Animations from Cute to Cool

I enjoyed doing my past blog matsuri research for nice independent animations on the internet made by Japanese people. I should keep posting them from time to time. Here’s an adorable one I just saw, which is actually Taiwanese:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qCbiCxBd2M[/youtube]

Don’t read the comments there if you go to Youtube; though you should never read Youtube comments anyway.

Speaking of animation, I also just saw some pretty neat and elaborate sketch animations for the next Castlevania game. I actually don’t see these kinds of things often, so it’s really cool.

omg
BOOSH!

Download them here.

Jun Seba and Satoshi Kon

In February, Jun Seba passed away — accidentally, in a car accident (caused by an earthquake?). Most people didn’t know until about a month later. People like you and me knew him as Nujabes, and perhaps started listening to his music more after seeing Samurai Champloo for the first time. For everyone, it was amazingly sad; you’re never prepared to hear about someone with influence in your life, someone still so young, just up and leaving this world, and you’re never sure what to do afterward. You don’t think of such people as invincible, but you do think things like “someday I may meet them, even briefly.”

Nujabes

With his record label, Hydeout Productions, he collaborated with people from all over, music that could touch souls from all the way across the sea. He produced music like no one else had. His enlightening hip hop beats helped me get through a rough patch in my life… not all music can do that.

It’s people like him I look up to — real innovators, with real passion, inspiring all who hear his music. People like that are of real value to the world…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qU2MXeAz1E[/youtube]

…which is why it comes as a shock to most of the world, especially the creative world, that now, just Wednesday, Satoshi Kon has also died. Prevalent in the famous director’s work was a real unconventional approach to heady topics in animation, much different than anime and movies in general.

Director Satoshi Kon

His last words, posthumously publicized, have been unofficially translated. I cried…I felt emotional for a good part of the day. No one knew about the nature of his condition until nigh the very end; understandable, as he had his reasons… I especially respect someone who admits his own flaws, who obviously has reverence for other people, with maturity in coming to terms with things. I want to cry again…

This has lit a fire under me to finally see more of his works. I’ve been intending to see the rest of Paranoia Agent for ages… Kon’s work is intriguing in a way that snags me, questioning the perspectives of characters, of viewers, of people, probing the mental, the subconscious, the emotional. I watched Paprika with friends the other day, and I can recommend it to anyone.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERaLC28EaQo[/youtube]

Thanks for doing what you did, Kon and Seba. We’re all glad you did what you loved and enjoyed it. Your influence will be seen in the world for ages to come.

Studio Ghibli Could Close!

At least, that’s what I just heard. Pending the success of the American release of its next film, Arietty the Borrower , they could keep going, or they could tank.

No...Nooo!!
No...Nooo!!

As one of my favorite animation studios, this could be a tragedy! I want to see Studio Ghibli stand firm and produce classic feature animations long until my great-grandchildren have their own kids.

This is a call to all my Totoro-loving, cutbussing friends: see this movie when it comes out! See it twice in the first week! Tell all your friends — even the ones that still dismiss animation as “kid cartoon stuff”! American celebrity dubbing can only do so much as far as nabbing a wider audience is concerned. I’m more than willing to throw some extra cash at Ghibli to keep it going, and you’ve got to be, too! So keep that in mind!

Such a rare post just within hours of the last. It has stricken me! I must tell all!

Kousuke Sugimoto Animation

How did I ever live not knowing that this man existed?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ9YtJC-Kd8[/youtube]

 

 

As I attempt to immerse myself in more independent short animation, things like this continually restore my love for the art. Restooore!

I can’t stop watching this now…

See also:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vDqXf5PumU[/youtube]

This Decade in Anime (for Me)

I don’t have time to do a big recap on a decade of released anime, since I only just now thought to post, and since I didn’t watch that much to begin with.

But, 10 years ago, I discovered Japanese animation. I, in fact, discovered that a lot of the things I was already a fan of, like Super Mario and Zelda, are also of Japanese origin, and from there I went to learn more and more about the phenomenon of Japanese media and more things in general.

I started out watching anime like this…

Excel Saga

…and this…

Tenchi Universe

…and also this.

Gravitation

Of course, things like Tenchi, Dragon Ball, and Rurouni Kenshin became a regular part of the routine. (Didn’t they for everyone? Totally gateway anime.)

After years, I began pursuing anime like this…

Mononoke

…and this…

Gankutsuou: the Count of Monte Cristo

…and also this…

One Stormy Night

…sometimes to the chagrin of some of my friends. I always had strange tastes. But, as with anything, as long as it’s good or entertaining, I will look, watch, read, and listen.

I’m a fan of Japanese animation because it manages to be so distinctive while being varied, like a pool of all possible styles and genres. Even some of the most common and low-budget series manage to be very well-animated and expressive in their own way. Of course, it could also be that I never “grew out of” cartoons like some people expect you to. Must be the artist in me. I’m an animation geek in general.

If you haven’t seen it, here’s an amazing animated short done by a team of what I believe was 5 people:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QqT1P4VO30[/youtube]

Here’s to another decade of creative animated media from all over the world!