RE: RE: RARA-AVIS: hard-boiled movies, animation

Date: 22 Jan 2002

From: Anderson, Erick How about Anime? Would "Ghost In The Shell" fit the mold?

"Ghost in the Shell" is cyberpunk, and cyberpunk has deep roots in hardboiled. It's one of the best science fiction movies I've ever seen, although the dubbed edition is pretty incomprehensible. The subtitled version is a lot clearer. I'd say it's hardboiled. Another adaptation of a Shirow manga, "Black Magic-66" is also pretty hardboiled. Other anime that meets or at least comes close to hardboiled or noir standards would include "Akira," "Kite," and "Perfect Blue."

But my favorite anime series, with some genuinely hardboiled moments mixed in with the wild comedy, is "City Hunter." If you don't know the series, here's the deal: If you're in desperate trouble and nobody else can help you AND you're a beautiful woman, then chalk XYZ and your phone number on the public message board at Shinjuko Station. Rya Saeba will come to your aid. He'll also make a crude pass at you, try to catch a peek of you in the shower, and steal your underwear. In my own mind, I divide his character into two fairly distinct identities. There's Saeba-san, the world's biggest lecher who falls apart at the sight of a pretty woman. And there's City Hunter, feared by the underworld, a merciless avenger, and a dead shot with his beloved .357 Magnum. The half hour TV series is better than the full length movies, but it's classic stuff if you can deal with the extreme disjunction in Saeba's personality. And after a while, once you get over the initial shock, you!
  can see that his outlandish sexual drive and his clowning are aspects of the same energy that makes him so powerful in his City Hunter mode.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 22 Jan 2002 EST