Chirin no Suzu which is “Ringing Bell in English” is an 47 minute Anime from 1978 produced by the one and only Sanrio. It’s a dark tale about revenge for children that begins with the super cuteness that sanrio brings with its name. Think Unico and Hello Kitty. Chirin is a lamb whose mother is killed by a wolf. He then seeks out the wolf in order to become strong and seek revenge. Along the way he must learn about the unfairness of life and how hard it can be.
For one, Chirin was so set on becoming a wolf that he showed his detication by following the wolf. One example in Claymore, Clare follows Theresa and in turn Raki follows Clare with gratitude. In both cases neither Clare or Thersa wanted the child tagging along, the same as with the wolf. Eventually they develop a sort of respect for the strength, stamina, and spirit it shows to follow them around. They then accept the follower.
Another commonality is attacking with the head. Granted, Chirin is a sheep and has either hooves or his head to attack with, he was charging through trees. How hard can a head be? It’s like Goku in Dragonball who defeated enemies with his hard head. Also, like in Dragonball Z, the wolf is a strict master very much like Piccolo.
I wonder if Sanrio came out with anything nearly as dark or sad as this again. This was truly a tragedy. Revenge is a dangerous thing that hurts the avenger, possibly more than they were hurt at first. Another tone in this short movie is the danger of non-conformity. Chirin is not and never has been like the other sheep and look what happens to him. He seeks strength (as they seem to do in every anime) and gets it but at what cost?
All museums have interesting things, but some are more interesting than others. In the natural history museum of Basel, Switzerland there was an exhibit called Animatus of skeletons of cartoon characters (It ran until August 31 so I guess its somewhere else now). So if you walked in you would see Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, Tom and Jerry among other favorites except for they would be all bone. This exhibit was created by the Korean artist Hyungkoo Lee. I think its kind of cool if not just a little creepy. What do you think?
One day not too long ago I was looking around this awesome used bookstore called the Mermaid bookstore that is is the basement of another store that is now a ham shop. I found an old copy of the book The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle which was an animated film that had been one of my favorites as a child.
The film follows the book nicely seeing that Beagle wrote the screenplay. Of course not all the depth of the book remains in the film, but basically the film is about a unicorn, who believes that she is the last of her kind, going on a journey to find the others. She goes through many struggles including becoming a human and thereby forgetting some of herself and facing the red bull. She also meets friends including a magician. The story has love and a bittersweet ending. All the characters grow and develop and essentially become better which is not the easiest thing to do and is often painful. Throughout the story there is also the discussion of mortality and the fear of death, more so in the book than the movie, but its remains a strong theme.
The movie made in 1982 is an amazing and artsy film. Taprestries portraying unicorns are shown in the beginning credits and later throughout the film. The cast of voice actors includes Mia Farrow, Christopher Lee, Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, and Angela Lansbury. The music is also awesome. It was composed and written by Jimmy Webb and performed by America, the band that sang Horse with No Name. I love listening to the music even now, especially since its so easy to listen to it on the internet since so many people seem to love it as well. There are at least two other versions of the song The Last Unicorn. Not to mention that the artists that worked on this film eventually moved on to Ghibli to work with Miyazaki.
I think the Last Unicorn did better in Europe than America, especially Germany. I guest the tapestries and fairy tale theme make it seem very European.
I recommend everyone who has never seen this film to see it and for those that have last seen it in their childhood for you to watch it again. It has a great story, music, art, actors, and there are hidden allusion and themes that it takes an adult to catch.
Ever saw Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland? Its an anime that was based on a comic strip by Winsor McCay which ran from 1905 to 1914. Well the anime was released in 1989 in Japan and 1992 in America. It was also made with Japanese and American cooperation.
It’s about a little boy who has many nightmares named Nemo who was summoned to sumberland in his sleep to be the princess’ friend and to be future prince. That’s when adventures ensue. Nemo listens to the wrong advice and releases the nightmare king who he has to capture and save the king that had been gobled up by it. By saving the king and defeating the nightmare king he deals with his own nightmares.
It’s a nice cartoon to watch, but it is a kind of strange which may have led to its cult status.
A little bit of the comic.
Some of the Characters from Little Nemo.
Usually I would never put Linkin’ Park in the same sentence as Britney Spears, but in this case I do. Britney’s new music video, Break the Ice, is animated in a similar manner as Linkin’ Park’s Breaking the Habit. Both videos are highly influenced by anime. Britney’s video takes place in an imaginary Korean place, while Linkin’ Park’s takes place in an imaginary Japan. Of course Linkin’ Park’s video came out first so what’s with the similar title? I mean why does Britney have to break something too? I don’t think anime makes me think of breaking something.
Well Britney may have done an animated video to once again have a good figure, just not in real life. Linkin’ Park on the other hand has shown plenty of anime influences in their music videos.
I watched Disney’s Peter Pan made in 1953 again after many years. I didn’t realize all the political incorrectness in that movie. There was blatant sexism, racism, and classism. Not to mention that Tinker Bell is a stinking traitor and is not cool at all. How did she get her own pop cult? I for one don’t own and don’t want to own any of her merchandise.
The sexism is in how Wendy is treated. She’s treated like dirt by her parents, a “Native American” woman, and Peter Pan. Her parents and the “Native American” woman treated her like a 2nd class citizen while they treated the boys better and allowed them to do more than her. Peter Pan acted a lot like a playa and didn’t care for Wendy very much except to be a story teller that pumped up his ego, because all her stories were about him.
The Racism was in how Native Americans were portrayed and what they were called. They were called Reds and a good number of them were colored red. They also all spoke broken English, except for possibly Tiger Lily.
For Classicism? For one the lost boys in their animal costumes at one point literally bowed down and worshipped Peter Pan. Also, the Darling’s family dog, Nana, was the nanny and was treated poorly on top of that.
I love Disney, but this definitely wasn’t one of their best works. Not to mention that the story of Peter Pan inspires Michael Jackson, because he’s old but is still a child. Also, he named his ranch Neverland after the story.
Maybe the story itself was set up to be like this, but Disney could have done something about it, but then it was the 1950s. An idealized boys fantasy where they don’t have to obey rules and where there’s danger and adventure everywhere that come in the forms of pirates and “Indians” and where there are beautiful mermaids as well.