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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Kraker2k in response to: Dorvack & Dancougar

Forgive me for commenting on such an old post, but I recently watched Dancouga and learnt that the tank being sliced cut was in fact the work of an animator called “Osamu Tsuruyama” as mentioned by Shinsaku Kozuma on Twitter:

He has a large role on the show doing a lot of AD work for the series. But I never saw that level of animation, ohat realistic style, in the show outside of that episode.

 Permalink 07/11/15 @ 18:29
Benjamin De Schrijver
Benjamin De Schrijver in response to: Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei #11

(5 years since your last comment… but having just caught up with this show, here goes anyway.)

With any other show, I would’ve definitely given up after episode 3. But, trusting Yuasa, I stuck with it. And in this final episode, after the main character has broken free from the endless tatami rooms, the clothes of everyone around him change every few frames… and I cried. I can’t explain why, except by saying that Yuasa truly has that rare alchemist’s touch, the ability to present you with moments that resonate with your inner core.

Looking back at Yuasa’s previous shows, I felt Kemenozume and Kaiba both started out incredibly strong and moving, only to lose themselves in mechanics of plot around episode 7. Interestingly enough, Tatami Galaxy did the exact opposite: overwhelm you with the mechanics of plot first, then tie it all together into a moving end, resulting in a much more gratifying whole.

What’s even more interesting is that all this previous work culminates in Ping Pong. It pulls you in through the compelling human elements of early Kemonozume, moves through the metaphorical elements of Kaiba and sophistication of Tatami Galaxy, pushes to a climax with the exuberant bliss of Mind Game, and finally comes full circle, back to the compelling human element it started with.

It’s a rare treat to be able to watch a talent such as Yuasa grow from show to show. Like you, I hope he gets another chance at a feature soon. I’m not sure how he could grow in that format after the momentous achievement of Mind Game, but if anyone can find a way, it seems he can.

Thanks for your continuous support of him!

 Permalink 06/13/15 @ 04:34
drmecha in response to: Sukeban Deka and Anime R

Hi Alex.
Yes, those are impressive and beautiful images .
Thanks for visiting my blog. :)

 Permalink 04/19/15 @ 04:14
Steven in response to: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone

Hey Ben, heard you were hoping the new blue jacket Lupin would return to the loose, expressive animation style of the early series. If this clip is any indication, I’d say your wish was granted! (URL for the clip)

 Permalink 04/18/15 @ 21:11
Alex Dubcheck
Alex Dubcheck in response to: Sukeban Deka and Anime R

Hello Dr Mecha,
I just stopped to say that your “Nuevo Realismo Gundam” post is great.
I’m stunned by the artistry of those images

 Permalink 04/10/15 @ 00:58
Alex Dubcheck
Alex Dubcheck in response to: The first wave of independent animators in Japan

From your description it really seems to be
Nido to Mezamenu Komori Uta or Death Lullaby
by Hiroshi Harada.
Despite having a 70s feel, it was made in 1985
(it pays hommage to the Narita struggles which were still in progress
at that time,_National_Committee)
You can find it subbed on Bakabt.

 Permalink 04/10/15 @ 00:54

Hello, I am looking for an independant Anime i saw on youtube some months ago but i can’t remember the name of the movie or the director, it is in the 60s or 70s. The main character is a kid with a big head and big teeth. he is bullied by a girl he loves because of his big teeth. The anime also features some puppets and the final of this short movie is very impressive, it is a scene showing the city destroyed by huge highways and railroads. it also features live pictures from the narita struggle airport. Does it ring a bell to anyone ? Thank you

 Permalink 04/06/15 @ 23:04
drmecha in response to: Sukeban Deka and Anime R

I was reading this note, after several years, for the second time.

I drew attention that you mention about “hanging arms” and your mention that is seen on the first half of the 90s. That’s true.
I’m not sure. But I think this is the type of animation that I found in the works where Gabo Miyabi people participate. In fact, you surely know, several members came from Anime R,
On the other hand, I was surprised to find Shinya Takahashi, an animator who was not Anime R but was later a member of Gabo Miyabi, in fact one of its most important members.
I wonder if the connection was made in the Sukeban Deka OVAs.
I also wonder if Gabo Miyabi already or not during the Sukeban Deka OVAs.
Finally. True, anything you say. When I saw the picture of the people on the street, certainly it reminded me 3x3 eyes.
Possibly Koichi Arai is a great influence.

 Permalink 03/29/15 @ 16:40
drmecha in response to: Sukeban Deka and Anime R

Hi Ben!
See my last post.
Possibly of your interest.

 Permalink 03/28/15 @ 10:12
Noah in response to: 10 years of Anipages

Congrats Ben,
This site has been a constant source of inspiration these many years. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you!

 Permalink 03/25/15 @ 09:40

Hi Ben:
I think episode 28 is animated by Greenbox because Chuichi Iguchi and Yoshinori Tanabe were members of thee studio.
(Greenbox was founded in 1977 and worked many times for Toei and Tatsunoko and closed in 1982. During the production of Technovoyager)

Tanabe had previously worked with Yoshinori Kanada.
this was during the first Studio Number One period (the Takuo Noda’s Studio Number One, not the Kanada’s studio with the same name).

 Permalink 03/20/15 @ 15:43

A rip appeared online, courtesy of /a/.

 Permalink 02/13/15 @ 22:25
Alex in response to: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone

I’m sorry to leave an off-topic comment,
but I need help:
I’m not permitted to comment anymore with my Anipages account. Can this be solved ?
Did I do anything wrong ? Can I fix it ?

Turning on topic,
I’m glad you enjoyed this sort of movie:
I think it may be the best Lupin offspring
in last years (I still have to see the entire
Fukiko series before I can hold an opinion )

 Permalink 01/25/15 @ 10:24
Colonylaser in response to: Space Dandy #20

I loved Atsushi Kamijo in the 80s, so it’s too bad his next great work SEX ended so nebulously. The first two volumes were absolutely groundbreaking (printing and style and everything); then the guy pulls a Hagiwara I’m-tired-I-give-up move. So TO-Y will remain his best work (albeit the Nagel lift, which he managed to pull himself out of by the time he worked on SEX). But SEX started so awesome, hack, may be Yamamoto can adapt it to anime. It would be awesome if they give her free reign.

 Permalink 01/24/15 @ 18:40
djalexdubcheck in response to: Yadamon and Studio Curtain

Sadly SUNET (Swedish University Network) decided last year to start closing down their database.
So I urge any visitor/anime fan who may be reading this
to backup these linked images as soon as they can.
Meanwhile, I’m writing Ben a PM about this

 Permalink 01/17/15 @ 22:00
djalexdubcheck in response to: Yadamon and Studio Curtain

Good morning Ben,
I’d like to thank you for pointing out this interesting anime; I’d like to leave my contribution to this.
I recently found this great image/data archive
about anime and manga (you probably may know it already) which includes a directory about Yadamon among others
It contains screenshots from the anime,
some cute illustrations/chara design sketches
and even some (un)related Saizen sketches like this It really seems that his trademark is drawing red baggy boots!
He really seems to like this kind of rounded-yet-angular face design too

 Permalink 01/17/15 @ 21:49
tamerlane in response to: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone

You might be interested in this interview with Takahashi about the film:

In any case, I hope Takahashi and Nakashima return next year. It’d be great if the Shin-chan films could regain some of their former glory.

 Permalink 01/06/15 @ 15:04
ben in response to: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone

I thoroughly enjoyed it, although I didn’t feel the film surpassed Mitsuru Hongo’s or Keiichi Hara’s entries. It was around the time of the Muto Yuji era (2005-2007) that I thought the Shin-chan films were losing the cinematic appeal of the Keiichi Hara days, but this film felt cinematic and had a social theme reminiscent of Adult Empire, so it was a good balance and return to the feeling of the older movies. Kazuki Nakashima wrote some clever lines, and the animation was pretty strong, as usual. I’m not familiar with Ayumu Takahashi (or any of the recent directors) but he’s done a nice job, though there were a bunch of storyboarders and I don’t know how it was broken down so it’s hard to really get a sense of his style just from this.

 Permalink 01/05/15 @ 15:51
tamerlane in response to: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone

Thank you for the info!

How did you end up liking the film overall?

 Permalink 01/04/15 @ 18:51
ben in response to: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone

tamerlane -

Just watched it. It looked like Yuasa to me when I first saw it, and indeed there’s a section in the credits that reads “Giant Hiroshi Robo Battle: Science Saru” with design by Yuasa and animation by Yuasa, Abel Gongora, Juan Manuel Laguna and Eunyoung Choi. And Yuasa receives a storyboard credit so he also storyboarded this section.

 Permalink 01/04/15 @ 14:01
Aerisu in response to: Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei #6

Hey, do you know which scene tomoyuki niho worked on. I’m thinking the drinking scene or the licking scene, but I don’t want to give out false information based on assumptions.

 Permalink 01/03/15 @ 12:46
ben in response to: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone

Aaron - Those comments are very encouraging. I’m looking forward to this even more now. I hope they can manage to bring back ye olde Telecom vibe.

tamerlane - I haven’t seen a Shin-chan movie in years, but I’ll check it out and let you know. Sounds great. It’s nice how they’re continually switching up the staff to try out different things with the movies rather than letting them stagnate.

Rubin - Sakkaning is a word I just made up in an attempt to produce a verb for what the animation director or “sakkan” does. It’s basically drawing correction.

 Permalink 01/03/15 @ 12:38
Rubin in response to: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone

Could someone explain to me what “sakkaning” is?
I googled it and still did not find a good answer.

 Permalink 01/03/15 @ 00:45
tamerlane in response to: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone

Hey Ben: I don’t know if this is the right place to ask but have you seen the new Shin-chan film (the 22nd)? I recently watched it and was blown away, it felt like the best entry since Keiichi Hara’s days. It has an interesting script by Kazuki Nakashima and the director, Wataru Takahashi, was apparently taught by Tsutomu Mizushima. The storyboarding was quite strong throughout and I wouldn’t be surprised if Takahashi ends up as the next success story from the studio a la Ayumu Watanabe/Keiichi Hara.

The animation had the cinematic polish you’d expect but there was something weird about the finale. It looked like it was done in flash by a webgen animator but no-one on the KA list stuck out to me as such. There’s the usual Sueyoshi, Hayashi, Otsuka, Takakura cuts, and even a few by Michio Mihara, but I can’t for the life of me figure out who did the big ending fight and I was wondering if you knew.

 Permalink 12/31/14 @ 14:16
Esteban in response to: 10 years of Anipages

Happy birthday! And THANK YOU. (-:

 Permalink 12/30/14 @ 09:12
cm in response to: The Tale of Princess Kaguya

I liked the way he handled the ending. Like death, it was abrupt, inescapable. And in the end, it only took a scene of roughly a minute and a half to arouse an intense sorrow.

 Permalink 12/22/14 @ 13:10
myrion in response to: Space Dandy #13

When the robot fired its lasers in that way that looked like writhing tentacles, was that inspired by anything?

 Permalink 12/21/14 @ 22:32
Aaron Long
Aaron Long in response to: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone

I watched the film and overall I felt similarly to what you wrote, Ben. The sequences with Fujiko in the “perverts’ club” were my only real complaint - they felt like leftovers from the 2012 Fujiko series. Unpleasantly exploitative, in-your-face prolonged nudity for no good reason.

There was more comedy, luckily - the tone did feel very reminiscent of the early Lupin shows. I still wish the animation was a bit more exaggerated and stylized, but it was very well well-done anyway.

I’m not sure what to make of that Mamo cameo at the end… I prefer seeing new stories and characters to rehashing old ones, but Mamo was a pretty interesting villain.

There are a few quotes from the makers of the upcoming Lupin TV series regarding the tone and art style which sound very promising - from Tomonoga: ““I want to make a Lupin where the hardboiled, comical, cool and nonsensical all work together.”

And from the director Yano:
“The characters in this series will move around speedily. I want to draw the characters with a mischievous, fiery passion. We want to combine old and new techniques to make a interesting hybrid mix, like combining the rough, powerful thick lines of old with thin, detailed lines in other parts.”

 Permalink 12/17/14 @ 20:55
ben in response to: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone

Thanks. That’s what I get for not watching until the end of the credits. That coda even more strongly implies that this is a lead-in.

 Permalink 12/17/14 @ 12:47
Muffin in response to: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone

Actually, Zenigata appears briefly after the end credits. And he looks all mean and moody…

 Permalink 12/17/14 @ 07:47
ben in response to: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone

Tamerlane - True, Koike is one of the few directors since Dezaki who’s seemed to be a good fit with the special format. (this doesn’t feel like a movie to me) You could be right about the Kubrick reference, though this is actually a setup that’s occurred a few times in Lupin - he runs across a secret society of rich men who gather in an underground lair to gamble or buy women or whatever.

Aaron - I hope you enjoy it. It does still retain a bit of the stylish moodiness of Fujiko due to the designs, and the drawings aren’t by any stretch loose and playful like Part III or anything, but it was pretty enjoyable, far more so than the previous show. The needless hatching is thankfully gone. I have to admit that the weird proportions of Koike’s designs kind of annoy me with some of the characters though. (the broad shoulders, narrow waist, super long arms that taper out to huge hands) It would indeed be great to get Aoki and Kabashima back. Kabashima actually now runs his own studio called Mugenkan ( so it wouldn’t be inconceivable for him to get back into the action, but I haven’t seen Aoki’s name anywhere lately.

 Permalink 12/16/14 @ 11:08
Aaron Long
Aaron Long in response to: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone

Wow I can’t wait to watch this, based on your response to it! I had no idea it was even out. Between this and the upcoming series, it seems like it’s a good time to be a Lupin fan. I completely agree with your request to bring back Aoki and Kabashima, while they’re at it. I’m not sure how old they are or if they’re still active in the industry, but how cool would it be to have them back at work on Lupin again?

 Permalink 12/15/14 @ 21:10
tamerlane in response to: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone

I think the Mamo tease might be setting up another Koike special, maybe character specific for Goemon or Zenigata like this one was for Jigen. Purely speculative but it would be great if Koike could revive the Lupin special like Dezaki did in the late 80s.

You probably caught this but the weird sex cult thing with Fujiko was a reference to Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, complete with repetitive piano music and red interiors.

 Permalink 12/15/14 @ 18:37

I’m excited. At a basic level it’s nice to have another series finally, but Tomonaga was a great choice for director. If anyone can do it right, it’s Tomonaga, who did so much of the best work in the second series and Cagliostro and Fuma. Those are (among) the outings that attracted me to and defined Lupin in my mind for many years, so I’m happy to see something veering in that direction. It’s the kind of Lupin I personally want to see. His choice as director seems to indicate that they’re going for something more aimed at a general audience than the more maniacal Fujiko Mine outing, something striking a balance between intelligent writing and adult themes and plain old silly fun. Judging by the little bit of artwork that’s been released, they’re obviously toning down the edgy styling of Fujiko Mine and Jigen’s Gravestone and returning towards the classic (Cagliostro) look. The only uncertainty is that Tomonaga is an animator first and foremost. The one time in his long career that he did direct (Buta) was underwhelming. Also I was underwhelmed by what his studio Telecom turned in for the Elusive Fog special. So I’m happy Telecom is at the helm, but I’m a little nervous about whether they’ve still got it in them to bring that Telecom spark of old. Even if the name is the same, the company is inevitably different after 30+ years. What I’d like to see is a return to the loose sensibility of the early outings - not being fussy about creating cool drawings and intricate movement, instead focus on creating lively and broad character acting, creative action set pieces in the spirit of Fuma’s car chase and underground climax, even if the drawings aren’t 100% accurate. The apparent roughness of Fujiko Mine was in fact quite the opposite, a very laborious and calculated graphic expressiveness. Light and sprightly is what I’d like to see.

Going out on a limb, I’d love to see Yuzo Aoki come back, even for just a little cameo, but that is highly unlikely, since he hasn’t been involved in anything since Part III and isn’t at all associated with Telecom. I’m not even sure he’s still working.

Nope, I haven’t seen Jigen’s Gravestone yet but I’ll have a look at it right away. I’m happy to watch anything with Jigen in the lead.

 Permalink 12/15/14 @ 13:42

So Ben, what are your thoughts on the Blue Jacket series coming in spring? And have you seen Jigen’s Gravestone yet?

 Permalink 12/14/14 @ 21:21
jay_luo in response to: 10 years of Anipages

Congrats Ben! i am new to the site but i have learn so much and i know i can learn much more here, thank you for all your hard work!

 Permalink 12/11/14 @ 18:47
pete in response to: 10 years of Anipages

Congratulations on your blog Ben. Not many are willing to share their mind and heart in such a way.

Even though you’ve been active in reviews and fansubbing prior to that, it is the blog that made the difference.

 Permalink 11/05/14 @ 08:44
fjordaan in response to: 10 years of Anipages

I discovered your blog back in 2006 and have been a semi-regular reader ever since. Your blog has introduced me to a wealth of great anime and animators, both old and new. You also set the bar for intelligent criticism of the medium, possibly the only commentator who give animators their due, and not merely focusing on directors, stories and commercial impact. I’m mostly a lurker on the website, but I hope you keep it going for another 10 years. You’re in a league of your own.

 Permalink 10/30/14 @ 14:35
drmecha in response to: Yoshinori Kanada passes away

it’s true

 Permalink 10/30/14 @ 06:18
ben in response to: Yoshinori Kanada passes away

I actually saw this a few years ago and was contemplating writing about it, but despite being interesting from an animation standpoint I felt it was just too repulsive in content… Rainbow Signal I haven’t seen on the other hand. I can relate. I have a huge box of once-rare LDs whose dissemination on the net has been an object lesson in the futility of collecting rarities for cachet.

 Permalink 10/30/14 @ 05:00
Nemphtis in response to: Space Dandy #21

This is one of my favourite episodes in Space Dandy. Early into the episode I was getting excited from the Kino’s Journey vibes I was getting. Those vibes disappeared pretty fast but I still loved the overall feel in this one, plus the ending was cute. As you say, this is an episode I wouldn’t mind watching more than once.

 Permalink 10/29/14 @ 16:01
drmecha in response to: Yoshinori Kanada passes away

Hi Ben !.
I did not know where to advertise this. But the participation of Yoshinori Kanada , I thought this post was an appropriate place .
This now available The Chocolate Panic Picture Show , complete OVA. In FC2 .
link :

I ‘ve seen it all, and as thought is completely experimental .
No wonder it has been Tezuka Productions who produced it.
Among the animators and storyboard artists (as some knew long ) contains , besides the author of the work ( ” KAMUI ” ) , Yoshinori Kanada and Gainax !
Look for a decade this title . This year I bought the LD . And right now appears !!!!! :(
I hope Rainbow Signal ( a music video of Japanese pop Trio Hi-Fi Set, animated by Kaname Pro !! ) which is the other LD I recently bought haha not appear just now.

sorry for my bad English
Greetings !

 Permalink 10/27/14 @ 16:32
melchizedek in response to: 10 years of Anipages

Stopping by to say congratulations and thank you as well. If I remember correctly, I discovered you by searching for more information on Shinya Ohira, after watching Wanwa several years ago. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had seen his work earlier in places. The earliest being Hamaji’s Ressurection on VHS, when I was in highschool (which also marks the first time I’ve seen Yuasa). Still remains one of the most comprehensive places for information on Japanese animators, the industry, and the craft that I’ve ever seen. Here’s to many more years!

 Permalink 10/25/14 @ 23:33
melchizedek in response to: The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Thank you for your thoughts on Kaguya Hime, Ben. I have to wait for GKids to bring it over here, and bless ‘em because they do good work. I’m definitely going to watch this no matter what, since it’s Takahata’s last.

 Permalink 10/25/14 @ 23:16
Hyrule-enciclo in response to: 10 years of Anipages

A little late on this, but I didn’t want to miss the chance to congratulate you for these 10 years keeping on one of the most astounding and complete blogs about japanimation one can find around.

This is truly a place of reference for any enthusiast on the matter and I hope we can enjoy it for even 10 more years. Thank you for all your hard work and for all the deep and interesting info you managed to gather. :)

 Permalink 10/23/14 @ 03:43
ben in response to: Santa Company making

Wow. I’d heard people say Kimura looks like a yakuza, but they weren’t exaggerating… I remember like 10 years ago he was trying to gather funding for a short animation to be done entirely by himself like this. So it’s going to be 5 minutes straight of a samurai killing people. Very like him. Rock on, Kimura!

 Permalink 10/22/14 @ 05:33
tim_drage in response to: 10 years of Anipages

Wow, congrats!! Enjoyed reading and posting over the years, looking forward to many more :)

 Permalink 10/16/14 @ 07:27
ben in response to: The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Thanks, Shergal. Glad you liked it. I was also really looking forward to this one, and I won’t say I was disappointed - far from it - but it left me with a strange aftertaste.

That’s a good question… I’m not sure why that is, which is why I left that part kind of vague. Basically I suppose the story simply didn’t grip me the way his previous films did, because it’s quite simple. You don’t get the kind of sensitive and realistic web of interpersonal relationships and character development building towards a meaningful climax like you do in Only Yesterday or Pompoko. I suppose he tried to do that as best he could by intricately depicting the emotional growth of Kaguya Hime over the course of the film, but there’s only so far you can go with this material.

Another thing is that the visuals and story weren’t really conceptualized together - he basically wanted to do something with Tanabe, and had various other ideas before finally coming to this one. The visuals are a good match to the story, but perhaps because it’s an extension of Yamadas visually it doesn’t feel like his previous films, when he took a totally new visual approach suited to each film’s material. Also, there’s a tension between the intricate, realistic character delineation that typifies Takahata and the cypher-like nature of folktale characters that gives the film something of a different character from his previous work.

That’s not to say it’s not a moving film. The characters grow on you and develop into people in typical Takahata fashion. But because of the graphic style, and especially the weird, blocky designs of the parents (which took me a lot of getting used to), it seems like the film deliberately tries to keep you from investing emotionally into the story. Each previous Takahata film was tremendously moving (whether Takahata likes it or not!) so that was something that felt different here.

 Permalink 10/15/14 @ 10:40
shergal in response to: The Tale of Princess Kaguya

I really enjoyed reading your impressions on the film, Ben. I have been waiting for it since it got announced, being a big Takahata fan, and the trailers haven’t made it any easier.

I’m curious as to what exactly you felt unsatisfied with, since you don’t quite go over that in the post. Is it the potential of something else that could’ve been, from that early pilot? Or do you think the source material is ultimately at odds with the direction Takahata tried to take it?

 Permalink 10/14/14 @ 19:46