Saturday, October 29, 2005

Weekend update

Subject: Noir
I've got some "Avenger" commentary to work out. I couldn't resist making my way through the whole thing (go figure), but I still need some time to work out any "deeper thoughts" about it. Maybe with a little more caffiene...

I'm sure I mentioned that I had been watching (and had finished) the box-set of the "Irresoponsible Captain Tylor", which was my second time through the series. I finally took the time to finish up the "extras" discs that came in the set. Not an awful lot to say about it, except that most of the extras were pun-filled promo specials from Japan, and were thusly very, very weird, and somewhat incomprehensible. There was one brief on-camera interview with a (very young) Koichi Mashimo, as well as a couple of on-screen-text (translated of course) bits from him, and what was (implied, at least), a sequence of AMVs of the the OST that he supposedly presented. "Tylor", as I've said, is quite a remarkable, understated show, and I think what he accomplished there reverberates through his later Bee Train work. My "Avenger" commentary will likely draw from this experience. When I finally get to it, that is...

This evening, I watched my rented copy of "Otoshi Zoshi" disc 1. Based in classic Japanese history, and with a reputation of being a serious work, I'll at least agree with those two points. The story is rather rich and varied, and holds some promise for drama and intensity in and of itself. Production I.G. also provides some interesting compositing techniques to the animation, which helps it maintain some visual interest. But, overall, the characters are rather lifeless -- there's no spark or hook at all to any of them. When I went on and on about a lack of "soul" in other series, well, that's rather personified in this one. Like I said, the story holds on to enough detail and interest to make this something that I don't regret watching, but I find myself wishing that there was a little more to it to make me care about continuing it beyond this first disc. Because at this point, I'm in no hurry to.

Finally, I reprised my viewing of the short, independently-produced "Voices of a Distant Star", which I picked up during that ADV Labor Day sale. My previous review of it probably stands as the best I could possibly say. And I watched the short about the cat again as well; fine stuff overall. I'm pretty much drawn to the fact that both of these were more-or-less solo works. Because I'm really considering leaping back into that sort of thing myself, I guess.

I've still got his recent feature "Beyond the Clouds" in my rental queue, awaiting the time it becomes available, so I can see where he took it once he had the chance to break-through the usual wall between wannabees and professionals. It's a wall I've been pondering for quite a while now. So obviously I'm attracted to these sorts of efforts.

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