Shinji Tsuchimochi’s 100 Views of Tokyo

Shinji Tsuchimochi's 100 Views of Tokyo
The name of Japanese illustrator Shinji Tsuchimochi’s series of drawings, “100 Views of Tokyo“, is of course a reference to the well known series of 19th century woodblock prints by Utagawa Hiroshige, “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo” (AKA Tokyo).

Tsuchimochi’s colorful, sometimes straightforward but often fanciful drawings of his home city owe as much to anime, manga and European and American comics as they do to Ukiyo-e prints, and therein lies much of their charm.

[Via Rocket News 24]


Yoshiharu Sato’s Studio Ghibli style TV commercial

Yoshiharu Sato's Studio Ghibli style TV commercial
I don’t know about you, but I’m really tired of CGI special effects in television commercials. Some years ago, I was an enthusiastic fan of CGI; now I’m weary of the way computer generated effects saturate almost everything. often as a substitute for story or characterizartion.

What a refreshing change it is to see something like this, a traditionally animated commercial (for a Japanese brand of sweet potato based liquor) created by Studio Ghibli animator Yoshiharu Sato, in which he brings to bear the remarkable visual splendor for which Studion Ghibli animations are justly renowned.

For those not familiar with the amazing animated features of Studio Ghibli, see my post on its creator Hayao Miyazaki.

In this 90 second advertisement, Sato not only dazzles with beautifully atmospheric backgrounds and sensitively drawn characters, but tells a touching story of a man’s relationship with his father.

The storytelling involves flashbacks, and for those of us who don’t understand Japanese, it may be best appreciated by reading the capsule description on io9. You can also go to the animation directly on YouTube.

Be sure to view this in full screen mode.

[Note: the images above are just screen captures, not embedded videos. Please use the links below.]

[Via io9]


Hayao Miyazaki animated short

Hayao Miyazaki animated short
Hayao Miyazaki, director of some of the most fantastic and beautifully executed animated feature films in history, is not known for creating short films.

According to io9, this animated short, which has recently become available on Vimeo, was an exercise to break a creative block Miyazaki experienced while working on Princess Mononoke.

The film was essentially done in the form of a music video for “On Your Mark” by Chage and Aska, but is its own self-contained story, and packs a lot of visual imagination into its seven minutes. Miyazaki ventures into the ‘futuristic anime” genre that he usually doesn’t work with, and puts many dedicated directors of the genre to shame.

You may want to watch it twice to get the gist of the story, and then several more times, just to be dazzled.

The short is available on Vimeo (at least for the moment) under the title “On Your Mark & Castles in the Air (CHAGE & ASKA PV)“.

For more info on the director, see my post on Hayao Miyazaki (Studio Ghibli).

[Via io9]


Koji Morimoto animated sequence

Koji Morimoto animated sequence fo Lexus
As I mentioned back in 2007, Koji Morimoto is one of my favorite animation directors, though he has done far too little animation in recent years for the liking of his fans.

Morimoto has recently animated a brief sequence as part of a short film directed by Mitsuyo Miyazaki, and sponsored (with lots of product placement) by Lexus: A Better Tomorrow.

You can see both the full 12 minute, mostly live action, film and the isolated animated sequence by Morimoto, as part of this article on Cartoon Brew. You can also find the animated sequence on Vimeo.


Nantala Kantala

Nantala Kantala
As far as I can tell, Nantala Kantala is a Japanese illustrator, and/or anime artist.

I only have this site to go by, and Google Translate has been of little help. I did find, however, that the characters to the immediate left of the top image are links to other images.

I’m even unsure, as I often am when encountering Japanese names on the internet, which is the artist’s surname (or if it’s a handle or pen name).

I like the work, though.



Out of Sight

Out of Sight
Out of Sight is an absolutely beautiful short animation from Taiwan.

it is about, among other things, imagination, sensation and the way input from our senses gradually expands our world. It’s also a sublime evocation of a point of view most of us haven’t experienced.

This was done by three students from the National Taiwan University of the Arts. I hope they continue to create animation together; they may be the next Studio Ghibli.


Watch it twice.

{Via Higher than the Sun, by way of Ebert and BoingBoing]