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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Sunday, March 4, 2007

11:58:59 pm , 576 words, 889 views     Categories: Animation, Misc, Denno Coil, Movie, Animator

Denno, Kappa, Tsuru

Today's link for inspiration goes back to a poet I discovered three years ago through the blog: Santoka Taneda. I was feeling in a particularly Santoka mood today for some reason.

I discovered the official site for Keiichi Hara's new film, Summer with Coo the Kappa, though it's apparently not supposed to be open until March 17 - www.kappa-coo.com. It's coming out on July 28. Good to see some more images. I was looking forward to seeing the film not just for Hara's directing but for Yuichiro Sueyoshi's characters. It looks like it's going to be toned down and not quite as aggressively styled as Mind Game (even his recent Shin-chan film work is incredibly aggressive), but still identifiably Sueyoshi. The images and reactions to the test screening seem to suggest that it's going to be a nice, quiet, moving film full of the slow, deliberate, meandering feeling that I so enjoyed in his past work. I like that he always goes at his own pace no matter what, never feeling like he has to cram things in to keep things exciting, or unnaturally mold the story to fit a conventional framework, yet his films remain consummately entertaining. I'm thinking it's going to have something of that down-to-earth, serene, honest feeling I've been wanting to see in a film ever since re-watching Animaru-ya's The Biography of Budori Gusko a year ago. Oh, and the 30-second ad found its way back online.

A month ago I started translating an interview with Mitsuo Iso that was recently published in Animage, but I've been so busy with work the last few weeks that I never got around to finishing it. Well, I've been saved the trouble by wao. The interview provides a good overview about what to expect from the situation, and corrects a misconception I had. Namely, producer Mitsugi Sanae hadn't been introduced to Mitsuo Iso by Katsuya Kondo back during the making of I Can Hear the Sea, but more recently. She had worked with Katsuya Kondo back then on that film, but it's later that he (Kondo) introduced the two around 2000. So the portfolio/project does in fact date back six years or so as I had surmised originally.

I noticed that Toshiyuki Tsuru directed and animated the latest Naruto opening along with Hirobumi Suzuki. I quite enjoyed it. It was great to be able to finally see him working as an animator, as he's already done a lot of directing on the show. I haven't seen much of his work as an animator, at least not consciously knowing it as such, but one of the few pieces I've known to be of his hand - a memorable sequence in ep 12 of Nippon Animation's Peter Pan - was enough to make me a fan of his work as an animator. This series had a lot of other great animation in it, but his felt unique even among all that, less caught up with realistic weight than Okiura or Matsumoto or Nakamura, more flexible and free and fun, and I'd wanted to see more like it, but unfortunately I haven't seen his name very often as an animator. It had a good feeling to the movement, and this opening has that same good feeling. Tsuru has done about half of the openings, one of the more memorable episodes, #48, and just before this the third film. The second opening of GTO is also a nice piece of his.

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2 comments

Random person
Random person [Visitor]

I was looking at some of your older Dennou Coil posts, and I realised the Mitsugi interview and Iso one were esparate, but did Mitsugi really mention 14 years? I’m sure that number must have come from somewhere. It may have been six years since he first showed it to her, but I’m wondering how long he had been working on it before that.

03/10/07 @ 09:17
Ben [Member]  

She didn’t actually mention 14 years. What happened was that in one sentence of the interview, Mitsugi said that she had been introduced to Iso by Kondo, whom she had worked with on Umi ga Kikoeru. I misread the sentence to mean that Mitsugi and Iso had been introduced during production of Umi ga Kikoeru, since Iso had worked on that film, and that was 14 years ago. That’s where 14 years came from. But in fact, Iso makes it pretty clear in the latest interview that he threw together the portfolio for Denno Coil only about six years ago, and met Mitsugi a while after that. Gomen nasai!

03/10/07 @ 14:28