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Hmmm.

I can't remember if someone recommended Night on the Galactic Railroad to me or if I (and/or the OH) found it on my own.

It's a 1985 anime featuring anthropomorphic cats taking a dreamlike, allegorical journey. It's got some Christian imagery, and it's very slow (in a way I like, but others might not). It reminds me a bit of Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince, and several other reviews of it I found on the web also made that comparison.

I don't think I liked it, but it was interesting, and what I really got out of it was this: It was a missing link that helped me understand why there is a subgenre of anime featuring anthropomorphic cats taking dreamlike, allegorical journeys. The other two examples of this I've seen (Cat Soup and Tamala 2010) are quite a lot different from Galactic Railroad, especially in that they are more gory/violent, but all three seem to partake of something similar. I also thought perhaps Haibane Renmei owed something to it - HR isn't about anthropomorphic cats or physical journeys, but it is about transitions. The book that Haibane Renmei took some elements from—Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World—also fits in.

Maybe as I watch/read more I'll have a better understanding of the ways in which these works are primarily talking to each other and the ways in which they are representative of larger themes in Japanese culture/ art/ literature.

(The icon is from Cat Soup.)

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
elainegrey
Oct. 3rd, 2005 02:49 pm (UTC)
It looks interesting from the netflix trailer -- dreamy with little dialogue? Might be just right for a stress relief diversion? Added it to netflix, top of queue. Thanks for the pointer (although, since i'm not really educated in the realm of anime, your missing link notes go way over my head).
firecat
Oct. 3rd, 2005 05:45 pm (UTC)
It's not quite as stress-relieving as some movies, because it has some arousing / disturbing music. But I'd count it in the stress relief genre in general.

On the subject of stress relief movies, if you haven't seen The Story of the Weeping Camel, do.
elainegrey
Oct. 9th, 2005 12:33 am (UTC)
Wow, that was....

surreal.

Just added Weeping Camel to the netflick queue. Thanks!

firecat
Oct. 9th, 2005 04:41 am (UTC)
[*reads your journal entry*]

I'm glad you liked it! And thanks for the link to kenji miyazawa!
nellorat
Oct. 3rd, 2005 04:47 pm (UTC)
I printed this out to make a note about the movie, for a number of reasons, including my interest in the short stories "The Celestial Railroad" and "The Celestial Omnibus," both to some extent references to Pilgrim's Progress</a>.
firecat
Oct. 3rd, 2005 05:46 pm (UTC)
I look forward to hearing what you think about it!
tedesson
Oct. 3rd, 2005 07:15 pm (UTC)
I had an idea for an anime featuring cats on motorcycles having an action adventure. I had no idea there was a whole sub-genre of anime cats.

Thanks for the lead!
selki
Oct. 31st, 2005 07:02 am (UTC)
I haven't watched a lot of anime, but I did want to mention that I liked Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World and recommend it to folks.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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