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, April 17, 2006

07:29:10 pm , 912 words, 2696 views     Categories: Animation

Flag etc

This summer is going to be hot. In addition to all the other items already mentioned, Ryosuke Tahahashi, famous for the hard-boiled realistic robot (not giant robot) shows like Votoms, has a new show or series or something starting in the summer called Flag that I'm rather looking forward to based on its catch copy. It's supposedly going to be shot in strict documentary style. A documentary anime. They're saying there's no precedent, but off the top of my head I can think of at least the old Tatsunoko series Animentary Ketsudan (Animentary: Decision), and the semi-documentary style Tsushimamaru: Sayonara Okinawa... I've only seen a bit of his work, but it struck me as being very cold and withdrawn in a very deliberate way, like a step forward from the realism Tomino tried to bring to robot anime. Too bad the trailer doesn't seem to work for me...

New season
I tried to watch as much of the new season as I possibly could, but conked out after the ep 1 number twenty or so... I think what I enjoyed most of all were three or four of the background drawings in Simoun... Shichiro Kobayashi himself was in there doing actual background painting, and it showed. Bones's Host Club was well done, the perfect shoujo anime. It reminded me a bit of Mamoru Hosoda with the very formal, deliberate framing and detail-oriented directing, and I remember that Takuya Igarashi was another of the directors behind Utena (which I haven't seen) alongside Hosoda in his Katsuyo Hashimoto incarnation. Anyone watching this unfamiliar with shoujo conventions would probably be lost. Decadent is the only word that springs to mind. It was odd to see Sunao "Princess Arete" Katabuchi doing Black Lagoon. The last line of dialogue was the only part of the ep that I thought did justice to the material, which I think could have been pretty interesting. (Katabuchi is notably writing rather than storyboarding.) It reminded me of Naoki Yamamoto's We're all alive (Bokura wa minna ikiteiru), about Japanese salarymen coping with being suddenly cast into a crazy situation in the south pacific... there was some ice-skating animation by Akira Takada in the seiyu anime Love Getchu... Witchblade was overall fairly enjoyable and well directed, with some good animation here and there... Shingo Suzuki was the AD, never heard of him before... Inukami actually had some effort put into the animation... Nana ep 1 was probably the only ep out of the bunch that I was able to watch through to the end and actually enjoy considerably entirely for the story... oh, and Air Gear. I guess it's there to sell something or other, but it was possibly my favorite ep 1 of the new crop in terms of sheer enjoyment of the animation. Hajime Kamegaki worked alongside Yoshinori Kanada in the early 80s, and he's got a great sense for how to fill the animation with interesting and exciting movement, really getting the most out of the possibilities of the skating material.

Old anime on DVD
Here's a list of old anime that's been released on DVD box that I threw together for my own reference a while back. It's pretty impressive how many things that used to be rare and obscure have been released in full. I'm particularly curious about Fight!! Pyu-ta, Shotaro Ishinomori's Sabu to Ichi Torimonohikae (read the manga long ago), one of the first TV anime for adults, A Pro's Hajime Ningen Gyators (why did they have to release this in a huge, overpriced box?), Yasuo Otsuka's Samurai Giants, Paris no Isabelle, written by Takeshi Shudo...

鉄腕アトム Tetsuwan atom 1-2 ¥17,955 (18)
鉄人28号 Tetsujin 28go 1-4 ¥16,200 (6)

ビッグX BigX¥15,397 (4)
エイトマン 8Man 1-2 ¥9,261 (4)

サイボーグ009 Cyborg009 ¥23,520 (5)
ワンダースリー WonderThree ¥17,955 (10)
宇宙エース Uchu Ace ¥28,350 (5)
宇宙少年ソラン Uchu Shonen Soran 1-2 ¥56,700 (12) OOP
遊星少年パピイ Yusei Shonen Papi 1-2 ¥13,892 (6)

悟空の大冒険 Goku no Daiboken ¥10,868 (7)
ピュンピュン丸 Pyunpyunmaru ¥24,570 (4)
黄金バット Ogon Bat ¥28,350 (2)

わんぱく探偵団 Wanpaku tanteidan ¥34,020 (6)
ファイトだ!! ピュー太 Fight da!! Pyuta ¥24,098 (5)
佐武と市捕物控 Sabu to Ichi Torimonohikae ¥39,974 (10)
巨人の星 Kyojin no hoshi box & bara
サスケ 1-2 Sasuke ¥13,325 (3)
バンパイヤ Vampire ¥8,978 (5)
アニマル1 Animal1 ¥23,625 (5)

タイガーマスク Tiger Mask 1-3 ¥34,020 (6)
どろろ Dororo ¥8,978 (5)
海底少年マリン Kaitei shonen marin ¥9,875 (3)
妖怪人間ベム Yokai ningen bem ¥28,350 (5) OOP
タイガーマスク Tiger mask 1-2 ¥34,020 (6)
忍風カムイ外伝 Ninpu kamui gaiden 1-2 ¥24,499 (4) OOP
紅三四郎 Sugata sanshiro ¥28,350 (5) OOP
ハクション大魔王 Hakushon daimao ¥51,975 (7)

アタックNo.1 Attack No.1 ¥89,586 (18)
あしたのジョー Ashita no Joe ¥45,000 (16)

アンデルセン物語 Andersen Monogatari 1-2 ¥8,978 (5)
原始少年リュウ Genshi shonen ryu ¥26,460 (5)
さすらいの太陽 Sasurai no taiyo ¥26,460 (5)
アニメンタリー決断 Animetary ketsudan ¥19,845 (5)
さるとびエッちゃん Sarutobi ecchan ¥26,460 (5)
国松さまのお通りだい Kunimatsusama no otoridai 1-2 ¥26,460 (5)
アパッチ野球軍 Apacchi yakyugun ¥23,625 (5)

ど根性ガエル 1-5 Dokonjo gaeru ¥25,326 (4)
海のトリトン Umi no toriton ¥28,350 (5) +bara

ミラクル少女リミットちゃん Miracle shoujo limit chan ¥26,460 (5)
バビル2世 Babil2sei ¥30,240 (6)
エースをねらえ! Ace wo nerae 1-2 ¥15,876 (3) +bara
侍ジャイアンツ Samurai giants 1-2 ¥28,161 (4)
空手バカ一代 1-2 Karate baka ichidai ¥22,680 (6)
ゼロテスター Zero tester ¥21,546 (5)

はじめ人間ギャートルズ Hajime ningen gyators ¥66,150 (11)
魔女っ子メグちゃん 1-2 Majokko meguchan ¥28,350 (6)

元祖天才バカボン Ganso tensai bakabon 1-3 ¥28,350 (6)
ガンバの冒険 Ganba no boken ¥19,492 (6) +bara
アラビアンナイト シンドバットの冒険 Arabian night sinbad no boken 1-2 ¥25,137 (7)
アンデス少年ペペロの冒険 Andes shonen pepero no boken ¥14,800 (8) OOP

ドカベン Dokaben ¥113,400 (33)
ピコリーノの冒険 Picolino no boken 1-2 ¥25,137 (7)

無敵超人ザンボット3 Muteki chojin zambot 3 ¥22,680 (4)

魔女っ子チックル Majokko chikkuru 1-3 ¥9,261 (2)
家なき子 1-2 Ie naki ko ¥28,350 (5)
宝島 Takarajima 1-2 ¥17,766 (4) OOP

花の子ルンルン 1-2 Hana no ko runrun (5)
キリン名曲ロマン劇場「巴里のイザベル」Pari no isabelle ¥11,671 (4)
キリン名曲ロマン劇場「野バラのジュリー」Nobara no julie ¥11,671 (4)

あしたのジョー2 Ashita no joe ¥27,000 (8)
ニルスのふしぎな旅 Nils no fushigi na tabi ¥28,350 (6)
釣りキチ三平 Tsuri kichi sanpei ¥34,020 (6)

戦国魔神ゴーショーグン Sengoku majin goshogun ¥34,020 (6)
じゃりン子チエ 1-4 Jarinko chie ¥15,876 (3)
黄金戦士ゴールドライタン Ogon senshi gold lightan 1-2 ¥28,350 (4)
ワンワン三銃士 Wanwan sanjushi ¥23,342 (7)
六神合体ゴッドマーズ Rokushin gattai god mars 1-2 ¥26,271 (4)

パタリロ! Patariro 1-2 ¥22,491 (4)
さすがの猿飛 Sasuga no sarutobi ¥85,050 (24)
スペースアドベンチャーコブラ Space adventure cobra ¥40,446 (9)
太陽の子 エステバン 1-2 Taiyo no ko esteban ¥23,625 (4)
魔境伝説アクロバンチ Makyo densetsu acrobunch ¥23,625 (4) OOP

Cat's Eye 1-2 ¥28,010 (9)
ストップ!!ひばりくん Stop!! Hibari-kun ¥18,711 (3)
スプーンおばさん 1-2 Spoon obasan ¥21,546 (6)
未来警察ウラシマン Mirai keisatsu urashiman 1-2 ¥28,350 (4)
プラレス3四郎 Plawres 3shiro ¥35,721 (6)
装甲騎兵ボトムズ DVDメモリアルボックス Votoms ¥94,500 (20)

GU-GU ガンモ Gugu ganmo 1-2 ¥25,515 (5)
とんがり帽子のメモル Tongari boshi no memole ¥54,810 (11)
巨神ゴーグ Kyojin gorg ¥40,000 (8) OOP
星銃士ビスマルク Seitoshi bismark 1-2 ¥30,240 (5)

蒼き流星SPTレイズナー Aoki ryusei SPT layzner 1-2 ¥19,845 (5)
破邪大星ダンガイオー Hajadaisei dangaio ¥5,040
忍者戦士飛影 Ninja senshi tobikage 1-2 ¥28,350 (4)
超獣機神ダンクーガ コンプリートボックス Dancougar 1-2 ¥28,350 (4)
ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 III Gegegeno kitaro III ¥61,425 (20)

マシンロボクロノスの大逆襲 Machine robo chronos no daigyakushu 1-2 ¥28,350 (4)
宇宙船サジタリウス Uchusen sajitariusu 1-3 ¥27,405 (5)

ビックリマン 1-2 Bikkuriman ¥34,020 (6)
アニメ三銃士 1-2 Anime sanjushi ¥27,216 (5)

青いブリンク 1-2 Aoi blink ¥14,175 (3)

チエちゃん奮戦記 Chie chan funsenki 1-2 ¥18,711 (4)

ひみつのアッコちゃん Himitsu no akkochan I (1969) 1-4 ¥19,800 (4)
ひみつのアッコちゃん Himitsu no akkochan II (1988) 1-2 ¥28,799 (6)
ひみつのアッコちゃん Himitsu no akkochan III (1998) 1-2 ¥19,800 (4)

東映アニメモノクロ傑作選 Toei monochrome masterpieces 1-3 ¥9,261 (3)



Random person
Random person [Visitor]

I’m interested in Gold Lightan if only for Takashi Nakamura’s eps, I suppose it’s a bit pointless buying the boxset then, perhaps? I suppose it’s more worth getting Jarinko Chie, or what the heck, I just need to get that Ideon movie from that friend’s friend already…

I’m surprised you actually bothered checking so many ep 1s out, I think you’ve ended up checking out more than I have. I wasn’t going to touch Air Gear but now that you mention it… But if you have the time and nothing better to do, you might want to just look at Bones’ other new anime’s OP.
There is this really nice fighting bit with dynamic framing. If that’s the right term to use.
I also really wish Kyoto Animation would embark on a different type of project, it’s evident that they’re a dedicated production studio… now that they’ve garnered a lot of attention they may be able to command more freedom in choice of projects, but on the flip side they may be obliged to pander to the fans even more.

I’m surprised you haven’t watched Utena, seeing that it was at least a bit influential and had Katsuyo Hashimoto, as well as some nice stuff from Shichiro Kobayashi, and J.A. Seazer.

04/18/06 @ 06:19
Ben [Visitor]

I confess that quite a few of the ep 1s I sampled I had to either watch on 2x or just watch chunks because it was too unbearable.

I’ve heard things about Kyoto Animation that give me the impression they’re perfectly happy doing this kind of material, so personally I kind of gave up on them. Haruhi was very witty and well done, but with inhuman designs like that, who cares… And a problem I have with the animation is that it lacks personality. I don’t mean to be hard on Kyoto, as they’re obviously trying hard to infuse the animation with life, but watching their stuff reminds me that it’s not enough to just move it as much as possible; there has to be a reason behind the movement. A well calculated movement in a few limited drawings can be so much more effective than full movement that’s nothing but inbetweens…

I know what you mean about Gold Lightan… lots of this stuff I’d like to see, but not to the point of buying the whole box, especially if it’s just for an ep here and there. Most of it is way overpriced anyway. Mushi Pro is the only company that has released reasonably priced DVDs of their material.

Actually, I think I watched one episode of Utena because it was an episode with Yutaka Nakamura in it, and it was just as stylistically overboard as I expected… kind of sensory overload.

04/18/06 @ 09:52
gingersoll [Visitor]

I agree that Kyoto animation is throwing frames at the “problem” of low quality tv animation… However, they DO have inspired moments in their shows.
I think their approach to animation is not without merit. While their characters often move for the sake of movement, I find this preferable to the overly static nature of most animation on tv (which have neither movement nor inspiration).
I don’t think we can compare any of their shows to the likes of Mushishi (fewer frames, masterful quality), but I don’t think they mean to be such. Compare Kyoto’s Fullmetal Panic to Gonzo’s. Neither is going to win awards for deep, intuitive animation, but Kyoto’s push to keep things moving gives the frame more life. Even if it is average, it is a more pleasent average.

04/19/06 @ 05:54
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

I don’t know if there are any whole studios who are known - as a studio - for having limited but well-thought and creative imagination. Are there? (Barring small 5-member “studio” sorta things.)
But I agree with you about Kyoto. Even if it’s moe, their shows probably count as the best example of the genre out there… (Though I think Kamichu!’s much much better. Dunno how they managed that) It’s a bit different than the times where you have really mediocre genga but extremely slippery smooth movement, since they are at least trying to breathe a bit of life in…
I guess if they enjoy doing those kind of shows then it’s fine, but I do wish they get the chance to do something else: if they still insist on moefying it then I’d know what they mean for sure…

I also wish I could watch that Flag trailer, I really do, but I don’t know why it’s available only to Japanese IPs… guess foreign downloads use too much bandwidth or something…

And aren’t anime DVDs in Japan in general are tremendously overpriced? That’s probably the only way some shows generate any kind of revenue… That bubble ought to be bursting soon.

04/20/06 @ 02:33
gingersoll [Visitor]

I think the “reason” of high prices being needed to make a profit on video releases is ridiculous. Manufacture and mastering of a dvd is dirt cheap in today’s market. Restoration is also much cheaper than it was in the past (look at Eureka!’s restored release of Kwaidan. For less than 20 bucks this thing looks like GOLD, has been masterfully restored, packed with extras and easily beats the AV quality of the Criterion and Japanese r2 release–both of which are twice as expensive!).
Japanese video companies just can’t let go of the bubble days when people could afford to spend 7000Y on a SINGLE OAV LD.
But I do think the bubble is bursting.. slowly.

04/21/06 @ 02:39
Kwesi K.
Kwesi K. [Visitor]
04/23/06 @ 11:25
Manuloz [Visitor]

thx for the trailer!

I was looking for Katsuyo Hashimoto on google and found myself here…

I found these clip on youtube posted by someone who sems to know a lot about animation too ^^

04/27/06 @ 14:21
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

Wow!! Nice find. Youtube really is quite helpful I suppose - especially with the recent influx of Japanese uploaders, it’s a leetle easier to find unusual or rare stuff like that.

04/28/06 @ 05:54