Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hakugei--now Moby Dick is anime too!

Sometimes I just search for "Moby Dick." I search through multiple search engines. I even search through Netflix to see what movie versions I come up with.

I found an anime version of Moby Dick:

Hakugei: Legend of the Moby Dick from 2005

I was really pleased with this.

With Crunchyroll and Netflix through my Roku, the device that streams internet video into my TV, I have been watching a ton of anime. So it is only natural that I also watch the anime version of Moby Dick.

Taking place in the year 4699, the whale hunters are actually space wreckage salvagers. Since the wreckage, coined as "whales," moves pretty fast, they go after it like the harpooners in their little boats. That is a pretty neat update idea. And anime can show it really well.

Moby Dick is a giant robot in space, in actuality, a Federation cannon capable of destroying a planet. So now it is Death Star Moby Dick. Pretty cool.

It is very Blade Runner-esque. It's not the prettiest of space worlds and that is cool.

There is the Nantucket Nebula; the Ishmael character says "Call me Lucky" in the beginning, even soliloquizing like the Ishmael of the book; Ahab has quite a cool lead-up and entrance; Queequeg is a nice yet powerful giant already on the crew.

In Episode 3, the crew remarks that Ahab has had obsessions before: "'Another obsession begins...Oh, no, not another one.'"

It is really interesting when Ahab and Lucky are talking about the Moby Dick cannon threatening the world of Moab and Ahab going berzerk, shouting, "'Twas whiter than snow, wasn't it." He also shouts, "Just as I thought: The Great White is alive!" Then the tale of Ahab losing his left eye and leg is related.

The only thing I don't understand so far is the android character of "Dew." He had a run-in with the Moby Dick in the opening of the first episode, with the whale implanting some device into his chest. Moby Dick tells him, "You will become me and I will become you. We are now joined by a strong bond." It's okay if Dew has nothing to do with the original book but it is another intriguing aspect.

I have just watched the first disc but I really liked it. Great animation and the story is well done. Maybe this is also the power of a tale like Moby Dick. If you can bring it out of its original setting and begin again, then it is a powerful tale that truly cuts across borders. Like updating Shakespeare into different settings, this works.

Somebody else is wondering...

Book Buzz: Why Read Moby-Dick?

Book Buzz: Tension City, Why Read Moby-Dick?:

I love it--it's now a book. Why Read Moby-Dick?

Nathaniel Philbrick is a great writer in his own right. I really enjoyed his book about the whaleshipEssex--it completely captivated me, and I usually don't like non-fiction at all.

The author of this article calls the book "a passionate and convincing text." There is no personal opinion on Moby Dick itself.

But check out this "argument." If I had a student write this, I would have the student express why the quote proves the point:

"but when he quotes Melville, the text soars and Melville’s prose becomes Philbrick’s best argument for reading the book: 'While gliding through these latter waters that one serene and moonlight night, when all the waves rolled by like scrolls of silver; and, by their soft, suffusing seethings, made what seemed a silvery silence, not a solitude. ... '"

Yes, I agree, that sentence is awesome. Should we consider Moby Dick just a long, great sounding poem then? The term novel just doesn't fit then anymore, especially if you consider structure.

I love how this piece ends:

If anyone is still awaiting the arrival of The Great American Novel(s), give it up. They have already been written. The first is “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and the second is “Moby-Dick, or, The Whale.”

I just taught Huck Finn and didn't have a great experience either. But Huck Finn has a narrative structure.