Friday, 18 November 2011

Japan day?

So, apart from kicking around with homework, I spent the day indulging in two of my old vices: Japanese literature, and anime.

Reread some Mishima. This was a book we took in one of my upper year Asian cultural history classes, which was taught by my favourite history professor of all time.

If you can get your hands on this collection of short stories, I'd highly suggest it. Mishima can be a little slow at times, but what he lacks in fast paced action, he makes up for in the unspoken depths of his characters, and in his minute attention to detail. Where Mishima is truly strong, is in his creation of a setting, the way he paints an image, which comes through with vivid clarity even in an English translation.

As for the anime, I imbibed in a rather confusing little number, a series made up of eight "movies" called Kara no Kyoukai. As with most anime I watch these days (yeah, I'm getting too old for it, but I'm also too old for The Princess Bride and I watch that on a biyearly basis, so bite me) I am of mixed feelings. 

Production quality seems high enough. The musical score is quite good, though at times a little disjointed in a way that reflects the plot. The story is told in reverse order, with a series of flashbacks working up to where we began in the first episode.

When I say the plot is disjointed, I am not pointing out a flaw. It is intentionally confusing. The main character is a schizophrenic sociopath with a split personality disorder, and the only people keeping her grounded are a chainsmoking "sorceress" and a very sweet young man named Kokuto. 

I think my biggest bone is with the main character, Shiki, herself. She has an unfortunate habit of wearing a red leather jacket over top of a traditional kimono, and although she is constantly dubbed "beautiful" by the other characters, I'm just not seeing it. She mostly just seems kind of bitchy, especially to poor Kokuto, who is so enamoured with being rejected by her that he came every day for two years to visit her when she was in a coma (all the better to ignore him, I suppose).

Am I being cynical? Probably

(but seriously? you can't tell me that that doesn't look a little dumb) 


  1. I know who you're talking about. He was the best damn Asian History Prof Evars.

    Thought he only manages to tie with the best of them all - Prof Robyn Swales (sp?) That man was so badass!

    I miss you :(

  2. I was just thinking today how nice an evening hanging out witchoo would be :( Miss you lots!