Mainstream Press Misses the Point?

by Christopher Macdonald, Jul 25th 2001
Newsday.com columnist Joseph Gelmis has 'reviewed' Akira in his July 25th @play column (please note that nowhere in the column does he actually pass it off as a movie review). In his column, which is actually a regular leisure column focused on computer entertainment, Gelmis discusses how Animation, and not "the marriage of Hollywood and Silicon Valley", rules the "evolving medium of Electronic Entertainment." On this subject, of which he is reasonably knowlegeable, he puts some very reasonable ideas to paper, or web page as it may be.

Gelmis brings up Anime, Akira specifically, as an example "synergy between animated movies and games." He states, quite reasonably, that Akira has played a huge influence on many of the videogames that have been released since Akira was first released in 1984.

However, at this point he begins to discuss subject matter that he clearly is not much of an expert on. Statements such as "Anime is, in effect, anti-Disney animation," and "Akira clearly reveals anime's weird - some have described it as perverted - blend of sophisticated craft and juvenile sensibility," may be truthful when written about Akira and many other Anime, but they do not reflect Anime as a whole in any way.

Applying these statements to Anime as a whole is as incorrect as stating that the entire Hollywood movie industry was "Anti-Disney" and "a blend of sophisticated craft and juvenile sensibility" based on one or two films such as Commando or The fast and the Furious.

Herein lies the beauty of both industries as well as many other mediums of entertainment, the fact that they encompass titles that cater to all the different spectrums of taste.

Perhaps Mr. Gelmis should take a look at a few more Anime such as The Wings of Honneamise, The Dog of Flanders or Kiki's Delivery Service before making any more inane statements on the subject.

Read @ PLAY 'Akira,' a Film With a Past And a Future here.

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