Archive for the ‘Cartoons and Animé’ Category

30 Days of Hypnosis: Day 12

What’s your favorite pop culture reference about hypnosis?

Whew! So many possibilities.

The first one that comes to mind is “The Hypnotic Eye”. A movie about a sinister stage hypnotist who entrances his lovely subjects certainly plays to many of the public misconceptions regarding hypnosis, plus the producers had a professional stage hypnotist instruct the actor how to perform on camera as well as hypnotizing the actresses to go in to a trance on cue. Regrettably, it suffers from low public knowledge so it barely registers as a pop culture icon.

Another one that comes to mind is the classic spiral motif that so represents hypnosis in popular culture. That and the spooky, swirly music that seems to always accompany it in any advertisement or television episode scene transition. The same also goes for dangling crystals and staring eyes.

But I guess my favorite has to be “Trilby”. No other work so influenced the pop culture regarding hypnosis throughout its history. It is one of the few culture icons that directly influenced the English language, with the addition of “Svengali” as a term for a manipulative mentor.

Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman” — ‘A Lavish Banquet for Guys in Trouble’

Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman is a fantasy tale set in late 19th Century Japan. When the black ships returned to Japan in the 19th Century, the 200 year old rule of the Shogun was overturned, and with it came mass social instability and rampant crime. Fortunately the people one town have a Robin Hood-like protector, Roman, who is actually “Mister Helper” by day. Aiding Roman is his sister Koharu (dressed as a ninja) and their cute dog Sakura (disguised with a kerchief over his head). There’s also a full cast of characters supporting him, whereas others are hunting him and some whose motives are still unknown.

This is Roman on the left, in disguise, and his sister Koharu beside him. In the middle is Suzuki Magoichi,  the new investigator with a hidden mission and a master of gun-fu. To the right of him is the mysterious geisha Lady Okuma with a hidden agenda herself, and on the far right is probably the villian’s comedy relief henchman.

Bakumatsu-Gijinden-Roman

A Lavish Banquet for Guys in Trouble’

The episode opens with master thief Ishikawa Gojuemon gloating over the success of his most recent robbery at the behest of Lady Okuma. What he stole wasn’t revealed, but his reward was a night with her, which didn’t exactly turn out all that well: he winds up drugged and paralyzed, laying on the matting, and they the geisha leans over him, catching his gaze as her eyes turn into hypnotic kaleidoscope patterns. In the next scene, the poor thief is wandering the streets of the city in a daze, until he is noticed by the police, upon which starts to wake up but the image of her eyes is too strong and he dives into the river to his death.

And what was stolen? It was a map of the country, the most complete map ever made, describing every natural landmark and waterway, an essential source of information for any invading army, and just it so happens there is a Western military force already established in a hidden fortress nearby, where the mysterious geisha has just delivered it. Roman and company have to invade the fortress and retrieve the map to save Japan from invasion. Magoichi is also involved, as his mysterious superior orders the death of the fortress commander. From then on, the map switches hands several times until the fortress commander rides away with it, proving in the process that he, too, is a master of gun-fu.

Commentary: If the characters, especially Roman, and the overall theme of the series appears to resemble Lupin III, it is because both were the visual creations of Monkey Punch. Whether Roman is supposed to be an ancestor of Lupin is doubtful, given the time frame, as Lupin III grandfather, the original Lupin, was French.

Mondaijitachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu yo?”

Mondaijitachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu yo?” is a new animé series based on a series of light novels about three teenagers (two girls and one guy) with extraordinary abilities who are summoned to a world to compete in a series of games. In reality, they were summoned to aid a struggling organization that was almost wiped out by a much stronger enemy through those games. Because of the hopeless situation and the opportunity it affords for the three to compete and to make friends, they all agree to join the beleaguered organization.

Of particular interest is one of the teenagers, Asuka Kudō, who is seen in the first episode (of two at the moment) ordering a subordinate around. There was a distinct special effect at that moment which led me to expect she possessed some form of verbal control, not explicitly limited to people, as she also appears to order birds as well. That was why I was interested in seeing the second episode. There, she blatantly orders an opponent not only to sit down and shut up, but then to reveal the truth of how his organization was able to defeat numerous other organizations (through hostages) and that he killed the hostages as soon as they were taken. For that, she and the other girl challenged him: that is probably the story of the next episode.

By the way, the other girl not only talks to animals but duplicates their abilities and the guy is not only incredibly strong but there may be something even more mysterious about him and his abilities. Add a whimsical character in the form of the Black Rabbit, the explanatory character and mysterious allies and enemies and this may quickly become one of my favorites. We’ll see.

Mayhem of the Music Meister!’ — “Batman: The Brave and the Bold”

And so for me, it’s destiny to be the maestro of villainy!
Yes I’m the Music Meister, and I’m here to settle the score!”

In the most unusual of all of the episodes of “Batman: The Brave and the Bold”, an all-singing, all-dancing episode, where heroes and villains alike fall under power of the hypnotic melodies of the Music Meister!

⇒ Continue reading “Mayhem of the Music Meister!’ — “Batman: The Brave and the Bold””

The Eyes Have It’ (1945)

Donald Duck gets a hypnotism kit in the mail, complete with hypno-goggles and an instruction book that tells him to “Select a Subject of Low Intelligence”, and so he selects his dog Pluto. Stereotypical hilarity results.

⇒ Continue reading “The Eyes Have It’ (1945)”

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