The Art of “Sky Doll” and Disney April 30, 2009Posted by smike97k in art, comics, cyborgs.
Tags: "the bad", "the good", Artistic aspects, characters, Disney, Sky Doll
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I really liked where our discussion of Sky Doll was going towards the end of our last class, in terms of its artistic aspects and the similarities between Disney characters and the characters in Sky Doll. The characters are very similar in artistry, but in story line very, very different. Disney is known for its seemingly innocent characters, with a large distinction between the “good guys” and the “bad guys.” These characters and their “goodness” or “badness” is really portrayed in the artistic aspect. “Sky Doll” surely does not have an “innocent” plot in terms of the way Disney would define it, however it is an interesting dichotomy to look at, in terms of the similarities in art, and the differences in story. SO here are a few of the artistic connections I found to be really interesting.
Ursula from The Little Mermaid was the first character to come to mind when I saw the character of “Frida Decibel” in Sky Doll. There is something about the facial characteristics and the hair that caught my attention artistically.
I think that someone else in class discussed these two characters (The Little Mermaid and Jasime from Alladin) and their similarities to Sky Doll the character. It is interesting how the facial creations are very similar, and while the sexuality is there in the Disney characters, it is much more evident in Sky Doll, in terms of the female body.
For some reason Stich from Disney’s Lillo and Stich reminded me of the character of The Boss or God, in Sky Doll. Though they are not similar in personality characteristics, the art seems similar to me.
Some food for thought about the connections in art 🙂
Week Long Anime Events @ HWS: Pop Culture from a Multipolar Japan with Roland Kelts February 24, 2009Posted by animatingthecyborg in anime, comics, culture, film, manga.
Tags: Anthony Weintraub, campus events, Grave of the Fireflies, Pop Culture from a Multipolar Japan, roland kelts, Tekkonkinkreet
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Monday, March 2, Sanford Room, 6:30 p.m. Animé Film, Grave of the Fireflies
Taking place toward the end of World War II in Japan, Grave of the Fireflies is the poignant tale of two orphaned children, Seita and his younger sister Setsuko, who try to survive amidst widespread famine and the callous indifference of their countrymen. Some critics consider it one of the most powerful anti-war movies ever made. Animation historian Ernest Rister compares the film to Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List and says, “it is the most profoundly human animated film I’ve ever seen.”
Panel discussion follows film with Professors Les Friedman, Lisa Yoshikawa and Leah Shafer, and students.
Tuesday, March 3, Sanford Room, 6:30 p.m. Animé Film, Tekkonkinkreet
Tekkonkinkreet centers on a pair of orphaned street kids – the tough, canny Kuro (Black) and the childish but mysteriously intuitive Shiro (White) – as they deal with Yakuza attempting to take over Takara Machi (Treasure Town). Tekkonkinkreet is a pun on “tekkin concrete,” the Japanese term for reinforced concrete; it suggests the opposition of the concrete city against the strength of imagination. This film won the 2008 Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year, the Grand Prix award at the Anima 2008 festival, the prestigious Best Film Award at the 2006 Mainichi Film Awards, and was named the number one film of 2006 in the annual “Best of” roundup by the New York Museum of Modern Art’s Artforum magazine.
Panel discussion follows with screenwriter Anthony Weintraub, and Japanamerica author Roland Kelts.
Wednesday, March 4, Geneva Room, 7:30 p.m. Pop Culture from a Multipolar Japan, Roland Kelts
Is there something more to the U.S.’s fascination with Japanese animé and manga? How are animé films and manga comics cultural channeling zones, opened by the horrors of war and disaster and animated by the desire to assemble a world of new looks, feelings and identities?
Professor at the University of Tokyo, Sophia University and the University of the Sacred Heart Tokyo, Roland Kelts addresses the movement of Japanese culture into the West as sign and symptom of broader reanimations. With uncertainty now the norm, style, he argues, is trumping identity, explaining, in part, the success of Japanese pop and fashion, design and cuisine in the West. As Western mindsets encounter a rapid decline in longstanding binaries – good/evil, woman/man, black/white – Japan’s cultural narratives evolve in borderless, unstable worlds where characters transform, morality is multifaceted, and endings inconclusive. Animation allows an aesthetic freedom wherein these transformations and gender ambiguity may be given fuller play than in live action films. Nothing appears fixed. No surprise, perhaps, argues Kelts, coming from the only people to have suffered the immediate transformations of two atomic bombs and the instant denigration of their supreme polar father: the Japanese Emperor. Author of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture has Invaded the US, Kelts is also a contributing writer and editor for A Public Space and Adbusters magazines, and a columnist for The Daily Yomiuri. His articles have appeared in The Village Voice, Newsday, Cosmopolitan, Vogue and The Japan Times. He is the editor in chief of Animé Masterpieces, an anime lecture and screening series. Kelts divides his time between New York and Tokyo.
Films, panels and lecture are co-sponsored by Comparative Literature, Media and Society, The Young Memorial Trust for International Peace and Understanding, and Animé Central, and presented in association with Anime Masterpieces, a project of Gorgeous Entertainment.
Join us for a roundtable discussion session with Roland Kelts on Thursday 8:45-10:10 in the Fisher Center, Demarest 212.
Superuseless Superpowers February 19, 2009Posted by yakshi in comics, comix, cyborgs.
Tags: cyborgs, superheroes, superpowers
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My friend forwarded me a link to a blog called Superuseless Superpowers <http://superuseless.blogspot.com/>. By using comedy, the entries help to humanize the concept of superheroes. Whereas our culture idolizes superheroes and their superhuman abilities, this blog assigns unremarkable “superuseless superpowers” to regular people. For example, their superheroes can grow hair between their eyebrows extremely fast, or fly only while on a plane. Each entry is a different superpower, providing numerous, often disappointing, ideas for superheroes.
This blog raises the question of what qualities make a superhero so super and powerful. Is there a hierarchy amongst superheroes, even ones that have long been institutionalized in our pop culture? Superheroes surpass the notion of natural strength, therefore how can we compare the physical power of Iron Man’s impenetrable suit to the Hulk and his involuntary mutations? Either way, all superheroes have qualities that challenge social norms and natural human abilities. Is being superhuman ultimately better than being just human?
As we consider narratives behind superheroes, and how they involve the application of superpowers and qualities to regular people, we must address cyborgs. In what way are cyborgs, in some respects science’s attempt to improve the human body and mind, also better than humans? Could their physiological and psychological differences be considered superpowers, or rather superimprovements? How would cyborgs fit into the hierarchy of superheroes, if at all?