Initially daily but now sporadic blog about anime and world animation with a specific focus on the artists behind the work. Written by Ben Ettinger.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

11:34:00 am , 377 words, 789 views     Categories: Animation

No 4

So many of Yasutaka Tsutsui's books are rooted in linguistic tricks and word play that it would immediately seem to rule out many of them for Kon's new film, such as his great Kyojin Tachi of 1981, where the whole point of the novel is the gradual disintegration of the fabric of the story by the gradual physical disappearance of the words on the page. Yume no Kizaka Bunkiten of 1987 is one of Tsutsui's best regarded novels, but it's not really sci-fi and again relies a lot on linguistic playfulness. 1989's Zanzo ni Kuchibeni was all about the phonemes of the Japanese syllabary disappearing one after the other, and with them the characters and memories of the characters. And then there was his recent Lautrec So Jiken of 1995, a murder mystery where the clue is hidden all along in the fabric of the text by a clever trick exploiting the ambiguity of Japanese grammar. I'm sure there's a way these could be made into film, but it would seem like at best a huge task, at worst pointless. The even more recent Asa no Gaspard was actually written interactively online and seems to share a lot with the concerns seen in Kon's recent films, and is a classic of late meta Tsutsui. There's also the popular but more juvenile Kazoku Hakkei and Toki wo Kakeru Shojo. And so on. The list could go on, as he's penned more than 20 novels, to say nothing of the hundreds of short stories and essays. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I haven't read Dasso to Tsuiseki no Samba, Kyoko Sendan or Paprika, so I'm not sure of the extent of their filmability in terms of this sort of thing, but Dasso to Tsuiseki no Samba is in the classic vein of early "dotabata" or wild-and-crazy Tsutsui, Kyoko Sendan seems like one of his best politically meaningful sci-fi stories (and is his biggest book), and Paprika seems like one of his best late meta novels - people have said it would make a good movie. I'm thinking maybe one of these three. In any case, it's really wonderful if Tsutsui is going to be adapted to an animated film, and by Kon no less, a person who has clearly shown Tsutsui's influence since his debut feature.

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5 comments

neilworms
neilworms [Visitor]

I hadn’t heard anything about this Kon film your talking about, last I heard he was working on something… if the IG boards were still up maybe I’d hear, but do you have any more details than what you posted here?

10/18/05 @ 14:31
Ben
Ben [Visitor]

Well, Kon and Tsutsui had a talk published in the Feb 2004 Animage, and on his home page Kon says he’s working on a feature animated film right now based on “a certain master (kyosho) SF writer", but he hasn’t specifically said he’s doing a Tsutsui film yet because he’s not able to give the title out yet. All conjecture.

10/18/05 @ 16:04
Manuloz
Manuloz [Visitor]

I heard it was Paprika, I think some guy from Madhouse said it, at some convention in the US.

From Anime Fringe :

“es! Satoshi Kon is currently working on a project with Mad House called Paprika, featuring a female detective who can investigate cases by entering peoples’ dreams. It might be released in 2006 (we can always hope). Regardless, it sounds really cool.”

10/19/05 @ 05:30
Ben
Ben [Visitor]

Awesome. Thanks. I was banking on Paprika. I’m glad I haven’t read it.

10/19/05 @ 08:22
neilworms
neilworms [Visitor]

Thanks Manuloz, now I’d like to know what the next Takahata film or Okiura/Oshii production will be….

10/19/05 @ 16:40