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Carey's view

Posted at 2:39 PM on August 14, 2006 by Euan Kerr

Spent part of the long weekend with two-time Booker Prize winner Peter Carey's travel book "Wrong about Japan." In it he details how he caught his teenage son's obsession with manga, the wildly popular Japanese comic books, and anime, the animated films which have risen from the manga culture.

Their shared interest led to a trip to Japan, where Carey was able to use his literary connections to set up meetings with some of the powerhouses in both media including Yoshiyuki Tomino, the creative force behind "Mobile Suit Gundam" a hugely popular series about war robots piloted by children, Hiroyuki Kitakubo, director of "Blood: the last vampire," and a tour of Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli.

It's a delightful and quick read, blending Carey's fascination with anime and the surrounding culture, while underlining his justified fear that he really doesn't understand much about what is going on at all.

It's a useful lesson to realize that with the best of intentions, a viewer usually takes away what s/he thinks s/he sees, rather that what the film maker necessarily means to show.

August 2006
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