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.
May 2007
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Archives for: May 2007, 20

Sunday, May 20, 2007

01:43:32 am , 614 words, 2237 views     Categories: Animation, Denno Coil, TV

Denno Coil #2

Episode 2 maintains the same high level of quality as the first. Takeshi Honda is again the AD, and Toshiyuki Inoue again heads the animator list, joined by a bevy of impressive names including Honda himself, Nobutake Ito, Koichi Arai and the star guest, Takaaki Yamashita, who alongside Iso handled the art settei for the episode, which presumably means that together they came up with the various ideas for the interior decoration of the house. Yamashita is the man for bringing to life realistic everyday situations with a plethora of imaginative details, so I was hoping that he would be involved, but was unsure, since he's a Toei person and all. Thankfully Denno Coil has the gravitational pull of a black hole, and it appears to be pulling in all the major names in the industry. Ito and Arai are perhaps less surprising, since they were just recently seen in Kemonozume at Madhouse, but it's still a delight to see them.

Another wonderful episode. After Oyaji and Densuke, in this episode we are introduced to some more denno creatures, Sacchi and the... Mojo? Iso has a clear talent for creating simple but charming creatures that the audience is immediately drawn to. Now that I've seen two episodes of his new series I am beginning to be able to see the common thread with his previous work from a few years back, that ep of Rahxephon. The calm pacing is similar, the atmosphere deftly gear-shifts between a charming, light whimsy and a wistful feeling of loss. The mysteries outnumber the answers as of yet in this series, and clues continue to be dropped, and similarly we have yet to see the yin side of the series. This episode in particular focused on the charming character of the children, but the dark side is probably coming. Iso talked about the main theme of the series as being to explore the distance that separates everyone. Upon watching the opening of episode 2 I finally caught on to the wistful tone of the lyrics in the opening, and linked it to the entire relationship between Yasako and Densuke, a beloved pet whom she can't even touch. She wonders in this episode what he feels like, if he's soft, right as she's petting him, which is a nicely understated, touching moment. I had no idea that Iso could be as charming and fun as he has shown himself to be in these two episodes, but I had a sure sense of his ability to create drama that felt genuine and touched deep emotions and feelings of loss from his ep of Rahxephon, and I am eager to see in what way that theme will begin to come to the fore.

A moment I appreciated in the ep was where Yasako was looking at the torii trying to remember something. It was a moment that felt genuine. Perhaps one thing that distinguishes this series is that it is sprinkled with moments like this. These unemphasized, opaque moments inbetween the plot points are the moments that leave the strongest impression on me. I could relate to her feeling of seeing something that suddenly brought back a distant, nearly forgotten scene from childhood. Iso has an uncanny ability to succinctly evoke this kind of evanescant feeling. I've re-watched each episode a number of times and find that I discover something new each time. I don't know whether that's more testament to how careless a viewer I am or to how carefully crafted the script is, but the script is a miracle of economy in terms of how much it conveys and suggests with just a few words, leaving the visuals to do the rest.