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I was practically hyperventilating from laughter and amazement and sheer unmitigated YYYYEEESSSSSS!!!!! for about about ten minutes after watching a short 30-second sequence in Samurai Champloo #9.
No, I wasn't on anything. Though all the characters in the episode were.
Masaaki Yuasa animated a sequence in Champloo!
Everyone who can't wait to see Mind Game, RUN, DON'T WALK, and watch Samurai Champloo episode 9 right now.
This is a mere foretaste of the great revelation to come.
And to top off the bliss, Hiroyuki Imaishi did the storyboard for this episode.
No hestitation the single best animated sequence I've seen in any anime in years. God bless you, Masaaki Yuasa.
Apart from that, generally speaking it was a very well animated and funny and fun episode. There was so much going on all the time with the drawings, little amusing touches everywhere, with nice quirky movements all over the place. (Pay attention to the drawings where Mugen is running through the forest.) Great stuff. And why? The animation director of this episode, Nobutake Ito (joined by Kazuto Nakazawa) is one of the main animators in Mind Game. (He was also an animator in the Digimon movie I talked about earlier.)
i totally agree, animation is top notch in champloo. finally! i’m sick of all these anime fans praising the animation of one series or another (i.e. junni kokki, chobits, even naruto) when there is a distinct difference in quality of animation by people like Masaaki Yuasa. btw, i’m surprised you’ve bothered to learn the artists/animators names; why the in depth interest? are you an animator too? or just like to know your stuff?
I just dig certain animators’ work, and enjoy being able to spot it. Certain people like Masaaki Yuasa, Shinji Hashimoto, Hiroyuki Imaishi have a style that is totally original and worthy of being singled out for praise within the rather bland and homogenous context of anime, and so I like to follow people like that and point them out for folks who might otherwise never hear that sort of thing. For example, people love the wild action in FLCL without knowing that a lot of it was the work of Imaishi. I think there are a lot of cases like this where someone sees a movement or scene in an anime that blows them away, but they don’t realize that it was the work of one animator. If they knew that, then they could figure out what else that person has done, and start to see anime a little differently. Because that’s how anime is created: people drawing drawings. (at least for now!) Learning to distinguish the individual people responsible for what you’re seeing on the screen is just a good way of deepening your appreciation of quality work in anime, as well as sharpening your perceptive skills.
Incidentally, some people might be wondering exactly which thirty seconds Yuasa animated in this episode. I didn’t specify on purpose. Just watch the episode, and if you can’t figure it out yourself, you’re hopeless. (His section is absolutely unmissable, so I am sure nobody will be hopeless!)