Category Archives: Animation

CLASSIC ANIMATION (ON 4) STOP MOTION AND WTF SHORTS VOL 2

CLASSIC ANIMATION (ON 4) STOP MOTION AND WTF SHORTS VOL.2

It’s been a long while since I last caught up with this *series* but here we go with another volume, part 1 can be found here.

Harpya

This induced a few nightmare and is certainly one of the vivid animations that I have never been able to shake off or forget. A man is walking home when he hears violent cries as a woman is being drowned in a public fountain, on saving her he realises he’s a Harpy and his life is never going to be the same again. This dimly lit mix of stop motion and clever cinematography bring to

life an ancient creature with all it’s vivid horrors and mysteries.The erratic movements and unique language really give a crazy edge to an already claustrophobic movie.

Baggage

This film isn’t necessarily one of the most inventive but it’s a great story but what i really love about this clip is it’s actually from the Four-Mations show!! I used to get all excited about life when I used to see that vivid intro!

This black and white piece by Ruth Lingford deals with a woman’s perspective of love sex and death ultimately. The basic drawings shouldn’t be mistaken for a basic story in the slightest,instead the fluid concepts tend to grow on screen as life morphs and progresses, at times it’s frightening but with beautiful overtones.

The Black Dog – Alison De Vere

I’m adding all of my favourites in this edition as I’ve lost a lot of links since posting the first story but The Dog was a life changer for me, this came on Fourmations but I had seen it before with a series of animations about insomnia, something I was experiencing at the time and lived with for years.

A woman is woken by a Black Dog, he takes her to a mysterious area called Complex Fatal which hosts a shop, restaurant and disco, the woman is drawn into the boutique and experiences the finest goods that the mythical creatures can conjure up for her as the expense of many animals and expensive materials but the payoff is a life changing lesson for her, I adore it’s creativity and blend of nightmare and dreams. There’s something rather sinister about it but for a long while I got as drawn into it all as the main character, it’s easy to get lost in this much imagination. Continue reading CLASSIC ANIMATION (ON 4) STOP MOTION AND WTF SHORTS VOL 2

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Meglobox (2018)

Director: Yō Moriyama
Japan. 6h 30m ish

This epic mini series was made in honour of the 50th anniversary of the iconic Manga Ashita no Joe. It closely follows the often tragic story of Junk Dog, a young fighter who has been picked up by a trainer, Gansaku Nanbu who has fallen from grace and uses the kid to fix fights to raise money to pay off his debts.

In this future era there’s a classic sci fi set up, there are two distinct classes, citizens and non citizens, Junk Dog is of the lower cast, a non citizen who fights in the outskirts of a mega city but he dreams of making it into the Megloboxing ring as a citizen to fight the number one ranked fighter, Yūri. Who, through a series of unfortunate events turns up in Junk’s ring and the two battle it out, Junk Dog gets his ass handed to him but the young kid never gives up and this intrigues Yūri, who leaves the fight but urges the “Stray Dog” to com and fight him in the big ring. This really awakens something and soon he encourages Nanbu to help him fight in Meglabox. Nanbu is pretty useless but he strikes an all or nothing bargain with the man he already owes money to, the pair arrange for a fake citizen card for Junk Dog who renames himself Joe, and they enter him into the games. Continue reading Meglobox (2018)

Demon City Shinjuku (1988)

Director:Yoshiaki Kawajiri .
Characters: Master Rai, Rebi Ra, Earth Demon, Mephisto, Rapist, Hag, Yin, Chibi, Water Demon, Genichiro, Rama . Japan. 1h 25m

The makers of this slightly underpowered Anime are responsible for much more adored favourites such as Ninja Scroll (1993) and Wicked City (1987), so it’s got a high standard to live up to. The story is somewhere between Supernatural adventure and a Romantic horror, and at times seems to be a missing link between the two.

Opening mid way through a battle between good and evil, two men, former friends Rebi Ra and short lived hero Genichirou are doing cool battle shit when one hits a limit break and kinda sparks off a huge explosion which opens a gateway to hell and this envelopes the Shinjuku area.(as you do) Cut to the modern day and only a few years after this “event” and the city has been become a no go area. The military had tried to control the nasty creatures that reside there but failed miserably but despite this an underground of people still live in their beloved district. Continue reading Demon City Shinjuku (1988)

In the Aftermath (Angels Never Sleep) (1988)

Director : Carl Colpaert
Starring : Tony Markes, Rainbow Dolan, Filiz Tully. Japan/Australia. 1h  25m

There is always an element of Love and Hate with this Anime/Live Action mashup, the film will captured my affection many year ago and I still enjoy watching it, while blindingly unaware of it’s origins I just assumed two directors got together to produce this mix of post apocalyptic drama/ baroque mystery, many years later I realised how this project basically butt fucked a precious classic Anime movie and turned it into a Troma movie BUT I still adore it.

So the original Anime is  Mamoru Oshii’s 1985 undefinable classic Angel’s Egg, which sees a young girl traverse an abandoned town while nursing a giant egg and entertaining a young soldier, the film dissolves into a biblical darkness that even the director himself can’t really explain. But Carl Colpaert decided to rehash the strong imagery in between new footage filmed in the hot Australian desert and brings new life and meaning to the bizarre original. Continue reading In the Aftermath (Angels Never Sleep) (1988)

Tenshi no Tamago / Angel’s Egg (1985)

Director: Mamoru Oshii
Starring: Jinpachi Nezu,Mako Hyōdō . Japan . 1h 15m

This avant grade collaboration between Yoshitaka Amano and director Mamoru Oshii is like a waking dream, the film has very little dialogue and what is said is as fragmented as the action within the film. The sparse plot, while linear, doesn’t really suggest a solid straight forward narrative but, but instead has a hazy, “make of it as you will” atmosphere. It’s very easy to sum this up as “Animated Art House” rather than a film with direct meaning and purpose, but it continues to inspire with its unfamiliar themes and dark visuals.

There are two main characters, a young girl who lives in an abandoned building near an abandoned town, a man appears on the shore watching a temple like orb raise from the ocean, and he descends silently into the town. Meanwhile the girl collects her giant egg, an object she protects each day by stuffing it under her dress, and heads into the eerie neo gothic town to scavenge for food and bottles to collect water in. She wanders around looking through windows and only gets startled when the man arrives on a biotechnical tank their silent glare results in the girl running away and the man slowly following after her. Continue reading Tenshi no Tamago / Angel’s Egg (1985)

ゴルゴ13 / The Professional : Golgo 13 (1983)

Director: Osamu Dezaki.  Japan . 1h 31m

I’ve never really been swept off my feet by Bond movies, although I did get sweaty palms over some of the wonderful toys and gadgets. But the actual bond character changed with every incarnation and while everyone brought their own twist I couldn’t really find him all that believable. In contrast we have Rambo (stay with me here) Rambo is the toughest man alive (no question about it) a tough hombre who little kids wanted to be when they were all growed up, but then I discovered Riki-O (1991) a amazing invincible tough guy who makes Rambo look like a pussy.  In the same vein Golgo 13 makes Bond looks equally pussified. He’s an assassin who is always one step ahead of the game, women falling over themselves willing to die just for one night with him, no shot if ever off and he’s like teflon in hand to hand combat. There really isn’t anyone better than Golgo 13.

With that mighty introduction, what else is left to say? You now have the opportunity to see the toughest man alive do bossanova things.. Get going.

Continue reading ゴルゴ13 / The Professional : Golgo 13 (1983)

Classic animation (on 4)  stop motion and WTF shorts Vol.1

After reading this title, I believe a  short Introduction is an well growing up in the 90s I was rudely introduced to stop motion and bizarre animated shorts through the Channel animation on 4. Obviously as a child and young teenager I’ve seen lots of animated films series and feature length films, but nothing could quite prepare me for the onslaught of dark mechanical don’t like creatures from the insipid creative minds of the Quay brothers Paul Berry’s and the claustrophobic social construct  of Phil Mulloy.

While it frightened and unnerved me it did also,  open my eyes to unlimited dreamscapes and nightmares!? I would sit up late at night transfixed to the mirage of movement and curious situations which eventually started to warp my art, thinking, and most facets of my life. I suppose it was truly influential, but it’s take me this long to get back into that niech groove  and present my all time favourite classic animations, mostly from Animation on 4, stop motion shorts and everything else that fits in between.

Continue reading Classic animation (on 4)  stop motion and WTF shorts Vol.1

Dragonball: Evolution (2009)

Director: James Wong.
Starring: Chow Yun-Fat and some other people including Justin Chatwin, James Masters. USA. 1h 25m.

Sometimes a manga series can inspire huge things, and with a thriving fanbase both in Japan and here it’s something with could easily break the box office and sway merchandising for years to come. Admittedly I adore the animated series and would have been happy to watch a feature length film made with the same retro feel and expressions, going live, usually ruins such things but I was very interested to see how my favourite characters were going to be whitewashed and ruined, I guess there is a mini masochist inside of us all. Continue reading Dragonball: Evolution (2009)

Perfect Blue (1999)

 

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Day 3 of 31

Director: Satoshi Kon
Writers : Yoshikazu Takeuchi, Lia Sargent
Starring: Junko Iwao Rica Matsumoto Shinpachi Tsuji Masaaki Ōkura . Japan. 1h 21m

Hitchcock meets Manga! At a time when Manga was hitting the UK in major ways it was seeming be a torrid landscapes of futuristic fighting, cybernetic hacking, blood violence and tits, a few unexpecting films managed to squeeze their way through the gaps, really defining that manga wasn’t going to be defined. Taking a leaf out of the book of Hitchcock it dabbles with a violent stalker as Mima struggles to keep her sanity.
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Mima is a young and beautiful J-pop singer, who makes the life changing decision to  go solo and shifts into the nerve racking world of sitcom acting, despite the anger and disappointment from her fans her loving agent stands by her side. Everything is going well for Mima  despite her nerves and the alien environment, until the stalking starts, anonymous phone calls, soon turns into sinister dealing that reach a little closer to home and it’s all too much for the timid girl who’s already feeling out of her depth.
Creepy stalkers are in their hundreds as the ex pop idol was a no.1 commodity, but one in particular stands out, a deformed man who absolutely idolises Mima but is it too obvious to assume he’s the culprit. Mima herself slowly dissolves into the multiple possibilities that surround her as this Giallo action climaxes into a chase to the death.

Basically a Manga Noire really stands out from the crowd but sadly it didn’t inspire many other movies to made in this style. the astonishing factor that really stunned me was how cute and sunny the film remains despite all of the maiming starts, the breakdown of reality is also subtle and doesn’t follow those over dramatic hollywood steps so it does actually catch you off guard.Everything about the animation is perfect around the era when Manga was still blinding us with it’s brilliance and before computers took over the delicate art of animation, this really does break conjure up so many emotive scenes and with the fluid motion it’s like watching a film at times. The writing is complex and deep and the thrills build up until a slashing and dashing ending. It’s interesting how the film outlines the issues of teen idols and the pressures and dangers they have to endure also outlining various issues of how women are viewed and treated in Japan, it offers no suggestions on making things better but it does pinpoint where things are so totally fucked up.
Hitchcock may have been the influence of this intense thriller, the main character going through this hell ride not knowing what’s real or not, but the director most influenced by this film would be Darren Aronofsky, who admits that  Requiem for a Dream (2000) and Black Swan (2010) both pull great influence from this pioneering and daring animation.

Flirting around with the advancements of Japanese lifestyle while repulsing anyone from actually wanting to live there with the amount of psycho’s that are roaming free in the sunny pleasant atmosphere literally drawn on the screen but the darker aspects of the film are terrifying. The terror that is built up by this unknown vicious stalker are mindblowing. The chases are exhilarating and the penultimate ending is sublime. I don’t want to go into details but it’s trippy rush..

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Rating – 8/10

R – Audition (1999), Opera (1987), Requiem for a Dream (2000), Memories of Murder (2003)
L- A-Z of Manga, Selected Japanese movies, A-Z of Japanese films,
A – When I got hit in the face by Manga

And here is a clue for tomorrow’s film..  More than just a cut..

Ninja Scroll (1993)

ninja scroll

Director/Writer: Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Based on: Makai Tensho by Futaro Yamada
Starring: Koichi Yamadera, Emi Shinohara, Daisuke Gori, Kareshi Aono. Japan. 1h 34m.

I can’t believe this is my first Manga installment on the blog, but I have to start somewhere and I would have believed it would be with Akira (1988) or something cyber as that was always my main attraction to Japanese animation and Akira literally blew my away for years I was sketching scenes, trading cards and obsessing over rebuilding Tokyo.. but eventually I got into some other genres and then left it all behind when it became tooooooo computerised and cute, and err popular.. Hipster am I yes. Continue reading Ninja Scroll (1993)