Experts' choice

Various experts introduce their own selection of the works on JAFC.

Ryo_timo(Animator, Animation director)

Ryo_timo participated in creating the animated film BECK (2004) as a lead animator. He served as a character designer and general animation director for Birdy the Mighty: Decode (2008); worked as the director and character designer for Yozakura Quartet: Hoshi no Umi (2010), Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta (2013), and Yozakura Quartet: Tsuki ni Naku (2013); directed a 3D animation movie Demi-Human (2016) and a 2D-3D compound animation movie KADO: The Right Answer. He is wandering somewhere around the animation industry.

Ryo_timo's choice

    Spring Comes to Ponsuke

    selection of the works 1Oishi Ikuo『Spring Comes to Ponsuke』(1934)

    Choice reason of the work
    This film was created by a person with contemporary sensitivity. The characters are depicted with a unique sensibility that makes them fun, but the film has a dark feel like it was made by an adult who never grew up. The change in the seasons includes a shift from being introverted to extroverted; whether intentionally or unintentionally, this work reaches a high level of expression. The author of the film depicts the characters based on a proper understanding of movements in Disney movies. The film shows how film culture is passed from generation to generation. At the same time, the cuteness of the characters creates a gap between their outward appearance and inner emotions, thereby enhancing the surrealistic impression.
    Two Worlds

    selection of the works 2Murata Yasuji『Two Worlds』(1929)

    Choice reason of the work
    This film was created by Yasuji Murata, an animation writer with outstanding drawing skills among the animation writers on this website. Murata creates animated films using characters, such as Norakuro, that make exaggerated movements often seen in Disney movies. In this work, however, Murata focuses on how to lay out static drawings. He is extremely skilled in using black. He uses only simple lines to draw the characters with great precision, which forces me to reflect on my own work. Murata was already drawing frames one by one by using a drawing technique similar to present-day cel animation instead of cutout animation. That is why his expressions are so outstanding. They make us feel as if his works were the very source of contemporary animation art. Watching his films in chronological order gives us a feeling of the evolution of his technique. Murata may have been studying daily how to present his work and convey his message to the audience. He was in his mid-thirties at the time, which somehow makes him seem like a contemporary animator to me.
    Kouchi Junichi "The Dull Sword [the longest, digitally restored version]" (1917)
    Choice reason of the work
    I was really amazed to see that such advanced techniques were already available 100 years ago. Even as a cutout animation, this work was created at a level of perfection comparable to contemporary films, so much so that it could make me wonder if it's a retro-style animated film created recently. The story is simple. However, the individuality of the characters is strongly emphasized by using movements and expressions, which draws the audience into the story, making them grin. This film enables us to learn many things about the evolution of animation in the last 100 years, including expressions used in animations, such as the use of stars when a character bumps into something hard.

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