Geisha: Beginnings

Geisha: Beginnings

Geisha are an icon of Japanese culture. Mystique and stigma surrounds the profession. Being a geisha is a profession, just as librarianship is a profession. Geisha are not prostitutes. Although, prostitution has marred the profession. Becoming a geisha was one of the few means a girl in the Edo period could gain an education and become independent. Let us take a brief look at the history of geisha.

Do you want sushi with that?

The ancestors of the fabled geisha were waitresses. Called saburuko, these people waited tables, made conversation, and sometimes sold nookie. These women were often daughters of once high-class families. Around 800 CE standards of beauty laid the foundations for both the future samurai and geisha classes. This continued up until a single man with a taste for business entered the scene.

Turning on the Red Light

In the Edo period of Japan (1600-1868), Hideyoshi Toytomi had the idea to build ...

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Space Dandy Season 1

Space Dandy Season 1

I’ve seen a fair split in the anime community when it comes to Space Dandy. There is a fair bit of disappointment. Expectations were high. Space Dandy is directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, the creator of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. Many fans expected something similar to Cowboy Bebop. Space Dandy is not Cowboy Bebop by any stretch. The series is a comedic romp through space. Each episode is richly animated and disjointed. Space Dandy seems to go out of its way to avoid anything resembling an arching plot, at least in the first season.

Space Dandy aims to poke fun at tropes and conventions. Space Dandy (is a Dandy guy, in Space) loves a space restaurant called Boobies. He lives for the place and every Woolong is spent there. His job? Scour the universe for new aliens. QT (his vacuum cleaner robot pal), and Meow (a space cat) join him in ...

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Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040

Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040

Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 takes a page from Super Sentai, mixes in some power suits a-la Metroid, and throws in a dash of Final Fantasy. This anime retells an OVA called Bubblegum Crisis.

Seven years after an earthquake almost destroyed Tokyo, androids with a fair level of intelligence are being used to rebuild the city. Called boomers, these robots do all the menial jobs humans don’t want to do. Every so often, boomers get tired of hauling garbage and gain the odd ability to change shape and merge with nearby machines. They then go hunting for their human oppressors.

Two forces, the AD Police and the rogue group known as the Knight Sabers deal with these threads. Of course, the AD Police view the Knight Sabers as a threat and attempt to kill or capture the people behind the group. The Knight Sabers wear hard suits that make them look like a ...

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Visu the Woodsman and the Old Priest

Visu the Woodsman and the Old Priest

Many years ago there lived on the then barren plain of Suruga a woodsman by the name of Visu. He was a giant in stature, and lived in a hut with his wife and children.

One day Visu received a visit from an old priest, who said to him: “Honorable woodsman, I am afraid you never pray.”

Visu replied: “If you had a wife and a large family to keep, you would never have time to pray.”

This remark made the priest angry, and the old man gave the woodcutter a vivid description of the horror of being reborn as a toad, or a mouse, or an insect for millions of years. Such lurid details were not to Visu’s liking, and he accordingly promised the priest that in future he would pray.

“Work and pray,” said the priest as he took his departure.

Unfortunately Visu did nothing but pray. He prayed all day long and ...

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Origin: Spirits of the Past

Origin: Spirits of the Past

Trees shattering the moon is quite a different idea. Origin takes place in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by genetically engineered plants. It is a rather novel idea, but the movie cuts the good and evil – technology verses environment too sharply.

Agito is a rash boy at home in the ruins of the past. After all, Neutral City is built on top of them. True to its name, the city serves as a neutral bridge between the Forest that inhabits most of the planet and the military nation of Ragna. One day his hijinks leads him to find a cryogenic pod with a mysterious girl inside. Well, I am sure you can see where this is going!

The girl’s thaw and return to the world of the living isn’t heralded as I expected. It turns out thawed people show up time to time from underneath the city as the remaining pods go ...

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Guilty Crown

Guilty Crown

Guilty Crown drew me in with the animation of the first episode. The little touches in the way the characters moved screamed Production I.G.. Unfortunately, the quality of the animation throughout the series wasn’t on par with other works by the anime studio. In any case, Guilty Crown has some interesting things going for it.

Japan of the future is in a state of chaos (when isn’t it?) because of an epidemic known as the Apocalypse Virus. After the mysterious virus, which crystallizes its victims, turned pandemic in an event called the Lost Christmas, the UN set up an organization called GHQ to contain the outbreak and stabilize Japan. Ten years after the event, a resistance group called Funeral Parlor seeks to free Japan from GHQ.

Enter Shu Ouma, the typical high school hero who finds a girl who changes the course of his life. Wounded and hounded by GHQ, Inori Yuzuriha ...

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