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Ringing Bell

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?

Kagehime

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Cuz’ we need another Spiderman

Toby Maguire has decided to do Spiderman 4 and 5. I must say that Spiderman 1 and 2 were excellent. Something happened to 3 though. It became soap operay at the same time that it feature 3 (too many) villains. 3 also happened to be the funniest of the bunch but comedy isn’t exactly what we’re looking for in Spiderman right? And having a 4 and 5 is beyond a trilogy. Movie series are going to far now. How many other movies in the past years have done a #4 or 5 or beyond? (Rocky, Indiana Jones, Die Hard, and Rambo to name a few) There are more more on there way as Spiderman shows. What do you think of this phenomenon of going beyond a trilogy? Is it that we want to keep seeing these characters in action again and again or is it something else?

Kagehime

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The Last Unicorn

Last Unicorn

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.

Kagehime

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Persepolis

Hey everyone,

I just saw Persepolis and I liked the way they kept the feel of the Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novels about her life in around and her experiences leaving it. It was co-directed by her so she was able to make sure the art and humor were the same and flowed the way she wanted it to, although there differences between the novels and the movie. For one there was the music that really enhanced the whole feature. It went from the eye of the tiger which is one of my favorite scenes to really hard core rock. The movie’s in French with some sprinkling of English. It’s also entirely in black in white except for the scenes that take place closer to the present.The movie managed to show that as a child that although she really didn’t understand what was going on around her that it all affected her behavior directly.

Here’s an article with some more background info on Satrapi and its correctly named Confessions of Miss Mischief. I think its awesome that she speaks six languages. I would like her to speak at commencement, but what’s the chance of a small college in Virginia getting her? We’ll probably get some weird political dude instead. I think she would be an awesome speaker. I mean she outwitted Stephen Colbert on his own show. If the college doesn’t get her to speak maybe the comix club here could find her. I wonder how much it would cost to bring her here. I doubt the club has enough money, but maybe if we worked with others we would have enough. I wonder if she would be willing to speak though. It would be awesome if she did or if I had the chance to meet her.

Well here’s a short comic of Satrapi’s preconceived notions of going to West Point, what she wanted to happen, and what actually did. I hope that if you haven’t read any of her graphic novels or seen the movie that you do. If you have then feel free to comment.

Kagehime

Punk is not DedA scene that was both funny and kind of scary at the same time as was much of the movie which shows that she has a great sense of humor.

Kagehime

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Alan Moore’s life

Hey,

I’m sure by now many of you know that Wachmen is being made into a movie that’s scheduled to be released in March 2009, but how much do you know about Alan Moore who also created V for Vendetta? Did you know that at one point he was on LSD and was selling it too? or that he lives fairly modestly. Well, I found a little news article about him that I thought was interesting.

There of course is an official movie website if the building excite is getting to you.

Kagehime

watchmen

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