Database for Animation Studies

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3D Technologies that will Bring about Changes to the Production Processes and Business Structures of Animation―Findings from "ARPEGGIO OF BLUE STEEL", "KADO: The Right Answer" and "Kemono Friends."

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.

On the Earliest (Foreign) Animation Films Shown in Japanese Cinemas

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.

Animation Studies Seen from Aside: Some Points of Contact with Film Studies.

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.

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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.

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.

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