The other day my daughter asked me what the best anime is (daughters ask such things), I answered without hesitation.
"Akira, by Katsuhiro Otomo."
And I proceeded to tell her the little story so that she would learn not to ask daddy too early.
My mind flew back to a summer night (09/13/1990) when I turned on Metropolis, the cultural program on the second channel of Spanish Public TV where they played the most modern and groundbreaking content, the kind of content that a teenager with artistic sensibility expects.
I remember I was watching TV with my brother and we went to see what was on, in my memory there were only two channels then, but I'm probably fooling myself, and then we saw it.
At that time I did not identify what I was seeing, I understood the pieces of the images but I did not understand what it was, they were cartoons but it was nothing even remotely similar to anything I had ever seen, like a possessed person I started recording on the VHS video without stopping to think about what family event I was destroying (maybe that Teresa Rabal's greeting to my father from the empty bullring of Zaragoza).
Then the trance kidnapped me, the music of Japanese drums and the sound of breathing took me out of my reality and transported me to those impossible motorcycles that left trails of light in their path, the extreme violence, the neon lights of Neo-Tokyo.
During those 20 minutes everything I had once considered "a work of art" was left in the 19th century, what was happening before my eyes and that I would still take time to assimilate, made me cross the gates of perception.
The program ended and I stopped the recording, I immediately went to sleep because my brain was exhausted. I never watched that video again, the images have remained absolutely vivid in my mind ever since, and more importantly the feeling of rapture.
Art in capital letters should be that, it should leave you speechless, it should transcend the human experience itself.
Over the summer I got a great review of "Rumbo a Bosque Perdido", (available at MilComics and The Green Room) on Caballero de Castilla, Santiago Bobillo's blog, and I was really struck by the fact that instead of focusing on the art, it dealt with the story and gave it a very good review. My toughest critic, my mother, also rated it very well.
Sometimes you do things without concerns, just for fun, and that's how things turn out better.