Friday, 19 October 2012

Instant Swamp (2009)


http://asianwiki.com/Instant_Swamp
http://twitchfilm.com/2010/04/instant-swamp-review.html
http://japancinema.net/2010/07/23/instant-swamp-review/
http://www.fareastfilms.com/reviewsPage/Instant-Swamp-2276.htm
http://staticmass.net/japanese-films/instant-swamp-dvd-2009-review/

Instantly Lucky...

Happy Go Kumiko Aso :)


Instant Swamp stand out in my mind because of the front cover that displays the actress Kuniko Aso who has featured in many rememberable film such as Ring 0, Red Shadow, Pulse and of course Casshern. So Instant Swamp is a Little different from the other role that are listed but the concept seemed appealing and the overall plot is very energetic compared. I like watching Asian comedies because it proves that some forms of sense of humour are universal and can be translated with out language.


The plot is mainly concerned with Kumiko Aso's character (Haname Jinchoge ), who has a very extrovert personality or just a bit extreme which ever way you perceive it. but the story starts out with Haname living a very content structured life and this until her mother ends up in a comer. The story is journey of our main character who eager to learn about who her real father is,  Haname starts to work for a man who she suspects to be her father but there is no real evidence of this but she still learns from him. The story is filled with unconventional characters who would not normally interact with each other and the elements that bring the ideas together is the slap-stick sense of humour.


The character seem to think that their problems will be solved by searching deep in their own past, Haname's thinks that her own problems are caused by the absence of the swamp that she lived next to as a child. The narrative is structured like a child's fairytale and it merges the narrative together with reality so the two become one truth . The film is about Haname's journey so it doesn't matter if it is influenced by her own perspective, every now and then we have other character perspective of Haname .
 
 

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Japanese Film Adaption Review


Japanese culture: exploring the origins of Manga and Anime

There are many different forms of storytelling which have been devised throughout history, these stories have been adapted or evolved into different form of storytelling so that the philosophy behind them remain with every passing generation. Japan is no different to any other country when it comes to storytelling and most counties are concerned with adapting comic books and literature, so what is the significance of these materials? This dissertation examines three live-action films which have been adapted from Manga; these films are as follows, 20th Century Boys (2008-2009), Battle Royale (2000) and Death Note (2006). Japan has an influential history which Manga has flourished as an art form over the last 100 years because of the impact that technology has had and Japanese popular culture is a well-established global product.

The concept of adaptation seems to a universal concept, Hollywood also are adapting comics via companies such as Marvel and DC comics, so it is apparent that similar materials are being adapted in a similar way. Countries throughout the world are reproducing older concepts or ideas to simply generate as much profit as the possibly can and Manga is derived from woodblock painting so this makes Manga an art form:

Japanese woodblock paintings are a similar storytelling system to Manga, consequently Manga appears to be heavily influenced by the cultural ideas of woodblock and strive on Japanese folktales or myths. Woodblock paintings were a method of recording history so that generation told read this almost like a narrative, although the woodblock painting where time-consuming  and therefore expensive so is another method of storytelling which has been enhanced. Manga is a popular form of storytelling which generates a high amount of sales and it is easy distributed worldwide like comic books or even literature:


Manga and Anime use Asian folklore as references throughout their narrative, Japanese animation was manufactured to Manga expanding and exploring other markets to gain more fandom towards their merchandise. Japanese animation studios in their golden age were influenced by Chinese folktales, Japanese legends and even classical literature from throughout the world. Early Anime was aimed solely for children since the popular genre were of fairy-tale or even fantasy and even western countries were targeting children because it would appear to be a profitable market. Osamu Tezuka as an auteur exploited these genres, such as fantasy or science-fiction, although his work like Disney appealed towards both adults and children. These genres at the time would have been near to impossible to produce, hence Anime was an ethical practice of storytelling, and therefore Anime could be produced and distributed to a wider audience:


The interesting concept appears to be that live-action television programmes and movies were being produced as well as Anime was being manufactured but genres like science-fiction or fantasy was far too expensive to produce as live-action edition. Anime was more economical for creating storylines for a lot more genres; Anime could be extremely experimental with imagery which live-action media at the time would have been more limited and Anime is still a widespread form of storytelling. Anime has common themes that run throughout them that attract individuals from all nationalities because they are recognisable issues that the audience can connect with:


Japanese fiction is constructed around a limitless market which has developed over the course of time, Anime like all of Japanese fiction caters for a diverse range of tastes that have increased through globalisation and sometimes are controversial in the case of Hentai. Even though Japan has different values to western society, the stories display universal subjects that are not threating and the western audience may be oblivious to Japanese ideologies or political messages for they are hidden in the background of the narrative. It also would appear that Japanese narratives are not just designed of males, but females are also a profitable audience base as well:


It would seem as though woman are a marketable audience in Japan unlike the U.S. who concentrate more on the male spectators. Woman appear to be culturally significant throughout Japanese mythology or even Japanese history and Japanese society seem to be more interested in marketing toward the female fan base. Japan use various different products to attract the female audience member, whether it is genres that cater to the female taste and using strong female characters which could be compared to the American equivalent of Buffy Summers or the Japanese version who is Mitsuko Souma. The narrative of the female protagonist is something that has been constant throughout history; in Japanese folktale the female characters have been strong and determined personalities for hundreds of years so it seems to be a widespread concept. In the films that have been reviewed it would seem that the role of the female varies in their capability or dependency on other characters, in 20th Century Boys the characters are all equal in terms of gender, in Battle Royale the role of gender is irrelevant because it is a matter of personal endurance and in Death Note the female protagonist is in fact a fragile child. It proves that there is a variation in people’s ideals and perceptions on the world:


The female character seems to be a prominent figure in Japanese popular culture, in the science-fiction, thriller and other genres the female is empowered to decide her own destiny by becoming ever the protagonist or antagonist. Female antagonists are sexualised which the male spectators may admire but also find threatening because the female form is demonised. Nevertheless, Manga is the most read material throughout Japan with 90-95% of the literature read in Japan is Manga and this is unlike any other countries, hence females are undoubtedly significant audience members. However, Manga should not be misinterpreted as a genre which has been intended solitary for children, there are narratives that are designed specifically for children and others that narrative for adults under the title Hentai which consist of sexual imagery or even explicit fetishes. In Japanese Anime and Manga there seems to be a distinct age certification simply because of the severity of content in which these genres could possess extreme imagery of violence or of sexual nature:


Japan is flourishing as a worldwide product, Anime, television programmes or Manga are both recognisable product that associated with Japanese culture and these themes or concepts are influencing the United States. The United States are constantly remaking popular Japanese television shows like Kamen Rider which was transformed to America equivalent Power Rangers. Kamen Rider’s concept appears to be derived from samurai legends and has elements of a science fiction theme which of course makes it culturally relevant to Japan.

Japan have the same capability as the United States because in the case of Studio Ghibli, Japan shows similar attributes to Disney in terms of merchandising for the animated films and appear to be even a collectable item. Studio Ghibli offer many different merchandisable items such as soundtracks to the film, countless type of artist books displaying the film in alternative perspectives to Studio Ghibli’s original narrative, there are various plush toys of well-known characters and fans can also visit the Studio Ghibli museum with is based in Tokyo. The United States have recognised Japan as being a profitable business, therefore they are willing to promote these products as much as possible, in the case of  Viz media , Dark Horse and even Tokyopop are willing to accommodate of the publication of Manga on worldwide scale:


This is the direction that Japan are moving toward throughout all media base artefacts, the key concept of Japanese literature seem to be universal opinions of dark, gothic and somewhat apocalyptic theme which run alongside the main narrative. Even Studio Ghibli promote an environmental message throughout their narrative and Akira shows Japans concerns with technology taking over to the degree of destroy humanity. There also seems to be a worldwide anxiety about technology’s effects on society, these concept constantly reflect off one another and have become a form of ideology that reflect on societies dependency on technology in the modern landscape:


Adaptation is a common theme that runs through all types of media such as literature, painting and even comic’s books that regenerate ancient narratives. Adapting narratives into different forms of media allows the audience to interact with legends or folktales that they might not have any prior knowledge of and adaptation is a practice that is not original at all, in fact story have always been communicated throughout history to inform the next generation of foreseeing dangers.

It is apparent that Japan can now fund live-action Japanese science-fiction films, Japanese films are the most popular and there is a distinct audience based for all Japanese products. Hollywood’s success with comic based movies seems to be an important influence for the production Japanese live-action Manga films, it would seem that Manga and Anime as an individual narrative device is quiet successful enough. The mutual idea of the United States and Japan appear to be to increase their sales, the live-action version of their narrative are to appeal to a broader audience base and adaptation seems to be a successful method of increasing popularity to unknown topics. The films that will be discussed are 20th Century Boys by Naoki Urasawa, the story is a science-fiction based narrative which consists of apocalyptic narrative that is based in an alternative future; Battle Royale is written by Kounshun Tatami, this story is a horror-action based narrative which is based on an alternative future where a death game for teenager takes place and Death Note is written by Koushun Tatami, this story is a mystery-thriller and is based on the notion of a book that more dangerous than an manmade weapon. The overall narratives seem to have a dark perception, they seem to fear the concept of having little control over society and individuals sense of humanity seem to become non-existent so the characters quest seems to be to find some sense of normality.

Movies adapted from Manga

20th Century Boys (2008-2009)

Adaptation seems to be an important theme even when it comes to the films themselves, even if that from the perspective of the narrative was being inspired by music to a degree and this means that adaptation can be limitless to the resources it uses.

20th Century Boys was a specific Manga series so when the narrative was adapted being a film, the universe that the Manga had described was far too diverse to exhibit in only the film and so the narrative was constructed into three chaptered movies. In fact the narrative was so specific that the director seemed to rely on the audience’s prior knowledge of 20th Century Boys and the film encourages the audience to interact with Manga.

The first chapter introduces the audience to the main character Kenji, the viewers see the rise and fall of Kenji. Kenji must defeat the evil cult who is trying to destroy the world, but it would seem that Kenji was one of the authors of the book of prophecy which he and his friends adapted from science-fiction Manga novels such Tetsujin 28-gō is mention in the narrative of the Manga. The first chapter runs in the form of a narrative within a narrative which is basically the tale of Kenji which is in fact a reference to him being categorised as a legend and the movie is structured in a less complicated way than the Manga so that spectators who are unfamiliar with plot. There are no real relationships throughout the narrative, there are hints towards a possible romance throughout the three movies and this is to not complicate the science-fiction genre which already complicated enough. Even though Kenji is classed as a protagonist, it would seem that the only reason that he is fighting the evil cult is because he is being forced to simply for the reason that his family and friends are in danger. The film is making comparisons with Nazism by expressing its fears over cult religion effects on society and its influence over people personal morality. Kenji is portrayed as a messiah type character that is condemned by society for he is classed as a terrorist and the narrative on a whole makes references to Christianity. The concept of the book of prophecy is derived from the concept of the Bible, the homeless man in the story is called God and other characters are described as being chosen. It is not surprising that Christianity is an important inspiration to the story simply because it impacts on a global scale and 20th Century Boys is depicting a religion that impacts some of society on a wide scale.

In the second chapter the audience is introduced to Kanna Endo who is the niece of Kenji. Kanna continues the battle with the evil cult and therefore is the female protagonist of the story, but it would seem that she is in more danger than Kenji because the evil cult is in fact oppressing society, which seems to be a very senseless and unconcerned population who appear to be grave danger. Kanna is seen to be rebellious towards authority, Kanna is conscious of the corrupt nature of society; furthermore her uncle has been categorized as a terrorist figure and Kanna is forced to be the main female protagonist even though she is an adolescent. Kanna sets out to expose the evil cult, she and her friend Kyoto journey to an amusement park there Kanna  goes to determine the cults weaknesses. It would seem that the book of prophecy is causing problems of the character by in some way inspiring the evil cult which is unclear to the spectator at this time and the cult are becoming a global phenomenon.

The last chapter marks the return of Kenji, the narrative does not concentrate of any individual character because the narrative is directing toward it climax where the character are divided by their ethics. The narrative is quite similar to other Japanese apocalyptic fiction such as X (1992) which is written by Clamp, the character are separated by those who want to protect humanity and those who want to terminate life.

20th Century Boys is an extremely well designed production which is constructed on a large scale and it would appear that Japan is capable of producing films of this quality and it is unnecessary for Hollywood to adapt these narratives. Music symbolises freedom throughout storyline, the character have been adapted very well from the Manga, it would seem as though the narrative follows better if the audience has a prior knowledge of the Manga and it also generates a fascination for the spectator to gain more understanding for the characters. Kanna is a consistent personality throughout both narratives, unlike the film the Manga describes Kyoto as being a popular but naïve individual whereas Kanna is a socially awkward person, so the two characters do not interact at first and their relationship develop throughout narrative.

The internet enables the audience to read Manga worldwide, there are thousands of titles available to choose from, with a number of genres to suit a range of tastes. Products can be downloaded or imported to the spectator’s leisure, but the only negative aspect of this is the expensive cost.

 

Battle Royale (2000)


The concept of the narrative is based on an alternative future where teenagers fight to the death. This does not appear to be an original idea, instead it appears to be a notion that has been adapted throughout time and continues to inspire other narratives such as the Japanese movie called Tokyo 10+01. Unlike the literature, it would appear that the film only concentrates on the main characters, but the film contains unnecessary additions to the main narrative like categorising characters that are a part of the main narrative in the literature as being additional characters or as they are referred to as transfer students.

Mitsuko is a consistent character throughout all narratives; she is the main female antagonist with a straight forward goal and this to survive the game. Mitsuko is an extremely complicated character who appears to be a loner because she is a very sexualised character and misunderstood. Mitsuko is the female antagonist for she is psychotic due to her abuse as a child; unfortunately in the film other characters are not willing to fight back which is boring or even unrealistic whereas in the literature narrative more characters want to survive the game. Unfortunately the two weakest characters win the game in all narrative forms simply for a moralistic ending but they have not achieved anything throughout the story that indicates that the deserve to win and it would seem that Noriko is favoured in the film to the degree of being saved from being killed by Mitsuko which is an impracticable element to the narrative:


In the Manga version the characters are identified more specifically, the readers engage with the character more freely and have a better understanding of their motivations. Characters have their own section of the Manga which is interesting to see the characters reaction to their situation that they are experiencing but in the movie some characters are not mentioned or even seen. Takako is explained better in the Manga as being a female protagonist unlike Mitsuko but has similar characteristics to Mitsuko, like she is a complicated personality who is also misunderstood but she seems to be a moralistic version of Misuko. Mitsuko is symbolised as being a damaged doll or just her innocence was taken from her and Mitsuko seems to destroy everything she touches. The two transfer students characters in the film have a more believable narrative in the Manga and the literature, to the point of the characters relationships with other classmates, makes more sense:


The whole narrative surrounds the game which surrounds the characters on many levels, the literature narrative seems to concentrate on the characters psychological aspects. The author tries to explain the reasoning behind complicated characters such as Mitsuko and this make the characters more interesting than they appear in the films. The audiences are able to interact with the product in diverse ways, they are encouraged to gain knowledge with the narrative and gain an appreciation for the characters. The costumes are easily recognisable so a fan can dress up like the characters or buy various other merchandise which is related to the film and therefore interact with characters in many different ways.

 

Death Note (2006)

Death Note is a Manga that has been adapted into a live-action and television Anime. It is a well merchandised series throughout the world and Hollywood have become extremely interested in the narrative that appears to have become popular, so are interested in reproducing the live-action movie which has to be seen. The Death Note universe like Battle Royale has become iconic to fans and it is easy to mimic aspects of the story. Items of the story that have been merchandised are video games of certain character of story, animated films that add depth to the main narrative, plush toys of versions character and even items of clothing that is designed like the characters.

Light is the main character that is struggling with the concept of society’s law system so the Death Note is glamourized from the beginning for the audience relate to Lights prospective of society. Light is perceived to be the male protagonist but becomes controlled by the Death Note becoming extremely selfish and in fact becomes a murderer. When L is introduced to the audience it is apparent to the spectator that L is the true protagonist which alters Lights persona as the antagonist. L is perceived as being childlike in the way he presents himself but despite this he is exceptionally intelligent and the element to the narrative perceives conflict between generational acknowledgements throughout society. The pairs opinions do not appear to be taken seriously, even though L and Light can achieve more than the average person it would seem that their youth makes it harder to be acknowledged.

The Death Note is referenced as a weapon, the audience observe Light slipping more into his antagonist role as any his morality finally terminates and he is willing to harm his own family. Misa even though she is controlled by Light, is still a female protagonist simply because her intentions are untainted, but she is also naïve because Light is willing enough to consider destroying her. Even though she is famous and blessed in many ways she chooses to be controlled by Light. Ironically Light’s father is another male protagonist throughout the narrative and goes to extraordinary lengths to save humanity from peril dangers. Some aspects of the Manga’s narrative were far too complex, for example when L dies they replace him with another character that resembles L and it almost sets away from the original narrative just to introduce another character.

Death Note is a very high profiled Manga that received numerous platforms of merchandise that the audiences relate to very well and the concept of the Death Note is something that fans could fantasize about almost like the concept of superhero movies.  Fans identify with the characters simply because they have real human emotions, they are not just labeled as being good and evil but instead it is a matter of person interpretation of the characters intentions.


The story of the machine: cyberpunk, merchandising and globalization



There are many different sub genres including science-fiction which reflect on humanity’s fundamental conflict with an uncertain future, the narrative consists of a gothic, dark and even apocalyptic theme. However, the fantasy element to the narratives also presents a distraction for the fan to escape their daily lives, fans develop attachments to characters or the philosophical significance behind the narrative and therefore become major consumers to their products of a potentially alternative reality. Films follow a cyberpunk notion, cyberpunk is basically anti-technology or just an anxiety over humanities reliance over it dependency over technology and how it could possibly corrupt society.  Narratives of a fantasy of a science-fiction theme seem to derive from a universal theme of a modern and ancient concept. Narratives are established for a range of daring and specific preferences that fan interact with:


Japan adapt narratives such as fairytales so the ideas can be interrupted into a more sexual or even impression of the original plot so that they attract a mature fandom. Fighting monsters is a concept that a lot of narrative use whether it be a horror, action or even science-fiction genre, but in films like Akira the monstrous force is one that can take over the body and take away individuals humanity. Ironically this technology is being controlled by the government; Akira is similar to Death Note for it has exploiting adolescences to the point of experiencing on humans but the teenagers are the only citizens who are willing to battle the enemy which empowers the youths and they are categorized as being rebellious:


Cyberpunk reflects society’s fears of any form of mutilation of the human form, also a fear of global destruction or the concept that technology will corrupt civilisation. The narrative of the very destructive adolescences seem to be a reused idea throughout Japanese fiction, Battle Royale and Death Note both show this narrative, there is a clear division or alienation depicted to be directed towards the adolescence which trigger off their destructive nature.  Labelling characters in terms of their roles such as protagonist or antagonist is a little pointless for there are no real favoured individuals, it would seem that in Japanese fiction that the antagonist also can be favoured if the motive is more plausible and there is no guarantee of a certain personality being victorious:


Even though the antagonists are characters who are doing things that are wrong, it would seem that Japan tries to present some kind of reasoning behind the characters behaviour and reveal the antagonist to be merely human rather than the biblical sense of philosophy. The antagonist has developed a destructive attitude so it would appear to reasonable or moralistic for the protagonist to triumph, but coincidently it would seem that the narratives does not focus on the idealism of good v.s. evil for humans are far more complicated than that. Do these narratives reflect of what society is capable of doing?  Are these narratives warning the next generation of a dangerous future or is it simply a form of philosophy that already exists which has been passed down each generation:


Japan seem to obsess about technology being a corrupt force but it would seem that it is not merely a bad device for the internet has presented a portal of opportunity for the Japan to gain more fandom and essentially become a global product. Products can be purchased a lot easier than about 10 years ago, there are websites that are dedicated solely on Japanese products and mainstream stores dedicate sections of the store for Japanese products such as Forbidden Planet (comic store) and HMV (megastore). Fans go to great lengths to import Japanese products despite how expensive this may be, they develop an attachment for these products and become engrossed with the culture that surround them:


Japanese products such as Manga and Anime have gained global recognition, so it is not a surprise that they have produced adaptations of their popular culture for their already marketable products. For instance, Manga is easily available by international audiences in locations such as on newsstands,  they are obtained in sections of a bookstore and many other locations including on the internet where fans can obtain them for free, but nonetheless, fans do prefer their Manga in a more physical form. There is a marketplace available in the United States for Japanese goods therefore it is significant to Japan to maintain their liaison with the United States so Japanese studios are targeting their products toward both a American and Japanese viewer. Viz introduced Japans well-established comic book named Shone Jump into the United States everywhere around 2002 and were intending to trade 1 million issues a month by 2005. Japanese products have become more globally commercialised, it would seem that Japan has improved financially so that they can produce more advanced concepts and their special effects are at a similar quality to Hollywood standards:


Authors are producing narratives with the intention of producing movie versions of the product, authors are more commercially aware of their narratives and understand that fans want to be more involved with concepts like characters. Fans are willing to dress like certain characters and go to great lengths to imitate certain characteristic of the personalities by even playing video games. As well as comic book conventions, it would seem that fans are willing to go to extreme lengths to interact with their obsessions such as they are willing to visit Studio Ghibli’s museum which is based in Toky. Although it appears to be extremely expensive, it gives the fans an opportunity to interact with the narratives in another manner which even Disney do to ploy fans into purchasing more merchandise:

Today Anime is just as popular as it was in the 1960’s, if not more so. Anime and Manga has become increasingly more accepted by each generation that passes.  Comparing Japanese products with American products such as comic books, reflect upon their popularity on certain audience types, so it seems viable to adapt these narratives into live-action edition. Additionally, the United States have influenced Japan to do this merely to enhance their sale figures, but the United States are only enthusiastic about retailing Japanese products that have a distinctive fandom:


Since the Japanese products are easily accessible on a global scale and these products are not as costly as they once was.  Manga is not aimed for a primarily male audience, so therefore it has gained a wider following in the United States over the last decade and these narratives are sounded with ideology.  In terms of reflecting on modern day society, Misa wears through the narrative her Lolita clothing which is a very popular fashion in Japan and probably the rest of the world. Lolita clothing imitates the Victorian period, they also appear to look a little doll like and it is apparent that it is a fetish for men for women to dress in the manner of young girls. It is clearly apparent that in Japanese fiction there are two contrasting ideals of the female personality for on the one hand they devise an extremely strong minded female character and on the other the females are delicate which is symbolic to the concept of domination. The narrative is attempting to appeal to a female audience without alienating a male audience whereas the female fans are concerned with the endearing principles of Japanese culture; they value Japanese fashion or even plush toys of specific characters or various fashionable accessories which are pretty:


Through the internet it is possible to discover more about Japanese culture as you can download many different applications through the websites including games, literature and even television programmes that are exclusive to Japan. There are set categories of Japanese fiction such as Manga, these are as following: Kodomomuke which is aimed for children, Shonen Manga which is aimed for adolescent boys, Shojo Manga which is aimed for adolescent girls, Seinen Manga which is aimed for adult men and  Josei  Manga which is aimed for adult females which have monthly magazine dedicated to them. The internet offers an opportunity to connect with author of these products or other fans of their interest which give them discuss their preference further:


It is a common practice for fans to dress up as various characters at conventions; this is a practice that happens on a global scale so that fans of a somewhat ‘nerdy’ fashion can connect to the hobby with the assistance of other followers. Japanese culture is being exported to a worldwide audience but the only problem is that not all of the products are being distributed through the United States so only popular products are benefiting which mean that in the present day more product are being imported because popularity is increasing. It is the United States that the main distributer of product on a worldwide scale:


All generations share an interest in these products but the older generations have developed a profound bond with the consumption of these products and generate interest for these products of the next generation of consumer’s. Most of the merchandise is designed to be cute so that they attract consumers who either are children or have attachments to the product from their childhood whether they are male or female this is irrelevant for merchandise is seen to be genderless. The characters that are presented are a little different for the western interstation of characters so they appeal to a very distinctive audience member who is looking for a partial type of narrative:


 
Conclusion

The ‘Americanization’ of japan is itself one of the mutated flowers of Hiroshima: and these slumbering, heraldic monsters, stung to outrage by (usually) atomic testing, are a half-dream of vengeance coupled with a truly terrifying sense of self-annihilation of (McConnell 34) for each reason, and from both Japanese and American cultural viewpoints, it is apparent that basic fear and guilt and anxiety (Anisfield 1995, p.56).

There is a slight conflict of interest between America and Japan when it comes to national identity for their cultural  backgrounds are far dissimilar. America have  a habit of reusing Japanese narratives with film such as the Ring (2002), The Grudge (2004), Pulse (2006), and One Missed Call (2008) and America continue to adapt Japanese films into their own interpretations to the extreme of  rumours circulating about forthcoming movie remakes.  Fans of the original materials do not appreciate the remakes but it appears that America dominates the film industry and wants to fill the market for audience who do not appreciate subtitled movies. There are clear differences between the United States and Japans interaction with culture for in Japan individuals collect cultural objects as social group but in America they collect cultural objects individually, as part of a personal experience. Social groups in America seem to be more particular about members for the social codes of conduct whereas Japanese social groups are more understanding of personal circumstances and this shows that comic culture has an impact on the two societies in different ways as their interactions are diverse:

 

Video games are an important section of culture as video games characters have been adapted into film narrative and sometimes the other way around. The video game Tatsunoko vs Capcom displays various characters from Anime or other narratives which most notably would concern the character Casshan and Yatterman which follow the Japanese tradition of have alternative narrative forms.  This is a modern concept in term of most industries whereas in Hollywood, Marvel, DC comics or even Japanese studios, the appeal of producing video games seems to be on an overall high as they are willing to spend vast amounts of money on video games, so they can interact with their hobby more and there are more game consoles being produced. It is apparent that Japan has become very symbolic in its very dark prospective on the world and many films have followed in the footsteps of Battle Royale’s success such as Suicide Club (2002) which follows the events leading up to the suicides of various teenagers but the concept of the film is based on the concern of suicidal citizens of Japan or just the concern of suicide throughout society.  Japan produces films that force the audience to question society or even question their own role throughout society by touching on dark and many apocalyptic narratives, but this is something that Hollywood does not do for Hollywood produce films that produce only for the spectacle. However, from another prospective these media base platforms could be seen as a distraction from social issues because there are many different platforms of narrative which are adapted for the audience to interact with, so maybe this is just a diversion of peoples demanding modern lifestyles:


Fans have formed an alliance with various Japanese programs such as Animes which they produce their own interactive feedback or homage to the show by creating online communities.  There is a large Anime fan base on YouTube who interact with Anime products in which case abridging or fan dubbing appears to be extremely popular in the Anime community. The concept of abridging Anime is to adapt the original inspiration of the Anime and to dub it to your own personal prospect of the Anime, so that other fans may see the Anime in another light. It also it gives the fans the opportunity to imitate the role even further by becoming the characters in another way. There are other ways that the fan can interact with other supports online because the internet offers the prospect to voice the opinion of fans by producing fan art, blogs or even podcasts :

Taylor discusses the concept that that people interact with Japanese toys and fashion because they are childish or girlish in appearance so they are non-threatening to their audience. In terms of Battle Royale, Miksuko is seen to be girlish or a non-fretting entity simply because of her feminine charm, whereas in reality she is as capable as the male characters. Japan is split down the middle with two opposite forms of ideologies, the first being its obsession with vulgar gory imagery and the other is obsessed with cartoony childish narratives which seem to interact very well. Childish imagery is something that individuals interact with when they are growing up and become attached to over the course of time. Products like Hello Kitty are popular from a global prospective, also they offer fashion accessories of individual of all ages simply because there is a market and Taylor states it is something people do not grow out of:



So to conclude, Japan are a nation obsessed with tradition which has been adapted throughout their work in many media platforms including Manga, Anime, literature and even Video Games. Characters are appealing and the narratives are filled with political messages designed to warn people of self-destruction or destruction of society. There are conflicts between American and Japanese culture even though the United States benefit Japan on a global scale it still appears that Hollywood adapt Japanese narratives, so it is essential for Japan to adapt their own materials to prevent this from happening. Adaptations of Manga introduce audience to new narratives and Manga increases sales which also mean that their social circle increases. It also apparent that fans of Japanese Anime also could interested in American comic books such as Marvel so this audience base will attend social events such as a Cosplay, therefore America benefit from the importation of Japanese products. The relationship between Japan and the United States is a mutual understanding which sometimes is misused for the means of fandom or profit but it is understandable why America are interested in Japan, simply because their ideas are diverse. The only problem with Japan is their dependency with America, there are far more narratives available from Japan which do not get imported in other countries and fans have to use the internet to watch or even download these materials. However, there is still far more DVDs available than there have been in the past for America to recognize the marketable potential.  Battle Royale made a huge impact on western society and it would seem that it was around the same time that Spirited Away (2001) made a similar impact on Disney which also made Studio Ghibli global sensation, hence why Japan have become a worldwide sensation. There has always been fandom Japan or Japanese products but as technology evolved it would seem that the internet allows these products to be more accessible and fans can recreate narratives with their own perspective added to the plot. Death Note has a well-established fandom, even before it was released as a movie and has become more symbolic through its release. So it appears that fans want to see more Japanese movies in the future and because the success of Manga lives action film or even just Anime, there is a market for these products.

Bibliography

 

Anisfield, N. (1995) Godzilla/Gojiro: Evolution of the Nuclear Metaphor in International Index to Performing Arts. Journal of Popular Culture, 29 (3)pp. 53-62.

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Thursday, 20 September 2012

RoboGeisha (2009)


http://asianwiki.com/RoboGeisha
http://www.cinema-suicide.com/2010/11/18/robogeisha-review/
http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/reviews/fantastic-fest-review-robogeisha-robhr.php
http://japancinema.net/2010/05/13/robogeisha-review/
http://www.cyberpunkreview.com/movie/decade/2000-2009/robogeisha/

B#tch Please:

RoboGeisha Vs RoboGeisha Vs Everybody


RoboGeisha is produced by the director Noboru Iguchi, who was also involved with the making of film's like Tomie Unleahed, Machine Girl and Mutant Squad Girls. The film starts of with some robot's killing a business man which the explanation to why is not needed but soon after the first action sequence occurs. Our heroine of the film appears explaining the plot.....

Despite there being suggestion of Good and Evil through-out the film the real representation of the film is of prospective of characters. Every character have their desires that they plan to pursue but very individual as different perspectives of morality and will stop at nothing to gain whatever they want. Some of the characters want material possession and other want their life's to return to normal but all the characters use violence to gain this so the characters can not be classed as protagonist or antagonist.


The story concentrates on two sisters, Yoshie Kasuga and Kikue Kasuga who don't appear to have any kind of relationship at first glance. Yoshie is basically used like a door mat by her older sister the Geisha and Yoshie is not given the opportunity to shine but when she is angered by her sister she shows her true strength which is notice by one of her sisters client. The concept of the sisters relationship is a very complicated one, their roles of power seems to be swapped around throughout the film and this is way the film has no real protagonist because the two sisters are as bad as each other when comes to take advantage of a situation. The films storyline between the sisters is complicated because relationships in real life are not simple and it also give the film suspense when the two girl fight in the end scene for it is not clear if Kikue is going to be loyal to her sister or not ?


The two girls are basically taken away against there will to become Robot Geisha Assassin and eventually they start to assassinate various business people but they don't really ask question about why. Yoshie then discovers on one of her missions that she is working of a evil organisation but this just shows how naive she is, Robot or not because the men she is working for are not very shy about being greedy or just a bit corrupt. The best part of the film was when the towns people face up to the Evil company, simple because the wheelchair fighting sequence was both Epic and hilarious to watch. The artist design work was also up to scratch but the Building Robot just reminded me of an episode of Power Rangers but apart from that Noboru Iguchi are very Daring.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Air Doll (2009)

http://asianwiki.com/Air_Doll
http://twitchfilm.com/reviews/2010/06/air-doll-review.php
http://japancinema.net/2010/09/01/air-doll-review/
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127350715
http://www.heyuguys.co.uk/2010/07/29/fantasia-2010-air-doll-review/
http://www.bateszi.me/2010/04/06/people-with-cold-hands-have-warm-hearts-air-doll-review/

One Hell of a Doll:

Things you Can't put out with the trash.


Air Doll is not a Romantic comedy like it appears to be on the trailer, The narrative is presented at first as a love-triangle but the audience soon release that the story is more to do with Nozomi who is a Air DollNozomi is a Sex toy that comes to life , the films the Narrative questions societies relation with both each other and toward technology. Nozomi is born, so the character reflect the persona of a child, innocence and learning about the world from the begging but she also has a sexual relationship with Hideo which sounds weird. In Japanese media there is a concern with both youth culture and technology in the sense of it destructive behaviour. In Air Doll there was both of these elements in the film, there issues of age because the older generation felt pushed aside from society and there a feeling of symbolism of the older generation being judged to the point of self loafing. Naive Nozomi follow a woman around with the false concept that she is a Doll also and she offers her make up to cover her line but the woman  played by Kimiko Yo missunderstands what Nozomi is saying.


The film is questioning the concept of Humanity, The film start out like like any other Japanese Manga where the Inanimate object come to life and the concept is similar to robot story where robot girl explores Japan and becomes almost human but there where Dark side story that you could see building up along side the main narrative. Nozomi was not really Human, even though she appears to be human, she doesn't have any real human emotions and like any other monster movie the creature always destroys the master or in her case her inability to understand how the human body works is her curse. The reason for Nozomi naivety is because she is just a Doll, the concept of life, death are somewhat impossible to her and this is what make her in a sense dangerous to society because people use her to fill their own void unaware that she is somewhat emotionless.


The beginning of the film is a bit creepy with sex scenes with the Doll but apart from that Nozomi is an interesting character, like all the other characters in the film, she eventually becomes useless and put away. The film commenting on the disposable society that we live in but it has taken the concept a little further by commenting that people are just as disposable as technology (there will always be another, better model available). Nozomi like the Pinocchio concept, she wants to be a human like everyone else but unlike Pinocchio the narrative reveals that her inability to understand emotions and the boundaries that in effect cause her to inflict pain to the character she cares about. The character do not change through out the journey, they come to some sense of realisation but there is no real Hollywood happy ending and Nozomi accidentally kills the guy she likes. The film is amazing though, the effects are well though out, the Narrative is realistic even though it is a bit bizarre at time but i have seen weirder concepts in Japanese cinema.