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By Steven T. Brown
This assortment charts the terrain of latest jap animation, probably the most explosive different types of visible tradition to emerge on the crossroads of transnational cultural construction within the final twenty-five years. The essays supply daring and insightful engagement with anime's matters with gender identification, anxieties approximately physique mutation and technological monstrosity, and apocalyptic fantasies. The members dismantle the excellence among "high" and "low" tradition and provide compelling arguments for the worth and significance of the learn of anime and pop culture as a key hyperlink within the translation from the neighborhood to the worldwide.
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Magnetic Rose is a deeply pessimistic meditation on the seductive dangers of nostalgia, and this nostalgia is consistently linked to the feminine. ” Both male and female characters in Magnetic Rose are ultimately victims, subject to and objects of a nostalgic gaze that looks for home within a simulacrum. Eva’s construction is particularly complex because though on the one hand she is performing for the male, on the other hand she is avenging herself against the male and her former audience. In contrast to Magnetic Rose, the female characters in Kon’s three feature films are usually not as darkly presented, but they too are frequently performers who experience some kind of trauma that leads them to retreat into liminal worlds in which the real and the unreal mingle.
The film next cuts to a backstage view as Cham’s members mill around excitedly, full of preperformance jitters. As they finally go on stage, the focus stays on Mima but shows only her back. And, as the title Perfect Blue (in English) flashes across the screen, the film cuts again to Mima, this time in ordinary garb, seated on a train looking at her reflection. This opening sequence establishes a number of important themes in the film. The first is that perceptions cannot be trusted. Again and again throughout the narrative, Kon sets the viewer up, sometimes by showing what appears to be a real sequence only to pull back to show that it is happening on television or on stage.
Indeed Eva, being a hologram, possesses (or is possessed by) absence as her most distinguishing feature. For much of the episode, the men do not even see her hologram but are led on simply by her voice. She, like the “houses in California,” is overtly an object of desire but one that is forever elusive. The fact that this desire is closely associated with memories—of home, love, culture, and family—makes its frustration all the more painful. Magnetic Rose is a deeply pessimistic meditation on the seductive dangers of nostalgia, and this nostalgia is consistently linked to the feminine.