Due to the lack of free time which is supposed to be allotted for my daily serving of anime, I resorted to watching short anime films and such. Of course, I was hoping to find something as magnificent yet light as Tsumiki no Ie. Then I stumbled upon the 4 short anime shows that comprised the 2010 Young Animators' Training Project. As the name of the said endeavor implies, its an on-the-job-training project funded by the Japanese Animation Creators Association to train fresh aspiring animators. Although I found it not as touching, unique and outstanding as Tsumiki no Ie, this anime collection was still worth
the watch as each story brought me back to those shows and stories I used to love when I was still a child.
First of the four I watched from this great compilation is Kizuna Ichigeki. Its a short episode in the life of Kizuna Todoroki, a young and spunky twelve year-old little girl. Being in a family of martial artists, she exhibits her fighting prowess in a martial arts tournament. Eventually she won, became champion and took off with the 100 million yen prize. Unfortunately, she had no idea she broke one of the competition's rules being under the age of thirteen and her last sore loser of an opponent took advantage of this and broadcasted that anyone who defeats Kizuna becomes the real champion and gets the 100 million. Upon hearing this crowds of martial artists gathered over at the Todoroki's to challenge Kizuna.
Now how is she going to defeat all of them? And how are they going to give back the 100 mil when its already been spent in a snap, paying Kizuna's grandfather's gambling debts? (And how and where the heck did ol' gramps pile up that much debt?!)
Although this single episode anime's plot and its development is paced quite well, a bit of lighthearted scenes and great elements of comedy (even parodies) are evident, there are quite a few details that bug me for having been given little attention. Kizuna's family and their history for example, and how Kizuna became that strong in a short span of time despite his gramps saying she just learned from imitating him and his son's training. (maybe she's like Son Goku or something). Thus, these elements, give me some feeling like its a special or single episode taken from a series. Well, on a positive note, I think it can pass for a good shounen series given the chance it gets serialized as an anime.
At a glance, Kizuna Ichigeki seems drawn in a rush, haphazard style, given the unfinished and unrefined lines and the very simple character designs, bright and vibrant colors though make up for it, giving it the perfect feel of a comedy anime/cartoon for young viewers. Also the fight scenes which are very well executed with dynamic camera angles and well-animated movement of characters is another huge plus for this show.
One of the best parts of Kizuna Ichigeki has to be the music. The OP music, with its shaolin-kung-fu-esque motif, is very fitting of a martial arts themed show. The background music gives the right feel on each scene especially on one fight scene in particular, which I really enjoyed, is played with catchy funky music which really catches the excitement and intensity of the scene. The ED theme is perfectly light and matches the background Todoroki family montage where it plays along to.
I totally enjoyed the fight scenes, the animation and its ensuing comedy, Ol' gramps funny character and parodies, and Jingoro, their pet cat was really a surprise. Overall, it's a good and enjoyable show especially for young audiences.
Young Animator Training Project/Anime Mirai short reviews: Part 2/12
The most vibrant of the young animator training projects (at least until Trigger’s Little Witch Academia descends upon us), it tells the story of a kung-fu family and a reporter trying to interview them about some fighting tournament the youngest daughter has been in. It’s all incredibly silly, with the old man randomly referencing K-ON in the middle of it, and a lot of fun due to the visual variety in the martial arts battles. It goes for a sketchy-line look, which works well with the tone they’re going for. That said, it is rather shallow. At
the time I did prefer Kizuna Ichigeki to Ojisan no Lamp, but 2 years on I can remember Ojisan no Lamp beat-for-beat while I’m struggling to remember anything that happened in Kizuna Ichigeki. It’s a trifle. A fun side dish that you’ll instantly forget about once it’s over.