Vague spoilers for Hunter X Hunter and Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, I think.
I don’t know if I’ve talked about this before, but when watching Hunter X Hunter, and the Demon Slayer movie, I found myself puzzle by the deaths of certain characters and the emotional toll that it placed on the protagonist. I felt that it didn’t work. The protagonist hadn’t spent enough time with the character to create a bond worthy of such pain.
Actually, I hadn’t spent enough time with the character to make me relate to the despair of the protagonist. ‘Yes, but,’ I think to myself, ‘you spent as much time as the story gives you. That should be enough to bond with the character through the protagonist, right? You have no other qualms about the writing in either story, right?’
Right. And as I was typing up my notes this morning, I found myself following a similar line of thinking concerning The Time Machine, George Pal’s 1960 adaptation of H.G. Wells’s scientific romance.
The humorous bond the time traveler creates with a distant mannequin, the change in whose outfits represent the passage of time, is forced, an obvious point to…wait a minute.
It’s me, isn’t it? I’m the issue here. I’m the one that needs much more time with a character (or real life person, to be honest) for some sort of bond to form. Ah! I get it now.
Remember when you’re analyzing or critiquing a piece of art, search for signs of yourself that may be getting in the way. Your experience and existence are integral to your unique view, but make sure that what you’re seeing in the work isn’t just a mirror.
Enjoy your stuff.