Upcoming Japanese Movie

Posted February 25th, 2011 in Ume's Interests | 4 Comments »

Grave of the Fireflies, one of my favorite Ghibli movie, will be on tv again!

Tune in to the SBS TWO channel, on Monday, February 28th at 10:30 PM WST 🙂

This movie always makes me cry… and remind me of the terror of war.

Pom Poko – Ghibli

Posted May 20th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

It sounds like I’ve been watching Japanese cartoon at home almost everyday, as I’ve just wrote about Tales of Earthsea, but I do enjoy watching cartoon quite often.  I rented this Ghibli film “Pom Poko” (1994) just recently and I must say I did enjoyed the whole story.

Well, I’ve already watched this film few times in the past, but watching it again here in Perth reminded me of all the feelings about Japan and made me to rethink about the cohabitation of humans and animals.

The story is about tanuki, Japanese raccoon dogs, trying to survive the late 1960s.  A gigantic and ongoing suburban development near Tokyo, Japan, threatens a group of wild tanuki.  As the development is cutting into their forest habitat, tanuki had to think what they should do to protect their land from humans.

In this film, you can enjoy listening to lots of old Japanese songs including antagata-dokosa (a traditional warabe uta of Kumamoto prefecture) , and the appearance of famous Japanese monsters and mythological creatures.  In Japanese folklore tanuki has supernatural shape-shifting powers to trick humans. In this film tanuki transform themselves into Japanese monsters and mythological creatures to scare people: such as rokurokubi, noppera-bo and fujin raijin.

The film ends on something of a bittersweet note for the tanuki.  Throughout the film there is a lot of comedy as well as ecological messages.  The film reminds me of old Japan, especially the time I was a kid.  Japan has changed a lot, I think.  No one would believe that I was climbing on trees, catching zarigani (crawfish), fighting with wild monkeys and playing with beautiful medaka (killifish) just 10 years ago near my house!

(Pom Poko Characters )

Tales of Earthsea

Posted May 13th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 6 Comments »

The other day I rented a DVD of Tales of Earthsea (Japanese name ”ゲド戦記” Ged’s War Chronicles) from one of the video shop, and I quite enjoyed it.  It is a Japanese anime film which was first released in Japan by Studio Ghibli on July 29, 2006 and is set to be released on August 13, 2010 in the US by Walt Disney Pictures.

This film is loosely based on a combination of plots and characters from the books written by JRR Tolkien (who also is an author of famous books such as Lord of the Ring) (wiki) and is directed by Goro Miyazaki, the eldest son of Hayao Miyazaki.

I love the drawing of the film: colors, images etc.  I love all Ghibli anime.  And I enjoyed watching this Tales of Earthsea by knowing that this film is directed by a son of Hayako Miyazaki as his first work as a film director. (and he also drew this poster shown above)

“Nausicca”, “LAPUTA”, “Grave of the Fireflies“,  “Totoro”, “Kiki’s Delivery Service”, “Porco Posso”, “Only Yesterday”, “Pom Poko”, “Whisper of the Heart”, “Princess Mononoke”, “Spirited Away”, “The Cat Returns”, “Howl’s Moving Castle” etc…

Which one is your favorite? 🙂

Grave of the Fireflies

Posted February 22nd, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 6 Comments »

You can watch this film on SBS tonight, 12:20  (midnight) !!! (Perth time)

Grave of the Fireflies (火垂るの墓, Hotaru no Haka) is a 1988 animated film written and directed by Isao Takahata. This is the first film produced by Shinchosha, who hired Studio Ghibli to do the animation production work. (wiki)

I believe this is one of the most powerful anti-war movies ever made.  The story is about a brother and a sister, Seita and Setsuko.  Their mother is caught in the air raid during World War ll, and dies from her burns. Having nowhere else to go, Setsuko and Seita move in with a distant aunt, but the aunt didn’t welcome them.  In the end they leave the house and move into an abandoned bomb shelter.  They’re so alone, and Seita (brother) tries to protect young Setsuko, but they have no food and no parents.  As time goes by, Setsuko suffer from hunger, and she passes away 7days after the war ends.

The story is very sad, and educational to people who don’t know about “war”.  I’ve seen this film many times at elementary school and home, and it told me that a war gives nothing but sadness to people who live normal lives.  This film makes me cry every time I watch.  One of my favorite film of Ghibli.

You can watch this film on SBS tonight, 12:20  (midnight) !!!