Exactly seven years after it began, Andrew Hussie's maximalist webcomic Homestuck has concluded with Act 7, a nine-minute, hand-drawn, fully-animated-and-scored climax to an epic that began with a young man standing in his bedroom. [more inside]
Whatever happened to the animators who worked on Akira? (NSFW) Find out with over 30 minutes of clips that start with a scene from 1988's masterpiece of Japanese animation, Akira, and follow each animator's career across the decades. [more inside]
In the history of gag dubs, one of the earliesr and more obscure is a segment from MTV's Cartoon Sushi, Ultracity 6060, debuting in episode one. After the fold, all but one of its six or seven episodes, depending on how you count - one is an original parody. [more inside]
The term sakuga (作画) refers to a series of well-drawn movements in animation found in both western and Japanese animated shows. [more inside]
Onepunch-man (ワンパンマン) a comedy/superhero webcomic created by ONE in 2009 hosted on his site which quickly became a viral hit over the years. It features the adventures of Saitama (サイタマ), an unlicensed hero, and his disciple Genos (ジェノス) as they protect the citizens in Z-city from a variety of villains and monsters. However, after all his dedication to training to become a serious hero he feels empty as everything is too easily resolved with one punch. [more inside]
Model Sheets is a Twitter feed where someone is collecting model sheets from all kinds of cartoons, including South Park, classic Warner Bros. and Disney, Don Bluth, cable cartoons, old saturday morning stuff, and anime.
"If I had been born 10 years earlier, I don’t think I would be an animator," wrote Makoto Shinkai. Despite the fact that even his earliest animations were completed with a Mac and a tablet, his style is influenced by the works of prior Japanese animators, even earning him the title "the next Miyazaki," which he says is an honor, but overstating his skills. From his earliest short, Other Worlds, he set some of the tone and pacing featured in his subsequent works, which are discussed in the lead up to an interview Shinkai did with Tested. [more inside]
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.
Hayao Miyazaki drawn Concept sketches and storyboards for a proposed but never made 1971 Pippi Longstocking animated movie. The movie was abandoned when Astrid Lindgren didn't give her permission.
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]
"Few characters are as memorable as he: tall, black-cloaked, face scarred, eyepatch over his right eye, and ever-ready with his saber-rifle. He is the epitome of Leiji (Reiji) Matsumoto's male hero, an SF version of the wild-West lone gunslinger." The Space Pirate Captain Harlock is coming back in a new CG movie, a decade since his escapades were last animated, and back with Toei Animation, who first brought his one-eyed scowl to the small screen 35 years ago. If this is all news to you, read on for more of the mysterious man who fight's for no one's sake. [more inside]
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is the first major video game to be developed by the legendary animation house Studio Ghibli (previously). Reviews are mostly ecstatic, with praise for its music and graphics. And Brainy Gamer speculates that, like Zelda and The Elder Scrolls before it, the game will be remembered because of its connection to the "perilous realm" that J.R.R. Tolkien described.
Today is, of course, December 31st, the new year's eve. And tomorrow will be December 32nd, the day after — December 33rd, and so on, until someone brings me a basket of blooming snowdrops. [more inside]
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.
In which a young girl creates a giant radish spaceship, becomes its captain, then returns two years later in a bunny outfit with super powers.
Here is the opening anime from the 20th Japan Science Fiction Convention, Daicon III (1981). And here is the follow-up anime for the 22nd convention, Daicon IV (1983). Both are loaded with pop culture references, and are (I hear) famous among Japanese anime fans. Here's some more information on them. The student animators of these shorts went on to found the anime studio GAINAX, which you may have heard of. GAINAX previously: one two
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. *
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.
"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]
Ten years ago today, Cartoon Network aired a very special episode of The Powerpuff Girls. Though nominally a harmless kids series about three adorable kindergarten superheroes, creator Craig McCracken attracted an unexpectedly diverse audience (50% male, 25% adult) by sneaking in a surprising amount of violence and adult in-jokes -- and on that last point, this particular episode was king. Broadcast on the 37th anniversary of their debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, "Meet the Beat-Alls" was an extended and sophisticated metaphor for the rise and fall of The Beatles, cramming more than forty song references and dozens of visual jokes into only ten minutes of animated allegory. Catch the original episode here or read the transcript, but for the full effect, watch this remarkable YouTube mash-up that splices the referenced song clips directly into the audio track and plasters the screen with helpful annotations. Want more PPG goodness? You can start with the special "Powerpuff Girls Rule!!!" (part 2), a sly, hyperkinetic celebration of the show's tenth anniversary directed by McCracken himself that features every character (and totally subverts an important one). But as far as weirdness goes, it's hard to top Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi, a long-running fan-made webcomic which stars the trio alongside Dexter, Samurai Jack, Invader Zim, and tons of other network icons in an unusually dark manga adventure. Oh, and don't forget your plate of beans.
I Love You is an animated short by Rinat Timerkaev that is reminiscent in style of the works of anime director Makoto Shinkai. Russian audio, no subtitles. [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.
Peter Chung, the animator who gave us Aeon Flux, The Maxx, The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury, The Animatrix: Matriculated and Reign: The Conquerer, has a new comic-to-film adaptation aimed at more mainstream audiences premiering Wednesday on Cartoon Network (US): Firebreather. Official Site. Trailer. (Caution: Some links in this post autoplay video) [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]
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)
Carl Macek, who created Robotech, brought Akira to America and was a co-founder of Spumco, passed away this Saturday.
Announcing: The Art of Akira Exhibit Its stunningly fluid and detailed animation often required as many as nine separate cel layers. The 125 minute feature was comprised of over 160,000 cels and almost as many backgrounds, each one completely hand–drawn and hand-painted. Purists recognize Akira as the last completely hand-created animated feature.
Joe the Peacock, in collaboration with Toonseum, presents a project to 'expose as many people as possible to the brilliance' of Akira.
Akira previously: 1 2 3
Joe the Peacock, in collaboration with Toonseum, presents a project to 'expose as many people as possible to the brilliance' of Akira.
Akira previously: 1 2 3
A few years ago, we had "Peanuts Meets Marvel." In another thread, someone name-checked Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown. The Web currently brings us Peanuts characters anime-style, a la Jack Kirby, by way of Family Guy and as seen on The Simpsons. (See also this pessimistic vision of a grown-up relationship between Charlie Brown and the Red-Haired Girl.)
Animated Divots ― comprehensive resource on the history of animation including important events such as new techniques, studio history, and pioneers in the field. Also includes a bibliography of books and journals and filmographies of significant animators, directors, and studios.
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.
Reality, Imagination and Fear. Three short animated films by young students and artists. [more inside]
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]
Adult Swim Fix. Streaming full-length Adult Swim episodes twenty-four hours a day online. Seven archival episodes will be available at all times, while premieres will continue to debut on Fridays, two days before they appear on-air.
Anime Popeye Quicktime.
Go Team Venture! The official Venture Bros. website is now up (though slightly incomplete). While you're waiting, download Brock's workout song, read interviews with the creators or make your own Super Secret Agent license.
Steamboy is a steam punk anime adventure by Katsuhiro Otomo (of Akira fame). Here's the synopsis. Here's the trailer. Looks hella-impressive. Kinda makes my pants shrink. Anybody else know more info on this?
Among Hayao Miyazaki's masterpieces are Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind, Princess Mononoke, and, most recently, Spirited Away. With the April 15 US release of Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, and Laputa: Castle in the Sky, an Academy nomination for Spirited Away, and Disney's commitment to release re-dubbed, re-mastered versions of Miyazaki's films in the US and worldwide, the American public is getting more acquainted with this legend of animation. Miyazaki's films are not your regular anime [more inside...]
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?
Tetsuo! Kaneda! Akira on DVD!
This is one of the most amazing new flash sites I've seen in a while. Very cool anime illustrations in a movie preview-style clip.