So I’ve kicked my anime habit for the most part, but I’ve still been watching them sporadically. Here are the last three I saw.
Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind
The nerdy side of me quickly realized that the giant insects from the underrated Xbox 360 game Lost Planet were obviously inspired by this film. With all the Hayao Miyazaki films I’ve seen lately, this one might be my favorite. It was his first huge hit and even though it was made in the mid 80s, the only outdated thing in this movie is the awful soundtrack. Everything else, from the animation to the storyline, makes this one a classic.
Incoherent, unexplainable perfection. I don’t really know what to say about this thriller film that looks at the nature of dreams. The video clip below makes little sense, but it provides a glimpse of this excellent, bizarre movie. By the way, it’s the only non-Miyazaki film I’ve seen since I started my binge.
Brave heroine? Check. Beautiful animation? Check. Distinct lack of villains? Check.
After watching all these Miyazaki films, I’ve realized the common threads between all his films. While they work in the other films, I felt Porco Rosso was lacking compared to the other films.
The main problem is the lack of real villains. His other films, like this one, had gray areas that made them interesting, but in this movie it just creates a lack of tension. The titular character is an ace pilot that was inexplicably turned into a pig during World War I. He’s shunned society and only resurfaces to go to his favorite restaurant and rescue ships that pirates have ransacked. The pirates are all buffoons, and so is the rival pilot they hire to kill Porco Rosso. At the end of the movie, everyone is the best of friends.
One thing I liked is that while the storyline is pure fantasy, it’s set in the real world. Italy has turned to facism, and World War II is on the horizon. That real element adds some depth that Miyazaki’s purely fictional films lack. Despite how chummy all the characters in this movie are, it’s still entertaining and better than most movies. It just comes across as Miyazaki-light.
The Year In Review: 2017
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