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, 01

Thursday, June 1, 2006

05:02:58 pm , 370 words, 2394 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