Tuesday, 25 August 2015

#3: A.LI.CE (1999)

From http://images3.myreviewer.co.uk/
Director: Kenichi Maejima
Script: Masahiro Yoshimoto
Original Project
Voice Actors: Kaori Shimizu (Alice); Ryo Horikawa (Nero); Chihiro Suzuki (Yuan); Fumihiko Tachiki (Nicholai); Mariko Kouda (Maria)
Viewed in Japanese with English subtitles

From http://www.anime-kun.net/animes/screenshots/a-li-ce-1266.jpg
A.LI.CE was the first Japanese animated feature film to be completely computer animated. With a story by Masahiro Yoshimoto, the writer of the Dreamcast videogame Shenmue II (2001), it follows a young girl named Alice who is the youngest person to travel to outer space in a competition. She finds when she crashes back to Earth at the North Pole that she has travelled thirty years into the future, where a man named Nero has enslaved humanity with his use of a super computer. With the help of Yuan, an oafish young guy and the rechristened Marie, a robot waitress on the spaceship who is rebuilt and develops a sarcastic personality, Alice sets out to find out what happened to her and the world of the future.

From http://www.anime-kun.net/animes/screenshots/a-li-ce-1269.jpg
As a computer animated film A.LI.CE has dated badly. Only two years after its release the film was dated when Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) was released. The use of 3D models and effects with 2D animation happens quite a lot in anime now, but full 3D animation is not as common as in US productions. The earliest examples from 1999 with this film to the mid-2000s are a fascinating period I want to explore more. All the ones I know of have been completely forgotten. All of them have been effected by time. All of them look like cut scenes from Playstation 1 videogames. Viewing A.LI.CE with these factors in mind, I bear in mind the issues and take interest in it with hindsight. There is a ghostly air to the animation which I find a strange delight in. A.LI.CE is dated to the point it now has an inherently unique atmosphere to its fakeness that engages me, something I seriously doubt other anime fans have and may merely be an obsession of mine. It's an obsession I have in general with dated computer effects from the early nineties or the Money For Nothing music video era before, finding more pleasure in them then modern computer animation for the most part. The appreciation for the hard work making them, like here in A.LI.CE, is felt out of respect for the creators. I find them interesting out of an appreciation of the marks and flaws that make up a piece of entertainment as well as their virtues. I find them entertaining because they are clearly fake and the results are completely off-kilter as a result in some cases.

From http://multikionline.org/_ld/1/58986926.png
There are things in the production of A.LI.CE which directly influence this and shows the aspects of the animation that I found compelling to soak in viewing the movie. As anime scholar Jonathan Clements would point out, contributing to the extras on the old UK DVD release, a production like this turned the characters into equivalents of puppets, restricting the movements possible without them doing the equivalent of them vibrating about as they move as if on strings. The plot compensates for this. The North Pole location the film is set in is very isolated, with only a few flashbacks being the exception, and the lack of cast helps reduce the effects. The forces of Nero are faceless robots and the Liberation Force against him, whose leader is a duplicitous scientist with questionable intent for Alice, consist of only him, a strong red haired female soldier and background soldiers dressed and looking the same. There are many vehicle chase and vehicle action scenes, and other movements are carefully edited around. The puppet effect on the characters, like watching a clip from Thunderbirds, turns them into being like you in humanoid form but from a different reality instantly. The simplistic locations around them with their distinct use of heavy colours adds an artificiality that is more enticing to me than wanting realistic computer animation. Bear in mind reader that I have a preference with the abstract and the fantastical, not completely against realism in art and able to find it as worthwhile, but unless the realism is done properly and not false, I prefer stories that are willing to be unrealistic on purpose or by accident. This drastically dated animation appeals to me for seeing the work that took place to create back in 1999 and for seeing how age has drastically effected it in 2015.

From http://www.anime-kun.net/animes/screenshots/a-li-ce-1271.jpg
A.LI.CE's real problem is how similar the plot is to so many other anime and how sluggish it feels depicting said clichés in comparison. Like other anime there is a ecological slant to the villain's intentions where they desire to save the natural Earth from mankind, a fascinating trope in anime you can even find mentioned briefly in a work as lurid as Apocalypse Zero (1996), but barely touched upon here. The Liberation Force is also like in other anime led with morally grey politics in the head office, but its barely covered baring a villain who needed a moustache to twirl while stating his plans. The protagonist is an innocent teenage girl with a pure heart who merely wants good in people, seen in many anime and here as bland. Even when the events of the future she is in involve her directly, she is still the same character without change. Nearly everyone else is a cipher. Yuan is a fun character, but he is the easy going, slightly bumbling male lead you find in other anime. Nero the villain created from a tragic past. The female solider merely tough and able to survive when her troops are cannon fodder. The scientist a one dimensional villain. The exception, though she is a cliché too, is Marie who makes up most of the film's entertainment. Another sexualised female robot armed to the teeth with guns and gadgets, but she has a surprising amount of human reflection and emotions than is usually depicted in such a character, a sparring partner to Yuan who merely laughs off him calling her a trash heap affectionate with mirth. There's an ironic joke that, when everyone looks like an artificial doll because of the animation, the female robot looks like she was animated with more facial expressions and body language than everyone else. It's not surprising how much time was devoted to her when she has three different visual appearances, including a sexy green haired woman in a cleavage showing top and a blue haired spunky tomboy form, in the film explained away by her getting upgrades.

From http://www.anime-kun.net/animes/screenshots/a-li-ce-1272.jpg
The incredibly dated animation in its blockiness does not diminish the hard work in attempting a brave first experiment. This is actually a great virtue when the plot is average. What ended up being more watchable in A.LI.CE as entertainment is the charm because of this in spite of the flaws. There is an earnestness especially with the unsubtle ecological message, and the characters of Yuan and Marie become immensely helpful in their light relief. The best parts are proof to how clichés can add a pop and energy to a story regardless of the lack of originality. It is a curiosity now which I appreciate more for this and as part of the history of 3D animation in anime, a romp in spite of its dullish plot. After this from the mid-2000s onward, you get completely 3D animated anime like the entirety of Shinji Aramaki's filmography from 2004, except Viper's Creed (2009), and a few other releases. The pioneers I am slowly going through like A.LI.CE have nearly all been forgotten. In one case this is despairing as my personal favourite, Malice@Doll (2000), is a twisted and dreamlike body horror sci-fi piece that feels like nothing else and uses the limitations of the animation to add to its weird tone. Something like A.LI.CE is more of a fascinating example of the animation attempting to succeed in its goal, but it's a shame to forget it. 

From http://images4.myreviewer.co.uk/medium/0000108528.jpg

Saturday, 15 August 2015

#2: Blood: The Last Vampire (2000)

From https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/

Director: Hiroyuki Kitakubo
Script: Kenji Kamiyama
Based On An Original Project
Voice Actors: Yûki Kudô (Saya); Saemi Nakamura (Makiho); Joe Romersa (David); Rebecca Forstadt (Sharon); Stuart Robinson (Louis)
Uses English and Japanese dialogue

Blood: The Last Vampire was significant for its pioneering use of computer assisted animation, the transition from hand drawn anime to the digitally crafted growing onward until hand drawing cels is virtually obsolete as in Western animation. Hand drawn anime from decades before to the digital assisted work of now shows a lot of differences in style and look, providing the latter with its own distinct looks but also nostalgia for the old anime. Revisiting Blood, the James Cameron quote on the UK Blu-Ray cover about the pioneering use of computers is the least interesting thing about this short theatrical work. Instead it's the premise that was used, from a script written by the future director the Ghost In The Shell television series and Eden of the East (2009), that's far more interest when the technology used for anime is common place now.

From http://www.fareastfilms.com/cmsAdmin
Blood has the traditional stock character in anime of the mysterious and cold blooded young woman as the protagonist, the aloof and brooding individual named Saya. Set in 1966 on an American army base in Japan, the Yokota Air Base, she is assigned by a secret American group to hunt down vampiric entities called chiropterans. While wooden stakes and garlic could become cumbersome to carry around and use, Saya's best option to deal with these creatures is by way of a large kitana and evisceration. In only forty eight minutes, Blood encapsulates a simple story which leaves a lot left uncovered. As one of the rare horror anime in existence it makes a damn good attempt at vampire mythos. Terrible vampire stories are a universal language, not just in Japanese, and depicting horrifying bat-like entities that hide in human disguise, covering up their feedings with false suicides, Blood sticks out with a different take on them in only a small space of time.

The digital animation is undeniably crisp and good. Barring some obvious computer designed buildings and vehicles, this is a high budget theatrical release from Production I.G., who've produced some significant and beloved anime in their existence from numerous Mamoru Oshii works to The End of Evangelion (1997). The result is a short film that is both artistically rich and shows the digital technology at its best. Hand drawn animation in anime led to incredible work, exceptional examples of the hard work of individual animators, or entertaining and tripped out psychedelics, but I like how digital animation, alongside allowing sequences that would be arduous or impossible to draw by hand to exist, made a considerable impact on realistic looking designs and in developing atmosphere to the stories' settings. Hand drawn anime could provide some eye-catching mood to stories, but modern digital anime has a knack for really dank or moody urban locations especially at night, something Blood shows in being mostly set then. Isolated subway cars, desolate back alleys, an occupying US base on Halloween night, locations where everything feels lived in.

From http://i.imgur.com/JnlqxbT.jpg
What stands out as the best part of Blood is what Kenji Kamiyama and the production crew decided to write as a story for this feature. It could've been a vampire story set in any time period, but decided to set it just before the Vietnam War around the real life Yokota Air Base is a very unexpected and inspired choice. Not only is the Pacific War between the US and Japan invoked, but it also invokes for me how the late Sixties and early Seventies were very turbulent in global politics, political protests and controversies in Japan directly involving the American bases on their country's soil. To use the location inherently brings this real history up even if it's never referenced. Sadly, while light novels, including one written by Mamoru Oshii, a manga and a videogame were created as follow on material, this version of Blood never had animated sequels that could delve into this setting more. It could've easily shot itself in the foot in discussing the politics, but as it stands Blood amazingly is one of the most subtle and fascinating takes on post-World War II Japan in anime I've seen without ever bringing up the subject.

That's not to suggest this is a profound study on the subject. The anime's real plot in the end is about real vampires in-between people dressed as vampires in the middle of a Halloween dance, but the context adds a significance. By merely showing the context as it does as surface dressing it shows a greater interest in the subject without ever becoming a commentary. A cross cultural world is depicted, sights of bars for American G.I.s, prostitutes, male transvestites and cross dressers, the children of American soldiers going to on-base schools and celebrating Halloween in costume unaware of the horrors taking place that same night. The realistic character designs add a fleshed out world to the content, and the fact the anime is bilingual in Japanese and English, including actresses switching between languages, gives an immediately different tone to this from other anime from its setting.

From http://www.madman.com.au/images/screenshots/screenshot_9_3654.jpg
This context also adds to the horror story in the centre. No gothic castles, no dubious depictions of Goth culture, but something different. A secondary character, a Japanese nurse at the school called Makiho, shows the advantage of this detail in just untouched back-story. A plump middle aged woman, rarely depicted or drawn as realistically as here, she is mostly there to be traumatised by the horrors she sees, and for animators to draw as many different expressions of shock at Saya behaviour as possible, but without emphasising it so many things are left to ponder out of interest. Not only that she switches between her native language and English, as anime usually is in one language even when depicting non-Japanese characters, but also the fact she is a Christian from the prominent crucifix around her neck. This background detail is seen in the other characters and everything else, and what is absent in the plot still has clues to entertain.

The production staff clearly don't show a hatred for the USA either, seeing the war in-between the lines with great complexity, lovingly rendered scenes of an army band playing real thirties jazz, carved Jack o' Lanterns littering the base and, amusingly, the sole scene in a classroom where young teenagers are apparently being taught about German expressionist movies and horror films from the text on the blackboard. If anything, alongside the chiropterans, it's the approaching Vietnam War which is ominous, sounds of passing planes continuously heard and the end credits using real war footage of US soldiers depicted in a fuzzy haze. If this had an animated sequel with the same tone, it would've fascinating to see how the production team would've depicted the encroaching final years of the sixties, not only the war in full tilt but depicting Japan in that decade, which would've instantly made it one of the most unique horror works animated or otherwise to tackle vampiric monsters. (Oshii's light novel continuation, which was released in the West translated, seems to be more a documentation of the political and social events of that period with a small narrative running through, which adds further intrigue).

From http://www.trashmutant.com/uploads/
Unfortunately Blood: The Last Vampire, as said, never had animated sequels. Blood+ (2005-6) and Blood-C (2011), the later a collaboration with famous all-female manga creators CLAMP, are spin-offs set in different interpretations of the world. There is also the 2009 live action film as well which I saw at the cinema, a film that didn't set the world on fire at all but was a memorable cinema experience regardless of the movie. I don't know what's weirder with the live action film - that it came to being when adaptations for anything from Akira (1988) to Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-6) feel by the wayside or that I saw the result in a multiplex in the middle of a June day in 2009 in the first place. It's sad as revisiting Blood: The Last Vampire, I really liked it. It would've been a double edged sword if it got official sequels. It would've likely not had as high a production if made for TV or straight-to-video. And it could've been lost to terrible story writing. But like other one-offs it offers so many what-ifs for its characters and setting you still wish it was a franchise. Ironically while promoting what anime would become in production, this really feels like more of the old straight-to-video anime that would diminish and die from the year of its release onward rather than as the theatrical feature it actually was, especially those that never had any additional episodes to finish the narratives. It's almost a fitting eulogy to them in a strange way.

From http://pxhst.co/share/img/2006_04_5/28224636yuc.jpg

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

#1: Gestalt (1997)

From http://cdn-2.cinemaparadiso.co.uk/

Director: Osamu Yamazaki
Script: Mamiya Fujimura
Based on a manga by Yun Kōga
Voice Actors: Hikaru Midorikawa (as Shazan); Kae Araki (as Ouri); Kazue Ikura (as Carmine); Mariko Kouda (as Suzu); Tsutomu Kashiwakura (as Shoushi)

When one begins a new blog, the first entry you write about is viewed to have some importance. An introduction, which I've done, and the first subject covered being something special. I could've made the first anime written on the blog be a special work of art. I could've covered Isao Takahata's The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) or Mamoru Hosoda's The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006), both of which are sitting impatiently in a line in my To-Watch pile. On the other hand such acclaimed works could be disconcerting in attempting to write about especially when you worry about coming off as an uneducated dunce coming out the starting gate. When you're tasting the waters you could instead choose an easy option to get used to the layout of your desired ideas for the blog. I could cover Gestalt instead. But this is also an appropriate choice for the first anime covered as well as the largest part of the blog's purpose is to dive head first into 1000 anime. There are only twenty plus Studio Ghibli films, not including those difficult to see shorts Hayao Miyazaki does for their museum, and the decision by the company to limit their production schedule for the unforeseeable future is going to reduce the chances of thirty films existing when I finish this blog. Mamoru Hosoda has considerably less directorial entries and there are many auteur anime directors unless they work on projects continually who will merely graze the number I need to beat to complete this insane project. This means I have to embrace stuff like Gestalt, randomly found in a second hand DVD store anime shelf, or face growing creeping madness before I reach a quarter of the project.

It's an apt choice too because the idea of the blog also means going through all the clichés of what "anime" is and finally admitting they're a major reason you actually watch these shows and films in the first place alongside the great canonical works. Enter Gestalt, a two episode, straight-to-video fantasy action story which has these clichés by the bucket load. Characters with large eyes, bright nineties colour designs and elegant costume designs? Check. Giant sweat drops appearing when a character is nervous or baffled? Check. Random comedy and pratfalls even in a scene when a villain is vanquished? Check. No ending as many nineties OVA releases had? Absolutely and you're stuck buying the English translation of the original manga online in its multiple volumes if you want an ending, one in motion only possible after in your mind.

From http://i.ytimg.com/vi/Vk3mYo9r1jE/hqdefault.jpg
Like many a fantasy anime, Gestalt the anime is a curious mix of mythologies in building its briefly seen then gone world. Father Olivier, a priest, leaves his order to discover the truth about Gestalt, one of the seven Gods of his world who is seen as a horrifying demon, one so terrifying that not only was he banished to a far away island but even saying his full name, rather than merely "G", is cursed. The one member of his order we see, sulking by himself in a chapel, sends a female dark elf after him called Suzu, but during a strange moment of charity from a female owner of an inn Oliver is given a female slave called Ouri as a gift, only to discover when unlocking her ability to speak through a kiss and a magic blessing that she is a powerful sorceress who is more than capable of clearing away obstacles with only half her original ability.

The result is a hodgepodge of Western high fantasy tropes that plays fast and loose with countless references to many around the world for a peculiar intercontinental blend. While it is a flaw with many anime, even well regarded franchises, the first anime choice for the blog forces me to relinquish my hand without hesitance and admit I love the sometimes convoluted implementations of mythology and esoteric ideas in anime. It becomes disappointing when an anime doesn't use its ideas to their fullest potential, but it's become obvious even the most generic take on mythology, like a story with orcs and elves, is immediately going to be watchable even if its incompetent with depicting the material because non-Japanese mythology and folk law is always interesting to see interpreted by Japanese pop culture. When its Japanese folk law and mythology it's also fascinating even if the writer was clearly making stuff up. Frankly a lot of Western animation I grew up with is so tedious with depicting mythology even in a way that's deliciously dumb. Live action western fantasy or horror films are even worse especially the former, lacking the unpredictable or unexpected you find in real mythology, which is why fairy tails for me have always linked to surrealism by way of the likes of Lewis Carroll, or the unpredictable you find in completely insane narratives of anime, where you enjoy someone like Go Nagai dragging a concept in a place you probably wouldn't have comprehended it to go.

From http://www.cineoutsider.com/reviews/pix/g/ge/gestalt_01.jpg
The dialogue here, like many an anime, is full of vague super ability names only peppered with references to "Prospero" or "Tetragrammaton" that can make the dialogue obtuse in the same way Dragonball Z (1989-1996) would be if the audio was removed from the images out of context. This as well, in the first review for the blog, unless it's supposed to be an intellectual or deep show, where is becomes maddening, is now a form of cherry added to anime like Gestalt that I love knowing how nonsensical the subtitles can be. For me it comes off as strangely poetic in a trashy pop culture way. Gestalt tries to cram so much into its sixty minutes of existence that the result is a mess but an amusing one for me. This is a world where dark elves and magic exists, yet the order Olivier is from is explicitly referencing Christianity, a crucifix visible in the main symbolic image for the religion in this anime's universe only held aloft horizontally by a new figure. Suddenly, with the gaudy colourful look of an obscure nineties anime, you can go from medieval castle walls to Persian housing designs straight from Aladdin (1992) with no sense of geography separating them from each other. If anything the juxtapositions from cross pollinating ideas and concepts, including mythological ones, is one of my greatest pleasures in anime as, when it's a good one, they stand out, and when the anime is bad, it's still imaginative and/or weird.

You have the least expected combinations of myths tied together and emphasised in some cases by a lack of clear research in the symbolism, causing a strange reinterpretation of the material. Sometimes the ideas have been researched even a little, as here where the magic is based on the four classic elements, someone clearly having read about alchemy texts when fire is represented by salamanders, dragon-like beings including one Suzu rides, and water by undines, adding brief moments of elaborate world building through using mythologies.When its crass or misinterpreted, as anime can end up doing even when based on the Japanese folklore, it can be watchable in seeing the least expected interpretations to your favourite religions and cultural myths through the minds of a desperate creator.

Gestalt goes for a sloppy balance between a comedy with moments of fantasy action. Were it not for a few dollops of blood, not enough to horrify anyone, and the few sexual references this would be a fantasy story you could watch with children. Visibly its affected by some limitations in the production, at least in the jarring screen pans that take place at lot and really look bad. But it was entertaining. Its apt to begin the blog with something like this because even when it couldn't dare compete with anime that I find entertaining regardless of their dubious failings, I can find pleasure in a forgotten obscurity like this. if it was completely offensive or so maddening dull, if my tastes have shown me anything, will I ever felt real pain anymore, and unlike a television series, sixty minutes is not a lot of time with Gestalt's two episodes passing by very easily. Far from dismissive, its accepting the flaws with it but enjoying the viewing regardless. Even very silly things in Gestalt are funny to me, such as the use of a background with a sun and flowers drawn in crayon by what looks like a child's hand when Ouri praises Oliver for a potential virtue he has. Even the cheap comedic and visual effects are amusing for their tackiness such as the cliché of a young female character enraging another mature one by calling her an "old woman", more so when the older woman is a villain and gets distracted from her evil ways by the cheap insult with immense rage.

From http://www.cineoutsider.com/reviews/pix/g/ge/gestalt_02.jpg
Also Gestalt manages to point out an aspect of a lot of anime that will become very apparent even when they show very dubious gender politics. This blog will show the very schizophrenic attitude to the subject as well as on the subject of kink and fluid sexuality in the medium. Gestalt does blunder into some strange areas of apparent humour in how Ouri is given to Oliver as a sex slave and when she offers to sell her body for them to be able to eat in one scene, but thankfully this gets dropped by the second episode, concentrating on a tiny narrative where a king of a city is starting to act strangely and is having a tournament where losers are fed to a horrible creature known as a Carrion Crawler, the combination of a worm and the torso of Queen Slug-for-a-Butt from the Earthworm Jim franchise. There is a cute and thankfully brief joke, enough so it doesn't become enough and block half the screen up with its existence, about Ouri only being able at first to speak in text boxes like an old RPG videogame character. Once she is able to talk, admittedly through the power of a kiss, she is the stereotypical strong female character but this in itself brings up complicated issues about the gender portraits of anime characters which is another thing I like in anime, where even in an apparently misogynistic work, not Gestalt but something else, you can have a mixed message that goes against the sexist ideal of women completely.

Suddenly Gestalt is another anime, like many I have watched and will cover, where a female character is seemingly a naive, girlish figure who almost always speaks in a higher pitched, lively voice only for this to be a mask to a more serious and/or confident woman, one who is much more tougher and usually more dangerous, always depicted from what I've seen unless it's a parody with the same voice actress deepening her voice for both English and Japanese dubs. This is exactly what happens with Ouri when its reveal she is a powerful sorceress who has happened to have magical restrictions forced on her for unknown reasons the anime sadly doesn't have time to deal with. Even if he is a priest and probably has a code of chastity, the fact that Oliver is the stereotype of the nervous male lead who would've flinch if Ouri stopped calling him master and said she wanted to be romantic with him, emphasises a contradictory idea that, for all the crass depictions of women in anime by male creators, there are a lot of depictions of strong women paired with timid men in them even if the women were depicted as schoolgirls with chests bigger than their own heads and chainmail bikinis. It reveals an odd reflection of anime writers and creators that they do this a lot, and in this case the original manga author is a woman which changes perspectives further. Even if Oliver has to help Ouri through a magic kiss to briefly reach a higher power ability, it still involves them in the end briefly becoming one as, effectively, a hermaphrodite figure of greater power, and for the few stocky muscular male side characters, most of the main ones including the male villain of the anime are depicted as elegant figures usually with longer hair and spectacular fashion senses even for a fantasy world.

From http://www.cineoutsider.com/reviews/pix/g/ge/gestalt_03.jpg
Sadly when this anime ends, Gestalt is just starting the beginning of what is clearly a longer narrative, feeling like the prologue setting up some of the main cast from the manga. If it had more episodes or was a television series, I would've gladly watched more of it. It's completely un-offensive as it is, and I did find it fun to watch. Having it as the first review for the site is appropriate because if even this is immensely entertaining as a slight choice, I'm going to have a lot of further fun in fishing out curiosities like it from this period and other decades. Even works painful to sit through are going to be worth wasting time on them to fish out the quirks the likes of anime possess.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

1000 Anime: An Introduction

Like many of my generation, I first saw an anime when the first Pokemon TV series started screening the morning before school in Britain. It was only at sixteen when I became an anime fan properly. Ten years later and it feels like I've barely scratched the surface in my love of this pop culture. So it made sense at the time, not realising how ill advised it would be, to watch and write small reviews for one thousand anime on a blog. Admittedly this was after watching the first series of High School DxD (2012), which makes the entire plan utterly suspect. It goes to show what strange and insane ideas brew in a mind when weakened and forced to submit to a  highly concentrated ecchi animation for too long.  But there's a justification that, not only does it mean reflecting on great anime like the late Satoshi Kon's films to obscurer TV series like The Tatami Galaxy (2010),  but also allows me to catch up on anime that I should've seen or am masochistic enough to endure.

Unlike my other blog Cinema of the Abstract (http://cinemaoftheabstract.blogspot.co.uk/), this one is meant to be relaxed in tone and not to write two thousand pages long reviews. The premise for the blog is simple, no matter how regrettable it might've have been to start it two years later, as are the rules for myself:

  1. All anime - feature films, OVAs, shorts etc. qualify to be covered.
  2. Japanese co-productions also qualify. Non-Japanese works inspired by anime though won't unless it's a bonus post.
  3. I also count experimental animation and even stop motion/marionette films. "Anime", far from a patronising name, is a fitting one, snappy to say, to describe an entire country's form of animation and make it stand out from other countries'.
  4. Franchises will be split into one series/one film qualifying as one post. (I.e. One series of Naruto would be Anime #1 and so on). Obvious exceptions include The Garden of Sinners (2009-2011) were all the films qualify as one single story whilst the spin-off Future Gospel (2013) would qualify as its own post. 
  5. I will not discount any genre or type of anime from the blog. 
  6. After one hundred anime are covered, we'll see when we get to the one thousand and first for what to do next.
The most important thing is that the posts are not to be analytical or like reviews. Instead it's more important to ask what I like and what I don't. What the best is and what the worst is. Is there anything I just enjoy even in bad anime, be it a trope to characters having pink hair? Is it just juvenile to watch anime or is it a lot more complicated than that suggestion implies? Why the hell is The Humanoid (1986) so watchable but clearly terrible? Any more reasons would overcomplicate the fun in starting this blog and its best to leave the introduction to this post as it stands