Wrong About Japan: Peter Carey

★★½

This book caught my eye a while ago, not long after my return from Japan, because I hoped it would tell me a bit more about the country’s lively manga and anime culture. Only now have I got round to reading it (as lighter fare alongside the first five books of Livy’s History of Rome) and I’ve been left feeling rather perplexed. What is it actually meant to be? Part memoir, part travelogue, part pop-culture history, part social analysis, it skips between different guises without ever really settling on one, or fulfilling any. Strangely unsatisfying, it’s perhaps best described as a father-son road movie, in which Carey and his manga-obsessed twelve-year-old son Charley fly to Japan in search of the truth behind this international art phenomenon.

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Inside Out

Inside Out

★★★★

(Pixar, directed by Pete Docter, 2015)

In many ways I’m just an overgrown child (this’ll become evident if we ever have cause to discuss trebuchets or jousting). Although I do watch and read a lot of serious things, I also have a soft spot for well-made films aimed at kids, and a new film has just been added to my personal Hall of Fame: the magical Inside Out. Prepare for a lot of pictures.

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Brave

Brave

★★★★

(directed by Brenda Chapman, 2012)

Despite all the serious musing on books around here, I’m really still a child at heart. I’d been looking forward to Brave since I saw the first teaser posters about six months ago: the animation looked superb. During the last few months, it rapidly became clear from the enthusiastic reaction in the States that this was a different kettle of fish altogether from its Pixar/Disney predecessors.

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How to Train Your Dragon

How to Train Your Dragon

(Dreamworks, directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, 2010)

Because everyone needs a bit of a break now and again.  A couple of friends had told me I would love this film and so, when I saw it discounted in HMV, I thought I’d give it a go.  It turns out that my friends know me only too well: I settled down with a glass of wine and had a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours.

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