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Experience :: Twilight Seibei

So this is Wednesday, I should be studying for my final in 5 horus. ANYWAY!

Experiences are the things we take with us in time. Media gives us experiences we may never encounter in our normal lives, and this is a good thing. Wednesday is experience day. Last week, I shared an experience in my post, Real Girls. Though it was not an anime or manga experience, I did see a relation in the midst, and that is what I want to do here. Take experiences (media or real) and see why I relate/d them to anime/manga. I don’t intend to just make things up, like it could be related this way. Rather… well you’ll see.

Short History

I began my fandom of anime and manga somewhere in 2002. Though I enjoyed the well known titles that had floated around the US (Akira, GiTS), I never took to the media, nor did I even know these things were peculiar (their own form of media); unaware, even to DBZ or anything on Cartoon Network, for six years. It just wasn’t in my world.

One way or another, Rurouni Kenshin, tha manga, caught my eye, a terrific story. Things began to roll, but for my immediate purpose, RK introduced me to the Meiji era, and also bits of curious and intriguing Japanese culture. Soon after RK, I ran into this film Twilight Seibei (たそがれ清兵衛, 2002), which was quite the contrary to RK in terms of mood, but very much related in substance; life during the Meiji.


Reflecting on the film, I was drawn into the era by the subtle display of “ordinary life.” There is a slight plotline, good conflict, great atmosphere, but I would classify it as slice-of-life more than anything. At the time, I never asked myself, what is slice-of-life, as I was unaware of such things, though it makes me wonder if I would see the film in different light. For my own reasons, I will say it would yield the same effect, but a rewatch over the Summer would be nice.

Yes, I enjoyed this film, and all it’s subtleties, but I was hoping for more action on my original intake; I was shounen lol. In my current state, the film has greater meaning, and does not need more than the two fight scenes contained. Seibei, the main character, is portrayed graciously, and though he is is nearly powerless in society, he is strong in life, and not soley for his wicked kodachi skils (slightly featured). He has respect for life, and things, he is a good father, but he is a normal man. He does not try to shine bright, but is brilliant all the same (ch24s2^^).

Manga has extensive variety, but sadly, it is hard to find these sort of main characters in the media. Unspecial and sincere, where are they? Would they be worth portraying, and/or could they even be portrayed without slice-of-life? If we look deep into an ordinary life, does still seem that ordinary?

Ryan A *pondering answers*

Note: Is it me, or are samurai tales are going out of fashion? Gothic appeal is up, samurai appeal is down. I wonder what Raimei would think…

Categories: Weekly.

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5 Responses

  1. I loved Kenshin too (in both manga and anime formats). Another movie to add to my list…based on your write up and the Wikipedia entry, I think I’d really like this. I really like inner character turmoil almost as much as I like sword swinging action.

    I think the samurai stuff comes in waves. A few years ago, samurai dramas regained some popularity too. Now, it’s back to high school love junk again. :(

  2. I didn’t like Kenshin at all! lols, but I really like samurai stuff and yet I don’t at the same time.

  3. Caitlin, definitely check it out, it’s award worthy ^^

    WTH blissmo lol Seven Samurai wasn’t the greatest samurai movie. Yojimbo! Watch it and love samurai style! jk

    so which is it?

    aloedreamApril 24, 08 @ 11:41 pmReply
  4. I haven’t watched much samurai movies.

    But this seems interesting: I’ll take a look after I get cured. Right now, sleep is of the essence.

  5. Michael, it is less about samurai fighting, and more about life and decisions during the period. Samurai movies are okay, but the ones with essence over action are more interesting.

    Seibei did not have that “so bad ass” vibe similarly seen in shounen series.

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