Paprika

Aug 6, 04:48 by IROSF
Comments on the movie or the review should go here.

Review is here.
Aug 6, 15:02 by Scott Benenati
So glad to see Paprika is becoming more well known. It is one of the best anime I've ever seen. The visuals are stunning, as was mentioned in the review, the music and sound effects create intense atmospheres, and the metaphysical speculations are profound. (My only complaint is the lack of realistic facial expressions of the characters, but this pervades anime.) Is there more anime this good?
Aug 6, 15:43 by Michael Andre-Driussi
Is there more anime this good?


That's a tough question! I'll start at the top of what I guess we can call "art house anime."

IMHO, Satoshi Kon's work is at the top with only Hayao Miyazaki's anime. So I recommend Kon's work and Miyazaki's work.

Madhouse is the group that Kon is a part of, and they released another film, "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time," which is Kon-like. Sort of Kon-lite, in a fresh and refreshing way. I don't think it has been exported yet.

I used to be a big fan of Makoto Shinkai, but I was deeply disappointed by his latest film "5 cm per Second." Still, you might try "Voices of a Distant Star," which collects his first and second shorts, "She and Her Cat" and "Voices of a Distant Star." On DVD.

That's a start.

I mean, my list of "True SF" anime includes: Cowboy BeBop, Boogiepop Phantom, Niea Under Seven, Haibane Renmei, Wings of Honneamise, FLCL, Planetes, and others. Some come closer to "art house" than others. (Aside: at least one of the people from Boogiepop has subsequently worked with Kon, adding to his formidable dream team.)
Aug 6, 17:59 by D. Nicklin-Dunbar
Hmmm, sounds suspiciously like the film The Cell. Then again, I suppose all movies based on the premise of entering other people's dreams would all sound suspiciously the same. Worth a look though.

As for "good" anime, well, that is a matter of taste. There are some I would recommend though (other than the above mentioned Miyazaki). Top of that list is anything with Ghost in the Shell on the cover. To be truthful, I found the T.V. series (GitS: Stand Alone Complex and GitS: Second Gig) to be better than the films, although the original film adaptation of the manga was pretty fantastic. If you like S/F and anime, you cannot miss GitS. Intelligently written, wonderful English dubbing (the voice acting is superb) and stunning visuals.
Aug 7, 17:32 by Scott Benenati
Before I watched Paprika, Miyazaki's films were the only anime that engaged me. I look forward to more. Thanks for the recommendations.
Aug 7, 18:15 by Michael Andre-Driussi
You are welcome, sbenenati! Ah, so you know and like Miyazaki already--excellent.

With this better understanding of your tastes, I think your next Kon film should be "Millennium Actress." After that, perhaps "Tokyo Godfathers" for a palate-cleansing sorbet, and then the big experience of "Paranoia Agent."

"Tokyo Godfathers" might be "too simple" for you after "Paprika," but it is a nice change of pace for Kon and I think it is great.

Kon's first film, "Perfect Blue," can probably wait until later. Its animation is rougher. It is based on a novel, like Paprika is, but most of Kon's work is stuff he makes up himself. It is probably the Kon work that is most like a Hitchcock film. It is a good film, showing the seeds of greatness.

Of course you could also watch them in sequential order, starting with "Perfect Blue," for that type of experience--watching him develop. (Hmm, wait a second--my plan =is= historical after starting with his second film!) But I think "Millennium Actress" is a better bet, since if your interest in Kon ends with that film, you reach satiety on one of his best.
Aug 8, 17:35 by Scott Benenati
I'll take your advice and check out Millennium Actress next, but I doubt I will be sated! Paprika hit me with the same force that Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke did and I yearn for more. There's such potential, but of the little anime I've seen, there doesn't seem to be much more of such quality. Most has cringing dialogue, excessive grunting, and the themes and desired emotional responses are heavy-handed.

One other engaging anime I forgot about is Grave of the Fireflies, which I thought was extremely disturbing and realistically done--though definitely not exhilirating like Paprika and Miyasakis'.

Also, Kon wrote the long-short "Magnetic Rose"--which Koji Morimoto directed--from the anime collection Memories and it is well worth checking out. It has the same theme of spiraling realities and even a similar atmosphere of brooding, deepening psychic corridors.


Aug 8, 19:10 by Michael Andre-Driussi
Wait, you already know "Magnetic Rose"?! That is early Kon, indeed.

What you say is true--"Magnetic Rose" offers a good glimpse into Kon, even when it isn't directed by Kon (he "only" did the story, the layout, and the art direction). In addition, MR has that gritty, "True SF" feel, somewhere between Cowboy BeBop and Planetes, but then of course it gets into the "Kon reality thing" <tm>.

Well all right, if MR is in play, then I should also mention "Roujin Z," a feature that Kon worked on. Again, this is early, non-directorial Kon (art design, key animation), and yet it has several elements that he continues to use, so I don't know if he influenced RZ, or RZ influenced him.
   

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