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Mar 6, 2021
Cyborg 009 (Anime) add
- the regression caused by Tezuka's Astroboy.

With the American theatrical failures of "The little prince and the eight headed dragon" and "Gulliver's Space Adventures", TOEI animation decided to abandon their typical fare of imitating western animation styles and adapting folktales. Bolstered by the success and glut of weekly animated tv shows featuring Cyborgs and Robots pioneered by Osamu Tezuka's Mushi Productions with Astro Boy and its myriad imitations, TOEI adapted a similar Shounen Manga about a cyborg troupe - Cyborg 009 as a feature film.

The reduced budget as a result of financial pressures on the studio is clearly visible in this movie. The animation is ...
Mar 6, 2021
Memory (Anime) add
Mixed Feelings
I think I prefer Tezuka's shorts when they don't verbalize their thoughts and use music and visuals to tell the story he wishes to narrate. For when the narrator does open his mouth to elucidate on the temporal unreliability of memory and the inconsistencies of the human mind storage system, the exploration is pretty surface level and tinged with an objectified view of women that would be widely offensive today.

Memory is clever in short bursts - mostly when it uses the animation to play with double entendres and misidentify objects with the narration to achieve a comical effect - but in terms of substance, the ...
Mar 5, 2021
Ningyo (Anime) add
"Mermaid" is a delightful little experimental short by Osamu Tezuka's Mushi productions that subverts the themes of the famous Hans Christian Anderson fairytale. We follow an unnamed boy who plays with a fish he considers a pet, only to discover the fish transform into a mermaid. After a montage where the mermaid takes the boy to the ocean and the two bond, the boy convinces it to return with him to land. Things only deteriorate from there, because it turns out that the boy is the only one who can see the mermaid. Other people are implied to only be able to see a simple ...
Mar 5, 2021
Pretty terrible. This felt like a lazy low budget imitation of Disney movies and actually has the dubious recognition of being the first work where Miyazaki is credited as an animator. The voice work and sound design is particularly terrible in this one, egregious even. The entire thing felt like a throwaway production designed to fill some quota.

Its the story of a dog trying to take revenge on a tiger for killing its mum. The tiger is notable for it seems like an inspiration of the likes of Sher Khan and Scar, or perhaps its the other way around. This movie is so terrible, I ...
Mar 5, 2021
Mixed Feelings
Preliminary (1/96 eps)
I just checked this out for the purposes of satisfying my curiosity. As the first anime revolving around a robot and I suppose being the progenitor of the mecha genre, its an interesting artifact to take a glance at. The episodic nature of the show isn't particularly suited to my taste, but it is certainly an interesting glimpse back in time to what people perceived the major scientific problems of the day were - radiation (cold war), polar exploration (another competition centered around a clash of political ideologies) and a forward looking scientific idealism and obsession of robotics that continues to this day in Japan. ...
Mar 5, 2021
- A Masterclass in describing motion through tempo.

Osamu Tezuka's second experimental short, and his first of some considerable length is a delightful bag of goodies that slowly reveals its contents the deeper you decide to dig in.

Tales of a Street Corner is an experimental animated film that describes a microcosm of a world encompassed within a street while reflecting on the most broadest of metaphysical meanings of life itself - the journey from the optimistic awe that is conceived by innocence to the nadir of nihilism wrenched out by the hidden realities. It could also be seen on a more literal level as the reflection ...
Mar 4, 2021
After five films trying to imitate the whirlwind success of Disney for Japanese audiences that disappointed my expectations in one way or another, TOEI doga finally find their footing and discover a unique identity that would lay the seeds for modern anime, dramatic and complex battle choreography and perhaps most modern Kaiju movies.

Susanoo and the Yamato no Orochi sets its sights on portraying the creation story at the center of Japanese myth itself - Susanoo's search for his mother, the female creator of the Island Nation, Izanami, who departed into heaven. Susanoo is a herculean individual who fails to comprehend the vastness of his own ...
Mar 4, 2021
i only managed to find the dub for this one. Sindbad's adventures was a much needed change of pace from the same old character designs TOEI was employing - direct imitation of Disney movies of the time with much poorer production value and quality, unfortunately. You even see some experimentalism make a return here, especially with how some effects for the ocean and the treasure were animated using sand.

Unfortunately, the characters continue to remain paper thin and uninteresting. while their designs are quite a detailed improvement from the paper motion humans in the previous TOEI doga films, there is little depth to them. The movies ...
Mar 4, 2021
Mixed Feelings
Like most other TOEI doga films of the period, Shounen Sarutobi Sasuke or Magic Boy, has a lot of issues. Its major distinguishing factor is that it was the first Japanese animated feature to be exported and dubbed into the US. But when it comes to quality, the story is a leap backwards. Again.

The animation quality has regressed from the highs of Hakujaden, a feature film produced by the same studio just a year earlier. While the repeated reuse of frames and tepid background art does not reach the blatant low levels of "The Littlest Warrior", it is still far below the standards the studio ...
Mar 3, 2021
To me, this felt like a step backwards even for TOEI movies in the sixties. The animation quality has gone through clear reductions in quality, especially when contrasted against something like Sayuuki. The story is premised to be an interesting tragic tale, but is constantly undermined by ill placed Disney stylized replica animals that have no place in the story and only serve to bog down the narrative. The character designs suffer from a lack of inspiration and there is a return to designs more reminiscent of nascent Japanese animation around thirty years its predecessor than the standards TOEI set for itself in the previous ...

It’s time to ditch the text file.
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