Momose Capsule Video #3 - A Flying City Plan

The third of Yoshiyuki Momose's trilogy of music video shorts for the Japanese pop band Capsule, created in 2004-5. In honor of Momose's latest Studio Ghibli film, Piece, I thought we should revisit his previous works.

Of the three Capsule videos, which one is my favorite? I can never decide. They are all so equally brilliant. It doesn't matter, really, since they work as a trilogy, a saga about an unnamed Japanese woman from the 2060's, who travels through city streets, portable airports, futuristic space stations, glamorous fashion shows, and winds up with the handsome young man.

If there's one great quality about the Capsule videos, it's that they are freely, happily feminine. Studio Ghibli is very feminine; despite the male directors at the top, at least half of the studio's employees are women. And this shows very clearly in everything the Studio creates.

No doubt cultural values are very different in Japan vis a vis animation. Here in America, "cartoons" are pretty much the realm of nerds, of lumpy, grungy, socially unkempt males. It's a boy's thing, like ten-sided dice and video games and sci-fi. Women in the animation community are far and few between. Too far and too few, I believe. We need more of them, and we need their influence. Aren't you getting tired of the same caricatures, the same rough angles, the same boy-comic-book plots? Boom Zap Pow Pow Pow!!

I'd much rather see a feminine persepective in the West. I'd prefer to see their take on life. I'm not interested much in the same superhero fantasies, the same Star Wars cliches, the same collections of themed gags, name-the-tv-show riffs, fart jokes, and loud explosions. I don't want to see the girls play by the boys' rules. They should play by their own rules. And I'll wager good money that they'd whup the fanboys' hides in a heartbeat.

Momose's Capsule videos are a perfect illustration. It's refreshing, really, to see female empowerment fantasies, other than the males'. American animation is littered with the wreckage of teenage male sex-and-violence fantasies passed off as "adult" or "sophisticated." Ralph Bakshi comes to mind. Heavy Metal comes to mind. Rock 'N Rule comes to mind.

Yuck. No thanks. Give me Portable Airport, Space Station No. 9, A Flying City Plan. Give me Piece. Heh, heh...I didn't plan for that to sound like a pun, but it works.


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