Fan Artists with Pig Noses

The recent Sailor Moon redraw challenge that hit the internet last week returned attention to the distracting and obvious differences in Western vs Japanese amateur artists—‘amateur’ in this case used only as a term to distinguish them from the LA-NYC flunkie nepotists who get their work paraded around empty art museums for grant money. This time, I’m talking about the democratized artists who take to Patreon for support, receive commissions from fans, and inevitably have their work distributed across the -booru sites. Continue reading “Fan Artists with Pig Noses”

So You Want To Get Into Gundam

Gundam is great.  I’m not kidding.  It’s probably the best thing since sliced bread.  Or Dune.  And it definitely beats whatever passes for Star Wars these days.

But it’s dated and it’s Japanese, and it’s massive.  The original TV series dates back to 1979, created by Yoshiyuki Tomino.  Although not the best success upon its initial airing, it did better on reruns partly due to its successful toy and model line.  Now, the entire franchise spans seventeen TV series, three films, and numerous OVAs, video games, specials, and toy lines.  But I get ahead of myself. Continue reading “So You Want To Get Into Gundam”

20 min. from Ogikuburo station… Animator expo short #6, an extended review

Unlike most of other shorts where the experimentation takes place more in looking for completely new forms and styles than in the techniques themselves, this is an exercise in the ability and experimentation within the already industry-established forms(1) of paper 2d animation. And my God what an experiment it is. Doing away with the usual in-betweening and Sakkan(2) work to let some of Japan’s most distinguished animators run wild, this has surpassed a lackluster initial impression to become easily one of my favorite shorts in the whole 35 entries expo. But in order to convey just how great this short was sakuga-wise, i’ll need to elaborate on some animation terminology and tricks-of-the-trade, so let’s get into it(3): Continue reading “20 min. from Ogikuburo station… Animator expo short #6, an extended review”

Anno’s Animator Exhibition as a Trace (Nihon Animētā Mihon’ichi)

Through most of 2013, Hideaki Anno was in a much graver state of mind than his usual. His general skepticism and pessimism were aggravated over the direction of an stagnated animation industry (within the wider anguish of contemporary Japan’s uncertain economy and future) and his concerns over it, as well as the creative outburst of the newest iteration of the Rebuild series (Q/3:33) throwing him on an emotional slump of a level he hasn’t been in since he finished the original series more than a decade ago. Continue reading “Anno’s Animator Exhibition as a Trace (Nihon Animētā Mihon’ichi)”

Fireball/Fireball Charming

Beginning in 2008, Disney’s Japanese division (of all studios) released Fireball, following it in 2011 with a prequel series entitled Fireball Charming. The series achieved moderate (if somewhat short-lived) success, enough to net it a small amount of merchandise and the previously mentioned prequel series. Despite being somewhat obscure (it has never been released outside of Japan in any official form), it is an intriguing work, and at least in my opinion deserves a closer look. Continue reading “Fireball/Fireball Charming”

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