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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« Denno Coil #4Old anime »

Saturday, June 2, 2007

11:44:02 pm , 438 words, 1429 views     Categories: Animation, Misc, Movie

Naruto movie

I was looking forward to the third Naruto movie as a fan of Toshiyuki Tsuru. This is the first film I've seen him direct, so I wasn't too sure how it would turn out, but at the very least expected that the animated element would have its day in the film, since he's a great animator in his own right, and I've noticed that animator films tend to not disappoint at least in that arena. The film itself was disappointingly flaccid (even Tensai Okamura's second volley felt more substantial), and at about the halfway point I was despaired about the animation, but then realized they were probably saving resources for the finale. That was indeed the case. The last thirty minutes or so were a nice explosion of action.

The big story of the film is perhaps Norio Matsumoto's participation. Many must have been wondering when his next episode would come, but instead it has come in this movie. The interesting thing is that it appears Matsumoto storyboarded his own sections here. Matsumoto storyboarded portions of an ep of Rurouni Kenshin way back when, but apart from that he hasn't done it much. This makes me wonder where this trend will go, if he'll eventually become a director himself. I slightly missed the symbiosis with Atsushi Wakabayashi of the TV eps, but it's fantastic work as usual, and it's nice to see how he arranges the flow of action.

Apart from Matsumoto's sections, I was only able to spot Shinji Hashimoto, Takahiro Kishida and Tetsuya Nishio. I couldn't ID Ryochimo or Hideki Hamasu, though Ryochimo probably helped out on Matsumoto's part. Hashimoto's section was short but absolutely delicious, and Kishida's section with the boat in the storm was stunning, the most impressive contribution in the film in terms of the volume-to-quality ratio after Matsumoto. There weren't as many interesting names as the second film. There were a few sections that felt kind of Satoru Utsunomiya-ish. Perhaps those were the sections done by Kenichi Kutsuna, who's been kind of associated with Utsunomiya since his debut a few years back.

The best team from Welcome to the NHK returned in Gonzo's latest TV series in ep 7 of Bokurano - director Erukin Kawabata and AD Shingo Natsume. Distinctive and polarizing work. Kawabata has an assured directing vision, with consistent and methodological pacing and framing and a good sense for convincingly presented drama, and Natsume is willing to go to the teetering brink of his skills to invest the acting with nuance. A young team with guts and conviction. Natsume has appeared a few times in Guren - 1 (2nd KA), 5 and now 10.

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1 comment

huw_m
huw_m [Member]

Ah, I’ve been looking forward to this post. I agree with you about Hashimoto and Kishida’s bits, they were stunning. I often wonder if guys like Hashimoto, Ohira and Utsunomiya can actually make a living off animation with their uncompromised artistic vision and low work output. Also cool to see Matsumoto find even more effective ways to animate someone being punched in the face :)

06/03/07 @ 04:52