uploaded by mochihan3
uploaded by animeblue
It’s time to mark the passing of February 2011 with a sakuga MAD or two! When pitted against the former month of January, February doesn’t seem particularly impressive. But this is a middle-of-the-season month, without the lineup of new OPs that the start of a season brings, or the climactic battle sequences that usually accompany its end – I think these months usually have weaker offerings.
These MADs together do a pretty good job of covering all the notable bits of animation, but, particularly no. 1, they actually feels a little desperate for scenes at times. As with last month, AnimeBlue’s is less exciting to watch because it’s under-edited, but it’s still good to have both, and he caught a few good parts that the first one missed (such as Tetsuya Nishio’s contribution to Kimi ni Todoke). Another problem with the first one is that there are a number of scenes I feel don’t belong in a sakuga MAD, like the Bakuman, Ochinko and OreImo parts.
⚫ Houkago no Pleiades contributed some really interesting animation, from a crew of less senior Gainax animators. The lack of big names like Sushio, or Yoshinari meant that it is hard to put an animator’s name to specific cuts, but it’s nice to see Gainax has other animators who can carry the burden by themselves. As many remarked in the 4chan sakuga thread, a number of cuts had a bit of a Tanaka Hironori vibe to them, but he was not involved in the episode. Probably the best moment was from
Ootsuka Mai Kouno Megumi, who did the final action scene in the fourth episode (including the fireball attack bit).
⚫ The fight sequence from Yumekui Merry was Tanaka Hironori . While it is interesting animation and typically well-executed, it feels somewhat unlike his usual style. The movement is more languid and less purposeful than usual. Someone once described his animation style as ‘ragdoll’ to me, and I think that fits his style. Perhaps he’s evolving as an animator? Thoughts, anyone?
⚫ The Index 2 OP is nice stuff indeed. It also features animation from Ootsuka Mai.
⚫ The Star Driver karaoke scene had a lot of people talking on twitter. It reminded some of Yutaka Nakamura, but it turns out he isn’t credited for that episode. As @raito_kun pointed out, this scene was actually credited seperately, probably because it was done in-house at BONES while the rest of the episode was outsourced. The animators credited are Takahiro Shikama, Takaaki Izumo, Yasuyuki Kai and Shosuke Ishibashi. Of those names, Shikama probably did the best cuts.
⚫ The fight with the horse in Kore Zombie 7 was probably done by Yamashita Toshinori
⚫ Star Driver 19 – The circus/aerial battle was done by Satoshi Mori (confirmed on his twitter) (thanks @raito_kun)
⚫ Dragon Crisis 6 – this fight scene is one of my favourite sequences this month. I’m not watching the show, but this is really good, smooth and detailed work. It could be Hiroshi Tomioka but I’m not so sure its his style (judging by other character battle scenes of his I’ve seen) and I don’t know what other cuts were in the episode. Another guess: it could be Matsutake Tokuyuki, who did the cut from episode 1 that appeared in last MAD. But I’m interested to hear if anyone else knows anything.
⚫ 2. Kimi ni Todoke 6 – probably from god-tier animator, Tetsuya Nishio. The movement of the hair is so crisp and fluid!
⚫ 2. Bleach 309 – This episode drew a lot of attention from Japanese sakuga fans, and it’s pretty clear why: it features some really good effect animation. The part where the monster (sorry I can’t be more specific – I’m not a Bleach reader/watcher) erupts from the man is really good. That part was probably done by Kurita Shinichi (although some thought he may have done the fight sequence that episode). The series of explosions that follow are probably the work of Tanaka Hironori. The very last segment of this MAD is also from that episode, and could have been done by Kudou Masashi.
Please comment, or ask questions!
One of Itano’s ‘three people recognised’ for their talent, Masami Gotou is a famous animator, known mostly for his mecha animation, who hails from the late-eighties. His first known credit was on the 1987 Dirty Pair movie as an in-betweener, and he also did inbetween animation on the Ranma 1/2 TV-anime, but his recognition comes from his status as as one of the more impressive mecha-animators around. This stems from his memorable work as a regular key animator on the Gundam OVAs of the late 80s to early 90s (Mobile Suit SD Gundam Mk IV, Mobile Suit Gundam F91 (movie), and Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz ). In particular, his circus scene from Endless Waltz is held up as a highlight example of his work. A the end of the 90s, he was a prominent animator on Turn A Gundam, and was integral to the excellent dogfights in Cowboy Bebop. Unfortunately he took a step back from animation work after burning out from overwork on the Gonzo theatrical anime, Akido. These days he is making a slow comeback, much to the relief of his old fans. Last year he worked on Kuroshitsuji, Break Blade and Kiddy Girl And, and the year before that he contributed to the outstanding Birdy Decode 2.
His circus scenes are really breathtaking for their movement and complexity, and his work on the Cowboy Bebop movie is really impressive. The fact that he is still occasionally active in TV-anime definitely makes him someone to keep an eye on. I wonder why he hasn’t worked on the new Gundam series/OVAs/movies? I guess it’s just because there’s a new crowd at Sunrise now. His legacy will certainly be his masterful realisation of the Itano circus!
Kuwana Ikuo is a well known animator who has contributed a lot of distinct pieces of animation on a variety of projects, including popular TV-anime (FMA, Panty & Stocking, Wolfs Rain, Denno Coil, Eureka 7) and a number of big theatrical anime (Evangelion, Spriggan and Princess Mononoke). A graduate from Yoyogi Animation Academy, Ikuo’s industry origins are at studio Ghibli, although he didn’t have a lot of influence there. During that time, Ikuo forged a strong friendship with animator Yoshida Kenichi, who also started out at Ghibli, and it’s thought that it was this relationship that got him work on Eureka 7 and Overman King Gainer. It was Ikuo’s work on Eureka 7 that first got him recognition as a good animator, however it was his efforts for Street Fighter Alpha Generations (which he also directed) that elevated him into the limelight.
I really haven’t heard Ikuo mentioned much in the English-speaking fandom (or at all), and I admit I only really just heard of him (the above bio is based on the sakuga wiki). It’s always nice to learn about a new animator. I quite like his style, but I guess I need to watch Street Fighter Alpha Generations to really comment on him. Judging by this MAD, he has a really rough and visceral style, which comes through really well with the effect animation from Gurren Lagann, and works perfectly for the Wolfs Rain part. I’m not sure which studio he is currently affiliated with (or if he’s a freelancer), but he’s done a lot of work for GAINAX recently, so he’s probably with them.
1. by Animeblue
Anime in order of appearance (as posted by Animeblue)
1. Dragon Crisis! (ドラゴンクライシス!)
2. Yumekui Merry (夢喰いメリー )
3. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica |(魔法少女まどか★マギカ )
4. Tegami Bachi REVERSE (テガミバチ REVERSE)
5. A Certain Magical Index II (とある魔術の禁書目録（インデックス）Ⅱ)
6. Dragon Crisis! (ドラゴンクライシス!)
7. Certain Magical Index II (とある魔術の禁書目録（インデックス）Ⅱ)
8. NARUTO Shippuden (ナルト 疾風伝)
9. Yumekui Merry (夢喰いメリー )
10. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica |(魔法少女まどか★マギカ )
11. Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? ( これはゾンビですか？)
12. NARUTO Shippuden (ナルト 疾風伝)
13. STAR DRIVER Kagayaki no Takuto( STAR DRIVER 輝きのタクト)
14. Yumekui Merry (夢喰いメリー )
15. IS Infinite Stratos ( IS インフィニット・ストラトス)
It’s the end of the month and time to look back on what animation highlights January bought us! So far we’ve had a good start to 2011, and I think the year will have a lot more in store for us (especially with the increased number of movie anime being produced).
⚫ The cuts from the Yumekui Merry OP are really nice. That OP had some great animators involved, including Hironori Tanaka, Hiroshi Tomioka, and Ken Ootsuka. The cut where Merry is sinking into the water is likely done by Hironori Tanaka, the part where the children are running was likely Maru Kanako.
⚫ The Madoka Magica cut that follows was certainly done by Shaft’s star animator, Gen’ichirou Abe. Mami ;_;
⚫ I was surprised to see those Index parts in there.. but that’s mainly because I skipped that episode after becoming bored with that arc’s story and animation. I guess I shouldn’t have. The effect animation is quite good.
⚫ After that is Dragon Crisis. This sequence is really great, and easily better than I expected from Dragon Crisis (mind you the only episode I watched did have a couple of decent moments of animation). I would like to know who did that part. If anyone can tell me or at least tell me which episode it was from, that’d be great!
⚫ After the Naruto bit is Yumekui Merry, episode 2. It’s really funny that although the rest of that episode had
pretty bad animation (sorry, that was ep 3 that had poor animation), this one part, which was an anime-parody airing on TV inside the show (a meta anime!), had the standout animation. Actually, that happens fairly frequently. This part was likely done by Hiroshi Tomioka.
⚫ The Kore Zombie OP sequence has some nice fast, fluid animation!
⚫ As for Star Driver, episode 15 featured some nice animation. I translated the findings of the 2ch sakuga thread and posted them on the 4chan sakuga thread, but I’ll repeat them here. In the first part of this MAD, the first missile circus was Shingo Fujii , and the second part was Yasushi Muraki . The mecha fight that follows is Hiroshi Tomioka (he’s been busy this month!). Funny that Hironori Tanaka’s charge in the second half of the battle wasn’t included, I quite liked it, despite some dodgy smoke animation at one point.
⚫ The Yumekui fight sequence from episode 1, which I really enjoyed, was done by Yoshihiko Umakoshi, famous for his work on Mushishi, Heartcatch Precure and Doremi. He may not be my favourite animator from a technical point of view, but I think this guy has a good creative streak. By the way, episode 3 of Yumekui Merry featured animation from Sayo Aoi, who I’ve been interested in since her episode of Ookami-san (the pool episode). I don’t see a sakuga wiki page for her.. I wonder why she doesn’t have one 0.0.
⚫ I find it interesting that the Infinite Stratos segments were included, given that their technical achievements are mainly in the field of CG. But I guess there are a few glimpses of decent effect animation..
⚫ This MAD is missing animation from the recent Heartcatch Precure episodes, which were sakuga highlights of the month. Also, I felt like Fractale should have had a presence. But it’s generally pretty well done, and you can’t expect one person to be able to cover all anime!
There was also another MAD this month (although not as well done and inclusive):
2. by mochihan3
Takeshi Honda is undoubtedly one of the most legendary animators in the anime industry. His name carries considerable weight amongst sakuga fans and in the industry. This was shown to be the case a couple of years ago, when a man pretending to be Honda himself to score art jobs at a university was tracked down by Studio Khara and had to resign. Honda was born in 1968, and has had a long, successful career as an animator and designer since 1987. He originally worked for the short-lived Studio Atelier Giga (1987-1988), which also produced famous animator Keiji Gotoh. His first known credit is with them as in-between animation for Relic Armor Legaciam (1987). He is best known however, as being one of the founding members of the venerated Studio Gainax and worked there from the age of 22. Like any good Gainax member, he had dropped out of college (Tokyo Design Academy).
While working on the Bubblegum Crisis OVA series (1987-1991), episode 8 to be specific, Kishida Takahiru, who was the animation director for that episode coined his enduring nickname of ‘Master’ (Shishou). Later, Takashi Murakami referred to him as “end-of-the-century prodigy animator” (Seikimatsu Tensai Animator) in a newspaper article, a title which stuck among fans. He worked on many great projects such as Stoshi Kon’s Millenium Actress, Jin-Roh, and note-worthy TV anime such as Denno Coil. He’s worked on classic Gainax stuff such as Otaku no Video (as animation director), Gunbuster and Neon Genesis Evangelion. In the West he is probably best known for his contributions to Evangelion, the climax of which was his seminal work on the End of Evangelion. He continues to work at studio Khara (which was formed by Hideaki Anno in 2006), on the new Evangelion films as a designer and animation director (again, handling mecha animation).
I find it interesting that he’s become a mecha specialist working on Evangelion given that he originally became known in Bubbglegum Crisis for his ability to animate girls running and jiggling breasts. That’s what Kishida Takahiru recognised him for, anyway! It’s just an example of his versatility, which sits alongside creativity as one of his greatest assets!
Gen’ichirou Abe is a prominent animator in today’s TV-anime industry. Just recently, he contributed some good work for Madoka Magica, which you can see in this MAD. He is a member of SHAFT, who rely on his skills for their most important animation sequences. He came to the fore working on the TV-anime Negima!? after he did the really interesting sequence of Negi making provisional contracts with all the girls as they’re falling through the sky (also in this MAD). Since then his abilities have been put to great use, and this MAD showcases some of his great technical and artistic achievements. My favourite sequence is the Naruto part, followed by the Soredemo bit. He can employ a range of styles, but is detectable for his rough, detailed linework (on effects and characters) and the lines of contortions he draws on moving bodies (wrinkles in clothes). He also has a distinctive way of drawing hair.
Sadly, his bit in the Negima!? Summer OVA (the skydiving OP) isn’t included, and neither are his parts from Bakemonogatari. There are many missing examples of his animation, which actually makes this a pretty bad MAD (it’s also under-edited). But Gen’ichirou Abe is good!
I think it’s both important and fascinating to learn about the fundamentals of the medium we all love, and one of the most critical questions is: how is anime made? For me, especially recently, that’s been a burning question that I ended up researching in detail. For the sake of other anime fans with the same question, I thought I’d share my findings. So, if you want ammunition to return fire the next time you find yourself caught in an argument about the merits of anime, or want a fresh way to look at anime, I hope this article will be useful. Over the last year or so, my increasing interest in this side of things has really opened my eyes to the talent, artistry, passion and beauty that can be found in Japanese animation. The article will focus on TV-anime production, but the same general process applies to movies and OVAs as well. That said, there can be a lot of variation between studios and individual productions.
The process of making an anime is a complex one, with many steps and stages. This chart from AIC’s English website is a good visual overview for what I’ll be discussing:
Youtube user, Animeblue has been doing great work for the the last year composing highlight animation sequences from anime for each month! I’m genuinely impressed by his comprehensiveness – I don’t think I’ve noticed anything notable he’s missed or disagree with his choices. So, here’s the latest entry, for the month of December! I can’t d embed it (thanks to Sony’s anal copyright attitude), but you can view the original on twitvid here. Here are some quick thoughts on the video”
December marked the end of a season, and so bought with it a few climactic moments!
⚫ The first clip is from Milky Holmes episode 12, and I can almost guarantee that it was the key animation work of Seiya Numata. He is of course credited with key animation that episode, and his style is very obvious. I’ve been a fan of Seiya Numata for a while now, especially for the episodes he was animation director on of Kannagi (episode 2) and Toradora (episode 16). He’s a pretty famous young animator, and he lives by the code of his inspiration, Yoshinori Kanada (who I write about here), with varied and individual animation styles. I like this clip, and the big trail of fiery smoke is a clear throwback to Yoshinori Kanda’s animation on Genma Taisen (the famous fire-dragon sequence). As was noted in the NHK documentary on Yoshinori Kanada, which actually profiled Seiya Numata, he’s already slipped in a reference to that sequence, with a segment on 2×2=Shinobuden (see this blog for details). The other Milky Holmes clips also look like his work, except:
⚫ The clip at 3.28 looks like it is the work of Tatsuya Yoshihara, who I’ve discussed on this blog before (he was animation director on episode 6!). I’m not sure if this is from episode 12 though (any Milky Holmes watchers here?)
⚫ At the 1.40 mark we have a clip from Sora no Otoshimono episode 11, which I talked about in an earlier blog post. At least the first half of the clip included in this MAD is from the prolific and talented Hironori Tanaka. As usual, his high-framerate and distinctive way of drawing hair give him away! It’s not his best work, but it gave Sora no Otoshimono at least a little impact to its action scene!
⚫ I’m surprised to see some of the best stuff from December was from Soredemo by studio SHAFT. I haven’t been following that anime, so unfortunately I’m a bit out of the loop. I’ve also fallen behind on Star Driver, which continues to provide excellent animation for its mecha battle sequences.
Yumekui Merry is the latest in a long line of Dengeki Magazines’ light novel anime adaptations handled by the industrious studio J.C Staff. With the exception of the ever-popular Index, it’s the first such adaptation since Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi which, despite my own personal enthusiasm for it, sold very poorly. So Yumekui seemed to be in a dangerous position, and a lot of Japanese fans were predicted it would be an ‘Ookami-san level’ show and suffer a similar fate! But, after seeing the first PV some time ago, I’ve kept up my hopes for this anime!
The quality of the staff involved is high, starting with director, Shigeyasu Yamauchi (Casshern Sins). Another Casshern Sins staff member is on board: art director, Kenji Matsumoto. Then we have the undeniably talented animator, Masahiro Fuji, on board as the series animation director and character designer (check out Railgun episodes 12, and 19, or Ookami-san 1 and 4 for some of his great work!). It was these staff that caught my eye, and sure enough they’ve delivered a visually stunning first episode!
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica is the first in a new wave of promising, original TV-anime, and for a lot of fans from various sectors of the otaku fanbase, one of the most exciting. This anime was getting a lot of attention well before it started airing or even before the first promotional video was released, and it was attention well-deserved. You only have to look at the three big creative names involved in this anime to see why. You’ve got the prolific and enduringly popular Akiyuki Shinbou of studio SHAFT as director, the fascinating writer, Gen Urobuchi of Nitro+, who has given us game titles such as Fate/Zero and the gory Saya no Uta, and the venerated Ume Aoiki’s (Hidamari Sketch) doing character designs.
These three creative forces were united by famous producer, Iwakami Atsuhiro (Bakemonogatari, Kara no Kyoukai) with the goal of making an original magical girl anime. Akiyuki’s Shinbou already has one under his belt in this genre (Nanoha), but this is his first original anime with studio SHAFT, and the inclusion of Gen Urobuchi’s story and scripts as well as Ume Aoiki’s designs had everyone wondering just what kind of magical girl anime this would turn out to be. While Akiyuyki Shinbou is involved at the creative level, Yukihiro Miyamoto is doing the groundwork as ‘series director’, who will probably bring a resilient schedule to the table (his work was effective on Arakawa and Maria Holic). Meanwhile, another famous name appears, this time under the composer credit: Yuki Kajiura (.Hack//Sign, Noir, Kara no Kyoukai). Make no mistake, this is an anime of interesting pedigree, and has the potential to be significant.