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Man, I'd never have the balls to say address a Japanese animator with a casual phrase like "samma sensei whatever". Hope he took it ok.

Oh, and Carl, you're in this week's Entertainment Weekly for Steamboy.

"I don’t we meant to make Blood: The Last Vampire as a political film so much as we wanted to make a story set in a realistic world. So naturally it wound up becoming a political film. But it wasn’t our intention to make something explicitly political."

Well, there are a lot of times and places to choose from in the realistic world; but more at less at random, apparently, BLOOD just happens to be set on Yokota AB right in the middle of its role as an active strike base in Operation Rolling Thunder. Kamiyama reminds me of Roger DeBris from THE PRODUCERS: "I never knew the Third Reich meant Germany...I mean this play is drenched with historical goodies like that!"

From "Penumbra: The Uncertain View of BLOOD THE LAST VAMPIRE":

...In an August 2001 interview with the online magazine Akadot, Kamiyama said of BLOOD, “we weren't really thinking about making any kind of political statement,” but had prefaced that assertion by saying, “The reason we set it on a U.S. base is that Japan is an island country, so it doesn't have any borders really. The 'fence' around Japan that the U.S. military bases have created is in fact the only real borderline that has been drawn around us. These borders create a certain kind of tension.” Kamiyama did not even mention the time in which BLOOD is set, only its space; yet it is difficult to see how the premise as he himself states it could be viewed as apolitical, now or then....

...Ruh writes of BLOOD’s conclusion, “The only time there is brilliant sunlight is at the very end, after the events of the story have been resolved. This light is an illusion, however, because in the midst of such a thankful reprise, a giant bomber takes off from the airbase, on its way to sow further seeds of destruction in Vietnam. Daylight is the realm of the human world, yet the war symbolized by the airbase is just as terrible as the conflict between Saya and her prey. The parallel between the horrors of the previous evening and the dispatch of the bomber indicates that which is most frightening does not happen only at night.”

But, of course, the film and the ending of the film are far out of parallel. It is not the case that the war symbolized by the airbase was just as terrible as the conflict between Saya and her prey. The conflict was not terrible; the conflict did not even exist. In reality, there was no Saya, and there were no vampires; only the base, and the bombers, and the millions of war dead existed. There is no penumbra without a broad light; its existence, like all fiction, comes from the only source of illumination—reality. But has a room become real when you turn on the light? It was always there; Yokota was there, the planes were there, seen throughout the film taking off, their business indifferent to the pitful scraps of a dying race. It is the anime’s ending that raises the level of the whole; but only in that it shows the whole.

In a story published in the haze-time of BLOOD, Harlan Ellison imagined a future where we could for our entertainment conjure a show of the gory killings of another gothic creature, Jack the Ripper. Commenting upon 1967’s “The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World,” Ellison says the monster he seeks to portray is “the Jack that tells us to stand and watch…the Jack that condones Vietnam because we don't care to get involved, the Jack that we need. We are a culture that needs its monsters…That is the message of the story. You are the monsters.”

NAW. Y'all are trippin'--I didn't REALLY just quote DANGEROUS VISIONS. Shit...too late.

Hmmm... I've always felt that the Major was neither just dangerous or just sexy, but dangerously sexy.

In any case, great interview. I've always enjoyed the works of Production IG because I know that Ishikawa and his staff always have a clear and distinct perception of where the industry is going, and with what they want to do with their projects.

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