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Notes from the coffee mill...

January 2002

A look at 2001

O-akemashite Omedetou! It's now 2002; a new year, and lots of things to view. Many things happened in 2001 both in the real world as well as in anime. Perhaps the most notable and which will undoubtedly remain in the minds of many for a long time to come is the events of September 11. I'm not going to touch on the event itself, but I have to admit, it has affected my anime viewing in certain respects. Mainly with regards to watching certain types of programs.

While not on the December list of viewings (it missed by about an hour), Patlabor Movie 2 was a very strong reminder of just how many animes out there touch on the idea of terrorism and the ways it can be used against concentrated populations. Certainly I've been deliberately avoiding re-watching Jin-Roh for this very reason. How long this will continue to affect what is reviewed on the Cafe, remains to be seen. However, simply having those events at the back of one's mind when watching can be a touch distracting especially should it be when reviewing.

A number of other titles and genres of works came out in 2001, including a number of theatrical features. Perhaps most notable is the success seen with Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away). Breaking records previously held by Mononoke and Hollywood's Titanic, this movie has many Ghibli fans waiting for news of a local theatre and/or video release (let alone a North American one!). If and when however is the main question.

Perhaps what has caught my attention a great deal however, were the releases of Blood: The Last Vampire and Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. Blood was somewhat unusual in that it was in Japanese and English both, rather than wholly in one language or the other. VHD: Bloodlust on the otherhand, was released only in English, and both the Japanese and English video releases for this feature will only carry the one language track. It starts to beg the question of the financial backing and target audience behind certain features.

Lastly, here at the Cafe, we've seen a number of additions and events including the opening of the Cafe Message Board, our first Fan Art contest, and the opening of a manga review section as well as a CD soundtrack review section. While both of these areas will likely develop more slowly than the main anime review section, both should prove to be lots of fun over the year to come.

Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu! - May the new year continue to be as fruitful and fun!

Jane Nagatomi, 2002.01.02

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