Computer Graphics works have been gaining their importance in the Japanese commercial animation scene. With “ARPEGGIO OF BLUE STEEL” (2013.10-) as the starting point, “Kemono Friends” (2017.1-) and “KADO: The Right Answer" (2017.4-) continue to attract fans to this day. What they have in common is the usage of 3D computer graphics (3DCG). The influence 3DCG would give the animation world is not only to its creative method, but also to the business and industrial structures. This thesis provides a deeper understanding of the situation and the insight based on the hearing of the producers as well as some preceding studies.
In 1933 film critic Yoshiyama Kyokkoclaimed that a 1909 film called Nippdru no henkei had been the first (Western) animation film to be screened in a Japanese cinema. In 2001 animation historian Watanabe Yasushi showed that a film called Nipparu no henkei premiered in Tokyo's Asakusa Teikokukan on 15 April 1912, but any details to identify this film were still lacking. Finally, in December 2012 it became possible to ascertain that Nipparu no henkei had been Emile Cohl's 1911 film Les Exploits de Feu Follet, released in other countries as The Nipper' s Transformations. In this note the identification process is retraced; moreover, other possible contenders for the title of 'first animation film shown in a Japanese cinema' are considered.
This article is based on my invited lecture for the 2013 annual conference of the Japan Society for Animation Studies in Tokyo. Here I will focus mainly on five subjects. First, the relationship between film and animation: while both media have plenty of common characteristics in principle, why has film studies in the past often neglected studying animation? I will exemplify two canonical works in film studies, which indeed suggest film studies’ tie with animation studies. Second, gravity in animation: Terada Torahiko’s statement is certainly applicable to animations, but the film critics or scholars in his era dismissed the point. Third, Terada’s essay on picture scrolls: analyzing a picture scroll (emakimono), Terada points out dual functions of the printed medium which are also applicable to animation studies. Forth, the aspects of standstill and movement, from Benjamin to Kracauer: Kracauer left out studying animations from his book, Theory of Film (1960). To him, animations simply belong to the domain of art. But Thomas Lamarre found an important meaning in Benjamin’s words to suggest the vital role of the limited animation. Lastly, Lamarre and Imamura: Lamarre, in his recent book, Anime-Machine (2009), constructs his media theory of animation in the context of the post-modern Japanese society. His argument makes me recall Imamura Taihei’s critical work on Disney’s animations, finding Americanism in them. Lamarre, to expand his theory into the universal validity, avoids anime’s association with a specific culture, namely Japanese cultural tradition or Japan’s national visual style.
My purpose for the list as a whole was to make a list of texts that teach how to create motion with pictures. When you teach animation, you often receive questions about how to do that. So, we have created a list of reference material that can lead to practical knowledge. The selector supplied this list from her production experience, which spans more than 30 years. We hope that students will use these materials at the early stages of learning—looking, understanding, and applying—and will acquire practical knowledge about “moving,” a useful foundation for their creative activities.
- ODA Takashi. Utsukushii bijutsu kaibōzu (Beautiful, Artistic Anatomy). Genkosha, 2018
- Michel Lauricella. Morpho: Anatomy for Artists. Rocky Nook, 2018
- Animēshon 6 nin no kai (The 6 Animators Club). Animēshon no hon: Ugoku e wo kaku kiso chishiki to sakuga no jissai (The Animation Book: Basic Knowledge on Drawing Moving Pictures and the Reality of Drawing) (rev.ed.). Godo Shuppan, 2010
- Harold Whitaker, John Halas. Timing for Animation. Focal Press, 1983
- Kyoto Animation. Kyōto Animēshon ban sakuga no tebiki (The Kyoto Animation Guide to Drawing). Kyoto Animation, 2010
- James Gurney. Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter. Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2010
- Joseph Gilland. Elemental Magic, Volume II: The Technique of Special Effects Animation. Routledge, 2011
- Richard Garvey-Williams. National Geographic: Mastering Composition: The Definitive Guide for Photographers. Nikkei National Geographic, 2017
- Eadweard Muybridge. The Human Figure in Motion. Dover Publications, 1955
- Eadweard Muybridge. Animals in Motion. Dover Publications, 1957
I’ve listed studies about cultural practices related to anime for girls (“shoujo”) and girls (“shoujo”) who watch anime.
- Akiko Sugawa, Shoujo to mahou – gaaru hiiroo wa ikani juyou saretanoka (Girls and Magic: Representations of Magical Girls and Japanese Female Viewership), NTT Shuppan, 2013
- Masahiro Koyama, Akiko Sugawa, Anime kenkyuu nyuumon – anime wo kiwameru 9 tsu no tsubo zouhoban (Introduction to Anime Studies: Nine Tips for Researching Anime Expanded Edition), Gendai Shokan, 2014
- Taiten Kawakami, Kono anime eiga wa omoshiroi (Anime Films Highly Recommended), Seikyusha, 2015
- Susan Naiper, Gendai nihon no anime – “AKIRA” kara “Sen to chihiro no kamikakushi” made (Anime from Akira to Princess Mononoke), Chuko Sosha, 2002
- Anne Allison, Kiku to pokemon – gurobaaruka suru nihon no bunkaryoku (Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination), Shinchosha, 2010
- Mark Steinberg, Nihon ha naze ‘media mikkusu’ suru kuni nano ka (Anime’s Media Mix), Kadokawa Shoten, 2015
- Akira Nogami, Kodomo bunka no gendaishi: asobi, media, sabukarucha no honryuu (A Contemporary History of Kids' Culture: The Torrent of Play, Media and Subculture), Ootsuki Shoten, 2015
- R. Moseley, Hand-Made Television: Stop-Frame Animation for Children in Britain, 1961-1974, Palgrave Pivot, 2015
- Rayna Denison, Anime:A Critical Introduction, Bloomsbury, 2015
The title states that this list is for “anime writers,” but my main objective is to present 11 books that will give you a quick grasp of production techniques and the history of so-called commercial anime (i.e. anime that gets major distribution via TV and movie theaters). I picked these publications as an introduction to the basics, and there are also many must-read pieces about specific titles that you can find in magazines and mook publications.
- Sachiko Kamimura, Animeeshon no kiso chishiki daihyakka (Encyclopedia of Basic Knowledge about Animation), Graphicsha, 2009
- Ango Sakaguchi, Sho Aikawa, UN-GO Aikawa Sho kyakuhonshu: Sakaguchi Ango gen an Meiji kaika Ango torimonocho (UN-GO Sho Aikawa Screenplay Collection: Ango Sakaguchi Story, Meiji Kaika Ango Torimonocho), Media Pal, 2012
- Isao Takahata, ‘Horusu’ no eizou hyougen (The Visual Expression of ‘Horus’), Tokuma Shoten, 1983
- Yoshiyuki Tomino, Eizou no gensoku (Principles of Image), Kinema Junposha, 2011
- Mamoru Oshii, METHODS – Oshii Mamoru ‘Patlabor 2’ enshutsu nooto (METHODS by Mamoru Oshii - Production Notes on Patlabor 2), Kadokawa Shoten, 1994
- Kenichi Konishi, Kiyotaka Oshiyama, Hagane no renkin jutsushi mirosu no seinaru hoshi gengashuu (Full Metal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos Key Animation Book), Square Enix, 2012
- Tomonori Kogawa, Animeeshon sakuga hou – dessan, kuukan paasu no kihon to jitugi (Animation Methodology – The Basics and Practices of Drawing and Spatial Paths), Sougeisha, 2007
- Hiromasa Oguro, Studio Ghibli, Hikari to yami Ogura Hiromasa gashuu (Ghibli THE ART series) (Light and Darkness Hiromasa Ogura Art Collection (Ghibli THE ART Series), Tokuma Shoten, 2004
- Works Corporation Shoseki Henshubu (Works Corporation Book Editorial Department), Anime CG no genba (Anime CG Production Site), Works Corporation, 2014
- Animage Henshubu (Animage Editorial Department) (ed.), TV anime 25 nen shi (25 Years of TV Anime History), Tokuma Shoten, 1988
- Yasushi Watanabe, Katsunori Yamaguchi, Nihon animeeshon eigashi (The History of Japanese Animation), Yubunsha, 1978