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They both seems like pretty neat shows, and of course it’s always great to see another in-depth series analysis article from you! We all really appreciate the amount of viewing, research and writing that goes into these posts. The episodes you highlighted are quite interesting, and all seem to display an impressive variety of tones and styles.
Thanks for posting links where we can watch them, as well!!
So far I’ve only watched the Hiroshima episode by Osamu Kobayashi. His cartoony stylization of the human form is fantastic. It looks so simple at first glance, especially due to the clean, often minimalistic clean-up, but the proportions are very cleverly distorted, and he uses a lot of dynamic posing and strong timing.
You have the complete list of all the collaborations of Tama Pro?
Especially 60s, 70s and 80s?
Because I have tried to enter the official website but apparently no longer exists.
If you do, you could post it or send me it? I would like to know the collaborations in these decades.
Thank you for this article Ben!
I was looking for information about the early freelance studios (as Kino Pro and Tama Pro) especially those founded by people from Mushi Pro.
and I came across this!
Interesting, thank you!
I’ve mentioned him numerous times in the blog, especially in my post on Jackie the Bearcub episode 1. If I can ever find enough info he’s a figure I’d like to profile properly as one of the greats of yesteryear. I didn’t realize he was a good effects animator too, quite impressive.
Karate Baka Ichidai sounds cool. I’d like to check it out as one of Kusube’s last major front-line projects.
where not write this.
I was looking info for an animator, which only knew his name (Toshio Okada) and found this page:
Look at this
Search with google (I can not paste the URL of the page)
is in a blog from fc2
After seeing this page I remembered that a few weeks ago, had called my attention a water animation on Mako-Chan series.
And now I remembered about 12 years ago, I (as a student in the animation school) examine and copy an water animation in the Superman series for his quality.
I could not believe when I saw this page, Okada had done all this!
You know him?
I just downloaded the Karate Baka Ichidai series. (Tokyo Movie, 1973).
Keiichiro Kimura is in the credits as animation director of episodes and also key animator.
I look forward to instigate NeoMedia period before 1980! When apparently entered their new employees (Kitakubo, Moriyama, Tamura and Itoh, etc …)
Yep, I’m planning on writing a post about that one too once I have a chance to watch it all.
For those looking for more:
Not sure if it’s a reboot or continuation or re-broadcast, but Furusato Saisei: Nihon no Mukashi Banashi has been a simulcast on Crunchyroll for a while now. Currently there are 128 episodes, with three tales per episode.
I laughed at Dandy stealing from little kids.
I was surprised to see Bahi’s work on an episode like this, it’s not the kind of episode I’d expect him to work on. I wonder if that means he’ll miss the series finale, which I’m sure will have tons of great animation.
Not only I like mecha. I am also a big fan of the classic works of Nippon Animation, Miyazaki, the classic movies of Toei and Osamu Dezaki among much others.
After finish watching Ashita. I’ll start watching Ace wo Nerae or the Ashita 1980 series i never had me to observe in detail the work of the first Annapuru years (only Cobra TV, Cobra movie and Mighty Orbots).
I hope one day you write all this.
Furthermore. About Kimura’s Studio Neomedia. I am very interested in the investigation of the formation of Studio MIN where not only worked Kitakubo and Moriyama, but also Kouji Itoh (after in Graviton studio) and Hideki Tamura (Studio CAM founder and mentor of Kia Asamiya) and others. all ex-members of Neomedia
I wrote a note on my blog with what little I could investigate about Studio MIN. Studio. do not know if you saw it.
but is in spanish sorry.
Back in the days before torrenting, some fifteen years ago or so, I remember coming across the full VHS collection of Ashita no Joe at a Japanese corner store in Seattle, and renting the whole damn thing. I still distinctly remember the strange looks I got from the cashier, too! So yes, I’ve seen it, and I absolutely adored it. Definitely one of the great anime shows of all time, and despite ups and downs in quality, and some fairly repetitive storytelling, it probably still holds up pretty well these days. It’s one of the few shows I’m tempted to re-watch from start to finish to blog about it. Ashita no Joe 2 is also supposed to be pretty good, but I haven’t seen that one. The episode I particularly remember is #14 directed by Masami Hata with solo animation by Dezaki himself. One of the great episodes of all time. Indeed, there is still much to discover from the period of the late 60s/early 70s and much I’d like to write about. It’s probably my favorite period of anime, followed closely by late 80s/early 90s. Anyway, good to hear you’re watching something other than mecha for once. :)
Check Atsushi Kamijo twitter account, he mentionned his participation on this episode ;)
I feel like a fool for missing the throwback to TO-Y now, great observation! A rewatch seems in order.
A few years ago he had heard about the importance of Tiger Mask series in their animation. It is really admirable.
But right now I discovered the Ashita no Joe series.
I’ve already seen 62 chapters. I’m really impressed by the quality of animation. Have you seen?
I really never expected to see something with so quality. In argument, animation and other technical issues as painting, animation and backgrounds.
My admiration is such that at one point might be thinking you were watching a series of 1980 or more.
At times the fluidity of the animation is high for TV. And many times the painting is so detailed that reminds me of the 80s OVAs titles. if not exaggerating.
As I mentioned I have seen until chapter 62 If you have not seen the series I recommend you see the first half of chapter 58 This chapter is the most lively of detail I saw so far. Evidently there was a study of human movement, among other things. Also the painting is amazing.
As you know, in this series had the important role Studio Jaguard, freelance studio formed by animators from mushi (who works with Mushi and TMS) and obviously some future Madhouse animators. At times the animation reminds me of the first Yamato series, which is not unusual as it shares some staff (Tomino, Ishiguro).
It is a perfect example of the immediately time preceding the closing of Mushi Pro and the opening of Office Academy, Sunrise, Madhouse and Nippon Animation.
I was reading a little about what you wrote about Shonen Isamu, is one of the upcoming series I will explore.
Late 60s and early 70s is an exciting era for exploring! :)
Sorrt for my bad english. :)
Thanks for suggesting the idea for this post. I had only seen the show in little bits here and there before, and I had a lot of fun going through it more thoroughly over the last few weeks. Even so, I only managed to pore over a few hundred episodes, while taking in snippets of many others, so there are quite likely many other good episodes I missed. But I think this is a good start.
It’s not everything, but almost. The ones not on DVD are from TV broadcasts so the quality can get pretty bad sometimes, but it’s better than nothing. I’m grateful to the determined samaritan who made his collection available.
A very valuable post!
I have the DVDs of MNMB, however this only covers 480 of the episodes.
Where can I find others? Does this linked dailymotion have them all?
WOW! Thanks so much for this super in-depth write up. Really appreciate the huge effort it took to filter through the massive list of nearly 1500 episodes. After having seen several episodes on youtube, I was a bit overwhelmed by the huge catalog uploaded (as I’m a bit short on time at the moment). Even though the ones I seen were excellent, I just wanted to get to the show’s best episodes. And then you went ahead and did a charitable thing and gave us your top picks. I trust your recommendations and I look forward to watching these selections.
I’ve only grazed through MNMB, and yet I feel I can comfortably say it’s truly one of anime’s finest gems.
Thanks again Ben!
just watched this episode. i absolutely loved it. one of the best single episode i’ve seen in years. represents what i love about anime.
good to see guys like Watanabe and Yuasa holding down the fort when it comes to anime creativity. a definite bastion this show is.
Glad to know you’re still around, Huw. I also like his sinewy, fleshy and yet still very loose and free way of drawing the body. The swan boat was a great idea, throwing in a bit of welcome clashing silliness into the stew. It’s the perfect vessel for them.
Hello. Sorry to resuscitate an old post. I’m currently watching this wonderful anime, and when viewing episode 8 I’ve been thinking to myself “hey, i know this sryle of drawings, i know the way the characters move… Satoru Utsunomiya! And by looking at ANN, bingo, it appears that he’s been the one at the head of the episode. I’m not sure where the truth lies, bu if if can spare some time, just think about Satoru Utsunomiya and look at the episode (for the names I know, Hiroyuki Okiura, Kazuchika Kise, Norio Matsumoto and Takeshi Honda and Tetsuya Nishio seems to have been of the party).
Thanks for the great review Ben.
The way you’ve traced out Oshiyama’s stylistic development is illuminating. I remember his work from Dennou Coil too and was just as surprised to find out that he has developed into such an individualistic creator. I love his expressive approach to anatomy, thankfully not hidden behind pants this time around.
My favourite shot in the episode by a wide margin is of Meow and QT rattling around inside that ridiculous swan boat.
I was totally impress when I saw the scene made by Ohira, it is an amazing moving artwork, my head exploded.
Yeah, it felt like this episode might have worked better if they focused on the different, seemingly randomly-thrown-in, aspects a bit more. I quite liked the idea of the stream of time and it seemed like it deserved more exploration than a quick climax. It seems like a tough concept to execute in a way that would satisfy everyone.
I’ve never heard the English dub, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was more bearable than the Japanese version. Well, I think it’s just that this time around Nakamura was using dance footage as reference, which was definitely a new thing for him. I was really surprised that he animated that close-up of the girl singing. It totally doesn’t look like anything he’s done before. Good for him to be able to still want to try new things after establishing a style at this point. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re right that he’s been inspired by all the great work in diverse styles being done by young animators on the show to want to experiment a bit.
I expected to hate this episode going into it, but I ended up enjoying it quite a lot. Must have been the all-around solid animation, plus I quite liked the singing in the english dub (while I couldn’t stand the animeish singing by the girls in the Japanese version).
On the animation side, it’s interesting how Nakamura seems to have completely reinvented his style with Space Dandy. The character animation he did for episodes 1 and 17 really looks nothing like the classic Nakamura in terms of movement. I wonder if he got bored with his trademark style, or some of the new animators are inspiring him to try something new.
I enjoyed the particular humor of this episode, with the fish freaking out for no reason at the beginning and then turning into grilled fish in the scene at the end. It was a welcome change from the kind of humor the show usually goes for, which doesn’t really do it for me.
It was also interesting to see all sorts of non-Japanese animators on the episode, but despite them not usually working in anime, I thought the animation looked very anime-standard overall. I wonder if that’s the kind of movement those animators usually create, or if they were required to adapt.
It actually took me a while to watch this episode. I didn’t get to it until after the Yuasa one, since I’ve been plagued with buffering problems on Hulu and other places.
Anyway, I do agree that this was a very weird episode. Specifically, the two concepts of the capybara alien and the time stream, and the Ukuleleman pursuing Dandy, don’t really seem to gel well. Since for the most part they seem uninvolved with one another.
It’s in the spirit of the show to toss up ideas willy nilly, but here I would have really liked to focus on one concept. The Ukuleleman storyline feels suited for a more slow and measured pace than was allowed here; at least a whole episode’s worth of legroom.
(I also found it a little weird that the Capybara, along with her kin, is the only alien on the planet we see unpetrified. It kind of furthers the disconnect there.)
This was a decent episode if a little awkward, and the climax in the time stream is a whole other episode I wish I could’ve seen elsewhere, possibly in a goofier episode. I just noticed that the fate of the present QT and Meow is left up in the air. Which is a little odd considering this is an episode where Dandy is actually focused on saving them (which in itself is a little odd).
Thanks for the interview and the very nice insight into Bahi’s animation process. Thank you.
Thank you for your reasonableness, Lana
An old-school fan
Thank you, I appreciate it. Actually it looks like the last episode review finally went up today.
I’ve really enjoyed your insightful recaps for Ping Pong. Do you know when Cartoon Brew will be posting one for the final episode? Thanks!
“So if older fans prefer the old Lupin, they can have him. The new fans brought in by Fujiko prefer our more thoughtful version, thanks.”
Glad you liked the new show, but there’s no need to be so rude to fans of the older Lupin series. This is all about taste and last I checked, this article did not claim new fans were pretentious or deluded for liking Fujiko Mine, so please do not insinuate old-school fans are brainless fools for enjoying what they do.
Honestly, this show felt hollow to me, even though like Ben I wanted to like it and was excited for something other than another tired TV special. I’ve read analysis from people who love it and I am glad they found something in this series to love, but it’s just not for me I suppose.
I will admit, I liked some of the characterizations though, Lupin and Jigen’s especially. Oscar didn’t bother me so much either. And the art direction impressed me a lot too.
Is there any way to see this show without a paid subscription service? Do you know if there are plans to release it on dvd?
FYI: The Bobby’s girl animation was not from Koji Morimoto, Baji JD asked Morimoto about it, and he stated he was not involved, it was just Takashi Nakamura. Sean was contacted by him.
Even the Japanese sakuga wiki makes this mistake.
See note from Sean under video:
If it is as you say, Bavi Stock, was one of the minor works of Kaname Pro with The Humanoid or Fandora. It’s really loose in all aspects. While Kaname best works were for my Birth, Leda and Windaria. I bought many years ago the two Bavi Stock VHS and it was really a disappointment. There is also a music video animated by Kaname entitled “Rainbow Signal” of the japanese pop group “Hi-Fi Set". I’m decidiendome if I buy the LD of that video. There is also another OVA that, for me, this halfway entitled Watt Poe produced by Kaname but with a different name: “Diva” in production. You can see Kaname Pro fanzines in my blog. I also have other fanzines and a calendar of Kaname Pro, and also the artbooks of all works of the study, but I have not uploaded yet. Ben Greetings and thanks for your great page!
But where is it. I cannot find those episodes anywhere and I been searching the internet for 4 long years.
Good to hear! More exposure to Yuasa’s work is a great thing, and on CB too!
nice to see Cartoon Brew finally catch on to Anipages after years of pointedly ignoring my submissions of your stuff. :D
Qadim Haqq made a live painting exhibition
in Shizuoka and Nagano in April last year
It’s highly likely that Watanabe met him
and proposed this co-operation to him on that occasion.
If someone likes to know a little more about Haqq
and the Underground Resistance collective…
Thanks for the regular feedback, melchizedek!
The ending was definitely perplexing and out of the blue but fascinating. Mori’s animation of the mecha, effects and backgrounds in the second half definitely helped give the episode a visual edge to back up the writing. (and I’m pretty sure those BGs had to have been drawn by him though he’s not credited) Those CCTV drawings were really cool. The joke is obviously that the only characters Hisash Mori was allowed to touch in the episode was the crew in those shots because they’re masked, so model is less of an issue. Wouldn’t want a repeat of the hullaballoo of Samurai Seven ep 7.
Definitely the episode that had me laughing the most, which is saying a lot. I’m guessing the fishing section illustrations were by Gosei Oda, but that’s just a guess, I could be totally off.
I feel like even the intellectual-ness of the episode was a parody of cerebral SF writing. The dialogue is often circular, the equation that Dr. Gel is working on is solved when Dandy draws a pair of boobies in it, and the episode ends with the narrator bringing up a heretofore unmentioned (though not unfitting) war involving obsolete forms of data storage; a footnote that could have been ripped straight out of a Douglas Adams novel.
For an episode where the writing was the showcase, on various levels, I’m pleased that it also managed to remain visually interesting. The SFX animation was kinetic and lively, but I like that up until the end, it’s also used very subtly. The bold, heavy shadows are also a wise choice, giving everything a moody tone. Reminds me of old pulp illustrations. I also love the edgy, crazy looking drawings of the masked Aloha Oe crew stealing the book.
All in all, a very smartly planned out episode. Always a pleasure reading, Ben!
I just loved the sheer variety of gags in this episode! Some of them were misses, but others had me burst out laughing; like the thrice repeated double encounters, Meow’s disgusted reaction from having sat on the Chameleon-eon(?), and Scarlet losing her patience with Dandy and crew. She’s the only regular female character in the show with more than one facet, and I hope we see more of her in S2.
The illustrations were beautiful (who did those, I wonder), and I particularly like the wild and dynamic poses during, among other places, the quiz show segment. Good episode, either way.
Yuasa’s episode seems to be slated for the next season, it seems.
Thanks for these writeups. This episode just blew my mind with how silly it was!
Wow! Thanks for introducing me to the pink jacket series!
Someone needs to put together a clip showcase of Tatsuo Ryuno’s animation. It’s criminal that this guy is virtually unknown.
This episode is remarkably similiar to Yuya Ishii’s film Girl Sparks, in which the protagonist wants to escape her dilapidated hometown where her father owns a small screw factory (I’m pretty sure it was a screw factory). It even features a nod to space travel in the form of mysterious rockets in the sky, which presumably symbolize the protagonist’s desire to leave.
This episode was pretty darn good. The visual design was amazing and a world was put together that was bizarre and compelling. I did think Dandy looked a little weird in not a good way in a few shots, but luckily most of the focus wasn’t on him.
On top of the awesome visuals, I was the most happy with the fact that it didn’t reference a certain source of lame juvenile jokes that the whole show is obsessed with (everyone’s favorite “breasturant".) Lets hope for just as good a work on the Yuasa episode (though I do know Yuasa can be crude, can’t explain it but I like his crude humor better than most there is something more genuine about it).
Took the words right out of my mouth. The staff executed everything so well, and so cohesively in presenting the plant world, that I can’t really think of anything to fault them for. Perhaps the humor is a little more subdued this time around, but I’m okay with that. And now I can pin something on Eunyoung Choi to give me a feel for her work! Gotta keep an eye on her and Aymeric in the future.
I loved the relationship between the father and the daughter. There’s a scene in the middle of the episode where they’re discussing capturing the D-Core (or whatever it was called) and she just chimes in that she’s going with them. I cynically thought the father would tell her no, but instead there’s a wonderful, almost comedic beat in place of where a response would be. There’s a lot of unsaid development like that, that goes on during this episode, and it’s just lovely to watch.
That said, I expect Yuasa’s episode to be absolutely hilarious. Like you noted with Ping Pong, he’ll be heading back to more domestic stuff (which he’s no stranger to, of course). But it’s probably going to be awhile before he does something on the fantastic side again. Here’s hoping he revels in the creative opportunities.
Holy shit, you weren’t kidding about the music - the travel sequence at 11:38 onwards has one of the most forward-sounding instrumentals I’ve ever heard in anime.
Great to know you’re still there reading, Huw. Even I can’t believe I’m still doing episode reviews again after all these years…
I feel like I’m having a little harder time getting down to the essence of this particular show than I did in the past, because so far there just doesn’t seem like there’s that much there to dig up. Yuasa’s shows were so easy to blog because the unique distinguishing quirks were so many and so obvious, and there were so many unusual ideas and styles on display in each episode. This is such a different beast, although each episode is different enough that it’s somewhat worth it to blog episodically.
Strangely enough, Neighbors also sprang to mind for me. Interesting (and sad) how that parable can be retold in such a different context, and different age, and still be relevant.