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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Friday, May 13, 2005

10:32:45 pm , 314 words, 726 views     Categories: Animation, Movie

Banipal Witt

Watched Banipal Witt AKA Catnapped. I'm only about ten years late on this one. I must say, this is probably the best thing Takashi Nakamura has ever made, at least to my eyes. I talked about how they don't make movies like Puss 'n Boots anymore in my last post, which should have been enough to indicate that I hadn't seen this film yet. Truly magnificent in every respect. This is what Takashi Nakamura is about. I like his more serious side, but it's a shame to let the incredible imagination on display in this film remain buried. I was reminded of Masaaki Yuasa in terms of the designs, and I got to thinking that this is the kind of film I'd like to see Yuasa make - a crazy fantasy adventure in the Toei Doga/Shin'ei Doga vein plastered head to toe with his inventions, a feature version of what we saw in Nanchatte Vampiyan. What I most like about the film is that Nakamura the animator comes through in a way he didn't in Palme. The animation is like nothing you'll find anywhere else. The acting is very active and always interesting, full of ideas that are not the stock in trade of anime but pure Nakamura. Most of all, Nakamura's particular genius for knowing what to do to make the animation feel incredible is what made him so unique - the way you'll have one shot at the normal rate followed by a quick action shot at full-frame to give it that extra turbo kick, for example. Knoweldge of how to use all the tricks that only an animator would know to increase the impact of the animation is what I like most about Nakamura, and this film was a tour-de-force display of Nakamura's very special animation wizardry. And to top it all off, Toshio Hirata did the opening and ending.

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5 comments

Vahid
Vahid [Visitor]

I’d love to get my hands on this… where should I look?

05/20/05 @ 23:12
Josh
Josh [Visitor]

I know there’s a dubbed tape floating around, but I wouldn’t recommend it - really grating. Does anyone know if it’s been released on DVD stateside?

And yes, it looks VERY Yuasa, when I saw Catnapped I was just struck by how much it resembled Noiseman, at least in design anyways.

05/21/05 @ 09:25
neilworms
neilworms [Visitor]

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00012QLT6/qid=1116699462/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/102-4176684-0608915?v=glance&s=dvd&n=507846

Here it is :) on dvd… I own the dvd before they lowered the price on it. Plus I’d have to agree about the dubbed voices, I first saw the film at Otakon on 35mm and the only version they had was the dub, but the visuals were really cool and the film was a lot more fun than Tree of Palme

05/21/05 @ 11:19
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

Unrelated again to Takashi Nakamura or anything, but would anyone recommend watching the Ideon TV series? Is there any Itano in the TV series, I’m wondering…

Of course if I ever come across the movies I’m definitely watching them; they’d *have* to have Itano in them…

05/25/05 @ 03:32
Ben
Ben [Visitor]

There’s some Itano starting in ep 2, and then there is Itano in various places throughout the series. It’s pretty easy to spot. He was the first one to draw grotesquely realistic close-ups of people being killed. In ep 2 I think it’s a nice cockpit shot.

In the 2nd movie he did a large amount in the 2nd half. The first half animation was already done. The second half was made for the movie. (the first movie was just a recomp)

Ideon is worth watching anyway. Fun series. And I LOVE the op. That’s the way robot anime ops should be.

05/25/05 @ 08:19