krpalmer: (anime)
[personal profile] krpalmer
It was something that Makoto Shinkai had gone from "making a work of animation lengthy for one man on his own" to "directing full-length anime features," but I'm always aware of a nagging sense of the general rhetoric about "impressive lighting effects and background art" being followed by "but..." Working backwards through his filmography, The Garden of Words was short and might have raised an amused eyebrow or two, Children Who Chase Lost Voices just perhaps took "someone has to carry on the Ghibli tradition" to the point of "now let's see your own thing" dismissal, 5 Centimeters per Second could provoke some resistance to "downbeat, inability-provoked developments," and I remembered more positive impressions of The Place Promised in Our Early Days, but not its title without looking it up.

Perhaps almost from the moment I started hearing about another feature from him, though, there was something different about Your Name. It was, perhaps, not so much word of mouth as that hardest yet bluntest evidence of all, "making loads of money." As much as this just about always starts to raise its own resistance, it still managed to pique my curiosity; however, that very success did lead to some assumptions it could be quite a while before home video releases of the movie would be allowed to leave its own target market to give me an easy way of seeing it myself. Even when I heard there were going to be limited screenings on this side of the Pacific, it took me a moment before beginning to search the upcoming titles at the movie theatre just a long ways along the street from me. It's been quite convenient that a number of anime features had been shown there before, but I was still surprised to see Your Name coming up, with one screening indicated as being in Japanese with subtitles.

I had one free pass left, which would be expiring in just a few months, but remembering impressions of limited screenings having premiums charged I did wonder if the theatre would just take the pass. It turned out they did, but it also turned out that where previous anime movies shown at the theatre had skipped theatrical commercials and trailers to jolt straight into the features, there was now a block of trailers for other upcoming special shows. It seemed "improving" stuff, TED talks and British theatre performances and documentaries about Renaissance artists (with a documentary on a famous European race course as a somewhat different note along the way), even if I did wonder what others in the audience might be thinking about all of it. The showing wasn't sold out, but there were more people than had gone to see Love Live the Movie.

Starting off, I was struck quite early on by something that did bring to mind anime series in general; beyond that, as a story I'd sometimes heard described as "a teenaged boy and girl in different parts of Japan start dreaming of each other" began to live up to other, slightly more detailed descriptions of "body swapping," I found some amusement in impressions there was a distinct touch of "stuff flat-out anime fans would see as fitting in with flat-out anime series." Once I'd managed to survive getting past the long-ago enthusiastic promotion of Japan as "a place where animation for grown-ups is appreciated," I have spent just a bit of time trying to resist the perhaps-inevitable counterreaction of playing up the idea of "this tottering structure depends on the shallow foundation of a few thousand money-foolish obsessives" (with a distinct trace of "but we appreciate the respectable threads to be teased out of it over here" sometimes); the thought Your Name had managed to draw large audiences without "being shaped altogether for them" was somehow invigorating. I suppose I was also thinking a bit of one of the more memorable "body swapping" manga I've read of late, Shuzo Oshimi's "Inside Mari," which had also managed to pack its artist's expected style if a rather different style than Makoto Shinkai's. (Later, I happened to see a translated comment from Shinkai in which he was aware of the manga...)

Beyond that, there was a sort of sense of things in the movie calling to mind the old days of "intriguing for being foreign." Just as I'd thought the movie was setting up the next obvious stage in the story, things started developing in a different direction, one that at last pointed out another important theme I'd heard a bit about and one I could recognize as tapping into contemporary concerns of its first audience. It might have added to an impression of a lot of story having been packed in, something that's managed to impress me with other films and works before. Some possible quibbles were in certain ways addressed before everything was over, and as much as I'm still wondering when I'll next be able to see the movie again (by which point the careful vagueness I've employed here might seem that much overdone), I can say the desire for another experience has transcended the effects of the rhetoric I mentioned at the beginning even as bits of those previous movies seemed well folded in.

Date: 2017-04-20 01:58 am (UTC)
lovelyangel: (Haruhi ThumbsUp)
From: [personal profile] lovelyangel
Lucky! You got to see it in Japanese! I want to hear the original voices. Fortunately, the movie was good enough that I'll gladly add it to my library – although I expect it will be about two years until the Blu-ray release. I can wait.

Date: 2017-04-22 02:12 pm (UTC)
lovelyangel: (Haruhi NotImpressed)
From: [personal profile] lovelyangel
"dub disdain"

*raises hand* (^_^)

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