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November 10 2010

I clipped this from Star Driver episode 6.

Yoshimichi Kameda is a new star animator who works a lot with BONES (came to be well-known just recently for his exhilarating action sequences and impressive effect animation in FMA:B). He contributed key animation to Star Driver episode 6, and these are the cuts I think are his. Although the distinctive shading from FMA:B isn't there, his jagged poses and movements give him away! Cool stuff.

Star Driver continues to impress from an animation point of view!

October 19 2010

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Star Driver #3

  ● I can't say I'm enjoying this show more and more, but it's holding my interest amid the general confusion of the plot, somehow. The vibrant visuals probably have a lot to do with that.

● I don't think the Utena writer's approach to storytelling agree with mine, because his scripts so far have been heavy on the weird and light on the compelling. Yoji Enokido has done some good stuff before, but I dunno.

● Once again BONES proved themselves still able to pull off a good unusual mecha battle. In Eureka 7 it was surfin mechs, this time it's fencing, flambouyant mechs. but the important thing is that they showcase some really good 2D animation. Star Driver has some good talent involved, and the mech battle this week was pulled off well by several animators.

Jun Arai's cuts during the mecha battle stood out glaringly, with his dense and crazy shading and sharp angular movements. He did lots of similar stuff for NEEDLESS. I really don't like that style of "animation", but in short doses it adds a little variety~ (check his segment out here:

● Alligator in the pool .. that's classic super-rich, married Japanese high school girl!

● That little Pokemon thing is even more annoying than it is pointless. 

● Thank God we didn't hear any "It's a PINCH!" this time. 

● Why the hell didn't he dual-wield from the start? 

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And here's a new Hironori Tanaka MAD! As someone who's increasingly being pulled into the final frontier of sakuga fandom, this guy is like my idol. Why? Because he is undoubtedly one of the most talented animators who is actually prolific in TV-anime today. His resume is vast and includes many of the more memorable pieces of animation from the last few years. He's proven himself to be very versatile in both character and effect animation.

I knew about many of the cuts in this MAD. I talked about his cut in BRS, and his near-solo Key Animation episode of Ookami-san. But I was surprised to see he actually was involved in Strike Witches 2, but not until the final episode! And it's mainly effect animation? Unlike what GONZO had him do in Strike Witches season 1, this seemed a bit of a waste. If this MAD is indeed cortrect, I'm also glad to finally find out who did that amazing FMA cut at ~40seconds. That is just a stellar piece of animation. I knew Hironori Tanaka was involved in that episode, but it's only when I see that cut in context of his other animation that it really stands out as his. I think that and his "transformation" sequence for Star Driver are the highlights of this reel.

Tags: sakuga MAD

August 31 2010

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Sakuga AMV - Tanaka Hiroki

Because I've been mentioning this guy a lot lately, with his involvement in Black Rock Shooter, Ookami-san, the new Mahoromatic OVAs, and the first Strike Witches season, I thought it might be a good idea to share just how awesome his animation is!

He is one of my favourite animators for a reason! He has his own distinct style (look for the hair), but he is able to capture fluid motion really well without losing detail or being too off-model. I think this makes him a really great animator for character battles scenes, which comes through in the AMV. His work on the original Strike Witches stood out so far beyond the rest of the series, and makes the new season look terribly animated. The episode of Kurenai he handled (episode 6) was one of the most animated TV-anime episodes I have ever seen.

Anyway, this is a really great, action-packed AMV that shows off the beauty that anime can achieve, and I hope you enjoy it!

This is a topic I'm really interested in, so please share your thoughts.

Tags: sakuga

August 28 2010

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Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi #9

The uproarious fun of the previous episode was bound to cast a shadow 0ver this week's Ookami-san instalment. It kind of did, but this episode carved out a good place for itself in the overall series for  a couple of reasons. Firstly, it did for Ringo what episode 6 did for Ryouko, really gave her an emotional backstory and an insecurity that makes her much easier to sympathise with. Once again, I almost teared up when Ringo cried after being consoled by her older sister. Ookami-san can be crazy and hilarious one week, then touching the next! The other quality of the episode came from the technical side of things.

The episode featured some wonderful moments of animation, certainly the best since Hiroki Tanaka's key animation in the third episode (Ringo's fight scenes). Like that episode and the fourth one, this episode showcased a particular animator. And this time it was Sayo Aoi, whose career is still only just getting started. Sayo storyboarded, directed, supervised the animation and contributed several cuts of key animation (in other words, completely responsible for it). As a sakuga fan, I was excited for the episode since I read that on the Japanese wiki. The first episode didn't deliver much in the way of the animation, but when Sayo's cuts started coming into play in the B-side, it turned out to be a really well-executed episode with a good storyboard.

It's nice that JC Staff give animators the opportunity to truly get behind the wheel like this, and it produces some really great results. Sayo Aoi is an animator to keep an eye on~

Oh yeah, and SWIMSUITS! Or at least that's what I would be saying if it hadn't been trumped by waifu-Ookami in the epilogue. Moeee~ Ryouko-chan would make an interesting bride!

July 27 2010

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A new Sakuga AMV! Shin Wakabayashi is a relatively new animator, one of the new impressive talents coming to prominence lately (along with the likes of Yoshimichi Kameda). I only heard about him after hearing he did that lovely moment of animation in Working 13, so this AMV was an enlightening experience for me. He's done a lot of animation that I've seen before and noticed for its quality! He hasn't done any big, spectacular scenes that would make great AMV material, but I think his interesting human movements express body language much better than other animators would ever consider. I'm keeping an eye on this guy!

July 19 2010

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A sakuga AMV for May 2010! Sakuga refers to the drawings of an anime, and is generally used to describe animation. Sakuga MADs/AMVs compile stand-out pieces of animation either belonging to a particular animator or some other topic. Somone's doing these for each month of this year!

It's nice to see the Durarara episode 17 moment in there, which was one of the few moments of genuine animation in the series, and of course some Tatami Galaxy. June's edition should include some great animation (including some of Yoshimichi Kameda's stuff for FMA).
Tags: Sakuga AMV

July 17 2010


Staff for Tantei Opera Milky Holmes

Director: Sayo Aoi (first series directing position)
Series Composition: Nahoko Hasegawa (Hidamari Sketch, Peacemaker)
Character Designer/Chief Animation Director: Seiya Numata (Shion no Oh)
Music: Satoru Kousaki (Bakemonogatari)
Studio: J.C Staff

Upcoming anime adaptation, Milky Holmes gets a staff list! Now I'm quite interested in this series. From what I can see, this is Sayo Aoi's first outing as a series director, having worked extensively as an episode director/animation director. ANN seems to have duplicate entries for Sayo Aoi, one of them incorrectly spelt SayA Aoi. They're the same person.

Seiya Numata is a talented animator, who has done some good stuff, liek the memorable fight scene from Toradora, and great contributions to Kannagi episode 2. Sometimes I don't like his style, but his big presence for this show has got me interested.

And music by Satoru Kousaki!! That's great news. Bakemonogatari has certainly boosted his popularity; he's also doing the music for upcoming series Star Driver.

This isn't from an official source so may not be true.

July 09 2010



 ⚫ Amagami SS DVD/BD buyers can apply for extra DVDs (1 after the first 3 volumes, and another after the second 3). The DVDs contained animated shorts. This is a new way of promoting DVD sales, huh?

 ⚫ Senkou no Night Raid DVD 4 will come with 2 unaired episodes. I was wondering how they could afford that given the pathetic sales, but they're unaired episodes rather than new DVD-only eps!

 ⚫ The ratings for the first week of the new season's NoitaminA slot (now comprised of Shiki and Moyashimon Live-Action) are in: 3.4%, which is pretty reasonable (especially after the terrible showing of last season at an average of ~1.2%). Will be interesting to see where next week's ratings go.

 ⚫ Ookami-san episode 2 was a solo key animation episode by Hiroshi Tomioka (credited with storyboard and animation director). That's good to know, because I found the animation really interesting this week. (source

June 28 2010

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Working 13 This scene had really great animation by Shin Wakabayashi!
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