Satoshi Kon - Editing Space & Time A short video on Vimeo which explains the editing techniques of the late anime director Satoshi Kon used in his works by Tony Zhou. [more inside]
Disney Studios censors Miyazaki collection, pulls Studio Ghibli compilation. "On Your Mark" a video directed by Hiyao Miyazaki, and produced between early January and late May, 1995 by a team of over fifty animators at Studio Ghibli, in cooperation with other studios, is being censored from the upcoming 13-disc "Collected Works of Director Hayao Miyazaki" collection. Disney is also stopping shipments of a 2005 Ghibli Shorts collection, which features the video, along 22 other shorts that Studio Ghibli produced over the course of decades. The rationale?! Nineteen years after the video's release, one of the members of the band that did the music for the video has been arrested, along with a female acquaintance, after police found MDMA at his home. The musician was arrested Saturday, but has not been charged or convicted, as yet. Both he and the woman he was arrested with claim to be innocent.
On Megami Tensei:
Based on the Japanese horror novel series by Aya Nishitani, this one’s about a student computer genius, who’s also the reincarnation of an ancient Japanese deity, who uses his giant clunky 80s mainframe to summon up some horrifying devils. This involves some not-bad animation of a well-endowed teacher’s frilly brassiere heaving up and down as she becomes the conduit for horrifying monsters from another dimension to invade our world. Then giant piles of red goop start crushing students and a big blue hairy devil named Loki fights our student computer genius hero, who fights back with his reincarnated girlfriend and his magic sword and his pet devil animal throughout several alternate universes.let's anime presents: The Top Ten Least essential OVA (anime) of the 80s. [more inside]
An English-subtitled trailer is now available for Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli's latest film, The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu), which will premiere to English-speaking audiences at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. [more inside]
Just an ordinary low key 3D beer commercial. SLYT
In 1982 the manga, Akira (previously) , began its run. It would ultimately spawn a film that would lead the way for the growth of the anime medium outside of Japan. An attempted Americanized remake (previouslyer) was in production before being ultimately canceled. The manga’s creator, Katsuhiro Otomo, in the meantime, had taken a 20 year break from long-form manga. It was recently announced that this break was coming to an end and that Otomo would be working on a new long-form shonen series.
Gauche the Cellist [Google video, 63 minutes] is based on a story [Japanese; English translation #1, #2] by Kenji Miyazawa, one of the most-loved poet/storytellers in Japan (Miyazaki and Takahata love his works, and have been influenced by him). The movie was made as an independent project by a Japanese animation studio, OH Production (wiki), and took 6 years to complete. It is rather difficult to make a Kenji story into a movie because there are many Japanese just waiting to rip you apart if you screw up, but Gauche has been highly acclaimed, and is considered one of the best Miyazawa movies (IMDb). The story is about a cellist, Gauche, who becomes a better cellist by interacting with animals who visit his home every night. *
Marvel.com now has many animated series (all episodes, in their entirety) available to view online at their website including The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Superheroes, X-Men, The Animated Series, X-Men Evolution, Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, and Spider-Man (1967) (Full list inside) [more inside]
10 short, experimental, animated films by Osamu Tezuka, godfather of anime: Jumping, Memory, Push, Broken Down Film, Mermaid, Drop, Story of a Street Corner, Genesis, Muramasa, Self Portrait. Tezuka is best known in the West for creating Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion and the mangas Buddha, Phoenix and Black Jack. Here is an interview where Tezuka talks about his shorter, experimental films.
Five days of earthquakes. An animated display of all earthquakes over M4.5. 1 video sec = 1 hour real time. The big one hits at 1:17. (SLYT).
"Welcome to the Zion Archive. You have selected Historical File #12-1: The Second Renaissance." So begins the short film of the same name by Mahiro Maeda [Flash: 1 2 - QuickTime: 1 2] -- a devastating yet beautiful work of animation. Originally produced to explain the backstory behind the Matrix trilogy, Maeda's project ended up telling a story far darker and more affecting than any blockbuster. Using a blend of faux documentary footage and visual metaphor, his serene Instructor relates in biblical tones the saga of Man and Machine, how age-old cruelty and hatred birthed a horrifying, apocalyptic struggle that consumed the world. Packed with striking imagery and historical allusions galore, this dark allegory easily transcends the films it was made for. But while "The Second Renaissance" is arguably the best work to come from the Matrix franchise, it's hardly alone -- it's just one of the projects made for The Animatrix, a collection of nine superb anime films in a wide variety of styles designed to explore the universe and broaden its scope beyond the usual sci-fi action of the movies. Click inside for a guide to these films with links to where they can be watched online, along with a look at The Matrix Comics, a free series of comics, art, and short fiction created for the same purpose by some of the best talent in the business. [more inside]
Localfilter: Today in Tokyo, legislation passed that will further restrict manga and animation "glorifying or exaggerating illegal sexual acts." Ten of the biggest comics companies are protesting the Tokyo International Anime Fair, sponsored by the city, responding that a focus on their mode of expression is unfair. Blogger Dan Kanemitsu reports.
On August 23rd, the great Japanese stop-motion animator and president of the Japan Animation Association Kihachirō Kawamoto passed away at the age of 85. Here is a selection of his beautiful short films (available on DVD) __ Farce Anthropo - Cynique (1970) - The Demon (1972) [more inside]
"In Japan, animation is not seen as the exclusive realm of children's and family films, but is often used for adult, science fiction and action stories, where it allows a kind of freedom impossible in real life. Some Hollywood films strain so desperately against the constraints of the possible that you wish they'd just caved in and gone with animation." -- Roger Ebert on anime, with this excerpt being related to Tokyo Godfathers. Ebert has been a fan of anime for a while, especially the works of Hayao Miyazaki. Ebert has reviewed 6 of the 18 Studio Ghibli films released to date, and even interviewed Miyazaki with a bit of fanboy glee. More reviews and videos inside. [more inside]
Beware the Electronic Automatic Sound-Spectrograph Computing Digit Translator Playback Recognizer Machine
Telephoneme: Even if your Alphabet Conspiracy succeeds and you destroy the books, machines have no minds of their own. They are easily confused by different voices and different accents. It is the brain of man that tells them what to do. [more inside]
Nissan has been running an ad campaign in Japan based on the 1974 anime Heidi, girl of the alps. The ads are sort of
bizarre awesome and were put together by the same crew that did The world of golden eggs. The full episodes feature Heidi trying unsuccessfully to find the answer to her question '低燃費って何？' (What's teinenpi?).
(the last set of links are all Japanese, but are hopefully interesting enough without subtitles)
The Eco Zoo - some amazing Japanese 3D Flash. If you take a close look at the animals there... you might be able to get some tips to live in a more environmentally friendly way!
Koichiro Tsujikawa : self-taught surrealist filmmaker. Mostly music videos : Like a Rolling Stone .. Eyes [hi-fi, making of] .. Untitled .. Fit Song.. Breezin' .. Tone Twilight Zone .. Wonder Word .. Gakaxy in the Groove .. I Hate Hate
Anime Music Videos. Yet another remixing web subculture, they're usually a source of amateurishly produced angst. From the competitive perfectionists, though, come well lipsynched, action packed, meta-mashuped, and occasionally just filthy stuff for cartoon nerds. Besides the usual metal, ballads, and pop rock, there's some Daft Punk, club, and downtempo accompaniment. Or you can just go to hell. Wear headphones and no-one will know.
Japanese animation from 1933. A bizarre Max Fleischer-inspired 11-minute cartoon about some critters from traditional Japanese folklore, complete with a soundtrack of traditional Japanese music. [youtubefilter]
A fascinating series of Japanese toilet training videos for the very young (duh). Of note, the anthropomorphizing of the toilet, the weird bits of Engrish thrown in, and the remarkably frank approach to the whole messy business.
Animation... More clips available at his homepage.
How To Bow - learn Japanese etiquette for business and social situations in this quirky flash animation that offers practical tips on how to behave as a guest, how to avoid embarrassing dining gaffes, how to conduct a successful business meeting and what to expect in a public bathroom. Don't "drop a brick" - learn to avoid common mistakes!
The Sushi Seal Family are simultaneously sushi and seals. Actually, judging by the sample movie and the episode guide, it seems more like "Barbapapa" meets Zen koans. But it's big in Japan, apparently. (Via Geegaw.)
Gloomy the Vicious Bear - we had a recent thread about the teddy bear turning 100. Here's a cute pink Japanese variation that retains a frighteningly feral blood lust. Osaka-based illustrator Mori Chack's innocent cartoon style belies the macabre nature. Just in time for the holidays, get your Gloomy Bear stuffed toys, hightops or other goodies before supplies run out! thanks, gmtPlus9.
Flash with no name - think you've seen every bizarre Japanese flash? Good chance you haven't seen this one yet. I am at a loss for a title. This is not safe for work. This is not safe for children or small animals. Do not take with medication. Mock the message, not the messenger.
Astroboy! Get out your red rocket boots and laser shooting behind. Sony is planning to bring the cult superhero/wonderboy to the screen in 2004 in computer-generated glory. Will the film feature Astro's evil brother Atlas, or Astro's slightly unnerving robotic parents?
Tetsuo! Kaneda! Akira on DVD!