Alien 9 / Alien Nine Forum

Hitoshi Tomizawa
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Author:  FleetingMischief [ Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Hitoshi Tomizawa

Reading the manga finally makes it very clear to me that Hitoshi is as conceptual as everyone makes him out to be. As a kid, when I first saw Alien 9 it was hard to understand, and my initial thoughts were that he merely made the story, just to get the awesome borg concept out of his head. That was it for me, it was all about the cool borgs. But soon Alien 9 faded away.

A year or two, or three, later, I thought about Alien 9 again. I eventually dived into concepts, theories, essays and other ideas and thoughts. I understood then what people were talking about, and understood where they were coming from. But I never "felt" it for myself. Because I never felt it for myself, sometimes I had doubts, like what-if the original artist just intended for it to be just a story, and they're all just going too deep into it. I believe my initial thought as a 13 or 14 year old kept me from feeling more about it. But I wanted to feel what they were feeling, because I wanted people to do the same for me when I made a deep, conceptual manga.

Finally having the mangas in present time, though I'm still waiting for no. 2 to come in, I can finally say that I feel it. The biggest thing I feel, instead of in the anime, was not Yuri's fear, but of the pressure of society on children. I feel it big time. I might even get more out of it with no. 2 comes in. But so far, I'm really getting it.

I guess the manga format is easier for me to understand, and maybe because I'm old enough now to come to more conclusions than something is cool. But also, it helped me move away from the recollection of older thoughts and ideals from when I watched the anime. I showed the anime to everyone I knew, friends and acquaintances, at least 30 people, and each time I thought of it as just a show with cool borgs. So it was hard to move away from that, because I watched it each time without the intention of feeling more for it.

Going back to the, "what-if the original artist just intended for it to be just a story, and they're all just going too deep into it." It is now beyond a doubt clear that was his intention. For everyone to interpret his work. During an interview he was asked about the theme of symbiosis appearing in all of his works. He replied that the readers will interpret it in different ways, and he didn't want to comment on it, or else he would limit them. I'm impressed, not only did he mention that people will interpret it differently, but the fact that his word on it, would change everything. It would become official, if he mentioned anything about it. Also, the fact that he didn't participate in the animation is very fascinating. Many times manga artists would just check in now and again, some would over look everything, while he just wanted them to interpret it themselves, entirely.

Can you just imagine if you were a manga artist and a company comes to your door and they offer you a deal to over look the animation of your story? I'd be like, heck yes, I'm gonna' make sure you do it right. I want the voices to sound good, I want this scene to look this way, etc. etc.. To give someone your story, something that is yours entirely, and hand it over to them to give them artistic freedom, is absolutely, genuinely, crazy.

That is, unless the intention from the very start was just that. To allow people to take from your story, imagination, taste, opinion, ideas, concepts, and to turn it into something entirely their own. Making it very different for each reader who picks it up, it means many different things to different people. From just super cool, to growing up, to social pressures, to emotional turmoil, to friendship, or to everything and more. It is just a brilliant piece of work, and for some people it takes more than just one look to realize it.

Author:  Sai [ Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:33 am ]
Post subject: 

Glad you've been able to pickup some of the manga so far. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. That's interesting that the author didn't have any involvement in the anime. I think the anime did a good job of covering some of the manga. It stayed very close to the first parts of the manga and did a great job to add its own spin to parts such as embelishing upon the summer holiday to fill a whole episode. They found awesome voice actors and a very unique soundtrack artist. The production quality overall was good.

Just a shame that in the ending it showed a scene from the manga but then didn't show any of the surrounding alien aspects to that scene. Leading some to come to various conclusions such as e.g. Kasumi killed Kumi. It's unclear if maybe the anime wanted to interpret things differently and use its own ending or whether they had planned to continue the cliffhanger and finish the rest of the manga (including the reasons behind the Kumi scene). As you say the author probably didn't mind but I do think at least in terms of the ending a different approach would of been better.

For example recently I noticed the main website got some hits from being linked in the following article:
"I hate this Anime because the ending is CRAP"
(the mention of Alien Nine is second from the bottom)

Author:  FleetingMischief [ Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:06 am ]
Post subject: 

Hello Sai!

Alien Nine volume 2 finally came in today. It is very apparent that Hitoshi Tomizawa made the attempt to make Kasumi look like the killer many times in this volume.

[spoiler]The first scene where Kasumi finds Kumi is the first time the author does this. Another time is when Yuri is crying, and Kasumi is still very happy. Yuri asks, "Aren't you sad, Kasumi?" The only response she gets is Kasumi blushing and still smiling. Another time that hints that Kasumi has changed is when she is ripping her borg open to suit up. Kumi, before she is attacked tells Yuri to be careful. Kasumi has changed. The last part that makes Kasumi look like she killed Kumi is when they are in the library. She is seen apparently staring at Yuri intensely. Her borg seems to be ready to attack Yuri. Yuri shudders in fear, actually thinking Kasumi will kill her and cowers with her borg protecting her. But she is actually just targeting the actual murder behind Yuri.

Only in the end we realize that Yellow Knife has figured out what the borgs are doing, and that they value the humans. Kasumi must have been acting strange just because she is really happy with Yellow Knife.

The anime creators did a good job making it seem like Kasumi was the killer too, but just by including the first scene. I do have to admit. I am uncertain if they decided to just cliffhanger it there, or if they did want to continue it-- but as for making Kasumi appear to be the murderer, they seemed to have been following the manga for that.

What I find interesting though, is that in the anime, they chose to have Kasumi come out naked, choking Kumi. While in the manga Kasumi has her clothes on. I wonder why they decided to go with it without clothes. It might have just been for fan service. Everything else in the scene was very powerful and pretty suspenseful. However, a bit slow with too much dialog from Kumi. If it wasn't for that I'd say that was a solid scene.

Another thing I'd like to talk about is Kasumi's eyebrows. I have a strong feeling that it has to do with her big brother. I think the author was trying to combine the concept of Kasumi and her brother. Somehow, because of Yellow Knife, he has allowed Kasumi to become one with her brother. Even if it isn't really her brother and it is just Yellow Knife.

To give you a visual just place both your hands palm down to cover Kasumi's pigtails and eyelashes. Stare at it for a while until you see a boy. Do this on both volumes 2 and 3. If you want to know what Kasumi's brother looks like-- I believe that is it. Now every time Kasumi looks in the mirror she can see her brother, and I'm sure that Yellow Knife uses her brother's voice to talk to her. I also think if we were to hear audio, if Yellow Knife talked to anyone-- maybe it would sound like her brother's voice.

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