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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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

11:16:39 am , 343 words, 736 views     Categories: Animation

In the news

Mr. Ashita Nonki has a loveable collection of gif loops that'll put a smile on your face when that's necessary. (click on Fliptheater)

Koji Yamamura curated a pair of exhibitions about animation over at the Aichi Expo 2005. The first is a macro-micro history section - a history of animation from the cave paintings of Altamira through to the present day, followed by a history of his own personal evolution as an animator. The other half is a corner where you can play around with his own recreations of early animation toys like the phenakistiscope and the zoetrope. Great to see an independent animator getting to do such a fun project.

Manga is hardly my area of expertise, but I was rather excited when I ran across Ryuji Umeda's Warawanai Kodomo (Kids who don't smile) because it reminded me of... what, I couldn't exactly put my finger on, but it has a feeling of stillness that's close to some of my favorite manga artists like Fumiko Takano, Murasaki Yamada and Masahiro Nikaido. Stunning work. It actually dates from more than a decade ago, since it was published in book form in 1995 by Shinpusha, from whom the book can still be ordered (over there). Umeda made some amateur animation prior to this that is high on the list of Satoru Utsunomiya's favorite animation, but I don't think he's made anything since. It'd be nice to see that.

Hiroyuki Imaishi's new short Oval x Over was unveiled a few days ago at a press junket, where it was revealed that the three 3-minute episodes will be shown on MTV Japan starting April 1, and will be released on a CD+DVD entitled Over Top on April 27th.

And according to Beyond C News, Studio 4°C will be officially unveiling details about their next two major projects at the Tokyo International Anime Fair 2005 over the next few days.

Chris Sobieniak brought to my attention that you can now see the cover for Hen's Tooth's Jack and the Beanstalk DVD on the web, eg, on Amazon's pre-order page.



Tsuka [Visitor]

Thanks for the news :)

Snif snif, in fact Oval x Over will not be a long anime …

I posted a preview of Jack and the Beanstalk DVD cover few weeks ago on Catsuka.

Ryuji Umeda’s work is interesting. Is it possible to watch his animations somewhere ?

03/30/05 @ 12:08
Ben [Visitor]

No, Umeda’s animation isn’t available for viewing anywhere. Kind of frustrating.

03/30/05 @ 13:14
Tsuka [Visitor]

Snif ;-( …

I found a little trailer of Oval X Over (stamp video -o-) :
Streaming [WMP][Real]

03/30/05 @ 13:46
Ben [Visitor]

Wow. Thanks. Viva Imaishi. And this right after Musashi. I’m kind of glad they weren’t making another full-length film with the same staff. It might start to get old. I figure this is a nice bite-sized encore of DL.

03/30/05 @ 15:12
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

Thanks for the link to the Umeda manga. I thought that was some very very well done stuff. Have saved the page…

I’d also love to see some of his animations, really.

03/31/05 @ 00:54
Jericho [Visitor]

Its great to see such manga, it is very rare to get that kind of silent treatment that it gives to the reader. All action is invested in various still compositions and non ambitious narrative. I would say tepid in a non derogatory sense.

Hey, this reminds me of a great manga series with a similar attitude by Ashinano Hitoshi called Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (The Records of a Shopping Trip to Yokohama). You can find it on a Seattle based fan page that translated entire volumes into English a la
There is no chance of it being released here under an North American publisher, because it takes forever for his chapters to come out. 120 chapters each released on a monthly basis, meaning it has been running for more that 10 years, with no sign of stopping. But I found its quietness to be worth reading in its entirety. You will find cliches and the drawing style does change as time progresses, but they dont drag down. Lots of stories with little dialouge or giseigo. There is a two episode animation following it, But this and the manga have to be imported.

03/31/05 @ 01:49
Owen Carson
Owen Carson [Visitor]

The Oval x Over clip now in Improved new and slightly better quality size.

Thanks to ray for the link.

04/05/05 @ 13:43