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, April 5, 2005

07:16:22 pm , 273 words, 2454 views     Categories: Animation

Tadashi Hiramatsu's making a movie

It looks like Tadashi Hiramatsu has made the transition from animator to director more quickly than expected. 8 years after his debut as character designer on an anime version of a shoujo manga, he'll be mounting his feature directing debut with another shoujo anime: Ghost Rhapsody. I've been curious to know what he would do with a bigger project from the scattered episodes he's directed here and there, which showed him to have a definite talent for directing, particularly for cooking up convincing drama that has a real feeling of tension. The episodes in Here and now, then and there that always impressed me as the best I later realized were the ones done by Hiramatsu. With his ep of Genius Party to boot, this year looks like it'll be a good year for discovering a new side of Tadashi Hiramatsu.

In addition to the ten members of Genius Party who were known, two names added in at the bottom of the poster displayed at the TAF appear also to be involved in some fashion. One is the satire manga artist Yoji Fukuyama, who was perhaps not coincidentally mentioned by Tadashi Hiramatsu in that interview. Coincidentally, I just received a book of his manga yesterday. His work has a line that's curiously reminiscent of Otomo. He's a fine caricaturist, and I can understand what Hiramatsu meant about his work providing helpful clues about how to get closer to reality in anime. The book juxtaposes his political/social satiric one-pagers with a story manga featuring a character who curiously manages to look like a quintessential Japanese salaryman and Woody Allen all at the same time.

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29 comments

jfrog
jfrog [Visitor]

I can’t read Japanese, but I really love that image from the flyer. Looks wonderfully twee, fluffy in that great Tsukiyo no Ban way, but without the creepy pedo subtext. Obviously can’t judge something just based on one image, but it should be something to look forward to.

Seems that after the Year of Anime Dinosaurs, there might be a similar alignment with the lesser-known and upcoming talent in a couple years between this, the new Okiura movie, Sachiko, and Atagoul. Should be exciting.

04/05/05 @ 23:21
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

I certainly will be looking forward to that. Actually, I’m dying for some decent anime, the only hope left (to me anyway) this season is Eureka which hasn’t aired yet, I believe…
All the rest for this season so far seems really… awfully… mediocre. And Sousei no Aquarion was a bloody joke. I can’t believe they thought it would be a good idea to animate that! I didn’t know Shoji Kawamori could do genga, though. I wonder which bit he did.

Oh, and it seems Takahata is finally going to do another movie…

04/06/05 @ 01:35
Tsuka
Tsuka [Visitor]

And the other new name of Genius Party staff is Tatsuyuki Tanaka (I cry). You can see some photos on my fansite, also great designs by Daisuke Nakayama for an online game.

Real name of Morimoto next movie is “Eishaki-jin Sachiko".

04/06/05 @ 06:45
Vahid
Vahid [Visitor]

Any more info on what that 2 minute clip was like ?

04/06/05 @ 09:09
Ben
Ben [Visitor]

Cripes. Okiura and Takahata too? That’s great. I wonder if Takahata is going to do his Heike Monogatari thing he’s been talking about. I’m shocked Ghibli’s letting him. I never thought I’d see another Takahata film. Man. Fantastic. And it’s nice that they finally managed to sell that Atagoul pilot, heh. I doubt Mamo’s going to do it, but still nice that we’ll finally be able to see some Hiroshi Masumura anime. His stuff is fun and quite different. Hope they don’t fnk it up.

Aquarion was indeed a joke, and the strange thing is, I think it was on purpose…?! Way beyond me. Kawamori was listed last, so I don’t expect he did anything fancy, probably just end-wiping.

04/06/05 @ 17:19
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

I know, I was thinking Takahata was kind of not going to do any more films…
I’d also ask why you think Aquarion was a joke on purpose (I really don’t see how…) but never mind…

And it seems like Asia-Do will be doing a new anime series called Zettai Shounen directed by Tomomi Mochizuki. Seems like it might be good. At LEAST it’s not from Group Tac.

And I think I’m the only one who’s going on about commercial anime so I shall stop here..

04/07/05 @ 03:42
Ben
Ben [Visitor]

“Anata to gattai shitai” sounds pretty obviously tongue-in-cheek to me.

Apparently a solo Atsushi Wakabayashi Naruto ep is airing in a month, so let’s hope we get to see another episode like 30 and 71…

04/07/05 @ 08:56
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

I said I’d shut up, but I just had to say that there’s a very maybe Itano Circus-ish short rocket sequence in the opening sequence of Futakoi Alternative. I’m not kidding. The layout sakkan did KA in FLCL. If you find a credit list from the OP and recognize anyone…

04/08/05 @ 07:21
Ben
Ben [Visitor]

Don’t shut up. Who else am I going to talk about this stuff with?

Futakoi Alternative was quite something, wasn’t it. Shows why UFO Table is one of the up-and-coming studios to certain fans along with Kyoto Animation. The FLCL copy aspect felt a bit too obvious and thin and unconvincing to me, and the ep never raised more than a smirk on my face, but at least it felt like they really put the effort in with the animation. The director/storyboarder, Takayuki Hirao, directed the first ep of Paranoia Agent. I particularly liked the opening fight scene. The drawings and movement were nice. The Itano Circus epigone gave me a chuckle too. I don’t know who did what because I’m not familiar with UFO Table’s past work like Dokkoida (which had many of the same people - Jun Shibata was CD and animated the ED), but I recall that Jun Shibata and Atsushi Itagaki did solo animator eps in Ninin Ga Shinobuden, so… Other than that, Soichiro Matsuda was in Hashire Melos and the last ep of Ninku, and Mitsuru Obunai was in Yoshinori Kanada’s Popolo Crois ep, but that’s about as far as I can guess.

04/08/05 @ 16:05
neilworms
neilworms [Visitor]

The news that takahata is doing another film makes me cry out with joy… I was thinking like the others here that he was pretty much retired, I’m so glad to see him coming back, particularly when from what I’ve heard miyazaki is getting a tad stale with Howl’s… We need more work from the master of the “master” of Japanese animation…

Anyways what’s this concept Heike Monogatari supposed to be about? The name sounds like an old japanese story I learned about in Japanese history class…

04/08/05 @ 22:09
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

I did watch Howl’s myself and do think Miyazaki’s sort of losing it… It was quite a disappointing film… I’m definitely looking forward to Takahata’s film, though his films don’t seem to be as appreciated or well known as the other Ghibli films (with the exception of Hotaru no Haka maybe)

I watched Speed Grapher, it had some nice animation, and I’m quite surprised Duran Duran is doing the OP.

04/09/05 @ 00:57
Ben
Ben [Visitor]

Takahata’s been wanting to make a movie version of the Tale of the Heike for at least ten years. That project was actually up for consideration at the time Ponpoko was in planning, but due to the difficulties of animating dozens of warriors in armor fighting each other it was put on the back burner. They then looked at it again four years later for Yamada, but it still didn’t seem feasible. They may have found a way now with new technologies. Perhaps that Winter Days short was a study for this… who knows. Maybe it’s something completely different. Should definitely be worth looking forward to to see what new approach Takahata will come up with this time.

04/09/05 @ 08:36
Vahid
Vahid [Visitor]

What’s futakoi alternative?

I saw Speed Grapher too. Quite impressed, a very seedy and original feel despite fairly familiar structure. The detailed world is nice, as is the photojournalist character idea, let’s see where they take it. When’s the next episode airing?

04/09/05 @ 10:18
Ben
Ben [Visitor]

Futakoi Alternative is slightly above average, but nothing worth going out of your way to see.

04/09/05 @ 23:16
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

The next episode of Speed Grapher airs on Friday morning at 2:40 am. I really hope it doesn’t fall completely flat and go for the moe appeal (aren’t otaku tired of moe by now?) and get taken over purely by (the not so good) Korean animators…

I wonder if there’ll be a Ghibli film by an external person any time soon. The only people who’ve done that so far who I know of are Yoshifumi Kondo (RIP), Tomomi Mochizuki (who is doing a new series…) and Hiroyuki Morita (what is he doing?).

04/09/05 @ 23:30
Random parson
Random parson [Visitor]

“8 years after his debut as character designer on an anime version of a shoujo manga"… er… care to mention what, for those of us who don’t learn the names of all the people involved in everything they watch? ;_;

04/10/05 @ 04:50
Josh
Josh [Visitor]

It was mentioned that one of the three upcoming Ghibli features is by ’someone else,’ I’m hoping that someone is Morita. Sure, The Cat Returns was a rather slight movie, but it had a real freshness that’s been missing from Miyazaki’s work for quite a while. Plus the Cat Kingdom strongly reminded me of L Frank Baum and his completely random magical lands (Utensia?), and he’s by far my favorite children’s writer, so that was a huge plus for me personally.

And the shojo manga was His and Her Circumstances, IIRC

04/10/05 @ 06:41
Random parson
Random parson [Visitor]

Karekano is eight years old already? Damn.

04/10/05 @ 07:29
Ben
Ben [Visitor]

It’s actually seven. I forgot to double-check.

04/10/05 @ 08:30
Random parson
Random parson [Visitor]

Wasn’t nitpicking, just seems a long time… the 2000s have gone far too quickly.
Not watched it very recently though, the thought of going through the second half of the series again fills me with dread. Combination of 6 eps of recap and (as much as love experimentation) that god awful paper cutout episode again… The Uno game is one of my favourite sequences in anything though.

As for the ghib, the three projects announced at the same time possibly a sign of more finacial control from after the Tokuma Shoten split? Have yet to see Howl, god knows when it’ll hit screens in the UK, but have been in two minds about it since the project was announced. Been a Diane Wynne Jones fan since the BBC did a version of Archer’s Goon on kids tv, and I don’t really see how her disorganised creativity is going to fit with the meticulous ghib approach.

04/10/05 @ 10:03
Ben
Ben [Visitor]

Don’t forget Yoshiyuki Momose. He directed the Ghiblies films. I’d think he’d be a likely candidate. Those films had the moments I most liked in any Ghibli film of the last few years. If you count the sub-segments of 2, you could also add a few other tantalizing names to the possibilities for upcoming film #3. Cue me fantasizing about a Shinya Ohira film at G… now cue laugh track.

04/10/05 @ 16:38
Josh
Josh [Visitor]

Heh. As much as I loved Ghiblies, that thought never crossed my mind. Guess I just figured that he’d be too uncommercial to direct a full feature at Ghibli. Wonderful surprise if it’d actually happen, though.

04/10/05 @ 22:09
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

Shinya Ohira doing a film? With Ghibli? … The next year, Takahata would produce a moe-moe TV series based off a sub-par erogame and it’ll be aired at 6:00 pm…

04/11/05 @ 03:31
manuloz
manuloz [Visitor]  

Last comment on Tadashi Hiramatsu blog says his movie his finally moving forward. But did he say we can expect it this year ?

http://tempo01.blog76.fc2.com/blog-entry-57.html

I have another question, do you think those design for a new commercial produced by Gainax look like Tadashi Hiramatsu work ?

You can check them here :
http://www.manganimation.net/news/?p=277

01/19/08 @ 02:18
Ben [Member]  

Good to know. No, Hiramatsu doesn’t say whether we can expect it within the coming year. He only says it’s going to start moving forward in earnest this year. But I suppose if it starts moving forward in earnest this year, it shouldn’t be too long until it’s done. Next year maybe? Intriguingly, he also talks of the project involving some “unexpected” people for an anime. Wonder what that could mean.

I’m no Hiramatsu expert, but none of those stills strike me as looking like Hiramatsu’s work. At least, the drawings themselves. They’re far too bad. I can’t say whether he might have created a great design at some early stage that got destroyed in the process by the final animation… I’ve kind of been wondering what Hiramatsu was up to since that episode of Denno Coil he did. I suppose he was busy helping out on Guren.

01/19/08 @ 14:11
manuloz
manuloz [Visitor]  

Thx for your reply. Yep, i suppose next year is about the right time to see the movie go to theaters in Japan, if the production starts this year.
I went to the new site of Trilogy studio which had announced producing this movie, but Ghost Rapsody is nowhere to be seen on there upcoming project page :
http://www.trilogy-fs.co.jp/

Well a time will come to annouce the staff.

I actually thought, it was looking good ^^.
That was the first screen that gave me vibes of Hiramatsu style, it reminded me of these illustrations :
http://manuloz.free.fr/Images/forum/thgirls.jpg
http://manuloz.free.fr/Images/forum/thcue_ol.jpg

01/22/08 @ 02:59
manuloz
manuloz [Visitor]  

Hiroyuki Yamaga said during Fanimecon 08 that studio Gainax was developping a movie based on a shojo manga. He also said he went to England for research, it happens Tadashi Hiramatsu went there too ^^

So the adaptation of Ghost Rapsody might (if i’m right) finally get the go at Gainax :)

05/26/08 @ 01:22
Random person
Random person [Visitor]  

And now, more than 3 years after this post was made we have what sounds pretty much like a confirmation of what we’ve all been waiting for: in Hiramatsu’s latest blog entry he mentions being busy with 3 big works this year, グ (Gurren Lagann’s new thingy), ヱ (Evangelion movie) and… ゴ, which has to be none other than Ghost Rhapsody.
He adds that two finish within this year, while another one is only starting this year… Perhaps we can expect Ghost Rhapsody to be rolled out next year? I can’t wait, especially after his excellent Dennou Coil episode.

07/01/08 @ 00:42
Ben [Member]  

Thanks for pointing this out. It’s starting to really drag on, so I do hope it’ll see the light of day next year, or the year after at the latest. As much as I like Hiramatsu’s animation, I’ve been wishing he wasn’t tied up doing all these little miscellaneous things in the meantime so he could finally move on and focus on directing, as he’s long said he wanted to do.

07/06/08 @ 09:41