Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan


(Japan, 1995)

Okay, I give up. I was resistant to Japanese anime for years. I guess I was prejudiced against it. Which isn’t fair, because it’s such a broad term. Basically, it’s the Japanese term for animation, and I love animation … but I don’t love Spongebob Squarepants, and I don’t love Speed Racer, and I don’t love The Simpsons. Some people love all these things. It’s a matter of taste. The simple animation in The Simpsons turns me off … but I love Bullwinkle, which is just as simple. Go figure. What I love the most is beautiful, imaginative animation, and there is maybe more of it in Japan than in America, because they never saw it as just for children. Animation has slowly climbed out of that pigeonhole here in America, but it was never sneered at in Japan. So I’ve come to realize that some of the best cinematic art being made today comes from Japan, and is therefore called anime.

This DVD is a three-part anthology.

Magnetic Rose. Take a little of Dark Star, a bit of Alien, add a dash of 2001, and season with a taste of Madame Butterfly and The Phantom of the Opera, and you’ll have this beautiful outer-space adventure of the mind. It was a little high-flown for my taste and the acting leaves a little to be desired, but it is so gorgeous to look at. Watch the light, and the textures.

Stink Bomb. Sort of a Typhoid Mary story, full of irony. Can’t say too much about it without giving too much away. Liked it.

Cannon Fodder. The shortest of the three, with the least plot … but the design and the art here is the best of the three. Reminds me a little of Brazil, both in the look and the Kafkaesque sensibility.