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REVIEW: Stray Dog of Anime


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jfrog



Joined: 21 May 2004
Posts: 925
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:59 am Reply with quote
I hope this review isn't accurate. While Mamoru Oshii is one of the most important directors in animation, his live-action films are arguable his best and any analysis of his body of work is seriously deficient if it ignores them. After all, Angel's Egg aside, all of his anime films are part of some larger franchise. Wouldn't The Red Spectacles be a better representation of his crazy-awesome period than Urusei Yatsura, since he wrote the whole thing from scratch?
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BrianRuh



Joined: 17 Dec 2003
Posts: 154
Location: Austin, TX, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 2:30 am Reply with quote
It's true, I'm afraid. Although I agree that each of Oshii's older live-action films each deserve their own chapters, time constraints didn't allow them to be written.

I just think of it as planning for the second edition. Very Happy
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 12444

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 3:41 am Reply with quote
UY might technically be Takahashi's, but I don't think anyone captures the spirit of the series better than Oshii. That's what I liked about the first GITS movie.
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jfrog



Joined: 21 May 2004
Posts: 925
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 4:25 am Reply with quote
BrianRuh wrote:
It's true, I'm afraid. Although I agree that each of Oshii's older live-action films each deserve their own chapters, time constraints didn't allow them to be written.

I just think of it as planning for the second edition. Very Happy


You're the author, right? I'm sorry, I can't help being a judgemental prick. This isn't the first time I've put down someone's work in their presence, either. At least this one was over the Internet instead of in real life when I was supposed to be working (Although I felt less bad over that one since I haven't read your book, but Harry and Max truly was a piece of utter crap that deserved everything it had coming).

God damn I feel embarassed. I need to stop getting into these situations.
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BrianRuh



Joined: 17 Dec 2003
Posts: 154
Location: Austin, TX, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:00 am Reply with quote
Hey, jfrog, don't worry about it. I didn't think you were putting down my work -- you had a valid critique.
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CorneredAngel



Joined: 17 Jun 2002
Posts: 720
Location: New York, NY

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:59 pm Reply with quote
But just in terms of 'volume', the two live-action films represent just a small portion of Oshii's total output. And, in the end of things, he is known far more as a director of anime rather than live-action films (...and at that, the fact that most of his work is not 'original' but rather, adaptions of franchise titles or manga in no way detracts from his skill in handling it). So, as a reviewer, I feel Brian's decision to forego extensive discussion of Red Spectacles and Stray Dog is entirely justified (...especially since compared to Oshii's other work, the two films really do come off feeling more like exercises or proofs-of-concept than as fully-realized projects)
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Proman



Joined: 19 Nov 2003
Posts: 947
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:53 pm Reply with quote
Well, the book is called Stray Dog of Anime, therefore the fact that it focuses more on anime than not live action is not suprising. However, I wonder why the author decided to focus more on anime? Is it because Oshii's live action movies aren't as well known in US or is it because he simply prefers his anime?
Personally, I really look forward to reading this book Smile .


Last edited by Proman on Tue Jun 15, 2004 3:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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CorneredAngel



Joined: 17 Jun 2002
Posts: 720
Location: New York, NY

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 2:12 pm Reply with quote
a) the author is a he
b) Oshii directed two live-action films...and was involved in various with at least seven separate anime franchises/titles. The question should be why *should* any book on Oshii focus on two minor works to any extent.


Last edited by CorneredAngel on Tue Jun 15, 2004 3:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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The Xenos



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 1511
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 2:19 pm Reply with quote
This book sounds quite interesting. I have seen a number of Oshii's works and really like his style. I also seem to be one of the few in my group who really loved Angel's Egg. (Or at least I heard nothing but bitching when I showed it at our club. I guess it didn't have enough panty shots or girls yelling "Kawaii!" or obnoxious foxboy ninjas. Ack.) I also had a bootleg copy of Avalon I saw some of and now that it finally came out here I got the DVD. I'm also quite looking forward to Innoncence. I got a feeling many anime fans will be expecting an action-fest, but I'm looking forward to the more meditative parts too.

As for the book, it sounds quite interesting. I picked up Napier's book and also used it in a Japanese film class where we saw Ghost in the Shell. Oshii is a director that intrests me and this book sounds like a good look at his works. It may skim over some parts, but I'm sure it's got good coverage and insight overall.

Also, with Red Specatcles and Stray Dog (i belive thsoe are the two), I've seen them in stores and have been tempted to get them. How highly are they reccomended? I do want to get them, it's just a matter of if I want to get other films first.

-Xenos
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The Xenos



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 1511
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 2:23 pm Reply with quote
CorneredAngel wrote:
the two films really do come off feeling more like exercises or proofs-of-concept than as fully-realized projects


It kind of looked like that from the box. Stuff like that is still interesting. It also looked like they had live aciton versions of the armor from Jin Roh, so it looked interesting just to see that. I think if I found these movies cheap, I'd grab them.

-Xenos
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Proman



Joined: 19 Nov 2003
Posts: 947
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 8:31 pm Reply with quote
CorneredAngel wrote:

b) Oshii directed two live-action films...and was involved in various with at least seven separate anime franchises/titles. The question should be why *should* any book on Oshii focus on two minor works to any extent.

Why not? And by the way those are not minor works - those are movies.
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jfrog



Joined: 21 May 2004
Posts: 925
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 9:15 pm Reply with quote
CorneredAngel wrote:
a) the author is a he
b) Oshii directed two live-action films...and was involved in various with at least seven separate anime franchises/titles. The question should be why *should* any book on Oshii focus on two minor works to any extent.


Oshii directed four live-action films.

Xenos: I personally think The Red Spectacles is Oshii's best movie, but it's also pretty weird, so I guess it depends on how much you like that kind of thing. Stray Dog isn't as good, but still pretty enjoyable. And don't be expecting too much from Innocence. I've seen it and agree with ANN's review completely.

Brian Ruh: The reason I'm feeling so apologetic is that during the Seattle International Film Festival (which just ended), I've repeatedly said bad things about people's movies only to find the director standing three feet away, so I'm feeling just a tad self-conscious right now. And if I had known you posted on this forum I would have phrased it in a more constructive way.
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Neilworms



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 155
Location: Chicago IL

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 3:43 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I hope this review isn't accurate. While Mamoru Oshii is one of the most important directors in animation, his live-action films are arguable his best and any analysis of his body of work is seriously deficient if it ignores them. After all, Angel's Egg aside, all of his anime films are part of some larger franchise. Wouldn't The Red Spectacles be a better representation of his crazy-awesome period than Urusei Yatsura, since he wrote the whole thing from scratch?


I'd have to agree with JFrog, I wish Oshii had the freedom in his animated work to be as experimental as his live action stuff (though some of it comes close). I personally really like "Talking Head" which is even better if you know something about film history.

Congratulations Brian on getting the book published and thanks for the special thanks to those of us who post on the IG Boards... good luck in future endevors.
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neuro



Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 6:54 pm Reply with quote
Same ... i just want to say : Congratulations Brian.

Do you have any contact for a french edition ?

I wonder if you use some materials or full parts from your precedent essays like Hacking Your Own Ghost.. and of course from your thesis ( A Cyborg Mephisto: Mythology in the Science Fiction Films of Oshii Mamoru ).

I notice these documents are not online anymore @ animeresearch.

In any case I will read your book as soon as i can and i'm 100% sure it is a "MUST"

@+ Wink
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CorneredAngel



Joined: 17 Jun 2002
Posts: 720
Location: New York, NY

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 4:40 pm Reply with quote
neuro wrote:


I wonder if you use some materials or full parts from your precedent essays like Hacking Your Own Ghost.. and of course from your thesis ( A Cyborg Mephisto: Mythology in the Science Fiction Films of Oshii Mamoru ).

I notice these documents are not online anymore @ animeresearch.



Four of Brian's papers, including "Hacking Your Own Ghost..." are available in the Feature Articles section of AnimeResearch; the fifth, Unoriginal Trash or the Future of Manga?: The Role of Parody Dōjinshi is up as well, but apparently, Brian forgot to actually include a link to it.
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