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.
October 2004
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Archives for: October 2004, 21

Thursday, October 21, 2004

08:03:18 pm , 281 words, 1721 views     Categories: Animation

Hiramatsu & Beck

I was reading an interview with Tadashi Hiramatsu, the character designer and AD of ep 1 of Re: Cutey Honey and AD of eps 1, 3 and 6 of FLCL, and one thing that came up was that he approaches the act of designing a character (and he does not consider himself to be a designer but an animator first and foremost) with the animators in mind rather than as a means of personal expression. Obviously aesthetic plays some part in all designs, but what makes his approach exceptional is that most of the time these days it's taken for granted that the aesthetic side takes precedence over practicality. And the reason is obvious: most of the time there's no need to create a character that is easy to move because the designs are the end, not the means, and animation will be present in the capacity of spice, not meat. It was also interesting to discover that he shares my passion for pre-baroque music. I also went through my conductor mania stage many years ago, comparing the rubato or the tempo of this Walter 5th with that Weingartner or Furtwangler wartime or what not, and he makes an amusingly apt point about the similarity of this mindset to the that of animator freaks like myself.

Episode 3 of Beck was not in fact done by Osamu Kobayashi. It seemed unlikely that it would be. That's just too much work for one person. So it's not surprising that I was slightly disappointed by the results. Animation unimpressive, pacing and dramatic balance unconvincing. I realize now that without the sensitive directing of the first two eps this story is revealed for the stock growing-up drama it is.