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]
Kyaraben (or charaben) is a style of elaborately arranged bento which features food decorated to look like people, characters from popular media, animals, and plants. Mari Miyazowa (previously) creates stop-action animated shorts featuring her bento box creations. Waking Up is the latest from the lunchbox auteur. [more inside]
This one time in Edo Japan, Bashō got together with a bunch of his rich friends from Nagoya to make up a set of interlocking poems (renku) — 36 of them, to be exact (a format called kasen). Then, 320 years later, the complete cycle was animated by a diverse international team of artists. [more inside]
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. *
Unlike many cinematic exports, the Disney canon of films distinguishes itself with an impressive dedication to dubbing. Through an in-house service called Disney Character Voices International, not just dialogue but songs, too, are skillfully re-recorded, echoing the voice acting, rhythm, and rhyme scheme of the original work to an uncanny degree (while still leaving plenty of room for lyrical reinvention). The breadth of the effort is surprising, as well -- everything from Arabic to Icelandic to Zulu gets its own dub, and their latest project, The Princess and the Frog, debuted in more than forty tongues. Luckily for polyglots everywhere, the exhaustiveness of Disney's translations is thoroughly documented online in multilanguage mixes and one-line comparisons, linguistic kaleidoscopes that cast new light on old standards. Highlights: "One Jump Ahead," "Prince Ali," and "A Whole New World" (Aladdin) - "Circle of Life," "Hakuna Matata," and "Luau!" (The Lion King) - "Under the Sea" and "Poor Unfortunate Souls" (The Little Mermaid) - "Belle" and "Be Our Guest" (Beauty and the Beast) - "Just Around the Riverbend" (Pocahontas) - "One Song" and "Heigh-Ho" (Snow White) - "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" (Cinderella) - Medley (Pinocchio) - "When She Loved Me" (Toy Story 2) - Intro (Monsters, Inc.)
Ukiyo-e, a collection of dreamy, mostly charming, flash animations of Edo period Japanese paintings. Pictures of the floating world (everyday life) by Hokusai, Hiroshige, Utamaro. Encyclopedic list of floating world images on the web. Hokusai sketches in flash. [related]
le Papillon An beautifully animated quicktime short about filial dedication in a feudal japanese setting. via Drawn!
Pinpin Lelapin...While surfing on a Singapore site called FlashMove, I came across a zany Flash site: A wonder bit of inscrutable Japanese-inspired French animation from Studio Tanuki in the form of Pinpin Lelapin, an adorable pink balloon bunny rabbit who farts on people. In addition to the giddy animation and stylised artwork on the site is the unique "Super Mario"-type run-and-jump navigation. (Note: Mostly in French, with some Japanese and broken English. Contains Flash, music, farts, giant mecha battles and a Sailor Moon parody.)
Kodocha calls it quits. Kodocha Anime, one of the best known and most reliable anime fansub tape distributors, is closing down operations. Why? Because everything's going digital. [more inside]
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?