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NEWS: LA Times Article on Tekkon Kinkreet


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Cloe
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:09 pm Reply with quote
Is there any way to read that article without having to register at the LA Times website? At any rate, I'm very, very glad that Sony will be distributing this film; I'm hoping for some kind of theatrical release (however limited), since I'd love to see this on 35mm, but the fact that there's a DVD in the future is comforting.

---------
Edit: I just decided to register. What an incredible article! Arias is very articulate and it's easy to see he put a lot of love and passion into the production of this film. As a fellow devoted Black & White manga fan, I truly look forward to Arias's anime adaptation.

I was a little taken aback by this part:
LA Times wrote:
"The American director described Japanese emotions and atmosphere very well," says Ryusuke Hikawa, a critic on national broadcaster NHK's show "Anime Night Talk," who called it "a wonderful movie." He added: "Scenes of old Tokyo and people's manners were well depicted and exactly fit the emotions of the Japanese. Of course the director had good Japanese staff members around. But even so, I wonder how he did it so well."

I think feelings of nostalgia and loss are universal; I don't see why Japanese critics should be surprised that Arias was able to capture them so well, in spite of not being Japanese. Perhaps this will help break down the xenophobic wall that some Japanese companies have built up around anime production and we'll start seeing more creative gaijin directors. Cheers to Studio 4°C for making history!
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Kagemusha



Joined: 20 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:04 pm Reply with quote
Quote:

I think feelings of nostalgia and loss are universal; I don't see why Japanese critics should be surprised that Arias was able to capture them so well, in spite of not being Japanese. Perhaps this will help break down the xenophobic wall that some Japanese companies have built up around anime production and we'll start seeing more creative gaijin directors. Cheers to Studio 4°C for making history!


I'm guessing he was refering specially to the loss of the "old city" rather than nostalgia in general, which would make sense considering the manga's content. I can't imagine an issue like urban gentrification in America being taught in their schools (hell, most Americans don't even know about it unless they live in inner-city neigborhoods), so it could have just never occured to him that the issue would be pretty universal to modern cities.
But really awesome that Sony is going to distribute it. Hopefully it'll get some kind of theatrical release this year.
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HellKorn



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:08 pm Reply with quote
Really enjoyed reading the article. I loved Arias comments on Black & White, particularly this:

LA Times wrote:
"White is almost like a pet," Arias says. "All he gives you back is love."


... I just had to smile at it. The movie sounds like a true "labor of love."

All in all I just hope that this not only gets more promotion by Sony over here than what they've done for Paprika, but also that it opens up the possibility of licensing and releasing other obscure gems -- yes, I have a specific Studio 4°C movie in mind.

Cloe wrote:
I was a little taken aback by this part:
LA Times wrote:
"The American director described Japanese emotions and atmosphere very well," says Ryusuke Hikawa, a critic on national broadcaster NHK's show "Anime Night Talk," who called it "a wonderful movie." He added: "Scenes of old Tokyo and people's manners were well depicted and exactly fit the emotions of the Japanese. Of course the director had good Japanese staff members around. But even so, I wonder how he did it so well."

I think feelings of nostalgia and loss are universal; I don't see why Japanese critics should be surprised that Arias was able to capture them so well, in spite of not being Japanese. Perhaps this will help break down the xenophobic wall that some Japanese companies have built up around anime production and we'll start seeing more creative gaijin directors. Cheers to Studio 4°C for making history!


Heh, a bit off-topic, but I'm reminded of an interview with Yasuyuki Ueda a long ways back that brought up the reception of Western audiences to Serial Experiments Lain. Ueda went ahead with Lain in the mindset of creating something for Japanese, almost solely so, and yet he was shocked to discover that Westerners were able to understand a lot of the themes that he he sweated over so that just the residents of the "Land of the Rising Sun" would get.
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nobinobita



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:53 pm Reply with quote
Hey! Nice article! I'm glad to see other people interested in this movie!

Cloe wrote:

Perhaps this will help break down the xenophobic wall that some Japanese companies have built up around anime production and we'll start seeing more creative gaijin directors. Cheers to Studio 4°C for making history!


I don't think it's fair to call the Japanese Anime industry "xenophobic". I feel like that term seems to come up quite frequently when people are talking about Japan and the East in general and it's not always appropriate.

The Japanese are very open minded when it comes to Animation. Like you pointed out, it's very cool that they let a foreigner direct such a big project. This guy's getting to work with the best talent in the country. But there have been plenty of other foreigners to get work in the Anime and Manga industry there.

Off the top of my head there's been Syd Mead, who did the Turn A Gundam designs, Rodney Greenblat who did PaRappa, John K (Ren and Stimpy guy) did designs for at least 2 Japanese videogames("Go! Go! Hypergrind" and "Yaoke no Mariko"), and the comics artist Paul Pope who did some manga for Kodansha.

And lets not forget how Ghibli has been promoting tons of foreign films such as Kiroku and the Sorceress or the works of Paul Grimault.

I hope I don't sound too confrontational or anything, it's just that having lived in both Asia and America, it really distresses me when I hear people calling Asians "xenophobic", when we're actually quite open to things from all over the world.

Xenophobia still exists (in every country) unfortunately, but I don't think its got such a tight hold on the Japanese Anime industry.

Now the Americans on the other hand. It breaks my heart to hear so many professionals here writing off all Japanese animation as worthless.

I've met a few Mangaka and Japanese animators in person, and they've always only had good things to say about American Animation.

In contrast to this, i also work in the American Animation industry, where i've been shocked to hear people write off ALL Japanese animation as derivative and inferior (yes, even Ghibli is included in this blanket statement).

I mean, most of my fellow American animators are great, open minded, talented people. They like stuff regardless of where it came from. But there are still tons of people out there with very clear biases and it drives me nuts.

Boy i've gone on alot longer than I inteded! Anyway, I'm real real glad to see some interest in this film and i look forward to its American release!
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Cloe
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:43 pm Reply with quote
nobinobita wrote:
Hey! Nice article! I'm glad to see other people interested in this movie!

Nice to see more Tekkon Kinkreet love, from a fellow animator, no less! Cheers! Wink

nobinobita wrote:
I don't think it's fair to call the Japanese Anime industry "xenophobic". I feel like that term seems to come up quite frequently when people are talking about Japan and the East in general and it's not always appropriate.

I thought long and hard about using that term, and I still wouldn't change my wording; I think it's appropriate in this case. The Japanese are (or were, this seems to be slowly changing) very protective of their anime and manga industry, to the point where an acquaintance of mine, a person of Japanese descent who grew up in the States, was on his way to getting a manga serialization in Japan a few years ago, but was turned down at the last minute because they found out he was an American citizen, despite the fact that both his parents were Japanese and he spoke the language fluently. Because manga "Is not an American industry." I've talked to countless comic artists who have all emphasized how hard it is to work in Japan, despite their talent and passion for manga.

You mentioned a handful of names that have been involved with anime production, and it's true; there are always some exceptions. I have some more, in fact: Yuri Norstein and Alexsandr Petrov were both involved with Winter Days, and Nicolas De Crecy is directing one of the short films in the new omnibus Genius Party. But for a 70+ year industry, isn't the number of foreign names involved in anime/manga production relatively scant? Since the beginning, anime has always been a primarily Japanese industry, with barriers against foreign involvement with creativity. I have seen this changing in recent years, which makes me very happy, as I'd love to animate at Studio 4°C someday.

I'll agree with you about the Japanese being very open-minded about the animation they watch; I know Russian animation is a huge inspiration for both Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, and it's cool that a unique film like Kirikou and the Sorceress is promoted by Ghibli. However, they're not as open-minded about who they let in to help produce Japanese animation.

I would never carelessly throw around the term "xenophobia" half-heartedly; I'm engaged to a man from Nan Chang, after all, so all my future in-laws are in China (and they're the nicest, most open people on the planet). I thought I was pretty specific when I used it this time around; I certainly didn't mean it to be interpreted as a generalization for all Asians and apologize if it was perceived as such.

Finally, I agree that American animators need to stop dismissing anime as trivial and low-quality entertainment (although I happen to agree that a lot of it is) and recognize the talent of the great anime directors. But I have to mention that I've seen my fair share of interviews with anime directors where they have bundled up all American animation as "Disney" and "for kids," which is obviously a false statement. You're an animator as well, so you know this isn't true. The blanket statements go both ways.

Bottom line: For a long time it was really hard for any foreigners to work with Japanese animation studios, but I'm happy it's changing now, as it increases my chances of someday working or collaborating with animators from Japan. And I'm hugely excited to see the first American-directed anime feature; I have a feeling it will be fantastic.
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nobinobita



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:57 pm Reply with quote
Wow! Good discussion!

I wasn't offended at all by your post and I now feel real presumptuous for disagreeing with you!

I'm real glad you elaborated on what you said because I agree with you completely. I just sorta jumped the gun because I've read so many articles regarding Japan and China that emphasize how xenophobic the cultures are, which is just not the complete picture! I apologize deeply for lumping you in with this group!

You make a good distinction between watching and producing. I guess the Japanese Animation industry is pretty guarded, although there have been a few people to cross over. I have a few friends from college who are currently working in the Gaming industry in Japan, so that was my main frame of reference. One of them is a Japanese citizen though, so i guess that must have made it much easier for him to get work.

I am really glad that they are opening up to working with foreigners though, because I'd like to work there someday (although I have my eyes on China at the moment!).
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Cloe
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:13 am Reply with quote
No problem, dude! If I remember correctly, you're an Anipages and catsuka.com reader, right? That already proves you have impeccable taste. Wink Keep up the animation work; maybe we'll meet someday at Annecy.

Phew, glad I didn't offend anybody.

P.S. It would be nice to see more than the usual 4 people get excited about all the great Tekkon Kinkreet news... Anime cry
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Jay Seventy



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:59 am Reply with quote
I saw Tekkon Kinkreet whilst I was staying in Japan to see in the new year and all I've got to say is that the film is, from start to finish, an absolute masterpiece and groundbreaking in terms of Anime for several reasons such as having an American director but also for having the UK Electronica band Plaid to do the soundtrack too.
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Cloe
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:04 am Reply with quote
Jay Seventy wrote:
I saw Tekkon Kinkreet whilst I was staying in Japan to see in the new year and all I've got to say is that the film is, from start to finish, an absolute masterpiece and groundbreaking in terms of Anime for several reasons such as having an American director but also for having the UK Electronica band Plaid to do the soundtrack too.

You're so lucky! Also, your comment is the first contact I've had with anyone who has actually seen the film. Thank you so much for sharing! I knew this film was going to be something special from the moment I heard it was in production.
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mrgazpacho



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:12 am Reply with quote
Cloe wrote:

in fact: Yuri Norstein and Alexsandr Petrov were both involved with Winter Days
...
I know Russian animation is a huge inspiration for both Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata


On a side note; I think Studio Ghibli count Norstein as a friend; he actually appears on the cover of one version of the Ghibli Museum booklet Smile And one of the special exhibitions that the Ghibli Museum has hosted was a restrospective of Norstein's work. The booklet they published for that exhibition contains a photo of Norstein together with Takahata.
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Neilworms



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:08 am Reply with quote
Quote:
P.S. It would be nice to see more than the usual 4 people get excited about all the great Tekkon Kinkreet news... Anime cry


As one of those 4, ditto. I've suggested that discussion of this film be part of a roundtable at a local anime con Anime Punch! which will feature 3 pretty knowledgable fans, 1 academic and 2 american industry types. Hopefully this will raise awareness, since Crispan Freeman who has kind of a fandom surrounding him will be one of the people in this panel. (He's also very smart when it comes to discussing anime... good mix)

I hope that helps get more people to know about this film... I mean this is really significant news, something that is a wet dream of a lot of otaku here in America, a foriegner directing an anime film - and yet, all we get for discussion is the usual gang of anime snobs :P, because its not Moe du Jour, or Harem Du Jour, or for the fangirl BL du Jour...

I can't wait for this film to get a US release.... Studio 4C very rarely disappoints.
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Mushiko



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:47 am Reply with quote
Another lucky viewer here. I went to see Tekkon Kinkreet last week, just before its run ended in the local theaters (a rather short-lived run, I think, but at least it was on some local theaters and not just artsy cinemas, like Paprika was).

I highly enjoyed the movie as well. The animation was excellent, the colours and background designs really eye-catching, and the characterization felt real and three-dimensional. The thing I liked most was the eye for small, sometimes poignant details. There was often something happening in the background and edges, as well, which made the world seem all the more alive.

If I have some criticism, there was one part where the otherwise fast-pace film seemed to lose some momentum. Could be, though, that I was distracted by my neighbour who started eating tripple-wrapped snacks around that time...

I definitely lost some points of the back-story because of my less-than-perfect Japanese skills, but this time that didn't really detract from the viewing experience, a problem I had with Paprika. Still, I need to see this again with subtitles - and probably read the manga as well. (One manga-buff confessed, that in this case, she thought that the animation surpassed the original. Smile)

In general, I'd rate Tekkon Kinkreet above Paprika, which just seemed too ...fanboyish. I know that was one of the points of the movie, but as a woman, I just felt I didn't belong to the target group this time. As I said, though, I probably missed way too much of the backstory due to language difficulties. Besides, I guess I went to see the movie with too high expections, what with Kon's previous works and the praise I'd read. Certainly a place for rewatch (with subs).

(And then there was Gedo Senki. I went to see that with decidedly low expectations, and sadly, they weren't exceeded - rather to the contrary. I just feel a bit embarrassed that this movie will probably get a wide international distribution just because of the name "Ghibli" on it, while titles like Tekkon Kinkreet can only dream about it.)

I hope this added something to the "faithful four"'s discussions. Wink I don't wish to hype Tekkon Kinkreet, but I definitely recommend it.
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Neilworms



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
In general, I'd rate Tekkon Kinkreet above Paprika, which just seemed too ...fanboyish.


Odd statement coming from a film that explicitly criticized a fanboy otaku for living in masterbatory fantasys... Anything that seemed kind of fanboyish in the film was done tounge in cheek.

Though I can understand if you didn't notice that statement due to lack of subtitles. re-Watch the film subbed.
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Mushiko



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 12:57 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Odd statement coming from a film that explicitly criticized a fanboy otaku for living in masterbatory fantasys... Anything that seemed kind of fanboyish in the film was done tounge in cheek.


Oh, I did understand that much. It's just, the movie really revolved around that theme, and I felt sort of left out of it. For example, spoiler[the panty-shot angle on the fairy flight] - maybe it was the director jeering "ohh, look at yourselves, I know you're drooling at this", while I was just really tired of seeing that particular angle. But these are probably things that draw more attention, when you miss the finer story points. Embarassed

The main thing I didn't really catch was the expository talk by the director of the institution and spoiler[why and how he became the "big baddie"]. Too bad that it'll take quite some time before I can get my hands on a subbed version.

Another thing that left me a bit wanting was the final confrontation. spoiler[It reminded me a bit too much of Paranoia Agent's ending, which in my opinion wasn't really up to par with the rest of the series, either. Perhaps I'm just biased against nasty black globs that feed on Japanese city centres...]

Another deja vu: am I just imagining things, or was spoiler[the bizarre dream parade thing a reference/homage to the ending of Roujin Z?]

.......
Back to Tekkon Kinkreet. There are some bits of the backstory, which I hope someone who has read the manga could help me with. Particularly, what was the talk about spoiler[Saturn(??) - were some of the characters really aliens, and what about the protagonists?] Or did I just understand something horribly wrong? Embarassed

Thankfully, that wasn't a central point in the movie. The central point was the relationship between Shiro and Kuro, and that was portrayed just beautifully.
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GATSU



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 12:16 am Reply with quote
Mushiko:
Quote:
It's just, the movie really revolved around that theme, and I felt sort of left out of it. For example, spoiler[the panty-shot angle on the fairy flight]maybe it was the director jeering "ohh, look at yourselves, I know you're drooling at this", while I was just really tired of seeing that particular angle.


I thought it was a parody of Tinker Bell from Peter Pan. But yeah, it did go on a little long.

Quote:
Another thing that left me a bit wanting was the final confrontation. spoiler[It reminded me a bit too much of Paranoia Agent's ending, which in my opinion wasn't really up to par with the rest of the series, either. Perhaps I'm just biased against nasty black globs that feed on Japanese city centres...]


It reminded me of Mononoke and Akira. Paranoia Agent also suffers from copying the latter. *sigh* I think the only reason I'm willing to let it slide is at least it's not a pretentious knock-off like Evangelion. But I'll be honest and admit that Kon hasn't really grabbed me since Millennium Actress. But I'll see it one more time during its official release before deciding if I want to get it on dvd.

Quote:
Another deja vu: am I just imagining things, or was spoiler[the bizarre dream parade thing a reference/homage to the ending of Roujin Z?]


That's probably cus Kon worked on Roujin Z.
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