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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Thursday, June 1, 2006

05:02:58 pm , 370 words, 2395 views     Categories: Animation

Junk Town

It seems Studio 4°C producer Eiko Tanaka has started a blog. I haven't had time to read through it yet, but I look forward to doing so. Recently she mentioned that Mind Game was going to get a screening with English subs soon. What really caught my eye was that she says Nobutake Ito's directing debut Garakuta no Machi (Junk Town) is going to be shown along with four other shorts. I have to commend the studio once again for picking out one of the most interesting animators active right now and getting him to do something, even if it's just a short. To top it off, Mamoru Hosoda is the audio director for some reason. Anyone looking for an introduction to Ito's work need merely consult the climactic escape scene of Mind Game, which Ito animated, or episode 21 or 25 of Samurai Champloo. Ito was animation director/animator on the former and animator of the fight on the boat in the latter. Ito's work as an animator is incredibly assured and personal without being ostentatious or showy. You get a sense watching his work of someone with conviction, boundless patience and the willingness to do what it takes to create movement he's got in his head, no matter how much work it entails. Stylistically his work can seem to hover somewhere around the realistic school of a Hashimoto or an Ohira, but without going too far into the expressive realm. He seems to have a genius instinct for realistic timing, especially with natural phenomena like water and splashes, but one look at his resume is enough to realize that anything he's got is the result of long years of experience as an animator. He also has the flexibility and breadth to want to try other things, as witness his warm-up sally in 4°C's Kimagure Robot short-short series. I look forward to seeing what he will do as a director. Ito is also apparently going to be the character designer of Masaaki Yuasa's new TV series, which is going to start airing later this summer. (You can see a short clip of Ito animating water in the escape sequence of Mind Game on the Remixed DVD.)

Related: Nobutake Ito

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18 comments

Muffin
Muffin [Visitor]

Speaking of Studio 4°C, one project I’m really curious about is Koji Morimoto’s “Sachiko".

06/08/06 @ 15:36
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

Sorry to kind of make another annoying comment that has nothing to do with the post again (though I’m really interested in those 4C shorts - Hosoda the audio director??) but…

I found this compliation of some of Mitsuo Iso’s stuff and I… can’t recognize a bunch of that stuff and was hoping that, if you had the time, you could help. This is a sort of breakdown.
Start -> 0:12 ??? A bit from some Gundam series?
0:12 -> 0:24 Gosenzosama Banbanzai?
0:24 -> 0:28 Rurouni Kenshin OP
0:28 -> 0:41 Char’s Counterattack?
0:41 -> 1:12 Various things and I don’t know any of them, except a wild guess that the explosion is Evangelion
1:12 -> 1:33 Blood hanger scene
1:33 -> 1:46 Kill Bill bullet goes through brain
1:46 -> 2:12 Gundam 0080?
2:12 -> 2:21 Transformers?
2:21 -> 2:30 ???
2:30 -> 2:45 Evangelion
2:45 -> 2:58 ???
2:58 -> 3:02 Popolocrois
3:02 -> 3:24 Evangelion movie
3:24 -> 3:40 ??? I really want to know what this is though!

As an omake someone put up a compliation of some of Norio Matsumoto’s stuff (The second half is entirely Naruto.) It also has nicer music.

06/21/06 @ 08:32
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

Urrg. I just realised tthe links did not come out. Well, the first one is the Iso link and the second Matsumoto. If they don’t come out thsi time… it’s youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZZCgdwIxE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFf6V-N6V5Q

There’s also two old Japanese animated shorts there which I enjoyed greatly: Kumo to Tulip by Kenzo Masaoka and Ko Ri no Tatehiki by Ikuo Ooishi.

06/21/06 @ 14:07
Ben [Member]  

The very beginning with the kids in the classroom being incinerated is uncredited work from episode 5 of Gundam 0080. The explosion that comes afterwards is from another ep, I don’t remember which, maybe 6. I always thought it was either Iso or Iso’s big influence Inano Yoshinobu, who did much work in 0080 (it’s a good place to start to get a sense of his style). This person has mistakenly (?) included a shot by Hisashi Mori from Samurai 7 in this video, so don’t think all of this is dogma, there may be some other interpolations.

The Gosenzo is part of his bit at the beginning of ep 6.

The bit after his two shots from the Rurou op is probably from Dragnar, though I can’t be sure since I haven’t seen it. Does Transformers look like that?? That’s not the sort of thing I remember seeing as a kid.

:41 is Eva ep 1. If you haven’t at least seen this ep you should because they didn’t include all of his shots in the ep. The shot with the bounding car, not included here, is my favorite of his in the ep. The shot here with the missile was supposedly either inbetweened by Kenichi Yoshida or KA’d by Kenichi because Iso only had time to do the layout or something.

There’s a single shot at 1:00 that I have no idea about. Right afterwards is that Mori bit.

Then Blood.

Then Kill Bill.

Then 0080 1.

Don’t know what 2:13 is. Maybe Dragnar.

I think 2:23 is pen name work from the Rintaro Final Fantasy.

2:30 FLCL 6

2:46 Popolo game 1

3:03 Eva movie

3:25 Voogie’s 3

The Voogie’s bit is also one of my favorites. Ep 3 of Voogie’s was done by Hiramatsu and featured a lot of other interesting animators, so it’s worth a look. (though Iso’s bit is by far the best)

That’s not all, folks. It’s some of his best, but he’s done a lot more if you look at the filmo, and it’s all worth hunting down.

06/23/06 @ 05:44
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

Ah, thank you so very very much. I did watch Transformers when I was very young but theo nly memory I had of it was that I literally slipped over spilt milk and it was very painful and when I looked up Transformers was on TV. There could have been something I didn’t know about but anyway - thank you very much. Evidently I got a lot wrong…

Time for some hunting then. Is your birthday today, by the way? Just a very random question.

06/23/06 @ 11:05
Ben [Member]  

Glad to help. Interesting memory. You got a lot right, too, so give yourself some credit. Iso’s work isn’t always the easiest to spot.

Char’s Counterattack is something nobody’s been able to figure out yet AFAIK. I don’t know what he did in there. Interestingly, he’s supposedly used the pen name “Mikio Odagawa” in various spots, but here we see a credit for both Mitsuo Iso AND Mikio Odagawa, which confuses things a bit.

FWIW, in the first Digimon movie he supposedly did the part with the monsters fighting at the end. I’ve heard he was supposed to have done that entire section, but wasn’t able to get around to it all, so certain shots were reassigned to other animators - including the shots of Hikari crying and blowing the whistle, animated by Hideki Hamasu, some of my favs in the film, and my favs period.

Then there’s the Bebop movie, in which he supposedly did some uncredited work, but I have no idea what he did. I also re-watched Space Miners a while back, but wasn’t able to definitively spot his work, though there were a few spots I thought seemed likely candidates. See if you have any better luck.

My bday was actually the day before your post, but I’m impressed you got that close considering how cryptic I was. Thanks for remembering! Happy hunting.

06/27/06 @ 13:37
Manuloz
Manuloz [Visitor]

There’s another compilation now from Shinya Ohira work on youtube :
http://youtube.com/watch?v=jzmzmkn0rjE

And i wonder if someone recognise the second clip after Windy Tale.

07/01/06 @ 02:18
Manuloz
Manuloz [Visitor]

Sorry for the double post…

I meant the third clip, with those knights fighting.

Then, i’ll add some links for Tetsuya Takeushi clips from youtube :

link

07/01/06 @ 02:24
Tsuka
Tsuka [Visitor]

Manuloz > You could notice your source for the Shinya Ohira demo ;)

http://www.catsuka.com/news_detail.php?id=1151680516

07/01/06 @ 05:14
Tsuka
Tsuka [Visitor]

Manuloz > The second clip is from Ghiblies 2.
But I think you was wondering about the third clip, which comes from game Tales Of The Abyss (PS2).

07/01/06 @ 16:00
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

I recently watched Ghiblies 2 myself. I loved the dance!!!! So thrillingly Ohira… Gosh, I just feel like smiling after watching the whole thing. I was really impressed by it; I felt it was generally quite well directed and left me feeling quite satisfied after it was over.

I saw that Ohira youtube compilation on a sakuga thread on 2ch recently. There’s a Norio Matsumoto compliation ver. 2 that is the same as ver 1 that I linked to earlier in the first half, but the second half has less Naruto and more of other stuff (Hunter X Hunter, etc)

There’s also 2 short interviews with Kazuchika Kise and Shichiro Kobayashi which were from the show “Anime Shigotonin". This is the Kobayashi one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0wG6KiGvSc

I’m really eager to see the short premiere-ish version of Kemonozume that aired today. Of course so many others are talking about Chevalier D’Eon, but there’s reports of a really good monkey scene. I suppose you guys have seen it but there are a bunch of drawings of the characters and sub-characters at Yuasa’s short Anime Style Column (http://www.style.fm/as/05_column/yuasa01.shtml) He’s not bothering to hide the fact that they’re not unerotic. On the 7th page he mentions what Eiko Tanaka mentioned about Mind Game being screened with subtitles, and Nobutake Ito’s short being screened at the same time, for 2 weeks from July 1st at Shibuya’s Q-AX cinema.

When are the DVDs coming, that’s the important thing!

07/02/06 @ 10:23
Manuloz
Manuloz [Visitor]

Tsuka> Yep thx, i had almost forgotten he worked on the cutscene of the game.

RP> I think we are all eagerly awaiting for the preview to come out ^^

Have you heard some info on the Imaishi TV serie on 2chan?
I tried to look there but there’s nothing, or so it seems.

good thing that Osamu Kobayashi let out some info on it, it looks like, they closed the animation work of the first episode, which feet with info on Hiramatsu’s Tempo 1 :
*「(GAINAX作品)」第2話 原画(6カット)

… We will see, an announcement will be done soon enought, i suppose.

07/02/06 @ 12:47
Tsuka
Tsuka [Visitor]

Random Person > I also found the second Norio Matsumoto compilation.
If you want to find many great sakuga links from Youtube, check this thread on my boards :
http://www.catsuka.com/interf/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3955
Me and other persons like Manuloz regularly post interesting links.

About the Imaishi tv-series, I posted a news on Catsuka :
http://www.catsuka.com/news_detail.php?id=1150548778
The series title is “Guren Ragan", it’s a comedy about 2 robots : a giant robot, and a very little robot.

I’m also waiting for the Kemonozume preview :-]

07/02/06 @ 15:44
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

Thanks for the link. I don’t understand French but I can get a grasp of what’s going on.
I have an account on youtube and subscribe to some of the people who put up these things. Someone put up a comparison of key frames from the FLCL genga collection with the actual part from the show in question.
There was also the Yoshinari bit in Eureka 49 which was so intense, I seriously thought it was CG for a moment.

There’s those last 2 eps of IGPX that are out, I’m checking them out cos most likely, Okiura and/or Yoshigake will make an appearance. There’s also a Keisuke Watabe ep of Gaiking out or coming but I’m kind of lazy…

07/03/06 @ 06:09
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

I suppose you will also find this relevant to your interests: http://www.wowow.co.jp/anime/kemono/kemono.asx [30 sec ad, plays in WMP]

Coincidence how the opening and ending songs are done by the same combination of people as for Gallery Fake.

07/04/06 @ 05:40
Tsuka
Tsuka [Visitor]

Yeap we also noticed the FLCL mini-sequences. Unfortunately 2 of them were removed, one by Ohira and another by Nishio. A lot of Youtube contents are removed each day, due to copyrights problems.

About Kemonozume we linked the teaser yesterday on a Yuasa dedicated thread :
http://www.catsuka.com/interf/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4358&start=15
An exciting project. I’m wondering how they will mix comedy an horror during so many episodes, even if Yuasa’s imagination is huge …

07/04/06 @ 13:17
Ben [Member]  

A curious ferment of obscure anime bits this Youtube has stirred up. I’m of a mixed mind about the whole thing, but I’m also on there, just to test the waters.

The Kemonozume preview made me a little giddy. The realistic styling of the faces in certain spots like that pissed old guy near the end felt like a flashback to the Yuasa of Hamaji I thought I’d never see again. Bring it on!

07/04/06 @ 15:26
Random person
Random person [Visitor]

To me, I felt more Hamaji vibes from the first sequence with the two characters and the dark tone. Somehow it just immediately took me back to that episode (probably the more obvious link of the colour scheme, maybe)
I loved the realistic look of the characters as well, and that monkey really was random (in a good way, if you get what I mean).

I don’t think Yuasa is intending to do horror as in genuinely making people scared (but if he pulls it off, there will be goosebumps and raised hairs and people unable to sleep after watching it.) I get the feeling he is aiming at a more offhand sort of jumble of things, where the only thing really connecting them all is the style and sensibilities in which it is expressed.
Though I usually get very silly feelings about things, so um… never mind!

07/05/06 @ 05:10