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Anime Retrospective

A great little article in this month's Wired about the Giants of Anime: Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell), Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira and Steamboy), and Hayao Miyazaki (everything good from My Neighbor Totoro to Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle).

The article offers some good personal biography, as well as some context about how anime arose as an art form in Japan over the decades. It reminded me of why I liked anime in the first place, before the current deluge of sheer craptacular badness washed onto American shores. And I suspect the recent wave of garbage is largely due to the fact that 10 years ago, only the cream of the cream of anime ever made it to the US. Now all the middling, boring, and just plain bad stuff gets shoveled onto the West Coast in great stinking piles of fansub that only the otaku can love.

Not that it's all bad. The amount of quality material is about the same as always: one or two movies a year. There's a Steamboy trailer and a Howl's Moving Castle trailer, both in Quicktime format. Hard to tell if they'll be any good, though I have high hopes for both.

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