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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« Masahiro AndoDenno Coil #11 »

Sunday, August 19, 2007

04:16:04 am , 436 words, 4099 views     Categories: Animation, Denno Coil, TV

Denno Coil #12

This episode continued in the same vein as the previous in the sense of it seeming to showcase what this series was about at heart – creating this interesting denno world concept, and coming up with intriguing and amusing possibilities for the creatures/gadgets that fill it out. This episode is a stand-alone like the previous episode showcasing the different forms of the various denno creatures. An overarching story doesn’t progress forward, but this somewhat ludicrous and fascinating ep feels truer to Iso’s whimsical cyber ethos than having some epic drama unfold. I mentioned the series reminded me of Doraemon at the beginning, and these last two episodes reinforce that impression.

Iso was the storyboarder (and writer, as always). It’s really the concept and the idea that drives things forward and maintains interest, and the idea here was hilarious and totally unexpected. This coercive-interactive Sim City-like virus also provided some interesting room for metaphorical comment on human nature with its brief history of mankind via the stand-in of sentient hair follicles… pretty impressive to be able to do that with hair follicles. It never becomes too serious that way, which is good.

The animation was toned down from the previous episode though hardly bad, with Hata Ayako as the animation director. Hiroyuki Aoyama’s part was easily identifiable here as it was in Secret of Cerulean Sand - the bit right after the midpoint, with that wonderful momentum and follow-through. What a difference that training at Telecom makes. His approach is so different from everybody else on the show, in a good way. Even people like Toshiyuki Inoue don’t seem to try to create that combination of richness and ‘good feeling’ in the motion that Aoyama can create, though Takeshi Honda is certainly closer to Aoyama in that sense. Honda’s more playful, as well as being a master mover. Toshiyuki Inoue started out on shows like Gu-Gu Ganmo in the late 80s, so a show of this nature is actually kind of a return to old territory for him after a long period doing mostly realistic stuff like Jin-Roh and Tokyo Godfathers. He’s incredibly versatile, though he doesn’t have that spark of imagination and playfulness that people like Masaaki Yuasa and Shinji Otsuka have. I think a show like this gives him a good opportunity to work on that side. In any case, it’s great to be able to see what all of these theatrical animators might do in the freer and more playful context of a TV series. Most of them probably got their start on TV stuff.


1 comment

Benjamin De Schrijver
Benjamin De Schrijver [Visitor]  

Wow! What an episode! I just posted my opinion on Ep 11 about an hour ago, and now watched 12, and though you feel it continued in the same vein, I really felt it didn’t. Yes, it was inventive in the cyberworld universe, but it was much more than that. As you said, it really was a stand-alone episode. Unlike the last one, this one didn’t feel like merely a fun vehicle for exposition. It really delved into a lot of things. The first half was really interesting in how it delved into Daichi’s character and the concept of puberty. The moment his father stepped out of the bathroom was hilarious, and reminded me to a similar moment with Yasako and her father earlier in the series, where (if I remember correctly) she mentioned he shouldn’t be naked in front of his daughter. Both these moments really add a sense of real life to the show, which helps create the wonderful balance between the cyberworld and the real world (something the previous episode kind of missed too), and also just have a great sense of charm and character too. And this for a mainstream animated show! Western animation wouldn’t touch things like that with a 10 foot pole, even if it’s done with such dignity and sheer fun. Heck, even most western live-action for adults wouldn’t do that, perhaps with the exception of some HBO shows. Can you imagine James Woods having a moment like this in Shark, of which part of the essence is the relationship between him and his daughter?
And then the second half was absolutely wonderful, and not only talked to us, the audience, but more than anything, really informed THEM, the characters - children - themselves. I had to put effort into suspending my disbelief, though, but it really payed off.

And if that wasn’t enough, the whole episode was absolutely hilarious! Not my favorite episode, but it comes close.

09/09/07 @ 12:06