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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Monday, August 9, 2004

04:54:55 pm , 282 words, 1000 views     Categories: Animation

Fantastic Children

I talked about Nippon Animation's Peter Pan a while back. Well, Takashi Nakamura returns to NA starting next month with a new series, Fantastic Children. This time it's a purely Nakamura project, directed by Nakamura, based on an idea by Nakamura, designed by Nakamura. One interesting staff member to note is Nizo Yamamoto, the art director of Ghibli films like Laputa and Grave of the Fireflies.

I will remain skeptical so as not to be let down. Palme no Ki was a very mixed bag that left me longing for the good old days of Nakamura the animator. It had a lot of elements that I really appreciated -- the convincing sense of trauma and pathology motivating the actions of many of the characters -- but was overwhelmed by the hopelessly confusing story (repeated watchings do not help to figure things out) and the patchwork nature of the story. Take a little from Akira, Angel's Egg, Gandahar, Pinocchio and voila! Palme no Ki. Influences are fine, but they were not digested enough to make them work.

The animation was of a very high order, with quite a few excellent spots (key animators included Toshiyuki Inoue, Nobutake Ito, Michio Mihara, Hisashi Nakayama, Hideki Hamasu and Ohashi Manabu) but overall it just didn't have the sense of wonder or the unique bite of the early animation drawn by Nakamura himself, which is perhaps what disappointed me the most. All that said, there are better films that I don't like as much. I still enjoy the film, however incredibly flawed it is. Nakamura's valiant attempt should be saluted. Also, I loved the use of the Ondes Martenot in the soundtrack, and found it very affecting.



neilworms [Visitor]

Is there a website up yet for this production?

If there isn’t make sure to put a link to it as it comes :)

Lets hope that we get to see the nakamura from Robot Carnival and Catnapped and not the pretenious version of him that I endured in over 2 hours of the film Tree of Palme.

08/10/04 @ 17:17
Ben [Visitor]

It’s still under construction, but there is already an intro to the story and a bunch of the sketches by Nakamura. Sounds like he’s been warming this one for a few years already. He says it’s going to be a traditional SF/fantasy adventure thing. I’m thinking we’re going to see something along the lines of Conan or Here and There, Now and Then. Or not.

08/10/04 @ 18:50