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.
January 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
 << <   > >>
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

Who's Online?

  • Guest Users: 7

  XML Feeds

open source blog
« Green Legend Ran etcMisc viewing »

‹ Sunday, April 8, 2007 ›

02:33:14 am , 129 words, 1690 views     Categories: Animation

Mori in Guren 2

Been playing catch-up with the 20+ some new shows, but not terribly impressed by anything so far, with a few minor exceptions - Takahiro Yoshimatsu's Oh Edo, which had a nice subdued gag sense and enjoyable designs, and Tensai Okamura's Darker Than Black. I find his restrained, assured pacing fairly watchable. Mori turned up more quickly than expected in Guren, in ep 2. The explosion was fantastic. Felt like the first time in a long time, at least since Iso's explosion in Blood, that I'd felt someone coming up with a new and exciting take on the explosion. His other big shot was typical Mori with all of the strange shapes and flat colors and odd timing. My vote for best Engrish title of season goes to Kiss Dum Engage Planet.



BluWacky [Visitor]  

I’ve seen a surprising number of people complain that DtB is somehow confusing. Personally, I find it rather straightforward, and I think that’s what I like about it really; as you say, Okamura’s directorial style is very low-key (as it was for Wolf’s Rain, IMO) and the show stands out, ironically, for being so restrained, especially given its subject matter.

I liked the running, too. Boy, was there a lot of running.

I agree that Oh! Edo Rocket is an interesting show, but the story wasn’t really my cup of tea. A nice surprise, though, especially given the much higher profile Claymore also from Madhouse is stodgy and uninspired.

04/10/07 @ 16:48
Random person
Random person [Visitor]  

Wonderful, comments work again… sorry to have bothered you.

Guren is turning out to be sakuga paradise or something. I won’t be surprised if Matsumoto and Ryochimo come around any time soon… It’s almost an overload, I’ve gotten so used to good animators coming up only occasionally. It’s certainly an awesome effort but I find myself watching and then forgetting about it. Perhaps I need to watch it with say two weeks in between each viewing because it’s so intense.

I couldn’t take the Oh Edo designs, but since you mention that the humour’s pretty good I might check it out after all. I was really wondering what on earth this show was about…

Honestly, the huge barrage of shows this season is making me wonder why there’s such a load of them. What’s behind the investments and releases? Quite a number seem to be high-budget affairs too. Previously fun affairs like FLCL would be kept to OVA format but now we have Guren on air (and at a really questionable timeslot to boot)

I suppose I’ll sound like an ignorant pundit here, but it feels like we’re getting closer and closer to the bubble before it bursts. I wonder if foreign interest might have something to do with it.

04/10/07 @ 20:50
7Th [Visitor]  

Gurren’s excellent effort at animation probably comes from Imaishi influence’s over it, he seems like the kind of director you would like to work with. There’s also the fact that it is far ahead of schedule and had already finished voice recording, the final step in production, of episode 13 a month before the premier actually aired.

04/10/07 @ 21:22
Ben [Member]  

Thanks for pointing out that problem, RP. Wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. The humor of Oh Edo’s not bad, but it’s not tremendous either. I guess I enjoyed it mainly because it was a bit less over-the-top than Akitaro Daichi’s stuff, though I don’t know why that comparison sprang to mind. (maybe because of the Yoshimatsu-Jubei connection) Wasn’t particularly convinced by the need to add the whole monster tangent either. I’m not a huge fan of the designs, but they were a breath of fresh air in comparison to the rest of the shows out there.

I’m not too surprised at how well produced Guren is. It’s obviously serious Gainax. Ep 2 was full of interesting animation from head to toe - almost too much, as you say. It’s like it’s no fun cause you don’t have to hunt for the good bits. It’s kind of like how I feel about those MADs - it almost saps the fun when there’s too much at one time.

The number of shows has gone beyond funny. It’s just ludicrous now. It’s hard enough finding the time to watch every single episode #1, much less following all of those shows. I wouldn’t be surprised if foreign interest was part of it. When I see a show like Claymore (about which I concur with BluWacky), the only possible reason for it to exist as far as I can fathom is that vampire stuff is a sure seller overseas (in Japan too I suppose). I think it’s a factor that’s considered now. Already in 2004 something like Dead Leaves was partly conceived for American audiences, and now there’s stuff like Afro Samurai where it’s hard to tell how much is just western stereotypes of anime being rehashed and how much is actually anime. I doubt that’s all there is to it, but I think it’s part. Then there’s the governor of Tokyo going on about anime being Japan’s big cultural export and all. It seems like they’re pushing the industry to expand way too hard. The number of people employed in animation in Japan must be unprecedented these days.

04/11/07 @ 02:42
Régis [Visitor]  

“The number of people employed in animation in Japan must be unprecedented these days.”

I wonder if that is the case. After all wasn’t there a comment in the forums about a shortage of animators in Japan? So does that mean more foreigners are getting employed? Well, still waiting for Gurren 2… Ep 1 was indeed amazing and I hope it doesn’t get too popular here… otherwise it’ll be harder to find! :)

04/11/07 @ 03:53
Random person
Random person [Visitor]  

I’ve long stopped bothering to check out the episode #1s of anime in seasons for quite some time. Only things that I’ve heard had decent animation or things I’m interested in get checked out…

When I was thinking about foreign interest, it wasn’t just Claymore but things like even Seirei no Moribito. Wasn’t there some talk about it being pre-licensed not just for North America but for Taiwan and Hong Kong as well? They had an international market in their mind from the get-go, it appears. It’s about time that even the otaku might be simply worn thin because they’re being targeted from every angle… (Alternatively, it appears they might take the route Fuji TV seems to be taking by appealing to casual viewers with the Noitanima timeslot?)

Regarding the number of animators, do you mean that despite the shortage of animators it’s still possibly the highest number of animators Japan has ever had at a time? It’s simply that the demand is so huge (and the pay so abysmal) that in spite of the large number they still need more and are hence looking overseas?

Well, all that being said I won’t deny the barrage has brought its own gems. I wonder if Dennou Coil would have even been produced at all if it weren’t for current conditions. Same with Mononoke.

04/11/07 @ 05:23
Ben [Member]  

I was thinking it’s as you say, RP, that there’s a shortage just because there’s so much more demand now, despite there being more people. But who knows - I’m just guessing. My feeling is that what there’s a particular lack of is good animators to populate the overproliferation of shows.

IG does seem to lead the pack at the moment in terms of the degree to which they take foreign audiences into account when conceiving and planning their projects.

04/11/07 @ 12:58
h_park [Member]

To random person and Ben,
I’m not sure if more animators in the industry means better quality of expression for animation. In order to establish his/her style and expression, artists who practice any form of art have to go through years of rigorous discipline other than being talented. Although I don’t get to watch latest anime season, I’ve noticed more names which I’m not familiar with. I get this feeling that veteran animators are stretched thin to the limit. The thing concerns me most is that new generation of animators don’t possess commitment and discipline to make great animations for the future.
About catering to western audience, I see it as good and bad thing. Good thing is that more support from non-Japanese sponsors can help studios to attract younger generation who want more than just 3 meals a day & roof over their head. Bad thing is that foreign sponsors, especially Hollywood, could interfere with creative process in both overt and subtle way. So this is the new double edge sword that industry has to deal with.

04/13/07 @ 03:57
Random person
Random person [Visitor]  

I don’t think either of us meant that there’s better quality simply because of more quantity. It seems like despite the increase in animators, the number of good animators hasn’t really changed much. Of course there are good young new animators who probably have a lot of chances to flex their fingers with all this anime coming up, but there are older animators fading out of the picture too…

And frankly speaking, while I don’t claim to know much about the situation, I don’t think the situation is going to improve. At least not until the pay improves a wee bit, I think.

04/13/07 @ 09:43
William Massie
William Massie [Visitor]  

Hmm good comments by all, I have no idea about how many animators there are in japan. All i know is that there are a lot and supposedly most of them arent payed very well.
As for catering to a western audience, it depends on the individual productions. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it in principle, it could maybe add some luster to the industry. I love anime, but a lot of anime seems to be so inbred, far too aimed at fandom, that quite frankly i can see why some people just arent into it.So many shows are steeped in inbred gimmicks to salivate the “otaku” audience. Making shows for western audiences could serve to open up ideas more suitable for a general audience, with possibly more individuality.

04/15/07 @ 03:06