If the movie’s main characters visit Nazi-Germany only to nerd out about warplanes, you know you’re watching some fucked-up bullshit. Shame on you, Studio Ghibli (I also feel like it’s a new low when it comes to female characters). The best thing about The Wind Rises is that it’s a reminder that capitalism as a system hasn’t been working since the 1920s. I’ll take the world without pyramids, btw (yes, I know that probably means living in the stone age).
It’s been an ongoing problem for me that most of the so called „Graphic Novels“ I read are annoying me quite a bit because most of are just unbelievable boring, nothing seems to happen. One of the early offenders was the highly praised „Blankets“ by Craig Thompson, the story of a random guy having love problems at college because of religion or something bored me to death. But that’s no match for my personal most hated work in this regard: „George Sprott 1894-1975“ by Seth. Nothing happens. At all.
Interestingly I really liked „Skim“ by Mariko Tamaki (text) & Jillian Tamaki (illustration) even though it could be as boring as Blankets: Skim is the diary of a high school girl and while nothing much extra-ordinary is taking place it deals with the heavy topics of love and death. I can’t put why I liked this one better then all the rest but what is obvious is the quality of the illustrations, I adore the fluid and confident yet sketchy style (also maybe yay because it’s not a hetero lovestory?).
I’m usually not a fan of historical military movies (Red Cliff etc.), endless combat scenes get old for me very fast no matter how epic they are.
And essentially Hua Mulan is exactly that but while most of these films are also all about manly men-bros and their bromances this is obviously about a woman joining the army even though it is forbidden (this circumstance/setting makes this one of the weird movies that feature a strong female main character but still only barely pass the Bechdel test).
It’s far more entertaining and dramatic then most other endless battle films I’ve seen and it’s a lot of fun to watch, so go for it.
Hey, this is actually pretty nice. The fighting scenes are nothing special if you’re used to wuxia movies and the acting seems clumbsy in places but once the rather terrible first half is behind you there’s princess Ungu kicking ass and the end has some nice WTF-moments reminiscent of good old Hong Kong-cinema times. Also women leading armies in full glorious armor (with boobplates though, unfortunately)! Check it out!
Interesting: I read the previous book in this series, „Ash“ and I didn’t like it much. The bland and boring all-white European fairytale setting and the glowing vampires cliched fairies/elves where just so awful that the lesbian twist couldn’t make up for it in this failed Cinderella retelling.
„Huntress“ is said to be set in the same world but a few hundred years earlier and interestingly there is an Asian touch to the standard fantasy world (I wonder where that disappeared to in „Ash“’s time). It’s still ye good olde fantasy escapism tough, nothing special and the elves are still fucking awful (can’t decide if I hate them more then orcs and dragons but fairies a no-go) but it’s much, much better then „Ash“. I’m not exactly sure why but I think the world is fleshed out more, the character are less cut-out and there’s actually a story with a long and perilous journey, scary monsters™ and people dying. Unfortunately there is also a really stupid and unnecessary ending involving more fairy bullshit (and a cameo of the Forest Spirit from Mononoke Hime as a unicorn). I think Malinda Lo really got better in writing and storytelling between „Ash“ and „Huntress“, it’s a nice thing to witness.
This is clearly YA with lots of blushing and reddening cheeks but the (lesbian) love story is more believable and intimate then in it’s sequel. I don’t want to over-interpret the fact that while the hetero-lovestory (the usual inter-class one, but between a prince and a female guard this time around) seems to get an happy ending, the lesbian one is DOOOMED! DOOOOMED! because when you want to be a magicianesstress you can’t have sex be in love (= bullshit).
If you want easy to read escapism fantasy outside the all white, all hetero box this is well worth a read (I’d recommend stopping after she burned evil female boss though, because as I said all that follows just makes no sense).
Eineweitere Anime-Produktion, die sich mit dem Hakkenden-Mythos beschäftigt und da einiges ziemlich gut macht: Tomboy* als Hauptfigur, die ewige „die Bösen müssen am Ende sterben, weil böse böse“-Trope wurde dann doch umschifft (auch wenn’s dann für mich am Happy End zwei Stufen zu happy wird – und es mir zeitweise zu slapstickig zugeht und es arg cartoonige Gesichtsverrenkungeng gibt). Das ist eine lange Nummer (knapp zwei Stunden) und nicht ganz Ghibli zu Hochzeiten, geht aber schon in eine gute Richtung. (Via / Via)
* „Wildfang“ übersetzt das irgendwie nicht so wirklich, finde ich immer, gibt’s da keinen sinnvolleren Ausdruck? Ein Mädchen kann ja wild und „mädchenhaft“ sein. Update: Andererseits ist Wildfang natürlich besser weil geschlechterneutral. TomBOY ist nicht so der Burner, weil es dieses degradierende WoMAN-Prinzip benutzt.