Anime Wisdom from Remy Shimada… Even at my darkest hour, I am never alone

I will from today until my last breath love and treasure the sequel OVA to the GoShogun TV series, GoShogun: The Time Étranger. I have spoken not once, but twice (and who knows maybe more in the future?) about this special film and my admiration towards the leading lady of the Good Thunder team, the pilot of the Queen Rose, the woman who is at the apple of many a man’s eye… the ever talented, witty and beautiful Remy Shimada. The Time Étranger was her swan song, her tribute, as well as a portrait of her ultimate character. She is someone who even at the brink of death, never gives up… and in The Time Étranger there were many times when this occurred. When she is alone, trapped and on her last option, something, or someone comes into her life to say, “Remy, don’t give up hope. We want you here with us.”

Miss Shimada had a rough life. Her childhood in France was marked with the death of her mother as well as bouts of trouble with the local boys who never suspected that she would not only fight back, but in all honesty… kick their asses. 😉 She was very much alone in the world from the beginning. Or was she? The climatic moment of her youth was in a cemetery where she would fall into an open grave, or perhaps it was some other type of deep hole, or trench where she would become isolated, trapped. She resounded to her fate, yes I shall die here, I except this. And then five spirits would visit her to reassure her that she was not alone and that maybe someday all six of them may team up together. Those five represented the five men so important in her adult life that she would spend so much of the plot of Goshogun with: Shingo Hojo, Killy Gagley, Leonardo Medici Bundle, Yatta-la Kernagle and Suegni Cuttnal. Together till death do us part.

Before joining Good Thunder and the GoShogun team, and well before The Time Étranger, Remy was a spy who failed during one of her missions. All she could do was run to her boyfriend’s arms. He would tragically die soon afterward (or did he?!) leading to her capture and a prison sentence. As a last ditch effort she would bust her beloved locket to use the glass to slit her wrists. Thanks to Captain Sabarath and his convincing By the way if you want to know these segments were from the GoShogun TV series and the recap movie. I had to include this as a bonus as it fits well with the theme of this entry!

Now back to The Time Étranger… What about the time when she was in that car chase that led to an accident that left her in a coma? Or, being diagnosed with an extremely rare illness? Or, receiving a death announcement in the form of an anonymous letter stating she has only two days to live? Or confronting a giant monster in a desert where she only has one more bullet to feed her beloved Magnum pistol? All moments where life was in short supply, but the will to live was still there! Remy had someone still behind her back like guardian angels each and every time. What about the opening sequence of The Time Étranger, which ALWAYS make me cry. It’s beautiful. Alone in the desert she cries out, “Where am I? Where is everyone?” And then her five boys show up out of the mist to reassure her… so dramatic… I love it.

So the moral of this story, even when everything has hit rock bottom and you feel you have nowhere to go, or a friend to rely on, someone will show up like magic to tell you that you are still wanted and loved. It’s only when life is hard that we realize the beauty underneath the surface of the experience.

Remy Shimada… “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You made me happy when skies were gray.”

#8b : Angel’s Egg

For my original entry for Angel’s Egg, click here.

Sometimes you have to recover your tracks in order to move forward. In terms of classic anime and in particular, Angel’s Egg, I have a little more to say…

Angel’s Egg was a one of my earliest entrees here at The Classic Anime Museum and it has been one of my more viewed entries, even receiving reference links. I am proud that in particular that Angel’s Egg is linked in some way with this site. I love this film, I love the atmosphere it projects, I love the art and I consider it a masterpiece of 80s anime cinema and one of Mamoru Oshii’s best works of all time. It’s not an easy film to watch since it is more symbolic and esoteric, but in terms of great film making it is one animated feature that is distinctly it’s own in terms of any category you throw at it.

AE_21Much is written on director Mamoru Oshii’s struggle with faith and the all supposed Christian symbology. But if you take a step back, isn’t much of Christian imagery borrowed from other more ancient, or pagan references? Could these references also elude to Eastern spiritual practices as well, or another alternative? The vast open space of Angel’s Egg makes this a film that can have much in terms of interpretation, which leaves it as perhaps the most profound and powerful films ever made in the Japanese animation industry during the decade of the 1980s, if not all time. Assuming one’s interpretation, or an accepted standard is one thing, but sometimes when other opinions are offered as well, they are just as valid.

AE_22Propose now another possible metaphor for the piece of art that is Angel’s Egg. Could this be a film about the fragility of holding to the material world. To quote from the Bible “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth, and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.” I had to look up the passage as I am not a perfect Bible scholar, it’s from Matthew 6:19. Or if we philosophize from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure with none other than Socrates where we notice that we are “Only Dust in the Wind”, and “Like the Sands of time, so are the days of our lives.”… With this in mind we fall for the greatest illusion that what is material is eternal, which of course is not true. It is human to mourn the loss of what is seen and touchable, but to consider it permanent is a grave mistake.

AE_23Solid structure, matter and form are standards that we often base entire civilizations, relationships and lives on. Yet this is the most unstable force in the universe. This makes me think of the relationship in astrology between the Moon and Saturn and the pair of signs associated with them, Cancer and Capricorn. Both are opposites, yet mirror images of each other dealing with growth and decay, love and austerity, protection and isolation. Is it a time to be sentimental, or perhaps hard nosed. We need both sides, but when one side of the extreme takes on a priority there is imbalance. This is not a bad thing because after all we as humans get caught up in the games and circumstances that we deem as life. At times we crest, but soon fall. We also hit rock bottom too and find the strength to rebuild by knowing what has passed can’t ever return.

AE_24These concepts are the basic dynamic of Angel’s Egg. The girl, very innocent and naive holds like a mother the giant egg she possesses. The object is in every way her identity. She brings it with her, treats it kindly and never lets it leave her sight much like a cautious mother. Enter then the young man with the cross like stick, or weapon, or whatever it is. He becomes the catalyst, a source for change who cruelly breaks and destroys this precious object. The girl whose whole existence in life has now been destroyed in the end destroys herself, unable to find any reason to live beyond sticking to what she only knew. It is a sad end, but we all fall down from time to time and we mostly see something outside of the job, relationship, situation, or loss that has occurred in our lives. We put on another hat to keep going with life because we still feel that life still has something left to provide for us, despite the pain and sorrow.

This year of 2020 made me think of this interpretation particularly. It has been painful for many of us dealing with loss as well as uncertainty. Those who hold so dearly to rigid ideas are struggling the most to control a situation that seems so random. I hope you are all doing well despite the times.

#215e : The Transformers (Season 4)

Three episodes! Just three? How can this be considered a season? …that sounds more like a miniseries to me. And alas, The Transformers here in the west would receive a proper finale and in a hurry as well with a trilogy of episodes. Better this than nothing at all, but seriously who cheapened out on the potential here? Then again here is another perspective, maybe The Transformers here in the west were running out of gas? Perhaps ready to retire? In any case let’s properly finish this classic show!

TF_S4_11987, the fall… oh I remember it very well. New episodes of The Transformers were ready for viewing except this batch would be the very last. For real?! Coming in at a total of 98 by the end of this fourth season, The Transformers was a long ride I enjoyed viewing during the prime years of my childhood. This final trilogy would be known as The Rebirth and how does it clean up all the loose ends, while leaving the ending a little open ended. Fun and action packed, being another new season we get another grouping of more characters to watch… I am beginning to lose count here. We get a double spy, twins, the Throttlebots, the Targetmasters, the Headmasters and even one who can transform into six different modes. SIX! Kinda makes me miss the good old days of robot becoming a car, or an airplane. Still, these new types of characters are very creative and innovative.

TF_S4_2Don’t expect too much plot here besides saving Cybertron and restoring the plasma energy chamber. Remember this is only three episodes. The first release of DVDs here in North America from Rhino had an interview with the writer of The Rebirth, David Wise, who gave his take on the process of making this last season work. Originally this was slated as five episodes, then cut to three. If you can find this interview it is a great watch to see the nuts and bolts behind making a show like this. What to expect then is a run and gun approach by bringing in a character, or several, to cameo for maybe a couple seconds then moving on to the next scene, etc. etc. It is very watchable and entertaining, but wow talk about a rush to promote the entire 1987 toy line. At least we get a true and proper ending for The Transformers, a true “That’s all folks!” for us fans. Very few cartoons ever get this type of treatment. The Transformers not only got to walk away at the top of its game, but it also did it in a polished way… that was also rushed.

TF_S4_3And now for something completely different, Japan would release their own version of the season depicting the 1987 toyline. An alternative version of The Rebirth and yet not quite. The Headmasters would have a full 35 episodes telling a completely different take on the mythology which begs the questions, which one is canon? Take your pick… I say both… alternate universes as a theory. I slightly prefer The Headmasters in terms of the larger plot line and direction it took, but The Rebirth is still entertaining. Japan, Toei and Takara would pick up the torch abandoned by Sunbow, AKOM and Hasbro to continue the G1 animation outings for a few more runs showing that The Transformers were far from dead at the end of 1987. Then again, either way you look at it, the beginnings from way back in 1984 were completed in both series to a certain degree. Time to ride out into the sunset. ~ FIN

Introduction Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4