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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Saturday, January 7, 2006

10:44:30 am , 84 words, 1572 views     Categories: Animation

Akagi ending

Norimitsu Suzuki has been establishing a name for himself of late animating and directing TV series ending sequences entirely by himself. I don't know how many he's done so far - I know of at least 4 or 5 - but his latest comes with the second ending for Madhouse's Akagi, which is rather interesting, with a stylized look and unique feeling to the moment. It kind of reminded me of a sequence in Millennium Actress done with a similar look, with simple, thick lines and moving panels.



Parson [Visitor]

You can concentrate on the animation over that… song…? Didn’t think much of the grained up wibbly camera footage either.

01/10/06 @ 10:20
Ben [Visitor]

Usually if I don’t like a song, which happens fairly often, I just turn off the sound. It helps to concentrate on the animation. Sometimes interesting animation is synced to a bad song, so turning the sound off really takes away from the effect. Usually I just switch to “anime music” mode and find a way to endure.

01/10/06 @ 12:36
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

Veering offtopic for a while, have you been watching Mushishi just for the Hiramatsu eps or the show in general? The last 2 eps (10 and 11) were not bad,IMO… The show in general has been a really nice breath of fresh air for mainstream anime so far, again IMO of course…

01/12/06 @ 01:45
Ben [Visitor]

I’ve been totally digging Mushishi, well before the Hiramatsu episode. I’ve been watching each ep since the first. It’s by far one of the most satisfying series I’ve seen in a while. Also IMO. About the only show right now for which I’m actually looking forward to each episode.

01/12/06 @ 11:19
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

Just in from watching Wings of Rean, that new OVA by Yoshiyuki Tomino… You can clearly see it’s Tomino storyboarding here, breakneck pacing - but I think it’s good stuff, really. Consistent animation, the movement/drawings remind me of Planetes - naturally, a lot of the animation staff from there have come here.

01/14/06 @ 01:25
Manuloz [Visitor]

That episode of Wings of Rean was cool, the way the episode was paced, you felt really into it, into the action… hope the show will continue like this. I might had i realy dig the cara design.

The new OP of Blood + is really good, you can check it online :

There’s some really good animation going on this one.

and here you have got the PV for the first OP which feature some animation :

01/14/06 @ 11:34
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

The thing was Wings of Rean was REALLY storyboarded by Tomino, rather than him just doing some overall storyboard sort of thing. Youcan feel the difference… There’s still a feel of that old-school type of angles or whatnot (and the characters all seem to like stretching their hand out as they talk… Hitler?), but with good digital animation it doesn’t really feel awkward at all.

The animators really are all Planetes people… Masashi Kudo, Shuuji Sakamoto, Masakazu Saito, etc. I do hope that Kenichi Yoshida joins in the next one or something…

01/14/06 @ 17:56
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

and uh, I feel awfully superfluous and redundant saying this, but perhaps it’s time to get a better spam filter…

01/16/06 @ 01:11
Ben [Visitor]

Was Seiichi Hashimoto in there? He was my favorite Planetes guy. I’ll definitely check it out when I get back in town, as well as try to figure out how to block all this annoying spam. Hopefully I won’t have to resort to using some form of post validation, but we’ll see.

Speaking of Tomino, I don’t know if you’ve seen the rehash of Z that came out, but it was an interesting watch, if just to see the film randomly shift between two completely different styles of animation throughout. Onda did good work on the film (there’s even a bit of Muraki near the end, though not a circus for once), but the point is there is simply no reconciling the animation that was made for TV twenty years ago by Yoshikazu with the animation specifically made for the film recently, and I don’t understand how they did’t realize that while making it. On top of which Onda’s drawing style is as far removed from Yoshikazu’s as you could get. For a film of this nature I found that sort of disparity painful to endure. I’m usually the one who likes that sort of thing, but here it just seemed to have the effect of making the film a complete and laughable mess. A peculiar experiment. But I might be reacting hypercritically to that aspect. Perhaps other people didn’t even notice.

01/17/06 @ 12:55
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

Haven’t seen it, no, but…

I too wonder why they couldn’t have made entirely new animation - I can only imagine how strange it looks, in terms of the lines and the faces and the drawing style, like you mentioned. I can still appreciate it if it swings around like in Noein, but animation from so long ago with animation now… seems a little jarring. Then again, I’ll admit that I’m a stereotypical modern anime-watcher: I haven’t watched most of the classics to be able to think carefully about it. It’s hard to get access to some of them…

As for Rean, unfortunately Seiichi Hashimoto’s not in there, but there’s Shuuichi Sakamoto (listed first) as well as Seiichi Nakatani as the assistant AD.

There’s rumours that Utsunomiya’ll be involved in episode 15 (next week’s) and 22 of Noein.
Mushishi continues to impress (no news there I s’pose).

01/18/06 @ 00:56
Benjamin Sanders
Benjamin Sanders [Visitor]

Lacking the motivation to find a post with which to put this question under, I decided to put it on the latest one, so appologies for changing the topic at random.

Anyway, I was wondering what the situation with Isao Takahata is at Ghibli, has he retired? I got the impression there was a bit of bad blood between him and Miyazki or something, I swear I read Takahata saying something about the fantasy direction anime was going with Spirited Away and Howl’s was dissapointing. (I’d be inclined to agree on the latter I thought Howl’s was terrible, and wonder what Mamoru Hosoda’s lost efforts would have been like.) Have I gone mad about this, has he been quietly moved into early retirement? Or is he busy working on something new?

Anyway sorry for taking things off topic.

01/18/06 @ 14:39
Ben [Visitor]

I’m afraid I simply don’t have time to deal with this spam right now. Sorry. It’ll have to wait for a few days. I don’t even know how I’m going to do it. I’ll probably have to upgrade the whole system.

I wonder if people here might want to use a BBS system to post questions and stuff, so they don’t have to worry about ‘being on topic’ or anything. It might also make it easier to locate discussions on certain subjects currently hidden in posts with unrelated titles. I personally don’t mind too much if people post questions like this, but just in case some might feel more comfortable with a BBS here’s one I installed a long time ago but never made public, in case people are interested: If nothing happens I’ll just leave it in limbo as before.

As for Takahata, your guess is as good as mine. He has been publicly critical of Miyazaki’s films (he made that statement in the official review of the year’s entries the year he headed the judging panel of the Bunkacho Media Festival), but I don’t think that necessarily means he’s on bad terms with the studio. If the Ghiblies films are any indication he still goes to the studio regularly. I don’t really know why he hasn’t made anything since Yamadas, but I suspect they were a little disappointed by the public response to the film… again, I don’t really know. Right now rumor has it that he might be one of the people making a new film at Ghibli. I think an entry on the Ghibli diary from April of last year stated that three films were in planning stages, one of which was to be directed by Takahata. But there’s been no further news as to what happened to the project. In the past Takahata has mentioned that he wanted to adapt the Heike Monogatari into a film - I think it was in planning in the early 90s but got put on the back burner due to lack of technical means at the time, and Pompoko got made instead.

Actually, I just added a validator. Let’s see if it works.

01/18/06 @ 16:39
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

Seems to work like a charm… no spam at all. The validator isn’t a problem for me because it’s just typing in 5 numbers… The BBS thing might be a little bit of a bother for lazy ol’ me because it’s not directly on the page itself, but I think the bigger problem is that there’s really not many of us who regularly comment here, to make the separate BBS active as well… Then again, using the BBS is very helpful for other people looking for opinions/info about animation. Sometimes we talk about important bits in the comments as well, but you’d only find them you managed to google them up, I guess.

I’m just wondering if there’s a simpler BBS interface out there for our similarly simple purposes, but oh well. I’m not the only one who comes here, certainly not…

I’ve also heard a fair bit about Takahata doing a movie. It was somewhere in the comments… see, now this is where a BBS system comes in handy, I guess.

01/19/06 @ 02:45
Manuloz [Visitor]

I remember on the IG board there was a japanese member, who told us sometimes after the release of Innocence. There was some movies on the work, one from Takahata, and if i remeber correctly Oshii said he was working on a sript for an Hiroyuki Okiura movie… but since nothing has been confirmed.

I checked the PV from Blood + in better quality and the first animation to be seen is really excelent, i wonder if Kize worked on it.
And by the way judging from the preview IGPX #13 will feature some nice animation.

01/19/06 @ 02:57
Ben [Visitor]

Does seem to have worked, for the moment. I agree that there seems to be something more immediate and engaging about posting in the comments section as opposed to on a BBS, which is why I never put the thing up until now. But I’ll leave it for a while and see where it goes.

I thought the second Blood+ op was rather colorful and pretty, but it felt simply well made rather than particularly spectacularly animated. In the PV I liked the bit of animation near the middle, immediately preceding the transition to CG. I don’t know who it was, but I could sense a personal style there.

01/19/06 @ 11:26
Manuloz [Visitor]

Yep, that’s true the new op is not really spectacular animation wise.
But there was some nice shot, the first one felt like one from the Lodoss tv op, which i heard was done by Nakazawa… but overall it’s nice drawing.

About IGPX #13 here is the nice part : (6 mo)

This time it’s not by Okiura, i thing it my be by Yusuke Yoshigaki because of the way the face are drawn on some shots, but not certain…

01/19/06 @ 11:47
Ben [Visitor]

That is indeed very nice. Thanks for posting it. I haven’t seen the credits, so I can’t make a guess who did it, but if Yoshigaki is in there you could very well be right. Although I’m not following it, it’s good to see that the series continues to have little spots here and there that stand out in terms of the animation. And I didn’t mean to say the op was bad or anything - it’s a very nicely made op and I enjoyed it. I thought the coloring in particular was very striking.

01/19/06 @ 14:40
seanny [Visitor]

I’m all for the BBS idea. Since the Production-I.G. English board closed I’ve been at a loss as to where to go for non-fanboyish discussion about Japanese animation (and I think the Japanese dude you were referring to on IG went by the name of Ray… he and Tsuka gave us all sorts of interesting IG/4C/Ghibli news and the occasional article exerpt translation). Man, those were the days.

01/20/06 @ 02:22
Manuloz [Visitor]

That right Ray, he has been really cool too translate all these information at the time.

As for IGPX #13, Yusuke Yoshigaki is credited in the middle of the second line.

By the way, Gainax as revamped its homepage :
It seems Hiramatsu is still there, and i’am a little surprise to know that Sushio has been there as long as Hiramatsu.

01/20/06 @ 03:56
Manuloz [Visitor]

It looks like Norimitsu Suzuki has made it again with the Ed of Death Note :

10/04/06 @ 10:57