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.
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Archives for: November 2005, 25

Friday, November 25, 2005

11:19:25 am , 629 words, 1678 views     Categories: Animation, Misc

Misc notes

I vaguely recognized the name of the animation director of Slime Adventures, Toshihisa Kaiya, but I couldn't remember what he'd done. On looking into it, I found that he's the CD of IGPX, which is probably where I remembered seeing his name. Recently he did animation in Mind Game, Jin-Roh, Memories, and was animation director of SAC 12, which also happened to be one of the eps storyboarded by Masayuki Yoshihara. In the past he was animation director of shows like Akazukin Chacha and Miracle Girls. He started out at Asia-Do along with Yuasa and is now at IG. Kaiya and Yuasa had already worked together a few years earlier on Fam and Ihrie, where Kaiya was CD/AD and Yuasa did layout.

I read something that helped to explain what it was that made Mushishi feel different. It's the fact that the base of the animation is 2s rather than the limited 3s of most TV anime, and the "mushi" are animated in 1s. People are so unaccustomed to seeing 1s on TV that reportedly many seem to have thought it was CGI, but no, it's all hand drawn. Aside from that, they put great effort into having the voice actors read their lines in as unostentatious and realistic a manner as possible, cutting out all of the overacting that usually defines voice acting in anime.

The finale of Noein 7 had some of the best quality work since the first ep. The animation was fantastic, but more than that the combination of animation, CGI, VFX and SFX there seems exemplary of what they're trying to do with the show. I was surprised to see Matsumoto in the credits, and thought it might be him at first, but judging by his low place in the credits it seems more likely that he only did two or three obvious shots in the jar. So I'm very curious to know who it was. Perhaps it was Takahiro Kishida. I don't know his style enough to be sure, though he seems the likely candidate, as the characters in all of the rest of the ep looked completely off-model while suddenly that part had the unique texture of his drawings. I was expecting to have to wait at least another month to see Matsumoto in the show, so it was a nice surprise. Rumor has it Utsunomiya may also be involved, so there may be a real knockout ep coming up.

It's interesting to see that though Kishida is the character designer he hasn't done any animation directing. He's only showed up as an animator. Supposedly he may be focusing on the layout, but unfortuantely nowadays there is no credit for layout so there's no way of knowing for sure. Normally the layout is drawn by the key animator in question based on the storyboard, but there are exceptions, among the more famous being when Miyazaki drew layout for every shot of every episode of Marco and Heidi. Controlling this innocuous element can decisively change the whole mood of a shot and hence show.

It seems the third piece in the Momose trilogy was in fact included on that Short Short DVD despite not being listed early on, perhaps due to the fact that it was still touring theaters. I've also heard that Osamu Tanabe's Doredore no Uta short included on the same DVD has been nominated for an Academy award or something. I'm curious what will come of that. Tanabe deserves the recognition. He's been doing some of the most interesting work at Ghibli for years now.

I watched 4°C's Fluximation shorts. Besides being happy to see Yasuhiro Aoki in there, I thought the realistic animation in the Hiroyuki Kitakubo piece looked like it might have been done by Ohira. Strange combination.