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.
June 2006
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Archives for: June 2006

Friday, June 2, 2006

12:55:01 pm , 200 words, 3654 views     Categories: Animation, Director: Masaaki Yuasa

Yuasa Chibi Maruko-chan op

MouCripes! There's a Chibi Maruko-chan opening by Masaaki Yuasa that I'd never seen before. It's the most amazing one, too. The round drops and the style of coloring/shading are strongly reminiscent of Cat Soup, so it must have been one of the last if not the last one he did. I still haven't been able to find the original opening and ending, though, which have massive nostalgia value to me, since I remember watching the show when it first came out and remember that a lot of why I loved the show so much was for that crazy opening and ending. The opening has Maruko flying through the air in one continuous sequence on this odd creature, flying through a koi-nobori flag, the camera just zooming around her as she's flying in the air. At the end she reaches her destination, which for some reason is a massive elephant who unzips and out of his body comes flying a huge flock of glowing golden birds. Wonderful oneiric madness the likes of which I'd never seen before in anime, and I remember watching that op over and over. Before I even knew his name, I was in love with Yuasa.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

05:02:58 pm , 370 words, 2405 views     Categories: Animation

Junk Town

It seems Studio 4°C producer Eiko Tanaka has started a blog. I haven't had time to read through it yet, but I look forward to doing so. Recently she mentioned that Mind Game was going to get a screening with English subs soon. What really caught my eye was that she says Nobutake Ito's directing debut Garakuta no Machi (Junk Town) is going to be shown along with four other shorts. I have to commend the studio once again for picking out one of the most interesting animators active right now and getting him to do something, even if it's just a short. To top it off, Mamoru Hosoda is the audio director for some reason. Anyone looking for an introduction to Ito's work need merely consult the climactic escape scene of Mind Game, which Ito animated, or episode 21 or 25 of Samurai Champloo. Ito was animation director/animator on the former and animator of the fight on the boat in the latter. Ito's work as an animator is incredibly assured and personal without being ostentatious or showy. You get a sense watching his work of someone with conviction, boundless patience and the willingness to do what it takes to create movement he's got in his head, no matter how much work it entails. Stylistically his work can seem to hover somewhere around the realistic school of a Hashimoto or an Ohira, but without going too far into the expressive realm. He seems to have a genius instinct for realistic timing, especially with natural phenomena like water and splashes, but one look at his resume is enough to realize that anything he's got is the result of long years of experience as an animator. He also has the flexibility and breadth to want to try other things, as witness his warm-up sally in 4°C's Kimagure Robot short-short series. I look forward to seeing what he will do as a director. Ito is also apparently going to be the character designer of Masaaki Yuasa's new TV series, which is going to start airing later this summer. (You can see a short clip of Ito animating water in the escape sequence of Mind Game on the Remixed DVD.)

Related: Nobutake Ito