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Just use "that".
Rurouni Kenshin #60
Studio Pierrot may be stuck animating whatever popular manga is running in Shonen Jump for the foreseeable future, but it seems they are not averse to producing non-franchise anime every once in a while, as was seen in their recent film, Onigamiden. I admit looking out for it after watching a trailer, since it boasted a barrage of thrilling animation, and the movie itself was crewed by some of the heavyweights in the industry. What I got in the end was, more or less, true to how I had envisioned the film to play out–a severely crippled piece of animation that hinges majorly, if not solely, on the power of its visuals to propel itself, rather than a truly effective fusion of both the technical and storytelling aspects. I appreciate the delectable animation put on display in this film, so I will not say outright that it was a bad film and that you shouldn’t watch it, but I almost detested the uninspired story it brought to life. The story could just as well have been lifted straight from the pages of a woefully simplistic, tedious shonen manga (well, apparently it was adapted from a light novel), from the setting to the characters to father issues to just about everything else. Now, I can enjoy works in this vein, but even I have to draw the line somewhere. There is a difference from being enjoyably conventional to being annoyingly cliched, as subtle as it is.
The IdolM@ster #18
I was wondering whether or not Makoto Kobayashi was involved in the newest Last Exile anime out of Gonzo, because I didn’t catch his name in the credits for episode 1, so I looked more closely as I watched the next episodes, and sure enough, there he was: credited under “production design” (or at least, I think that was him). And then, after I’d given the matter some more thought, I realized that I shouldn’t have been wondering about the matter in the first place, and I was made aware once more of my stupidity. The general aesthetic and design sensibilities of the new Last Exile anime is pretty much a straight extension of the style seen in the first series, back in 2003. Imaginative and creative world design is a big part of the mixture that makes for an effective fantasy story, and this is the highlight of both Last Exile series. I imagine the role of a production designer was to provide the basic framework and imagery of the world and the elements inhabiting that world–from clothes to buildings to environments to ships–and once more, Kobayashi exhibits his skill at crafting a beautiful landscape in which the characters move about. It’s just too bad for me that the overall quality of the work (as far as LE: Fam is concerned) doesn’t quite match up to its design brilliance. Without an equally imaginative and talented director holding things together at the top, the resulting anime remains rather insubstantial and lacking.
I’ve only just noticed this about two days ago, but now I see that I have actually already lasted a year into this anime-blogging business. Lots of other, better, blogs have been around for far longer, and I take my hats off to them, but when I think about it, my blog staying alive for a year is an impressive feat in itself, and is thus worth talking about. I never did plan on writing about silly cartoons and comics from the Land of the Rising Sun for very long time, hell, I was expecting to burn out three months into it. But here I am, still rattling away on the keyboard. I’d even gained some positive reactions and a few readers, and for that I am grateful. They’re not a lot, but still, I’d like to thank those who bothered to read (and commented on) this little blog. I hope you continue to read whatever shit I put in here. Also, a shout-out to the guys on the blogroll. I never thought I’d get that many on there.