Monday, May 4, 2015

Katsuhiro Otomo: On Domu

"At the time I lived in a newly developed area just outside of central Tokyo. The people I met were the type one only finds in a big city. For example, a carpenter I used to drink with at a nearby bar went into a total moral decline soon after I met him. On the other hand, the bartender at that same bar was a former criminal trying to become a decent citizen. He had had his underworld tattoos erased but was unable to control his alcoholism. While I was living in the area, a huge public housing project was completed and soon filled with low-income couples with newborn babies. They never seemed to adapt to this sort of crowded urban living, but they found themselves trapped in that world. Nevertheless, I enjoyed being around those people."

-Katsuhiro Otomo, Interview in Domu (1980-1981)-

I suspect, no matter our circumstance, living arrangement, socio-economic status, sometimes we all feel a bit trapped and imprisoned in the day to day push and pull of our lives. Sometimes we want to escape but are certainly unable to do so. At least that's true for most of us.

Katsuhiro Otomo really captures that sense of imprisonment in his stunning manga story Domu. An anime film would be something special, because it's hard to imagine Hollywood pulling off such an uncompromising feat.

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