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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« A Night at the CinemathequeMind Game news »

Sunday, July 4, 2004

07:37:34 pm , 373 words, 978 views     Categories: Animation, Mind Game

Masaaki Yuasa Event Report

Mind Game Official SiteI found the page in English with details about the talk Masaaki Yuasa is going to be giving at the 2004 Tokyo Digital Art Festival.

The Masaaki Yuasa ibento held by Anime Style in Shinjuku's Loft Plus One went well -- sold out, in fact! Hongo Mitsuru, the director of the early Crayon Shin-chan films, who never makes public appearances, stated that he made an exception in this case to help publicize Mind Game, which he praised ardently and in no uncertain terms, intriguingly positing it as a healthy antidote to the prevailing trend in anime films, where "everything is incredibly detailed, but SO DAMN BORING!" MG's merits were extolled in equally enthusiastic terms by the other panel guests: maverick animator Hiroyuki Imaishi, who was there as an audience member but made an impromptu appearance on stage to put in his own three cents of praise, and mod director Tatsuo Sato, who lamented his own lack of vision for not having caught on to Yuasa's potential as early on as others like Osamu Kobayashi & Tsutomu Shibayama (A Pro directors), Reiko Okuyama (famous Toei-era animator) and Shichiro Kobayashi (Madhouse art director).

A few of Yuasa's bits in the Crayon Shin-chan TV series and films were shown, followed by an overly generous sampling of excerpts from Mind Game.

The centerpiece of the night was the seldom seen スライム冒険記 (Slime Adventures), a short film directed by Yuasa in 1999, but doomed to obscurity from the moment of its inception, because it was intended purely for use at a one-time publicity event. Along with the similarly doomed Vampiyan Kids Pilot, these two peanut-sized movies constitute the entirety of Masaaki's oeuvre as director prior to Mind Game, which therefore rightfully qualifies as his feature directing debut.

The evening wrapped up with Yuasa fast-forwarding through かぼちゃ屋 (Kabocha-ya), episode 3 of the ultra-rare OVA series アニメ落語館 (Anime Rakugokan), whilst providing a voice-over summary of the story, much to the amusement of the audience.

I have these two pages to thank for this info: one two.

I also just learned, from the interview recently posted on the official home page, that the total production time for Mind Game was two years and seven months, two of which were devoted to animation.

Japanese word of the day: キモオタ

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