Sunday, April 26, 2009

Anime World Order: Character Design

I drew Daryl, Clarissa, and Gerald to compose the mock business cards for the logo proposal I sent them. They are all big fans of Osamu Tezuka so I used his character design as basis. Well, at least I tried. My biggest problem was that I couldn't find a character that matched Gerald. I ended up not basing him on anyone of Tezuka's Star System.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

臀撃おしおき娘 ゴータマン

I wrote a plot summary for ANN of an animation called Dengeki Oshioki Musume Gōtaman which sort of translates to "Butt Attack Punisher Girl Gotaman". Hopefully no one will write an alternative overview to substitute this one:

Mari Amachi is a new student at the Perfect Religion Academy. When her roommate Saori Minami is kidnapped by the Black Buddha gang, Buddha himself appears before Mari. He offers her the opportunity to become Gōtaman in order to save her friend. Mari accepts the proposal and becomes Gōtaman, a sumo-belt-clad hero who fights to protect freedom of religion.

Torrent here. The guys at #anime-classic are awesomely insane.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Amuro Ray and Lalah Sune

Below are pictures from episode 41 of the original Gundam series. Last year I watched the trilogy that summarizes the entire 43 episodes of the 1979 TV series. My absolute favorite scene was the battle between Amuro Ray and Lalah Sune. I liked it so much that I ended up looking for the particular episode in which the confrontation occurred in the TV show just to compare with the trilogy version. It wasn't as impressive as the movie, but it was still very good. I can't even imagine watching this back in 1980. It must have been mind-blowing.

I prefer the movie version because the dialogue flows better. This type of scene just can't be rushed. You have to let the story breathe. The moments of silence or no one talking need to be more valued. Below are images from the third movie of the trilogy.

It's really silly the idea of rival pilots arguing with each other as they fight inside giant a mechanized armor and a spaceship, but this one is different. Not simply because both are espers, thus making sense that they are able to communicate with each other. Amuro and Lalah are definitely connected in a higher level. Maybe spiritualy is the adequate word. It's so odd that a series that tries to embrace a more realistic portrayal of war in space, displays such a romantic ideal in a glorious and elegant way. The animation in this particular scene becomes much more imaginative and metaphorical. Such tender and melancholic script. Amazing voice acting performance by Tohru Furuya (古谷徹) and Keiko Han (潘恵子). I've seen many couples in anime, but this is - without a shadow of a doubt - an affair that should not to be forgotten.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

東のエデン OP

Whoa. I have never seen an opening for a Japanese animation like this. Done by Reelvision. The song is Falling Down by Oasis. Eden of the East has a jaw-dropping animation quality. Production IG is not joking around.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (1985)

Just finished watching the 50 episodes of the Zeta Gundam TV series, considered the finest Gundam series ever made. It's also extremely popular in Japan. From ANN: "Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam currently holds the record for the highest viewership rating among all Gundam TV titles, scoring an average rating of 6.6% during its run." This is a direct sequel to the original Gundam. I watched three movies that compile that TV series not too long ago. I didn't like it all that much, but it's definitely essential to watch it at least once if you intend to understand anime today. The comparisons alone between it's creator, Yoshiyuki Tomino, and Hideaki Anno, creator of Evangelion, begin to make a whole lot of sense.

Gundam is a huge franchise that has lots of parallel universes, but the original timeline features one of the most captivating characters in anime history: Char Aznable. In Japan, he is equivalent to Darth Vader in America. He kinda reminded me of Robert Redford because of the sideburns.

Also from ANN: "Due to Bandai Entertainment's inability to secure the rights to the opening and ending theme songs outside of Asia, the U.S. release uses orchestral tracks for the opening and ending sequences." The orchestral track sort of sets a more serious mood which is really what this story is all about. Preference probably boils down to which one did you watch first. Below are both openings. It would probably be interesting to make a poll with people who never saw the show to see which one they'd prefer.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Shugo Tokumaru

Shugo Tokumaru is an amazing musician I discovered thanks to Zac Bentz. I immediately bought a CD and sent it to a dear friend and musician Lulina. Last time I phisically saw her was the day she performed at a festival called Coquetel Molotov back in 2005. I gave her a stuffed 井上トロ and in exchange I got her CD Bolhas na Pleura. Great day.

Friday, April 03, 2009

The Five Star Stories Logo

I recently watched this 1989 movie and I was mesmerized by the beautiful logo. I wonder if the author of the manga created it. Do mangakas make the logos for their stories? According to Mike Toole, anime historian, the author of Five Star Stories was trained as a fashion designer.