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My memories are locked and hidden in a bejeweled treasure chest; they’re tucked away into the crispy corners of a cinnamon apple tart. When my time is ripe, they’ll cling to my smiling creases and crows’ feet, and they will dye my dark locks into wispy clouds of gray and white. Such is the case for an elderly man who lives his remaining days in a stagnant world where companionship is fleeting and where silence has begun to wholly consume his inner heart. His memories are his only saviors.
Created by Kunio Kato, La Maison et Petits Cubes is a short animated film that won the Academy award in 2009. The tale depicts, in a lovely, grainy texture, a world eaten by the sea. Amidst the many towering houses scattered every which way, a lonely man lives in a small house-like cubicle (I say cubicle because it’s a single, tiny room) above the lapping, gaping mouths of the sea. When the sea lurches upwards and into his room, he buys bricks and cement mixture in bulk from the traveling salesman and immediately sets out to construct his new room, which is shown to be on top of his current roof. He layers brick by brick, through sunshine and rain, until his new humble abode is finished and ready for living.
The old man then starts to pack up his belongings from his old room to shift into his new room. He uses a boat to freely move around now because by this time, his old room is engulfed nearly halfway up in seawater. Usually his days pass away without a glimpse of life, but on this particular day, he accidentally drops his smoking pipe into the sea, and as he watches, it sinks lower and deeper into the abyss. Deeming his lost pipe irreplaceable, he seeks to retrieve it by renting a scuba diving suit from the salesman. And thus the simple act of dropping his smoking pipe into the sea leads him onto a bittersweet trip of nostalgic heartache.
As he plunges into the sea, clutters of memories, one by one, flutter and swarm in his mind’s eye: his smiling wife in her youth, his baby daughter taking her first walking steps, him kneeling and proposing to his wife--memories so vital and deeply intertwined into the fiber and essence of his being, memories of a time when true happiness was just a touch or word away. But as he recalls these hazy memories into fine detail, he realizes that reminiscing about his past will make his present life worthwhile because memories are undying; they’re meant to be thought about and treasured through the course of longevity, not forgotten or cast off into oblivion.
In a mere 12 minutes, the transient beauty of one man’s struggle against loneliness unfolds, second by ticking second, and the audience is held captive, all withholding their breaths, awaiting the next scene. Through his smoking pipe, the man is able to recover his memories once dead and buried so deeply in his heart. His memories breathe life into his disjointed and comatose present, allowing him to cherish his distant past as well as the thought of tomorrow.
I have not the right words with which to express my love for this short animated film, so you must watch it for yourself!
Starting acoustic guitar at the early age of 9, Kenji Ueda was destined to be a musical fanatic. After seeing a KISS performance, he picked up the electric guitar. Ueda’s roots and influences branch from a huge variety of bands such as: The Sex Pistols, Star Club, ARB, Anarchy, and Roosters.
At the age of 18, Ueda dropped out of high school to go form the band Kenzi & The Trips. A year later, the band was disbanded and Ueda sought to create his own band. Ueda invited former drummer of Kenzi & The Trips Shinchiro Sato, former vocalist of The Coin Locker Babies Sawao Yamanaka, and guitarist of Persia Yoshiaki Manabe. And on September 16th 1989, The Pillows were officially formed.
In 1991, The Pillows released their first album Moon Gold, and in 1992 their second album White Incarnation. Unfortunately around the same time Ueda left the group due to growing differences between him and the rest of the band members. Yamanaka took over leadership of the group, and it wasn’t until 1994 that the band released a new album, Kool Spice, with their replacement bassist Tatsuya Kashima. In 1999, after the band’s 7th album release, Kashima was replaced by Jun Suzuki as the bassist for the band.
Some of the biggest hits from The Pillows came from their theme song contributions to the anime FLCL. Songs such as: Advice, Little Busters, One Life, Instant Music, Happy Bivouac, Runners High, Carnival, and Ride on Shooting Star were all major theme songs and helped to catapult both the anime’s and the band’s popularity. Since their first success, The Pillows have contributed to other animes such as Ben 10 and Stitch – Itazura Alien no Daibouken.
In total The Pillows have released 16 albums, and from those albums 10 songs have been featured in anime as theme songs. With their latest album OoParts (Out of Place Artifacts) just released in 2009, The Pillows may have another album out shortly. And even with all their amazing contributions to the musical industry, The Pillows still seem to be going strong 11 years later!
To fulfill their dream, Nagato, Yahiko, and Konan walk through the war zone in search of Jiraiya, hoping to learn ninjutsu from him. After completing their training, the three form an organization with Yahiko as its leader.
Stark splits his own soul and shapes it into packs of wolves and launches them against Love and Rose. Preparing to deliver the finishing blow, Stark is caught off guard by Shunsui, who suddenly appears out of Stark’s shadow. Despite his best efforts to dodge the attacks, Stark is gradually weakened. Just then the wolves, headed by Lilinette, swarm over Shunsui. He brushes them off, and the wolves disappear. Stark calls out for Lilinette but hears no reply.
Lambo employs his Vongola Box’s power to defeat Kikyo’s Box Weapon, Nuvola Velociraptor. But Lambo, exhausted from exerting himself, falls asleep soon after, and Kikyo takes this opportunity to get back at him by opening his Carnage Box!
Word of the Day
デコる (pronounced: deh-koh-roo) This is a verb which means to decorate your cell phone, with crazy beads type of things, like many Japanese girls do with theirs.