…but we should really encourage them to try and try again!
That is really my feeling about Baccano! in a nutshell. Japanese collaboration with Western producers are really one very direct way to solve some of the problems addressed by that dreaded open letter, but we should remember that Americans (and others) have been working with Japan to produce exported animation for over 10 years now. The earliest of those works I could remember was ADV’s BGC2040, but I suppose there may be earlier ones.
But Baccano! is not even a collaboration. It falls more along the lines of, say, Cowboy Bebop–straight up fantasy about a western-themed past (or future), created out of the mind of a Japanese. Yet short of last year’s fabulous exception, also known as Black Lagoon (which was also just an adaptation, I guess, so not a big exception here), there just hasn’t been a collaboration of the magnitude of western-audience-appeal as, well, non-collabs.
I guess Japanese/American collabs are just not as cracked up as they ought to be. Not only it doesn’t make anything go faster for the end consumers, the Japanese team still get stuff messed up (LOL can we say Engrish?).
But hey, if I wanted to see violence glorified and packaged in palettes sensible for an American I’d just go watch a movie in a local theater. Baccano, at least, delivers a little more. And I’m only highlighting it here because it renews my faith to know that there are Japanese people out there (I guess the opposite of a weeaboo…?) who at least tries to go at this stuff (this meaning the likes of recreating a prohibition era setting in a prose), and put together something not too terrible at all.
Sure, it won’t hold off rain (of scrutiny) if you stood under it, but at least it’ll make shade on a sunny day.
This is the second part of a series of blog entries highlighting some of the memorable and remarkable points of 2007 in review. I think Shinkai was actually one of the best things 2007 will be remembered for, but I’ll work up a climax or something from here…