A Tree of Palme (Parumu no Ki)

Dir/Writer: Takashi Nakamura, 2002. Anime Adventure Fantasy.

NOT SO PINOCCHIO A puppet named Palme made from a sacred tree and fueled by a much sought-after sap that courses through his veins as life’s blood is at the center of this animated tale. Palme, originally created to care for his creator’s sickly wife, has gone lifeless since she has passed away. And now a mysterious warrioress has shown up bearing strange fruit (or rather a strange egg). Fast on her heals is a small band of purple skinned tricloptic goggle-clad subterranean mercenaries with snorkel-like breathing apparatuses driving a six-legged motorbike of sorts! Yes, I just said all that. The warrioress’ arrival brings with her Palme’s re-awakening and a mission!

PUPPET MASTER Palme was written and directed by Takashi Nakamura. Nakamura contributed as Chief Animator for one of Anime’s most amazing spectacles, Akira. Nakamura wanted to "transcend the boundaries of animation" with this film. "I wanted to delve deep into the realm of the human soul, ethically or perhaps philosophically, taking a different approach than the rest of the anime out there."

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Posted by:
Joey Jenkins
Apr 30, 2010 4:53pm

Death Note

Dir: Shusuke Kaneko, 2006. Anime Series.

We all get bored. Tired of the same things day in and day out. Well, apparently this also applies to Gods Of Death or more specifically Shinigami. Ryuk is a Shinigami (Death God). If you put Billy Idol, Jack Skellington, a crazy clown, and a vampire bat all together in a food processor and pressed "chop" whatever you poured out would look something like Ryuk. He has become so complacent that he has decided to drop his notebook (or Death Note) down to the earth’s surface. His purpose in doing this is because he will find it at least mildly entertaining to watch the result of his Death Note in the hands of a human being.

What does it mean to have a Death Note in the hands of a human being? Well, simply put, just as in the world of the Shinigami, if you write someone’s name in the Death Note and you know what they look like they will die. This is, of course, the simple explanation of things. There are rules which govern the use of the Death Note as well.

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Posted by:
Joey Jenkins
Sep 10, 2010 1:16pm

Porco Rosso

Dir: Hayao Miyazaki, 1992, 93 minutes. Anamorphic widescreen. Suitable for all ages.

I have been an avid Miyazaki fan since the Hong Kong Film Festival of 1984, when I saw Nausicaä and Castle in The Sky. I think Miyazaki-san did his greatest work in the 90s, before Spirited Away brought him fame and fortune in Hollywood. And of his 1990s films, there is none more mature, moving, and masterful as Porco Rosso, the story of World War I flying ace Marco Porcellino, whose disillusionment with the rise of fascism made him choose to become a pig.

In abandoning the world, Marco also left behind people who loved him, especially the beautiful Gina, widow of his wartime comrade and owner of the best club in the Adriatics, where bounty hunters and air pirates alike leave their guns (and troubles) behind.

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Posted by:
Franklin Lei
Nov 17, 2007 4:57pm


Dir: Micheal Arias, 2006. Rated R. Anime.

Welcome to Treasure Town. It's an old and fading fantasy town quietly disappearing under the spread of modern Japan. But it doesn't stand alone. Black and White, two street orphans, rule Treasure Town with all the charm and wild crazy that every classic Peter Pan deserves. Don't confuse these cats with Disney's version. These lost boys live just this side of lunacy but are not without heart.

Change arrives like a slow earthquake and soon they are battling real gansters, alien assassins and urban development. Truth is a major player here and gives the fantastical its impact. Mythology explodes from every corner of this tale and threatens to trample our heroes, who are only children after all, into the dark recesses that inevitably follow change.

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Posted by:
Jessica Kaman
Nov 17, 2007 5:22pm
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