Tuesday, March 21, 2006

News: Vintage Japanese animation online

For the real connoiseur of anime, nothing can be more interesting than to see the germ of the Japanese style being born with the adoption of American animation styles to Japanese storytelling use. At YouTube, through the courtesy of some kind soul in Japan who calls himself miniTaiyaki, we can now see a couple of classic examples of early Japanese animation.

Featured are:

動絵狐狸達引 (ugokie kori no tatehiki -- "Moving Picture: Fox And Tanuki Trick Each Other"), directed by Oishi Ikuo in 1933. This is an amusing little Fleischeresque story of two of the animals usually associated in Japan with trickster magic. The two meet in a ruined temple and engage in a duel of magic and deceit. More on this vintage short at Nippon Eiga Shinsha. Oishi Ikuo is truly a pioneer of Japanese animation, beginning with 兎と亀 (usagi to kame -- "The Hare And The Tortoise") from 1924, which retells Aesop's classic fable.

くもとちゅうりっぷ (kumo to chuurippu -- "Spider And Tulip"), directed by Masaoka Kenzo in 1943. A seductive spider tries to entice a sweet and naïve little ladybug into his clutches, only to have his plans foiled when she seeks refuge in a tulip, and a storm conveniently blows the spider away. This was a production by Shouchiku Douga Kenkyuusho, which was also responsible for 桃太郎 海の神兵 (momotaro umi no shinpei -- "Momotaro, Divine Soldiers Of The Sea") in 1944, directed by Seo Mitsuyo with animation work by Seo and Masaoka.

These two short anime are extremely difficult to find under normal circumstances, and this is a wonderful opportunity to make their acquaintance.

(Hat tip: AMID at Cartoon Brew)

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Blogger Yaxin said...

first visit on your blog, It's full of interesting stuff :))))

06 April, 2006 19:46  

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