Sunday, June 22, 2008

Animation Rumination

Okay. I'm sick of anime.

I'm tired of how it looks, in a general sense; yes, I know there are tons of variations from one show to the next but, by and large, I'm giving it a pass. Oh, no, you cannot have my Bubblegum Crisis, Robotech and Akira DVDs -- those, I like. I'd like to see some more Miyazaki stuff. And one of these days I'll watch all of Cowboy Bebop because what I've seen is aces. If I could find a copy of the original Sol Bianca on DVD, I'd totally punch a trucker to own it.

Still. I'm...just...I dunno, I'm just not drawn to it (ha ha) anymore.

You know what I'd like to see? I'd like to see more genre animation, crafted with the same skill, dedication and love as the Japanese stuff...but in a totally western style. Look, I respect the eastern style. It has a lot of fans and it makes a lot of people happy but I'm not one of them.

I want to see something that's not overly-stylized. I really enjoy Samurai Jack, but the style remains a grain of sand forever under my skin when I'm watching -- small enough not to annoy, but present enough to be noticeable.

So. Why am I on about this, all of a sudden? Well. Y'see, today, I was looking at The William Gibson Aleph and I read this:

Burning Chrome The rights to 'Burning Chrome' were optioned by Leonard Mogel in the mid-eighties, even before the short story collection appeared. It was supposed to become a sequel to an animated SF feature, The Heavy Metal Movie, and had six script drafts by Scott Roberts with input from Gibson. The Heavy Metal Movie however failed at the box office and caused the project to halt.

I finally found my jaw somewhere under the desk, re-attached it, and freely wept over what might have been. Holy cow!

I want to see stuff like this. It can be done; hell, Heavy Metal was 27 years ago, so what the hell? Did we suddenly forget that this can be done? Is there no one putting two and two together and saying, "It's a different audience now, a different market; we can try this again"?

Or are they looking at that new audience, that new market, and saying, "They'll only buy it if it's anime or looks like anime"?

There's a glimmer of good news: Turns out someone's looking into another Heavy Metal -- R-rated, adult-themed feature, according to Variety. Here's hoping it gets made and, hopefully, makes a little money. I don't necessarily want my genre animation to be R-rated and adult-themed all the time; a straight-up adaptation of, say, oh..I dunno...Neuromancer, why not, or I, Robot, or maybe even something original?

Oooh! Oooh! How about Robert E. Howard's Red Nails? No? Not ever? Can't get finished, you say?


...well, I guess not, then.

Maybe if Conan had big eyes and Valeria made his nose bleed.