I got another award! I mean…just wow, all this positive recognition is doing wonders for my low self-esteem so thank you Ospreyshire over at IridiumEyeReviews, this means a lot. Curtis runs a really great blog looking at movies, documentaries and anime that the majority of the time I’ve never heard of before, but that’s what makes it so great. His reviews are packed full of detail and trivia so make sure to check out his blog. Now he’s given me some tough questions to answer with this post, but before we get to those, let’s do the housekeeping. Here’re the rules!
1. Display the logo.
2. Thank the bloggers for the award.
3. Answer the questions from the one who nominated you.
4. Nominate 7 to 10 bloggers.
5. Ask them 7 questions.
Already done 1 and 2, so let’s get on to the questions!
- What is one obscure movie or anime that you know of that you wish was more popular?
At least we’re starting with an easy one (I’ve looked at the rest of the questions and I don’t hold out much hope for myself). Song of the Sea is my pick. An irish animated film from Cartoon Saloon it is an utterly outstanding film, hauntingly beautiful and sweet. It’s based on the selkie myth and features a young brother and sister who learn that the sister can turn into a seal when she puts on her coat, but when they’re shipped off to their grandmother’s house inland, they realise they need to get back home before the sister perishes. It’s a story about grief and family bonds and I think everyone should see it at least once. I don’t have words for how beautiful the animation is, just google it and you’ll see.
- As some people may know, I am very vocal about film plagiarism issues (Examples: Inception stealing major concepts from Paprika or The Lion King blatantly plagiarizing several characters, scenes, and plot points from Kimba the White Lion). If some movie did some cinematic thievery, what is one original film, TV series, or anime would you not want to see ripped off at all costs?
Does it count as a rip-off if it’s your own property that your copying wholesale? If so then I’d like to fence off what’s left of Disney’s animated catalogue before they get turned into ‘live action’ copies like so many already have. Look, if you enjoy Disney’s crop of live action films then power to you, I’m glad someone is getting some enjoyment out of them, but they’re really not for me. I’m biased towards animation, I know, you can just do so much with it, the breadth of imagination and scope it can bring to life is amazing. Next to the written word it’s my favourite medium.
The live action films are trying so hard to be the animated versions of themselves that I just don’t get it. I mean if they wanted to do their own thing with the stories, take things in a new direction or put a twist on things I’d be all for it (if you’re going to copy something the least you can do is put your spin on it), but that’s not what these films are trying to do. They’re so obviously trying to appeal to the nostalgia centres of people’s brains, when people can just easily go and watch the animated ones. I don’t see the point of that, but they make money so I think they’ll be around for a while yet (Sorry, I’ve gone a bit ranty here).
- Who is the most underrated composer in your opinion?
Ah, this is probably going to be the most difficult question for me to answer. I always feel guilty admitting this, but I always feel nervous learning about the people behind the series I love. I suppose I’m just scared that I’ll find out they’re a complete -insert swear word here- and I’ll never be able to enjoy their work again (a recent example, I can never watch an episode of Smallville again after finding out about that whole Allison Mack thing). I like to keep artists up on their pedestal where I’m free to just bask in their work and not worry about anything but how their work makes me feel. In fact the only times I really learn creator’s names is either if they come up in conversation a lot or I see their names come up time after time.
Because of this most of the names I know are all fairly well recognised, which makes me feel bad because then I think about all those who I’m not appreciating. I don’t feel confident calling anyone underrated, but at the same time I feel like I need to name someone at the very least so how about Kenichiro Suehiro? I have no idea if he’s underrated or not, but I’ve recently started to notice him. He’s done the music for Fire Force, Granbelm, Goblin Slayer and Re:Zero to name a few and while some of these series have problems the music certainly isn’t one of them.
- Which country would you like to see some cinema from that’s not your homeland?
India. I read the first two books in the Pandava Quartet last year (think of them like Percy Jackson, but with Hindu mythology instead of Greek) and they really piqued my interest. I’ve always been interested in other cultures and mythology, but I’ve never really looked into India before so it feels like the time to start (now I just have to find the time to actually do it!). Also I really want to see the two Baahubali films, they look amazing.
- What are your biggest issues with the current Hollywood scene?
Oh, where do I even start with this one? The endless need to make a franchise out of anything and everything? Trading on nostalgia so much that there’s barely a chance for anything without a pre-existing fanbase to get a chance to live? (Don’t get me wrong, I love going back to watch old favourites or to see familiar characters again, but I also like to see completely new stuff every now and again). The lack of diversity both behind and in front of the camera?
All of the above and more, Hollywood is an old creaky system that I don’t know how to fix. It’s making progress, but like all progress it moves at a glacial place, while we all just sit here and wait for it to catch up. Movies are big business and a lot of people’s blood, sweat and tears go into making them. I take my hat off to anyone who works in the industry, but there are times when I want to kick said system up the backside and get it pick up the pace a little.
- Finish this idea: (Name of protagonist here) would be the most interesting hero ever if…?
Ezra Bridger would be the most interesting hero ever if he fully turned to the Dark Side, even if only once. I’m slightly worried about bringing up Star Wars considering how divided the fanbase has become, but screw it I’ve started so I’ll finish. I like Star Wars Rebels, and I mean I really like it, sure it has its problems, but whenever it was dealing with the Force or Thrawn it was exactly the kind of Star Wars I love. I also really like Ezra’s arc across the series, but if there’s one area where it falters it’s in the resolution to Ezra’s flirtation with the Dark Side, in that there isn’t really one.
All through season 2 we’ve got Ezra slowly giving in to his anger, his desperation to protect his friends making him crave the power he needs to save them. His scenes with Maul were some of the best in the series, and this trend continues into the next season, with Ezra still being so very angry, but then it kind of just stops and he goes back to being a Jedi without consequence. I feel like if Ezra had just fully crossed that line, just once, to properly snap him back to his senses it would have given this phase of his character arc more resolution.
- Who is one non-actor that should try voice acting? What kind of role(s) would they have?
Sir David Attenborough. I’ll admit it took me a while to think of a non-actor whose voice I think would fit really well into the profession of voice acting, then a repeat of ‘Blue Planet’ came up on the TV and it was a figurative light bulb. Yes, the man, the legend, the national treasure, David Attenborough. I’m not sure how well known he is outside of the UK, but he used to be THE voice for nature documentaries (nowadays he’s getting on a bit and leaves it to the upstart youths like David Tennant). I could seriously listen to him talk or narrate for hours on end and have a couple of times in the past. I can see him in a Miyazaki film, playing the grandfatherly mentor with an environmental message.
Whew. I had to think hard about some of those answers and I’m surprised by how little were about anime, but I made it through to the other side so now it’s my turn!
Here are my nominations:
Anyone else who wants to join is also welcome to jump in, now here are the questions!
- What was your first ever anime (did you even know it was an anime at the time)?
- When you’re watching an anime, do you read the manga as well or are you anime only? Why?
- What series or film (anime or not) do you think deserves more attention?
- What one thing is guaranteed to make you watch a series no matter what?
- What genre of anime would you like to see more of?
- If you could visit any world (be it from anime or a book or someplace else) where would you like to go?
- What character (again from any anime, book or something else) would you most like to spend an evening with, be that going out for a drink or just chilling on the sofa with them?
Hope of all of you have as mush fun as I did and thanks again Ospreyshire!
Chris Joynson, aka the Infallible Fish, is a writer, blogger and lover of animation living in Sheffield. The blog updates every Friday.