Initially daily but now sporadic blog about anime and world animation with a specific focus on the artists behind the work. Written by Ben Ettinger.
September 2004
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Archives for: September 2004, 01

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

08:03:51 pm , 241 words, 2119 views     Categories: Animation

Ninku notes

I had a chance to watch the early Ninku episodes recently, and I was struck how incredibly Utsunomiya they looked. It's impressive the degree to which Tetsuya Nishio was consciously able to model his style after Utsynomiya. His designs are a good example of how to design characters to make them easy to move. And the influence of the late episodes of Hakkenden, which came out the year before, featuring as they did Utsunomiya himself, is just as patently obvious. This series features a lot of Utsunomiya-school action done by a number of animators who would later go on to become among the more promiment animators of today, so it's interesting to look back on their work ten years ago. Besides those I mentioned before - Atsushi Wakabayashi, Tetsuya Nishio - these are the others of note in the series:

Yutaka Nakamura: 12, 19, 21
Kazuto Nakazawa: 14, 51
Ko Yoshinari: 14, 22, 30, 45
Yoshinari brothers: 22
Tatsuya Tomaru: 22, 45, 51
Jiro Kanai: 43
Nobutake Ito: 44, 48, 50, 54, 55
Masahiko Kubo: 45, 51
Michio Mihara: 39

Yutaka Nakamura pioneered his own original style a few years afterwards in Cowboy Bebop. I'm unfamiliar with Tatsuya Tomaru's work, but now curious to sample it, seeing that he was trusted with the daunting task of AD on Steam Boy. Jiro Kanai is a Studio 4°C regular, and Masahiko Kubo (layout, co-AD) and Nobutake Ito (key animator of the finale) are two of the most important figures behind the animation of Mind Game. Interesting to note that even Michio Mihara is there.

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

01:35:50 pm , 307 words, 957 views     Categories: Animation

Oh brother

The Bros Yoshinari

A quick correction, it was actually Ko Yoshinari (吉成鋼), Yo Yoshinari's elder brother, who was in the opening of the most recent FMA. He did the part with the person diving into the waterfall. I didn't realize until just recently that Yo Yoshinari's brother was also an animator, so I assumed it was just a typo!

Die Gebrüder Hashimoto

Another pair of brothers I seen a lot of is the Hashimoto brothers, Shinji (橋本晋司) and Koichi (橋本浩一). Shinji I've already talked about, but his elder brother (by three years), who was one of the reasons Shinji got into animation, has also done much good work, in Hakkenden 1, Memories, etc. He was also co-AD in Satoru Utsunomiya's Gosenzosama Banbanzai.

I've always noticed a few other Hashimotos, though apparently they're unrelated to Shinji and Koichi: Takashi Hashimoto (橋本敬史), who was an animator in Memories Episode 2: Stink Bomb, Superflat Monogram and Ghost in the Shell, animation director of Digimon Adventure 2, and FX animation director of Steam Boy; and Seiichi Hashimoto (橋本誠一), who was an animator in Cowboy Bebop, Sentimental Journey, Escaflowne, Planetes, and the Mars Daybreak OP.

Les frères Suzuki

Most recently I've seen a lot of another brother team, the Suzuki brothers Tatsuya and Takuya (鈴木竜也, 鈴木卓也), who are currently providing fight animation for Samurai Champloo. Before that they were animation directors in Gasaraki and animators in numerous other shows, always without fail appearing together, like inseparable twins.

τοι αδελφοι Dezaki

If we go back a bit in history we come across another pair of brothers, the Dezaki brothers. Osamu is the more famous of the two, but his brother Tetsu (出崎哲) is also very prolific as a director, having started out at TMS in 1971 around the time his brother started working there due to the closing of Mushi Pro. He is still active as a director, these days mostly directing children's educational films.