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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drmecha in response to: Tiger Mask

Hi Ben!
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 …)

 Permalink 09/18/14 @ 18:03

Yep, I’m planning on writing a post about that one too once I have a chance to watch it all.

 Permalink 09/16/14 @ 20:10

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.


 Permalink 09/16/14 @ 18:49
neshru in response to: Space Dandy #23

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.

 Permalink 09/16/14 @ 11:57
drmecha in response to: Tiger Mask

Haha true.
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.

 Permalink 09/15/14 @ 13:44
ben in response to: Tiger Mask

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. :)

 Permalink 09/15/14 @ 10:45
Ialda in response to: Space Dandy #20

Check Atsushi Kamijo twitter account, he mentionned his participation on this episode ;)

 Permalink 09/15/14 @ 06:16
lpf in response to: Space Dandy #20

I feel like a fool for missing the throwback to TO-Y now, great observation! A rewatch seems in order.

 Permalink 09/14/14 @ 08:50
drmecha in response to: Tiger Mask

Hi Ben:
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. :)

 Permalink 09/14/14 @ 05:35


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.

 Permalink 09/09/14 @ 10:08
Ridojiri in response to: Manga Nihon Mukashibanashi best picks

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?

 Permalink 09/08/14 @ 21:27
Martin in response to: Manga Nihon Mukashibanashi best picks

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!

 Permalink 09/08/14 @ 21:03
martin in response to: Space Dandy #18

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.

 Permalink 08/21/14 @ 00:11
ben in response to: Space Dandy #18

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.

 Permalink 08/20/14 @ 06:38
inico in response to: Recent TV anime

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).

 Permalink 08/17/14 @ 13:31
huw_m in response to: Space Dandy #18

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.

 Permalink 08/15/14 @ 23:29
Ogamush in response to: Space Dandy #16

I was totally impress when I saw the scene made by Ohira, it is an amazing moving artwork, my head exploded.

 Permalink 08/14/14 @ 01:06
ben in response to: Space Dandy #15

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.

 Permalink 08/11/14 @ 13:39
ben in response to: Space Dandy #17

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.

 Permalink 08/11/14 @ 13:30
neshru in response to: Space Dandy #17

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.

 Permalink 08/10/14 @ 20:28
neshru in response to: Space Dandy #16

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.

 Permalink 08/09/14 @ 16:15
melchizedek in response to: Space Dandy #15

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).

 Permalink 07/31/14 @ 22:31
abel_salazar in response to: Interview with Bahi JD

Thanks for the interview and the very nice insight into Bahi’s animation process. Thank you.

 Permalink 07/29/14 @ 16:58
dj Alex Dubcheck
dj Alex Dubcheck in response to: Lupin III: A Woman Called Fujiko Mine #13

Thank you for your reasonableness, Lana

An old-school fan

 Permalink 07/28/14 @ 15:33
ben in response to: Ping Pong

Thank you, I appreciate it. Actually it looks like the last episode review finally went up today.

 Permalink 07/13/14 @ 21:14
paul in response to: Ping Pong

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!

 Permalink 07/13/14 @ 09:44

“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.

 Permalink 07/07/14 @ 13:29
Doug in response to: Ping Pong

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?

 Permalink 06/26/14 @ 06:23
Neil in response to: Space Dandy #12

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:

 Permalink 06/25/14 @ 12:47
drmecha in response to: Bavi Stock

Hi Ben!
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!

 Permalink 05/30/14 @ 06:33
John in response to: Yamato 2520

But where is it. I cannot find those episodes anywhere and I been searching the internet for 4 long years.

 Permalink 05/14/14 @ 16:44
Chris in response to: Ping Pong

Good to hear! More exposure to Yuasa’s work is a great thing, and on CB too!

 Permalink 05/04/14 @ 19:27
Tim Drage
Tim Drage in response to: Ping Pong

nice to see Cartoon Brew finally catch on to Anipages after years of pointedly ignoring my submissions of your stuff. :D

 Permalink 04/24/14 @ 05:18
dj Alex Dubcheck
dj Alex Dubcheck in response to: Space Dandy #13

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…

 Permalink 04/18/14 @ 18:47
ben in response to: Space Dandy #11

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.

 Permalink 04/06/14 @ 00:19
ben in response to: Space Dandy #12

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.

 Permalink 04/06/14 @ 00:09
melchizedek in response to: Space Dandy #11

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!

 Permalink 04/02/14 @ 22:25
melchizedek in response to: Space Dandy #12

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.

 Permalink 04/02/14 @ 20:39
Chris in response to: Space Dandy #12

Thanks for these writeups. This episode just blew my mind with how silly it was!

 Permalink 04/01/14 @ 23:00
SODA in response to: Lupin III Part 3

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.

 Permalink 03/29/14 @ 23:34
someone in response to: Space Dandy #10

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.

 Permalink 03/13/14 @ 09:28
Neil in response to: Space Dandy #9

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).

 Permalink 03/08/14 @ 10:55
melchizedek in response to: Space Dandy #9

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.

 Permalink 03/05/14 @ 19:27
polygwaan in response to: Space Dandy #9

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.

 Permalink 03/05/14 @ 12:39
ben in response to: Space Dandy #6

Huw -

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.

 Permalink 02/20/14 @ 22:01
huw_m in response to: Space Dandy #6

Really been enjoying these write ups Ben, it’s good to follow a show along with your commentary on each episode. Just like old times!

I think you nailed the appeal of this show - ‘Sublime Idiocy’. I loved that surfing scene, where the catchy music kicked in, and its complete lack of respect for the laws of physics. The episode reminded me of that Norman McLaren short, ‘Neighbours’ - A classic anti-war parable set in a weird, self-contained little world.

Personally I hope that they don’t give some needless literal explanation for the constant resets (or the apparent lack of a need for oxygen in space) - I’d rather see them explore the characters or focus on capturing that feeling of euphoric stupidity. This is a fun cartoon for adult children! Not hard sci-fi.

 Permalink 02/19/14 @ 20:23
Neil in response to: Space Dandy #6

Did anyone else think the backgrounds of the moon in this episode looked like something the late Jean “Moebius” Giraud would draw? I totally was getting flashbacks to his work in Arzach:

 Permalink 02/17/14 @ 11:39
Neil in response to: Space Dandy #5

I actually liked this episode, though am well aware of its flaws. I guess what I liked about it was it really felt like a Watanabe show, it could have easily been a Cowboy Bebop episode. The road trip scenes were really nicely paced and good direction turned what could have been a overbearingly sappy moe story into something pretty well made. I guess what I liked the most were the long montages - I think the chief director is pretty good at this kind of stuff.

I still have major reservations about how they handle Dandy himself, he’s like Zap Brannagan from Futurama, but they try to make him likable, when if you were to meet someone like him he’d be completely unlikable - the character doesn’t work.

 Permalink 02/17/14 @ 11:30
shergal in response to: Space Dandy #7

Yeah, this is probably my favourite episode so far. It doesn’t have the sheer animation extravaganza of eps 1 and 2, but it’s actually quite a feast with a bunch of very nice mechanical animation spread out. I liked the one shot with background animation that didn’t actually look like something you’d want to animate the background for, as it moved little and subtly. Just the fact that whoever did it went to the length of doing that I already like. Nakamura’s part was probably the Aloha Oe getting the burst, the part with all those impact frames he’s known for.

I like this episode as well because the direct comedy wasn’t really working very well in the show, and this episode doesn’t focus on that but on the episode long action set-piece, with sprinkles of jokes here and there. They work better in short doses. The Mickey Mouse/lawyer parody character was particularly amusing, as was the flower caster.

 Permalink 02/16/14 @ 19:46
shergal in response to: Space Dandy #5

“I wonder if that was also part of Honda’s bit? Reminded me of the crying in the first Digimon movie by Hideki Hamasu.”

Ha, I thought the same. It’s those cheek lines! I’d say Honda is the only one from the KA list that jumps out as someone who might draw crying like that, and in the medium shot of her face when she starts crying she looks just like some character from the latest EVA movie.
Personally it was one of the nicest animation moments so far in the series, and since I did enjoy the episode it fit right in. I guess it comes down to how much the ’safeness’ of the episode bothers you. I revel in those montages set to poppy songs and Hayashi’s style of cutting, even if it’s not something daring or trying to break new ground. It simply pleases me at an aesthetic level and provides for an entertaining episode. And highly produced entertainment is what Dandy presents itself as from the beginning, after all.

 Permalink 02/16/14 @ 16:43