Notes From The Outside: Dead Leaves Blow Away
Dead Leaves might just be an imitation of US animation?! Say it ain't so!
My Disciples, I come amongst you on the eve of this New Year with a revelation for you. There I was, happily seated upon my throne, partaking of a virtual feast of Doritos and soda while watching a classic of American cinema. Suddenly, I felt a dark presence enter the room. I looked up in time to see my wife's exquisite form glide across the room and silently eject the DVD in the player, just as Stallone pulled out his big knife to kill some evil foreigners. The DVD player closed again, and the screen flickered to life and the revelation began.
It is only now as I put thought to paper that I am able to take in the full experience of what I have seen. I understand now how the Japanese people see us Americans. I have borne witness, my children, to an anime created in Japan and used to describe how American cartoons are seen through anime eyes. I have gazed upon genius in the form of Dead Leaves.
I would explain the plot or the premise of Dead Leaves, but that is secondary to the real power of this masterpiece of cartoon art. The power of Dead Leaves is this: it has taken an epic story worthy of an entire series and condensed it to an American-sized attention span of slightly under an hour. This epic on drugs is then sprinkled with enough juvenile sex humor and enough fart and dick jokes to fill your average Kevin Smith film. Finally, it is colored in hues to give Barney fits of madness. The combined effect is that of an epileptic ferret on crack.
I see this anime and I see me. I see us. The Japanese look at us, and they see the ferret slavering over our Rambo flicks and masturbating to pro wrestling. Of course after seeing America in all its glory, they have given us anime for the masses. I feel that all anime should be redone like this. Call it the adult FOX make-over. Imagine it: Akira where Kaneda and Tetsuo talk about Tetsuo's powers and how he could use them to pick up chicks. This would be great, especially if you could take the story and tell it in fifteen minutes or so.
That is it, my children, the revelation of Dead Leaves. Anime for Americans: short, filthy, shiny and fairly pointless. An all-American recipe for network success. Now go, spread my scripture and start working on the half-hour Evangelion for me. Just remember the Asuka fanservice, because that is where the true keys to heaven lie, my children.
Until next time, my flock. This is just another note from the outside.