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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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

11:58:28 pm , 517 words, 1734 views     Categories: Animation, Misc

Misc ramblings

In looking for reviews of Akarui Kazoku Keikaku AKA Happy Family Planning recently I was amused to find one presumably paid reviewer of the set who appeared to be under the misconception that the trio never managed to commit suicide. What an optimist. Or just not very perceptive. I noticed this was shown on TV recently. Hm. I somehow doubt that will raise awareness of Satoru Utsunomiya's work. We'll be seeing a bit more work from Utsunomiya three weeks from now in ep 19 of Aquarion, though I'm not expecting something of the level of the former, as I doubt he'll have as much creative freedom as he did then. For one, his credits are shared with others, but more importantly, the material this time is self-limiting and not that exciting. Nonetheless, hopefully we'll be able to see something in his own personal style. If Satoshi Kon let him do it, Shoji Kawamori might be willing to let him do it. I've been waiting impatiently for something new from Utsunomiya ever since I saw the former, knowing full well that I was probably in for a long wait.

A person wrote me a while ago thinking he had spotted some Shinya Ohira in SamCham 14 and 21, which I found interesting. Obviously the work he was referring to was that of Nobutake Ito, which I had highlighted at the time. Ep 21 in particular had struck me as being so Ohira-inflected as to seem close in spirit to Hamaji's Resurrection, so clearly I wasn't the only person who sensed that similarity. I hope Ito keeps going in that direction. When I rewatch his work I keep wishing he'd go one step further because he's already taken the first step. Interestingly Hamaji's Resurrection was also a major influence on the main animator of the series, Kazuto Nakazawa, whom I recently learned had the film on a nearly continuous loop for several months after it came out in 1994 so great was its impact on him. I recall distinctly disliking his early work, but noticing a gradual change in his work with each new piece, as if he was consciously attempting to change his style, and that anecdote may go a way to explaining at least part of the reason for that.

On the topic of suspected Ohira spottings, I've always thought the shot of Nishi rocketing up into the air looked suspiciously like his work, though he isn't credited.

So far this year looks to be shaping up to make a massive sucking sound after the colossal downpour of major films last year, so I'm curious if anyone will get the Mainichi's Ofuji award this year. It was recently revealed that Mamoru Hosoda will be on the judging panel for the animation division of the Japan Media Arts Festival this year, which is again headed by Tomino, so it'd be odd if his film won, though that's the only one I can think would stand to be in contention so far. Apparently my DVD of said film was just shipped, two days ahead of schedule, so I look forward to seeing that soon.



rti9 [Visitor]

Another one that has nothing to do with the current post:

07/20/05 @ 13:07