Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Cartoon Wonderland

Cartoon Wonderland

I wanted to share a certain little experience. This being, of course, my blog, I am allowed to do so.

Fuck that’s a lot of commas. Fuck… I’ve started worrying about this gramahah shit ever since things like explaining the word “Experience” in one syllable words or defining the second conditional became part of my daily routine.

Anyway, I managed to catch the Corpse Bride the other day. It was wonderful, as can be expected of any movie that puts Jonny Depp and Tim Burton together in a mixing pot with a bunch of money and some guys who don’t mind spending a significant chunk of their lives moving little figures a millimetre at a time.

The theatre experience was rather more culturally entertaining then I expected, right from the get-go. Say “Corpse Bride” and they have no idea what you want. But, “Corpse-ew Bri-dough”, and you’re good. In fact, there are a number of surprising katakanaizations of English words (like may-oh-na-zew, ket-chu-pu and in-ta-net-to ack-ses-shi) that make it always worth a guess to just toss in a bunch of extra vowel sounds and hope you are understood. But anyway, I digress…

The Japanese have added a hilarious element to the movie theatre – assigned seating. They show you a little map and you pick out where you want to sit. Neat eh? Its just one more way to cram in as many people as possible, even when there are only about ten people in the theatre.

You must understand, as a friend of mine shared the other day, that modern day Japan doesn’t really make anything… they just make everything better. Consider the Car. Take an American car, then make it twice as reliable, more fuel efficient and cheaper to maintain. Voila. And Tokyo Tower? Its an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower, but about three feet taller. They’re just getting started on Indian Food, so its really not that great yet, but I am sure that they will be able to apply themselves soon and come up with something fantastic.

They have also really mastered the art of the previews. Not only were half of them for anime (particularly violent, frightening and therefore very exciting) but they also managed to more than double the number of previews to a very respectable 30 minutes.

They also happened to be showing previews for one of my personal favorites: Looney Tunes.

But imagine them speaking Japanese.

In fact, I have to give a particularly deep clueless foreigner bow to Sylvester the Cat, whose voice actor did about as good a job lisping around katakana as I can imagine. Unfortunately, this is only really funny if you grew up in North America and happen to be a native English speaker.

So, TWO people laughed really hard, and bunch Japanese people either thought we were really not paying attention, or just plain crazy. Of course, being Japanese, this is about their standard expectation of foreigners anyway, so really nothing was accomplished at all.

So, um.... Thanks or burning forty five seconds of your life on this post. I sure hope YOU thought it was worth it.

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