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, 19

Sunday, September 19, 2004

03:26:02 pm , 334 words, 2559 views     Categories: Animation, Movie


It was worth sitting through the mind-numbingly pretentious train wreck that is Innocence just to see the last scene, which was as impressive as I was expecting it to be judging from the lineup. If there's one thing I like about Shinya Ohira, it's that he can be relied on to blow your mind every time. He's one of the few animators active today whose scenes consistently thrill and push the envelope of animation. Since coming back to animation a few years ago after having left the animation world out of disgust with the slap in the face that was Hakkenden episode 10, he seems to have found a new, almost messianic sense of purpose, like a voice in the wilderness shouting the unlimited potention of animation to a world gone deaf to that potential.

Ohira's work, always maniacal, now emanates a ferocious, almost terrifying energy. Every piece he does is more impressive than the last and reaches new heights of raw power and assuredness. He seems to have outgrown his phase of experimentation and searching, and finally returned to his original calling as an animator. After seeing the crescendo of his work in recent years, one begins to wonder: How far will Shinya Ohira go? He has already left behind the entire industry. He's one of the few creators who is sure to go on surprising us for some time to come. After experiencing the indescribable thrill of his work, who can ever be satisfied with boring, normal animation?

Satoru Utsunomiya and Takeshi Honda also do some damned incredible work in their sections, but unsurprisingly, Shinji Hashimoto, Ohira's friend and longtime collaborator, provides the the most identifiable and thrillingly individual performance after Ohira's. I really have to hand it to Hiroyuki Okiura. He pulled off the feat of getting great work out of these brilliant but highly idiosyncratic animators by casting them each in the spot where their respective stylistic quirks would be drawn out to the maximum and still work within the film.