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Makoto Shinkai's Aesthetics (HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!)
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Laz
Laz


Joined: 09 Jan 2008
Posts: 1330



PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:59 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Time SPace Differences ...

Voices - **** SPOILER **** She's not dead Smile And really ... there's nothing that indicates that she would be dead. The Lysithea is in tact and shes alive at the end of the battle. I always assumed she'd make it back to the Lysithea. Read the manga and it fills in the rest ... should provide a happy ending for you and the validation that their love, despite the distance, is true and possible.

For 5 CM, I always felt that the distance was in his Takaki's heart more than physical distance. A phone call, a letter, a trip, these were all real possibilities for Takaki .... but he never took advantage of them. He types text messages that he never sends. The distance that needed to be bridged was within Takaki himself, only he could make himself happy ... the others around him couldn't.

Anyway ... just my opinions .... more to come Smile

Laz
_________________
You're a woman, I'm a calf ... you're a window, I'm a knife ... we come together making chance into starlight ... - Jeff Buckley

ここにいるよ. - Voices of a Distant Star
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davus0
Tracer


Joined: 19 Jan 2009
Posts: 22



PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Laz:

Yeah, the distance was definitely not physical.  

But with Akari, Tohno didn't completely blow his chances - at least not at first.  They did manage to get close, at least for one night.  Akari's rather than his determination might have been the decisive factor, but at any rate, things did work out.

That they didn't know what to do in the long run, while unfortunate, was not just his or her fault.  They faced obstacles that kids are not expected to overcome - the authority of parents and the machinery of the rest of society.  

It's not like he chose to suffer for the sake of suffering.  Neither could he blithely choose to give it up and just be transformed by life going on.  Hopefully I do not sound too militant about this, because I'm not trying to pick a fight with the honorable master of the whole board.  

But I want to emphasize that Tohno's character was worn down by precisely the forces which most of us believe will build us up.  Love, society, ideals, hard work and - most of all, maybe - the tenderness (yasashiisa?) which you extend to all human beings.  He knew that love alone was not enough without this unselfish care; moreover, wanting to do the right thing didn't necessarily mean that there was anything he knew of which he could do.  This was, of course, his failure.  But the conflict between the interests of society and the exigents of his heart was forced on him, and exacerbated by his attempts to reconcile these interests in his own life in the future.



gleowine wrote:
I would recommend concentrating on the "love" theme, not aesthetics.



The more time I spend trying to understand Shinkai's work, the more I'm of this opinion also: think with your heart before you try to bend your brain around everything.

It is hard for, I think, for the kinds of people who like these films to start this way - it seems too huge a topic to tackle, offering no immediate insight, and intellectually soft - but when you think about it, Shinkai is not making experimental or, even, particularly cerebral animations.  

His films may be about people who are thinkers (hence the appeal to folks like us) but they contend with the people more than the thought.  If you've read the novel version of 5CM, which stands on its own just fine, you might guess that Shinkai's project transcends animation as a medium (though it could just be merchandising).  It might help to entertain the possibility that Shinkai is more of a humanist than an artist.





This is is no way to denigrate the value of the aesthetic analysis or the social criticism.  But to get a bigger picture of what these films are doing, it seems important to start with the emotional content.

Doing this could also help with structuring the essay.  If you have a sense of what ultimately the aesthetics work toward, you know also in what direction your writing should head to give the piece a solid conclusion.
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Laz
Laz


Joined: 09 Jan 2008
Posts: 1330



PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No worries Davus Smile

We love a good discussion on the boards and everyone's opinion is valid Smile

Laz
_________________
You're a woman, I'm a calf ... you're a window, I'm a knife ... we come together making chance into starlight ... - Jeff Buckley

ここにいるよ. - Voices of a Distant Star
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Shinka
VelaCiela


Joined: 28 Oct 2008
Posts: 27


Location: ummm... I dont know....

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I admit not having read the novel for Voices, my bad. But beyond that fact, my essay was specifically about the movies, so even if I had read the novel, I wouldnt have taken it into account cause it was way off theme. That said, I need to read the novel. Is there a novel for each of the movies?

So, I do belive Mikako dies in the end, and the reasons of my belief can be found in the essay. Granted, a major problem that my writing has is inconsistence, and also as Gleowine pointed out, I say stuff but I dont expand on them, I simply state them, which is something that is causing me trouble in college exams as well XD.

Now, there is no actual proof of whether Mikako lives or dies by the end of Voices, so its up to interpretation, mine is that she dies. That does not mean that its correct, its simply what I belive due to the reasons exposed in the essay.

I do seem to have made a mistake. You are indeed right Laz, I think that labeling it as "anti-love" is not entirely correct. As long as 2 people love eachother, as Mikako and Noboru do, love is there. What I meant was the no posibility of that love being consumed. I dont mean physically, I mean that love actually reaching somewhere and be something, which will never happen as long as the 2 of them are separated, and since I belive Mikako to have died, it simply will never happen. That was my train of thought.

On the subject of distance in 5cm, talked by Laz and Davus0, yes, the distance is in their hearts, but the physical distance, which undeniably exists, is meant to better portray that distance between them, as it also does playt a major role in the fact that they separate and do not end up together. This is shown during the first episode, with the never reaching train, which reaches at last, but only to allow them a glimpse and not a life. The function of the physical distance is more particularly to increase the agony of the spectator, the anxiety, the helplessness. Its a poetic resource. They were always a train away, or an airplane away, or a phone call away, but neither of them ever do any of those (with the exception of the first epėsode). As laz pointed out, Tohno writes mails to no one, when he should be writing to Akari. By then though, it seems the distance has become far too great, and he doesnt dare go against it. I assume this is why you "hate" him Laz.

I need to go, there's more I'd like to say, I'll finish it later. Sorry :S :S
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gleowine
Ekusun Tsukinoe


Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 415


Location: Louisiana

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another thing about distance in 5cm: If you've looked at the Google map I did of Takaki's train trip, you probably noticed that the region where Akari's family moved is way out in the boon-docks, so to speak (down here, we would call it the "sticks"), very rural with towns few and far in between. To a city-dweller like Takaki, this is almost a foreign country. He'd probably never be able to live in such a place, so in a sense the distance between him and Akari became greater as a result.
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Shinka
VelaCiela


Joined: 28 Oct 2008
Posts: 27


Location: ummm... I dont know....

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lol, I looked at the map as well =P. Also, When its Tohno's turn to move away (I cant recall the name of the city to where he moved), its on the southest most corner of the big island thats to the south of the main island (I apologize, I cant remember the names of the islands and I'm too lazy to search for them now XD).


Unfortunately, I dont remeber what else I wanted to say. Thats the problem of leaving things half way done, though in this case it wasnt my fault since I had ot go to a meeting. Sorry :S :S


I do want to say though, I'm loving this discussion  Very Happy

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