Densha Otoko (2005): 3 gifts

Densha Otoko 2005, aka Train Man, is the classic romance movie in the age of social media. It is a fairy tale that a Densha Otoko, a young computer geek, helped a girl get out of the harassment from a drunken man. Then, Densha Otoko successfully dates the girl, aka Hermes, and wins her heart with his true love.

In the movies, 3 gifts work as the important symbols to link up with 2 lovers from Venus to Mars.

In the movie, we do not know the name of the girl. Her nick name, “Hermes" is related to the gift, a set of tea cups,  that she gives to Densha Otoko in reward to his help and protection. Hermes is the famous French brand which sells luxury goods such as clothing, tablewares and last but not least, silk scarfs.

Through out the movie, Densha Otoko falls in love with her and with the help of his online friends. He finally wins her hearts with 2 gifts. The first one is the image of message in his text message. The second one is the pyramid of sugar cubes.

According to Joseph Campbell & Stuart Voytilla, movies are a kind of myths which teach young people how to become a hero or heroine. The structure of this love relationship is built upon the idea of goodness and man. “Hermes" is a Greek god who is in love with human. Densha is a man who worships the goddess and sends 2 precious gifts, the moon, and pyramid to the goddess. The pyramid is represent Densha would like to spend his life   to connect with the goodness. The great pyramid of Giza took the Egyptian more than 20 years to build. Both gifts represent the outmost courage to love his girl.


Hidden details in Ghost in the Shell 1995

Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 2.40.31 PMGhost in the Shell 1995, is always a classic Japanese animation? The post cyberpunk world is adapted with a sense of Hong Kong cityscape as a futuristic cosmopolitan.

Was the futuristic cyberpunk world created with imagination? No, Ghost in the Shell was created with detail research and studies. The details of “Hong Kong" city was created by no accident. Buildings, stores and signages have reference. I believe even local Hong Kong people may skip these details.

In the animation, there are lot of signages, wall paintings, and billboards. Hundred of Chinese characters listed on there signs. Are they real store-names? Some are made up but at least one, I discover an interesting brand in the animation.

There was a scene at 34:40. A red fashion boutique store is shown as a background. There is a brand name, “Walter Ma", set on a red window display. Who is Walter Ma? Is it a fashion brand? Yes, Walter Ma is a real fashion designer. The fashion brand, Walter Ma, was one of the most famous local fashion brand in Hong Kong from mid 80s  to early 90s. Walter Ma, the store, was located right in Tsim Sa Tsui in 90s.

I am so amazing that even I watched GITS many times. That little details could be discovered after all these years. Masamune Shirow must do a detail research of Hong Kong before he penned GITS. That makes GITS so timeless and visionary.

Walter Ma still runs his business as usually today.

Why did some technologies fail under the globalisation?

Swatch, the Swiss watch maker, introduced .beat to the market in Oct, 1998. It is a reckoning of time by eliminating the concept of time zone and centralized the concept of time with one system,  by dividing 24 hr into 1,000 beats.

Why did this idea fail? It seemed like a good idea. The benefit of .beat is to link to people around the world

I guess that it was designed under a colonial mindset. Using Europe as a centre point, all other people from the other side of the globe followed this system. People easily lose their sense of time that detached with the nature environment.

BTW, the old social media, such as ICQ, MSN, the online stability was not as stable as nowadays. People keened on chats with others. Type and reply were doing simultaneously. Keeping the time and schedule to chat was very necessary.

However, nowadays, the technology is more advance. Messages could be kept for years. The internet linkage is more stable and we always keep our devices online. Read and write do not have to be made simultaneously. Then, we lose the interest to keep reckoning times. Beat loses its ground to define a new way of living.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 8.41.43 PM

Battle Royale II: Requiem

Battle Royale, one of the most visionary films in Japanese film history, set a new ideal of blending real life with virtual reality game.

In BR2, the identity of Shuya Nanahara (by Tatsuya Fujiwara) and Noriko Nakagawa (by Aki Maeda) have been changed from various perspective. Motion pictures, aka film or movie, is a form of art. It is a type of myth.

Lets try to count how many identities do these 2 characters have.

Library of Babel

The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges inspired Ted Chiang to write a story of Tower of Babylon. Ted is one of the most popular Sci-Fi writer and his story “Story of Your Life" was adapted by Denis Villeneuve, the director of “Arrival".

According to Borges, Library of Babel was an universe. Nowadays, with the support of internet, we are living in the age of information. However, how to select and observe the truthiness of the information is a big question.

From the first library in Egypt, The Great Library of Alexandria, to the book collect in Epang Palace, The palace of Qin Shi Huang (aka The First Emperor in Qin Dynasty), the book collections were burnt to ash after the fire. Many of historical writing, including philosophy, arts, literatures, fact and data were gone and vanished.

I am not sure what will happen in our internet network someday. I am quit sure that if we don’t take care the knowledge liberally and carefully. We will delete, ignore, and
erase our knowledge in a flash of second.

This is the youtube ref that Borges was introduced based on the following video.
神秘之夜 170121 p1 of 4 天煞異降原著與電影


Aoi Hono (Blue Blazes アオイホノオ青之焰)

Aoi Hono (2014) is a Japanese TV drama about a student, Moyuru Honō, who wanted to become an animator. This drama is currently shown on ViuTV, Hong Kong. The drama is based on a popular manga and transfer to TV series. Japanese animators love to visualize the fictional characters into TV series or motion pictures.

The reason why I like this show. It is because it had lot of clips and reference materials related to Japanese manga history. In episode 3, Moyuru firstly encountered Hideaki Anno (庵野 秀明) and Moyuru was stunned by Hideaki’s creativity. I am not sure the film clips, created by Hideaki, is an authentic motion graphics which drawn by the real Hideaki Anno. However, it gave me an impression that the Japanese animation industry is real something. Teenagers have vision and goals through out their childhood and find their way to success. It is a valuable reference for manga studies.