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Ojisan no Lamp
03 December 2011
Reasons why I rarely watch western films is that it doesn’t take anything out of the usual norm. Independent films, or festival films are much more enjoyable to watch, since they offer something interesting or often time something to reflect upon. I am hearing a lot about the Young Animator Training Project, and I like that aspiring artist get the chance to show the world their ideas and concept. The best of them (which gathered from the internet) is this one: Ojisan no Lamp. I was thinking its uncle’s lamp. But it can also fall on Old man’s lamp. So I’ll just let the original title aside.
The focus of the piece is old vs new. It’s simple but it reflects how people tend to see things when life suddenly changes to what they are used to. I also like that it somewhat puts a message to the Japanese culture of “tried and tested formula” like what TV stations in my country do, by airing YuYuHakusho, Slam Dunk, Detective Conan, Old Hunter Hunter like to the nth time. The kid is fed up on his usual life and wanted something new to his life. Well, that’s what kids do. They’re impatient, they want something new. Discovering the wonders of lamp, how it can light your path during the dark is a nice way to put symbolism into the kids discovery of finding his moment in life. That light lead him to a path of success as he got fascinated by it. I was initially thinking that this would be that candle and the month story, where the lamp will also bring to his downfall. Which gladly, it didn’t. The part where the boy got his first lamp and we see mythical being showing up, like he founded a whole new world by the lamp. It became his messiah. The Japanese tend to love idolizing things.
The conflict of this show, is where technology is outpacing his dreams. He can’t accept that his lamps won’t be much use when electricity goes to his home town. It kind of goes in a way, if relating to our culture, religion takes on this defensive stance to counter the times of change. The cases of condoms and the ill-famous RH bill which the catholic so dominantly opposed to. The bible, which has been codex of the Christian tradition heavily defended the unobstructed cycle of life (as deducted by the scholars). I won’t be digging any deeper on the subject, but like how the Catholic lax itself in the position of women in the society, as also to the condemnation of slavery where it didn’t see anything distasteful then, would be inclined to accept the reality that the world doesn’t need more humans what we have now. The anime went to a good ending, despite the sorrowful acceptance of our young lad, he moved on in life. What should religion do: move on.
Just a side note: I’m a catholic by religion. But I don’t believe in religion as my stance now. I believe in God, but I don’t believe that religion is essential to communicate with God. I can elaborate my stance on this, but I’ll leave it to my personal blog if I have the time to write something about it.
Overall, this piece is good. It’s simple and it has all the right queues in the scenes. It’s paced correctly, that in the end I feel content. I recommend this to people wanting to have that peaceful but reflective anime work.
Episode Rating: 5/5