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Been away from an internet connection again for a while now, though I managed to watch two more eps of Denno Coil, so I thought I'd write my thoughts about them without further ado.
This felt like one of the first episodes that fully explored the potential of the whole 'denno' world concept; the one they'd been waiting to make since the very beginning. The fish creature and the whole situation of this ep reminds of one of the concept sketches drawn by Iso that were among the first images made public. The creature isn't exactly the same, so I'm left to wonder if there might not be more coming from this idea. That was the image that really fired my imagination, so I was happy to finally see that material expounded upon on the screen. The episode felt like a really imaginative meeting of fancy and sci-fi - like they took some crazy idea you might have daydreamed one day as a kid, and played it out in the real world just to see what might happen. I like that aspect of this series.
The quality of the episode was quite high, with head animator Toshiyuki Inoue returning as the animation director together with a bevy of big-name feature animation directors like Masashi Ando (Paprika), Masashi Ishihama (ROD), Kazuchika Kise (Innocence), Hirobumi Suzuki and Tokuyuki Matsutake (Naruto) - and even Hiroyuki Aoyama, one of the animation directors of Tokikake. He's one of my favorite recent discoveries. I've talked him about in the past, particularly his great work on Secret of Cerulean Sand. Most recently he animated one of the best of the Kemonozume 'avants', and a great action scene. I was delighted to see him here, and I'm really happy to see he's in the next episode too.
The animation throughout was nuanced and rich, not surprisingly. The animation of the water was particularly nice. Toshiyuki Inoue animated some incredible water in Peek the Whale that has something of the same texture as the water here, as well as the amorphous mass in Paranoia Agent ep 13, and other assorted effects, so it's not surprising that he'd handle an episode where water plays an integral part. I'd always been wanting to see him do more effects animation, so the effects animation fan in me was happy with this ep. (Read this interview to hear him on FX animation.)
I really liked the bits where Daichi is explaining how he goes about grabbing little meta-bugs from the neighborhood. You can tell Iso loves that kind of stuff, the little maniacal cyber details that give the world its semblance of reality. It’s fascinating, but always humorous at the same time. The fish creature also has this amusing combination of scariness and silliness as it bulges up a size in its floating fish tank. I was happy to see my favorite character, Kyoko, tag along as an interloper in the action throughout the episode. My only complaint about this episode would be that it seemed to lose momentum at the climax. Other than that it was a great episode. Some amusing and imaginative ideas delivered at top-notch quality. The storyboarder was Akitoshi Yokoyama, who did episode 3.
I loved Kyouko’s response to Daichi’s crappy gag. Particularly cool in this episode how they got animators based on their respective skills, like Inoue and Nishida for the water and Kazuchika Kise for the fish…I think.
Also, rather off-topic, but I hear Hisashi Mori is co-AD (alongside Katsuzo Hirata) on episode 23 of Gurren-Lagann, presumably he is gonna be the mecha AD.
Great time to be a fan of good animation…
Thanks. Always good to be back. I couldn’t figure out the breakdown for this ep, though you could very well be right.
As for Gurren - wow, couldn’t be better news than that. This year is turning out to be the year of Mori. He’s popping up in every big new show at some point. Not related to this, I’ve noticed a number of Coil animators who are also regulars on Gurren.
I liked this episode, but not much more than that. It was a quality episode, but it’s a personal thing. Over time, I’ve come to appreciate this series most because of its characters, even more than the intrigue created by the cyberworld idea and the main “quest” concerning the illegals. In essence, the biggest flaw of this episode was that it came right after episode 10. As you mentioned, Ep 10 was wonderfully directed, and was the most nuanced and interesting so far in terms of personalities and emotions. It delved deeper into the characters’ thoughts and lives, such as Isako’s life behind the glasses with her grandfather, etc. and overall just really *enriched* the characters and series, rather than just continuing the storyline. Other episodes did this to certain extents too, such as Isako saving Kyoko in reallife, or the festival, where some things almost seemed to stand on a 90 degree angle with the main story, which really added a deeper interest. In contrast, this Ep 11 felt more like a fun idea to set up exposition for future episodes. It was done well, but had much less of the elements I truly enjoy.