More sad news about a terrible loss to the anime industry – one of it’s true legends and artists Yoshinori Kanada passed away yesterday, after suffering a heart attack at the age of just 57. After making a name for himself in the 1970s working on sci-fi and giant-robo series, he eventually ended up at Studio Ghibli, working closely with Hayao Miyazaki on such monumental works as My Neighbour Totoro, Porco Rosso and Princess Mononoke among many others, and his face will be familiar to anyone that’s sat enthralled watching the extras on Ghibli DVDs. His work was so distinctive and influential that ‘the Kanada style’ became a term commonly used by Japanese animators, and if you want to see just a tiny selection from his massively impressive CV check out the report over at Anime News Network. Read the full story >>
It had been far too long since the last time I made it down to Bristol’s live graffiti night Weapon of Choice, so last night I actually managed to get off my backside and represent. King Audel & Dirty30 were the resident live painters for the night, with music provided by – amongst others – Asaviour & DJ IQ and light hearted Bristol hip-hop crew Hairy Parents. If you haven’t heard of the latter then you need to go hit that link and check them out now – clearly UK rap needs more West Country accents to survive. Read the full story >>
It’s very hard to underestimate the global impact of Katsuhiro Otomo’s film adaptation of his own, epic mangaAkira. It broke box office records when it opened in Japan, and along with Ghibli Oscar winner Spirited Away it is probably the anime film most western ‘non-fans’ have seen. For many of my generation it is a much treasured and personally important film and, without resorting to hyperbole, one that the first viewing of was a life-changing experience, akin to watching Star Wars, 2001 or Blade Runner for the first time. Read the full story >>
Some of you may remember that I picked up several special treats on my visit to the Ghibli Museum in November. Chief among them was the Blu-ray of the Kazuo Oga Exhibition: Ghibli No Eshokunin – The One Who Painted Totoro’s Forest. It was something I’d been planning to grab ever since I knew I’d be visiting the museum, but it wasn’t until this weekend that I finally managed to sit down and watch it. If you’ve ever seen any of the major Ghibli releases, then you’re already familiar with Oga-san’s work and his lovingly hand painted backgrounds that have brought films such as My Neighbour Totoro and Princess Mononoke to life. Quite frankly he is the very best in the business – quite possibly the greatest animation background artist of all time – and this disc, in it’s very elegant and typically Ghibli way, shows you exactly why. Read the full story >>
Some of the coolest things I picked up in Tokyo were a trio of Katsuhiro Otomo art books – although sadly they weren’t for me, intended instead for my favourite Otomo-san obsessive Al T. Shame, as I would have liked to have spent some quality time with these beauties. Luckily though, I was able to grab a few shots before I let him get his grubby paws all over them.
Despite having been boringly safely back in the UK for over a month now, I’m still only just managing to mentally process everything we saw and experienced in Tokyo. A major highlight for us, in fact one of the main reasons for going in the first place, was our trip to the Studio Ghibli Museum in the suburb of Mitaka. Read the full story >>