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.
January 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
 << <   > >>
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

Who's Online?

  • Guest Users: 4

  XML Feeds

multiple blogs

Latest Comments

Tyshunn Love
Tyshunn Love in response to: Yoshiaki Yoshinaga on Nekojiru

Just noticed one of the first comments on this was from Justin Sevakis. I wonder how many people knew who he was in 05,

 Permalink 01/14/18 @ 07:21
Tyshunn Love
Tyshunn Love in response to: Yoshiaki Yoshinaga on Nekojiru

Just noticed one of the first comments on this was from Justin Sevakis. I wonder how many people knew who he was in 05.

 Permalink 01/14/18 @ 07:18
Tyshunn Love
Tyshunn Love in response to: Yoshiaki Yoshinaga on Nekojiru

Interesting to see one of the first comments on this was none other than Justin Sevakis. I winder how many people knew who he was at the time.

 Permalink 01/14/18 @ 07:15

Regarding Spaceship Sagittarius, this special episode made in 1982 is much closer to European comics than the TV series. Too bad they had to alter the character design to fit more to Japanese standards. Couldnt take my eyes of it!

 Permalink 06/17/17 @ 14:02
Diogenes in response to: Shoka

Just watched this, 7 years late. I’m a big Hamaji’s Resurrection fan so I thought it looked fantastic. Loved the old man at the ending and this pose right here:

 Permalink 06/03/17 @ 19:15
Don Tyro
Don Tyro in response to: Lupin III Part 3

Wow.. that was an epic writeup for the most unliked Lupin series and we appreciate it, honestly

Like most i hated the art direction and character designs for most of the reason you praise but i found your writeup very informative and interesting, i have to respect the amount of research you put into this

we have been doing a very general Lupin retrospective that we have almost completed #yearoflupin and kind of wish we saw this post before we did our Part III writeup as we would have 100% given this article a shoutout but nevertheless - just wanted to say good job even though i’m in disagreement with your praise of this part

 Permalink 05/10/17 @ 04:38
Toadette in response to: The 11 Cats

alex - Ettinger misspelled Taku Furukawa, whose films he wrote about here:

 Permalink 03/31/17 @ 15:53
alex in response to: The 11 Cats

Can you talk a little more about Taku Furuyama? I tried searching about him but I couldn’t find anything anywhere.

 Permalink 03/31/17 @ 13:42
Noah in response to: Fight da!! Pyuta

Hey Ben,
Have you watched Flip Flappers at all. The animation quality is superb and the director is a Ghibli animator. Wondering if you’ve heard anything of the projects gestation? I’d love to read your thoughts on it.

 Permalink 02/19/17 @ 11:50

I’m excited! This is the first time I find information about this cartoon series! It’s one of the series I remember most from my childhood! In Spanish I knew her with the name of “The great ones of the history” and I would like to be able to obtain the chapters to be able to show them to my children. Is it possible? Thank you very much for any information you can send me. Regards!

 Permalink 01/07/17 @ 07:18
G J in response to: Yoshiaki Yoshinaga on Nekojiru

Same, Rmaho. Strange!

 Permalink 01/06/17 @ 15:02
rmaho in response to: Yoshiaki Yoshinaga on Nekojiru

Just wanted to say thank you for translating this.

11 years huh.

 Permalink 01/04/17 @ 08:57
rmcoombs in response to: Xanadu: Dragon Slayer Densetsu

Oddly, I cannot find a copy of this OVA anywhere online, only the 2nd in the series?

Anyone have a VHS rip? Bakabt collects these old series for torrent archiving.
Thanks in advance!

 Permalink 11/26/16 @ 18:42
pannenkoekennl in response to: Stylistic evolution in Crayon Shin-chan

Masami Otsuka, 1992 is not from 23a it is from 19a.

 Permalink 11/20/16 @ 03:16
star in response to: The Antique Shop

Hi Ben… It’s been years but I’ve just got to knock up on this 2008 post of yours while researching for Niji-iro hotaru & other nostalgic-themed animes.

I know animation industry also is another field where majority of the professionals are males, maybe except for select few others like Eunyoung Choi & now rising indie animators in U.S. & Europe…. those including Lilli Carre, Irina Dakeva & hopefully others I’ve learned in class & so on. I think it could be because animation is a craft-oriented art that inevitably happens to involve lot of technicality; for example starting from boys building mobiles to scientists assembling their androids. I think that’s why I’ve felt like an mad scientist just after finishing my seconds-long reels.

Anyhow I sincerely regard your post. I can read a lot of love from experience seeping through; which I’d want to strongly emphasize as another headless crafts-person. While most of the folks out there as gen. audience would support more of Miyazaki/Takahata-oriented family style, I do agree that such experimental approach of Shinya Ohira & others cannot be ignored.

 Permalink 10/21/16 @ 16:36
Mesterius in response to: Sherlock Hound

Very interesting. So in truth, Miyazaki directed only FIVE of those six early episodes. But all six were still produced before the disagreement with the Doyle estate that put the series on hold, right?

 Permalink 10/03/16 @ 02:42
Skyler in response to: Masami Hata returns to the big screen

Hi I’m Skyler from the united States of America and I am a huge fan of your anime show stitch! And I am on the third season of the English dub but I’ve been wondering How come stitch! Is not in America and how come you didn’t stitch! Season 2 episode 19 stitch power in English dub I’ve watched stitch season 2 episode 19 stitch obtained The number one power in space and I love it but I can’t understand The language is it possible for you to put season 1, 2 and 3 in America and make stitch season 2 episode 19 in English please and thank you I’ll do anything if you do it and you think you can call it yuna and stitch! So and make it have 86 episodes of yuna and stitch! :) :)

 Permalink 07/28/16 @ 09:25

is there any site where i can watch or buy the 1992 series please? i really love their first release but can’t seem to find them.

 Permalink 07/06/16 @ 21:25
Sam in response to: Manga Sekai Mukashibanashi

Thank u for the article. I was looking for the episodes that dezaki directed and found this article ( i haven’t found his episodes yet :D)
I was surprised when u mentioned that it is a rare series. The arabic dubbed version is popular and we still have some channels air it, but it is all over youtube.

Just to double check we are talking about the same one; is this the one u r talking about?حكايات+عالميه

 Permalink 07/01/16 @ 13:49
tetsuo in response to: Bonobono

HT Ryu Hello
If you’ll be working on the Bono Bono, can ypu tell me please? I want subtitles too :)

 Permalink 04/06/16 @ 02:53
HT Ryu
HT Ryu in response to: Bonobono

Hi. I was wondering if you know where I could find the english subs for this? If there isn’t… maybe I shall work on them myself.

 Permalink 03/03/16 @ 06:07
Charles Brubaker
Charles Brubaker in response to: Fight da!! Pyuta

Few months late, but I enjoyed this look on “Pyuta". Really should track down this show!

There’s going to be a new DVD set coming soon, this time remastered to HD from the original negatives.

 Permalink 02/04/16 @ 14:05
CJ in response to: Watching Mononoke

The pilot within the last arc of ‘Ayakashi: Samurai Horror Tales’, then blending into ‘Mononoke’ left me wanting more. The story telling so full, the sound editing almost like a ‘Blair Witch’ feeling - that your mind fills in the gaps between cells.
I have watched this show more times, now than I can count.
It is beautiful in its storytelling, its characters, the music and the moving art that it truly is.
If I could have any animATION brought back for more episodes, it would be ‘Mononoke’

 Permalink 01/30/16 @ 14:23

Thanks for posting this. I recently saw the animated Cat Soup, which is stunning. It seemed to touch on so many subjects …for me, it seemed to touch on the beauty and depth of nature, cruel treatment of animals and meat eating, addiction, the unrelenting march of time, the nature of control over others, the bigness of the universe…..
I think people like Nekojiru must have a hard time living in a world where the willfully blind can often control and judge those who see. I am looking forward to seeing more of her work.

 Permalink 01/26/16 @ 08:37
drmecha in response to: Toshiaki Hontani 本谷利明

hello Ben!

I do not know if you’ve found it yet.
I began to share my database. all the information we collect for 16 years !!

It will be completed during the coming months. I hope to finish it before the middle of next year !! :)
This is not a complete database. Only studios and times that interest me.
I will share everything I have. But I will not continue updating it.
Nor it is intended as a perfect database. It may have errors. And surely there are many!

But you are free to use it for research. You and anyone wanting to use it.

(sorry for my bad english)

 Permalink 12/17/15 @ 03:04
drmecha in response to: Toshiaki Hontani 本谷利明

Probably several animators working in DAST, became APPP in the 90s
Hideko Yamauchi (who was animator in DAST) told me (5 years ago) that she is the representative of the American division of APPP (called Techno Arts).
By the way, about the APPP productions in the 90s: A curiosity, the style with which they (APPP) painted the cels. With a strong black color. Especially visible in the black hair.

 Permalink 12/13/15 @ 03:50
kristopher in response to: Kyoro-chan

What other episodes did you find and can you please send them to me? I really like this anime and I want to see all the episodes too.

 Permalink 11/27/15 @ 19:54
jaggie in response to: Toei Doga -- pt. 2

Thank you Ben,
After all these years this is still one of the best/only english sources on the internet to help us understand the Toei works on a historic and “production-flow” level.

I would like to get my hands on a book that goes into more detail about all these dynamics. You mention Sakuga Ase Mamire in the other post, are there any more books on the subject?


 Permalink 11/23/15 @ 15:56
Ewa in response to: The Wild Swans

I know it’s an old post, but it took me ages to find the version Damian mentioned, so I want to share it with the others, who could look for it in the future:

 Permalink 11/14/15 @ 13:45
geoff34 in response to: Fight da!! Pyuta

ah, I made a mistake, Osomatsu-san is from Fujio Akatsuka, not Fujiko F. Fujio.

 Permalink 11/13/15 @ 12:53
geoff in response to: Fight da!! Pyuta

this wacky opening reminds me the opening from Osomatsu-san, a recent anime from an old manga by the author of Doraemon

 Permalink 11/12/15 @ 10:44
ben in response to: Fight da!! Pyuta

Unfortunately it’s not subbed, but who knows, eventually, maybe… I personally think a best of sampling is a good way to go for a lot of these old shows like this and Goku, at least to start with, cause they’re not serial and there are lots of episodes that honestly aren’t up to par - and less work that way. But people are probably averse to that kind of release.

The demographic was kids, like most gag shows of the day (unlike many gag shows made today which are more aimed at young adults). If you watch the show it’ll be pretty obvious. It’s just that they were more brazen about telling the kind of stories they wanted, and were facilitated in that by having a compliant broadcaster who didn’t stonewall them like happened to Goku and Pyun Pyun Maru.

I was considering doing a writeup on the new Lupin III and Osomatsu-san, as I’m watching both, but I didn’t feel like I was bowled over enough to merit a writeup. There are parts I like about both shows, but I’m not overly enthusiastic.

Osomatsu-san I really love the drawings. Naoyuki Asano does a great job reinvisioning the characters and making every episode watchable in terms of the animation. The animation style really breathes the spirit of the A Pro school. But I can’t stand the writing. I appreciate the attempt to bring the material up to date, but I just find Hideshi Matsubara’s sense of humor is off the mark most of the time. Ironically the only part where I’ve liked the writing so far was the lost cat story in episode 5, which was a pretty serious story.

The new Lupin I’ve been underwhelmed by, and again I think the writing is the culprit. Writing was never the strong suit of the previous shows, but I find the stories here needlessly talky and lacking in dynamism, with the Lupin gang just hanging around yapping half the time, not actually doing anything. They also seem like they’re just tagging along with the action without being the drivers. There hasn’t really been anything in the animation worth shouting about or reminiscent of the Telecom Lupin of yore, either, which is what I was afraid would be the case. If only there were at least a few bits in each episode that lived up to the promise of the dynamic animation at the start of the opening theme (which I assume was by Yokobori)… The action scenes are more often than not unconvincing and forced. The only episode I quite liked so far was episode 5, the solo episode by Sadahiko Sakamaki. One he’s a great artist and I’m a big fan, but more than that, the feeling of the drawings and the solo style of animation brings to mind the aspect I most liked about the second series, the way it was animated by small crews without overpolishing the drawings - and of course Sadahiko Sakamaki was an animator in the second series (almost 40 years ago!), so he’s an element of continuity. (The presence of Hatsuki Tsuji in ep 2 was another pleasant surprise) I love Hisao Yokobori’s designs, don’t get me wrong, they’re a nice balance of the best elements of green jacket, Mamo and Fuma, but only Sakamaki’s episode has satisfied as animation so far, at least to me. I can’t blame the animation for that - the stories don’t challenge the animators or give them any opportunities to shine. I’m glad to hear there are a few more Sakamaki episodes in store. I still look forward to the show and hope there will be at least a few episodes where the Telecom spark comes alive. The current president of Telecom is apparently a huge Fuma fan and wants to make something that lives up to that in this show. I hope the show eventually produces some work that does that.

 Permalink 11/06/15 @ 20:40
Miguel Angel Valenzuela Solís
Miguel Angel Valenzuela Solís in response to: Hello and welcome!

Thank you, I find your blog wonderfull!

 Permalink 11/06/15 @ 10:31
Steven Ostuni
Steven Ostuni in response to: Fight da!! Pyuta

Man, this show was ahead of it’s time! I imagine this could have been one of the inspirations for Yuasa’s style, especially with all the lively movement and wonky shot compositions. It appears I wasn’t the only one who noticed the similarities with Wacky Races, which also started airing in 1968! Also, some of the social commentary you mentioned seems pretty gutsy, especially for a 60’s cartoon. I’m pretty sure many American satire series these days would be unwilling to take on some of Pyuta’s subject matter. By any chance, do you know what the intended demographic for this series was (kids, adults, both?) Anyway, thanks so much for writing this up- I’ll have to give this show a watch at some point (assuming I can find subs for it.)

Also, while you certainly don’t have to do a long writeup on them, I was wondering what your opinions are on the new Lupin III and new Osomatsu-san series. They both feel quite different from anything else that’s aired this year, probably because of their old-school style.

 Permalink 11/05/15 @ 18:06
ben in response to: Fight da!! Pyuta

Yep, Pyuta pre-dates both Wacky Races and Time Bokan. Time Bokan could very well have been influenced by both Pyuta and Wacky Races, although I haven’t seen Time Bokan so I can’t confirm the Pyuta influence. Obviously at the very least they copied the name Warusa for one of the villains, although they used it on the dumb short one rather than the tall one. In Pyuta, Warusa gets punished at the end of each episode by the ancestor computer for failing to defeat Pyuta, and I’ve heard Time Bokan may have copied this aspect as well. I’ve never thought to track this tall dandy villain character trope beyond this…

The part at the end of the opening sequence was animated by Daizo Takeuchi. The “Yankees go home” phrase doesn’t have anything to do with Pyuta and Warusa scuffling, so it was obviously Takeuchi’s idea. It’s hard to say how deep-felt the political jokes like this in the show were, but it’s also hard to ignore that the very first shots of the opening are a fighter jet, a tank, and a US carrier exploding in sequence. The image in ep 11 of Lyndon B. Johnson in a ten-gallon hat brandishing a six-shooter with the word “DEMOCRACY” emblazoned behind him speaks for itself. This was, after all, 1968, the year protests were sweeping the world. Students in Japan protested the US presence in Japan due to the Vietnam war. The show couches its political sentiment in a clowning sensibility, but it’s obviously a reflection of the era’s political ferment. Rather than being a political tract, Pyuta seems in its own small way to act like a snapshot of the revolutionary fever of 1968.

 Permalink 11/03/15 @ 00:39
NAveryW in response to: Fight da!! Pyuta

This looks incredible. Posts like this are the most depressing because I know there’s no chance whatsoever of these old shows ever getting translated or localized.

I noticed a subliminal “YANKEES GO HOME” during the fight at 1:08 into the intro… Does that have anything to do with the characters fighting or was it just a political sentiment someone on staff snuck in?

The villains are strongly reminiscent to me (though obviously it’s the other way around) of those from the various Time Bokan series minus the lady. I’d assumed the Time Bokan villains were inspired by those from Wacky Races, and would assume the same of this except it looks like Fight Da!! Pyuta came out before Wacky Races by a short margin. It’s not as though cartoons have ever been hard up for bumbling villains but this particular variation on “the tall one” in particular seems to show up a lot in anime, with the most famous example in North America being Waluigi. Can you shed some light on the history of this guy?

 Permalink 11/01/15 @ 21:40
ben in response to: Fight da!! Pyuta

Thanks, Aaron. Yep, it was a pretty daring show for such an early period in anime history. I’ve since started watching Toei’s Pyun Pyun Maru from around the same time, and it’s remarkable how unfunny it is compared to Pyuta. Confirms that Pyuta really was a high watermark for the period.

 Permalink 10/30/15 @ 10:31
Aaron Long
Aaron Long in response to: Fight da!! Pyuta

This show looks very inspiring in its audaciousness and outright insanity. I love the willingness to experiment and try out new ideas back in this era of anime. Nothing seemed too defined or set in stone and it resulted in some amazing work.

Thanks for shedding light on this series!

 Permalink 10/29/15 @ 18:34
ben in response to: Akado Suzunosuke

Glad to hear you enjoyed it, Charles. Indeed, misspellings appear to be more common at this period than I thought. It’s not just limited to this show. I was just randomly checking out Nippon Animation’s Pinocchio show from 1976 and noticed Masami Hata’s name misspelled as 波田正美 instead of 波多正美. I’m sure that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

 Permalink 10/03/15 @ 09:50
Charles Brubaker
Charles Brubaker in response to: Akado Suzunosuke

Great article, Ben! Always enjoy these posts.

Yeah, I’ve come across misspellings in anime credits released back then. It made it difficult to keep track of who did what.

 Permalink 10/01/15 @ 18:13
ben in response to: Akado Suzunosuke

H Park -

Yes, Daniel also asked me to write something for the set or do a commentary, but I found the responsibility a little too overwhelming so I essentially dropped out. I feel bad about it.

Sorry to hear the panel didn’t go well. I would never in my life venture to do such a thing. The stage fright would kill me.

Sounds like a cool guy to me, I’d love to talk to him.

Diogenes -

Thanks! I didn’t really watch much anime over the last year, but lately I’ve dived back in and I’ve got a big stock of things I intend to go through, mostly old shows. I’m not really up to date on the new shows anymore. I just marathoned 1999’s Taiga Adventure by Sadahiko Sakamaki, but despite high hopes, it was disappointing. His storyboards are better than the final product. I’m watching a certain old show at the moment to prepare my next post. There are a lot of shows I’d like to watch in the coming days: Wolf Boy Ken, Ashita no Joe 2, Hakugei Densetsu… I think the new Lupin is airing in Japan soon, so I look forward to seeing that, although I’m not sure if it’s going to be good enough to make me want to blog it.

 Permalink 09/29/15 @ 10:18
Diogenes in response to: Akado Suzunosuke

It’s great to see a new post. Have you been watching anything (new or old) lately?

 Permalink 09/29/15 @ 05:14
H Park
H Park in response to: Akado Suzunosuke


Slightly off subject, I just got a copy of Prince of Sun, Hols on DVD. I was surprised to see that they put your words on Reiko Okuyama in that DVD.

As for me, I did a Sakuga panel at a small convention couple days ago and I didn’t do well. Still, I learned good lessons from that experience.

One of these days, I really want to introduce you to Kenji Fujita, publisher of E-Sakuga ibook via Skype. I believe he knows much as you do plus he gets to hang around with Mitsuo Iso and Tadashi Hiramatsu.

 Permalink 09/28/15 @ 21:46
ben in response to: Akado Suzunosuke

My pleasure. I’ve seen the movie, but I still need to see the TV series. Nice to know there’s still some Takahata out there that I haven’t seen.

 Permalink 09/27/15 @ 13:14
Aaron Long
Aaron Long in response to: Akado Suzunosuke

Fascinating. Thanks for the additional info! I still need to see Jarinko Chie.

 Permalink 09/27/15 @ 10:41
ben in response to: Dorvack & Dancougar

Sorry I just got around to responding to this. Thanks for the correction! Good to finally find out who did this work, and to finally be able to pin down Osamu Tsuruyama’s style from this period. I’ve seen his name a lot in anime from that period but was never sure how to ID his work.

 Permalink 09/26/15 @ 22:55
ben in response to: Akado Suzunosuke

Thanks, H Park! It’s been a mixed bag lately, but I can’t complain too much.

Aaron -

I know, it’s very confusing, but he definitely cannot draw. Takahata was never trained as an animator. He trained as a director from the start, and at least in those days that did not require drawing skills. It’s fascinating that despite this his imprint feels so strong in the storyboards for his films, considering he didn’t draw them. Even as early as Horus the (final) ekonte for the movie was drawn by Yasuo Otsuka, so it wasn’t something that he started doing later in his career.

Luckily we have the storyboards for all of his films, published by Ghibli, so we can see that they were all drawn by his respective collaborators on those films. What I recall about his description of the storyboard-drawing process for his films is that he communicates what he wants verbally or through stick figures to his storyboard illustrator, and has that person put it into proper drawing form. Lest this make it seem like he leaves the drawings completely up to the animators, he’s renowned for being a stickler about every aspect of the drawings, which is what set him apart from most directors then or now.

Aside from the big movies, he’s also credited with ekonte on several TV shows including Jacky, Jarinko Chie, A Dog of Flanders and Perrine, so that leaves the question open as to how these were handled. Perhaps, as with the movies, he had an as-of-yet unidentified staff member working on the show (a storyboarder or animator) help him throw the storyboards together, or else his storyboard was just a stick figure storyboard. I’d certainly love to learn more about what exactly he did on Akado Suzunosuke.

 Permalink 09/26/15 @ 22:51
Aaron Long
Aaron Long in response to: Akado Suzunosuke

Great article, Ben! Always glad to see a new one from you. Somehow I hadn’t ever heard of this series before, despite Miyazaki and Takahata’s involvement.

As I see more of Miyazaki’s early work, I realize that a lot of the highlights of his later movies worked so well because he had already practiced doing those scenes, gags or characters before, sometimes several times.

You mention “Takahata the storyboarder” in this article– I was under the impression that Takahata couldn’t draw and had never worked in the industry as an artist. Was this apparent inability to draw just an exaggeration or simplification from later in his life, when he chose not to draw?

 Permalink 09/26/15 @ 20:17
H Park
H Park in response to: Akado Suzunosuke

Welcome back, Ben!

How’s life treating you?

 Permalink 09/25/15 @ 21:41
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