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Old 2013-04-02, 04:55   Link #41
duckroll
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I think it's important to note that The Anime Mirai project is not a commercial venture, and it is never really meant to be sold to turn a profit. With that in mind, the core purpose of the venture is to encourage participating studios to give younger animators a chance to work on a project of a grander scale and given more responsibility while supervised by senior staff. Budgeted at about $360k for each short, it's a good chance for such studios to allow for a lot more fluid and varied animation than a normal TV episode or even OVA (which are all subject to commercial schedules and demands).

With that in mind, I feel both Death Billiards and Little Witch Academia did a really good job of showing off what the studios involved were most capable of creatively. In the case of Trigger, it's not about a complex story or an original theme, but rather extremely good animation and visual direction using a theme and setting which the director and designer himself particularly likes. It's not about being safe or not, its simply about preference, and that passion worked out really well because you can see that in every single cut throughout the piece, they are animating something fun and something they like to.

With Death Billiards, Madhouse showed that they can still do something really original, unique, and relatively dark. It was an excellent short which reminded me of a good Amazing Stories or Twilight Zone episode. The tone is the sort of thing Madhouse was known for more in the past, before they went through restructuring, lost a lot of core staff, and had to sort of rebuild with newer talent and work on more adaptations rather than original work. It's nice to see them take this chance to try something like this again, and I think it worked out really well. There was some really creative narrative stuff in the latter half of the short which also allowed for some really varied and interesting animation cuts for the animators.

Ultimately, I don't really care to judge whether a short in Anime Mirai is "safe" or not, because that's not the point of the project. What is important is how enjoyable it is (because that's what gets people excited about the animation industry) and how creative and well executed the actual animation is (because that's the point of giving each project enough time and money so the animators can make something they can be proud of). This year it's 2 out of 4. I don't think it's worth mentioning the other two shorts. Lol.
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Old 2013-04-02, 05:01   Link #42
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Little Witch Academia has been one of the most enjoyable 20 mins I've spent watching an episode in a good while. Too bad it's a simple one shot though. I hope more comes out of it because it was definitely good fun.

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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
I thought there was a sizeable amount of standard-level loli fanservice - we're not talking Ro-Kyu-Bu or anything like that, but we certainly spend a significant amount of time with the camera looking up Akko's skirt.
To be fair, there was pretty much nothing to look up at (And I'm glad they chose to colour everything out, because it means they'd be able to animate a much bigger range of movement without having any restraints). I really don't think the girls were as sexualised as you're trying to make it out to be.
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Old 2013-04-02, 05:06   Link #43
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Originally Posted by duckroll View Post
I think it's important to note that The Anime Mirai project is not a commercial venture, and it is never really meant to be sold to turn a profit. With that in mind, the core purpose of the venture is to encourage participating studios to give younger animators a chance to work on a project of a grander scale and given more responsibility while supervised by senior staff. Budgeted at about $360k for each short, it's a good chance for such studios to allow for a lot more fluid and varied animation than a normal TV episode or even OVA (which are all subject to commercial schedules and demands).

With that in mind, I feel both Death Billiards and Little Witch Academia did a really good job of showing off what the studios involved were most capable of creatively. In the case of Trigger, it's not about a complex story or an original theme, but rather extremely good animation and visual direction using a theme and setting which the director and designer himself particularly likes. It's not about being safe or not, its simply about preference, and that passion worked out really well because you can see that in every single cut throughout the piece, they are animating something fun and something they like to.

With Death Billiards, Madhouse showed that they can still do something really original, unique, and relatively dark. It was an excellent short which reminded me of a good Amazing Stories or Twilight Zone episode. The tone is the sort of thing Madhouse was known for more in the past, before they went through restructuring, lost a lot of core staff, and had to sort of rebuild with newer talent and work on more adaptations rather than original work. It's nice to see them take this chance to try something like this again, and I think it worked out really well. There was some really creative narrative stuff in the latter half of the short which also allowed for some really varied and interesting animation cuts for the animators.

Ultimately, I don't really care to judge whether a short in Anime Mirai is "safe" or not, because that's not the point of the project. What is important is how enjoyable it is (because that's what gets people excited about the animation industry) and how creative and well executed the actual animation is (because that's the point of giving each project enough time and money so the animators can make something they can be proud of). This year it's 2 out of 4. I don't think it's worth mentioning the other two shorts. Lol.
The irony is that the two guys involved with YWA are hardly kids - they're practically greybeards - but never got the chance to sit in the big chair at Gainax. Who knows, maybe that's why they followed Imaishi out the door. Yuzuru is quite a bit younger, and someone who probably fits the ideal model of someone who this project originally had in mind.

I do appreciate what you're saying, but in the end I think any piece of animation that's released and that the public is asked to pay for should be judged by a comparable standard. I also don't think Madhouse has anything to apologize for, given that they're currently engaged in one of the most consistently brilliant long-running adaptations ever and they've made arguably the most critically-acclaimed series of the past year in Chihayafuru. If this is rebuilding, they're showing the right way to do it.
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Old 2013-04-02, 05:18   Link #44
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
The irony is that the two guys involved with YWA are hardly kids - they're practically greybeards - but never got the chance to sit in the big chair at Gainax. Who knows, maybe that's why they followed Imaishi out the door. Yuzuru is quite a bit younger, and someone who probably fits the ideal model of someone who this project originally had in mind.

I do appreciate what you're saying, but in the end I think any piece of animation that's released and that the public is asked to pay for should be judged by a comparable standard. I also don't think Madhouse has anything to apologize for, given that they're currently engaged in one of the most consistently brilliant long-running adaptations ever and they've made arguably the most critically-acclaimed series of the past year in Chihayafuru. If this is rebuilding, they're showing the right way to do it.
I'm not talking about the directors, I think you misunderstand the purpose of this project. It is not the Young Directors Animation Project. Directors for this project can either be experienced veterans or directional debuts, it doesn't matter.

What the requirements of the project mandate is that more than half of the actual key animators on the project are young staff who are relatively new to the industry in terms of work experience. They get a chance to interact with the animation directors on a more personal basis, and learn how to correct their own work, do more layouts, etc. This is where most of the magic happens, because it gives a chance to showcase talent from animators people are less familiar with.
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Old 2013-04-02, 05:27   Link #45
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Yeah, I know all that - but the directors and writers are part of the equation too. And it's a lack of skilled young directors that many veterans in the industry are cautioning may prove to be its eventual downfall.

A bigger problem with animators than opportunity, frankly, is that most of them are worked horrifying hours for a poverty wage - you almost have to be insane to voluntarily take it as a career choice. And projects like this - admirable though they are - don't really do anything to address that issue. The problem is that there aren't enough talented people willing to suffer through that in order to get to the point where something like Anime Mirai can help them.

Last edited by Guardian Enzo; 2013-04-02 at 05:39.
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Old 2013-04-02, 05:47   Link #46
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
Yeah, I know all that - but the directors and writers are part of the equation too. And it's a lack of skilled young directors that many veterans in the industry are cautioning may prove to be its eventual downfall.

A bigger problem with animators than opportunity, frankly, is that most of them are worked horrifying hours for a poverty wage - you almost have to be insane to voluntarily take it as a career choice. And projects like this - admirable though they are - don't really do anything to address that issue. The problem is that there aren't enough talented people willing to suffer through that in order to get to the point where something like Anime Mirai can help them.
Sure, I certainly agree with all that, but the industry is what it is. The fact that there is still a relatively strong Japanese animation industry is already quite a miracle. In the US for example, the traditional animation industry is all but dead. Something like Anime Mirai isn't going to change that, but it does give the animators and staff involved a chance to do stuff they personally prefer. I think that's something we can appreciate even if it doesn't change the world.
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Old 2013-04-02, 06:27   Link #47
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
If this is rebuilding, they're showing the right way to do it.
Well it is unfortunate for those of us who liked their older stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
Yeah, I know all that - but the directors and writers are part of the equation too. And it's a lack of skilled young directors that many veterans in the industry are cautioning may prove to be its eventual downfall.
In that case they need a YDTP and YSTP projects to address the shortage of good directors and screenplay writers.
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Old 2013-04-02, 07:23   Link #48
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Funnily enough, I thought LWA was "safe" but for entirely different reasons. I don't think it's main appeal is in "cute moe girls". I think the intended purpose was to draw us in to wonderful Harry Potter-esque escapist fantasy setting that appeals to child in all of us. I just think it did so a little conventionally, but the thought was there.
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Old 2013-04-02, 07:31   Link #49
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Funnily enough, I thought LWA was "safe" but for entirely different reasons. I don't think it's main appeal is in "cute moe girls". I think the intended purpose was to draw us in to wonderful Harry Potter-esque escapist fantasy setting that appeals to child in all of us. I just think it did so a little conventionally, but the thought was there.
Agree with this, I felt it lacked depth in storytelling but it was only one episode. However I didn't see anything in it that made me think typical anime. The girls were cute yes but not in what I think normally appeals to the core anime audience at all.

Someone said it could be a Saturday morning cartoon and that is exactly what I thought.

I think for one episode it was great, for a whole series though I would definitely hope for something more.

And now after some of the comments I think I am going to have to watch Death Billiards . You had me at twilight zone.
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Old 2013-04-02, 16:29   Link #50
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I really felt like going back in time when I was kid while watching this. Really beautiful animation and colors with simple but effective premise. I got what I expected, fun.

Eagerly waiting for the rest to be subbed. I already have high expectations for Death Billiards and Ryo (because I like stories about samurais and Edo period), the other not sure what to expect but will watch it anyway since I love Anime Mirai after I watched Ojii-san no Lamp a couple of years ago.
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Old 2013-04-02, 19:16   Link #51
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
Well, it's a cute girls being cute anime. It doesn't get much safer than that.
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
I thought there was a sizeable amount of standard-level loli fanservice - we're not talking Ro-Kyu-Bu or anything like that, but we certainly spend a significant amount of time with the camera looking up Akko's skirt
Sounds like a contradiction to me. Safe and loli fanservice? I guess my mind must not always be in the gutter since I didn't see anything while watching the anime, nor did it even occur to me that that might be the case, until I read this comment. And I still don't see it that way. Of course, if that's what you want to see, I suppose you can look at it that way.

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It's not just about that! It's about believing in yourself; in your dreams. It's about the power of friendship. It's about the tenacity of your peers and how it seeks to motivate you.
Now this is a much more sensible comment, and spot-on as well. For such a short anime, it developed these themes quite well.

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Originally Posted by Bern-san View Post
I really felt like going back in time when I was kid while watching this. Really beautiful animation and colors with simple but effective premise. I got what I expected, fun.
The opening sequence, following Akko's reactions to what was happening, was really well done. Someone in the production team certainly seems to know what it's like to be a little kid experiencing the thrill of a lifetime.

Speaking of the opening sequence, could it be Diana who seems to be the focus in this very brief shot:



And was there ever really any doubt that Sensei was Shiny Chariot:

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Old 2013-04-02, 19:42   Link #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredFriendly View Post
Safe and loli fanservice?
The premise is "there's no safer way to target otakus than by providing loli fanservice"

I honestly didn't see it, but a trip on 4chan reminded me some people have a much wilder imagination than I do

And yes I figure that is Diana,it's a nice easter egg for people who rewatch it.

This might be wishful thinking but after a rewatch I can really see this as a foundation of a series where our heroine goes on and trains to become a new Shiny Chariot, the teacher mentions she thought the seven stars had lost their twinkle but it looks like Akko managed to reactivate it.
Is the fact the Rod stopped working related to why Shiny Chariot was considered a fraud?Because the teacher/shiny Chariot is hardly a fraud
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Old 2013-04-02, 20:11   Link #53
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Sounds like a contradiction to me. Safe and loli fanservice? I guess my mind must not always be in the gutter since I didn't see anything while watching the anime, nor did it even occur to me that that might be the case, until I read this comment. And I still don't see it that way. Of course, if that's what you want to see, I suppose you can look at it that way.



Now this is a much more sensible comment, and spot-on as well. For such a short anime, it developed these themes quite well.



The opening sequence, following Akko's reactions to what was happening, was really well done. Someone in the production team certainly seems to know what it's like to be a little kid experiencing the thrill of a lifetime.

Speaking of the opening sequence, could it be Diana who seems to be the focus in this very brief shot:



And was there ever really any doubt that Sensei was Shiny Chariot:

I was going to post about that. Thats definitely Diana.
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Old 2013-04-02, 20:16   Link #54
FredFriendly
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Originally Posted by totoum View Post
The premise is "there's no safer way to target otakus than by providing loli fanservice"
I must be failing as an otaku since loli fanservice is just about the last thing I want in the anime I watch.

Quote:
I honestly didn't see it,
I guess the old saying applies: "you see what you want to see." This seems to happen often with anime. For instance, some people will insist there are yuri overtones where nothing of the sort is intended. Some will see sexual innuendo in the most asexual of behaviours.

Quote:
And yes I figure that is Diana,it's a nice easter egg for people who rewatch it.
It occurred to me after Akko accused Diana of being a fan that perhaps they had shown her in the audience at the Shiny Chariot show and, low and behold, there she was in the very second shot of the crowd.

Quote:
This might be wishful thinking but after a rewatch I can really see this as a foundation of a series where our heroine goes on and trains to become a new Shiny Chariot, the teacher mentions she thought the seven stars had lost their twinkle but it looks like Akko managed to reactivate it.
Yeah, I'd love to see this as a series. Or even a series of occasional OVAs. Funny how Sensei Chariot (or is it Shiny Sensei?) wanted Akko to hand over the Shiny Rod so she could smite the beast, but the rod seemed to have a mind of its own, or, perhaps, had already acknowledged a new owner.

Quote:
Is the fact the Rod stopped working related to why Shiny Chariot was considered a fraud?Because the teacher/shiny Chariot is hardly a fraud
Sounds likely, but also raises other questions. For instance, if she was considered such a fraud, how did she land a job at this prestigious academy? And how did the Shiny Rod end up in that junk room? Ah, maybe we'll get answers in future episodes.
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Old 2013-04-02, 21:16   Link #55
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To be fair, there was pretty much nothing to look up at (And I'm glad they chose to colour everything out, because it means they'd be able to animate a much bigger range of movement without having any restraints). I really don't think the girls were as sexualised as you're trying to make it out to be.
Exactly! Miyazaki does a similar thing with having his characters wear petticoats or some other modest undergarment. No one ever accuses him of loli-fanservice.


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Originally Posted by FredFriendly View Post
I must be failing as an otaku since loli fanservice is just about the last thing I want in the anime I watch.
That is part of why I wouldn't call myself an otaku. Yeah sure you can be into trains, insect-collections etc, but the term is just too broad and includes too many of those pandering connotations.
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Old 2013-04-03, 05:34   Link #56
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I think LWA is cliche and unoriginal but boy am i loving every minute of it. My favourite is Diana but Akko and gang are pretty good as well.

I think sensei probably reached the magical girl age limit and couldn't use the rod anymore. So she returned the rod back to the place where she found the rod back when she is still a witch trainee.

Diana must have loved shiny chariot (why chariot?) too but when she disappeared, the disappointment is too much for her so she convinced herself she hated shiny chariot.
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Old 2013-04-03, 08:20   Link #57
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Little witch academia was indeed highly enjoyable. Harry Potter meets anime, or rather, Harry Potter meets Gainax Trigger. I agree it was quite conventional but it was masterfully directed and animated, and more importantly, it had the ingredient a lot of anime are lacking: charm.

The other short I'm looking the most forward to is Death Billiard. Duckroll makes it sound amazing.
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Old 2013-04-03, 09:11   Link #58
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I think LWA is cliche and unoriginal but boy am i loving every minute of it. My favourite is Diana but Akko and gang are pretty good as well.

I think sensei probably reached the magical girl age limit and couldn't use the rod anymore. So she returned the rod back to the place where she found the rod back when she is still a witch trainee.

Diana must have loved shiny chariot (why chariot?) too but when she disappeared, the disappointment is too much for her so she convinced herself she hated shiny chariot.
Diana was my favorite too, although I love the trope of the snobby girl who is a lot nicer than she seems.
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Old 2013-04-03, 10:40   Link #59
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There's Arve Rezzle subs out if folks are interested.

I really really am rooting for zexcs lately because they've been diversifying their productions but I've yet to really like one of them , the comedy in "cuticle detective inaba" just didn't do anything for me (love the ED though), "Say I love you" was an alright shoujo and this....this is a bit of a mess even if I like some aspects. So now I hope "Aku no Hana" will at least turn out interesting.

This wasn't originally part of anime mirai , it replaced a studio pierrot entry, and I figure that's why it really plays more as a first episode of a TV show than a short,there's no conclusive ending whatsoever.
Beyond that it really felt like the director was trying to do a bit of a shinbo impression, not sure what to make of it.
I did like the chara design and don't mind the siscon aspect or the fanservice (but I imagine others will) and if there is a TV show

Spoiler for speculation based on the episode:
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Old 2013-04-03, 14:20   Link #60
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Just watched Little Witch Academia last night and that was just incredible. It had a certain charm to it that most anime shows lacked. The characters were very likable and well developed given the short time it got.

It's a shame that nothing else would come out of this and that this is a one time thing.

I wonder why they won't release this on blu ray to the masses instead of just printing 1000 copies or so?
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