Keiichi Ishida’s Dororo Action

One anime of late that I can really get behind is Dororo. What could have been a perfunctory remake of an old classic to cash in on people’s nostalgia turned out to be a winner in its own right. It deftly arranges the notes of the original into a modern composition while also running with…

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Yasuo Otsuka’s Pioneering Realism

The more I dig into the history of anime the more I’m coming to understand the impact that one man had in turning it into what it is today. Sure, Hiroshi Okawa bankrolled the start of the industry in founding Toei Douga, and of course Yasuji Mori and Akira Daikubara were deeply influential as the…

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The start of the anime industry – Toei Douga & Hakujaden

Anime historians loathe to settle on one ‘first anime’, going to great lengths to traverse back to the most ancient relics of Japanese animation. But I’m going to have to pick a practical starting point that doesn’t have me dusting off my tools and traveling to Japan on an archaeology expedition. A popular choice for kicking…

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Anime Snapshot: Kameda Burns Lust (FMA Brotherhood)

Spoiler warning: Significant spoilers for Full Metal Alchemist It’s been a long while since I watched Full metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Names of characters, the beats  of the story and most of the dramatic climaxes have faded to a distant haze. But one brief moment of the 60-odd episode saga still leaps to mind with perfect…

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In Defence of Ore Imo

I recently rewatched Ore Imo and thought I’d better get something off my chest: I really like Ore Imo, you could even say that I love it! But don’t mistake me; I don’t think Ore Imo (appreciably short for Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai or There’s no Way my Little Sister…

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Depth in Anime – Photography, Compositing and Animation

So I watched the first episode of A-1 Picture’s ‘Granblue Fantasy the Animation’ last night. Not sure I’m a fan. Like so many other anime these days, Granblue appears to be a victim of its own ambition. On the surface of it, it has all the hallmarks of a big-win production – ornate, beautiful characters, battle…

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Please Give Occultic;Nine a Second Chance

A murder scene seemingly foretold by the events depicted in a Boys Love doujinshi; a mysterious, prescient voice that talks through a radio; a key without a lock; an unexplained mass-suicide; a conspiracy to manipulate the human race with global mind control; a young girl who enacts black magic through an invisible man – if any…

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Kabaneri’s ‘Make-Up Animation’

If you’ve seen Koutetsu no Kabaneri I think it’s safe to assume you noticed that a few times every episode, a particular shot would rear its head as particularly beautiful and well-drawn. I know a lot of people, myself included, found the effect a little jarring – in addition to blowing me away with those…

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Art Direction: Illya vs Orange

In simple terms, what you see when watching an anime is the culmination of two different visual elements – the animation, which is the things that move, and the art, which is the static backdrop. After the director approves the layout for a cut, which is like the rough blueprint of how each shot will…

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Erased – Digging Deeper

Over the last couple of years, I can see that my focus on this blog has pivoted from general anime enthusiasm toward celebrating a very particular strain of anime with a gushing, obsessive level of discussion. The kind of anime I’m talking about here isn’t just ‘good anime’, an anime that ticks all the boxes…

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