As I browsed the electronics section last night at Walmart I stumbled across a noteworthy anime display. It was most surprising because I’ve never seen that much anime available in the store before.
Even better is that most of the titles were on sale for $5. Never being one to pass up a good sale, I decided that it would be in my best interests to add the following titles to my already extensive collection:
Any longtime anime fan is likely aware that “Ghost in the Shell” is a landmark work in the history of the medium. At the time of its release in 1995 GITS was considered downright revolutionary for its sophisticated storytelling, and mixture of cell and computer animation. The Wachowski brothers have admitted that much of the inspiration for their Matrix film trilogy was directly lifted from GITS.
Set in the year 2029, GITS tells the story of Major Motoko Kusanagi and her partners as they track down an elusive hacker named the Puppet Master. The film spawned a critically acclaimed sequel as well as “GITS: Stand Alone Complex,” a television series which is a classic in its own right.
Released in 2009, “Eden of the East” is tremendous blend of adventure, mystery and comedy from writer-director Kenji Kamiyama. The story begins with protagonist Akira Takizawa waking up in front of the White House, stripped of his memories and his clothes. All he has is his gun and a cell phone that can grant any request he desires. Thus begins one of the most uniquely original anime productions of the last decade. Some have even viewed it as a reflection of the economic and psychological problems of contemporary Japan.
The feature films “The King of Eden” and “Paradise Lost” tie up the events of the television series in grand style.
Summer Wars is a 2009 feature film by writer-director Mamoru Hosoda in which a young math genius named Kenji solves a complex equation and inadvertently puts a virtual world’s artificial intelligence in a position to destroy Earth. I don’t know much else about it aside from the fact that it received a ton of critical praise, including: Best Animated Film- Japan Academy Prize, Best Animated Feature Audience Award- Anaheim International Film Festival and Best Animated Film- Sitges International Film Festival of Catalonia. Anime News Network praised it as a “near-perfect blend of social satire and science fiction.”
Well, it looks like I’ll have a lot to keep me occupied over the Fourth of July Weekend.