Animators That I’ve Discovered on 2016

Kazuto Arai [荒井 和人] and Miso [みそ]


This duo caught my attention on Mob Psycho 100, on the episodes #3 and #10, featuring an excellent understanding of how to do effects to generate a impact, while Miso’s work is definitely more flashy than the work of Kazuto Arai, Arai’s animation is still pretty fucking impressive, the best example of it is on Mob Psycho #10, while Kazuto Arai since the beginning presents a wonderful animation, showing the fire as a giant liquid mass, that can’t be stopped, exaggerating it and adding to it a lot of weight and impact, Miso’s one is less impactful, but a lot more flashy, with things like impact frames and a clear webgen understanding of animation, a lot more free and loose, giving the fire a looser form and slowly showing the person behind the fire, treating him like another effect animation instead of as character, like he’s something of another world, as he appeared behind the flames, and then giving him more solidness and finally revealing him completely.

Miyo Sato [佐藤 美代]

The GEIDAI-graduate work is at another level, her paint-on-glass animation it’s so different, it looks less than a commercial anime and more like some indie, artsy film, but still you can cleary see the level of dedication that she puts on her work, paint-on-glass it’s a extremely difficult technique that costs a lot of resources -both financial and human-, so impresses me that a only person can do so much on a 12-episode series, appearing on most of the episodes and even doing a impressive ending that i’ve talked about it before, Miyo Sato is a unique talent, and i hope that she will be given more projects the next years.

Chengxi Huang [黄成希]

This animator is a special case, he started on a small chinese subcontractor studio called Candy Box, just three years ago, and has been ascending constantly with the time, this year he was on his peak thanks to Hiroyuki Yamashita’s influence, giving a special rhythm and weight to the action scenes, that fits perfectly with a martial arts series, presenting various impressive cuts of Taijustsu, some of the best of the series, at the level of Toshiro Fujii, Young Hiroyuki Yamashita and Early Norio Matsumoto easily, this animator has advanced since his debut as Key Animator three years ago on that small chinese studio, and now he’s one of the main aces of Studio Pierrot, expecting to see him on more martial arts-based series, he surely would show up on Boruto, so i’m happy for now, i want to see on what he’s carreer become, He’s going to become a director like Shigeki Kawai, Hiroyuki Yamashita and Gorou Sessha?, He’s going to keep animating on small, low-key projects like Masayuki Kouda and Seiko Asai? or He’s going to go all out working back to back with some of the best people of the industry on feature movies and prestigious series, like Yuu Yamashita, Ken’ichi Fujisawa or Naoki Kobayashi?, only the time will decide the future of this great animator.

He was also extremely prolific this year, appearing approximately every 2.5 episodes on Naruto Shippuuden, pretty impressive!

Hakuyu Go [伍柏諭]


The chinese animator exploded this year, being appointed as Action Director on Boku no Hero Academia and storyboarding one of the best fights of the entire year, which featured a lot of works of both industry veterans -as Hironori Tanaka- and rising stars -as the forementioned Miso and Kazuto Arai-, he then go to the very next Bones show, doing some impressive scenes on Mob Psycho 100, which, i initially believed that those were Yutapon’s works! But it was none other than Hakuyu Go, doing his best Yutapon impression, seems like he’s having a big influence of Yutapon, that i’ve seen it since one of his earlier works, his cut on Kekkai Sensen’s finale, that was utterly impressive and completely different from the rest of the industry, but at the same time, being completely similar, taking inspiration for both Yutapon and Webgen luminariés such as Kenichi Kutsuna, without going to their extreme, but still being very fucking good.

Tomomi Kamiya [神谷友美]

Kamiya was the major force behind the impressive character animation on Fune wo Amu, the series, itself, was a spectacle of character animation, being, even on the most low-key scenes, well and believably animated, and Tomomi Kamiya was one of the major Animation Directors and Key Animators of the series, Kamiya, that beginned on Anime Spot about a decade ago, present a very Telecom understanding of character animation. What is a Telecom understaing of character animation?, first you have to understand Telecom pedigree, formed by basically two animators: The late Yasuo Otsuka and the legend himself, Kazuhide Tomonaga, realistic, weighty character animation, with detailled and cleandrawings, incredibly attention to detail and convicung movements, without being Jin-Roh realistic, but still being above the rest, more similar to western realistic than japanese realistic animation, and it works really well on Fune wo Amu, i expect that this animator would give more prominent jobs on better series from now, he was already featured on Space Dandy at a early stage of his career, so, he can do great things.
Plus, he solo KA’d the opening of Fune Wo Amu, go to watch it.

 

New Things!

Just a bunch of new things that happened with the blog

First of all: The direction of my blog changed, now the the domain is: https://iwatchanimebecauseprettycolors.wordpress.com/
Second: I created a Patreon account so your guys can support me to do new things: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4730097
Third, New Sections!:

-Questions and Answers: I answer your questions about industry and various things, just little post, you will send your questions to my Twitter [https://twitter.com/RonSnow_0] or my mail [rnldciresa@gmail.com]
-Studio Spotlights, same that Animator Spotlights, but with Studios!
-Upcoming Staff, talking about interesting staff on the upcoming episodes of various series!

Animator Spotlight – Gorou Sessha

Gorou Sessha [拙者五郎]/Masaharu Watanabe [渡邊 政治]
ANN: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=139486
AniDB: https://anidb.net/perl-bin/animedb.pl?show=creator&creatorid=10892/https://anidb.net/perl-bin/animedb.pl?show=creator&creatorid=572
Sakugabooru: https://sakugabooru.com/post?tags=gorou_sessha

-Started out as an in-betweener on Kyoto Animation, working on various outsourced episodes made by Kyoto Animation for other studios, like Inuyasha [Sunrise], Kiddy Grade [Gonzo] and Nurse Witch Komugi [Tatsunoko Production]
-Debuted on the episode 83 of Inuyasha, outsourced to Kyoto Animation, using his real name Masaharu Watanabe, that he would use for all his non-Pierrot work, his drawings were corrected here by Shouko Ikeda, the younger sister of fellow KyoAni animator kazumi Ikeda, taken a lot of her style on his next works.
-On Kyoto Animation, he was mainly influenced by animator and director Taichi Ishidate and director Yutaka Yamamoto, appearing on their episodes constantly, and even worked as assistant episode director under the guide of Yutaka Yamamoto on the episodes #1 and #12 of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
-His work on Kyoto Animation varied from wild and crazy Kanada-inspired wacky comedy sequences to detailed, complex, full character acting sequences, starting to stand out as one of the few excellent talents that the studio had to offer, taking a lot of style from Taichi Ishidate’s animation.
-He, after leaving Kyoto Animation on good terms, started working on Pierrot under a pen-name, Gorou Sessha, where he debut as Animation Director on the episode #213 of the first Naruto series, co-sakkan with Pierrot Plus animator Hidehiko Okano and that featured more young talent like Shigeki Kawai and Masayuki Kouda, that were recently ascended to key animators.
-His first full fledged Sakkan work was on Naruto Shippuuden #5, that didn’t feature a lot of outstanding work, but still featured solid drawings and nice animation all over the place, being his first destacable work the first big episode of the series, the episode #26, with the storyboarder Atsushi Nigorikawa, that’s going to be with him, helping him to develop his career from that point, giving him most of Gorou Sessha’s directorial sense for action scenes, as we’ve seen on Re:Zero recently, the episode featured young talent as Hiromi Ishigami, Ryuta Yanagi, Shigeki Kawai, Hiroyuki Yamashita and Masayuki Kouda, and some established talent like GAINAX animator Takafumi Hori, that did one of the overall best scenes of the first part of the series, that, by the way, Gorou Sessha know him thanks to working on Manglobe’s Michiko to Hatchin together.
-He still maintained his link with Kyoto Animation, helping one of his mentors, Yutaka Yamamoto, on the first series of his new-founded studio Ordet, called Kannagi, where he worked with other ex-KyoAni’s animators like Yuusuke Matsuo, Shinobu Yoshioka or Satoshi Kadowaki.
-The very first chance to direct was gave to him by Production I.G on the second season of the Samurai-themed series Sengoku Basara, where he storyboarded and directed the second episode of it, with a side of the usual staff of the series, featured work by fellow Pierrot animator Masayuki Kouda, that helped him out with said debut as Director.
-His first work as Series Director was when he replaced Masahiko Murata on gag-series Naruto SD, where he directed from episode 27 to 51, and SB’d the latter, that was a full-fledged sakuga festival, with work of Naoki Kobayashi, Yuta Kiso, Kengo and Norio Matsumoto, Toshiro Fujii, Hiroyuki Yamashita, Eiji Komatsu and Abiko, Takashi Mukouda, et al.
-He also directed the first entries of two of his friend as Sakkans, the episode 180 of Naruto Shippuuden, where Masayuki Kouda did his debut as Sakkan and the episode 363, where Tatsuya Koyanagi did his debut as Sakkan.
-He left Pierrot at the same time as fellow animators Haru Watanabe, Asuka Mamezuka and Tatsuya Koyanagi, going to the studio White Fox, where he worked on Akame ga KILL! with said animators until making his first full directorial debut on Re:Zero, a super-production of White Fox based on a popular light novel.
-There he let his influences go all out, from Taichi Ishidate, to Yamakan, Kazumi Ikeda, Tatsuya Ishihara and even Atsushi Nigorikawa, he compiled all his experiences and influences from all these great directors and animators to give his special touch to the series, to the action scenes, heavily similar to Nigorikawa’s ones, to everyday life scenes at the vein of Ishidate, ReZero was unique thanks to him, he also led the “Monster Animation Director” to his longtime friend and fellow Ex-Pierrot animator Tatsuya Koyanagi, that did a great work on the series.
-He’s still attached at Naruto, directing the wonderful opening 16, with his longtime friend Masayuki Kouda as Sakkan, and doing storyboards for sixth and seventh Naruto Shippuuden movies.

-Before ReZero he also did Wakaba*Girl, a series of 14 8-minute shorts for the programmation block Ultra Super Anime Pictures, that put out shorts anime made by the studios that belong to the japanese joint holding company Ultra Super Pictures, directing that show under his real name, Masaharu Watanabe, and being produced by Nexus, that later helped a lot on ReZero, the show featured few talented animators like Kazuya Nakanishi, Jimmy Stone or Yochi, being his debut as a series director, but not on a full series, that was, as previously said, ReZero.
-Is still growing as a director and as animator, hoping great things on his future.

Analyzing A Scene – Eri Taguchi’s scene on Naruto Shippuuden #477

The Team Behind It

The storyboarder is Naruto’s legendary animator Hiroyuki Yamashita [ 山下 宏幸], that also is the Director and the Animation Director, i’ve already made a post about him previously. The only key animator is a young key animator that was ascended just the last year to key animation called Eri Taguchi [田口愛梨], and by the way, presumably this scene use a technique called Rotoscope, that is used to animate over real-life footage, given a extra realism to the animation.

The Scene

The scene is masterful on show the feeling of Exhaustion.

The characters are tired, they have fighted during various consecutive days, a lot of changes have passed during that days, they didn’t even know anymore why they’re fighting, they have shrinked all their energy, they don’t have slept on days and they are to tired to continue fighting.

The characters falls on the ground by the weight of their own body, try constantly of infructuously get up and keep fighting, their punches and general movements are slow and dreadful, the delicate and realistic motion enhances that, they feel like two real people tired and on despair fighting, that’s why it impacts so hard, these are two people that can’t fight anymore, they’re tired, they’ve lose everything, there’s no reason to keep fighting anymore.

They are fighting without a reason, they can’t even keep stand anymore, they fall and miss attacks constantly, while the camera slowly starts to zoom up on a very slow, dreadful way, giving a even closer look to their devastness, tiredness and despair, they don’t want to keep fighting, they can’t keep fighting, but they seem obligated to keep fighting until there’s a decisive winner.

Finally, the camera end of zoom up, and we see two tired, hurt and dreadful men, punching themselves without energy or force anymore, as Naruto finally let his bandana fall, representing that they aren’t ninja anymore, they are just two people punching between them without motivation, or a reason, too tired to even keep fighting.

The color and lighting also works for that, the colors are cold, heavy and dreadful, even the coloring has lost his energy, compared with the light colors of before this scene, and the lighting is dark, with little of saturation, not as brilliant as before, now even the lighting is weak, everything on the ambient and the animation transmits the feeling of devastness and tiredness of everything, is a punching and devastating scene.

Conclusion

A wonderfully set scene to demostrate the exhaustion and lack of desire of keep fighthing of the characters, from the animation, colors, photography, everything, unforgettable and generally impressive.

If i have to rate it, is going to be 5 of 5 Osamu Dezakis.

Countdown: Top Ten Best Endings of the Year

10° – Joker Game

Staff:

Storyboard/Director: Tokuyuki Matsutake
AD: Atsuko Nakajima
KA: Atsuko Nakajima & Tokuyuki Matsutake

This ending is….functional at best, but what makes it worth is the stylish direction of Tokuyuki Matsutake, let’s say, the color design here is amazing, even if everything else is pretty generic.

9° – Boku no Hero Academia

Staff:

Storyboard: Masayuki Sakoi & Kenji Nagasaki
Director: Tsuyoshi Tobita
AD: Yoshiko Umakoshi
KA: Koji Sugiura

I can’t say a lot here, it just makes me really pumped out and excited every time i see it.

8° JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable

Staff:

Storyboard/Director: Yasufumi Soejima
AD: Terumi Nishii
KA: Youko Uchida & Marie Ino

The color design, editing and photography here is wonderful, it’s very style over substance, too, but it fits with the series, giving a very JoJo feeling and THAT TUNE…catchiest tune used on a opening or ending this year so far, it makes me sing along every time, really good job!

7° Bungou Stray Dogs ED1

Staff:

Storyboard/Director/AD: Yasuomi Umetsu
KA: Yasuomi Umetsu, Kohei Tokuoka, Hidenori Fukouka & Ayumi Abe

Another ending that is far more style than substance, but, goddamn, that’s some incredible style!, this ending has one of the best sense of aesthetic of the entire year, by none other than the master himself Yasuomi Umetsu, is a wonderful piece of aesthetic and style that hits you hard, that presents on a really good way the relations of the characters, with a nice song by the pop rock band Luck Life.

6° Fune wo Amu

Staff:

Storyboard/Director: Shinsaku Sasaki
AD/KA: Shin Matsunaga

This is the simpler ending on the list, but, god, that is beautiful, just a very calm and warm ending, with a beautiful song and beautiful animation, that relax you on a very effective way, pretty good.

5° Battery

Staff:

Storyboard/Director: Ryousuke Nakamura
AD/KA: Mieko Hosoi

By the always working tag team of Ryousuke Nakamura and Mieko Hosoi, this ending is calm, kind and warm, that gives you a beautiful feeling with that beautiful drawn images and pastel colors, it’s just too warm and kind, with a happy, nice song by Anderlust that hits me hard everytime that i listen to and draws a smile on my face.

4° 3- Gatsu no Lion

Staff:

Storyboard/Director: Ryousuke Nakamura
AD: Takumi Yokota
KA: Takeshi Ninomiya, Hiroshi Hamasaki, Akito Asai, Yumi Shimizu, Shigeru Fujita & Sawako Miyamoto

This ending, pretty unlike the opening of the series, presents a wonderful message of hope for a better future, Ryousuke Nakamura’s direction makes perfectly for that, despite all the problems that the protagonist has to encounter, there’s always light and hope at the end of the rainbow, even with his past and his depression, the protagonist still has something to fight for, something to keep living each day, it’s a wonderful message delivered on a pretty simple way. The music theme, by BUMP OF CHICKEN, do emphasis on this, presenting a story of somebody that lost everything, but there’s something that always remained it for him: Love and Hope.

3° Naruto Shippuuden ED38

Staff:

Storyboard/Director/AD: Naoki Kobayashi
KA: Naoki Kobayashi, Chengxi Huang, Toshiro Fujii, Tatsuya Koyanagi, Shintetsu Takiyama, Seiko Asai, Hirofumi Suzuki, Hiroyuki Yamashita, Genichiro Kouno, Masayuki Kouda, Retsu Ohkawara, Ichiro Uno & Eri Taguchi

This is another opening with a message of hope, happiness and peace, giving all of them their wishes of a better world to the protagonist, hoping that he, someday, will achieve the peace on a world destroyed by the war and the differences of ideologies between the humanity, while he’s trying to achieve peace with himself and with his lost friend that have grown together and now they want to find a riddle to the peace, and this, along with the wonderful visuals of the ending, directed by Naoki Kobayashi, makes up a wonderful piece.

2° Mob Psycho 100

Staff:

Storyboard/Director/AD/KA: Miyo Sato

The work here IS INCREDIBLE, Miyo Sato’s work taken to a extreme, one and half minute of incredible craftsmanship, you can feel that the animator took MONTHS of her time to do all this incredible background and character animation on paint-on-glass animation, just breathtaking visuals, that do a awesome work of presenting the character of Reigen and a perfect understanding of his personality, with a pretty impressive amount of effort and detail put on this, just wonderful.

1° Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi

Staff:

Storyboard/Director/AD/KA: Masashi Ishihama

 

 

Animator Spotlight – Naoki Kobayashi

Naoki Kobayashi [小林直樹]

AniDB: https://anidb.net/perl-bin/animedb.pl?show=creator&creatorid=45259
AnimeNewsNetwork: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=85906
Sakugabooru: https://sakugabooru.com/post?tags=naoki_kobayashi
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

-Animator that started out on the industry after being recruited to work on Pierrot by Naruto’s flagship animator Hiroyuki Yamashita, after graduating from a vocational school on NEEC [Nippon Engineering College]
-He unlike his master, was a wonderful animator since the very beginning, demonstrating overhuman skills since the very first scene that he did, being heavily inspired by Hiroyuki Yamashita and Yutaka Nakamura, he took the best of the two’s early styles to create a incredible  mix that blow out your eyes, on a very nice way, doing incredible action scenes constantly.
-The very first scene that he animated was on Naruto SD, the spin-off on Naruto, on the very final of the series, he was a part of a awesome festival of animation, with really big names like Hiroyuki Yamashita, Eiji Komatsu or Norio Matsumoto working with him, doing the explosion and the buildings destroyed at the very beginning of the episode, already showing a special craftsmanship, superior than any other novice animator.
-His first work outside of Pierrot was on Attack on Titan’s episode 9, produced by the outsourced studio Daume, where he worked together with the fellow animator and friend of his Toshiro Fujii, another destacable soul of this new generation of Pierrot, on that episode he did the part of Eren receiving the bullet of the cannon, of less quality this time, maybe cause the incredibly tight schedule of the series.
-He wouldn’t explode until his debut on Naruto Shippuuden, on the episode #322, directed, storyboarded and Sakkan’d by his master, Hiroyuki Yamashita, doing a lot of Madara’s fight, and being one of the animators that worked on more cuts on that episode, the animation on this is incredibly inspired by Hiroyuki Yamashita, and it really shows.
-After his debut, he keeps doing work as the same role as Hiroyuki Yamashita on his beginnings: A incredible productive and talented animator that puts out constantly quality scenes, but his output started to shrink after the number and the scope of his projects started to increase exponentially, looking the producers and directors with good eyes at his animation, he was a gifted animator since the very beginning, and Hiroyuki Yamashita known that, he, as a talented animator, sees talented where IS TALENT.
-He did is very debut as Director on the ending 32 of Naruto Shippuuden, that he solo key animated with some help of fellow talented Pierrot animators Tatsuya Koyanagi, Daisuke Tsumagari, Toshiro Fujii and Anna Yamaguchi, that cleaned up his rough drawings after he did the key animation, the ending is a incredible piece of animation in its own rights, pretty impressive, if you ask me.
-He would later do the ending 36 along with his longtime friend and fellow Pierrot animator Toshiro Fujii and the the ending 38, where he storyboarded, directed and sakkan’d it, with a team of talented animators on their own right Chengxi Huang, Toshiro Fujii, Hiroyuki Yamashita and Hirofumi Suzuki under his belt. He also was present on the debut of his friend Toshiro Fujii as director.
-After Boruto: The Movie, where he did the bulk of it along with his master Hiroyuki Yamashita and the legendary animator Norio Matsumoto, he’s now doing constantly appearances on all kinds of threatic films, from Keiichi Hara’s kind, calm, historical film Miss Hokusai, to Makoto Shinkai’s magnum opus Kimi no Wa. and Tatsuya Oishi’s long 6-years long effort Kizumonogatari, he keeps delivering quality, now on a movie field.
-His style is a very recognizable mix of Hiroyuki Yamashita, Yutaka Nakamura and fellow Pierrot animators: Rounded faces, realistic bodies and hands, fast and rhythmic movements, Yutapon cubes, very recognizable impact frames and effect works very reminiscing of Yutaka Nakamura, impact lines all over the place, a punching, realistic timing, etcetera, his style is still growing, he keeps madurating and making his own style, hoping great things for that great, gifted animator on the future.

He also knows how to animate breakdance, plus if he sometimes do dancing anime?

Analyzing a Scene – Shikamaru’s Shogi Match on Naruto Shippuden #82

vlcsnap-9487707

KA: Hiroto Tanaka [田中比呂人]

The Team Behind It

The team behind this scene is the tag team formed by director Toshiyuki Tsuru [都留稔幸] and the genius Pierrot animator Hiroto Tanaka [田中比呂人], a master on direction and a master on character animation, that reunite on this scene to do a precious almost 6-minute piece that hits you hard, but slowly, with a awesome combination of character animation, photography and music.

The Scene

The Scene is divided into two parts:

The first one is the characters playing Shogi, destacking the third person perspective that puts you on the part of someone that is watching it from outside, the characters quietly play Shogi while talk, when one is taking power of the conversation, he moves the pieces, and when the other is taking power of conversation, stay quiet while the other is the one moving the pieces, this goes for approximately 4 minutes, the animation and the general ambient is subtle and quiet, starting to augment the tension and the movement when Shikamaru starts to slowly get angry and sad, we see him being hurt by his father’s words and starting to give up, until it gets to the break point, on when he throws away the Shogi table and starts the second part.

On the second part, Blue -the color of sadness and loneliness- takes over the scene, where Shikamaru’s breakdown, the animation gets more expressive, the music goes up and the camera switch to a second person perspective that feels depressing and sad, you can feel the sadness and despair that Shikamaru is passing with the animation and the awesome direction, everything is falling down, he can’t keep his feelings for the death of his master anymore, he’s angry, sad and desperate, he can’t take it anymore, and he breaks to cry, and his father let him alone, to cry alone, and get drown on his sorrows. Also, the expressions here are heavily realistic and on-the-ground, that do emphasis on the feeling of the characters and don’t feel or over-acted or under-acted, they are perfect.

I’m also covering the very next scene, cause why not? both of them are pretty related, Blue keeps dominating the scene, we see Shikamaru thrown on the floor, he’s destroyed, separated from the subtle light that enters from the window, said light, slowly ended up showing Shikamaru’s the truth at illuminating the piece “King” [Ou], and Shikamaru starts to see it, he is still angry, but not sad anymore, he’s now decided and up to create a plan to kill the ones that ended with his masters, he slowly starts to create strategy after strategy on the table of Shougi, he’s decided to create the perfect vengeance, and you can feel it, since the camera he’s now on first person perspective and you can feel how decided Shikamaru is.

Conclusion:

So we get for all the states, calm, the breakdown and then the vengeance, on only like 8 minutes, both the direction and the animation are masterful, with awesome layouts, awesome photography, awesome use of music and perspective, a masterpiece all around.

If i’m going to rate it…i’m gonna give it 5 of 5 Osamu Dezakis.

 

Countdown: Top Ten Best Openings of the Year

°10 Haikyuu!! 3 Opening

Yeah, this opening is just kickass, Shingo Natsume’s bombastic and over-the-top direction works really well, getting you pumped out in record-time, with a awesome, very kickass song by BURNOUT SYNDROMES and a really awesome animation to finish the things out, is a very good opening.

9° JoJo: Diamond is Unbreakable Opening One

Very fun, catchy opening, that makes me want to dance every time i listen to, that capture the time that the anime is ambiented perfectly, with very fun, intelligent editing, direction and photography over a very catchy tune, easily the catchiest of all the year.

8° 3-Gatsu no Lion

This opening, directed by talented young animator Naoyuki Asano, features some incredible breath-taking visuals, on a very experimental visual style, that explores anxiety, loneliness, depression, sadness, with that feeling of wanting to move forward, but being pushed back by yourself, and works really well with the melody of the excellent band Bump of Chicken, that gets perfectly the feeling of the series on a really good way.

7° – Yuri on Ice:

The opening, solo key animated by korean animator Seong-Ho Park is a very hyping and pumping out piece, even if it was changed constantly with new photography until the very end of the series, the simple, but wonderful animation carries the opening, with some of the best character animation that i’ve ever seen this year, the song has a very grandiosque-feeling that work really well, the voice of Dean Fujioka work perfectly with the over-the-top animation, and gets you instantaneously pumped out.

6° 91 Days

Directed by Masahiko Murata, the opening presents a collection of scenes of the series, perfectly collected to present the story of the series, with a oppressing and bombastic feeling to it, with the anxiety, desires of vengeance and psychological scenes of the main character being greatly expressed by a excellent work of photography, a tight editing and a awesome direction, finishing on a awesome, bombastic climax that introduce you to the series. The music, by Ling Tosite Sigure, is as bombastic as the visuals themselves and takes them to a new level with TK’s tight and bombastic, but still low-key production and awesome vocals.

5° Dimension W

This is basically the most pumping out opening of the year, is just freakin’ awesome, this opening punches you so hard, it makes me wanna go out and go to fuckin’ explode some vehicles, awesome animation, awesome direction and that SONG!!, a very EDM powerful song by R.O.N that gets every cell of your body pumped out, really good opening, but still is nothing more than a hyping opening…

4° Orange

This opening is a celebration of youth, really beautiful, it makes me remind simple times, where we run with a ball of paper over the beautiful fields of Uruguay with my friends when i was younger, and it gets me very nostalgic every time, this is the celebration of innocent happiness and youth, really well directed, the character animation on this is awesome and the song captures that youthfoul, nostalgic feeling like nothing else this year.

3° Kiznaiver

[Didn’t found a proper video of this one, tho]

This opening is just awesome, the craziest visuals to be ever featured on a opening this year hands down, it works perfectly on present the characters and all their threats, with an awesome tune by BOOM BOOM SATELLITES, the very last that they ever did, by the way, its a very wonderful, and magical opening, that gets you in the mood of the anime everytime.

2° Boku Dake ga Inai Machi

The most bombastic and wonderful opening of the year, presenting the story on a wonderful way, being a masterful class of direction and photography, that makes you get into the internal conflicts of the protagonist and the mystery of the series instantly, the tune by Asian Kungfu Generation is just awesome, best anisong of the year hands down, just wonderful.

1° Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Yeah, there’s something even better than BokuDake opening this year, and is this opening, by the genius himself, Tokuyuki Matsutake, wonderfully directed, awesomely creative and with a wonderful meaning, the most creative and visually playful opening of the year, even being very low-key, this opening is awesomely interesting both visually and musically, the composition of the melody is awesome and the direction and the visuals are hands down the best of the year, just, applauses.

Let’s Talk About Openings!: Naruto Shippuden Opening 15

I’m going to go by another take this time, not for a excellent opening, but for an awful one, an show what a bad presentation is.

The Team Behind It

The team is very small, in fact, there isn’t a team to speak of, this opening is a full solo one by Animator Hirofumi Suzuki [鈴木博文], apprentice of legendary animator Atsuko Nakajima and Characer Designer of the show.

This is his very first experience with the director chair, trying to follow the steps of his mates Tokuyuki Matsutake, Toshiyuki Tsuru, Yasuomi Umetsu and Masashi Ishihama, that had successfully made a name by themselves as professional opening directors, let’s see how he goes.

The Opening:

We start with one of most essential, and cliched things of anime openings: Split screen.
This time is a specially awful one, the split screen effect of a black ray looks like a shitty-old Photoshop effect made on a Windows 95, and the colors are pretty bland, the drawings have nothing of special and the idea itself it’s pretty boring, just showing the good and the bad, on one of the most boring and cliche ways possible.

Then we pass to Sakura walking through the battlefield, and, oh, god, the timing is so fucked up, the movements are so robotic and so unnatural, now Sakura is a android?, i’ve seen mecha moving more natural-looking than this, also, you can’t almost tell if is Sakura or not, is drawn exactly the same as everyone else, the only thing that differs her with the other characters showed on this OP are the hair and pretty much, nothing else.

The next is a pretty decent one, and a very subtle way of spoiling Neji’s Death without spoiling too much of next events to the audience, one of the few decent things on the OP, then, a series of very bland drawings of Naruto holding Hinata’s hand and the Ninja alliance, pretty mediocre.

The shitty split screen effects transport you to the next scene, and, oh, my god, this one of the worst rotating camera that i’ve ever seen, is just so confusing, there’s no perspective whatsoever to speak of, and the characters just move around confusedly on the screen without direction, the timing is just off, you don’t feel any dynamic and you don’t feel the force and the impact of the fight at all, on top that, it seem like the characters are fighting with a lot of cubes of cement around, that look…weird, and you can’t even tell if they’re hitting each other or not, or where they are moving, or their attacks, cause the rotating camera is awful and it just moves around confusingly without direction, just compare that to the representation of the same fight by Kengo Matsumoto and Hiroyuki Yamashita on the ED29, is fast, is dynamic, is punching, and there’s no shitty rotating camera on your way killing your eyes with shitty perspective!, there’s a rotating camera with an actual perspective that don’t confuse you anytime on that Ending!, instead of this shitty, failed try of fight with rotating camera, and also, the song of that ending has energy, has punch, this a slow alt-rock track by DOES, that doesn’t fit at all with the visuals.

The next cut is presented back that shitty split screen effect with a very shitty Madara vs Hashirama fight, that again, there’s no impact or punch whatsoever, the timing is too off and it just looks sloppy, doesn’t help a lot that it looks drawn with the ass, the actual fighting on the actual anime, supervised by Seiko Asai looked a lot better!

The split screen disappear and oh, god, there’s shitty drawing after shitty drawing, with shitty photoshop effects thrown all around, feeling incredibly bland, cheap and sloppy, there’s barely any animation to speak of and the drawings just look rushed and half-assed, on one of the worst tries to do a decent climax on a opening that i’ve ever seen, is a sloppy, bland, bad-drawn mess, with shitty photoshop effects thrown all around, this looks so cheap and uninspired.

The final cut is also awful, the timing is just off, there’s no impact to this final shot, and the characters are incredibly bad-drawn and off-model, is another bland and impactless shitty shot to end this awful opening, that’s just a mediocre attempt to do a exciting opening, that fails terrible on its execution.

That final shot is dope, too, but it looks, like everything on this opening, made on a very old version of Photoshop on a Windows 95 for say at least, just bland and cheap as it can be.

Conclusion:

This opening is terribly executed, amateur-ish, bland, sloppy, uninspired and cheap mess, it just looks awful all around, and is a very mediocre beginning for the directorial career of Hirofumi Suzuki, if there’s any to speak of after this shit.

If i’m going to give it a qualification it would be…0 of 5 Masashi Ishihama’s.

Animator Spotlight – Hiroyuki Yamashita

ANN: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=59922

AniDB: https://anidb.net/perl-bin/animedb.pl?show=creator&creatorid=23293

Sakugabooru: https://sakugabooru.com/post?tags=hiroyuki_yamashita


-Started out in AIC on the mid-2000s, later, he will leave AIC for Gonzo and work during a few years on Gonzo on shows like Solty Rei and Pumpkin Scissors, where he didn’t destaques a lot, at least at first, after leaving Gonzo, he joined Pierrot on 2007.
-On the same year, he debut as Key Animator on the famous long-running series Naruto, that then was beginning its second part, Naruto Shippuuden. The episode featured other young, raising animators, like Ryuta Yanagi and Masayuki Kouda, with the Sakkan being the experimented Ex-Ashi Production animator Yasuhiko Kanezuka, that later will become the Chief AD of the series.
-He started to be recognizable since the very beginning, but didn’t strike as a really talented animator until the episode 21, where he did the Neji vs Neji scene, with the same storyboarder as the episode 17, Kei Jumonji, but with the Ex-Kyoto Animation talented animator Gorou Sessha as the Sakkan, starting a relation that will is still there today between the two talented animators, that episode also featured the youngster Shigeki Kawai and Hiromi Ishigami, that will leave Pierrot to build a prestige by themselves, Hiromi Ishigami as an excellent animator and Shigeki Kawai as a director, the same happened with Gorou Sessha, that directed ReZero earlier this year.
-He since then as slowly becoming better, starting to do really impressive animation on the 2010s and then becoming one of the best animators and directors of Pierrot, the place that is now, a animator and a director of prestige, directing his very first movie with Boruto: The Movie, a awesome piece of animation with a awesome list of A-List animators, like Hirofumi Masuda, Kouichi Arai, Naoki Kobayashi, Norio Matsumoto, Arifumi Imai, Tetsuya Nishio, between others, with an awesome direction, clearly understanding what Naruto is about, and trying to expand it on many interesting ways.
-On the production of that movie, he ended up being carried by the ambulance, from the studio to the clinic three times on about one year, for over exhaustion, lack of sleep, etcetera.
-During a long time, he, along with Masayuki Kouda and another excellent animators like Kengo Matsumoto, Shigeki Kawai, etc were the backbones of the production, producing a lot of good quality episodes really fast, sometimes with only 4 episodes of separation between them, raising the bar of quality of the series for ones 60 episodes.
-He only left Pierrot one time after 2007, working on Keiichi Hara’s first non-Doraemon or Shin-Chan film, Colorful, released on 2010, being produced by Sunrise, he probably was attracted by his close friend Norio Matsumoto to work on said film.
-There are many flourishes to his style, that you can easily connect if you look closely:

  • His fingers are slender, with a very recognizable rectangular shape, and very flat, like if they were kind of paper-made fingers, and the fingernails have a half-moon shape.
  • His mouths are recognizable by their “sinking cheeks”, intersecting the corner of the mouth with an oblique line, with a lot of shading.
    Maintaining on his mouths, he has a stylized lip-synch, pretty similar to Hirofumi Suzuki and Toshiyuki Tsuru.
  • His face are detailed, with a lot of marks and idiosyncrasies, he also makes everyone look 500% more badass, frogs included [Really]
  • He uses blur and other effects, to achieve major impact, there are even scenes where the punches are so hard that the lines get out of the drawings or that the punches are so hard that the characters become a formless blur on the screen during a second!
  • He also features triangular swords, and his special effects are all with the same pattern: thin lines and rectangular shapes
  • His drawings always maintain on a zone of believable and consistent but still stylish feel to them, never going full off model and maintaing the laws of physics.
  • On battle scenes, the attacks have a certain rhythm to them, that makes you feel almost like the characters are dancing, on a series of progressive movements that seems to connect effortless one with the other.

-Directing, he often take things from cinema, with a really cinematic feel to the things that he directs, like, interchanging hits without any music, just to make you feel the tension, or amazingly ambitious mix of 3DCGI and 2D animation that makes you just feel impressed.
-He has served as inspiration to various animators, including Tatsuya Koyanagi, Chengxi Huang and Naoki Kobayashi, that had become excellent animators on their own right.