One of the most difficult periods to retrace in Kanada’s career is his early days. His first credit dates from late 1970, as an in-betweener on the Tôei series Mahô no Mako-chan. He then did in-betweening and maybe key animation until his first credited key animation on Akado Suzunosuke #41 and #48 in late 1972 (the episodes aired in early 1973). Kanada had already joined Studio Z, and it’s around then that the chronology gets blurry.
It is tempting, as is always the case with great artists, to imagine Yoshinori Kanada as a solitary shooting star who appeared and revolutionized Japanese animation from nowhere, a pure genius whose inscription in a historical context is almost irrelevant to understanding his work. The very nature of this project goes against such a vision, as it aims for two things: 1) not just evoking Kanada, but all those he met and inspired, and their own careers, and 2) a history that takes into account not just the artists, but the evolution of their styles and their relationships with the general context of the animation industry at the time.
Animétudes celebrates its first anniversary! It has been a relatively short time, but the blog has grown a lot and I’m very thankful for that. So, first of all, I thank all my readers and those who have followed me during this adventure. I have done a bit of reflection over the past and future of the blog here. This time, to celebrate, I’d like to come back over my own relationship with animation and sakuga by highlighting some of my favorite animated sequences.
Animation has an affinity with shape-shifting, to the point that even saying this is cliché. Since one of the first theoretical texts on animation, Serguei Eisenstein’s Notes on Walt Disney, the ability for objects to change forms at will has always been considered essential to the medium. That’s what Eisenstein called “plasmaticness”: the fact that animated objects and characters aren’t made of real matter, but rather of a sort of “plasma” that’s perpetually open to alteration. This is why animation has always been understood through the lenses of fairy tales, fantasies and phantasmagories.
Writing about animation isn’t easy. In my experience, the two pitfalls you’re bound to run into at some point are evaluation and description. Evaluation means that you have to justify that what you’re writing about is worth writing about: in other words, that it’s good or interesting in some way. But these are of course … Continue reading Motion/Movement
You might be aware that 2020 has been a busy year. For the world at large, of course (and I’m not going into that), but for me as well. I moved into an apartment of my own, began working on a Master’s thesis, organized a seminar on anime at my university and, of course, started … Continue reading Starting Point
The concept of realism in animation is a tricky one. Indeed, animation is thought to be the perfect medium to transcend reality and give shape to one’s wildest dreams - it has become a cliché to say that the animator’s imagination is the only limit. However, paradoxically, some of the most important artists and works in the medium have seemingly relinquished this aspect, believed to be essential.
As a conclusion for this series on the sakuga community, it seemed fitting to me to target a different audience - not the experienced sakuga fans who would be interested in the theory and history of the community, but those who’ve just started getting into it, or haven’t even yet. Basically, this isn’t going to be an essay like the others, but I’d like it to be used as a resource : a place to find other places to start getting into sakuga.
Toadette, who I interviewed for my sakuga series, is not just a writer, but also a maker of animator's reels. Here, they were kind enough to chronicle the making of a titanic work : a complete retrospective of the career of legendary Madhouse animator Manabu Ohashi.
The other articles in this series are available here : Part 1 ; Part 2 ; Part 3 ; Part 4 ; An interview with manuloz ; An interview with Blou ; An interview with Geth This series on the sakuga community is going to be half articles, half interviews of members of the community. … Continue reading Exploring sakuga – An interview with Toadette