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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« Otogi Pro and the rise of independent animation in JapanOh brother »

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

08:03:51 pm , 241 words, 2120 views     Categories: Animation

Ninku notes

I had a chance to watch the early Ninku episodes recently, and I was struck how incredibly Utsunomiya they looked. It's impressive the degree to which Tetsuya Nishio was consciously able to model his style after Utsynomiya. His designs are a good example of how to design characters to make them easy to move. And the influence of the late episodes of Hakkenden, which came out the year before, featuring as they did Utsunomiya himself, is just as patently obvious. This series features a lot of Utsunomiya-school action done by a number of animators who would later go on to become among the more promiment animators of today, so it's interesting to look back on their work ten years ago. Besides those I mentioned before - Atsushi Wakabayashi, Tetsuya Nishio - these are the others of note in the series:

Yutaka Nakamura: 12, 19, 21
Kazuto Nakazawa: 14, 51
Ko Yoshinari: 14, 22, 30, 45
Yoshinari brothers: 22
Tatsuya Tomaru: 22, 45, 51
Jiro Kanai: 43
Nobutake Ito: 44, 48, 50, 54, 55
Masahiko Kubo: 45, 51
Michio Mihara: 39

Yutaka Nakamura pioneered his own original style a few years afterwards in Cowboy Bebop. I'm unfamiliar with Tatsuya Tomaru's work, but now curious to sample it, seeing that he was trusted with the daunting task of AD on Steam Boy. Jiro Kanai is a Studio 4°C regular, and Masahiko Kubo (layout, co-AD) and Nobutake Ito (key animator of the finale) are two of the most important figures behind the animation of Mind Game. Interesting to note that even Michio Mihara is there.

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