I got a chance to watch the first four chapters of Escalflowne and really enjoyed it. It's simpler and sweeter than Samurai Champloo and Mushi-shi and Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex. But what's not to like about an arrogant prince with a kitty girl pet, and a high school girl with a crush on her sempai? Not to mention the Giant Fighty Robots!!
I keep tending to compare it to Twelve Kingdoms, though, and it's an unfair comparison. Escalflowne is very straightforward, so far, and nice. And I kind of like that the high school girl is just kind of taking it and her visions mostly in stride. Thanks, ross_teneyck, for the chance to get to see this!
I got to see the rebirth episode of Mushi-shi and had to rewatch the episode Sea of Writing several times. *laughs* It was so good, about a calligrapher, writing down stories of how mushi are destroyed in order to bind her own mushi away; but what was best about it was her relationship with Ginko.
I also got to see Paprika and I really, really liked it, especially after all the dream work I did last year and in the terms of some research that was done, recently, on dreams.
There was a dream researcher on Talk of the Nation a few weeks ago, and the researcher found that the body is shut down during dreams by a tiny nodule in the brain, that the frontal visual centers are shut down, but the secondary visual layer is very, very active. The purely logical centers are shut down, but the rest of the brain can be very, very active. Also that there's a high level of activity in the fear/anxiety center of the brain, which might account for 70% of our dreams being 'negative', usually having to do with anxiety or fear. Though only a much smaller percentage are "nightmares", i.e. dreams so bad that we wake up because of them.
The research showed that dreams are likely to be the way our minds deal with fear or fearful situations, allowing us to work through those situations in a completely physically safe way. Taking the teeth out of things that scare us, by letting our minds work out that they just aren't that bad and, sometimes are laughable.
What's interesting is that bad dreams don't start until kids are five or six. Then the frequency goes up all the way through young adulthood. There are just so many things to be anxious about or scared of, it seems, until one gets experience with them. Turns out a fifty-year-old will have a quarter the nightmares and only a third the number of bad dreams a twenty-year-old will have. That's pretty interesting to me.
Especially given what my dreams have been like, it's very interesting, as I have built up a body of dreams where I am very competent even in really horrible situations.
Paprika was like the embodiment of those dreams in some ways. She always seems to find a way even in the most bizarre of circumstances. It's a beautiful movie about a renegade dream therapist and what happens when someone or something goes nuts amid other people's dreams... it's beautiful and bizarre and much of it feels very much like a dream.
I'll highly recommend it if you can find it.