Rebuild of Evangelion & “Beautiful World”

Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of my favorite anime series, and so I’m a bit unhappy over how Gainax so readily whores exploits the characters in a never-ending array of merchandise, the bulk of which is unrelated to the original series.

Yes, I know it’s just business. But still.

And so I’m ambivalent about Rebuild of Evangelion — four new animated movies that will provide an alternate retelling of the original story.

I’m comforted by the fact that Anno Hideaki is chief director, and especially by his statement that GAINAX isn’t controlling this. More reasons to hope that the movies don’t turn out to be hollow commercial fluff.

Utada Hikaru sings the theme song for the first movie: Beautiful World. I don’t know if this is a good sign or a bad one.

If you can read Japanese or you’re just curious, the Japanese lyrics are here


Content-Aware Image Resizing

Originally developed to resize images for different screens without losing important elements. Very cool demo. Gets freaky towards the end too when you watch people disappear from photos just from clicking-and-dragging.

(from TechCrunch)

Stalin’s removal of his enemies from photos came to my mind, though photo manipulation as a practice is nothing new at all.

“Austerlitz” and Eric Gill

I managed to get a copy of W.G. Sebald’s last novel Austerlitz via BookMooch

(I suspect this will be one of the last I mooch. Many books I want aren’t available through the site. And of the ones that are, their owners often aren’t willing to ship them outside their countries. (Bookmooch members have set up a Bookmooch Angel Network to try and get around this, which is nice of them but still a clunky solution.) Simply, I’m unwilling to spend money on expensive postage to get points I can’t use.

Besides, there is no lack of good books in this country.)

Anyway, this paperback printing of Austerlitz is set in Perpetua and, more surprisingly, seems to follow Eric Gill’s rules for page layout.

Itasha – anime-decorated cars


Itasha are cars decorated with decals and paint jobs depicting anime, game and manga characters. The word itasha, which literally means “painful car,” is derived from the kanji for itai (”painful”) and sha (”car”). The word also appears to be a reference to the Italian sportscar, also known as itasha (although the ita for Italian is spelled with katakana instead of kanji), a conventional sort of chick magnet driven by a different sort of guy.

(via Pink Tentacle – which has more links to itasha pictures)

“The Willow Tree”

Watching Majid Majidi’s religious The Willow Tree again, I thought about this quote from Clive Barker’s Weaveworld:

She’d taken this harlot century she’d been born into for granted, knowing no other, but now — seeing it with his eyes, hearing it with his ears — she understood it afresh; saw just how dispossessed of pleasure; how crude, even as it claimed sophistication; and, despite its zeal to spellbind, how utterly unenchanting

Classic Magnum Photography

The Magnum Photos and Slate collaboration began on Dec 1, 2005, and the first uploaded set begins with:

PARIS — Place de l’Europe, Gare Saint Lazare, 1932. Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson writes, “There was a plank fence around some repairs behind the Gare Saint Lazare train station. I happened to be peeking through a gap in the fence with my camera at the moment the man jumped. The space between the planks was not entirely wide enough for my lens, which is the reason why the picture is cut off on the left.”

Classic Magnum Photography – Part 1 ; Part 2

Incidentally, yesterday’s set was dedicated to the late master.