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: November 2010, 23

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

10:04:44 pm , 365 words, 1728 views     Categories: Animation

Yoshiyuki Momose vid for Yui Aragaki

Yoshiyuki Momose's new piece, Piece, was finished earlier this year, but I just now saw it for the first time. It's a nice film, but more low-key than his Capsule trilogy. This one is set in the real world and not a dayglo retro future. Visually it's just as rich as the previous films, though it's more Ghibli feeling. It purveys a very Ghibli kind of sunny vibe.

I prefer what he did in the trilogy, as each of those films was a perfect little gem of electricity, colors and speed, creative design work, superb animation and exuberant wordless storytelling. But Piece is definitely a high-quality film with just as much attention to detail as the previous shorts. It has that same visual density, with the bright, washed out color scheme, simple retro designs, fashionable sensibility, lush character animation and chippy atmosphere.

It's the real world, but it feels like a fantasy land, with people zig-zagging everywhere leaving magical trails in their wake. It's a warm, colorful, optimistic, happy version of the real world. For some reason Yoshiyuki Momose's recent work, including Piece, reminds me of the atmosphere of Fumiko Takano's manga Ruki-san in this respect - the girl character has the same happy-go-lucky optimism, and is designed in a similar stylish retro way.

The camera swirls around in a masterful combination of hand-drawn and CG. It's a simple story about a girl who breaks a heel but also a creative visualisation of love as a string that trails behind wherever we go. (Ivan Maximov had a more sardonic take on the ties that bind us in the wonderful Strings)

I wonder what happened to Studio Cajino? They're no longer credited as they were in the capsule trilogy. Instead this is simply a Ghibli production.

The animation is backed up by a strong team, as usual. Momose always assembles an incredible team for his shorts. This time it's only three people, but each of them is an incredible animator: Takeshi Honda, Hideki Hamasu and Osamu Tanabe. They were each involved in almost every episode of the trilogy. (only Tanabe was missing in the last one - see the credits for the trilogy here for comparison)