My remembrance may or may not last longer than these Youtube videos staying up, in the midst of all the copyright/internet legislation governments all over the world are attempting. It won’t matter that my purposes here are, nor do I expect authorities or “owners” to even attempt to find out the context. But for now, I am here and offer these to the director of at least three anime that changed my life in terms of appreciation of media and narrative in general.
Noburo Ishiguro passed away yesterday. I never knew anything biographical about him, only knowing that he directed the anime that he did. The list includes Space Battleship Yamato, Super Dimension Fortress Macross, and Legend of the Galactic Heroes. These are shows that I’ve seen in three distinct stages of my life as a fan of anime: infancy (I also happened to have seen Yamato, er, Starblazers before kindergarten age), childhood (I saw Macross while in elementary), and maturity (I saw LotGH at age 32, while I was already blogging anime). Just thinking about it leaves me profoundly impressed, for him to have such an impact on my taste and appreciation.
I can never really and will never really relate to Ishiguro as a person. An anime work has so many contributions for me to distinguish something so concrete to attribute to an individual even with as big a role as chief director. I can only acknowledge the value of the works that exist due to his contributions, with fondness and at times reverence.
What can I say now that I haven’t already said about Macross? Let me try. There are a number of directorial flourishes, especially in Do You Rememberl Love? that truly captured my imagination. This one scene in the beginning of the film when the Zentraedi Regulds penetrate the SDF-1 and take the battle into the city. The way things stood still for just a moment, before gravity disappeared and this whole spread of outdoor restaurant tables and chairs went up in the air, then the cars, and then Minmay…
Hikaru catches Minmay using his Gerwalk’s hand.
This was the kind of stuff that stays with me throughout my life. I’ve seen DYRL at least 12 times in full. I’ve never watched an animated film as many times in my life as this one.
I’ll end with this third and last video, from the third season of LotGH. It’s special to us (the founders of WRL) in that we find ourselves singing along solemnly, saluting the monitor as the OP plays as if some kind of national anthem. It’s very silly of us, no doubt. However what I want to point out is the effect this show has on us. It has the power to inspire reverence.
And some of that reverence I give to Ishiguro Noboru. I never knew you, but I know your work and it made a difference to me. Paalam.