Quick update on book distrbution: I’m right at the 75%-mailed mark. That’s good! The last of the internationally-bound paperbacks (and some hardbacks) will be in the mail no later than Saturday, at which point it’s all just down to hardbacks in need of artwork and a handful of stragglers from the orders I took a couple of weeks ago. Believe me when I say that I am way more eager to have these books in your hands than you are.

That being said, the next time I do one of these, the process will be far more painless for everyone involved.

On an unrelated note, I watched the Akira Blu-ray last night and it was kind of impressive! Great sound, and the art is so clear and detailed that any visual softness and flaws come down to problems with the source material that are now clear for all to see. The high-definition transfer here is basically as good as this movie can look, because it reveals the rough edges of hand-drawn animation in startling detail. It’s still gorgeous, of course. And I’ve finally seen it enough times (and read the manga enough) that the whole thing makes perfect sense, too.

In fact, as I was watching last night it slowly dawned on me that Akira (mainly via the Colonel’s perspective and comments) is a critique of the boom-era Japan in which the manga and movie were created, a Miyazaki-esque screed against the decadence that had infected the hearts of post-reconstruction Japan (the movie being set about 35 years after World War III’s cataclysm neatly parallels the way the manga debuted about 35 years after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki). I was really proud of myself for making this connection until I read the booklet that comes with the Blu-ray and noticed it includes an interview with Katsuhiro Otomo in which he says, “Yeah, this is basically a Miyazaki-esque screed against the decadence that developed over the course of the Showa era.”

What a jerk. Great-looking movie, though.

11 thoughts on “GRRR BOOKS

  1. This is funny timing, because I just got back to the manga and powered through the last two books this weekend. I’ve always loved the movie even though it’s obviously a hard-to-follow condensed version of the plot. The manga was really spectacular, though.

    Finishing the manga was also my excuse to watch the movie again, which I plan to do this weekend. It looked so great already that I’m drooling in anticipation of the hi-defness.

  2. Woo, books! Soon I’ll be able to stop getting my hopes up every time the poor postal guy drops off a package to my home.

  3. While watching Akira, every time I started to think about what the hell was going on, some freaking amazing music would start playing, and I’d forget about it.

    Talking about the manga, I still haven’t read it. Why? Well, have you every told your parents to get you comics for Christmas, to receive just the last volume of a gigantic series?

  4. I’m still not convinced about Blu Ray. Maybe my TV isn’t good enough or something. But I am convinced that I like the Gamespite book. People who haven’t received their copies are in for a treat when it shows up.

  5. Akira isn’t meant to be understood, just enjoyed. Quit watching it over and over and trying to find a meaning to it. Ignorance is bliss.

  6. “Over and over”? Six or seven times in the course of 15 years doesn’t seem terribly excessive to me, but what do I know.

  7. Hmm, this raises the question of at what point I should start to worry if a couple of domestic paperbacks ordered in the first batch haven’t shown up yet. Those are all out, right? But presumably by nice slow ground mail, so I won’t panic yet.

  8. If it’s any consolation, some of the first-batch hardbacks haven’t been mailed yet, so it’s likely that some of the first-round paperbacks are still lurking in Parish’s apartments as we speak. I spent a month thinking my hardback was probably stolen by my neighbors when Parish told me that it just hadn’t been mailed yet, so don’t write off your copy just yet.

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