Monday, 7 May 2007

The amazingness of...Anime All-Nighter at Sci-Fi-London 6! (May 5th 2007 midnight-8am), and recommended sci-fi manga

The animeblogger Anime Infatuation seems to take a hideously long time to load so I have moved back to Blogspot.

Many thanks to Eren for getting me into the Anime All-Nighter for free. I'd never been before, so I wasn't sure what to expect and I really enjoyed myself...although next time I'm not drinking a can of Relentless on the tube journey in because a). I couldn't form coherent sentences in my head let alone out loud and b). My arms were physically shaking...Eek! Taurine = Bad!

Anyway, the line up was:

Ghost In The Shell: Solid State Society - I was so wired and bouncing off the inside of my skull I couldn't follow what was going on. Overall, I preferred Innocence. The soundtrack isn't as amazing and I didn't feel that caught up by the plot. I did love the giant mecha chasing the girl in the tunnel/corridor, and those hands that have wires for fingers and type really fast, oh...and tachikomas bouncing up the walls of buildings on ropes. KAWAI. I love how even a drop of water sliding down a window pane can look beautiful in Ghost In The shell. Pretty-pretty!

Paprika - This was so amazing! It lived up to and beyond my expectations from the trailer and soundtrack. Spent the tube journey home listening to the soundtrack and grinning. *SO BEAUTIFUL!* I've always been interested in the differences between reality and dream worlds and whether you could step inside someone else's dreams. It had spectacular visuals, likable characters and you can tell it's a good film when people start clapping in the cinema...twice! I'd highly recommend it to everyone, even non-anime fans. This was definitely the highlight of the evening (morning ?!) for me. Click here to see the trailer

Highlander - wow this was one of those really bad anime you love to hate. The back row was vibrating from people laughing at it...and it wasn't supposed to be funny. Every time someone said "Colin!" all I could think of was Colin the dog from Spaced, hehe! "Colin! I've seen trees with more brains than you!" made me giggle. The Scottish accents were spectacularly ridiculous, however, I felt the character Dahlia made up for it a bit. I liked a scene where she's leaping across a corridor shooting her gun. Girls with guns ftw!

Chevalier D'Eon - OH DEAR. They had run out of the free red bull, so I heard some yawns during this and could see people nodding off and I was fading in and out. This wasn't the best thing to show when people were lagging because of the amount of talking. Too much chit chat not enough zombie/musketeer action!

Full Metal Alchemist: Conquerer of Shamballa - I was getting sleepy at this point at about erm 7:30am...and I wasn't too impressed it was a dub *cries*. I stuck it out for half an hour to see if the visuals got me excited enough to stay awake but I started to nod off so decided to go home for a nap ^__^

I'm really glad I went though, it was fun sitting in a cinema sharing the experience with fellow zombified animenuts. I'll definitely go again next year, especially if they show something as awesome as Paprika.

We also got a free goodie bag...well...they gave me two free bags by accident...I tried to hand one back *baka* Anyway I ended up with:

DVD: Queen Emeraldas, Neon Genesis Evangelion 0:4, and a random free sci-fi B Movie Trancers (not anime, yes, I can see your eyes glazing over, but it's supposed to be good, and since the landlord bought a 37" tv with funny backlighting everything looks awesome).

Figures: 2 Hellboy the animation figures, Hellboy (kimono) and Lightning. Had fun assembling these and trying to figure out how to get Hellboy's tail in place! ^^;

So that's it really! Sorry there aren't any pictures of zombified anime fans at 6am...nothing like anime dorks tanked up on caffeine, but my camera isn't working, need to buy a new one.

My local comics store Calamity Comics in Harrow had some reduced manga so I rewarded myself for finishing all my Uni essays and dissertation with various volumes of:

Arm of Kannon, Battle Angel Alita, Happy Mania, Hino Horror, What's Michael. As well as a Macross Plus Video (yes I know, stone age) and Fresh Pulp: Dispatches From The Japanese Pop Culture Front 1997-1999. Now my bookcase looks distinctly healthier and more mangafied, yay!

I wrote my dissertation on science fiction manga, about how it isn't just giant mecha for teenage boys. I read 35 different sci-fi manga, and my favourites which I would recommend to everyone are:

Battle Angel Alita by Kishiro Yukito. I was moved by the images of a man carrying a cyborg head and dragging his own wounded body across a crowded city. Alita is such a beautiful cyborg, and I liked the sympathetic backstory given to the evil guy in the sewer.

Planetes by Yukimura Makoto. I don't want to give anything away but it has to do with an image of a compass *I LOVED THIS SO MUCH*. An intelligent look at space, I particularly liked the consideration of space medical problems.

The manga I found the most atmospheric, which I loved and hated at the same time ^^; was Ai Ren by Tanaka Yutaka. You are left in the dark about the surrounding world and why things are happening, (avoid like the plague if emo pretentiousness makes you cringe, and skip over the vacant girly bits). I just loved the idea of an artificial human designed to give mental support to a human who is dying and I found Ikuru's deep depair an enjoyably jarring contrast to Ai's bounciness.

If you like your sci-fi stories short with a twist at the end then check out Magic by Shimizu Reiko. It's aimed at girls because of the relationship element...I'm just going to say, incest! to try and lure you in but no more as I don't want to spoil it. I thought it was very clever and well worth the read.

Tha manga which makes my visual cortex orgasm is Nihei Tsutomu's Blame. The nightmarish architecture is just visual joy. Nihei is one of those rare artists who draws in a way which makes me want to walk into the page, go exploring, take photos and lose myself. I love the feeling of vertigo generated from not being able to see the ground in the thousands of levels of structure. I cannot recommend it enough to anyone who likes their sci-fi dark and visual rather than speech bubbles/*details infested.

If you have a general interest in Japanese science fiction literature (yes books! no pictures!) then there are two books I would highly recommend you check out:

The Best Japanese Science Fiction Stories (1997) edited by John L. Apostolou and Martin H. Greenberg. An enjoyable collection of translated stories, I particularly liked Bokko-chan and the story about the hole (sorry I've forgotten the title).

For a history of science fiction literature placed in a Japanese cultural context with delightful story summaries that set your imagination going, check out Japanese Science Fiction (1989) by Robert Matthew. All the satisfaction of the twists and turns in sci-fi stories in easily digestible bites. I particularly enjoyed reading about the sci-fi labelled as 'irregular detective fiction' during the 1920s.

I wrote my other extended essay on Horror Manga technique, and would like to recommend Gyo by Ito Junji...look it has walking fish, need I say more...and a WALKING SHARK!? It's just something you have to see before you die, because it's so awesome!

1 comment:

Martin said...

Yeah, it was a great night - if I'd recognised you I would've said hello! :)

Antyway, Solid State Society was good but the second half was better than the first. Paprika was awesome though...I couln't help but applaud at the end.

Highlander on the other hand was hilarious! As for Chevalier, I was beginning to doze off a little..I'll have to buy the DVD now. The FMA movie was cool but I didn't understand what was going on since I haven't seen the series.

It was an excellent night...although I payed for it in tiredness when I got home!