The Cinema of Mamoru Oshii

Fantasy, Technology and Politics

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About the Book

Today’s animation is much more than kids’ stuff. Increasingly complex subject matter has produced a corresponding increase in artistic interest, and forms once specific to certain cultures have crossed borders to enjoy international popularity. Japanese animation has been particularly successful in the United States, and among the most celebrated Japanese animation artists is director Mamoru Oshii.
This book is an analytical survey of Oshii’s cinematic works from the early years of his career through his 21st-century productions, including Beautiful Dreamer and the acclaimed Ghost in the Shell. The author examines these and other Oshii productions in relation to the Carnivalesque movement, technopolitics and the director’s post-robotic vision. Oshii’s films are particularly significant in their defiance of the premises of Western animation and their presentation of a highly personal commentary on both individual and collective identities in the 20th and 21st centuries. Special emphasis is placed on Oshii’s revolutionary film techniques, including the stylistically and thematically diverse features of productions ranging from animation to live action to Original Video Animation (OVA), a format Oshii invented. A complete filmography is included.

About the Author(s)

Dani Cavallaro has written widely about literature, cultural theory, and anime. She lives in London.

Bibliographic Details

Dani Cavallaro
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: 6 photos, notes, filmography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2764-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0488-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

PART ONE. OSHII’S CINEMA: AN ANALYTICAL SURVEY      7

1. Background: Developments in Animé      9

2. Oshii’s Creative Trajectory      16

3. Themes, Imagery and Symbolism      20

4. Cinematography and Animation Techniques      29

PART TWO. OSHII AND THE CARNIVALESQUE      41

5. Concepts of the Carnival      43

6. Urusei Yatsura: The TV Series      48

7. Urusei Yatsura Movie 1: Only You      55

8. Urusei Yatsura Movie 2: Beautiful Dreamer      61

9. Urusei Yatsura Movie 4: Lum the Forever      68

10. Angel’s Egg      75

11. Twilight Q2: Labyrinth Objects File 538      83

PART THREE. OSHII’S TECHNOPOLITICS      87

12. Visions of Power in Live-Action and Animé      89

13. Dallos      95

14. Mobile Police Patlabor, OVA 1      100

15. Mobile Police Patlabor, TV Series and OVA 2      108

16. Patlabor 1: The Mobile Police      113

17. Patlabor 2: The Movie      120

18. Patlabor WXIII: Movie 3      128

19. Minipato      134

20. The Red Spectacles, Stray Dog and Talking Head      137

21. Killers: .50 Woman      149

22. Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade      153

PART FOUR. HUMANITY/VIRTUALITY: OSHII’S POST-ROBOTIC VISION      163

23. Approaches to Cybersociety      165

24. Blood: The Last Vampire      168

25. Avalon      174

26. Ghost in the Shell      185

27. Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence      199

28. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex      214

29. Post-Innocence Developments      219

Filmography      225

Chapter Notes      231

Bibliography      241

Index      245

Book Reviews & Awards

“highly recommended”—Choice.