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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« On watching the animation battlesMind Game: More thoughts »

Monday, December 27, 2004

08:57:35 pm , 417 words, 1459 views     Categories: Animation

TV Toei

The Image Forum theatre in Tokyo is showing two Karel Zeman films. Would be ultra-cool if the V Cinematheque would do the same. Two Generators in their schedule sounds like a pleasantly masochistic experience. It matches my feelings towards cinema at the moment. Though at the same time, I feel I would enjoy sitting through a restored 80s Hollywood behemoth on the big screen, to taste once more that innocent pleasure my youth. I'll probably go to their Best of Ottawa selection, because it's animation, though I feel I could pass on a lot of the items on the docket.

Aru Tabibito no Nikki (A Traveller's Diary) is a wonderful Flash animation series drawn by Kunio Kato. It has a good old fashioned hand-drawn feel, and great music. There are some panels in Japanese but they're not necessary to an understanding of the stories. The series is soon to be released on DVD.

Speaking of soon-to-be-released DVDs, fans of classic anime will be interested to hear about an upcoming series of DVD releases of classic 60s Toei TV anime. The "Toei Anime Monochrome Masterpieces" DVD series to be released early next year will consist of a total three volumes, with three DVDs per volume. Each DVD will contain a selection of 4 to 6 of the best episodes of one of Toei's black and white TV series, plus an interview with a person involved in the series.

Vol. 1
- Wolf Boy Ken - Isao Takahata (director) + Yasuo Otsuka (animator)
- Shonen Ninja Kaze no Fujimaru - Daisaku Shirakawa (director)
- Hustle Punch - Yoichi + Reiko Kotabe (animators)
Vol. 2
- Uchu Patrol Hopper - Toru Hara (producer)
- Rainbow Sentai Robin - Keiichi Kimura (animator)
- Kaizoku Oji - Toru Furuya (voice actor)
Vol. 3
- Mahotsukai Sally - Akiyoshi Hane (animator)
- Cyborg 009 - Masaki Tsuji (writer)
- Akane-chan - Tomoharu Katsumata (director)

This marks the first time several of the shows in the set will have been available in any format as far as I know. Interestingly, Ghibli, not Toei Animation, is the one releasing these. The most notable thing about this release, and which doesn't seem to be mentioned anywhere, is that purchasers will be able to vote for their favorite series in the set, and the most popular series will be released in full on DVD, in a limited pre-order only set. It would be great if this made it possible to finally see all of Hustle Punch or Wolf Boy Ken, classics that nobody has seen.



Eric [Visitor]

how does one go about getting that set? i remember watching mahoutsukai sally and fujimaru when i was a little boy in japan. thanks for any help you can give me.

i just ordered the astro boy 5 dvd collection through sony. it’s backordered - can’t wait for it to come.

04/04/05 @ 12:23
Ben [Visitor]

You can order it from CDJapan, among other online shops. I just received Vol. 1 today myself.

04/04/05 @ 14:45
Daniel Thomas
Daniel Thomas [Visitor]

Much thanks for this essential site and all its history of Japanese animation. It’s proving invaluable for me.

Unfortunately, it appears this series is now out of print. A limited run, perhaps? I’m also noting that vol. 1 is the hardest one to find, which isn’t surprising, considering that’s the one Takahata and Miyazaki fans will want to get. Having finally seen Horus for the first time this weekend, I’m very interested to see Takahata’s first directing on Wolf Boy Ken. He seems to have been a genius right out of the box. There must have been a learning curve somewhere.

10/24/05 @ 23:29
Ben [Visitor]

It’s really unfortunate to hear that this nice series is out of print already. It went by way too fast! They obviously meant what they said about it being a limited pressing.

I think you might still be able to order it from various places that have some stock left. If all else fails, I believe you can order a used copy from

As for Takahata, I really think he was just a prodigy. The learning curve may have taken up all of a handful of the early episodes of Ken he directed, because the later ones are already surprisingly assured. He was already in his mid-20s by that time, if I recall, so I get the feeling that he already knew what he wanted to do in terms of filmmaking and he just needed to learn the technical details of how things were done in animation. But it’s still amazing to think that almost immediately after Ken he set to work on Horus. His Ken episodes are good, but they don’t quite predict something of the scale of Horus to be on the horizon.

While we’re on the subject of this post, it seems they’ve decided which of the series they’re going to release in full on DVD. Which turned out to be the most popular? Could it be Sadao Tsukioka’s classic Ken the Wolf Boy, or the great Yasuji Mori’s Hustle Punch? Not a chance! We just had to have the first version of Cyborg 009 on DVD to complete the set with all of the other versions. The moral: natsukashii conquers all.

10/25/05 @ 00:07
Videogamer555 [Visitor]  

I think the Mahou Tsukai Sally being on this DVD is cool! Does anybody know when it will be released in Japan?

How about will it ever be released in the US? If so, when?

Is there a torrent of it available to download now? Or how about Rapidshare or Megaupload? If so, please reply to this comment with a link to such a download location.

Thanks in advance.

07/05/09 @ 01:25