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: January 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

07:42:22 pm , 469 words, 6574 views     Categories: Animation, TV

Naruto Shippuden 143

Just to keep track of all of the deluxe Naruto episodes, the next one is episode 143 of Shippuuden. Pretty solid drawings throughout, and several excellent fighting sequences, notably the pre-op, immediately post-op, and about four shots of interesting wobbly-style animation a bit before the midpoint that seems clearly inspired by Hisashi Mori or Shinji Hashimoto. Effects throughout are pretty nice, with some rich smoke shots a bit after the wobbly fight. It's weird, but a lot of the shapes remind me of Norio Matsumoto. I think a lot of the staff working on the show must have been influenced by him, not surprisingly. That applies to a lot of the young animators I see today. I see something that looks like Satoru Utsunomiya in the op, and I see the credits and figure it's probably Kenichi Kutsuna or Niho Tomoyuki, who worked under Utsunomiya. Styles are being passed down and reinterpreted over and over at a very fast pace these days among new animators.

The sakkan was Sesshagoro, who's also listed top in the genga credits, and Hiroyuki Yamashita is there later. These two longtime regulars (mentioned them before) are the only two names I recognize in the creds. The fight after the op is the coolest part in the episode, with a variety of well-timed moves packed into the short scene (maybe even a bit too much too fast, but I like the ambition), and an interesting way of drawing the rapidly swinging sword as this bold triangle, something Masaaki Yuasa first did in his Buriburizaemon shorts. I don't know their styles well enough to guess which one did it, but I guess it's one of the two. Yamashita did the ending, so you can get a feel for his drawings there, but I couldn't correlate that slow ending positively with the fight. Really curious who did the amorphously drawn scene later on. That and that one wonderfully dense shot of the rolling cloud up on the cliff above the Sasuke character. The latter reminds me of Toshiaki Hontani.

Haven't watched much of the new season but just checked Durarara 1 from director Takahiro Omoro. Watchable actually, if nothing new or particularly memorable. The music was my favorite part of the episode. Loved it. It's by a guy called Makoto Yoshimori. Respect to the fansubbers for translating the opening credits instead of putting their names under them. Only names I recognized in the genga credits was Satelight regular Tomoyuki Niho (infamous blocky action sequence in Birdy) and this guy Hideki Nagamachi who I remember was the sakkan on Yasuhiro Aoki's Tweeny Witches OVA episode, which had this really cool sketchy style line thing going on. Maybe one of them did the action sequence at the end.

Heard the last episode of Trapeze had good animation. Need to finish that.