Posts Tagged ‘television’

Ramallah Television

November 9, 2009

Here are two short (about 12 minute) videos on YouTube, excerpted from an Al Jazeera television show called Witness:

Witness – Ramallah TV (Part 1)

Witness – Ramallah TV (Part 2)

It is an interesting and informative look at an attempt to establish – and sustain – local and independent television media that airs programming of relevance for the Palestinian community.

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yes, anime.

June 17, 2009
Laughing Man logo (see Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

Laughing Man logo (see Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex)

OK, here we go. A list (I’m going to try to be comprehensive here) of all the anime I have seen, am currently somewhere in the process of viewing, or wish to see in the future (that last one will probably be the trickiest). If you like anime but aren’t sure where to go, maybe you’ll find something listed here that sounds interesting.

Oh, and if you don’t like anime…well, all I can say is that you don’t know what you’re missing. You probably think what you’re missing is something it isn’t, if that makes any sense at all. Hmm…that’s for another time.

And on a related note, if you don’t recognize the above image, well, I hate to break it to you, but you aren’t watching the right television shows.

ANIME I’VE SEEN AND RECOMMEND (sort of roughly ranked in the order of how much I liked them)

series

  • Serial Experiments Lain – couldn’t not put this first on the list. 13 episodes in all. You should watch this.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – two seasons. You might have thought the movie was great and that the series wouldn’t be. You were wrong. (Besides, don’t you want to know where that logo comes from?)
  • Cowboy Bebop – all my favorite bounty hunters in a single series…how is that even possible? This show promises nothing but pure enjoyment. Recommended for the anime non-viewer.
  • Noir – funny, come to think of it probably my all-time favorite assassin is a character on this show. She practically defines the word stealth. One great thing about Chloe is her wardrobe lets you know how badass she is. Not to give too much away, but in any case, you know she’s not playing because of the way she dresses. Here’s what she likes to wear:

Chloe character sketch from NOIR

Like, every day. She never doesn’t wear this outfit. In fact, her closet is filled with this. She’s a great character. By the way, lots of people seem not to know about this show. Check it out…not necessarily what you might expect. The opening episode is killer…it pulls you right into the storyline. Props to my friends Ryan and Starr for turning me on to this.

  • Neon Genesis Evangelion – anything I should add? Oh yeah, I guess I’ll just mention that this show was voted the best TV show…ever. Weird – I thought it was The Wire, or maybe Twin Peaks (Definitely one of those two).
  • Gunslinger Girl – an Italian government agency adopts abandoned or seriously ill young girls from hospitals under the guise of a beneficent charity, then brainwashes them, pairs them with handlers and trains them to be assassins! Sounds a bit preposterous but this show’s worth checking out…it’s a strong production with really high-quality drawings and animation. I’ve only seen the first season. The second is being produced by a different studio, and I’m not sure it’s even gotten a U.S. release yet (frankly it doesn’t look as good as the first season).
  • I can’t leave out BLAME! This mini-anime is freaking weird. I love the art, though. Thank you Ryan for sending this to me in the mail. I should try to find the manga…

I’m sure I’m leaving something out here, but since I can’t think what it is at the moment I’ll move on to…

films

  • Ghost in the Shell – not much I can say here. All I can say is I will never not want to watch this movie again. Sheer brilliance.
  • Akira – everytime I see this film I am struck by the level of detail and thinking that went into its production. It proves conclusively that anime has unique potential as an art form (can you imagine Akira as live-action production?), a fact that few seem to understand to the degree that Otomo has. Must see.
  • I recently watched Memories – a film divided into three parts, each by a different director, but overseen as an entire project by Otomo. This is worth checking out. Unconventional, and brilliant.
  • Spirited Away – this is actually the only Miyazaki film I’ve seen. I need to check out some of the others…
  • how could I have forgotten Appleseed? This film is awesome! Don’t sleep.
  • Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence – some people bad-mouth this movie. It’s pretty different from the first film, both stylistically and in terms of narrative. I would consider Innocence to be the most abstract production in the Ghost in the Shell “canon,” as it were. I have to see it again to form my opinion more completely. If you have seen the original but not this, give it a shot. If you haven’t seen the original you know what to do…
  • Cowboy Bebop: The Movie – When I first watched this I hadn’t seen the series all the way through. I need to see this one again.
  • Paprika – Mixed feelings about this one. Stylistically and artistically, it was excellent, yet I felt it was over-the-top to a degree that took away from character development and other aspects, resulting in a less-than-completely enjoyable experience. Yet the execution of some artistic elements was so impressive that I would most likely recommend it anyway. I like the dream machine.
  • The Evangelion movies…not even sure what to say about them, other than, if you’ve seen the show, watch them. Come on, don’t you want to know what happens to SEELE?

Again, can’t think what I’m leaving out, though I’m surely leaving out something. I’ll tell you

WHAT I’VE BEEN WATCHING LATELY:

  • mainly, a series called Last Exile. I really like this one. It’s pretty unique, lacking a lot of the familiar anime tropes any critical anime viewer might be on the lookout for. The setting seems to be an anachronistic, somewhat dystopian future that seems reminiscent of medieval Europe, perhaps post-apocalyptic. The plot focuses on two young pilots of a vehicle known as a vanship. You should check it out…
  • And also, from the same studio (GONZO) I’m planning to watch the rest of Blue Submarine No. 6. A story with four half-hour episodes, it was also released as a film. I’ve seen only the first episode and don’t feel qualified to comment, other than to say that the art is awesome.

And what does the future hold?

ANIME I’D LIKE TO SEE IN THE FUTURE:

films

  • I’ve actually never watched Vampire Hunter D all the way through. Someday soon…
  • Pretty much everything by Miyazaki, but I’m told Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is really great.
  • I’d also like to see Perfect Blue…never heard of it until recently, but sounds like a classic.

series

As I was writing, I started watching the preview on Netflix for a series called Paranoia Agent. From the director of Perfect Blue (Satoshi Kon) and the character designer of Spirited Away, this series about a bat-wielding killer on rollerblades looks pretty great.

  • Madlax…from the director of NOIR, looks like this might be worth checking out…
  • I want to check out Ergo Proxy. Don’t really know what it’s about but I’ve heard good things about it.

Not sure what else for the moment, but I’m getting tired. Did I leave out something crucial? Or was my assessment of some anime classic completely misguided and wrong? If you have responses, questions or criticism, you know what to do.

Oh and by the way, this blog entry might give you the impression that I am a huge anime nerd. In fact, I didn’t really start watching it much until the last couple of years. Props go out to Cary for this. Anyway, notwithstanding the fact that I lifted my alias <megatech> from a certain anime cult classic, I’m not actually really too much in the know about this. So feel free to leave suggestions below. Peace..