‘ll admit that it was an odd place to have this conversation, but that’s part of the story so I’ll include it.
My co-rider and I were buzzing along the lip of an asphalt road, cars clipping by dangerously close, the rain hissing down. I was getting it from both sides – my tire was spraying grit up my butt, and the co-rider’s bike (in lead slot) was rooster-tailing water into my face. So I was already pretty speckled.
The conversation, shouted over the passing cars and the patter of rain on helmets, was about anime.
I watch a lot of it. My co-rider can’t stand it.
I was going on and on (while keeping an eye to see just where traffic had gotten to) about some of the amazing stories I’ve seen on anime.Tales of down-on-their-luck bounty hunters in space. Tales of a demon who gives a vain high school student a means to secretly kill. A posturing scientist actually discoveres a time machine. A young kid joins a high-school bicycle club and struggles to find his place in the world.
He was hung up (he told me over his wet shoulder) with the blue hair and crazy round eyes.
I was hooked (as I gingerly coaxed a left across a slick intersection) on the unconventional stories paced in a way new to me.
Nobody sold anyone on their position. Eventually we were running in some tight spots and had to lay off the gab. But still, my point stands – I don’t care about the appearance or the “believability of image”. To me, the story is all. The animation is merely the prop.
But to him, the image was everything. Unless it looked real, totally real, he could not sink into the story. Black and white, subtitled, animated – if it didn’t look real, he didn’t get the story at all.
Of course, I mentioned (in one stretch after we ran a red and bought a breather from the pursuing car-pack) that most things I saw on today’s movies, most CGI, it’s overdone to the point of being cartoonish. Flyboys. 300. Pearl Harbor. All of these were awful. If you knew anything about the subject, they was laughably idiotic. But from his point of view, as long as it was seamless, no strings or brush-strokes, no words on the bottom, nothing to detract, then cars that exploded and machine guns that never ran out of ammo, sure, it was realistic (and, hence, worth watching).
But to me, the story is all. Which is why I poised this interesting question against the background of conflict, man against traffic, the eternal struggle.
It’s for the reader to decide who is right.