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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« Denno Coil #9Denno Coil #7 »

Sunday, July 1, 2007

10:20:30 am , 289 words, 1590 views     Categories: Animation, Denno Coil, TV

Denno Coil #8

This episode was a nice, slow stroll through the summer night. One of the calmest episodes so far, with a few threads working their way in the background but otherwise little happening dramatically. It was nice to see more antics from Kyoko. The real star was the animation director, Koichi Arai (filmo). He had an episode in Kemonozume, so it would make sense to expect him to turn up here. He's told horror stories about his episode of Kemonozume, how they just couldn't find animators to work on it and generally had the most production difficulties of any episode in the series, and it just barely got done in time. I remember wondering why it was that the staff on that episode was so incredible, with people like Takaaki Yamashita, but the animation didn't seem to reflect the quality staff that much. That perhaps explains why.

Here it's clear that this new Madhouse production isn't going to be running into that sort of troubled waters. They've had all the time to do what they need to do, and the episode doesn't have that rushed feeling. But again it's the same thing - great staff including Masaaki Endo, Nobutake Ito, Ayako Hata, Koji Sugiura and even Takaaki Yamashita and Nobutoshi Oguro, who were in Arai's Kemonozume ep, but nothing overwhelming in terms of the animation. Instead, the animation is full of little bits of subtly nuanced animation. The real pull is Koichi Arai's drawings, which are very appealing. He uses very few lines to create a nice expression that captures the emotion well. Arai's always good at drawing interesting crowds full of people with very individuated features, and the people in the background here were nice and felt very Arai.

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6 comments

Huw M
Huw M [Visitor]  

Thanks for keeping us Japanese-illiterates updated on the staff lists for the episodes. I liked the little touches of the painted hair and the fairy floss. Probably a result of what Iso was aiming for in terms of his non-linear workflow and digital effects. I was kinda worried when I saw this was a “Summer Festival” episode but it really does fit the retro-nostalgic feel of Coil. The colouring and artwork this episode seemed well above par during the festival scenes. And taking the characters away from the drama of the denno world highlights how well developed they are. I think “a nice, slow stroll through the summer night” sums this episode up perfectly infact. It made me feel all nostalgic, which must mean kids can relate to this show!

07/01/07 @ 11:20
Random person
Random person [Visitor]  

Thanks for the writeups so far. I really appreciate reading them. As for this episode, while I definitely agree with you about how “nice” it felt with Arai’s good drawings and the generally laid back, stroll-like feeling of the episode, personally it felt like the directing took …a bit of a hit in this episode. Not that it’s bad, but somehow lacking in something, if it weren’t for my existing attachment to the characters themselves. But as a series in general it’s doing a sight better than most others (I would say better than even Seirei no Moribito which is very easy for people to go wow over, but not as heartfelt and creative as Coil, IMHO. I don’t know if it’s just me who seems to find even simple shots like “Pochi” blinking over the fence immensely enjoyable…)

Considering there were so many great animators this episode, I’m wondering who did what (I still am hopelessly clueless at putting names to animations, and I haven’t been keeping up much lately…) I’m interested in the bit where Haraken’s aunt is peeking around the corner after detecting a disturbance in the Force and also where Yasako is eavesdropping.

If you don’t mind me going a bit offtopic, would it be too much to ask what you thought about Tekkon Kinkreet? I watched it and am quite interested to see more of Masahiko Kubo and definitely Shojiro Nishimi (I still can’t believe the latter was in Telecom of all places for so long.) It’s definitely a masterful work from 4C, although I won’t comment on it here just yet.

Also, I’m getting more and more thankful Hosoda got a chance to direct something like TokiKake - recently, many people I know have literally got to watch it as it’s being screened locally, and people from all walks of life are genuinely enjoying it despite it being ‘anime’ and, I quote, “finding it so good it’s more than worth passing down through word of mouth!". (Gedo Senki has still got no news of coming.) Also perhaps a testament to the film when some people are asking me why Ghibli decided to be “different".

07/03/07 @ 08:53
manuloz
manuloz [Visitor]  

Maybe Shojiro Nishimi being part of Telecom was a good thing. I was wondering if working on all those american projet like batman and all might have influence is growth as an animator/chara-designer.

If you are interested just recently i watched “Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker", and Nishimi was AD (Hiroyuki Aoyama was one of the storyboard artist… I also noticed Shin Itagaki as key animator… Ayako Hata & Yuka Shibata as inbetween). It’s a fun wacth, and with Mark Hamil as the Joker nothing could possibly go wrong ^^.

I suppose you already know of is short for Ani’kuri.. just in case :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsU9ujnVS0k

And I’m eagerly waiting for the Tadashi Hiramatsu/Takashi Mukouda episode of Denno Coil. Since GL #9 i’m a big fan of Mukouda. If you don’t already know he was AD on Reideen #10. I uploaded 2 clips on youtube :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaJ0F0tSywk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIEUySKWCmQ

07/03/07 @ 10:47
Ben [Member]  

Huw M:

Thanks for the astute comments about this ep. I’m happy that my ramblings are of some use.

RP:

Sorry for not having written much of anything interesting here lately… I’ve also been pretty out of it and busy with other things, and haven’t been keeping up with the sakuga side of things.

I agree with your assessment of this episode. The quality was good, but I didn’t find the directing very inspiring, which is why I didn’t bother talking about the directing. Like you say, it wasn’t bad per se, but it just left a weak impression.

I haven’t been able to figure out who might have done what, so you’re hardly the only one who has trouble with that sort of thing. Tho I feel pretty pathetic not being able to identify a single scene, considering all the big names who are in there. I’ll have to watch it a few more times. I quite liked the bits you mentioned. For some reason I also liked the short, innocuous scene where Yasako’s mother is tying up Yasako’s obi. I just liked the careful layout and drawings in the episode, though the animation is obviously far from flamboyant or jaw-dropping or anything.

So you’ve seen Tekkon… I haven’t had a chance to see it yet. I’ve pre-ordered the DVD, so I’ll be seeing it as soon as it comes out, and I’ll post my comments then. I’m quite looking forward to seeing it, and to hearing what you think about it.

I actually agree with Manuloz about Nishimi. I’m guessing the time he served at Telecom was very important in terms of forming him into the animator he is today, so it can’t be discounted. It’s kind of the same with an animator I’m really excited about, Hiroyuki Aoyama. In a way it seems kind of a waste that he was hidden away at Telecom all those years, but who knows if he would have developed into the incredible animator he is today if he hadn’t. Maybe he would have become a great animator wherever it was he worked, but I get the impression that their Telecom training gave them a grounding with a clear focus on movement that differs from most animators out there in Japan…

That’s pretty funny about “Ghibli deciding to be different"… It’s great to hear that Tokikake is being well received by people over here, to such an extent as to be mistaken for Ghibli. I saw the film, so I need to post my comments soon… I just don’t know where to start. So much to say about the film.

07/03/07 @ 19:06
Random person
Random person [Visitor]  

Wow, thanks for the reply. :) Please don’t worry about whether you’ve been able to write anything lately or not; I think everyone understands it when one has to be busy. (Besides, for bleeding-edge news I suppose we rely on good folks like Manuloz to some extent…)

About Nishimi, I suppose it is hard for me to say whether it was a waste that he was there for so long not doing other possibly more interesting projects or more of a boon that he got thorough training and experience; but I would tend to think that he needn’t have stayed there so long… unless it was his attachment to the studio and the environment, perhaps. I agree with you that Telecom training differs from the usual anime studio training, and despite the content matter of projects they may take on (that they don’t always have control over anyway, I suppose) it clearly shows in the final work. I suppose it’s because he started off with that mindset and never let anything take over that he’s allowed his creativity to shine through in that way.

As for Tekkon itself - you preordered the R2, I take it? I had it preordered as well, but it came around the 28th or so. I got the limited ed box version, and for me it was quite nice being able to see the comments of all the main staff, even including the sound designer and colour designer. I didn’t realise Chie Uratani was Nishimi’s senior at Telecom (and Takayuki Hamada was once there too). Out of all of them, however, Nishimi simply struck me as the one with the most personality and it was interesting gauging a bit of the way he thinks from his part as well as others’ comments on him. Some of it came through particularly clearly like when he was asked about how the characters don’t have much shadow, and he was talking about how he really couldn’t draw pictures with all sorts of detailed shadows; plus if it’d make it any easier to animate he was all for reducing them - “アニメーションはやっぱり動いてナンボですから". (I’ll stop here already..)

Looking forward to any comments you might have about Tokikake - do take it easy, though. Also, I think I must have missed your birthday by more than a week but, a very belated happy one to you anyway. Cheers!

07/03/07 @ 23:35
Ben [Member]  

My pleasure. I appreciate your understanding about the blog.

Yeah, I pre-ordered the R2 box too, but it still ain’t here. I guess what happened is that I pre-ordered the Kemonozume DVD box at the same time, so when the Kemonozume DVD box got kicked back, that delayed my whole order. Ah well.

Anyway, your description of the extras has gotten me salivating. 4C does a pretty nice job with extras on their DVDs. Can’t wait to see the film and everything else.

Thanks again for the happy birthday wishes! An even more belated happy birthday to you.

07/13/07 @ 12:43