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One the DVD interview did you reiterate your idea that "the average moviegoer (even one who liked I, Robot) is bound to find Innocence unbearably pretentious and boring. But mileage for those who are perhaps pretentious and boring themselves may vary"? I really hope so... :)

Hey Brian, I seriously don't remember what the heck I said, and since you might be the one guy here bound to buy the disc anyway (Item! Ruh here wrote the book Stray Dog of Anime: The Films of Mamoru Oshii), I wouldn't want to spoil anything for ya. But I will say this much. They got me on film saying "boring" and "pretentious." Hopefully in the next DVD release of the film, they can cut to someone calling me a "nihilist." That will show me. Always does.

I was pleased as all get out with INNOCENCE, but it is important to remember this comes from someone who has seen ROYAL SPACE FORCE ninety-eight times*. It may seem that I am also unbearably pretentious and boring, but perhaps you'll find--somehere inside--the strength to bear a bit more.

—C.

*Toshio Okada was unimpressed with this boast, saying in English, "Yeah? I've seen it 300 times."

Carl, for the record, I don't find ROYAL SPACE FORCE "unbearably pretentious," merely boring. And I fail to see how anyone could find it a shine above Gainax's real crown jewels: the Daicon films, Gunbuster, and Eva. There's just no humor in the damn thing, or anything to get your "head" around.

Then again, I really like Angel's Egg and Final Fucking Yamato, so what do I know? I think it went particularly bad with all the drugs I was doing at the time. If End of Eva had been around back then, I would be typing this from a rubber room instead of a small closet in Mitaka-ku,

Well, by "pretentious," I meant more that I've got this whole phase scheduled where I go around quoting HAGAKURE. It'll probably last for the next few weeks, but should start to peter out well before Thanksgiving.

—C.

For the record, I'll split my votes evenly -- one for Carl, as I love Innocence more and more as time goes on, and one for Patrick, as I've never really been able to get into Royal Space Force and have been known to fall asleep while watching it. (Although that in and of itself is not necessarily a sign of anything. For a number of years my wife and her friends made fun of me because I once fell asleep in the middle of a Fugazi show.)

"We're not...we're not Fugazi! We're not...we're not Fugazi! They're way harder than us!"

As I said in "This Model Comes With Genuine Sorrow," to me the most interesting unasked (or, possibly, avoided) question in INNOCENCE is how it maintains its traditional view of Gabriel. Oshii has spoken before of how he believes dogs perceive the world, even suggesting that he believes it would be a better viewpoint to have. The Major mentions near the end of the film that ghost dubbing was a technique first demonstrated in animals. This implies that the man-machine interface of GHOST's world is also possible for animals; it occured to me that it would then be possible for Batou to give Gabriel such an interface.

In real life, dog lovers often talk to their pets, and even read up on animal psychology to try and better "relate." So although Oshii presents a situation where a man loves his dog, and where, through a technology Batou is initimately familiar with, he might have the opportunity to communicate with her more fully, he doesn't. If Oshii thinks a dog's perception is of interest, he could have given a representation of it, but again, he doesn't.

I can't believe I'm actually talking about anime on a Japanese pop culture blog.

The irony that I am possibly making Patrick's case for him on INNOCENCE with this grave-spade I call a keyboard is nowhere lost. For those monitoring synchronicity, my iTunes just went at random from the 139th Psalm read in Hebrew straight into "Fool's Gold." The Marquis de Sade don't make no boots like these.

Are you *implying* something Carl? Some people have made entire careers out of that...and I'm not just talking about Tolkien and a couple of brothers named Kennedy.

Also, thought of you the other day when Tomo was seriously trying to convince the Tokyo Fanta programmers to have a Shintaro Ishihara / Yukio Mishima film festival.

Well, I find that I usually come around to your way of thinking about things in time, so it might save a long, drawn-out process if I simply acknowledged now that Mamoru Oshii hasn't made a good film since LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE ANCESTORS!

Brian, I don't know what the official abbreviation is in academic footnotes to mark "opinionated libelous gossip," but for what it's worth, Okada also maintains that INNOCENCE is really about Mamoru Oshii's divorce and custody battle over his daughter. I'm not certain if Oshii in fact has a wife or daughter; SHUKAN TAISHU does a notoriously poor job covering people in the anime business.

P.S. Patrick, now is the time when things only hinted at in the blasphemous Low Latin of MANGA! MANGA! can at last be released in English; for example, Hiroshi Hirata's SATSUMA, and you can bet that we'll be including Yukio Mishima's pull-quote.

Thanks Carl. Mmm... that's good scandal. I'd heard Oshii was married but I've never heard anything about a kid.

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