August 5, 2008

Yoshitaka Amano completists will want to hit Right Stuf or Amazon to preorder Yume Juma, aka Ten Nights of Dreams, an anthology of strange and wonderful shorts based on the short-story collection by Soseki Natsume. Amano's short is, of course, dreamy, with his signature elfin characters flowing through some borderline-gaudy CGI.

(Though the rest of the movie isn't animated, it's certainly worth watching. One of my top picks from last year's Fantasia festival, I consider it a perfect example of why I love movies in the first place.)

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September 18, 2007
As a delegate for the 67th World Science Fiction Convention bid for 2009, I had the chance to attend this year's 65th Worldcon in Yokohama, Japan. While I was there, people were buzzing about many different types of fandom, including science fiction and fantasy in animated form. In addition to the Artist Guest of Honour Yoshitaka Amano, who got his start working on Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets or G-Force) and more recently contributed the character designs for Final Fantasy and the seventh dream in Ten Nights of Dreams, the big animation talk among fans from East and West was the DVD release of Studio Ghibli's Gedo Senki (Tales from Earthsea).

It didn't hurt that Yoji Takeshige, the film's art director, was on hand to discuss the look of the film and (unfortunately, unphotographable) art from the film was entered in the Art Show. The film was selling swiftly in the dealers' room, especially to North Americans who will be among the last to see the film because of a rights issue with the Sci-Fi Network, who released the execrable live-action mini-series based in the same world created by Ursula K. Le Guin (as a fan of her works, I am at once excited and scared to watch the entire film based on her reaction). Although , I am not so sure about the overall direction of the film given the very public tensions between Miyazaki father and son, one thing I do know is that the dub will be superb, as it has been overseen by John Lasseter. I'll crack it open soon and see how it goes.

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