Posts Tagged ‘paprika’
I had an actual Trailer Roundup planned for today but for some reason it just seems like a bad day to post it. I openly admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of Satoshi Kon’s movies. Certainly not as much as many others who are celebrating his life and legacy today. That doesn’t mean that I couldn’t recognize his talent for telling a story or creating lasting images. So with that in mind, it seems appropriate today to post an all Satoshi Kon edition of the Trailer Roundup. Tomorrow will feature a brand new Trailer Roundup featuring some upcoming series but today is for the fans who may have never even seen his works before.
Perfect Blue (1997 – Produced by Oniro)
Millennium Actress (2001 – Madhouse) : Remember back when studios had money to push their anime releases?
Tokyo Godfathers (2003 – Madhouse)
Paranoia Agent (2004 – Madhouse)
Paprika (2007 – Madhouse) : I accidentally included the video which had the opening animation, thanks for pointing it out. I’m adding the real trailer now.
Wow, after all that there has still been quite a bit of news slipping through the cracks lately. I promise that once I get past next weekend, things will start to return to normal. But in the meantime, there is quite a bit of new anime to talk about!
Danny Choo Unveils Chinka: Otaku superblogger Danny Choo has revealed his first foray into anime production with the creation of a production studio, Mirai Fusion, and a series titled Chinka. The story will revolve around a troop of moe firefighters chasing after an arsonist which I gather was only a matter of time, how many professions are there left to be given a moe treatment? That being said, looking at the artwork that’s up so far, I’m forced to believe this just might be crazy enough to work.
Paprika Getting Live Action Treatment? MTV reported yesterday that director Wolfgang Petersen wants to create a live action version of the 2006 movie created by Madhouse and Satoshi Kon, Paprika. Petersen elaborated by saying that he has already submitted a script treatment and that if it accepted the writing of the actual script “will go very fast because the treatment is already very detailed. So I’m very excited about that. I would say it’s on the fast track.”
Crunchyroll Finds Hidden 750K Energy Tank: Crunchyroll sent out a press release yesterday to reveal a new investment being made by TV Tokyo to the tune of almost a million dollars. The press release doesn’t state that this is going to change a thing about the way Crunchyroll streams or acquires content but is more just to help the site develop new technology by furthering their partnership. (full press release below the cut)
And in the New Anime Department: Just because it’s not being announced at Tokyo International Anime Fair doesn’t mean it’s not happening! An anime adaptation has also been announced this week for the manga Shinryaku! Ika Musume and the light novel series Bungaku Shoujo will be getting a 3 episode OVA series along with the already announced movie being produced by Production I.G. The first of the three episodes will hit stores in late June.
After getting over the bitter taste that ‘Paranoia Agent’ left in my mouth, I’m finally digging into the latest from Satoshi Kon.
Scientists have invented a revolutionary machine called the DC Mini which will allow a scientist to not only enter a subject’s dream, but also interact with it and record it so that it can be studied. What was meant to be a breakthrough through in psychological treatment becomes a nightmare (pun intended) when the machine is stolen.
It’s up to one of the lead designers, Dr. Atsuko Chiba, and a troubled policeman to team up and discover not only who stole the device but what their real intention is for it before it’s too late.
Good and the Bad
As I stated above, this release has been sitting on my review pile for quite sometime because the last project from Satoshi Kon that I saw (Paranoia Agent) left an incredibly bitter taste in my mouth that I hadn’t forgotten. Over the last year though it was almost impossible to be involved in anime and not hear about the monumental amounts of press that it was receiving from both the anime community, reviewers and mainstream press.
Starting at the beginning, the story in this feature is about as twisted and convoluted as every single reviewer and fan has made it out to sound. It begins inside the nightmares of the police detective with a strange girl named Paprika and within no time the plot starts racing towards our primary focus. The invention, the theft and who is the real leader behind it.
The 90 minutes between this opening and the actual conclusion though is quite a mess. In my opinion, Satoshi Kon has always had one vital flaw that I can’t help but notice every single time I look at one of his features and that would be that he enjoys speaking in metaphors. More than any other director, any single one of his series or movies I have seen have just been nothing but metaphor piled on top of metaphor.
That is still the same in this feature as well and it’s made all the worse when you factor in the idea that much of what the audience sees takes place within a dream world where anything is possible. Suddenly the image of talking dolls, giant parades, jumping into paintings, etc is completely normal.
In defense of this title, the metaphors in this piece were a little easier to follow and by the end, I had a pretty clear understanding of what most of the metaphors were supposed to be referring to.
Getting past that though, the rest of the film I found to be surprisingly pleasant to watch. The story was certainly interesting and all of the characters were entertaining to watch. Easily the most interesting to me was the cop, Toshimi Konakawa was written with such intricate care and throughout all 90 minutes it was fascinating to watch his very detailed and troubled past become revealed bit by bit.
It was nice to see little things added into the writing though that made things a bit more fun for the more observant anime fan. A primary example of this would be an inside joke near the end involving ‘Tokyo Godfathers’. Pay attention to the background in the closing scenes and you’ll see exactly what I’m referring to.
The animation in this feature was really quite well done. Originally animated in 2006, this feature shows a lot of great animation throughout. While on a technical level I can’t say that I was overly impressed with the animation that I saw, I was quite pleased with the animation from an artistic standpoint. Even though many of the scenes were a bit heavy on the imagery, the concepts were very unique and eye catching throughout the entire feature. While I can’t say that this feature had 100% of my attention throughout the entire run time, I did find more than a few scenes that really forced me to pay attention.
Perhaps the most difficult part about this feature though is the pacing. The first few minutes really pass by well and get the audience involved in the story. From there though the characters find themselves in a race against time. While in the story the characters were racing against time to find the thief, it also felt like the characters knew they were in a race against time to make the story wrap up neatly before the audience loses interest. That little switch in pacing is enough to completely throw the film into a rapid pace that really doesn’t give the audience much time to keep up with everything that is going on and pick apart everything that they taking in.
As with a couple of other features directed by Satoshi Kon, the music composed for this film was done by Susumu Hirasawa (Millennium Actress, Paranoia Agent). Unfortunately like Paranoia Agent, I really didn’t find anything in terms of the soundtrack that stood out as particularly great for me. While the music always fit the scene and helped with the ambient nature or mood, it never stood out as particularly powerful and really ended up becoming an afterthought as I viewed.
Dub vs. Sub
Both tracks were done well and so I really cannot complain about either one. I always think it’s nice when one of the more major studios in the country hire actors who are experienced within the anime industry to dub though so I will give praise to Sony for that. Yuri Lowenthal turns in another great performance as Dr. Tokito and Cindy Robinson turned in a fabulous performance in the duel role of Dr. Atsuko Chiba/Paprika.
On the sub side, I was impressed as usual with the wonderful performance turned in by Megumi Hayashibara as Dr. Atsuko Chiba/Paprika.
As you might expect from Sony, there are plenty of extras to be found on this feature for fans who wanted a look behind the scenes. Among the extras to be found on this release include lots of interview clips including one with novelist Yasutaka Tsutsui and director Satoshi Kon. Another interview features Satoshi Kon talking about the dreams within the film and yet another talks with Yasutaka Tsutsui and voice actors Megumi Hayashibara and Toru Furuya about the production of the film.
Finally there are also two features that are dedicated to the animation of the film.
I didn’t expect to like this release as much as I did. The imagery and animation of this film remains very busy from start to finish which at times was interesting and at times it was overwhelming and frustrating. Lots of ground is broken with this feature and while it’s certainly not something that I am going to be putting back into my player to re-watch for fun anytime in the near future, I don’t imagine that I would be against seeing it again at some point in the future. Worth viewing once but I don’t foresee this one going down as a classic.
Final Grade: 81% – B