Captain Harlock Episode 1: Fighting Corruption to Save Earth

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The Earth of Captain Harlock suffers from now-disappeared oceans and a divided society – although the planet contains high technology, boasting spacefaring vehicles and the ability to farm on other celestial bodies, Earth seems rather stagnant socially, with people now complacent in their behavior and deferring to overarching governmental control of the city. From the opening scenes, one can see a metropolis overrun by derelict ships, practically empty streets and glistening towers; these initial shots of an enormous metropolitan city provides a rather somber vision of a future where people bemoan the fate of the world but do not seem to have the energy to pursue life elsewhere. As the narrator reminds us, space provides an excellent place for humanity to begin anew – Earth may be at a somber moment now, but through cooperation and effort people can rejuvenate the planet. As it stands, however, Earth seemingly lost its way when the seas dried up; recovering from such a disaster will take time, but people do not appear interested in putting forth the effort.

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Galaxy Express 999 Episode 1: The Train Ride Begins

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I tackled Galaxy Express 999 in my previous blog, but I would like to re-examine it here; this happens to be one of the seminal series in anime, based on a manga created by the now-legendary Matsumoto Leiji, and this is evident upon watching it. The anime (as well as the manga) came out during a time when science-fiction took major strides in addressing social issues – such sci-fi luminaries as Philip K. Dick utilized the genre as a means of examining heavy subjects, among them the intricacies of human identity in a world increasingly made technological with advancements in electronics. Here in Galaxy Express, the robotic becomes a sort of idealized form, the “next step” in human development and evolution – from the outset, one can see the social discrepancy between the well-heeled and the downtrodden in the opening segment. Here, one is introduced to the Earth of 2221, a world now thoroughly simultaneously entrenched in technological wonderment and social upheaval; Megaopolis becomes a veritable symbol of how society rarely changes, even though the planet is markedly different from what we’re familiar with.

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Flying Witch Episode 1: Anime as Film, 21st Century Witches

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Has it been a month already since I first started this new blog? It’s been a while, but I think I’m doing well enough depression-wise to tackle an article; today, I’m doing something a bit different, by seeing how anime can be analyzed cinematically alongside the traditional narrative examination. Most of the time, anime reviews focus exclusively on the story and characters – after all, film is as much a storytelling medium as any other, and it’s fun to analyze what goes into a particular scene narrative-wise in order to extract some great insight into the universe of the work. Such shows as PenguindrumGalaxy Express 999 and others become all the more rewarding to the audience with in-depth analysis; they offer so much through symbolism that watching them becomes an enriching moment, a sort of cinematic mono no aware structured around animation.

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