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.
March 2007
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Archives for: March 2007, 09

Friday, March 9, 2007

08:24:11 pm , 296 words, 1230 views     Categories: Animation

Samurai7 no Mori

I picked up the Samurai7 fanbook to see if there might be some of Hisashi Mori's designs in there, but zilch, nada. So I still don't know what the nature of "design works" is. I was really looking forward to seeing some of his designs in the raw, too. Takuhito Kusanagi did the original designs for the main characters, and Makoto Kobayashi the mecha and setting design work, so perhaps Mori handled the sub-characters. Kusanagi's designs were quite wonderful, as expected, very true to the flavor of what I remember seeing in his Shanghai Kaijinzoku manga more than a decade ago. The tragedy is that none of that flavor whatsoever comes through in the final designs. In the final product they look like your average humdrum designs. It's an amazing feat to be able to sap such seemingly irrepresible character completely dry. I didn't know Makoto Kobayashi, but his ornate, organic mecha designs are quite nice, somewhat Giger-ish. I haven't seen enough of the anime to say whether that character comes through in the final product. I'm reminded here of Little Nemo, which shared a similar fate of having a lot of great looking, imaginative pre-production stuff by a huge array of talent, but having very little of that flavor in the final product. To be fair, it's probably too much to ask to transfer his delicately toned style to a flat-toned medium like this. One thing I like about Gonzo is that they use interesting figures like Kusanagi, but I often find that they don't manage to figure out a way to reflect what makes those figures good in the first place in the final product, so it winds up being kind of a waste. I think I'll hit up the Speed Grapher book next.