Monday, January 29, 2007

History of Japanese Animation:part 2

The movie-law for having guaranteed fixed demand had disappeared to somewhere, and it seemed that the lack of goods and the series-inflation vanished the place of animation manufacture. Surely, animation was hardly made in 1945 and 1946. However arrival of the freedom by abolition of regulation by defeat overcame lack of goods.
First, Kenzo Masaoka. He completed "SAKURA(HARU NO GENSOU)The cherry tree (Spring fantasy)"(46) using Weber's "Invitation to a dance" (arranged by Berlioz) which Stokowski conducted gorgeously. In this work, the spring sight was lyrically drawn with MAIKO in Kyoto, the shower of falling cherry blossom, and the butterflies which are flying. On a screen, a quiet atmosphere flowed and the noisy social situation was not felt. Moreover, arrival of freedom was not cried for loud. Although it was a negative form, Masaoka's principle-of-art-for-art's-sake-spirit was shown like "KUMO TO TUURIPPU."
Continuously, "SUTENEKO TORACHAN(Tora, deserted cat)" (47) was made. Since a mother cat loves only helped TORA, a real child cat will be jealous and will run away from home. Then, TORA goes out for search of the child cat. Although the story was common, the technical side was fine. In the this work, Masaoka are used operetta-form and drawn the view rotated 180 degrees.
Seo made "OUSAMA NO SIPPO(King's tail)" (49). This project started from January 1948, and although discontinuation was inserted in the middle of works, it was completed in October 1949. In spite of screening time is 33 minutes (it is 46 minutes at the beginning), it was a big project to use 100,000 drawings. This work adapted the Anderson's "naked king", and was bantering the king of a fox without a tail. Public release was stopped by the reason that this film was regarded as leftist work in the occupied Japan.
In addition to these, Educational Film Division of Toho obtained Fumio Hayasaka's music(Hayasaka is composer of Kurosawa's "Rashomon" and "Seven Samurai"), and was maked "MUKU NO KI NO HANASI(The Tale of the tree of MUKU)" (47;Directed by Shouji Maruyama) to describe the change of the surrounding four seasons of one tree of MUKU(Aphananthe aspera) of the "Silly Symphony" style. And Iwao Ashida released "BAGUDADDO HIME(Baghdad princess)" had drawn by full animation all 8reeles in 1948.
NIPPON DOUGA EIGA (next NICHIDOU) which had Yasuji Yabushita released "POPPOYA-SAN, NONKINA KIKANNSHI(Easy Locomotive Engineer", and the "DOUBUTU DAI YAKYUUSEN(Animals' Big Baseball)", and acquired reputation in 1949. However, a postwar upsurge would stop coincided with stop of release of "King's Tail".
There was no way Japanese monochrome works opposed to the American color works released one after another. (It was what happened also at prewar days.) Furthermore, reform of a taxation system pressed the management of animation companies. Then, they shifted to making animation for education and advertisement. New hard way began.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

History of Japanese Animation:part one.2
The movie-law will be enacted in 1940 and the new situation will arise. It is because the article of a compulsive show of a cultural film was in this law. An animated cartoon is made into a kind of a cultural film, and comes to be suddenly brought into the limelight.It is the return for theaters.
But if it line-up Seo's "AHIRU RIKUSENTAI(Army of Ducks)"(35)Ginjirou Sato's "MAABOU NO TAIRIKU SENNBTAI(Spy Army in China of Boy Maabou"(42,directed by Yoji Tiba),Sanae Yamamo's "SUPAI GEKIMETU(Destruction of spy)"(42) and Ryotaro Kuwata's "TOUKYUU NIKUDANNSEN(Battle by Baseball)" (43), it is clear in why there was any purpose of the cultural film. Although animeted cartoon is one of the art, because it was thought inferior, it could not but become such a direct expression. However, even if it takes it into consideration, it is not the talk praised not much.
But the theorem that the result of a work will become good if many the money and time in making animation was the same also in this case. The animation of our country which has acquired the economical base for the first time since birth showed fast progress in respect of technology. The result was Seo's two feature length works.
I will return to Kenzo Masaoka. In spite of under such environmental situation ,his footprint which followed the original way becomes the big comfort of our heart. With together of after-recording and pre-recording are used by "BENKEI TAI USHIWAKA (39)", invigorating animation is developed. And the works which are completely unrelated to the jingoism feeling of a world are made from "KANNGARUU NO TANNJOUBI (Birthday of kangaroo)" (40) and "KARITA BOUSHI (borrowed hat)"(41) by the fairy tale of a Michiko Yokoyama original. But since "FUKUCHAN NO KISHUU (FUKUCHAN's surprise attack)" (42) is made, a rebellious spirit did not make it do so, but it can be said that it made his way where a principle-of-art-for-art's-sake-attitude is original follow.If it becomes under the condition which should be satisfied more, it will be touch that anything will be made. It did not necessarily refuse by having not only taken an advantage.
If said, the work which Masaoka, a nonpolitical person, made was "KUMO TO CHURIPPU.(Spider and tulip)" (December, 42 completion) It will be necessary to stop this to memory. Since those who had stated not only the field of animation but that it aspires and is high to this time have also made the work of organization praise after all.
The girl of ladybug is passing the time leisurely, singing with "ladybug is child of sun" in the field where a solar light shines. Spider of the randy-man style which was wearing the straw hat and rolled the muffler appears there, and smartness and sweet voice are applied to arms and it applies invitation to ladybug. However, it is refused. It still presses for spider obstinately. Although ladybug runs in into a tulip, spider will make a tulip bundled hair with thread. It only waits for time to pass.
Clouds arise and quiet field serve as a rainstorm at midnight. Although Spider tends to become desperate and it is going to support the body, it will fail to be shaken into a pond at last.
In the morning, the tulip which kept bearing a storm.And ladybug comes out out of a tulip, and she glorifies peaceful time.
Conspicuous contrast with the glaringly vivid depiction at the time of a storm, and the depiction filled with the quiet image before and behind a storm. Technology of the animation of the brilliant ability which made it possible. Furthermore, the gorgeous sound by 80 persons' orchestra by pre-recording.(After-recording is common in Japan. It is also present.j Although this work is released in April 1943 when the inside of Japan was dyed a wartime-look, there is no smell of war in this animation. As Masaoka, although Michiko Yokoyama's original would only be built in the style of a "Silly Symphony", it is the work which "peace" dared be added in writing and had appropriate qualification.
While ruin of Japan was approaching, SEO was making "God soldier of sea and Momotaro", and, simultaneously with "Spider and Tulip", "UENOSORA HAKASE(Doctor UENOSORA)"(44) was further made by Hajime Maeda and Kei Asano. It is said that speedy deployment and the simple design of "UENNOSORA HAKASE" were what takes limited animation in advance. Surely the animation community of our country marked the one time.
History of Japanese Animation:part one.1

Yasushi Murata who is a friend from the time of the child of Yamamoto will join the Yokohama Cinema in 1923. This company was supplying Charles Pathe's films in Japan, and Murata was engaged in work of title writing here. PATHE is also the distribution contractor of the Bray's films, and Murata memorizes interest in animation through this work. Then, he calls at Yamamoto, studies the method of making animation, and invents his original method at last by the paper-cutting method which was the mainstream of animation manufacture of our country at the time (The method of manufacturing animation has been a secret for every animator at the time. Therefore, I wrote "invents his original method". Yamamoto did not teach the place of an important point, even if it taught foundations.)

First, it makes "JIRAFU NO KUBI HA NAZE NAGAI(Why is long of neck of giraffe)" (26) as an experiment, "TAKO NO HONE(Bone of Octopus)" (27) is announced continuously, and work of making animation will be done.

Murata announced most many works in pre the World War II days, he made about 50 animations before 1936. It was as advanced as the technology of the paper-cutting animation trained in this time had not been imagined from present.

However, the problems are contents. For example, "SARUMASAMUNE"(30). This tale is that HIKYAKU(a carrier of Edo period) helps a monkey, gets a noted sword from a monkey as gratitude, and escapes from a crisis using the noted sword. Teaching-side are pushed out by the front of the film and it is hard to tell a compliment that it is interesting. It is because it was regulated by the state of the thinking of the Japanese of pre-war days which imagination cannot attach from present us.

If Murata was a paper-cutting group's representation, a cell group's representation was Kenzo Masaoka. Although he graduated from the art school in 1917, and it learned under Seiki Kuroda(famous painter) after that and being aspired after the way of pictures, it will go into the Makino movie in 1925, and the way of a movie will be followed.He becomes independent at the time of abolition of the educational film part of Nikkatsu which was working as a technical chief, and will manufacture "NANSENSU MONOGATARI:SARUGASHIMA(Nonsence Story:Island of Apes)"(30)("NANSEN" mean wrecked ship) by the tie-up with Nikkatsu in 1930. The story that the baby whom only one person survived by wreked ship was brought up into apes was made using paper-cutting technique. Although it was not a work with exceptional novelty, speedy story deployment which is symbolized by the attractive title was superb.

It continues, "NANSENSU MONGARARI DAI2 HEN:KAIZOKUSENN(UMI NO BOUKEN)(Nonsence Story part 2:A Pirate ship (Marine adventure))" (31) is made, and "TIKARA TO ONNA NO YONONAKA(The world of power and woman)" was made in 1932, using a cell extensively. This film was also the first full-scale all talkie animation in Japan. Since the print of this film is not existing, I want to withhold evaluation. However, it deserves attention that it was the nonsense story animation new as that time which can be guessed from a title.

Just before starting manufacture of "The world of power and a woman", the one youth has jumped into Masaoka's place. He was Mitsuyo Seo. He was making the first two feature length animated cartoons in Japan, "MOMOTARO NO UMIWASHI(Sea Wark of Momotaro"(43) and "MOMOTARO UMI NO SINPEI(God soldier of sea, Momotaro)"(45) (although it was opened to the public just before defeat of the Second World War and had become the work of a phantom for subsequent confusion, evaluation with a masterpiece was obtained). His way until to make two feature length works is telling very symbolically the locus which the animation (rather the whole of art than a animation field) which continues until defeat of the World War II.

After working under Masaoka for a while, independently Seo made "OSARU SANKITI, BOUKUUSENN NO MAKI(Sankiti of Ape-Air defense game)" (34). However, nontheatrical works will be made from this time because the American colored works which began to be released in our country.(The same case is repeated also in the postwar period). Therefore, advertising movie of Morinaga(Confectionery Company)"OYAMA NO TAISHOU"(General in Mountain)(35) and WAKAMOTO's (the neon sign of this company appears in "Blade Runner")"NINOMARU HATANOSUKE"(38) will be made. It can be said that in the latter HATANOSUKE as Popeye and WAKAMOTO as spinach was very intelligible, so had a little doctrinarian to enter, and pushed deployment and drawing of an invigorating tale. Even if it sees now, it is one attractive piece.
History of Japanese Animation:part one
In Europe, Emile Reynaud and others were making animation as a result of research of the "movie" before inventing a movie. The same trials as its were performed also in our country. For example, they are KAGEE, NOZOKIE, SOUMATOU and UTSUSHIE, etc. Especially UTSUSHI was widely loved by peoples Edo in the city as a feature of the variety halls. The effect of motion and picture of UTSUSHIE, it was comparable to the experiment of Reynaud's. UTSUSHIE was also a non-movie as the Reynaud's was a non-movie. Birth of the true animation in our country had to wait for the appearance of the so-called "DEKOBOUSIINGACHOU" series which compiled the works of J.R.Bray, Raul Barre and others.
It is influenced by the animations of the foreign countries released one after another, a cartoonist Outen Shimokawa would begin making animation in 1917. By the method of drawing on a blackboard with chalk at first, after this method went wrong, the blank paper which printed the background was used. The film done using the method of smearing away the place where a background overlaps a person with white paints was "IMOKAWA MUKUZOU:GENKANBAN NO MAKI(Doorkeeper)" (17). It is said that this is the first animation in our country.
In a same year, a cartoonist Jun-iti Kouuchi has released "HANAHEKONAI MEITOU NO MAKI(The Fine Sword)"(17) and also Seitarou Kitayama(titler of the major movie campany NIKKATSU) has released "SARUKANI GASSENN(Battle of Apes and Crabs)"(17). It seems that Kouuchi's film obtained the best evaluation in three, and it is said that Kitayama was contained in work from the previous year. So, probably, it should consider as the pioneer of the animation of our country with three persons of SHIMOKAWA and KOUUCHI and KITAYAMA.
Simokawa and Kouuchi will stop manufacture of animation only by making several works after the first trial.(However, Kouuchi returns by political-animation "NINKI NO SHOUTEN NI TATERU GOTO SHINPEI(Shinpei Goto who stands to popular focus)" (24)).(Goto was mayor of Tokyo.)
Though a title is written, Kitayama continues work of animation energetically, becomes independent of Nikkatsu and will found the KITAYAMA EIGA SEISAKUJO(Kitayama Movie Factory) which is the first animation studio in Japan in 1921.
In this studio, films for teaching materials, such as "KIATU TO MIZUAGEPONNPU(Atomospheric pressure and suction pump) "(21) ,"SHOKUBUTU SEIRI;SEISHOKU NO MAKI(Plant Physiology:Story of Reproduction)"(22), are also made with the amusement works(For example, "USAGI TO KAME(Rabbit and Tortoise)"(24)). The type of the animation maker of our country which parallel manufacture of an amusement work and an educational work is formed here.
People who should follow pioneers, such as Sanae (Zenjirou) Yamamoto and Hakuzan Kimura, have joined this studio. It is from these men's works that we can see. However, the work of this time of these peoples were not clear though regrettable compared with what were made in the United States at the same time.
For exsample, Kimurs's "Shiobara Tasuke"(25). With the work which removed the human-nature story-side from the familiar talk of ENCHOU(the greatest RAKUGO writer and performer. RAKUGO is Japanese comical talking live show by one person)and pushed out the teachings target extensively, it cannot be said as an interesting work. Also the motion of animation was the grade which moves barely. If charm is found out forcibly, it would just call it the background by drawing of the simple taste in which a certain kind of nostalgia is given.
Or Sanae Yamamoto's "NIPPON-ITI NO MOMOTAROU(Momotarou is the No.1 of Japan)" (28). This also only transposed the old tale to animation faithfully, and it does not attract the interest except saying that the picture-book of KOUDANNSHA (The biggest Japanese publisher) moved. Probably, up to this time, the "fact" that making animation was performed also in our country will be important.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The 21st century

A major change has took place in 1999 both in mainland China and Taiwan when the Internet has open major opportunities for animators, artists all over the country to work together in animation. In China, the first change is the emergence of Flash animation and Flash artists. FlashEmpire (閃客帝國) become the first Macromedia Flash community in China to formulate a weekly ranking system (爬行榜) with functionalities such as receiving score, votes, and comments from each viewers. It become so popular that by the beginning of the year 2000 it had 10,000 visitors visit the site daily with more than 5,000 individual works published. However, most of the works are amateurish. Among the amateurs, Bai Ding's No View Below 18 (少兒不宜), intending to show audience a picture of a nude woman but ending up showing a picture of a dog, become the typical work of this period. A real trend of change started in August, 2000 when Lao Jiang (老蔣) published the world's longest and first full vector graphic animated MTV in Flash using the pop star Cui Jian's A New March in The 25,000 Li (新長征路上的搖滾). This work received more than 10 million hits up to date. Since its release, animated MTV in China took a new direction. Many successful artists started to produced MTV in flash.

By 2001, Xiao Xiao (小小) Kung Fu stick figures (小小作品系列) not only become the most popular animated shorts in China, but overseas as well. His total work received more than 50 million hits up to date, making his the most known flash artist in China and in the world. By year 2002, flash artists in China is moving toward a more artistic direction. The work of Buhua's (卜樺) Cat (貓) used painting like style and mentioned about a story of a baby cat and his mother's suffering. In addition, labix's (蠟筆X) works have become one of the best fairy tale styles flash history. By 2003, new studios such as B&T, Snailcn, and Sinodoor formed and has become the first private, non-state owned animation companies in mainland China. Moreover, several novels based on animation and comics way of story-telling have been proposed to be transformed into animation. These works included Guo Jing Ming (郭敬明)'s Phantom Castle (幻城) and Xuan Yu (玄雨)'s Legend of a Small Soldier (小兵傳奇).

At the same time in Taiwan, Chun Shui Tang (春水堂) established themselves as an online disney world for all Chinese speaking audiences. By 2001, Time magazine Asia edition listed A-kuei as one of the top 100 new fugures in Asia. In Hong Kong, sponsored one of the most popular online work series called the Romance of San Guo (大話三國). This work is still the most widely read online animated series in China. The work is known for its parody of the traditional historical story of the period of Three Kingdoms.

In Hong Kong, the first 3D company, GDC entertainment established in Shen Zhen. Their very first 80 minute 3D rendered movie Through the Moebius Strip have already undergone the review is scheduled to release into North American theaters in 2005.

In April 24th, 2006, theflatworld, formerly known as suansworks, launched which translates high quality Chinese animations from mainland China to Native English speaking regions. The website is currently hosting several hundreds of flash animations and artists' profiles. This is the first cross cultural web site attempt to capture foreign market with domestic productions, though the success of the site is yet to be determined.
The 1990s

By the 1990s, Chinese animation faced major decline by the onset of Western and Japanese animation industry. Saint Seiya is published in China under Hainan Photography and Arts Publication (海南攝影美術出版社). Doraemon and Transformers entered the market by broadcasting on the CCTV central television channel. The commercialization and innovation of Japanese and American animation pushed the traditional Chinese animation out of the market. Complaints have been heard throughout the '90s about the problems facing Chinese animation. Therefore, the '90s is an increasing time of change. By the mid '90s, numerous artists have adopted into American and Japanese styles. In 1994, the mainland published its first bi-weekly comics magazine called King of Hua Shu (画书大王). Numerous artists started to publish their works on the magazine. Including Chen Xiang's (陳翔) Xiao Shan's Diary (小山日記), a story about a crazy scientist, bearing some resemblance to Dr.Slump. The publication of King of Hua Shu is forced to shut down by the government due to its copyright violation of using some Japanese manga in some of its pages. Nevertheless, it is a first journal and first attempt to change the direction of Chinese animation. Following King of Hua Shu, several weekly, monthly, and bi-weekly animation journal started to appear in China. Shao Nian Weekly (少年周刊) is one of the most popular. At the same time in Taiwan, new comic artists emerged including Zhu De Yong (朱德庸). He published satirical style cartoon about secular life in a humorous, self de-facing manner and won numerous awards and gained popularity. Some artists such as You Su Lan (游素蘭) from Taiwan has become one of the few foreign manga artists established in Japan.
The 1980s

The 1980s is a time of change in China after the turmoil, several animation series were produced though international recognitions are not received. Among these works, the Hulu Brothers (葫蘆兄弟) and Marshall the Black Cat (黑貓警長) have become popular among children. At the same time, the rapid commercialization of Japanese animation industry have started to find its way into the Chinese market.