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: February 2006, 13

Monday, February 13, 2006

09:45:12 am , 398 words, 2486 views     Categories: Animation, Misc, Indie

Misc shorts

I just noticed that Reiko Yokosuka completed a new film last summer - GAKI: Biwa Houshi. It'd be a delight to be able to see a new film from Yokosuka every year. I hope she continues. The film feels a nice solid length, the movement is as exciting as ever, and I love the way the droll sense of humor mixes with the traditional motifs.

Another film from the Best of Ottawa I rather liked was Walkampf, a music video directed by Andreas Hykade, who previous did the interesting-looking Ring of Fire short. I couldn't understand the lyrics, so I'm probably missing a bit of meaning from the sync, but it's enjoyable as an explosion of color, symmetries and adorable designs well matched to a driving song.

I've been on a Phil Mulloy kick lately. I've never seen animated films that manage to be so simultaneously vicious and hilarious. His absurd cocktails of sex and violence seem to speak some deep truths about the problems that plague this world. It's bold, unflinching filmmaking of the kind you rarely see in animation.

I was surprised to find that Yuichiro Sueyoshi was deeply involved in the latest Shin-chan film, animating a number of sequences and providing monster designs, which were reproduced over the end credits. The story was a thin coathanger for monster fights totally lacking in the weight and consideration of Keiichi Hara's films, but they had the sense to get as much out of Sueyoshi as they could, and he makes it hold up to a certain extent. This was his big bash after Mind Game, returning as an animator, and you can feel him oozing energy. Shizuka Hayashi's manic wordless opening sequence was wonderful and showcased what I best like about the Shin-chan films: the effort to come up with extended sequences like this allowing an animator to do what s/he does best, making the animation drive the story forward.

The Shin-chan team has been largely the same for a while now, though, and it's interesting to see Shinei doing something a bit surprising, even shocking, in their latest Doraemon film, getting Ken'ichi Konishi as AD to lure in outside animators and make the film into an animation extravaganza, something I never associated the series with (though I'd heard good work about Ayumu Watanabe's work on the movies). Hisashi Mori seems to have done a lot.