May 2011


Pilot Charles Karino is tasked with a daunting assignment: fly a special passenger on a journey of over 12, 000 kilometres. The script is by Satoko Okudera, known for his work on Summer Wars and The Girl who Leapt Through Time. It’s coming out this month, so it will likely be some time before a BD release is available.

It turns out that we do not get to see Kinkakuji in this episode, but rather Nobunaga’s rebuilt Azuchi castle – built not only to be a defensive structure, but also a testament to his power and wealth. The location of Azuchi Castle is not far from the capital of Kyoto, however, and was intended to safeguard the approaches into the city. As usual, more notes to follow after the jump.

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Mamoru Nagano is working on this project.

That’s all I need to say.

Episode 2 begins by introducing us to Sen no Soeki, who seems to be standing in for Nobunaga`s historical tea master Sen no Rikyū. The writers likely have decided to use a different, less well-known name, as most famous individuals in Japanese history had several, or have created a fictionalized counterpart to better fit the intended story. In any case, Soeki’s influence is at least comparable to Rikyū’s, and even his appearance is similar.

As usual, due to the density of the material being covered, I have opted to highlight my more important points in bold. Specifically Japanese terms are italicized. More notes after the jump.

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Boy, this show is rich. Incredibly rich. Hyouge Mono is a 13 episode series being produced by Bee Train – and more importantly, Japan’s public broadcasting station NHK – about a retainer of Oda Nobunaga who is caught between loyalty to his lord and loyalty to the art he is most passionate about – the Japanese tea ceremony. Thanks also to bateszi for alerting me to the fact that we finally do have some translation available.

The series is flying under the radar of most blogs, likely due to both a)it’s relative obscurity, and b)the fact that it draws on a deep reservoir of Japanese culture and history. Hopefully, this blogging series can help ameliorate both of those issues, by providing some historical background commentary and explanation.

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Makoto Shinkai has been hailed previously as the “next Miyazaki”, and he seems determined to claim the title with his newest offering, Children Who Chase Lost Voices Deep Below. Some of the design choices and colour palette are very reminiscient of Tales from Earthsea, Nausicaa, or other Ghibli films. While his previous works have been absolutely ground-breaking in terms of visuals (Place Promised and 5cm per second were both absolutely stunning at the time of their release, and still are), I get the sense that the visual standard, as it were, has only increased with the last few years. Here’s hoping Shinkai has something interesting up his sleeve – the release is set for this May, but a DVD/BD release may still be a while away.