The Animation of Hunter x Hunter 1999 – Part Two: DEEN/Nippon Animation Supervisors

Masaaki Kannan [河南 正昭]

His style was pretty much the basic of the series: Regular, rect lines, big, round eyes, big and rect eyebrows and pointy hair, with a little, pointy nose to finish his sample of the characters, the animation of his episodes were mostly functional, not a lot flashy, most concentrated on maintaing solid drawings than on good animation, with basic layouts and very basic, and honestly, soul-less movements and expressions, keeping it on a very safe place.

He also maintained a very solid, although, not stellar, team of DEEN’s animators, studio where he belonged, and still belongs until today, that was brought by Kazuhiro Furuhashi because his participation on Rurouni Kenshin a few years before, ending up on this anime, where he did some important episodes, such as the very first one, he abandoned the production after Zoldyck Family Arc and didn’t appeared once on the Genei Ryodan arc, nor on the OVAs.

Also, he has sometimes some quality animation by members of Studio Mu and Studio Takuranke, that once a while did Key Animation on his episodes, such as Eiji Komatsu.

Key Animators:
Hiromi Oikawa [及川ひろみ]
Emi Sakamoto [ さかもとえみ]
Yoshitaka Sato [佐藤良隆]
Takao Takegami [竹上貴雄]
Toshio Deguchi [出口としお]
Fumino Fujii [藤井文乃]
Masahiro Furihata [降旗昌弘]
Shogo Morishita [森下昇吾]
Kazuhiko Abe [阿部和彦]
Chikara Sakurai [桜井親良]
Sumiko Matsumoto [松本澄子]
Masaru Hyodo [兵渡勝]

Not Regular Key Animators:
Shinobu Tagashira [田頭しのぶ]
Mayumi Oda [小田真弓]
Eiji Komatsu [小松英司]
Akihide Saito [斎藤明英]
Ryo Komori [小森良]
Takuji Abe [あべたくじ]
Mamoru Abiko [安彦守]
Tomoaki Kado [門智昭]
Hitoshi Suzuki [鈴木仁史]
Koji Hirama [平馬浩司]

Episodes that he appeared: #1, #5, #9, #13, #19, #24, #30, #36

Tateru Namikaze [波風 立流]

His style is principally round faces and eyes, pointy noses, big and round eyebrows, the drawings on his episodes are a lot more similar than the ones that you can found on Pokemon that the ones of the series itself, making it a anomaly into the series, a episode that look straight out of Pokemón on the third episode of Hunter x Hunter, the animation on the episode was pretty average, nothing stand out for looking either really good or really bad, except a standout scene that i still don’t know who animated it at the half of the ep, just as average as you can be on this series, also, his staff was pretty much the same as Masaaki Kannan, but with more members of Studio Mu into it.

Episodes that he appeared: #3

Takayuki Hirao


-He, at first, wanted very hardly to be a mangaka, but with the time, he decided to instead, try a career on anime industry, entering on the Osaka Design Vocational School, after spending two years here, he was employed by Tokyo Studio Madhouse.

-He started out on the studio as a Production Assistant, as early as 1999, with him being only twenty years old, debuted on the Akitaro Daichi’s anime Jubei-Chan as a Production Assistant, and spent approximately four years on that position

-After being trained under  Kou Matsuo, he finally did his debut on TV anime with the episode eight of Hiroshi Hamasaki’s full series directorial debut: Texhnolyze

-With only one year of entering as Episode Director, he was charged with his more important role so far: Being the episode director of Paranoia Agent’s episode one, and process Satoshi Kon’s storyboard, at the end, he did a good job at it, doing assistant episode director duties on other six episodes, including the final episode and one of the best and most ambitious episodes of all time, episode nine.

-After that, he left Madhouse and joined ufotable, being his first series on the studio also his full directorial debut, Futakoi Alternative, with him on charge of the creative process while Hikaru Kondo was on charge on the planning and the technical process of the series, since Hikaru Kondo wasn’t as good as Hirao on the creative.

-His work on Futakoi Alternative presented a lot of his trademarks, including dynamic camerawork and precise control of timing and the passage of time, with slow-motion and speed-ups, tightly controlling the pacing of the scenes, and have a good sense of what you can do on anime controlling the space and the time of the series.

-He’s mainly inspired by three directors: The legendary Satoshi Kon, his friend Tetsuro Araki and Kawajiri’s student Hiroshi Hamasaki, taking clues of the screen organization of the first, the timing and the camerawork of the second and the color choices of the third to create his unique style, separated from them and incredibly recognizable, and you can feel it perfectly on his storyboards:


-On the scene of this storyboard, belonging to the fifth movie of Kara no Kyoukai, that he directed, by the way, ufotable used CG models as reference, like Kyoto Animation did about the same time for K-ON!.

-He was still tied to Madhouse, and he directed four more pieces at Madhouse: Kurozuka #9, were Araki ask to overdo the truck action, and he delivered pretty well, High School of The Dead #8, where Araki asked again to something funny with the breasts and Hirao did the best thing possible: MATRIX TITS, that is still one of my favorite scenes of all time despite its absurd, Shigurui #7, delivering one of the best episodes of said series and Death Note #36, as you can see, all of that episodes are by the series of Tetsuro Araki and Hiroshi Hamasaki, two of his best Madhouse friends.

-After being involved on the Kara no Kyoukai series for ufotable, he was put on charge of a promotional video for the videogame God Eater:


-Said promotional video was written, SB’d and directed by Hirao himself, so it’s good to check his style, with his dynamic camerawork and sense of timing, i’m going to adjunt the storyboard for the action scenes:



-After directing various OVAs at ufotable as Sakura no Ondo, Gyo and Majocco Shimai no Yoyo to Nene, he was put on charge of God Eater, which production was heavily troubled, delays and delays, unfinished episodes, difficult designs, that ended up on a horrible production that ended up its original premiere with only nine of the 13 planned episodes, with a lot of delayed episodes and weeks and weeks without episodes at all, finally the episodes 10, 11, 12 and 13 were premiered over six months later, on that series, Hirao wrote all the episodes, SB’d all the episodes and even was the sound director, being his major project to date, check it out if you want to see a talented director handling more than the production can and said production collapsing pretty fast because this, difficult designs and tight schedule, enjoy!



Ron’s Watching List

This is just a list to remind myself of the series that i’m going to watch during the next months.


-Supernatural: The Animation [Dir. by Shigeyuki Miya & Atsuko Ishizuka]
-Hitsuji no Uta [Dir. by Gisaburo Sugii]
-Alderamin [Dir. by Tetsuo Ichimura]
-Kobato [Dir. by Mitsuyuki Masuhara]
-Tokyo Babylon [Dir. by Koichi Chigira]
-Aquarian Age [Dir. by Yoshimitsu Ohashi]
-Hanayamata [Dir. by Atsuko Ishizuka]
-Trinity Blood [Dir. by Tomohiro Hirata]
-Tokyo Tribe 2 [Dir. by Tatsuo Sato]
-Mars Daybreak [Dir. Kunihiro Mori]
-Yuri on Ice!! [Dir. by Sayo Yamamoto]
-Yu-Sibu [Dir. by Kinji Yoshimoto]
-Noein [Dir. by Kazuki Akane]
-Princess Lover! [Dir. by Hiromitsu Kanazawa]

-Paranoia Agent [Dir. by Satoshi Kon]
-Gankutsuou [Dir. by Mahiro Maeda]

The animation of Hunter x Hunter 1999 – Part One: Core Staff

The Core Staff

The director is Kazuhiro Furuhashi [古橋 一浩], he started out on Studio DEEN on the 80s, and is one of the better directors out there, despíte not having any clear trademark or defined style, Kazuhiro Furuhashi is more a jack of all trades, he can directed everything from comedy [Ranma 1/2] to historical action [Rurouni Kenshin] to military anime [Zipang] and mechas [Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn], with a very realistic and down to earth sensibility, not ultra realistic, but yes more focused on little details, as well as realistic lighting, his series often present detailed, realistic designs, by the likes of Atsuko Nakajima, Yoshihiko Umakoshi, Kumiko Takahashi, etc, that serves perfectly to his realistic, down to earth vision of anime.

Assisting him here is Toshiyuki Kato [加藤 敏幸] , a Studio Gallop director that he contacted during the production of Rurouni Kenshin, his style also is very discret, realistic and down-to-earth, with some very smart use of transitions, framing and angles, that makes his episodes really enjoyable, and overall, fun.

After the TV series, on the OVA both of them were replaced by Satoshi Saga [嵯峨 敏], that actually started on animation, while Furuhashi and Kato started on the producer seat, in his case, worked on various sakuga OVAs of the 80s after becoming a director, he’s on general, less competent than them, even if he can communicate better with the animators and have more visual symbolism, with some surrealistic scenes here and there, instead of the down-to-earth approach of Kato and Furuhashi, he will later reappear on the franchise as the storyboarder and unit director on the Hunter x Hunter: Last Mission movie, that, even being a lot better than the awful Phantom Rouge, is still one of the most mediocre entries of the franchise, even if it is probably the entry with better animation.

And note: I’m not covering Greed Island OVAs here, these things don’t exist, nobody is going to convince me the contrary.

The Character Design is handled by two people:

Shinobu Tagashira [田頭 しのぶ], starting out as animator on Yumeta Company at the mid 1990s, the OVA was his first job as Character Designer, his designs are pretty realistic, but more “Anime” and closer to Togashi designs that Takayuki Goto’s ones, his designs are also quite similar to Shingeki no Kyojin’s ones 13 years after, and  indeed Kyoji Asano was one of the ADs here, that’s for the first OVA too, on the Greed Islands his designs convert into a ugly mess of all the anime design cliches of the early 2000s, extremely disgusting to the eyes, and then he was kicked off completely for G.I. Final, that ended up with some of the ugliest designs that i ever seen on anime, courtesy of Tetsuro Aoki, god, that these OVAs were awful, someone can just erase them from existence?

And Takayuki Goto [後藤 隆幸], we already know his story, started on Tatsunoko Production and then left it along with Mitsuhisa Ishikawa to found his own studio, Production I.G [Production Ishikawa Goto], he ended up here thanks to Furuhashi’s links with Production I.G, and god, that was a excellent choice, his designs are wonderful, just the most appealing and realistic that Togashi’s designs has ever been, also, he did sakkan work on what is probably one of the best openings of all time:

That features some fantastic work by Akira Matsushima [松島 晃], that is one of the main figures that made this series so great, great animator all over.

The art directors were Nobuto Sakamoto [坂本 信人] and Shigeru Morimoto [森元 茂], of Studio Bic and Atelier Louge, respectively, while Sakamot0’s art is functional and moody, Morimoto’s is at another level, just beautiful, realistic, moody art, that combined with a superior schedule thanks to the OVA quality, is utterly wonderful, some of the best backgrounds that i’ve ever seen on anime.

Like everything, this aspect take a hit on the Greed Island OVAs, with some of the most generic pieces of background art that i’ve ever seen, that are very below functional, is just a awful, dried out version of at, contrary, a wonderful  scenery, that the 2011 version made justice later.

On the photography, like, everything, is handled by two people: Hidetoshi Watanabe [渡辺 英俊] and Seiichi Morishita [森下成一], both of them use the photography here to create a dark, tense and depressing atmosphere, while still maintaing realism and naturalism, with the lighting being as realistic as possible, not like the Greed Island OVAs and the 2011 version, where everything look like there was a light focus above the characters all the time, like a play, or a musical video, in this sense, the ’99 version is fantastic and is one of the better depictions of Togashi’s world ever, that even being a shounen, is a pretty dark world, and both of them get the memo.

And finally, a deconstruction of all the studios present on the series, that i’m going to talk more extensively on the second part:

TV Series:

Nippon Animation/Studio DEEN: Sakkan: Masaaki Kannan [eps 1, 5, 9, 13, 19, 24, 30, 36], Tateru Namikaze [ep 3]
Studo Mu/AIC/Jec. E: Masahide Yangisawa [ep 7], Shinobu Tagashira [eps 11, 17, 22, 28, 34, 40, 42, 46, 50, 54, 58, 62]
Jec. E: Sakkan: Akira Matsushima [eps 11, 15, 20, 26, 32, 38, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60]
Anime R/Synergy SP: Sakkan: Koichi Hatsumi [eps 12, 21, 33, 39, 43, 49], Masahiro Kase [eps 2, 6, 16, 57]
Daizo Productions: Sakkan: Tomoki Mizuno [ep 14]
Production Add/Anime R: Sakkan: Tomoaki Sakiyama [eps 8, 27, 35]
Production I.G/Production Add: Sakkan: Takayuki Goto [eps 23, 29, 41, 45, 61], Kyoji Asano [ep 51], Akiko Nagashima [ep 55]
Artland: Sakkan: Masaki Hyuga [ep 53], Kenichi Imaizumi [eps 4, 10, 18, 25, 31, 37, 47, 59]


Artland: Sakkan: Masaru Koseki [eps 5, 8], Kenichi Imaizumi [ep 2]
Production I.G: Sakkan: Kyoji Asano [eps 1, 4, 7]
Picture Magic: Sakkan: Tadashi Oppata [eps 3, 6]




Recommended [And No Recommended] Recent Anime – First Half of 2014

One day, tired of hearing youtube videos and forum posts of how anime is dead, how it isn’t the same anymore, Ron come to his house, angry and tired, he opened up the wordpad and started writing a series of recommended anime of the last three years that show that anime isn’t dead, but more alive than ever, and at the same time, a list of anti-recommended anime, just to see.

This post is going to be on chronological order, from Winter 2014 to Fall 2016, every anime that is there, Ron has at least, watched three episodes, even if he hadn’t finished them, but Ron rarely finish anything to begin with, every recommended anime will be accompanied with a Anti-Recommendation, a anime that you shouldn’t watch, never, for any reason.

Winter 2014:


Space Dandy:


This anime is a celebration of the craft, everyone relevant on the industry of TV anime and that is alive, is here, under the belt of the two best creative directors of all time: The young Shingo Natsume and the experienced Shinichiro Watanabe, and one of the major producers of the industry, with extremely prolific connections that expands for all over the industry: Masahiko Minami, is created this fest, and everyone on the industry was invited.

This show was awesome from beginning to end, just a explosion of creativity and love for anime, a love letter to anime, from saying it on a way, explores so much many talents across all the industry [and all the world too] on a very densely packaged on animation and creative directing 26 episodes, 13 during Winter, and then other 13 during Summer, with a extremely lengthy production span to prepare it, the final result is unlike anything else.

Recommended episodes includes Yoshitomo Yonetani x Yoshimichi Kameda’s Dancing Competition, Sayo Yamamoto’s Rock episode, Kiyotaka Oshiyama’s solo episode, Takaaki Wada’s musical episode, Masaaki Yuasa’s amazing episode, All of Shingo Natsume’s episodes, EunYoung Choi’s Beautiful Episode, Hiroshi Shimizu’s first episode, Goro Taniguchi’s space race, Namimi Sanjo’s Zombie invasion, Hiroshi Hamasaki’s episode, etcetera.


Mahou Sensou


If a Space Dandy was celebration of the craft, Mahou Sensou was a bad hangover were the craft was so depressed that attempted a suicide.

Everything on this anime fails on so many levels, the writing is bad, generic and stupid at the unconceivable points, hell, didn’t even the author of the original novel thinks that the story is any good, and is the author, goddamit! The direction is pretty functional, not a lot of creativity here, just long still shots and boring angles, without any effort put on photography and coloring whatsoever and the animation was just awful, they go all the way to reclute Ryouma Ebata, a excellent animator to do the designs, to kill his designs every episode with low-quality drawings and barely average animation that just kills the series at all and become of it a borefest of pretty awesome levels, Yuzo Sato’s series always were conceivable because they had good writing, but his attempt to do something decent with such awful story and such scarce resources ends up just being an awful mess.

Spring 2014:


Mushishi Zoku Shou


This is a beautiful anime, just for beginning to end, it takes you to a magical place, where everything is calm and slow, without the complications that you have on the real world, it’s like a really good drug, that immerse you on its ambient before you ever recognize, and slowly drowning you on a feel of immense calm and peace, every story is a amazing watch, all thanks to Hiroshi Nagahama’s direction, that, by the way, he did almost all the storyboards of this season of Mushishi, which is a impressive effort, and Yoshihiko Umakoshi and his peers animation, recommending Eiji Abiko’s episode 2 above all of them, with some awesome, but very subtle character animation that just adds to the whimsical and magical feeling of this series, go watch it.

Ping Pong: The Animation


Even with the inconsistent schedule and the indeed, shocking visual style, this show is a awesome human drama, you feel every feeling and thought of the characters, Masaaki Yuasa’s attempt to fight the tight schedule and at the same time, maintaing a unified look, is storyboard all of the episodes by himself, everything, from the visual symbolism, to the angles and the layouts is incredibly well done, the characters are incredibly well developed for a 11-episode series and the final result is a genuine, touching, human drama, that scapes of the norm of sports anime, these characters aren’t trophes so you 14-years old jerk can self-insert it, but instead, they are genuine, real, humans, the ones that we definitively need more on anime.

Also, everyone complaining about the visual style, go fuck yourself, with love, Ron ❤


Mekaku City Actors

Remember what i said of Ping Pong? Well, on that, it worked very well, here, it doesn’t work at all.

This is ugliness made on anime, everything there looks extremely ugly and unfinished because the incredibly tight schedule on which the series was made, and the director’s vision sucks very hard, this just tries too hard of being avant-garde and innovative, but, god lord, this looks so fucking ugly, from horribly painful CGI sequences to unfinished coloring, this series has all the issues of a incredible tight schedule, not accompanying very well by a awfully generic story, like, this is Yuki Yase’s try on make a turd onto something interesting, and only converting it on a bigger turd.

Everything that i said is pretty sad cause there’s talented people here, hell, the character designer is the fucking Gen’ichirou Abe, one of SHAFT’s all-time better animators, but the schedule just kills this series.

Gokukoku no Brynhildr


I’m just going to left the second opening of the series here:

If you ears and eyes are still fine, yes, the series is equally unpleasant of watch, don’t watch it, you are going to lost 300 minutes of your life that you can spend watching all of Ping Pong: The Animation and two episodes of Mushishi: Zoku Shou

Review: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu s2 #2

On this episode, is discovered that Yotaro was, on previous times, a yakuza member, and that even has a large criminal history, causing a big scandal that ended up on the descent of his popularity and he, incapable of resist the pressure, showing his Irezumi tattoo (A tatto style traditional of Japan, associated with the Yakuza] on the back during a live performance.

This episode use Yotaro’s past to treat the already old topic of “More Fame, More Problems” of a new manner, focused on Japanese culture and media, and how a little mistake can kill your career if the people don’t forgive you, we have been present on these cases on real life, being the most publicized case the one of Aya Hirano, that caused a big scandal between Otaku of all the world, in her case, was a sexual scandal, on the occident, that normally would mean a big boost of popularity and publicity for a artist around the premiere of his new movie or music album, but on this case, Aya Hirano’s career take a huge hit, being his roles everyday more scarce since then, incapable of maintain a full-time acting agency, and everyone stigmatizing her since then, in her case, her pituitary gland tumor also didn’t help, and with time, she has been forgotten by the people, almost without receiving main roles since then, and almost disappeared out of the industry at this point.

In this case, Yotaro’s past as a Yakuza threat with end early his career and also kill the career of his master, Yakumo, that was dishonored by that fact on the eyes of the news, since he was the one that give a career to basically, a criminal, and both he and his master now are in the eye of a unforgivable japanese society and news, that never forget or forgive anyone, Yutaro takes the extra mile on demonstrating his tattoo on public on the middle of a live performance, that is something brave, but is also something that can directly kill his career definitely, or the society learns to forgive or he learns to forget his past and move along, demonstrating that is something more than a criminal that copies Sukeroku, that he is something unique, not that the unique difference between him and Sukeroku is that he was previously a Yakuza, he has to do his Rakugo to escape of that shadow and rise his career.

The theme is perfectly managed, with enough deepness and emotion to make you understand Yutaro on the position that he is now, a rising star with his career pending from a really, really, stretch thread, that can break in any moment, and ends his career, he wants to give a future to Konatsu and her kid, he’s just trying to do the best, but between the press and his past, he’s pressured to do the best, and not disappear and be forgotten from the story, along with the Rakugo art in general.

At the same time we have the desire of Yakumo to carry off the Rakugo along with him when he dies, but with Yotaro and this new character that i forgotten his name [lol], wanting to modernize Rakugo and don’t wanting Yakumo to carry off Rakugo with him, wanting to write his story on books and create new Rakugos to future Rakugokas to recite on the future, they want the art to keep advancing and not becoming another lost art, as many other Japanese arts that not supported the end of the imperialism, if Rakugo has survived over 300 years, why die now?

On the technical side of the things, Shinichi Omata SB’d the episode, was pretty reserved on direction, not a lot of flashy direction, very functional, with a impressive focus on feets and hands to represent emotions on this episode, that’s pretty much a standard of the series already, the trademark of the series for saying it on a way. Hirofumi Morimoto, Yumi Nakayama and Mayuko Kato were the sakkans, while Tomomi Kimura was the Chief Sakkan and the Top KA of the episode, pretty average animation, mostly functional, some nice moments of character animation and good faces here and there, nothing off-model, in general, nice-looking, like almost all of the series.

Another good thing about the episode was the music, fantastic as usual, Kana Shibue is a pretty new talent to watch out, expecting more series for her, her music is perfect for this series.

Also, we have new opening, marking the directorial debut of animator Tomomi Kimura too, that was also the Top KA of the opening, while Atsuko Nakajima was the Sakkan and Shinichi Omata was storyboarder, in general, is a very good ass opening, later i will expand about its meaning on a entry of Let’s Talk About Openings!, wait for it. By the way, there was a mysterious animator on the episode using the name of “Mai.”, someday i will discover who is.

Recent Viewing


I’m starting to rewatch Sakamichi no Apollon, it has a incredible amount of detail on every shot, that makes it good to watch just to see how many jazz references i can caught, without going on more, there’s a scene with the characters on the disc store where you can see a good amount of Miles Davis discs released until 1959 [time where the series is ambiented in] behind the characters, on incredibly photorealistic covers, recreated perfectly from the original discs for the background staff.


Other cool details are that the grand piano of the protagonist is of exactly  the same number of keys as a real grand piano and is a Yamaha grand piano, as we can see, with the logo that they used on that times, and i think that even a nerd of specific Yamaha grand pianos can even guess which model is, i think that is a Yamaha Baby Grand Piano of the late 50s, which, again, fits perfectly with the time that is ambiented the series.


Also, they present another photorealistic cover of a Jazz album on the end of the episode, where they present the classic Art Blakey’s Moanin’, of which year? 1958, again, fits perfectly with the time that is ambiented the series, the title track, that is touched by Sentarou on the episode, composed by Bobby Timmons, was an instantaneous classic, and the album’s title changed from “Art Blakey” to “Moanin'” with the success of that single.


The direction was phenomenal, Shinichiro Watanabe SB’d it, while the then newcomer Kotomi Deai was on charge of process his storyboard, the result was a very nice episode, with a interesting use of the camera and the music, as usual of Shinichiro Watanabe.

On the animation, Cindy H. Yamauchi was Sakkan, the episode looked flawless, clearly the Sakkan has exceptional drawing skills, and created a pretty good episode, also, there’s 3 assistants sakkans, but these are less important.


The animation highlight was definitely Hironori Tanaka’s action scene, that isn’t as polished as the rest of the episode, since the Sakkan left it uncorrected, but is really fluid and realistic, it looked like real people fighting, that’s good assort of this anime, that makes the characters move like real people the majority of the time, especially on difficult scenes like that.


Also, both the opening and the ending are some of the best that i’ve watched on all time, by Kazuto Nakazawa and Akemi Hayashi, respectively, these are two masterpiece, gotta do something with these ones someday.

On the anime of the season, meanwhile:



This was a pretty reserved premiere, a lot of good layouts here and there, nothing special. The opening was pretty cool and with a bunch of wallpaper-like images along with a pretty cool theme, the ending was simply beautiful, solo KA’d by newcomer Izumi Murakami, is a joy to watch, looking like something that Shinji Hashimoto or Kenichi Konishi would made, we are present on the birth of a new legendary animator. The second episode is going to be outsourced to DR. MOVIE, meh…

Akiba’s Trip: Funny, but nothing interesting, shut outs to Seong-Ho Park and Tamotsu Ogawa, great job on the episodes.

Onihei: Even if the photography and animation are incredibly bad, the direction, music and the script is enough good to make me watch more of it, even if almost all of the episodes are going to be outsourced, since #1 is outsourced to Dr. Movie and the #3 is confirmed to be outsourced to Dangun Pictures.

Youjo Senki: The effects animation is great, the character designs are incredibly unsettling, everything else is mediocre.

MaiDragon: Really funny, incredible Yoshinori Urata’s work on the episode, incredibly detailed stuff, apparently the animators were observing reptiles and birds to do the animation, is incredible that this level of dedication can be destinated to a simply gag comedy, but, KyoAni.

KonoSuba S2: Really funny, the animation was really funny tho, you can sense that the animators are having real fun making the episode, also, Kazunori Ozawa’s explosions are pretty awesome, he love explosions, and he love to mimic the styles of legendary animators, looking forward to this animator’s future work.

LWA S2: This basically.

Rakugo S2: Pretty excellent beginning, excellent presentation of the themes and fantastic direction, the opening is one of the bests of the season tho.

Also, i started watching Uchoten Kazoku, good layouts and character animation, nothing special in my opinion.



Animator Spotlight – Shinpei Sawa

Shinpei Sawa [澤 真平]


-He graduated from the KyoAni school on 2009, debuting as In-Betweener on K-ON!! after finished their animation course.
-On the KyoAni school, Noriyuki Kitanohara was one of his instructors, learning the ropes from him and another KyoAni animators.
-He has stated diverse times on interviews that he likes to animate scenes with effects and flashy action, much like his mentor, Noriyuki Kitanohara, who was the main Mecha and effects ace on Kyoto Animation, while the rest of the studio was more focused on character animation and layouts than on action and effects.
-Ascended to key animation on Nichijou #2, with his drawings being corrected by KyoAni’s legendary animator Yukiko Horiguchi.
-He quickly stood out on the studio, being trusted with demanding, intricate scenes, as well as action, effects and obviously, mechas, converting on one of the aces on the field of Kyoto Animation, again, unlike the rest of the studio, that’s more focused on other aspects of animation, he excels on these fields like none other on the studio -maybe only Hiroyuki Takahashi and Noriyuki Kitanohara are the better on these aspects than him-
-He has strong imagination, so he tends to designs monsters and mechas for the anime that require them, was very happy seeing the monsters that he designed for Phantom World so carefully animated by the animation team of the series, emerging a desire to create and that his creations were represented on a correct way.
-On the last year, he started to be trained as Director under his mentor back then on Kyoto Animation school, Noriyuki Kitanohara, on the episode eight of the second season of Hibike! Euphonium, and after that, he’s scheduled to debut as Episode Director on KyoAni’s new series MaiDragon, under KyoAni legendary director Yasuhiro Takemoto, let’s see what the future has for him!

Studio Spotlight: Anime R

Anime R [アニメアール]

-Located on Osaka, the studio was established in the late 1970s by veteran animator Moriyasu Taniguchi.
-They have a “brother” studio called Studio Mu, that’s most centered on character animation, while Anime R is majoritarily centered on mechanical animation.
-The founders members were animators Moriyasu Taniguchi and Hiromi Muranaka, the later one leaving to fund hir own studio, Studio Mu, most centered on character animation, the speciality of his section of Anime R.
-The studio received a lot of graduates from the Osaka University of Design, such as Fumiko Kishi and Kazuaki Mouri.
-Anime R gained certain reputation and popularity as a high quality outsourced studio, participating on Ryousuke Takahashi’s real robot works such as Votoms or Layzner, as well as Tsuchida Pro’s works like “Sasuga no Sarutobi”
-They trained a lot of now great animators, such as Pro I.G aces Kazuchika Kise and Hiroyuki Okiura, that started them road on the industry here, and later moved to Tatsunoko I.G, a subsidiary of Tatsunoko Production founded by Mitsuhisa Ishikawa and Takayuki Goto, that later will become Production I.G, a powerhouse of realistic, high-quality anime since then, being Kazuchika Kise the one in charge of Studio 2.
-They specialized on realistic, detailed, intricate mecha action, with incredibly detailed mechas and effects created by the hands of individuals such as Toru Yoshida and Hiroyuki Okiura.
-Another big chunk has left for Bones and Sunrise, studios where Anime R usually did subcontracted work, like Asako Nishida, trained by Sawako Yamamoto, Takahiro Kimura and Hiroshi Osaka, two of the founders of Bones, and the talented mecha animators Fumiaki Kouta and Seiichi Nakatani.
-They have a individualistic culture, most centered on creating talented, unique animators that on creating a simple, nonsensical studio trademark, being this approach decreasing the most recent years, with less and less talented animators and more “functional” ones entering usually the studio now.
-Since the 90s, the studio have been decreasing quality, being now heavily concentrated on make simply functional animation and on-model drawings, they keep being solicited cause the crazy drawing speed of individuals of the studio such as Takenori Tsukuma, Yuuichi Nakazawa and Toru Yoshida, that can produce a incredibly amount of Gengas per episode, while being busy on other projects, thanks to their hard training on the studio.
-A lot of the studio’s most talented animators had eventually left, keeping the most functional, speedy ones, again, more concentrated on doing on-model drawings at a fast pace that doing good animation at a not so fast pace now, various of their animators left the industry, other migrated to the brother studio Studio Mu, others left for major studios like Production I.G and Bones, etcetera.
-The studio has been constantly concentrated on subcontractor work, they haven’t produced a full production, mainly because lack of personal to do these things, they are just a small, subcontract studio.
Destacable animators that are still affiliated with the studio:
Moriyasu Taniguchi, Masahiro Kase, Takenori Tsukuma, Yuuichi Nakazawa, Naoko Nakamoto, Toru Yoshida, Koichi Takai, Hiroyuki Terada, etc
Destacable animators that passed for the studio at some point:
Kazuaki Mouri, Masahiko Itojima, Hiroshi Osaka, Hiroyuki Okiura, Shuzilow. HA, Takahiro Komori, Masahide Yanagisawa, Takahiro Kimura, Sadatoshi Matsuzaka, Hiromi Muranaka, Sawako Yamamoto, Kazuchika Kise, Asako Nishida, Seiichi Nakatani, Toshiyuki Kono, Takeshi Morita, Fumiaki Kouta, Hiroki Harada, etc

Animator Spotlight – Shingo Natsume

Shingo Natsume [夏目 真悟]


-He started his career as an inbetween animator on J.C Staff, being promoted to key animator after just only one year of entering the studio, on the 2004 series The Melody Of Oblivion, Directed by Hiroshi Nishiokori and Co-Produced by GAINAX, being his drawings corrected on that occasion by the veteran animator and character designer of the series Shinya Hasegawa
-Just one year after his debut, he started working with Gonzo, Mahiro Maeda’s studio, usually collaborating with fellow young animator Erkin Kawabata, that debuted as Key Animator on 2002, and then started fast ascending roles on Gonzo, being just on some years of being there, the go-to director for both punching human drama and intricate action, being able to pull of both of them thanks to his comprehension of framing and excellent action choreographies.
-Here, on Gonzo, with Erkin Kawabata, worked on a lot of pieces, with a initial style very reminiscent of Hisashi Mori and the recent webgen movement that started to appear on these times, guys like Ryoochimo, Tomoyuki Niho and Shingo Yamashita, that started to shape their own vision of anime, self-taught rebellious kids that didn’t go with the conventions of the industry at all, having similar visions, Shingo Natsume eventually became friend of them.
-Thanks to Erkin Kawabata, Shingo Natsume perfected his understanding of layouts and action choreography, and became better on these aspects, that worked for him on his later career as director.
-A stylistic trait of him that started to appear on these time were thick black highlights on his animation, to make it standout.
-Thanks to his work on Gonzo, made friends with legendary animator Kenichi Konishi and became acquainted of Shin-Ei Animation studio, where he worked on various Doraemon movies.
-His friendship with Akira Amemiya ended up on him working on Gurren Lagann, his work was praised by Series Director Hiroyuki Imaishi, that, by Imaishi, resembled the animation of both Shinya Ohira and Hisashi Mori, two legendaries animators.
-After knowing legendary director Masaaki Yuasa and debuting as storyboarder on Tatami Galaxy #6, he shifted to direction for the next years, after doing unit direction on the movie of FullMetal Alchemist, where his friend Kenichi Konishi was working on as Character Designer, on that time, he also became friends with Gosei Oda, Yoshimichi Kameda and Se-Jun Kim, that were fundamental pieces of his next works as director.
-Thanks to Yuasa, he also became acquainted with studio Madhouse, where he shaped big part of his career on.
-The big opportunity for him came when legendary director Shinichiro Watanabe invited him to direct Space Dandy, the most ambitious project of his career, where he would take charge of general directorial responsibilities instead of Watanabe, while Watanabe was on charge of other tasks surrounding the series.
-One year after the finishing of Space Dandy, he was invited by Madhouse to direct ONE’s manga One Punch Man, with a stellar team, inviting the ex-GAINAX animator Chikashi Kubota as Character Design, and Natsume brought all his team, a entire army of young and old animators, that included from Hidehiko Sawada to Bahi JD and from Miso to the legendary Yutaka Nakamura, and became a hit, as expected by the studio.
-After finishing it, was place on charge of ACCA, the adaptation of one of the most recent Natsume Ono’s manga, inviting Madhouse’s very own Norifumi Kugai as the Character Designer, known by Shingo Natsume after he worked Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, being the rest of the staff pretty much the same as of One Punch Man, trying to show another side of his talent, a more restrained one, with less flashy animation and more appealing layouts and designs, let’s see how that one ends up!