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: October 2007, 09

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

08:26:49 am , 511 words, 2229 views     Categories: Animation, Misc, TV

Recent viewing

Just a memo of a few things that caught my eye in recent viewing. Starting from the most recent, Gonzo's new show Dragonaut is directed by Studio Torapezoid member Manabu Ono, so I was somewhat curious about it. The chief animation director is Tadashi Sakazaki, whom I remember for the boat chase in Mamoru Hosoda's One Piece movie. He does invest some nuance into the movement here. The big surprise was to find Susumu Yamaguchi listed near the end. Both Ono and Yamaguchi have been doing exclusively Sunrise stuff for a few years, so I wonder what this means. It would be nice to see new work from Yamaguchi anywhere regardless, so it would be nice to see an episode or two from him here. Yamaguchi animated the fight near the end. See Keroro Gunso 102 and Outlaw Star for more Yamaguchi. Tatsuzo Nishita seems to have done the action in the abandoned building. I liked the few shots of acting in the avant on the plane. Nothing extravagant, but the sense of timing was nice.

Baccano 7 featured work from that other great Torapezoid animator, Hiroshi Okubo, not to mention Norio Matsumoto. Their work seemed to come at the end of the episode. No big action, but rather some good staging and nice expressions. Gonzo's Bokurano just ended, with some nice work in the last two eps. Shingo Natsume seems to have done the shots of the missiles launching and Ryochimo their explosions in ep 23, while I though another bit earlier where that white floating thing gets shot by the girl had a nice sensibility in the movement, though obviously by a newcomer. Hisashi Mori was in the final ep, but his part was disappointingly short, just a few shots of the disintegrating robot. I didn't watch the series in full, so I don't know whether Hiroyuki Morita improved on the original by changing it as he did, but I was quite entertained by the furore over Morita's comments regarding those changes on his blog.

I was very disappointed to see Mononoke end on episode 12. The final episode featured work by the usual suspects - Nishita, Kakita, Matsuda, Yamashita, Hashimoto, plus Tatsuya Tomaru and Shinya Takahashi. I grew very attached to the show and its sensibility, which never got old, and I'm eager for Kenji Nakamura to start something new. Guren Lagan, on the other hand, never grew on me, despite featuring a relentless onslaught of great animation by so many great animators it's not even worth going through them one by one. At the very least, the show will have had the beneficial effect of getting the work of lots of great animators seen and acknowledged by a lot of people. The last two eps of Karas featured lots of nice explosions by Hideki Kakita, plus work by Ryotaro Makihara (the young Shin-Ei animator I mentioned in the previous post), Shigeru Kimishima (another young animator who I recall for the waves in Mamoru Hosoda's One Piece movie), Takamitsu Kondo, Soichiro Matsuda, the great fx animator Shuichi Kaneko, Mitsuru Obunai, Akira Takada...