Monday, June 27, 2005
A Steamy SciFi Interlude
With Blogger still buggy and loading a large empty background field under the date of the current day’s post along with prohibiting images on my once image-capable blog, allow me to briefly mention my ongoing love affair with certain kinds of Japanese anime.
In this space I’ve previously mentioned enjoying Mamoru Oshii’s terrific Ghost in the Shell series but I don’t think I’ve mentioned Hayao Miyazaki’s superb children’s films or Katsuhiro Otomo’s legendary Akira.
All these films, highly recommended by yours truly for their appropriate age group, are easily Googled and are on sale online and in better media stores.
I’ve been recently counting the days until the July 27th DVD release of Otomo’s latest anime triumph Steamboy.
A fan and reader of science fiction since the blushing days of my youth, I was and remain an admirer of William Gibson and the Cyberpunk sci-fi subgenre he created with the 1985 publication of the award-winning Neuromancer.
In 1990 in London and 1991 in New York, Gibson and fellow sci-fi novelist Bruce Sterling published The Difference Engine, a book credited with inspiring a cyberpunk subgenre called Steampunk, speculative science fiction set in the mid to late 19th century.
Steampunk has popular culture antecedents in Walt Disney’s 1954 production of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the 1960’s American television series The Wild, Wild West and celebrates Victorian era steam technology.
Without getting lost in the hairy curlicues of nuance within these subsets of subsets, Otomo’s Steamboy, from what I’ve gathered since its 2003 Japanese premiere, will rock the American geek community down to their tongue-plugs and flip-flops.
I had the great good fortune to find and impulse-purchase the soundtrack to Steamboy at a local brick and mortar media store at a tremendous savings from the online Japanese import asking price of nearly $40.
I paid $13.99!
The sound track is a breath-taking orchestral romp composed by a relative newcomer with the most unJapanese name of Steve Jablonsky.
The 17 cuts and highly enjoyable 60:49 running time of the Steamboy soundtrack has provided a thrilling score to today’s normally dull interstate drivetime and I look forward to Jablonsky’s future efforts.
Various video trailers to Steamboy can be found via this link, however, don’t be put off by the Japanese only 6-minute trailer at the bottom of the list.
This lengthy Windows Media clip, no matter the language barrier, gives the best flavor of the film’s gorgeous soundtrack and dazzling illustration.
If Otomo’s Steamboy is half as good as Jablonsky’s soundtrack, I’m going to be one extremely happy late July camper!
Steamboy image at Easy With Eyes Closed