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Featured image for Birth: a complete chronologyBackground image for Birth: a complete chronology

Birth: a complete chronology

Birth is an infamous name in Yoshinori Kanada’s career: often considered to be one of the animator’s most personal projects, it is also criticized for its confusing plot…

Animétudes

Featured image for The early days of Kaname ProBackground image for The early days of Kaname Pro

The early days of Kaname Pro

Studio Kaname Production is most famous for its OVA works, such as Birth and Genmu Senki Leda, which seem to embody the early years of the so-called “OVA…

Animétudes

Featured image for Ashi Production and the Pers-kun movementBackground image for Ashi Production and the Pers-kun movement

Ashi Production and the Pers-kun movement

Following 1979’s Galaxy Express 999, Yoshinori Kanada had become one of the top animators in Japan and would go on to be an inspiring figure for many of…

Animétudes

Featured image for Notes on Takahata & MiyazakiBackground image for Notes on Takahata & Miyazaki

Notes on Takahata & Miyazaki

The previous article on this blog, dedicated to Anne of Green Gables, contains a detailed discussion of Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki’s respective artistic evolutions between 1976 and…

Animétudes

Featured image for Anne of Green GablesBackground image for Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables is one of the most popular works in the World Masterpiece Theater series, both in Japan and in the English-speaking sphere. According to many…

Animétudes

Featured image for Mobile Police Patlabor 2 The MovieBackground image for Mobile Police Patlabor 2 The Movie

Mobile Police Patlabor 2 The Movie

Patlabor 2 is widely considered to be one of the best anime films ever made. For all those involved, it was an incredibly ambitious and important production, far…

Animétudes

Featured image for Mobile Police Patlabor The MovieBackground image for Mobile Police Patlabor The Movie

Mobile Police Patlabor The Movie

The two Patlabor movies directed by Mamoru Oshii are landmarks in anime history. Even without considering their intrinsic artistic qualities, their importance for the development of the aesthetics…

Animétudes

Featured image for The Story of PerrineBackground image for The Story of Perrine

The Story of Perrine

Like its 1977 predecessor Rascal the Raccoon, 1978’s The Story of Perrine is among the least-known World Masterpiece Theater entries in the English-speaking sphere. Such does not seem…

Animétudes

Featured image for The History of Tatsunoko – Conclusion: Tatsunoko diasporasBackground image for The History of Tatsunoko – Conclusion: Tatsunoko diasporas

The History of Tatsunoko – Conclusion: Tatsunoko diasporas

suo Yoshida’s death from liver cancer on September 5, 1977, is generally understood as a turning point in the history of studio Tatsunoko. Although his sickness was known…

Animétudes

Featured image for The History of Tatsunoko – 6 – RepetitionsBackground image for The History of Tatsunoko – 6 – Repetitions

The History of Tatsunoko – 6 – Repetitions

Without any aim to be comprehensive, this article will follow these developments and focus on two shows: 1974’s Hurricane Polymar and 1976’s Gowapper 5 Godam. Although very different,…

Animétudes

Featured image for The History of Tatsunoko – 5 – MaturitiesBackground image for The History of Tatsunoko – 5 – Maturities

The History of Tatsunoko – 5 – Maturities

If one single work were to sum up Tatsunoko’s entire production, it would probably be Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. By far the studio’s most iconic series, it was…

Animétudes

Featured image for The History of Tatsunoko – 4 – Difficult timesBackground image for The History of Tatsunoko – 4 – Difficult times

The History of Tatsunoko – 4 – Difficult times

hern stands out among studio Tatsunoko’s productions for its unusually dark worldbuilding and dramatic intensity. It was also perhaps one of the studio’s most difficult productions – a…

Animétudes

Featured image for The History of Tatsunoko – 3 – Mecha animationsBackground image for The History of Tatsunoko – 3 – Mecha animations

The History of Tatsunoko – 3 – Mecha animations

mixture of expressionist motion and anatomical realism was born. It was also the moment when another one of anime’s key stylistic features developed: mechanical animation. Early TV anime…

Animétudes

Featured image for The History of Tatsunoko – 2 – Experimental animeBackground image for The History of Tatsunoko – 2 – Experimental anime

The History of Tatsunoko – 2 – Experimental anime

The “realist” aesthetic and approach of the show was possible thanks to its director, who in fact debuted as chief director: the second of the three Yoshida brothers,…

Animétudes

Featured image for The History of Tatsunoko – 1 – Early DaysBackground image for The History of Tatsunoko – 1 – Early Days

The History of Tatsunoko – 1 – Early Days

anese animation studios whose origins go back directly to the so-called “first anime boom” – that is, the development of TV animation. For that reason, Tatsunoko’s first years…

Animétudes

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Look Back

Well, we made it through another year. And, in a bit less than two months, Animétudes will celebrate its second anniversary. So, as I did last year, I…

Animétudes

Featured image for Storytelling in the Midst of History: Reflections on Heike MonogatariBackground image for Storytelling in the Midst of History: Reflections on Heike Monogatari

Storytelling in the Midst of History: Reflections on Heike Monogatari

While the initial reception has been relatively subdued, many will no doubt look back on Heike Monogatari both for what it is and for what it represents; a…

Animétudes

Featured image for Rascal the RaccoonBackground image for Rascal the Raccoon

Rascal the Raccoon

The World Masterpiece Theater entry for the year 1976, Marco, pushed studio Nippon Animation and the artists associated with it to their limits. As a result, the year…

Animétudes

Featured image for The animation of Char’s CounterattackBackground image for The animation of Char’s Counterattack

The animation of Char’s Counterattack

When asked what was the biggest anime event of the year 1988, most people would surely answer Akira. Ghibli fans may note Grave of the Fireflies or My…

Animétudes

Featured image for The politics of 80s anime: the 198X controversyBackground image for The politics of 80s anime: the 198X controversy

The politics of 80s anime: the 198X controversy

A common narrative of Japanese social history and anime history holds that, starting from the 1980’s, the Japanese population has gotten increasingly distant from politics. The rise of…

Animétudes

Featured image for Toei and early TV anime – Part 2: the rise of gekiga anime (1966-1968)Background image for Toei and early TV anime – Part 2: the rise of gekiga anime (1966-1968)

Toei and early TV anime – Part 2: the rise of gekiga anime (1966-1968)

Many of Tôei’s promising artists, who had for the most part worked on Fujimaru, were determined to follow up on the possibilities the TV show had opened. This…

Animétudes

Featured image for Toei and early TV anime – Part 1: Kaze no FujimaruBackground image for Toei and early TV anime – Part 1: Kaze no Fujimaru

Toei and early TV anime – Part 1: Kaze no Fujimaru

The goal of this two-part research is to explore part of Tôei’s early TV production, mostly between 1964 and 1968. It will be centered around what is paradoxically…

Animétudes

Featured image for Ghibli outside Ghibli, 1986-1991Background image for Ghibli outside Ghibli, 1986-1991

Ghibli outside Ghibli, 1986-1991

While the idea of a unified “Ghibli aesthetic” or “style” is debatable at best, it makes no doubt that all the animators mentioned here brought something different to…

Animétudes

Featured image for From the Apennines to the AndesBackground image for From the Apennines to the Andes

From the Apennines to the Andes

oxical reception and reputation. In Japan, it is just as well considered as Isao Takahata’s other two entries in the World Masterpiece Theater, with entire generations of animators…

Animétudes

Featured image for Akira Daikuhara: the works and career of a forgotten anime pioneerBackground image for Akira Daikuhara: the works and career of a forgotten anime pioneer

Akira Daikuhara: the works and career of a forgotten anime pioneer

For Japanese animation fans and historians, the name of Akira Daikuhara (sometimes spelled Daikubara) should ring a bell as belonging to one of the major artists in postwar…

Animétudes

Featured image for A Dog of FlandersBackground image for A Dog of Flanders

A Dog of Flanders

Flanders is among the most well-known works in the World Masterpiece Theater canon, both in Japan and overseas; it is perhaps the most famous outside of the select…

Animétudes

Featured image for Current trends in action animation: Hiroto Nagata and Ryûki HashimotoBackground image for Current trends in action animation: Hiroto Nagata and Ryûki Hashimoto

Current trends in action animation: Hiroto Nagata and Ryûki Hashimoto

In today’s landscape, this evolution and, possibly, a new development in action animation seems to be represented by two rising figures: Hiroto Nagata and Ryûki Hashimoto. At first…

Animétudes

Featured image for The Crossing, and why technique matters in animationBackground image for The Crossing, and why technique matters in animation

The Crossing, and why technique matters in animation

As people who follow me on Twitter might know, I had the opportunity to attend the 2021 Annecy festival – the most important festival dedicated to animation in…

Animétudes

Featured image for Yoshinori Kanada and the nature of animationBackground image for Yoshinori Kanada and the nature of animation

Yoshinori Kanada and the nature of animation

assumption of this series, and the reason why it has tried to trace how Kanada’s influence spread and changed over the years. However, I have said little in…

Animétudes

Featured image for Heidi, Girl of the AlpsBackground image for Heidi, Girl of the Alps

Heidi, Girl of the Alps

Heidi, Girl of the Alps needs no introduction. One of the most important and influential works in the history of Japanese animation, Isao Takahata’s first series for Zuiyo…

Animétudes

Featured image for Artist spotlight: Hiroyuki ImaishiBackground image for Artist spotlight: Hiroyuki Imaishi

Artist spotlight: Hiroyuki Imaishi

Hiroyuki Imaishi is no doubt the most important artist to rise out of the Kanada school in the last 25 years: the renewal he contributed to trigger with…

Animétudes

Featured image for The Kanada style nowBackground image for The Kanada style now

The Kanada style now

Although the Kanada style has certainly known a rebirth in the 2000s, it seems that, in the 2010’s, it has gone through a new phase of decline. It’s…

Animétudes

Featured image for Artist spotlight: Yoshimichi KamedaBackground image for Artist spotlight: Yoshimichi Kameda

Artist spotlight: Yoshimichi Kameda

Yoshimichi Kameda is undoubtedly one of the most important animators of the last 15 years. He is also one of the last really major animators today whose style…

Animétudes

Featured image for Gainax and the Neo-Kanada RenaissanceBackground image for Gainax and the Neo-Kanada Renaissance

Gainax and the Neo-Kanada Renaissance

1998 was one of the most important years in the history of the Kanada school. On the one hand, it was when Yoshinori Kanada himself left Japan—and, with…

Animétudes

Featured image for Looking back, looking forward: Kanada’s late periodBackground image for Looking back, looking forward: Kanada’s late period

Looking back, looking forward: Kanada’s late period

is generally held that Yoshinori Kanada went through two major shifts in the 1990’s, shifts that determined what the two last decades of his life and work would…

Animétudes

Featured image for Yama Nezumi Rocky ChuckBackground image for Yama Nezumi Rocky Chuck

Yama Nezumi Rocky Chuck

Yama Nezumi Rocky Chuck, known in the English-speaking world as Fables of the Green Forest, can be considered the first show to fit into the extended World Masterpiece…

Animétudes

Featured image for Artist spotlight: Shin’ya OhiraBackground image for Artist spotlight: Shin’ya Ohira

Artist spotlight: Shin’ya Ohira

This is just my personal opinion on the matter, but I don’t think many animators ever reached the same level of genius as Yoshinori Kanada in terms of…

Animétudes

Featured image for The new generation of the 1990’sBackground image for The new generation of the 1990’s

The new generation of the 1990’s

More than the Kanada school, whose members appeared throughout  the 80s, this new group of animators deserves the word “generation”. The six major animators I will focus on…

Animétudes

Featured image for Takashi Nakamura spotlightBackground image for Takashi Nakamura spotlight

Takashi Nakamura spotlight

Yoshinori Kanada might be the most influential Japanese animator, but he isn’t the only one whose work revolutionized anime. Almost as important as him is Takashi Nakamura. Nakamura…

Animétudes

Featured image for The rise of realismBackground image for The rise of realism

The rise of realism

However dominant it became in the 80s, the Kanada style was never the only aesthetic of anime. Besides the heavily stylized motion of the Kanada school and the…

Animétudes

Featured image for Directing KanadaBackground image for Directing Kanada

Directing Kanada

One of the most notable aspects of Kanada’s career is that, while he never directed anything by himself, he was closely associated with major directors: first Yoshiyuki Tomino,…

Animétudes

Featured image for Artist spotlight: Masami ObariBackground image for Artist spotlight: Masami Obari

Artist spotlight: Masami Obari

Among all the members of the Kanada school, one of the most important and original ones is probably Masami Obari. Along with Masahito Yamashita and Hiroyuki Imaishi, he…

Animétudes

Featured image for Toshihiro Hirano and AIC studioBackground image for Toshihiro Hirano and AIC studio

Toshihiro Hirano and AIC studio

As I mentioned in the previous article about Graviton, the OVA boom was very much carried by small structures and the overlapping nets of connections made by their…

Animétudes

Featured image for Artist spotlight: Shôichi MasuoBackground image for Artist spotlight: Shôichi Masuo

Artist spotlight: Shôichi Masuo

With this third artist spotlight dedicated to Shôichi Masuo, I’ll start analyzing the works of some animators who are not prominently affiliated with the Kanada school or style.…

Animétudes

Featured image for Graviton, Gainax, and the Itano schoolBackground image for Graviton, Gainax, and the Itano school

Graviton, Gainax, and the Itano school

Among all the artists influenced by Yoshinori Kanada, Ichirô Itano is probably one of the most important. And yet, he is never considered a Kanada-style animator, most likely…

Animétudes

Featured image for Kanada and Tomonaga, 1978-1979Background image for Kanada and Tomonaga, 1978-1979

Kanada and Tomonaga, 1978-1979

This article is an annex to this piece 1979 was no doubt a busy year in the anime industry, and especially so in the careers of Yoshinori Kanada…

Animétudes

Featured image for Kanada, the first realist?Background image for Kanada, the first realist?

Kanada, the first realist?

Today, especially in the Western side of the fandom, Yoshinori Kanada’s animation is associated with flashy, angular effects and very stylized and exaggerated motion, of the sort in…

Animétudes

Featured image for Artist spotlight: Kôji ItôBackground image for Artist spotlight: Kôji Itô

Artist spotlight: Kôji Itô

I’ve mentioned that the sudden wave of Kanada-style animators in the first half of the 80s is as much due to Kanada as to one of his most…

Animétudes

Featured image for A brief history of Kaname ProBackground image for A brief history of Kaname Pro

A brief history of Kaname Pro

Unlike other great and influential studios with a distinct animation philosophy, like A Pro, Ghibli, Sunrise or Kyoto Animation, the Kanada school never had a single, durable place…

Animétudes

Featured image for Artist spotlight: Kazuhiro OchiBackground image for Artist spotlight: Kazuhiro Ochi

Artist spotlight: Kazuhiro Ochi

I decided to start this series on the development of the Kanada school with Urusei Yatsura, arguably the moment when its members really became prominent and their style…

Animétudes