07 November 2018

NC2018 Animated Shorts 4: Slowly Rising by Hideki Inaba



Nippon Connection 2018 Animated Shorts 4: Slowly Rising by Hideki Inaba 

Hideki Inaba (稲葉 秀樹, b. 1988)’s Slowly Rising came to my attention because the film was part of the Jury Selection at the Japanese Media Arts Festival 2017. Inaba is originally from Ibaraki Prefecture but is now based in Tokyo where he works as a freelance video artist. He has had a lot of success in the past couple of years, participating as part of the filmmaking team that did the animated special effects for the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Getaway Tour and having his work featured at many international festivals and online media platforms.

Slowly Rising from kanahebi on Vimeo.

Slowly Rising is a music video for the Dutch artist formerly known as BEATSOFREEN, now using the moniker Stan Forebee (Beatsofreen is an anagram of this name). Forebee is based in Melbourne, Australia. He describes himself as a beatmaker and multi-instrumentalist who grew up immersed in jazz and classical music in a musical family in the Netherlands. In March, he released his debut jazz album Jazz Sessions and he promises another album in the near future. 

On the Japanese Media Arts Festival Website, Inaba describes the music video thusly: “Under the sun that is the source of life, a single seed is born. Seeking light, the seed forms a group that gradually increases in numbers, then dies off. Another seed then grows in its place. The creator brings a cel animation touch to a story that overlays human relations in the corporate world with the rise and fall of living organisms.” (source). 

The film begins as simply as the music, with plant-like fronds waving against a starlit, other-worldly galaxy. As the music becomes more layered, the variety of imaginary organic creatures multiplies – some resemble plants, others pulsing sea creatures, and still others flying insects. They fill the screen like a colourful, ever-changing kaleidoscope. The result is a hypnotic video as entrancing as the music itself. 

Learn more about Inaba (username: kanahebi): 

Daibutsu Animation Club: 

Learn more about Stan Forebee: 

2018 Cathy Munroe Hotes

NC18 Animated Shorts 3: How Low Sympathy by Decovocal



Nippon Connection 2018 Animated Shorts 3: How Low Sympathy by Decovocal  

How Low Sympathy (ハロウシンパシー) is a music video for the three-piece Japanese band Scenarioart (シナリオアート). The band is from Kansai and features Kōsuke Hayashi (@kosukedao) on guitar and vocals, Kumiko Hattori (@drumkumiko) on drums and vocals and Yakahisa Yamashita (@yamapio) on bass and vocals. Their music demonstrates the influence of rock, electronica, and shoegaze pop. Their first single, Raincoat Man was released in 2013 and their single Sayonara Moon Town featured in the end credits of the popular anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. The single How Low Sympathy can be found on their debut studio album Happy Umbrella.

How Low Sympathy | ハロウシンパシー from Decovocal on Vimeo.

How Low Sympathy is animated by the husband and wife team Decovocal (デコボーカル): Tomoyoshi Joko (上甲トモヨシ and Hiroco Ichinose (一瀬皓コ). I wrote about Ichinose and Decovocal in my last post about (read here), so for this post I will focus on the other half of the team. Like his wife, Joko also studied at Tokyo Polytechnic University where he was mentored by art animator Taku Furukawa (古川タク). I first wrote about him back in 2011, when my kids fell in love with his animation short Lizard Planet (read more). Joko has a remarkable ability create fantastic visual worlds using simple line drawing and computer colouring techniques. In addition to Lizard Planet, his film Buildings (2008) is clever and engaging. 

This combination of originality of design and colourful aesthetic has led to a successful carrier in commercial animation design. In addition to music videos, Decovocal make animation for television and advertising. 

Check out the work of Decovocal on their official channels: 

Learn more about Scenarioart: 

2018 Cathy Munroe Hotes 

24 September 2018

Geidai First Year Works 2015 (YouTube Playlist)


Geidai First Year Works 2015 (YouTube Playlist)
一年次作品2015  (YouTube Playlist)

The 2015 first year works of Tokyo University of the Arts (Geidai)  graduate students are almost all now available on YouTube.  These are the students of the graduating class of 2016, which went by the moniker 07YELL.  Tomoko Takaya graduated with the class of 2017 (08ZOOM).  Yuriko Noda has not yet graduated from Geidai's MA programme, but took time out to improve her stop motion animation skills in Ghent.  She just graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) this year and returned to Japan.

Only the trailer of Takoto Katayama's work Melting Down is currently on YouTube, but you can watch it in full on Vimeo - click here.  I have included the students' descriptions of their films below with short bios and links to their social media profiles.  Enjoy the animation!




Animator Profiles:


Bugburger 
バグバーグ
 “In a dimly lit kitchen as a chunk of meat is sliced, bugs creep out from the cut. Ordinary action like cooking transforms [it in]to the weird and the creepy.”



Hitomi OHTAKARA (大寳ひとみ, b. 1988) did her undergraduate degree in Design Informatics at Musashino. You can follow her on tumblr, vimeo, and twitter.



I Wanna Be Your Friend

“For friendship it is the most important to be cooperative.”





Iku OGAWA (小川育) was born in Tokyo. He has a degree in Graphic Design from Tamabi (2012). You can follow him on twitter, blogspot and tumblr.


Melting Down 
すごやかな歪み
Sugoyaka-na Yugami

“The fear to be ruined calmly without any conscience. Everybody is getting distorted soundly and gently.”


Takuto KATAYAMA (片山拓人, b. 1989) was born and raised in Fukushima, where is experienced the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and its ensuing disasters. He studied design at Nihon University (2012). He does illustration and design in addition to animation. Check out his profile on vimeo or YouTube, or follow him on twitter.


Will Hatching Day Come? 

“This is a story of a little girl who believes she can hatch an egg one day if she keeps warm.”





K. Chayanit (K・チャヤーニット/ Kiatchokechaikul Chayanit / b. 1990) is from Bangkok, Thailand where she graduated from Sipakorn University with a degree in Decorative Arts (2012)


Fair Winds 
 はるのかぜ
Haru no Kaze 

 “One day when I came home, I found my mother [had] become a cat. Unfamiliar appearance of the parents confuses the child. Yet, the time of the parents and the child passes quietly like a spring breeze.”

Eri KINOSHITA (木下絵李, b. 1991) is from Fukuoka. She has a degree in Design from Kyushu University (2014).


Templex

“One morning in the rainy season. A woman with curly hair wakes up. Phantasmagorical images of self-hatred come to her one after another.”




Tomomi KOMAZAKI (駒﨑友海, b. 1991) was born in Tokyo and studied Visual Design at Joshibi (2014). You can follow her on tumblr and vimeo.



Crossing Sight

“Various visions of life and death, as seen from an operation table. Did the operation succeed? Is the patient still alive?”




Xueqing SHAO (邵雪晴 / ショウ・セツセイ, b. 1991) is from Beijing where she studied animation at the Beijing Film Academy (2013). Check out her work on YouTube.

 
Color Blots 
 シミアソビ
Shimi Asobi
 
“A game to find image in a chance. In this Aleatoricism there are much more potentials than what I have moved.”


Saori SUZUKI (鈴木沙織, b. 1988) is a painter and sculptor in addition to making animation. Follow her on tumblr.


A Black Cat 
 黒い猫
Kuroi Neko 

 “It consists of only [a] woman who keeps caressing a resisting cat.” yourself.”



Mika SEIKE ( 清家美佳, b. 1974) is from Kansai. She started making independent animation films in 2001. After working for many years in the field of education, Seike rejuvenated her animation career at Geidai in 2014. Learn more about her through my reviews of Thinking and Drawing: Japanese Art Animation of the New Millennium and Face to Face (お向さん2007). You can follow her on twitter to learn more.


Rain Shower 
通り雨
Tōriame 

“Rain showers briefly bring back flashes of color to a shopping [trip].”



Tomoko TAKAYA (高谷智子, b. 1992) was born in Tokyo, A graduate of Musashino Art University's Department of Imaging Arts and Sciences, Takaya graduated with the Geidai class of 2017.


Misfit Lil’ Sparrow 
 チュン子のなんで?
Chunko no Nande? 

 “A little sparrow, Hanko, cannot make her head still like other sparrows. She wonders why.”



Yuriko NODA (野田ゆり子, b. 1992) is from Chiba. She has a majored in oil painting during her undergraduate studies at Tokyo University of the Arts (Geidai). Upon graduation she began her MA studies in animation at Geidai in 2014. She has recently graduated from the animation programme at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK Conservatorium) in Ghent which was founded by Raoul Servais. Follow her on twitter or instagram.


and, end 
 えんえん
En en 
 “‘Someday, this will end. I hate it. I wanna live forever,’ murmurs a girl over and over again. Does she repeat the same moments, or does she move forward? It looks and sounds either way. A wordplay animation.”

Mio YAMANAKA (山中澪, b. 1990) was born in Ehime and graduated from the Department of Human Expression at Kobe University (2013).



The Yellow Ball 
“A mysterious yellow ball falls down into the present city across time and space. It involves many people and unfolds various dramas.”






Xinxin LIU (刘新新 / リュウ・シンシン , b. 1989) was born in Dalian, China. She studied animation at the China Academy of Art (2012). Check out her work on vimeo.


mind scape
“The things are formed in the mind from the casual scenes of daily life. These [imaginings] accumulate and make an assembly of fantasy.”





Kaori RYŌ (梁佳緒里, b. 1991) was born in Tottori. She graduated from Musashino in 2014.

22 September 2018

NC18 Animated Shorts 2: Cosmic! by Hiroco Ichinose

Nippon Connection 2018 Animated Shorts 2: Cosmic! by Hiroco Ichinose 


I first encountered the work of animator Hiroco Ichinose (一瀬皓コ) at my very first Nippon Connection in 2008. Her independent works at that time like Cow’s Day (ウシニチ/Ushi-Nichi, 2007) and Ha・P (ハピー, 2008) delighted me with their minimalist animation style and quirky sense of humour. She has continued to impress me with her original works like Two Tea Two (2010) and her collaborations with her husband, animator Tomoyoshi Joko (上甲トモヨシ). 

Both graduates of the animation programme at Tokyo Polytechnic University, Joko and Ichinose were mentored by art animation pioneer Taku Furukawa (古川タク). They founded their own animation studio called Decovocal (デコボーカル). In addition to their independent works, they have been commissioned to work on a number of commercial projects for both CM and TV. My favourite of these is the 26-episode children’s series Rita and Machin (リタとナントカ, 2016), adapted from the French children’s stories by Jean-Philippe Arrou-Vignod with illustrations by Olivier Tallec


I chose Cosmic! (2009) for the Music of the Visual World: Japanese Indie Animated Shorts programme at Nippon Connection because I wanted to put the spotlight on two of the animators behind the Taku Team in the first selection, who I felt where following in their mentor’s footsteps. Ichinose and Joko make animation very much in the spirit of Taku Furukawa. Like the works of Furukawa, in Cosmic! Ichinose deploys a a simple line drawing animation style with vibrant colours to tell an amusing, offbeat tale of a romance between two angels who are separated from each other by a strange intergalactic bird who deposits them on separate planets. While apart, their story is told via split screen, accompanied by a minimalist acoustic guitar soundtrack by Junji Ichinose (一瀬純司). 

Check out the work of Ichinose and Joko on their official YouTube channels: 

Cathy Munroe Hotes 2018

21 September 2018

Nippon Connection 2018 Animated Shorts 1: Moving Colors by Taku Team




The theme of my selection at Nippon Connection this year was music. As most of my readership is outside of Germany, I know that many of you were disappointed not to be able to see the screening. Fortunately, most of this year’s selection can be found uploaded by the animators or the people who commissioned the animations on their official platforms. This is the first in my series highlighting this year’s selection. I will embed each video and give a little background about the artists involved.

Moving Colors from Decovocal on Vimeo.

The first work in the programme, Moving Colors, is a group project featuring the work of 12 animation creators (aka Taku Team). It is a tribute to the animator Taku Furukawa (古川タク, b. 1941) by young artists who were mentored by him at Tokyo Polytechnic University’s undergraduate animation programme. Each team member in this collaboration represents their favourite colour. The title design is by Furukawa himself. The team features: Takuma Hashitani (orange), Waboku (aka Wataru Nakajima, brown), Hakhyun Kim (purple) Yoshiyuki Kaneko (black), Shiho Morita (red), Moe Koyano (raspberry/turquoise), Yū Tamura (green), Yasuaki Honda (crimson), Yewon Kim (mint), Tomoyoshi Joko (blue) and Hiroco Ichinose (gold). The animations by the various creators were then edited together in a dynamic way by “Taku Team” with Tomoyoshi Joko of Decovocal as the creative director. The music is performed by Tomohiro Higashikinjō, Toyomi Kobayashi and Ryusaku Ikezawa.

Furukawa's Tyo Story (上京物語, 1999)

I chose this piece for Nippon Connection 2018 because it is a celebration of music and motion – something central to the aesthetic of the artist it celebrates. Taku Furukawa is an independent animation pioneer in Japan. He was first mentored by the animation iconoclast Yōji Kuri (久里洋二, b.1928) in the early 1960s but then went on to international acclaim for his own independent shorts. I have reviewed many of his works over the years including: Phenakistiscope (驚き盤, 1975), Nice to See You (ナイス・トゥ・スィ・ユー, 1975), and Tyo Story (上京物語 / Jyōkyō Monogatari, 1999).

 He is also well known in Japan for his prolific contributions to the long running Minna no Uta (みんなのうた / Everyone’s Song, 1961-present) series on the public broadcaster NHK. Since the passing of puppet animator Kihachirō Kawamoto, he has been the president of the Japanese Animation Association (JAA). He is known for collaborating with other artists such as his projects with the collective G9+1 and his prolific series of short shorts (chōtanpen / 超短編) with the composer Jun Sakurai (桜井順, b.1934) called One Phrase Theatre / ヒトコト劇場 (You Tube Playlist).

 There is no story in this piece, rather the overarching theme of “colour” (the title uses the American spelling, which is taught in Japan. This blog is written in Canadian English). Each of the animators (they call themselves “creators” in their explanatory notes) made a short inspired by the music and their selected colour. If you are familiar with the work of these artists (I believe they have all had works screened at Nippon Connection over the years), you will be able to recognise their distinctive artistic styles immediately. As a visual guide, I have taken some screencaps from the credits to act as your guide:







Cathy Munroe Hotes 2018

23 May 2018

1964: Best Japanese Animated Shorts


Year in Review

1964 was the year that saw animation combined with live action in Disney’s Mary Poppins (Robert Stevenson) and the release of the first Pink Panther short The Pink Phink (Friz Frelang/Hawley Pratt). In Japan, Mushi Pro tried to make more money from their budding Astro Boy franchise by editing together three episodes of the popular TV series into a feature film called Astro Boy: Hero of Space (鉄腕アトム 宇宙の勇者/ Tetsuwan Atom: Uchū no Yūsha, 1964). They jazzed things up for the cinematic release by adding colour to the sections of the film adapted from episodes 56 and 71. Rintarō (who was still using his real name, Shigeyuki Hayashi), Yoshitake Suzuki, and Eiichi Yamamoto are credited as directors.

The career of stop motion animation pioneer Tadahito “Tad” Mochinaga reached a pinnacle with the release of the Rankin/Bass TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Larry Roemer) (Learn more). While the story and character designs were all conceived of in the United States, Mochinaga’s MOM Productions made and animated the puppets. Since its debut on NBC on December 6, 1964, it has been televised annually becoming the longest continuously running Christmas TV special in the United States.

The independent animation scene was blossoming in Tokyo and the Animation Group of Three (アニメーション三人の会) expanded into an Animation Festival (アニメーション・フェスティバル) which ran from September 11-26 at the Sōgestu Cinematheque 11 (草月シネマテーク11). From my research so far, the films that screened at the festival that year included:

The Button (ザ・バタン , Yōji Kuri, 1963)
Man, Woman and Dog (男と女と犬, Yōji Kuri, 1963)
Ring Ring Boy (リングリングボーイ , Yōji Kuri, 1963)
AOS (アオス, Yōji Kuri, 1964)
Moon Story (月のはなし, Ryōhei Yanagihara, 1964)
The Strange Tale of Ichinosuke (女一条助異聞, Ryōhei Yanagihara, 1964)
Submarine Cassiopeia (潜水艦カシオペア, Hiroshi Manabe, 1964)
Memory (メモリー, Osamu Tezuka)
Mermaid (人形, Osamu Tezuka) La fête blanche (白い祭, Akira Ono, 1964)
Anthology, No. 1 (アンソロジーNO.1, Tadanari Yokoo, 1964)
Kiss Kiss Kiss (Tadanari Yokoo, 1964)
Murder (Makoto Wada, 1964)
Bon Bon Bon (ボン・ボン・ボン, Hayashi Masamichi)
Zuraw (Daitaku Furukawa - better known today as Taku Furukawa)
Night on Bald Mountain (禿山の一夜, Alexander Alexeieff, 1933)
Faces and Fortunes (Morton Goldsholl, 1959) (watch: Chicago Film Archives)
Dissent Illusion (Morton Goldsholl, 1963) (watch: Chicago Film Archives)

Although she is not mentioned on the Japanese programme notes, the experimental film Dissent Illusion was co-directed by Mort’s wife Millie Goldsholl (1920-2012), who also wrote Faces and Fortunes. Millie ran the film division of the family’s Chicago-based design firm Morton Goldsholl Associates. Her animation Up is Down (1969) is a rare anti-war gem. Night on Bald Mountain was, of course, co-produced by his wife Claire Parker

This was also a significant in the career of independent Japanese animator Fusako Yusaki (湯崎夫沙子, b. 1937). In 1964, she moved to Milan to study sculpture and found that clay animation was her métier. Her first films were made in the early 1970s and she is now considered one of the pioneers of stop motion animation in Italy.

The winner of the Noburō Ōfuji Award for 1964 was Makoto Wada (和田誠, b. 1936) for his droll hand drawn animated short Murder (click here to learn more). These days Wada is best known for his illustrated book covers and movie-themed art.


Best Japanese Animated Shorts of 1964:

 Satsujin – Murder
殺人 Murder
1964年 
Makoto Wada (和田誠, b. 1936) 



Tokuten Eizou Anthology No. 1
特典映像 アンソロジーNO.1
1964年 /7'
Tadanari YOKOO (横尾忠則, b. 1936)









KISS KISS KISS
1964年 /2'
Tadanari YOKOO











Submarine Cassiopeia
潜水艦カシオペア
Sensuikan Kashiopea
1964年 / 3’
Hiroshi MANABE








The Chair
椅子 
Isu
1964年 /10’
Yōji KURI (久里洋二, b. 1928)







AOS
アオス 
1964年 /9'
 Yōji KURI








Mermaid
人魚
Ningyo
1964年 /8'
Osamu TEZUKA








Memory
めもりい
Memorii
1964年 /6'
Osamu TEZUKA








Shiroi Matsuri: La fȇte blanche
白い祭 La fete blanche
シロイマツリ ラ・フェット・ブランシェ
Aquirax UNO (aka Akira UNO / 宇野亜喜良, b. 1934)





The Crying Red Giant
泣いた赤おに
Naita Aka Oni
1964年 /17'



 





Moon Story 
月のはなし
Tsuki no hanashi 
Ryōhei Yanagihara (やなぎはら りょうへい, 1931-2015)
1964年 /6'




The Strange Tale of Ichinosuke 
  女一条助異聞
Ryōhei Yanagihara
1964年 /7'






Cathy Munroe Hotes 2018

22 May 2018

Animation at Nippon Connection 2018


Animation at Nippon Connection 2018 

Nippon Connection has put together another wonderful programme of animation this year. One of the must-see feature films is Masaaki Yuasa’s Lu Over the Wall (夜明け告げるルーのうた, 2017), which won the coveted Cristal for Best Feature Film at Annecy last spring and went on to win the Noburō Ōfuji Award for innovation in animation at the Mainichi Film Awards earlier this year. 

Equally worth watching is Yuasa’s adaptation of Tomihiko Morimi’s novel The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl (夜は短し歩けよ乙女, 2017). Morimi’s works are usually set in his native Kyoto, and this particular story shares not only the Kyoto setting but also many of its the characters with The Tatami Galaxy, another Morimi novel that Yuasa famously adapted into an acclaimed TV anime series. The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl is a critically acclaimed feature film that won Animation of the Year at the Japanese Academy Awards and Best Animated Feature at OIAF 2017. 

Although we lost the wonderful Isao Takahata this year, the Studio Ghibli spirit lives on in Studio Ponoc, formed by former Ghibli producer Yoshiaki Nishimura in 2015. Its debut feature film, Mary and the Witch’s Flower (メアリと魔女の花) is directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who also made his name at Ghibli. The visually stunning film was one of the top grossing Japanese films at the Japanese box office for 2017. 

Mutafukaz (2017) is a French-Japanese co-production combining the forces of Ankama Animations (an offshoot of the publisher Ankama) with popular anime house Studio 4C. It is a wild, frenetic ride in the vein of Tekkon Kinkreet, which co-director Shōjirō Nishimi worked on as character designer. The film is the vision of the French co-director Guillaume “Run” Renard, who created the original graphic novel series. The film will be shown in French with German subtitles. 

Popular anime director Mamoru Hosoda’s 2015 film The Boy and the Beast (バケモノの子) will play at the annual Film Breakfast – this event always sells out so book your seat early. 

If your taste runs to more alternative fare, Ujicha is back at the festival with his cutout film Violence Voyager (2017). A graduate of Kyoto Saga Art University, Ujicha coined his primitive yet effective technique “gekimation” (劇メーション). He has made a number of shorts in this style and his debut feature film The Burning Buddha Man (2013) won an excellence award at the Japanese Media Arts Festival and was shown at Nippon Connection 2013. Watch the trailer for Violence Voyager to see if it’s up your alley. 

Tokyo University of the Arts is back with a selection of its recent graduate works – read my full article on it here – and I have once again curated a selection of independent animated shorts. Learn more about it here.  I am pleased to be able to announce that animation artist Yuki Hayashi will be able to attend the screening this year.

Catherine Munroe Hotes 


LU OVER THE WALL 
夜明け告げるルーのうた 
Yoake tsugeru ru no uta 
Director: Masaaki YUASA Japan 2017, DCP, 107 min., 
Japanese with English subtitles German premiere 
Thursday, May 31, 12:00 Mousonturm Saal 
Friday, June 1, 15:30 Mal Seh’n Kino 


MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER 
メアリと魔女の花 
Meari to majo no hana 
Director: Hiromasa YONEBAYASHI Japan 2017, DCP, 102 min., Japanese with German subtitles
Thursday, May 31, 15:30 Mal Seh’n Kino (with German live voice over) 
Friday, June 1, 12:00 Mousonturm Saal 


MUSIC OF THE VISUAL WORLD: 
JAPANESE INDIE ANIMATED SHORTS 
In the presence of the curator Dr. Catherine Munroe Hotes and director Yuki Hayashi
Sunday, June 3, 18:15 Naxoshalle Kino 


MUTAFUKAZ 
Director: Shojiro NISHIMI, Guillaume Renard Japan / France 2017, DCP, 90 min, French with German subtitles 
Sunday, June 3, 12:00 Mousonturm Saal 


THE NIGHT IS SHORT, WALK ON GIRL 
夜は短し歩けよ乙女 
Yoru wa mijikashi arukeyo otome 
Director: Masaaki YUASA Japan 2017, DCP, 93 min, Japanese with English subtitles German premiere
Saturday, June 2, 12:00 Mousonturm Saal 
Sunday, June 3, 22:30 Mal Seh’n Kino 

THE BOY AND THE BEAST 
バケモノの子 
Bakemono no ko 
Director: Mamoru HOSODA Japan 2015, 120 min, Blu-ray, Japanese with German subtitles
Thursday, May 31, 10:30 Naxos Atelier 


TOKYO UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS: ANIMATION 
In presence of Yuichi MATSUMOTO 
Saturday, June 2, 17:30 Naxoshalle Kino 


VIOLENCE VOYAGER 
バイオレンス・ボイジャー 
Director: Ujicha Japan 2017, Blu-ray, 83 min, Japanese with English subtitles European premiere 
Thursday, May 31, 22:15 Naxoshalle Kino 


PAINT YOUR OWN MUSIC: 
COMPOSITION WORKSHOP FOR KIDS 
Thursday, May 31, 15:00 Naxos Atelier 
Workshop in Japanese with German translation 
"Even if you can’t read notes and don’t play any instrument, you can be a composer - just by painting pictures! Yuichi MATSUMOTO of the Tokyo University of the Arts has invented a fantastic instrument, which conveys images into music. He, a composer himself, will show you how you can use your own drawings to make a short 'music-film'."

Music of the Visual World: Japanese Indie Animated Shorts



Music of the Visual World: Japanese Indie Animated Shorts
Sunday, June 3, 18:15 Naxoshalle Kino

When I heard that our animation guest at this year’s Nippon Connection would be the composer and innovator Yuichi Matsumoto, I decided to make music the theme of this year’s independent animation selection.  Music and animation have had a close relationship since the earliest days of commercial animation.  Many of the most innovative early animated films from Japan were the record talkies (レコードトーキー) of the late 1920s and 1930s animated shorts designed to be played simultaneously with a record (See:  Belly Drum Dance at Shojoji Temple, Song of Spring, The Black Cat, The National Anthem: Kimigayo, The Village Festival).

In Japan, the NHK (the national public broadcaster) has supported many independent animators by hiring them to do short pieces for their programming.  The most prominent of these programmes is the long-running series Minna no Uta (Everyones Songs/みんなのうた ) which has been pairing filmmakers (both live action and animation) with music since 1961.  Many early independent animators, like Taku Furukawa, Yōji Kuri, Sadao Tsukioka, Shinji Fukushima and Fumio Ooi, made names for themselves animating for Minna no Uta. 

Todays music video scene has provided a great source of income for innovative animation artists and many of the films featured here are recent music videos.  I have also selected recent animated shorts where I felt that music was integral to the theme/s of the work.  The first work in the programme, Moving Colors, is a group project featuring the work of 12 animation creators (aka Taku Team) with each team member representing their favourite colour.  The title design is by Taku Furukawa (the Taku of the Team name).  The team consists of: Takuma Hashitani (orange), Waboku (aka Wataru Nakajima, brown), Hakhyun Kim (purple) Yoshiyuki Kaneko (black), Shiho Morita (red), Moe Koyano (raspberry/turquoise), Yū Tamura (green), Yasuaki Honda (crimson), Yewon Kim (mint), Tomoyoshi Joko (blue) and Hiroco Ichinose (gold).

Many thanks to Florian Höhr for his help in putting together this programme.   I am pleased to announce that animator Yuki Hayashi has indicated that he will attend the festival again this year. 


Moving Colors
by TAKU TEAM, 2016, 5:04 min








Cosmic!
by Hiroco ICHINOSE, 2009, 3:20 min







How Low Sympathy
by Decovocal / Music by scenarioart, 2014, 3:20 min







Slowly Rising
by Hideki INABA / Music by BEATSOFREEN (aka Stan Forebee), 2015, 3:30 min







On + On
by Akihiko TANIGUCHI / Music by Cumhur Jay, 2016, 5:30 min







The State of Things
by Ryo ORIKASA / Music by Tamaki Roy, 2017, 3:52 min







Polly
by Sarina NIHEI / Music by Whitney, 2016, 3:33 min







Mad Love
by Ryōji YAMADA / Music by Keita SANO, 2017, 3:16 min


La Madrague “Country of Westering Sun
マドラグ(西陽の国)
by Yuki HAYASHI / Music by youcan ゆーきゃん, 2017, 5:00 min






The Synesthesia Ghost
共感覚おばけ
by Atsushi MAKINO / Music by Sasanomaly, 2015, 3:20 min





I’ve Got to Take the Laundry In
洗濯物をとりこまなくちゃ
by Naoya SANUKI / Music by Siamese Cats, 2016, 4:28 min

 




Enjoy Music Club
by Whoppers (Naoya SANUKI and Zuck), 2017, 3:38 min







Spring Time - Old Man
青春おじいさん
by Hōji TSUCHIYA / Music by Uri NAKAYAMA, 2017, 4:25 min






A Long Dream
by Hōji TSUCHIYA, 2016, 2:40 min







Oldman Youngman
加賀遼也
Ryoya KAGA, 2016, 10:53 min






lilac (bombs Jun Togawa)
by ONIONSKIN / Music by Vampillia, 2015, 4:13 min







Nandaka Mou
なんだかもう
by ONIONSKIN / Music by Kidori Kidori, 2016, 3:30 min






TO & KYO
とう きょう
by Tsuneo GODA, 2017, 4:05 min




 Catherine Munroe Hotes

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