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: July 2006, 12

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

11:58:48 pm , 525 words, 1290 views     Categories: Animation, Animator, TV

Furuya's Arusu

I long wanted to be able to see the credits for Tweeny Witches, to see who is behind the animation and how the teams rotate and so on, and to try to pinpoint who might have been responsible for the parts that interested me. I've managed to see most of the credits by now, and among the more interesting discoveries was to see the extent of Shogo Furuya's involvement in his eps. In ep 33, for example, there is only one other animator listed, Kazuya Nomura, which shows that Furuya is obviously an individual with a strong need to control every element of the production. I've heard rumors that this may have had an ill effect on his involvement in another series. It's good that he had the chance to do a little work in his own way, and I don't know of any other show that would have allowed him. Arusu was good leavening for the talent of a number of good up-and-coming animators.

I enjoy Furuya's drawings, but they were a shock at first, after having grown used to the more cartoonish look of the other animation directors on the show. In comes Furuya with his pouting, swaying, realistically proportioned characters, and it completely changed my view of the show - for the better. It gave more impact to the actions of the characters. Yasuhiro Aoki also grows towards a more realistic rendering with each episode, with the protruding eye sockets and so on. The lightspeed evolution of Yasuhiro Aoki's style over the length of the series is astonishing enough as it is, but by his last episodes it's downright confusing, as the characters go from cartoon characters in one ep to mature young women drawn in a realistic manner in the next. Aoki seems to have continuously re-invented the characters in his head as the series progressed. Other people's drawings evolve unconsciously, but you get the impression of Aoki willing his evoluion. I don't know whether the decision to draw the characters that way was just Aoki's initiative, but his drawing them this way emphasizes how they mature and grow over the length of the series, both mentally and physically, giving the denoument more resonance. Unfortunately none of the other ADs seem to have taken this into account. Together, Aoki and Furuya gave the show a dimension it didn't have under any of the other ADs.

I was happy to discover that Furuya was credited as an animator in ep 5, meaning that he was quite likely the person responsible for the piece of animation that perhaps most impressed me in the entire series - the explosion. There are times when you know a piece of animation has to have been done by someone you've heard of, and this was one of those times. I had an "of course!" moment seeing his name in the credits. All of the little details - from the sudden color changes to the shrapnel flying through the air to splashes in the water - were too lovingly handled and well calculated to have been the product of chance, the work of someone not deeply studied in realistic movement.