Time for another round of my thoughts on things I've watched lately.
wasn't sold by the trailers, but I ended up really
enjoying it. The designs are great, both in the
characters and the overall environments. They're full of unusual
shapes and angles, and the result is a rare film with a genuinely unique
look to it. The story and characters felt pretty familiar, but the
manage to put in a couple of clever twists. The ending sequence was
genuinely creepy, and featured really impressive animation. Overall Paranorman
was truly a breath of fresh air in American animation. I'm now
interested in what else Laika has done, which means I'll have to finally see
Directed by Rintaro, this OVA
from 1992 has impressively loose, wild animation. Yoshinori Kanada did
the character designs, as well as some animation. It also has some
amazing Tatsuyuki Tanaka scenes, which are what made me want to track it
down.Unfortunately this thing is ridiculously obscure-- it's never even
been released on DVD in Japan, let alone translated into English. And
obviously the name makes it difficult to look it up online. So I
couldn't understand most of what was going on in the story, but it was
I may have covered this
late 80's anime anthology before on my blog, I can't remember. But
anyway, here's what I thought upon seeing it again recently-- I
absolutely love the first segment, "Manie-Manie" which is also by
Rintaro. It's probably one of my favourite animation pieces ever. It's
packed with neat ideas in the designs, the direction, the
animation and the sound work. Too bad it's so short and ultimately
doesn't seem to have any real point. "The Running Man" has lots of
great FX animation but there's not much of a story and it feels longer
than it is. The final segment by
Katsuhiro Otomo, "The Order to Stop Construction" has an interesting
atmosphere and some decent animation but doesn't really do too much with
it in the end. So basically all three shorts suffer from weak writing,
but they all have impressive animation. They work well as mood pieces
though. I'd say it's worth seeing.
only up to Episode 9, which has the Masaaki Yuasa animation sequence,
which was just as amazing as I'd expected. Overall I've found it to be a
decent series, but not as hip-hoppy or as funny as it's meant to be.
It's mostly just been a bizarrely anachronistic samurai series, although
I've heard it gets sillier later on. There are some hip-hop elements
and some funny moments (my favourite example of both being the vomit
scratch-cut in Episode 6) but neither the hip-hop flavor or the comedy
are as prevalent as I'd expect from a series that bills itself as
"samurai/comedy/hip-hop." I do love the main title sequence though.
Shin-Chan Season 1 Part 2
picked this up cheap and I'm really enjoying it. Up until now I'd been
avoiding the English dub because I didn't think I'd like all the extra
dirty jokes they added, but it turns out I do like them, and I already
knew I liked the original series so this is turning out to be a lot of
fun. I'm now trying to get the other volumes at a decent price. The
English voices are surprisingly close to the Japanese originals. My only
problem is that they cut the great opening theme short.
Every time I watch it I feel the same way--
there are a ton of cool visuals, and obviously the music is spectacular,
but the script is a jumbled mess and I find it hard to watch the whole
thing in one sitting.
(a late-70s one-off short by the staff of Lupin III)
story is ridiculous and childish but the Miyazaki-animated scene near
the end is fantastic. Between this and his epic battle scene in Animal
Treasure Island, he's become one of my favourite animators. It's a lot more cartoony and wild than I'd have thought from his directing style.
and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, soon after Akira. The budget is
noticeably lower but there is some very good animation in certain
scenes, and it's generally a well-told satire about how society treats
the elderly, with a wacky science-fiction bent to it. I like the
character designs, even though they're not as caricatured as the stuff I
usually prefer. They don't really stand out that much but there's
enough variation within the characters to keep them interesting. The
ending theme has been stuck in my head for days now.
also re-watched Shin-Chan - The Adult Empire Strikes Back and Urusei
Yatsura - Beautiful Dreamer which are both still great.
In other news, I'm back to school for my final year. It's going pretty well so far. I'm also working on Scout Raskin's Bakerman and the Bunnymen short, coming up with ideas for another project and working on designs for Fester Fish t-shirts. The shirts should be available soon, I hope...