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the world seen through a rainbow
Posted by tai on Nov 19, 2009 under Documentation, Featured, Print
Sora no Kikou ~The sky of the longing for memories~

Sora no Kioku ~The sky of the longing for memories~

Early this autumn, my friend from Japan brought me back several items, the one presented in this entry is Sora no Kioku ~The sky of the longing for memories~, (新海誠美術作品集 空の記憶) featuring digital backgrounds by the studio CoMix Wave. The book is a 175 page softcover, the majority of which are images, which I find uncommon for most fanbooks. The pages are smaller than your standard letter/A4 meaning the images are a small, and knowing the level of detail in Makoto Shinkai’s work I think these images could be spectacularly crisp even if enlarged 4× the size. Inside you will find hundreds of backgrounds from Byousoku 5 Centimeter (5 Centimetres per Second), Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho (The Place Promised in Our Early Days), Hoshi no Koe (Voices of a Distant Star), and a TV advertisement for the newspaper “Shinano Mainichi Shumbun”.

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Hardcover, 244 pages.

My second artbook review will be for Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away. This book was a nice grab from, $25 shipping included (I added it to my friend’s order so she could get the free shipping quota). Compared to my Clannad Visual Fan Book it’s not as in-depth, but there are a lot of early development sketches, rough line art and unedited watercolour backgrounds which I was really looking forwards to, especially for a production from Mr. Hayao Miyazaki. There’s a certain beauty that is expressed through draft-quality hand-drawn watercolour paintings, I expect Ponyo on a Cliff is following through with that logic.Because this book is in English I can understand all of the captions, however there isn’t nearly as much text as the Clannad Visual Fan Book.

“Most people panic and collapse while shouting, “It can’t be true.” Those people will be erased or eaten up in the situation in which Chihiro finds herself. In fact, Chihiro’s being strong enough not to be eaten up is just what makes her a heroine. She is a heroine not because she is beautiful or because she possesses a unique mind. This is the key characteristic of this work.”

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a little bit of literacy research
Posted by tai on Oct 23, 2008 under Mouryou no Hako, Research

I have decided to pick up Mouryou no Hako, the plot seems intricate and deep, and the art is simply outstanding: many thanks to CLAMP for their character design. For those who have not watched the show, Mouryou no Hako (Box of Evil Spirits/Box of Goblins) is a murder mystery with Buddhist themes presented in a romanticist manner. There is great contrast within the artwork, the colour palette varies from bright and lush to flat and dry to cold and pale depending on the scene. Like romanticist material, Mouryou no Hako uses art and intellectual dialogue to drive the narration, as opposed to being plot-driven. That isn’t to say that Mouryou no Hako is plot-less, but the development of this show is much less like your typical anime and much more like experimental or avant-garde productions. I found this plot review on Random Curiosity quite good if you are interested.

A show with this depth to it doesn’t come from nothing. Especially being a novel adaptation, there are a lot of references to external literary works which serve as a template of themes and ideas to mold the show towards. I’m no historian or poet or cultural anthropologist so there’s no way for me to verify this information, but I would still like to share what I have gathered as ancient Japanese literacy seems to have been quite important in guiding this show.
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