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Archive for February 18th, 2012

By Bob Clark

Note: In honor of upcoming screenings for Makoto Shinkai’s  latest feature, Children Who Chase Lost Voices From Deep Below at the forthcoming New York International Children’s Film Festival, I’ll be rerunning this review of his first feature this week, followed by write-ups of his OVA releases, and a rerun of my review of his new film.

Whenever a new talent in anime pops up, the first impulse among most viewers is to instantly compare them to the gold-standard of Japanese animation gone worldwide and mainstream, the storied house of Studio Ghibli. If a director proves to be worth any consideration more than just a passing mention in an online forum or a convention round-table, the next impulse is to place upon them the mantle of so many undue expectations and declare them “the next Miyazaki”, as though one were a racing commentator always on the look-out for the next Seabiscuit, the next Secretariat or so many other triple-crown figments of the imagination. Most of the time, the comparisons are interesting, but don’t quite match up– Mamoru Hosada is a great talent from the work he’s done on The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and the stellar Summer Wars, but it’s a little too early to make prognostications as to his long-term status. Sometimes, the comparisons can be flat-out unfair to the director in question, and ignorant of the substance in their work– the late Satoshi Kon was perhaps the biggest anime-figure to make a big splash in the worldwide art-house circuit, but you couldn’t imagine a director farther from the childish tendencies of Miyazaki if you tried lucid dreaming.

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