Posts Tagged ‘anime’

風立ちぬ – Another beautiful anime by Hayao Miyazaki.  It portrays an ideal that I like. The protagonist Jiro is talented, erudite, and dedicated to making his dreams come true. He has a good personality that attracted the heroine. Like most movies, the anime is a simplified abstraction of life. Some people might call it escapist but I see it as a beautiful illusion (like most dreams/aspirations in life). The music reminds me of 天空の城ラピュタ.



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Timelapse video of 49 cities

Bloomberg & Chinese censorship

Short anime background intro on China’s 3rd Plenum

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Ray Dalio on the economic machine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHe0bXAIuk0.

Nice anime. Is this the best use of his time?

PS: Worth keeping in mind that he doesn’t have an orthodox economic training.

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I like this anime. It touches on talent, motivation, and friendship: good vs. great, hard-work vs. effortlessness, discipline vs. enjoyment, admiration vs. envy, friendship vs. competition. It reminds me ofThe Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (one of my favorite novels), although it doesn’t focus on or emphasize the dark side of human nature.
People who know me would know which type of person I find myself closer to. One advice from the director for this type of people: work hard (which is a given), but also learn to appreciate your works and like what you do.  

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Lost & found. We fear that as we grow up, we might lose our innocent, romantic self and turn into a calculating, cynical person. We live like a shadow, forget the little things in life that we used to treasure, and bury our feelings under a mask. And we know it, but we cannot do anything about it. We are waiting: waiting that someday, someone, or some events would save us and turn us back into our lost self.

Dreams & uncertainty. We want to pursue our dreams but uncertainty holds us back. We doubt if the dream is reachable. Even if we can reach it, we fear it might not be what we want, and all meaning will be lost. So we choose to idealize it and keep it as a dream while occupying ourselves with other things.

Distance & loneliness. Distance is not what’s separating people. We can be as close to each other as possible, or communicate thousand times a day, but still don’t get any closer to each other. Or the other way round, we don’t have to be together to feel connected to the another person. Loneliness is when we are disconnected from others, despite talking the same language and sharing the same space.

PS: The thoughts came after a brief discussion of the anime with Huibin,. Here is an earlier entry on the anime.

Update: This post is my interpretation of the themes the director want to touch upon. I might not agree with his view on the world, and tend to find myself torn between some incompatible worldview/ideals.  Nevertheless I think Shinkai Makoto does a nice job conveying certain emotions and aspects of inner struggle people have in a simple and idealistic way.  I also think the anime has a good ending. The protagonist smiles at the end. And through quitting his job, breaking up with a girlfriend he doesn’t connect with, and going back to feel the things he once care, I think he has found his original self.

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I had high expectations for this anime and wasn’t disappointed. The anime is full of delicate portray of emotions and touches on some deeper themes (Spoilers ahead). The anime can easily to made into a dystopia in several ways if we think about the power of robot or people’s tendencies to behave in a situation portrayed in the anime.  On a personal level, Wall-E’s memory loss can be comparable with people with Alzheimer’s disease. If Wall-E didn’t get his memory back, is he the same being as the old Wall-E, and what to make of the shared experience between the two? Robot’s in general identical and replaceable as opposed to human being for now, but this would be questions we have to face if we can successfully make copies/uploads of ourselves in one way or another.
Here is an interview with the anime director with some quotes below:
it was literally born from the sentence, “What if humankind left earth and somebody left the last robot on, and it just kept doing the same futile thing forever?” And I thought that was the saddest, loneliest character I ever heard of in my life.
But definitely it had that first man, first female theme. But I wasn’t trying to replace man in the bigger story. I just loved the poetic-ness that these two machines held more care for living and loving than humanity had anymore.
The theme that I was trying to tap into was that irrational love defeats life’s programming—that it takes a random act of loving kindness to kick us out of our routines and habit. You could blame consumerism as one thing that’s happening in this film, but there’s a million other things we do that distract us from connecting to the person next to us and from furthering relationships, which is truly the point of living. So I came up with the idea that as WALL•E was picking up trash, it would have all these signs of humanity for him to rifle through, to get him interested in what humans were all about. I loved the idea of WALL•E finding something real. He was fascinated with the idea of living. And what’s the point of living? Something real. He was a manmade object with something real inside him. And he found something real while surrounded by manmade objects. That just was poetic for me.
I wasn’t trying to make the humans into fat, lazy consumers, but to make humanity appear to be completely consumed by everything that can distract you—to the point where they lost connection with each other, even though they’re right next to each other.

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