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.

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