Category Archives: Panda

>Black Sunrise

>Here is a very interesting trailer for an animated feature film, Black Sunrise, which displays an incredible amount of potential. It is not anime, it is not Japanese, but it certainly looks interesting, and I would love to watch it.

The film in production is by Nick Cross, a one-man studio who’s done a number of shorts, and has now decided to tackle a feature film. If you enjoyed the trailer (Or, even if you didn’t), I recommend you watch his short films (Yellow Cake, The Pig Farmer and The Waif of Persephone), to get an idea of what his stuff is like.

If you watched and enjoyed the trailer, or liked his shorts, I highly encourage you to donate here to his project. His end goal is $25,000, and he is asking for donations so that he can work on the feature full-time and not have to take on other projects to support himself. $25k might seem like a lot, but when you realize most feature length animated films usually have budgets upwards of $5 million (Toy Story 3 took 300 million iirc), $25k seems pretty small and very manageable.

I have no relation to Nick Cross at all. I’m just tired of seeing piss-poor corporate animation and entertainment. I want to see more intelligent animation, with a clear voice and purpose. I want to see animation that is not only breath-taking and beautiful, but also stimulates my mind and challenges me to think. And after watching his shorts, I have a great deal of faith in Nick and what he can do.

I want to see adult animation. Kids movies are good, and can be great fun, but I’m tired of how generic and throw-away most of it is becoming. I want something more. Yet at the same time, I’m sick of the “adult” animation that is produced relying on gratuitous violence or sexuality, lacking any thought and only eligible to be labeled “adult,” not because it is mature and sophisticated, but because it contains content no parent would want their kid to see. Persepolis isn’t adult because it contains a hardcore sex scene (which it doesn’t), and sure kids can watch it, but it’s “adult” because it’s mature, and has a sense of depth and insight to it that no child could grasp.

Nick Cross’ shorts (as well as this film, most likely) do contain sexual and excessively violent content. But at the same time they have a clear voice, a reason for being produced other than the shock value of seeing a cartoon bleed out it’s eyes. These shorts contain important social commentary that is unseen in other animated properties. Sure, he balances it out, he gives you the bloodshed and sexual fanservice, but he doesn’t let that distract from the purpose of the work.

His donations are off to a great start, nearly 1/5th of the way there. And if a dozen more people give a couple ($10? $25?) bucks here and there, then he’ll reach the goal in no time. And, personally, I’d love to see this movie completed sooner than later.. I want to see an early 2012 release, not a projected release 3 years from now, you know?

Thanks for listening, I hope some of you guys will feel it’s within your interests to support this awesome artist, and hopefully in the decently-near-future we can all watch it and talk about how awesome it is.

>1 year anniversary

>Wow it’s already been a year! On behalf of the Atv Oni Ota team I’d like to thank all of you for sticking with us for this long without you guys we wouldn’t have lasted this long. Thanks to all the people who hop in the chat and make this place lively. A special thanks to all of our writers. Here’s to another year!

Ps the reason this is so plain is because I’m on my phone, ill post something super special later!!!

>Rotoscoped II – Wallace’s Death

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So this is my new creation. Rotoscoped a scene from The Wire. Bodie and Poot kill their boy Wallace for snitching.

Took me way longer than I expected it to.. But I sort of burned out on it too. It’s 150 frames (I did 147, then recycled the last 3 over). I can’t seem to find the source on Youtube, so I guess I won’t post that.. But the scene is from season 1, ep 12. It’s actually a pretty long scene, and there’s a lot of back and forth between Bodie and Wallace. I cut most of that out though, just to shorten it (plus portraying them as talking is pretty difficult).. Originally I wanted to do a scene with Omar, but there’s a lot of angle changing in most of the shoot out scenes (plus they’re dark), so it’d be hard to do in a purely black line format.. I’m satisfied with this though, I like how it turned out.

>Pandadice – The Best Anime of 2010

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Alright, I decided it was time for me to add my post about the best anime of 2010. I dunno what to really write, so I’ll get right to it.

First just gonna throw in this disclaimer atv and onion used. -The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Atv-Oni-Ota.-

So you have an idea of what I’m selecting my favorite from, I’ll post what titles from this year I’ve watched:

Angel Beats, Attraction (an interactive video/website by Studio 4°C/Koji Morimoto), Baka to Test, Black Rock Shooter, Boku Otaryman, Dance in the Vampire Bund, Darker than Black OVA, Durarara (first 12 episodes), Hanamaru Kindergarten, Highschool of the Dead, Honey Tokyo, House of Five Leaves, Je T`aime (a music video directed by Mamoru Oshii), Katanagatari (first 3 episodes), Kurenai OVA, Ladies versus Butlers, Lupin: The Last Job, Madobe Nanami (I wasn’t gonna put this, but AniDB and MAL both count it as an OVA :\), Magic Kaito, Omamori Himari, Ookami Kakushi, Shoka, Sleeping with Hinako, Sora no Woto, Tatami Galaxy, Time of Eve movie, Unlimited Blade Works, and Welcome to the Space Show.

So, out of these titles I’ve chosen my top pick for 2010. It wasn’t a very hard pick, and I’m actually having more trouble deciding on some runner-ups xD.

The Winner is

The Tatami Galaxy
(Youjohan Shinwa Taikei)

Without a doubt, I thoroughly enjoyed Tatami Galaxy more than any other show. It honestly transcends its existence as a late night anime in Japan. It’s not just another show, one which happened to avoid tired tropes and old cliches, no, it’s solid entertainment, and true art.

The style is way unconventional, hardly resembling the expected “anime” visual. And that may have turned many people off. However, I loved that aspect about the show. But it’s not just the visual style’s “difference” that made me choose Tatami Galaxy. It’s just an all-around good watch, with an excellent and fulfilling conclusion. It uses the old narrative of reliving your life/specific times indefinitely, but it approaches it in a new and inventive way. It’s really intelligent and the whole series sets out to make a statement, which is pretty much unheard of these days.

Some people couldn’t get into the visuals, others thought the heavy dialogue was too hard to navigate. I’m not a writer, I’m not a critic or reviewer, it’s been 5 months since I watched the series. But I got so much enjoyment out of it, I definitely recommend it to everyone, and without hesitation rank it as the best title of 2010. (eh, I’m just a Yuasa fanboy m(_ _)m)

Now time to post some Runner Ups:

Shoka

For a singular half-hour OVA, there isn’t much there to judge it by. But the 30 minutes that are there are pretty sick. The story isn’t anything to talk about, but thats okay cause this OVA was all about the visual style. The animation all has this overly-sketchy, grotesque roughness to it. It’s really awesome. It was kinda like Windy Tales or Kemonozume, only more rough. Which I think is awesome, because those are some of my favorite titles for their visuals. So yeah, even though the story is sub-par, it’s only 30 minutes so what more do you expect? Plus it’s a period piece, so the setting is cool. All in all a quick, easy and entertaining watch.

Angel Beats

Guess I’ll throw this one in as a runner up. It was sweet, much better than I was expecting it to be. It was really crafted as an emotional roller-coaster, which I’m not so sure I liked. It seemed like one minute I was supposed to be laughing, but then the next I was supposed to feel sad for a character, so I ended up just not really doing anything either way. Now, thats not to say I didn’t laugh at all, oh I definitely found parts funny, and I definitely found parts dramatic or felt for the characters. But overall it took some getting used to and caught me off guard. I spent more time thinking “is this a set up to a joke for me to laugh at, or is it building a dramatic scene?” rather than me being in-the-moment of the show. Also, Tachibana is the biggest moeblob I’ve seen lately, which was awesome. I had forgotten how awesome moeblobs are.

Sora no Woto was good, Welcome to the Space Show was good, Ladies vs Butlers was good, Time of Eve movie was good but it was basically just the ONA. Not much else was really that noteworthy. The Studio 4C stuff, Honey Tokyo and Attraction, were both interesting, but not the studios best work.

Worst title –

Sleeping with Hinako

Was that that big of a surprise? I’m not sure why I watched this, but I did. 40 minutes of a chick occasionally rolling over while she sleeps in her bed. No one, ever, watch this. I don’t care how into fanservice you are, it’;s not worth it. Just go watch a hentai or something, seriously. It’s not even worth watching ironically with friends or anything. I mean, maybe the first like 4-5 minutes would be funny, but definitely not the whole thing.

Omamori Himari

I didn’t think this was that bad for the first couple of episodes. But by like the 3rd or 4th I couldn’t stand watching it. But I kept on watching, I don’t know why. I don’t know why I expected anything different to happen in the series after what I had seen in the first 3 or 4 episodes, but for some reason I thought “maybe it’ll get better,” but it only got worse. Even as far as harems go, there are many better titles than this. And definitely don’t bother if you’re in it for the fanservice, because that’s pretty minimal here.

(yay, no Shaft in the worst list orz)

There are still a ton of titles I’m looking forward to from 2010 though. Here’s a quick list of what else I wanna watch:

Midori-Ko, Redline (2009, but I still wanna watch it. plus it hasn’t seen it’s commercial dvd release yet, afaik), Trigun movie, Colorful (2010), Umi Kara no Shisha, Mardock Scramble, Hen Zemi, Iron Vendetta (this isn’t even out yet. probably gonna be a 2011 title), Kuragehime, Occult Academy, Amagami SS, Shiki, K-ON!!, Giant Killing, Rainbow, Working, Ironman, The World God Only Knows, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, and My Little Sister can’t be this cute.

Maybe out of this list I could find something that I’d place above Tatami Galaxy? Dobut it, but it’s totally possible. I look forward to viewing these titles someday.

Not sure I’m gonna participate in any of the other posting categories.. happy holidays people.

>House of Five Leaves and Fluidity

>
Well, I decided to go ahead and try to watch through a couple more 2010 shows before I post about my favorite title of the year. And so the first title I watched was House of Five Leaves.

I gotta say, Five Leaves was severely disappointing. It was one of the few titles from this past year that I really looked forward to, and expected a lot from. However, watching it was boring and uninteresting. Sure, the backgrounds were fantastic, and the character designs were “different” (which, I’m not so sure is an automatic plus). It wasn’t a series about high school girls and panties, it was a period samurai piece, which was interesting. But there was just nothing there.

I think the biggest problem with Five Leaves, is that it’s 100% character development. There’s nothing else. It’s entirely substanceless beyond the background and friendship of characters. It’s like slice-of-life, only overly dramatic and “atmospheric” (dragging). The entire thing is all a build up to the co-main dude’s back-story, which is all super obvious from the first episode. The entire point of this show is just to develop these characters back-stories as the two main guys become best friends, and that’s all that happens. There’s this glimpse of some action in the first episode, to trick all those dudes who like samurai into watching it, but after that anything beyond the main characters sitting in a bar and talking is pretty minimal.

Now I mean, I’m not complaining that this wasn’t like Sword of the Stranger. I’m not saying it needed to have bodies sliced up every other minute, and the only talking should’ve been the duelists yelling profanities at each other. No way. In fact, I’d probably find that more boring than I found this. But at the same time, there’s gotta be something more to the characters and the series than just people talking about their back-stories. It introduces them all as gangsters and then it just starts right into “but they’re only criminals because this and this and this happened to them!” without portraying them as criminals or anything. They come across as just regular joes most of the time. And, I’m not saying character development is bad. I realize it’s a completely necessary part to any good story. But at the same time, Cowboy Bebop had character development and was character driven, but it still had the dudes doing stuff. It gave me a reason to think Spike was cool. There was substance there. There just isn’t anything else really going on in Five Leaves.

But I think this show just simply wasn’t for me. I know Noitamina makes shows specifically targeted towards women, but before Five Leaves I didn’t really see that come through. However, Five Leaves is totally the superficial character drama I could see tons of young adult chicks getting real into. I think it would be great for the people it was made for. So I guess it’s just not my thing.

Overall, I’m not sure what to think. I loved the artwork, the directing and atmosphere was generally appealing, the bgm was great. But there just wasn’t anything there besides developing characters for the sake of developing characters. I don’t consider it fully a waste of my time, but still, I don’t think I’d re-watch it, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. I think this also goes to show how absence of fanservice or “moe” doesn’t make something good, which is an important thing the anti-moe fans should keep in mind.

Next, I thought I’d post about something else that’s been on my mind today. Whenever I see people talking about animation quality in anime, it’s always basically “the animation was fluid, backgrounds were good, and character designs/costumes were good.” That’s basically what the average fan’s animation assessment entails. Now, I remember Onion posting about how super-fluid animation is a turn off for him, so clearly this isn’t everyone. But I just see this basic stuff come up all the time in like MAL reviews, or when people praise a shows animation.

I just think this concept of fluid=good is funny, because Disney’s animation is incredibly more “fluid” than pretty much any anime. Yet, most anime fans write off disney as crappy animation, and praise anime as good animation.. Then they go and defend it’s “good animation” by praising how fluid it is. The western (so, Disney) standard is like, 12 drawings a second. In Japan, the show is super fluid if it uses 9 drawings a second. Western animation is 1/3rd more fluid than Japanese, yet western animation isn’t praised because of it’s excessive fluidity. Which is why this notion of fluid=good is ridiculous. I mean, go to any anime review, on AniDB, MAL, ANN, etc. The people, if talking positively about the animation, will most likely claim it’s fluidity as one of it’s pros. It’s really kinda silly.

>Venus Wars

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So I just watched Venus Wars. It’s an early ’89 film, coming out not even a year after Akira, and it has some definite Akira influence in it. Which is understandable when you see this incredible all-star animator line up, most of which worked on Akira (And specifically, the Akira opening bike chase). Toshiyuki Inoue, Toyoaki Emura, Hitoshi Ueda – these dudes are like, the big guys behind the Akira bike chase. Hiroyuki Okiura (director of Jin-Roh, and Akira animator), Hirotsugu Kawasaki (director of Spriggan, and Akira animator), Toshihiro Kawamoto (character designs/sakkan for Bebop), Takahiro Omori (director of Baccano! and this seasons Kuragehime), Satoru Utsunomiya, Shinji Hashimoto and Tatsuyuki Tanaka (Three Akira animators, among many other things). I mean, all of these guys are like really respected animators, and all of them key animated for Venus Wars. It blows my mind that this movie had such an animator line up. I mean, I watched it because I saw Tanaka on the line up, and I’m a bit of a fanboy for him so I try to watch things he’s had a hand in. But then I saw this list and the movie went from being an obscure 80’s film to being a must-see.

The animation, as far as I could judge it, was pretty sweet. There’s a pretty heavy focus on motor-unicycle, so there’s a lot of sweet animation there, with them rolling through dirt roads, and through the city. Though, I was disappointed with the bit live-action footage being used, I would’ve loved to see it all drawn.

The story, or, characters, of the film are pretty reminiscent of Akira as well. It’s all about this raggedy gang of teen bikers and their girlfriends, seriously, straight out of Akira. Which is cool, I think the fact that they put out something like this as sort of like “the next Akira,” is awesome. What bothers me though, is that you never see people talk about it. I mean, seriously, who here’s even heard of Venus Wars before I mentioned it? I’ve seen it recommended maybe two-three times, but it’s not exactly one of those good ol’ classics..

But, the plot of the movie isn’t exactly anything to talk up.. Basically, there’s this war going on on Venus, the bad guys take over this city, and these punk biker kids in the city decide they don’t like The Man running the town, so they go after the baddies, and in their failure of an attack, they run into the good army, who they fight with to kick the bad guys out of their town. There’s something in there about a reporter, and maybe a few lines hinting at some back-story to the war, but that’s pretty much the movie. Then you fill it in with sweet motor-unicycle chase scenes, incredible backgrounds, a hint of teen-romance, plenty of gunfire and explosions, a tragic death here or there, and general sweet animation. And when wrapped together, it makes one decently entertaining and worth watching film.

I gave it an 8 on MAL, and I’m sure I’m being overly generous, but I found the movie highly entertaining. Of course it isn’t “deep,” or “thought-provoking.” The movie doesn’t make you question why you walk through the cycles of daily life, it doesn’t open your eyes to the atrocities of war (I’d actually say it more glorifies war :x). No, it doesn’t do anything like that, it’s just an entertaining 80s action-fest with gorgeous art and some of the biggest animators in the industry. And, it is worth sitting through it’s hour and forty minute run time.

Aside from Venus Wars, I watched through the Time of Eve movie the other day. Now, when this show was coming out, I was the biggest fan of it. I listed it on any list of titles I ever made, dropping it’s name wherever I could. Heck, I accidentally made 2 threads for it on Bakawolf, because by the time the third (I think) episode came out, I had forgotten that I made the a thread after I watched the second episode. But watching through it all again, I know it’s probably cause I had seen it all before, but I wasn’t as impressed. I mean, I still enjoyed it, definitely. But it wasn’t as groundbreaking. The excessive shaky-cam started to irritate me. The characters are all like, super simplistic and sometimes blocky and awkwardly drawn. The females are a bit too “moe” (that is, generic ;)). There isn’t much animation in the show to look at. It’s pretty obviously done on a minimal budget.. But the backgrounds. The backgrounds still looked fantastic to me. And my last complaint is, I’m not sure how I liked it as a movie.. When it was made and crafted into episodes, linking them all together is a bit weird, and doesn’t really flow right. Though, I had already seen it all, and I was sitting there breaking it apart going “Okay, so episode 3 just started,” so maybe I should leave the judging of that up to someone who didn’t go through the ONA first.

Eh, I wanted to hold off posting about the movies until I could watch a few more, or watch some none-Japanese films/TV shows. But after watching Venus Wars, I felt like posting about it. But, hopefully in the future I’ll post up another entry talking about 4-5 western animated films.. I’ve got plenty of them I wanna watch, so it’s only a matter of finding the time.

Oh, and here’s a new short from Tannokojo