2012 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 22,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 5 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

 

“Waiting for the New Year”


Anticipationhttp://fergiemoto.wordpress.com/ (Click here to see the post.)

Here is another charming post from “Fergiemoto” using a sweet blue bird image. Look for more beautiful photographs with accompanying poems on their site.

I see wonderful things for this talented artist/writer in this “Year of the Water Dragon”. 

New Year 2012 Greetings


New Year 2012New Year 2012 Greetings. (Click here to see the accompanying poem and read more from this artist.)

I liked this post so much, that I am re-posting it on my blog. It is very relatable to the subjects that I choose for my blog since it has a Japanese origin and theme. This blogger is a very talented photographer, artist and poet. Check them out and enjoy!

Also, since it is December 31, when I am writing this blog, have a Wonderful, Prosperous and Happy New Year everyone.

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit


The cover of the first DVD compilation release...
Image via Wikipedia

I watched this anime a few months ago and could not stop until I had seen every single episode. Since viewing it, I have wanted to write something about it in my blog. It was mentioned as one of my favorite anime in a previous blog entry. At present the best thing I can say is to watch the episodes and find out why I was hooked from the first moment.

Plot Summary:

Balsa is a wandering warrior, whose special technique is wielding a massive spear with incredible accuracy. Her entire adult life has been spent saving lives as atonement for a past sin. Her path crosses that of a young prince, Chagum, whose mother hires Balsa as a bodyguard because she believes her son’s life is in grave danger from the boy’s own father, the emperor of Japan.  Chagum’s father believes that the boy is possessed by a dangerous spirit that will destroy everything if Chagum is not killed immediately. In fact, the emperor has ordered his son’s own assassination.

Balsa and Chagum find themselves on a perilous journey, not only to elude the emperor’s many assassins, but also to stop the dangerous creature that is growing inside the boy’s chest. Desperate choices must be made along the way, as well as peeks into Balsa’s dramatic and traumatized past.

The link below contains every episode of the anime. If you enjoy Japanese History and a good fantasy adventure, tune it. You won’t be disappointed.

http://www.animefreak.tv/watch/moribito-guardian-spirit-english-dubbed-online-free

Onmyōdō: Ancient Magic in Japan (Film, Manga, Anime, Novels and Games)


Fudo-Rieki-Engi (不動利益縁起)
Image via Wikipedia

The magic and mystery of onmyōdō and the onmyōji, who practice the ancient art, are an esoteric combination of Wu XingYin and Yang, Taoism, Buddhism and Shintoism. It came to Japan in the fifth and sixth centuries.

In the popular culture of film, manga, anime novels and video games, there are a host of these magicians and soothsayers, tweaked with extraordinary, supernatural power.

The anime, Ghost  Hunt presents the character, Lin Koujo, an onmyōji, who can exorcise or summons spirits and control shikigami–spirits similar to a witch’s familiar.

In the live-action film and manga, Onmyōji,the fictitious account of the famous, real-life magician, Abe no Seimei, is based on the novel series of the same name.

In the manga, Tokyo Babylon and XSubaru Sumeragi, an onmyōji and his sidekick, the assassin, Seishirō Sakurazuka, eradicate curses and vengeful spirits, evil shadow creatures in modern-day Japan.

In the manga series, Shaman King and the novel, Chō Senji RyakketsuYoh Asakura is an onmyōji and a medium who can communicate between the world of the living and the world of the dead, who spends much of his time hanging out in graveyards. His goal is to hone his skills onmyōdō and win the title of Shaman King.

In the video game and anime, Harukanaru Toki no Naka de, Abe no Yasuaki is a dedicated disciple of Abe no Seimei, the famous onmyōji.

The manga and anime seriesNegima!: Magister Negi Magi, involves a secret cult of onmyōji.

In the award-winning anime series, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, childhood friends Arumi and Sasshi find themselves pulled into another dimension where they learn onmyōdō from the famous wizard, Abe no Seimei.

The novel, Teito Monogatari by Hiroshi Aramata, has an evil onmyōji namedYasunori Kato, who is brought back from the realm of angry and resentful souls of dead mystics. His power surpasses even that of Abe no Seimei.

The anime and manga, Onmyō Taisenki delves into I Ching and Taoism for its magical resources.

The manga seriesAsk Dr. Rin! features a powerful onmyōji named, Takashi Tokiwa who is infatuated with Meilin Kanzaki, a young girl, endowed with Feng shui powers, who can read people’s fortunes and advise them concerning the best way to ensure good luck.

The Playstation fighting game, Evil Zone features an onmyoji named Keiya Tenpouin, “The Man in the Shadow” whose main goal is to kill and claim the power of Ihadulca, who can exist in multiple dimensions at the same time.

The novel, Shōnen Onmyōji is set in the Heian era of historical Japan and portrays the life of  Abe no Masahiro, the youngest grandson of the famous onmyoji, Abe no Seimei, whose greatest desire is to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. .

In the manga and anime series, Steel Angel Kurumi, (an artificial humanoid with superhuman physical abilities) the main protagonist, Nakahito Kagura belongs to a family of onmyoji mystics.

The PlayStation game Final Fantasy Tactics includes a “Job” entitled, Onmyoji, which is translated in the English as “Oracle.” The practicing onmyoji has “Yin-Yang Magic” that can inflict blindness, paralysis or sleep on their opponents.

In the card game, Magic: The Gathering, one of the cards is entitled: Goryo’s Vengeance. The card type is arcane which includes spells represented spells by spirits or kami (Japanese word for spirits and natural forces, used in the Shinto faith).

In the anime, “Tsukuyomi’s Moon Phase,” Hazuki and his mother have the ability to summon a shikigami spirit.

In the horror, survival game, Kuon, the main characters are onmyoji. Most of the magic seals and puzzles are based on onmyõdõ.

References:

Onmyōdō

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onmy%C5%8Dd%C5%8D

Wu Xing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu_Xing

Yin and yang

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin_and_yang

Taoism in Japan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taoism_in_Japan

Shinto

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shintoism

Buddhism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism

Abe no Seimei http://en.whikipedia.org/wiki/Abe_no_Seimei

Thirty-six Ghost by Yoshitoshi

http://web.inter.nl.net/hcc/rekius/36ghosts.htm

Magic: The Gathering:  Goyo’s Vengence http://mtg.wikia.com/wiki/Goryo’s_Vengeance

JAPANESE ANIMATION (ANIME) FUN FACTS


The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Flash Ba...
Image via Wikipedia
  • The first Anime was a two-minute clip of a samurai testing his new sword.
  • Cutout, an animation technique using flat characters, props and backgrounds cut from paper, card stock, fabric and photographs, was created by Noburō Ōfuji and Yasuji Murata in the 1930s.
  • Other pioneering animators were Kenzō Masaoka and Mitsuyo Seo,
  • Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka (The World of Power and Women) produced by Masaoka in 1933, was the first talkie anime.
  • Momotaro’s Divine Sea Warriors”, features the “Peach Boy” from Japanese folklore, directed by Seo in 1945, was the first feature-length anime. It was sponsored by the Imperial Japanese Navy as propaganda.
  • Manga, comics and print cartoons, helped propel the growth of anime due to fact that many were later adapted into animation format.
  • Osamu Tezuka was particularly adept at translating Manga into Anime. He was key in inspiring others in this field and helped create the fundamental elements of today’s anime. He also developed the giant robot genre–called “Mecha” outside of Japan.
  • Go Nagai developed the giant robot, “Mecha” genre into Super Robot.
  • Yoshiyuki Tomino developed the Real Robot genre.
  • Famous Robot anime include; “Gundamand “The Super Dimension Fortress Macross”. Both became instant classics in the 1980.
  • After this, anime experienced a boom in production and gained worldwide appeal that continues into the 21st century.

References and other links:

Pioneers of Japanese Anime at PIFAN http://www.midnighteye.com/features/pioneers-of-anime.shtml

Anime News Network http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=4998&page=23

Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anime

FAVORITE ANIME


Cover of "Howl's Moving Castle"
Cover of Howl's Moving Castle

The month of February has been hectic, while I get the last edits on my novel, LEGEND OF THE TENGU PRINCE finished so that I can self-publish it on Amazon.com. Also, I have been working on adapting the novel to screenplay format so that I can enter it into contests this year. Since time is sparse and I have missed the last few weekend blogs, I have decided to list some of my favorite Anime series and movies for you to enjoy.

I am currently watching “Moribito, Guardian of the Spirit” found at http://is.gd/olSWGK It is set in Ancient Japan and is written in the Fantasy-Adventure genre that I also write.

Another long time favorite Anime of mine is “Princess Mononoke” is a fantasy, action-adventure set in Ancient Japan.  A good site to watch it is at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/3371638

Lovely Complex” is a comedy Anime that is well worth your time to watch. http://www.animefreak.tv/watch/lovely-complex-english-dubbed-online-free

“Monster” is a psychological thriller that I watched last year and could not stop until I had viewed all 74 episodes which had me up late for several nights, my attention glued to the computer screen. http://www.animefreak.tv/watch/monster-online

“Fruits Basket” is a sweet Anime with shape-shifting characters from the Chinese zodiac http://www.hulu.com/fruits-basket

“Bleach” http://www.bleachget.com/ was recommended by my son who is the one that got me interested in Anime in the first place. It concerns a “Shikigami” named Bleach.

My son also recommended  “Kekkaishi“, a supernatural adventure  http://www.animefreak.tv/watch/kekkaishi-online

The last two can be found at the same site. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8604596739848246425#docid=-7679642117452988610 They are “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Spirited Away“. Both are fantasy adventures. One is set in a fantasy-like version of medieval Europe, the other takes place in modern-day Japan.

Anime Freak is a good website to watch Anime series.

ENJOY!

For more information on these Animes, check out Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia articles listed below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moribito:_Guardian_of_the_Spirit

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Mononoke

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monster_(manga)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruits_Basket

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleach_(manga)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shikigami

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kekkaishi

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howl’s_Moving_Castle_(film)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirited_Away