May. 25th, 2009

starlady: (orihime)
My dad, sister and I ran the Teal Ribbon 5K yesterday in memory of my mom--I finished in 39:10, of which, considering that it was my first 5K ever and that I was by no means physically destroyed at the end, I am quite proud. I only got back into running (after about a six-year gap) about 10 days ago, but I must do more of it, it pretty much seems to be the best all-around exercise I've yet encountered. Seemingly unrelated muscles have been pleasingly strained.

I watched the Studio Ghibli film "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" tonight. It was, I believe, Studio Ghibli's first feature film, but after 25 years it's aged surprisingly well (which is to say, not at all), if one excepts the 80s soundtrack on the Japanese language track. I've been told the dub is good, but I really try not to watch dubs.

It's striking to see how many of Miyazaki Hayao's themes are revealed to be signal preoccupations--girls that fly, powerful women who oppose them, the immense importance of living in balance with the Earth. Nausicaä is an appealing heroine (and a ginger!); I found it amusing that everyone in her valley wants to protect her, but she takes no notice of that and protects them instead. Also, she didn't die at the end, at which I was vastly relieved--since reading Livia Monnet's chapter in Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams, I've become hyper-aware of all the maternal, female messiahs in sff who die and redeem the world by dying (perhaps the prime example of this is Aenea in Dan Simmons' Endymion and The Rise of Endymion). Plus she has an Evie a fox-squirrel, which is just cool. Per Monnet, I also found it interesting to consider the fact that Nausicaä's agency (or rather, its effectiveness) arises squarely from that characteristic which has traditionally disqualified women from full subject-hood: her openness (or permeability) to other beings, whether it's her fox-squirrel, the ohmu, other people or the world itself. By the same token, it's also interesting to contemplate Lady Yushara as a cyborg, which she apparently is. I was also struck by how many of the movie's themes seem to have been taken up by other, later anime--the Giant Warriors in particular are like something out of Eva or The Big O (and they look a lot like the giant robots in Laputa. Miyazaki steals from himself above all other sources).

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