Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Kickstarter with Yuasa's Kickheart has proven a marvelous success, and I couldn't be happier. Yuasa'a a fantastic mind in animation today, but his work seldom makes bank, so to see that fans are enthusiastic enough to fund his work themselves does me ol' heart good. There's still three days to go, so keep putting in cash so we can see those stretch goals.

I'm hoping to write up something about Yuasa at some point, since his career is long and fascinating. In the meantime, however, here's some wonderfully animated graphic nudity:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cowboy Bebop Dude Working on Space Comedy at Bones?

In case you can't read Klingon, the big news is that Watanabe, he the man who waited years in between Samurai Champloo and Kids on the Slope, is putting together two new projects: a comedy at Studio Bones about space travel, and a more ambiguous darker project at MAPPA, the studio behind Kids on the Slope. Here's hoping the Bones one is visually inventive and full of cartoony goodness. I've always been a fan of Watanabe's deadpan, un-anime sense of humor, so we'll probably see plenty of that.

Liborek3 on twitter has alerted me to Ryuotaro Makihara directing Robotics:Notes Ep 3, something I'm very excited about. I haven't yet watched the new show based on a Visual Novel from the Steins:Gate creators (I can only hope it possesses that show's humor and atmosphere) but anything by Makihara shoots to the top of my must-watch list. Makihara was one of the top directors on the show Kaiba, and then blew everyone's mind by directing the one great episode of Guilty Crown, a disappointing though well animated mediocrity otherwise. The man uses his sense of layout and pacing like Pollack uses a paint bucket, taking potential nothing and twisting it into something emotive and riveting. Hopefully Robots:Notes is better than that, but even if it isn't I'll be watching episode 3.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Where's my Animation? What is Animation anyway?

So, it's been forever since anything of worth was posted up here. Summer was absolute brutality on a personal level, and this semester is well and kicking me in the head for my arrogant presumptions that I would have free time to work on things like a blog. But fret not, there lurks light at the end of the tunnel. Many high quality drawings sit on my person just waiting to be unleashed on the internet, so they may go viral like Gangnam Style. Can you even wait?

But really, I'm hoping to have some time to pull that off fairly soon. In the meantime, I want to direct your attention to two recent kickstarters that just delight me with their possibilities.

The first comes from Production I.G. and Masaaki "Mind Game, Cat Soup, Kaiba, Kemonozume" Yuasa, likely the greatest anime director to arise since Satoshi Kon, or maybe even Hayao Miyazaki. His films don't exist to cater to the unfortunate moe-obsessed fanbase of recent years, but only to appease himself and anyone who loves animation as an artform. His work's distinct, spontaneous, and kinetic, yet shockingly humane and nuanced in its storytelling. It's been two years since his last show, Yojohan Shinwa Taikei, and now he's looking to put together a short film with a new studio for him, Production I.G.

The initial goal of 150,000 seems on track to be met, but a new goal has been set for 400,000, which would allow for a film forty minutes in length. Ten minutes would be bliss enough, but forty would be an absolute experience to end them all. Imagine another Yuasa featurette like Cat Soup, but with so much more money behind it! If you have thousands of dollars to spare, or know someone with thousands to spare, by all means put your support behind this project!

Oh, and if they reach a million, they'll make it a feature film. Anyone have a million to spare?

Meanwhile, you may remember the trailer for Blur Studios and David Fincher's adaptation of The Goon from a while back, if not, here's a refresher:

Eric Powell supplies the kind of manly black humor and violence that tickles me the right way, and with its visual gusto the opportunity was ripe for an animated film version. Alas, development hell ensnared the promising enterprise....but no more!

Fincher and company have gone right to the people for funding, and the results seem primed to occur. I'm certainly excited to see this thing on the big about you?

In other news, I'm trying to get invested in anime this season, but nothing doing with a few exceptions. From the New World has problems, but the world is interesting enough and the imagery mostly strong enough to make it worth watching so far. Still, I wish the main character designs matched the rest of the show in terms of visuals. The intro segment for episode 3 was particularly interesting visually, and Shingo Yamashita's gif-style animation is a frequent treat. I also watched A1's Magi, and I think that suffered from similar problems to a much greater extent; very good animation and an unconventional world to explore, but main characters that don't look as interesting as the side characters and who seem calculated to fulfill the studio's moe quotient for the season. A1, Kyoto, many studios with resources who can't quite break from the formulas.

I enjoyed the zany goofiness of the first episode of Zetsuen no Tempest, but then the second episode had to ruin it by updating us on the plot. Less talking, more fighting, Bones!

America's destroying Japan this last year, with Korra, Tron Uprising, Motor City, Gravity Falls, and others really bringing style back to American animation. But, hopefully, we'll see them come around once new studios MAPPA and Trigger bring out the big guns. Maybe they need more KickStarters over there.