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[ the editorials ]

Notes from the coffee mill...

December 1999

Ahhhh, Christmas. That wonderfully joyous time of year, when people's thoughts turn to snow... well, perhaps not in this part of the world. This issue of my op-ed intro is rather short -- after all, my previous issue was a mere three weeks ago. Here goes, anyways.

Helen McCarthy has a new book out called "Hayao Miyazaki, Master of Japanese Animation." I wasn't very thrilled with her first book, "The Anime! Movie Guide," and had no interest in her second, but her latest work is worth a look. It's fairly well researched, has a fair amount of information about the animation industry in general, and works well as a general reference about Miyazaki Hayao. A few caveats, however -- it is a guide to Miyazaki's works, so it's quite a spoiler. Over half the book is a summary about seven of Miyazaki's films: Castle of Cagliostro, Nausicaa of the Valley of Winds, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porce Rosso and Princess Mononoke -- much like reading the summaries on The other major caveat is that it's not particularily well edited. You'll often end up with a sense of déja vu -- not surprising, as many tidbits of information are repeated several times throughout. The cover design and title fonts are two other minor quibbles I have, but they don't affect the content whatsoever. The book is at its best when delving into the backgrounds of the industry and Miyazaki himself. Despite its weaknesses, this is the only English language book of its kind, and worth adding to your collection -- especially if you're a fan of the Miyazaki universe.

I've been getting a lot (and I mean a lot) of e-mail written by the younger crowd -- and while I like getting e-mail, I do find it hard to read some of these which use, shall we say, a more creative version of the English language. I admit that I'm not the 'hippest' of the post baby-boomer, pre-gen-x crowd, but even I have my limits. As much as I enjoy getting and reading e-mail, it's usually much more enjoyable if I can actually decipher what's there!

Many of you have written about the status of D.A.S.H. 2000. Well, we didn't quite make our own self-imposed deadline for this year's scavenger hunt. We're moving the date to Easter 2000, and we're going to make it an even better scavenger hunt than before. Those of you wishing to contribute prizes -- consider this an open call.

[ opinion poll prize ]

In the mean while, we're going to run a new feature -- a poll. We'll take a poll about your favourite seiyu, films, and characters for any anime you've seen this year. And to make things even more interesting, we're going to offer a prize. We'll make a random draw from all the entries submitted, and give them an official Kimagure Orange Road poster (exactly as pictured above, approximately 20" x 28"). Poll closes midnight, December 31, 1999! Check out the poll form in the feedback section, or go directly to

dewa matta,

- Akio Nagatomi, 1999.12.05

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