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Monday, July 10, 2006

ABe Appreciation Week: NieA_7

Some of my very favorite anime series bear the creative imprint of the incomparably talented Yoshitoshi ABe, and I’ve decided to devote some space on the blog this week to a tribute to some of his work. I’ll begin with the wistful, comedic, and ultimately rather mysterious NieA_7 (“NieA under 7”), a thirteen episode series about a starving, introverted student who lives with an alien squatter NieA who constantly eats her food. Throughout the series, themes of alienation, alien immigration, discrimination, the awkwardness of devotion, the presence of the past are all woven with a surprisingly light and graceful touch into a series of comic plots that can get surreal and loud in a flash. The series was based on a doujinshi by Yoshitoshi ABe, and many of the people who worked on NieA_7 were also involved in ABe’s more famous and considerably darker series Serial Experiments Lain, to which I’ll turn later in ABe Appreciation week.

This AMV is marvellous, I think, but its darkness is actually a bit out of sync with the spirit of the series itself, which is rather like a kinder, gentler FLCL, if that means anything to you. More ABe appreciation to come soon.

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