been tested, their voices are well known, and they did a pretty good job. Billy-Bob Thornton as the monk is a really nice touch, and Lady Eboshi's British-accent-wielding voice actress gives her a very aristocratic touch (not that Brits are inherently aristocratic, but she does come across as very refined and regal among the more normal voices of Iron Town).

There was a nifty Q&A session after the showing with Neil Gaiman, and I think it's a bit out of scope to post all of that with this review, but I'll give two little tidbits that stand out in my mind.

The first one is the story of Mr. Gaiman meeting Mr. Miyazaki. There's an Asian restaurant Neil Gaiman frequents, and the daughter of the owner is a really big Miyazaki fan. So of course she asked Neil to get something autographed. He said he would do it, but that he's really a very shy person, and the idea of meeting this man who many consider to be a minor deity of animated film making was just a bit shaking. To make a long story short, he did indeed meet him for a few moments at a dinner, and he came away with a signed CD, a signed art book with a little Totoro sketch, and a hug from Mr. Miyazaki. Deal!

The other one is talking about how he got involved in the production. There is more info about that on the web site for the movie, but here's the part they didn't include. Mr. Gaiman said he didn't want to be involved in this. He went to see a subtitled version at Miramax, though, and came away feeling like he'd seen something phenomenal. The next thought that went through his head was, "What's the next guy they try to hire going to do with this show?" That was what decided him. His statement on the matter was (paraphrased), the next guy who works on this may just look at it as a job, without the respect it deserves and really f*ck it up; but at least I'll f*ck it up with respect! (censored for the innocent, and for the web policing packages ;-)

What's Bad?

I can't think of a whole lot that detracts from this movie. There are a few points that may turn you off from it though: its long length; the number of things you still won't understand about Japanese culture from the added dialogue (unless you already know); keeping track of the crazy procession of things that happens towards the end; and of course, despite the quality of the dub, I'm still a die-hard subtitled fan and a sometimes student of the Japanese language, and I like to hear the Japanese ^_^;

What's Good?

What's not good? ;-) The quality of the animation is excellent, the music is good, the plot is neat. You get to feel close to all of the characters, not just "the good guys". In fact, there aren't really any "good guys and bad guys" in this movie like in so many movies. There are several sides to a conflict, and every side has humane and cruel qualities, and every side has a valid argument. Exemplary of this is the fact that Lady Eboshi, while she appears at first to be the "bad guy" of the story, is just trying to make a life too -- and to help make a new life for an entire group of women from a local brothel, and a group of lepers, and so on. She turns out to be their humane savior, even though she encourages the destroying of the forest.

Watching this movie leaves you with a ponderous feeling. I don't want to spoil the ending for you, but I will say that they did not cheese the heck out, and that is one of the most endearing qualities of it.

So What's In It For Me?

An easy glance into some aspects of Japanese culture; a look at some of the latest in state of the art animation (not a lot of computer rendering! =); and of course, a good time. If you're an anime fan, seeing it in good ol' analog on the big screen is a real treat! While much of the mythology of the movie was created by Mr. Miyazaki himself, it does have a very Japanese feel to it, and many of the history tidbits are fairly accurate.

Showing information

The movie will be showing at the "20 major markets" at first. You can find more info on the web page about the movie. The web site, while a bit flashy for my tastes, is actually kinda neat. It has a pure HTML version, but the interface is a Shockwave-esque Myst-like environment that includes lots of information snippets, Quicktime movies of scenes, etc. On the top of the front page is a link to the "20 major markets" and when it will be showing at each. They start in late October (29th in New York City) and go from there.

The success of this small run will be the determining factor if they show it nationally, and in fact if they bring any more things like Mononoke Hime to the U.S. If you like this kind of film, please go see it and vote with your dollars! Tell your friends too! =)

I apologize for the length of this review, but it's such a neat movie and there's so much that could be written about it. If you have doubts, give it a shot, you might like it! If you are a Miyazaki fan already, the dub won't disappoint you!

A final note, if you can read Japanese or have translation software, there is also a Japanese Mononoke Hime site at the Ghibli web site; and if you want to find more about anime in general, try The Anime Web Turnpike.

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Straight to video? (1)

Rabbins (70965) | more than 14 years ago | (#1580973)

... or is this actually playing in theatres?

Didn't rock *my* world... (1)

Linux Freak (18608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1580974)

I watched it on video during the summer in Japan. The artwork was pretty rich but I found the story blasse. Perhaps my Japanese skills weren't strong enough to fully appreciate it -- but then again my girlfriend, who is Japanese, didn't think much of it either.

Nice artwork, though. :-)

Re:Why do we care? (1)

Asmodean451 (71567) | more than 14 years ago | (#1580975)

Having seen fight club, I am not about to say that
fight club is not a good movie, in fact it was an excellent movie.

What really annoys me though, are people who dismiss anime movies as silly or juvenile. Some are, but then c'mon.. so are a lot of live action movies (you know you've seen them).

When the good artist/innovators like Miyazaki set down to do a movie or a manga, they create thought provoking artistic works that deserve the proper amount of merit. A big fan of miyazaki myself (mainly through Nausicaa), i've been waiting a long time for this one to come to the US. The fact that Gaiman, one of my favourite authors, did the translation is yet another reason to go see it.

Thanks to the reviewer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1580976)

Excellent review! I look forward to seeing the film when it opens in wider release.

Re:Why do we care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1580977)

personally, I like the movie reviews :P Anyway, this is a very good movie. It's probably the best/most enjoyable feature length anime movie i've seen.

Are we not nerds? (1)

Fenmere, the Worm (103037) | more than 14 years ago | (#1580978)

Is it really that important to tell us about Anime movies?! this is news for nerds.

There are some that believe that if you do not appreciate anime, then you are not a proper nerd.

I would go a step further and say that if you do not appreciate anime, then you are not a proper human being.

Besides, good anime comes out, in the U.S. at least, rarely enough that it doesn't really take up that much bandwidth on /. to cover it.

Re:Straight to video? (1)

frohike (32045) | more than 14 years ago | (#1580979)

Nope, unlike basically all the other domestic anime releases so far (with a few exceptions in very limited areas, like Perfect Blue in Austin) this one is planned to go into the theaters. That's where it was shown here too. It's only going into 20 theaters at first, and then if it does well they'll distribute it nationally. There's the possibility of other things being brought to theaters too (Laputa/Castle in the Sky, etc).

Perfect Blue (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1580980)

The Anime Perfect Blue [perfectblue.com] is currently playing in movie theaters across the United States. Perfect Blue breaks away from the traditional giant robots / technology theme and focuses on a japanese sub-culture and psychological issues. The Animation quality is certainly up to the Levels of the anime classic Ghost in the Shell. Definetly worth checking out if you are lucky enough to live in a major US city.

Check out this other review... (2)

Enoch Root (57473) | more than 14 years ago | (#1580981)

The great guys over at Stomp Tokyo [stomptokyo.com] have also reviewed Princess Mononoke.

They reviewed the original [stomptokyo.com] and dubbed [stomptokyo.com] versions. (So you can see what you're missing.)

The reviews are heartfelt but also quite funny.

"Knowledge = Power = Energy = Mass"

20 major markets? or 1000 screens? (1)

verin (74429) | more than 14 years ago | (#1580982)

I was really disappointed when I found out how limited the initial showing would be. There was originally an intent to show it 'on 1000 screens', accross the US, but now thats been trimmed down to a handful for testing purposes.

I really hope it does well, though, or if not comes to sale on vidio/dvd quickly. The trip for me and my friends from Las Vegas to Pheonix (taking 10 hours including the movie) just isn't worth it.

Re:Why do we care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1580983)

How important to everyone is half of the stuff posted to slashdot? It may not be important to tell you about a breakthrough in anime in the United States, but it may be some great news for a lot of nerds out there. If you think that all Japanese "cartoons" are silly, then definately this is good news for you: go see it in the theater. All of Studio Ghibli / Miyazaki's works are better than ANY animation produced in the United States, or any other country for that matter. .pl.

Re:Are we not nerds? (2)

Foogle (35117) | more than 14 years ago | (#1580984)

I love Anime. I think some of it is amongst the best movies ever created, and it makes me sad that it goes so unappreciated here in the US. Having said that, I agree with a lot of the other posters -- Anime film reviews do not belong on Slashdot. Yes, this is "News for Nerds", but for the most part it's really "Tech News for Nerds" and I think it should stay that way.

Slashdot is nice because it's a very specific forum for us to talk about computers and OSes (read: Linux). If we bog it down with less salient issues, it will become garbage.

-----------

"You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

A little computer animation in it at least. (1)

Theodore (13524) | more than 14 years ago | (#1580985)

I remember last semester in animation class,
I saw this book on CGI, and they showed the
"worms" on Ahitaka's arm and how they were done.
They did some kind of other effect I can't
remember the name of to flatten it out and make
it look like it was had drawn.
Thea early versions looke WAY snakey.

I just hope when it comes out on DVD,
that they don't do any adding to the japanese sub.
If I'm doing the sub thing, I don't need the hints.

anime rocks (0)

PHroD (1018) | more than 14 years ago | (#1580986)

can't wait to see this movie, and also let people who arent otaku know that there is more to anime than pokemon, sailor moon, and robotech, that there ARE actually wonderful stories out there that the american audience isn't exposed to.

(i find a lot of americans dont like reading subtitles either, which is just american chavanism[sp?] - and yes i AM from the USA ^_^)

The "Rurouni Kenshin" series, OAV and movie comes to mind as a great story, and the romantic movie "New Kimagure Orange Road : Summers Beginning" just made me want to cry cause it was so romantic and just made me feel so good.

Okay i'll be quiet now hehe


"There is no spoon" - Neo, The Matrix

Re:Straight to video? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1580987)

This is coming to the big screen in the United States, showing at select theaters in select cities. If enough people go out and support it however, i'm sure Miramax will "upgrade" it so that it shows at many other major mainstream non-arthouse theaters. This is the English dubbed version. .ot.

For those of you who have never seen ..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1580988)

...... Hayao Miyazaki's anime. His anime is the best thing a nerd will appreciate. His anime movies constantly depict the struggle of human being in adopting new technologies. Although most of his stories has a background in ancient time, he was using a irony way to potray the conflict bewtween new and old. "Laputa - the castle on the air" is my favorite movie from Hayao Miyazaki.

My advice is "See it before you neglect!!!!!"

Neil's credits (2)

ajs (35943) | more than 14 years ago | (#1580989)

Neil Gaiman of Sandman and literary fame...

This is an unfortunate trend. Sandman is Gaiman's most acclaimed literary credit, but we sort of trip over the idea of calling it "Literature". Sure, there are words, but there are... GASP... PICTURES! It's a COMIC BOOK!

Books like Sandman will continue to challenge the assumption that works with storyboard-style pictures are not Literature. This is a Good Thing(tm).

Or, to paraphrase Gaiman from a talk he gave at MIT: If it's a picture we call it art, and it's respected. If it's a book with words, it's literature and it's respected. If it's a book with words and pictures, it's crap for kids.

Original vs. Disney (2)

LoRez (107779) | more than 14 years ago | (#1580990)

I certainly hope that the dubbed version was not ruined by Disney (as they have been known to turn originbal works into trash). I saw the movie with subtitles, and personally quite enjoyed it. I think the foreign language (the way it sounds as oppiosed to what it says, when you can't understand it) is an integral part of the film. I wonder if the dubbed version is really worth seeing... Although the film itself is spectacular!!!
------

Re:Why do we care? (2)

frohike (32045) | more than 14 years ago | (#1580991)

Yeah, that's one of the main reasons I like anime so much, along with a lot of other people -- it's generally aimed at a mature audience, not the Saturday morning cartoonies. Animated movies as a medium really haven't see much in the way of serious movies here in the U.S.

One other thing of note:

The fact that Gaiman, one of my favourite authors, did the translation is yet another reason to go see it.

Hmm... I guess one thing that I didn't really say very explicitly is that Neil Gaiman only did the dialogue adaptation. The other credit listed for the translation/adaptation (Jack Fletcher) is apparently the one who did most of the raw translation work. He translated the bulk of the text pretty literally, and then that was picked up by Neil Gaiman and made more natural sounding and such. Sorry for the ambiguity.

Re:Why do we care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1580992)

We care because some of us happen to like animation. And not just the silly ones. And we might just be sick and tired of the only halfway decent cartoon movies being produced being fsking musicals made for kids by disney. We might just want to try to contribute to a societal change where for a change, animation can be used for serious movies.

Movie site to refer to: (2)

jabber (13196) | more than 14 years ago | (#1580993)

For those interested in this, and movies in general, visit Ain't It Cool News [aint-it-cool-news.com] .

The site is dedicated to movie industry news and rumours, and the search engine should point you to past rumblings about Mononoke and anything else at all..

Don't forget to check out the buzz on Pitch Black.

Re:and this is interesting because? (0)

PHroD (1018) | more than 14 years ago | (#1580994)

well the fact that it's being released in 20 major US markets is something big for sure, and its being released my a major distributor (mirimax?)


"There is no spoon" - Neo, The Matrix

Re:Neil's credits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1580995)

But we only respect good art and literature. Could the word and pictures in the sandman really stand alone. The pictures are drawn and colored poorly, the dialoge hackneyed, and the characters 2-D.

Re:Are we not nerds? (2)

ajs (35943) | more than 14 years ago | (#1580996)

Slashdot is nice because it's a very specific forum for us to talk about computers and OSes (read: Linux). If we bog it down with less salient issues, it will become garbage.

Let's just look at the trend here:

See http://slashdot.org/search.pl?topic=movi es [slashdot.org] for a lot more examples of non-technical news. Oh yeah, this is just a tech news site. This is a site dedicated to a particular set of cross-cultural interests held by the new technical sub-culture (oooh! I just made that up ;-)

If what you want is to have a site that caters to your specific tech bent, then exclude the movie info (that's under preferences [slashdot.org] ). Slashdot is Slashdot. If you see it here, that's Slashdot content. What you think is Slashdot "style" is rather beside the point.

I come to bury AICN (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 14 years ago | (#1580997)

Well, AICN has more bitching and moronic comments in its feedback section than a /. story on Apple :)

They too suffer from the "First Post!" syndrome, and the posters mostly come across as 12 year old boys with ADD and no formal logic skills.

That aside, one of their writers, "Moriarity," does write some good stuff.
Mostly, though, it's pointless, spoiler-filled rumour mongering and fan-boy rants.
Visit at peril to you sanity :)



Pope

Re:Are we not nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1580998)

I'd rather watch porno. Just my opinion.

Because a lot of us Nerds are into Anime! (2)

SpiceWare (3438) | more than 14 years ago | (#1580999)

Your silly japanese cartoon comment is very telling that you haven't a clue. The Japanese animation that I've seen and have is geared towards the adult viewer, many with adult situations, violence, and language that would easily rate an R or even X rating. Most all have an excellent story line, unless butchered during the English translation process.

In contrast, the vast majority of American cartoons are geared towards children, and are not worth seeing for those not in a family way. This does some to be improving, Iron Giant was a pleasent surprise!

Most of my collection is on Laser Disk, though I've started getting DVD titles now that I've a Thinkpad with DVD support.

One of the Tenchi Muyo specials would be especially popular for this group - it's a major spoof on Microsoft, complete with Gates and his attempts to monopolize the Japanese Computer market.

Re:Are we not nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581000)

Excuse me, you are a slashdot bigot O rightous one. Why shouldn't we spout our negativity? That is what this forum allows (for us to express our opinions).

Re:anime rocks (0)

PHroD (1018) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581001)

well yeah thats why it helps to learn (at least some) Japanese, so you can extract meanings that may not be translateable into English, though a lot of subtitle works have notes that indicate these meanings (like in parenthesis). Plus it helps if you read pretty fast :)


"There is no spoon" - Neo, The Matrix

When is the subtitled release? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581002)

No matter how good of a dub job they do, dubs are usually at best, decent, but ever so rarely turn out to be better than the original (Armitage III is such an exception [the original dub, NOT the Sutherland/Berkeley one]). Knowing Disney's assimilatory "If is has the Disney label, no other versions exist" attitude, it'll be a long time to never. How long did it take for Kiki's Delivery Service to be released subbed again?

Re:Are we not nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581003)

Maybe you could watch "Grave of the Fireflys" and be blessed with a clue.

Re:Why do we care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581004)

Now that's a fucking worthwhile contribution to our discussion. Ooooooooooooh, anime is so silly, silly little anime fans, silly, silly, silly.

Ruroni Kenshin (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581005)


I like Miyazaki, but I have a big fucking bone to pick with Ruroni, in that the author set it in the Meiji period, and then proceeds to stomp ALL OVER historical fact. If all the major characters were fictional, then it wouldn't bother me so much, but when he starts pulling in people like Saito Hajime (I mean, really, after reading/seeing Ruroni Kenshin, what impression would most people have of Saito? How many of them know what sort of person he really was?), then it turns me right off.

I mean, f'chrissakes, the guy's descendants are still around - how do you think they feel about it?

Great fan site for Mononoke and all Miyazaki fimls (1)

dm (8144) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581006)

There's a great fan-site for Princess Mononoke (and all Miyazaki films). [nausicaa.net]

I heartily concur with the reviewer. Princess Mononoke is a work of genius, 133 minutes spent in the presence of beauty. A marvellously complex story, with an intelligent plot --- this is not merely a ``great animated film'' it is a great film.

Re:Are we not nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581007)

This guy is right. Stupid shit being posted on slashdot is why people like myself have lost repect fot the site and post so much bullshit flamebait. Maybe next week Hemos' house will burn down again and we can all right in and wish him luck and ask if he needs assistance forgetting the fact that that you don't even know him.

Re:Are we not nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581008)

This guy is right. Stupid shit being posted on slashdot is why people like myself have lost repect fot the site and post so much bullshit flamebait.

Maybe next week Hemos' house will burn down again and we can all right in and wish him luck and ask if he needs assistance forgetting the fact that that you don't even know him.

Slashdot Anime Interest Poll (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581009)

My interest in anime is best described as:

[ ] I want to marry Belldandy!
[ ] Every other paycheck covers anime goodies!
[ ] I watch a lot of anime.
[ ] Some of it is all right.
[ ] Not really interested, thanks.
[ ] Isn't that all just pr0n and ninjas?
[ ] What's anime?
[ ] Foo!

Hey Rob! Let's have a real poll on this!

Re:Are we not nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581010)

Is there any point to suggesting that we watch something without saying why you think we should, or what we will get of it other than "a clue?"

The thing that bothers me about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581011)

Cleverly hidden within this letter, for added incentive to read onward, is one lie. Not a lie of statistical or grammatical error, but a ludicrous falsehood at once so absurd as to strike the reader as an insult to human intelligence, and yet so crass as to convince the reader that social stability and family unity are two things that lackadaisical deviants have no concern for. If you disagree with my claim that most of us are now painfully aware of Princess Mononoke's jejune allegations, then read no further. In this era of rising irreligionism, we must invigorate the effort to reach solutions by increasing the scope of the inquiry, rather than by narrowing or abandoning it. Considering the corruption and foolishness that characterize garrulous pompous gits, if she wants to turn our country into a grotesque cesspool overrun with scum, disease, and crime, let her wear the opprobrium of that decision. This makes Princess Mononoke's teachings seem mean-spirited and even a bit dotty. Why is it that 99 times out of 100, Princess Mononoke's obiter dicta are based on biased statistics and faulty logic, which, in turn, invalidate the conclusions she draws from them?



Princess Mononoke is not just capricious; she's prudish, too. Although it requires risk, commitment, and follow-through to avoid the extremes of a pessimistic naturalism and an optimistic humanism by combining the truths of both, before I knew anything about her, I was once an onlooker at a few of Princess Mononoke's mass demonstrations, without possessing even the slightest insight into the mentality of her cronies or the nature of her excuses. From this perspective, in this crucial hour and under the treachery of our time, I must announce that money is not the solution to our Princess Mononoke problem. Everywhere she's gone, she has tried to overthrow democratic political systems. It can happen here, too.



On that basis, I myself should, at this point, warn the public against those condescending numskulls whose positive accomplishments are always practically nil, but whose conceit can scarcely be excelled. Unfortunately, Princess Mononoke's loquacious credos neglect to take one important factor into consideration: human nature. Think about that for a moment. As it turns out, Princess Mononoke's hijinks are impertinent in theory and unscrupulous in practice. As will be discussed in more detail later in this letter, I will not let myself be forced into anything. I would like to end on a heartfelt note. Except for a few bright spots, Princess Mononoke's conclusions are thoroughly obstreperous.

Re:Why is everything being labeled as flamebait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581012)

I could write a very angry letter right now about Slashdot, but I decided instead merely to express some constructive criticism. For starters, Slashdot's accusations are misleading and deceptive. Ostensibly, Slashdot does not intend to lay all of society open to the predations of organized criminality, but in fact, we all have an obligation to stand up together and forcefully oppose its fastidious theories. With friends like Slashdot, who needs enemies? Justice and humanity are totally on our side and nothing but illegality and barbarity are on its.



Slashdot is one of those conceited dimwitted pseudo-intellectuals that quotes the Bible but never reads it, and if you don't believe me, then you should help you reflect and reexamine your views on Slashdot. The problem is, there's no point in arguing with Slashdot. Slashdot's tracts share a number of characteristics. They impact public policy for years to come. They let us know exactly what our attitudes should be towards various types of people and behavior. And they make bigotry respectable. Put together, these characteristics imply that Slashdot's press releases, when taken as a whole, are counter-productive. And there you have it. Slashdot is chomping at the bit for a chance to depressurize the frail vessel of human hopes.



Re:Neil's credits (1)

acb (2797) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581013)

You must have only seen some of the early Sandman issues, with the rather unfortunate superhero subplot.

It gets much better than that.

Not For Young Children (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581014)

Unlike some of his other work, e.g. My Neighbour Totoro, this one has enough blood and violence in it that young kids might be better off avoiding it. Just because there is a young girl who is a princess, doesn't mean your little princess won't be turned off by the blood.

Most anime doesn't really fit what most of us are used to seeing in a movie. Even anime that is meant to be a movie has different pacing and style to what we're used to. MH however is closer to what we expect when we go to the theatre.

Re:Why do we care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581015)

Yeah, anime is a fsking revolutions man! But you're still just giving your fucking money to the man.

Re:Slashdot Anime Interest Poll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581016)

Hi Rob! Hi Hemos! You're so cool I want to suck your collective dicks. I'll just pretend you can hear me. ;)

It is ultimately a _Japanese_ love story. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581017)

Note that I have seen the original version of this movie twice, and would like to comment that the aspects of ancient Japanese culture that appear in this movie are going to confuse many people. Also, please note that, to the best of my knowledge(which, therefore, cab be disputed), is that Miyazaki Hayao's animations play out in what is considered to be "parallel" worlds, that are fictional by all accounts, yet deal with the common thread of "humans" dealing with the problems caused by the same "humans". So, even though the reviewed mentioned the Muramachi period of Japan, the story of Mononoke Hime is set in a "transitory" world where changes are about the rock the foundations of not just a single party, but all of the involved parties that have conflicting interests... And these interests are ultimately represented by two single individuals in this story, and this is where Mononoke Hime is considered to be one of the better works of Mr. Miyazaki because no one is really wrong nor right in the end, and that's how life is. However, fans of Mr. Miyazaki's previous works will be able to pick out similarities in the characters that appear in this movie with the past favorites that appeared in all the excellent works mentioned by the reviewer above. And this may either be a disappointment or a source of joy for these fans, since this element makes the plot of the story somewhat predictable. And, yes, it is a love story between a boy and a girl, there is no way to go about this in any other way. Despite the violent scenes, the tangled interests of various groups or parties involved, it is ultimately a Japanese love story between a wacky girl and a too-serious boy. :) (Hopefully this doesn't make this a flame bait) ----------- Of note, the music for this movie was composed by Hisaishi Joe(URL: http://www.joehisaishi.com - note, it's in Japanese), who was also the composer behind almost all of Mr. Miyazaki's works. His music is panoply of styles that share a common thread of enticing the listener into the world that maybe Mr. Miyazaki alone wouldn't have been able to create if it hadn't been for Mr. Hisaishi's music.

This man is the greatest in Anime. (3)

Christopher Cashell (2517) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581018)

For those of you who enjoy good Anime, this is *definitely* worth checking out.

This is the man who created my all time favorite Anime, Kaze no Tani no Nausicaä (Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind). Not only is this a full length story (weighing in at right about 2 hours...I hate 45 minute 'movies' with no time for a real plot) but the depth, the characters, and the writing are all abosolutely amazing.

It's strange, but very few people in the US seem to be familiar with Nausicaa, despite the fact that I'm told it almost always places in the top 5 of every Japanese poll about the greatest Anime ever. I suppose part of the reason may be that no Enlglish dub was ever made (Technically, there was an English dub, it was called Warriors of the Wind. However, I refuse to count it, because it was so horribly chopped, mangled, and destroyed, it's not even worth watching. They cut out almost half an hour in the dubbing and editing, essentially everything that was important for the plot, leaving you with a few disjointed action scenes.)

If you'd like more information on Hayao Miyazaki and his Animes and Mangas, check out some of the following URLs:

[nausicaa.net]
http://www.nausicaa.net/
[princess-mononoke.com]
http://www.princess-mononoke.com/
[ntv.co.jp]
http://www.ntv.co.jp/ghibli/

Find out for yourself why the old stigma 'cartoons are for kids' only goes in the US. This will show you how amazing an indepth a 'cartoon' can be.

More on Studio Ghibli. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581019)

Check out nausicaa.net [nausicaa.net] for the unofficial Ghibli web site.

-- surfing the wave --

Re:anime rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581020)

Should I also learn Spanish for the Spanish movies, French for the French movies, German for the German movies, Chinese for the Chinese movies. After a while it gets hard to keep up. I'm not trying to be sarcastic. I'm just a natural. But it's not about me. It's about this other shit.

Re:Slashdot Anime Interest Poll (1)

node42 (46369) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581021)

Since I have a life size poster of Belldandy in my living room (picked it up at Nandes Con), I will take the top option!

Re:Why is everything being labeled as flamebait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581022)

Now this was a fine example of humour.

Re:Because a lot of us Nerds are into Anime! (2)

Mark J Tilford (186) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581023)

One of the Tenchi Muyo specials would be especially popular for this group - it's a major spoof on Microsoft, complete with Gates and his attempts to monopolize the Japanese Computer market.

For those who are interested, see "Pretty Sami: The Magical Girl, episode 2".
-----------

Re:20 major markets? or 1000 screens? (2)

jafac (1449) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581024)

Well, if you remember the American release of Akira, they hyped the hell out of it, and because of the piss-poor shitty-ass job of dubbing, (the American voice "actors" made it sound like a Scooby-Doo episode)(IMNSHO), it sucked at the box office. Even Anime fans hated it (of course, they all had a subtitled or japaneese version at home on VHS anyway).

I don't suppose they want to repeat a gamble like that, regardless of Mr. Gaiman's passion.

I might make the round trip to SF to go see it. . . (only 8 hours including the movie)

I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said "Information wants to be free".

A good dub of anime!? shock! (3)

ChrisRijk (1818) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581025)

Personally, I avoid anime dubs, and for lots of reasons, but I don't mind other people seeing them. Besides, I know enough Japanese that I can nearly completely understand most anime raw - I saw Mononoke Hime 'raw' before I saw a sub, and 'got' most of it - so I don't need dubs or subs much. Might be interesting to see a good dub for once though...

Some little points I thought I'd share with the rest:
*) The movie came out in Japan 2 years ago.
*) Ashitaka comes from a race known as the 'ainu' (I think it was) who (in real history) died out somewhere between the 5th and 10th centuary or something. Originally, "shogun" used to be short for something that meant something like "army leader and suppresor of the Ainu". (I don't have some of my history books around, so I'm just doing it from memory)
*) "mononoke" means something like a "vengeful ghost/spirit" - doesn't translate very well. "hime" is a name suffix which normally translates as 'princess', though in some periods it can be a bit more like 'lady'.
*) The "wolves" are "mountain dogs" in the original
*) In Japan, firearms were removed from the whole country by the government in the early 17th centuary. They were originally introduced by Portugease missionaries, who offered them to local lords in exchange for the lord and people going christian.
*) I like this film a lot, though that doesn't mean it'll be like that for everyone.

hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581026)

ok, well I saw this when it first played at the toronto film festival back in august, and well interesting story line, but its defintiely not going to appeal to as braod a market as ghost in the shell or akira did. yes great animation etc. but it drags on and eventually you are sitting there goign why am I still sitting in this theatre. All I have to say is, its going to be better on video, and well they are definitely kicking up one huge stink of a marketing campaign for this one, its already been mentioned in two seperate issues of details but other than that i think most people will be severely disappointed. oh and to anyone else that has seen it ... what happened to the monkeys? where'd they go? they just sort of seemed to forget about them ...

News for Everyone? (somewhat OT) (2)

Sebbo (28048) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581027)

Having contributed a couple non-techie book reviews, I'm very aware of this issue.

A couple of my friends have been talking about whether it would be possible to do a general alt-culture website based on the Slash code, and the consensus has been that, to be worthwhile, it would have to be heavily configurable, with multiple department editors maintaining different areas of interest.

Well...the arrival of the YRO, Apache, and BSD sections have gotten me wondering...could Slashdot broaden that way itself?

At the moment, I suspect that most users don't exclude any subjects--would making /. so big that it was necessary to exclude stuff to be able to keep up kill the core culture or not? It doesn't seem like it would have to.

Re:When is the subtitled release? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581028)

The sub of Kiki's Delivery Service took a couple of months--too long, but not bad at all, considering what other companies average. Here's hoping we'll get the rest punctually.

Re:News for Everyone? (somewhat OT) (1)

Hemos (2) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581029)

Trying working within Everything. Everything.blockstackers.com - the new verison is out in about 5 days. It'll be much, much ,better

To that one *special* Anonymous Coward (0)

Scott Francis[Mecham (336) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581030)

You wouldn't be related to Anthony Gaza by any chance, now would you?
It's actually pretty amusing to see your floundering around on /., with your lame attempts at ridicule.

animetic nonchalance (1)

enol (86152) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581031)

I am not an anime fan (saw a few ones like Ghost in the Shell, it was ok, but not enough to turn my head) and I suppose that will qualify me to be burned. :P

But personal opinions aside, it sounds like a good movie. I *do* sometimes enjoy reviews that don't pertain to the latest processor or OS, and it seems to me like this is more interesting than the M$ got hacked article. I got into some books just because I saw it on slashdot (The Diamond Age comes to mind) and I appreciate that fact. It would suck if slashdot turned all pseudo-techy ( zd.. net..) but once in awhile reviews are ok. I think this is the first time I saw an anime review here anyways. Reviews aren't necessarily a Bad Thing(TM) IMO.



Re:The thing that bothers me about this... (2)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581032)

Thank you for the kind words.

Thank you also for taking the time to visit Scott Pakin's automatic complaint-letter generator [uiuc.edu] and asking it to generate three paragraphs in my honor.

Cute.

(Yes, I've had this nick for a few weeks now. Only because my regular one was already taken.)
--

Other (better IMHO) Miyazaki movies (1)

anonymous loser (58627) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581033)

Mononoke Hime is an ok movie, it has beautiful scenery and detailed animation. However, I think the only reason it was the highest grossing domestic film in Japan is that it was Miyazaki-san's last production, not that it was his best film.

Other films by Miyazaki, which I think are better, are "Tenkuu no Shiro no Laputa" (the rough translation is "The sky castle laputa") and "Kaze no Tani no Naussica" ("Naussica of/in the valley of wind"). I'm not a big anime fan, but I think these films stand out much more than Mononoke Hime in terms of plot, setting, character development, and technical merit.

Slightly Off Topic - How to contact anime artists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581034)

My race team wants to do some T-Shirts for next season, and we're looking for an anime artist who can design a shirt for us in exchange for a cut of the gross.

But we're having a devil of a time finding anyone.

Where's a good site that will put you in contact with people who can do anime-style art?

Re:I come to bury AICN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581035)

Can someone please moderate this sideways for being informative, yet off topic?

Re:20 major markets? or 1000 screens? (1)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581036)

They are using the same technique as was used on Blair Witch, American Beauty, Life is Beautiful, etc: Premier the movie in a small number of markets, build interest in the movie (through websites and reviews) and slowly distribute the movie to more markets. This lets the excitement build, and increases the chance of better returns.

Only the the biggest star (or franchise) driven movies get enough initial hype to open wide and make money. Plus, non-Disney animation is a tough sell. Look at what happened to Iron Giant (great movie, IMHO.) IG was gone from the theatres before good word-of-mouth had a chance to circulate.


--

Re:Didn't rock *my* world... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581037)

HERETIC! DIE INFIDEL!

anime ga daisuke desu! (1)

Kartoffel (30238) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581038)

there is more to anime than pokemon, sailor moon, and robotech

Absolutely! It's too bad that the majority of 'anime' that reaches the US mainstream media is crap. Ask any anime fan about what movies and books they prefer. There are much much better shows than Sailor Moon et.al. Would you decide that Western television is stupid if the only shows you could get were Power Rangers and Teletubbies? Certainly.

All of the Ghibli movies I've seen are totally excellent. Slashdot nerds might particularly like Wings of Honneamise.

Re:anime rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581039)

Tenchi...

Re:Original vs. Disney (1)

kalimar (42718) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581040)

Having seen Princess Mononoke in the theatre already (I live in Cambridge, MA where they released it at one of the local theatres about 2 months ago), I have to say that Disney did not ruin it in any way shape or form. It's an incredible film and definately worth seeing.

Re:Straight to video? (1)

mal3 (59208) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581041)

It's playing in theaters, next week i'm driving from columbus to Cleveland to see Perfect Blue. The week after that I'm going back to see Princess Mononoke. :-)

P.S. Anyone wanna tag along? I got an extra seat in the car.

anime dub probs (1)

Skip666Kent (4128) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581042)

My major problem with American dubs on anime is the general lack of appreciation or understanding of the Japanese approach to voice dubbing.

The Japanese voice-overs generally have a *LOT* of expression, with over-the-top 'wacky' characters contrasted with more even-keeled 'cool' characters.

American attempts at dubbing grossly downplay the 'over-the-top' aspect for the 'cool' approach, giving all characters a more similar (lack of) affect, and deadening the sudden leaps and dips of emotive expression which are a HUGE part of the charm and magic that make anime appealing for so many.

The two girls in 'Totoro' are a good example of this.

A lot of American voices (especially the 'big name' ones) seem afraid to speak in anything other than a cool, high-status style. To do it right, they need to have more fun and take more risks. Shout, scream, cry, whimper, grovel, shriek, whatever.

Also, most Big Name Hollywood Act/ors/resses genuinely suck at vo's. To their credit, it is also probably more largely due to an utter lack of intelligent/thoughtful direction than to their own faults.

But I think the big name actors generally feel afraid to 'tarnish their image' by giving a voice-only part their all.

The latest wave of Disney flicks suffer horribly from this. All the characters (the few, that is, that aren't played by Robin Williams) sound like bored Beverly Hills brats.

Bottom line: I'd WAY rather hear an enthusiastic and talented unknown than a Name who's unskilled and/or uninterested. Never happen here, tho', 'cause film industry investors are attracted only to film with Names in them. There's no interest in creating New Names.

Oh well! Fsck 'em!


Re:This man is the greatest in Anime. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581043)

I'd have to agree, out of all of the Anime that I've ever watched, Nausicaa is *the* best. I think part of the reason that people here don't know about it related to a criminal with the name of "Hayao Miyazaki" (not the Anime god) who was kidnaping people and sending their pieces to the police. As I recall that was going on not long after Nausicaa was released, and it kind of gave anime a bad name (because of the name).

Re:hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581044)

Akira was a fluke, the movie was a compressed verion of a large number of GN's (Graphic Novels) and the story was so jumpy it was mostly unwatchable. However, the animation quality was fantastic.

Ghost in the Shell suffered from the same problem, but not as badly.

Re:If you didn't like Princess Mononoke, (1)

webslacker (15723) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581045)

Try Porco Rosso. The art and animation weren't nearly as good, but I thought it was a much better story by Miyazaki. Oh, and another great from Studio Ghibli is Grave of the Fireflies. Roger Ebert said it was the only animated movie that ever made him cry.

miyazaki = icky treacle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581046)

miyazaki?

take one part vague environmentalism, four parts sentiment, add a homeopathic pinch of adventure, a dash of annoying movie music, and there you have it: a lump of sugar-coated poo-poo in the disney style. in fact, many japanese set miyazaki studios as a national hero, rival to that goddam Mouse, and heir to the schlock-meister throne left vacant by tetsuka osamu's death. it's the same old crap with a made in japan label. after being subjected to previous miyazaki excresences, i think i'll just say no.

Re:Not For Young Children (1)

nfgaida (68606) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581047)

i would rather see a movie that didn't fit into what i "expected".

different pacing and style. why is that a bad thing? must all of our movies be cookie-cutter fashioned?

EX Magazine review (1)

emufreak (83564) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581048)

Good old online anime site EX Magazine [ex.org] has done an editorial on Princess Mononoke-and they love it. Check it out here [ex.org] . =D


emufreak
www.kontek.net/pp

About Nausicaa (1)

gnarphlager (62988) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581049)

Yeah, the anime was good. And it certainly was head and shoulders about most of the other crappy anime out there. But I was seriously disappointed in it. Why? The manga. AMAZING. Heartwarming and breaking at the same time. Now, they DO hold pretty close to the story, but they only cover the first book of about seven in the series. Now, they do treat it well. Killing off Nausicaa at the end was a nice touch too; it really got to me, particularly because she didn't *have* to die. I loved that. But I wanted more, which the comics gave me. So much, much more. WONDERFUL story, if you ever get a chance, seek this one out.

another bit about voice acting (1)

Skip666Kent (4128) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581050)

Think of Mel Blanc and all the characters voices he produced, or the early Disney efforts, or Popeye, the Flintstones or whatever. These efforts created voices that we still recognize immediately 50 years after the fact.

What are the modern equivalents?

What modern cartoon character voices are difficult to imitate, but garner immediate recognition when done successfully?

The Simpsons? - Definately
Ren and Stimpy - Yes, and my personal faves (jon k'falusi versions ONLY)
Freaky and the Bean - dunno, never seen it
The Teletubbies - don't ask, just shoot on sight

?

The clan of Ashitaka... (1)

Space Cow (93479) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581051)

BZZZT! You do not get to go onto final jeopardy. The Ainu are much like Native Americans. They were forced off their land and had terrible things done to them by the forces in power (Japanese), but they are still alive, although their culture has been effectivly wiped out.

The people that Ashitaka comes from are the...Emishi! Yes, the same Emishi that Yamato Takeru of Kojiki myth sets out to vanquish. In the Kojiki (Collection of Ancient Things), the Emishi are depicted as a thouroughly nasty bunch who are uncivilized, but this was probably because they lost against the Yamato clan (who ended up uniting Japan).

Re:Original vs. Disney (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581052)

It shouldn't be. As I understand it, the deal between Studio Ghibili (sp) and Disney had a clause which did not allow Disney in any way shape or form to edit the film. So as long as the translation is good, it'll be fine. btw: The dub of Kiki's Delivery Service wasn't too bad...

Hopefully, Anime will become more mainstream... (1)

MinaInerz (25726) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581053)

As a huge Anime fan (The Slayers, Fushigi Yuugi, and Battle Atheletes being my favs! - especially The Slayers (subbed) w/ Megumi Hayashibara) I'd just like to say that my wild-blind-stab-in-the-dark-guess is that Mononoke Hime will catapult Anime into more mainstream America. I'm not talking about Pokemon or DBZ (Japanese-Americanish) Anime, I'm talking about real subtitled (on even dubbed, if it's good).

I can't wait til this happens, as so many really good Animes get 'stuck' in Japan, and they're only available if you can speak Japanese, read Kanji, or know where to find a good Fan-subber.

Anyways, everybody should see Mononoke Hime - you'll love it. (It was the best selling movie in Japan ever, until Titanic crossed the Pacific) And check out some Anime - you can get it at local stores like Suncoast, or online at www.animenation.com [animenation.com] , which has really great prices! I'd suggest getting 'The Slayers' if you're a fantasy fan, it's hilarous, I guarantee you'll love it, or Rob promises to give you a full refund!

Mina Inerz (a.k.a Lina Inverse) - visit my webpage for great Anime Wallpapers!
Mina Inerz [N. Reinking]

Automated flame generator (1)

Kartoffel (30238) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581054)

I bet this is from the same person who flamed Free BSD here. Dude, if you're actually writing this by hand, get a job in advertising or politics. If it's an automated program, link please?

Re:Kiki's Delivery Service (1)

lamour (49437) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581055)

I agree. I thought they did a good job with Kiki...

whatever.

Re:Automated flame generator (1)

Kartoffel (30238) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581056)

whoops! BSD flame here [slashdot.org]

Some further clarification, back on topic (1)

pmancini (20121) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581057)

Some points on your points! Being an avid historian and deeply interested in Japanese history from my armchair let me make some clarifications.

1) the Ainu are an aboriginal race in Japan. There are still Ainu cultural centers for them in Japan. Race wise the most recent scholorship thinks of the Ainu and Japanese as basically the same race with different cultures. Ancient Japanese are divided up between Yayoi and Jomon. They are named after different ways of patterning pottery. Yayoi overcame Jomon. Around 200 A.D. the Yamato court started to do the big push off of Kyushu (one of the 4 main Islands of Japan) and spread into the Kanto plain (the area around Tokyo). There the Yamato and the Ainu met and struggled for land/water/game rights. Overtime the Yamato began to refer to the Ainu as Emishi and also called anyone who wasn't keen on a big central government Emishi (barbarian). By 805 the Yamato had pacified the Emishi and by 950-1000 AD the Ainu and Emishi were pretty much totally absorbed into Japanese culture. This is important because if it wasn't for the wars against the Emishi and the proof that the Yamato Court's conscription system basically sucked we would not have had the development of the military houses that by 1100AD had become the Samurai.

2) The Dutch can also be implicated in arms trade with the Japanese, but for less "holy" reasons (unless you venerate gold...) There are some fascinating tales of the struggles of the Christian Samurai.

3) Does anyone else find it funny that one of the lead characters is named after a court cap? Eboshi means court cap (one of those funny caps that look anything like a sailors cap to something the coneheads would wear.) It would be like refering to a character in one of our films as Mr. Baseball Cap! Well, perhaps Costner could get away with this one.

4) The Japanese have come a long way and are now avid Linux users. (See, back to tech news!)

High Percentage of Computer Programmers... (1)

havoc (22870) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581058)

From my limited sampling I have found that a high number of Anime fans are also into computers. My IS department is getting a group together from work to make the 10 hour trip to see this when it comes out in theaters!

This is refreshing News for Nerds!

Re:Neil's credits (2)

Millennium (2451) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581059)

Perhaps you only read the first trade paperback. That one did, admittedly, have an extremely lame superhero subplot. Or maybe you started right on the eigth one (huge mistake); the story in that one is wonderful but unless you've read the rest of the series you won't understand just why the characters were drawn as they were in that one.

My advice: keep reading. As quickly as the second of the TPB's, it dumps the superhero junk and very quickly becomes among the best books, "comic" or otherwise, most people I know have ever read.

Oh, and yes, the pictures and words in Sandman probably could stand alone (you'd have to put it into novel form, I'm guessing, but that's not too much of an alteration).

Re:anime rocks (1)

bludstone (103539) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581060)

You lose more meaning when it is dubbed. The japanese voice actors are always better then the english ones (evangelion for example) and if you miss the visuals, watch it twice and ignore the subs the second time.

Subtitled version will be on video (?) (1)

chandoni (28843) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581061)

I have heard unsubstantiated rumors that Dimension films will also release a subtitled version, although only on video. They did this for Kiki's Delivery Service (majo no takkyubin) also. This would us hard core fans happy without having to buy the Japanese LD for over $100 (although I guess a true otaku would do that). Anyone with more substantial info, please post a link!

More info on the film, including an interview with Neil Gaiman, can be found here [corona.bc.ca] .

JMC

Re:Are we not nerds? (1)

Rational (1990) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581062)

Yeah, well, that cuts both ways. His opinion (and mine) is that your opinion bites.

Re:Hopefully, Anime will become more mainstream... (1)

bludstone (103539) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581063)

Ugh, I hated slayers.. lina is annoying and gourry no baka. :p but beyond that, there are many of us that argue that anime going mainstream would be a -bad- thing. My #1 concern is lawyers. The fanatical fandom of anime brings forth many creative endevors by the fans. Doujinshis (manga fan comics) would be a prime target for lawyers, since many fans sell them for profit. (usually this profit goes back into anime, but these are lawyers we are talking about.) Concerns about fansubs (fan subtitled anime), which many companies have turned their heads to, come to mind as well. They turn their heads because they are not marketing the anime in the us, and it just opens up more orders for the merchandise.. that and they probably just dont care. When things are integrated into American society, the quality and artistic integrity are de-valued. Look at pokemon, its more of a marketing strategy then an anime, or videogame, or comic, or cardgame, or toys.. catch my drift? that and the anime just flat out sucks I guess what im trying to say is, although the goal for many anime fans is to make anime popular in japan, you must be wary of the after effects.. the more people that are into it.. the more stupid people you have to deal with.. and weve got plenty of them to go around.. ok im done

Re:Straight to video? (1)

phantast (35247) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581064)

From what I understand, Mirmax/Disney has a deal to release 5 Miyazaki movies in the US. They've already released "Kiki's Delivery Service" straight to video. I believe that the success of Mononoke Hime will determine which other movies (Nausicaa, Laputa) will be released and how.


I believe the Video rights are held by buena vista entertainment (they are in japan anyway) and there is no official word on a subtitled release at this time:( I know there are a few fansubs floating around, and that the Ohio State Anime club has a great sub.


The CD for this movie rocks as well, just try to get the Japanese release, since they changed the theme song to English and it's just not nearly as good.


And, as I am a total fanatic for this movie, I also bought "Princess Mononoke: The Art and Making of Japan's Most Popular Film of All Time." Just got it from Amazon... pretty pictures.

Not everyone against dubs is elitist (2)

David Jao (2759) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581065)

I don't know where you get the idea that people who prefer to view a movie in the original language expect others to view them as superior. Only in the US do people consider you smart if you know multiple languages. In other parts of the world, especially Europe and Asia, it is very common for kids to grow up speaking more than one language. For example, every child in school learns English, and that together with their native language is already two languages.

Surely you must admit that people who know the language should prefer to see the film in the original language, rather than English.

Your comment that every animated film is dubbed is completely false. You must be under the impression that the images are drawn first and then the voices are recorded. In fact, an animated film is made in the opposite order. First the audio is recorded, and then the images are drawn, frame by frame, to fit the voices exactly. Fitting drawn images to a prerecorded audio track gives much more satisfying results than trying to fit a new audio track to an existing video. That is one reason why some people genuinely prefer to view animated films with the original sound track.

Finally, as has already been remarked above, Japanese voice actors do voice acting for a profession, while American movie stars are not accustomed to the role. In Japan the actors spend a lifetime honing their skills at voice acting. In America voice acting is treated as an afterthought. It should come as no surprise that the Japanese actors deliver much more pleasing performances.

Re:Why I hate Anime subtitles and prefer dubs... (1)

Amy Fong (94312) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581066)

You're totally off. How clueless can one get?

great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581067)

a Simpsons version of "four feet gooood; two feet baaaaad".

Just what we need.

I can take you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1581068)

I am much much bigger now. And mean. you made me that way. AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
Feel the wrath of the super nerd who's seen too much dragon ball z. IIIIIYAYYAAHH!!!

Re:miyazaki = icky treacle (1)

Rational (1990) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581069)

Dude, I'd sure hate to be you... Do you go around kicking dogs too?

Re:Neil's credits (2)

boojumsnark (75347) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581070)

It's also worth noting that ajs quoted the article incorrectly. The actual quote is "of The Sandman and other literary undertakings". The author wasn't calling it "non-literary". (Flamebait about the horribleness of the last two years of the book's run has been self-censored.)

(I'm being Jiji for Halloween. My girlfriend is being Kiki. Miyazaki is good stuff!)

Mononoke denial. (1)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581071)

Halp! I can't seem to find it here in Ottawa, Canada!
Where is it? When?
---

Re:great (1)

dm (8144) | more than 14 years ago | (#1581072)

Oh, no. Not at all.

First, Hayao Miyazaki is more similar to Akira Kurosawa than he is similar to Matt Groenig.

Second, it's *much* more complicated and intelligent than a simple good/evil dichotomy. You leave the movie understanding, and sympathizing with, almost everyone's motives.

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