In the 1940s, Sergei M. Eisenstein criticized Disney’s animations for the unnatural feel of the backgrounds depict in them. One of the reasons may be attributed to Disney’s use of the multiplane camera. This essay focuses on examples of the use of the multiplane camera during the 1930s and 1940s. The multiplane camera was so structured as to be able to do animation with miniature sets as well as celluloid paper. Technical skills required for the equipment differed from those for conventional cel animation, and therefore, people with experience in working with miniature sets and live-action filming were needed to deal with it. It is considered that the marriage between miniature sets and live-action filming made possible by the multiplane camera bought not only 3D effects, but also an unnatural feel.
This article explores the interrelated questions of form and identity in the Japanese anime feature Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade. The film is a reworking of the fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood, set in an alternate Japan which was conquered by Nazi Germany at the end of World War II. The main character of the film is a young recruit to a special police unit named Kazuki Fuse. His inability to kill a young girl carrying a bomb leads to disciplinary action from his superiors, but also draws the attention of the rival division in the police force, which is looking for a way to abolish the special unit. The narrative explores whether or not the traumatized young officer will be capable of using violence to defend himself and his unit. The question of whether Fuse is a rapacious wolf, capable of remorseless violence, or a sensitive victim of trauma converges with the question of the status of the film in relation to its medium. For Jin-Roh is a political thriller that, with the exception of one scene, might as well have been shot as a live action feature. Engaging the work of animation scholar Thomas Lamarre on the distinctions between the animetic image and the cinematic image, the article seeks to demonstrate that the question of the film’s film can only be addressed by reference to how the narrative resolves the question of the protagonist’s interiority. It is the one scene that resists being translated into a live action sequence that holds the key to the enigmatic behavior of the protagonist. Fuse proves fully capable of defending himself against armed men and defeating the conspiracy to destroy the special unit, while remaining a traumatized individual who becomes complicit in worsening his own state of psychic anguish.
Scalar travel documentaries and their adaptations in interactive media present animated models of the body’s interior and the physical worlds at a variety of scales. Featuring increasingly comprehensive animated images at microscopic and macroscopic scales, they help scientists better understand the structure of the universe. This article examines the poetics of scale and the diverse rhetorical mechanisms used in these documentaries. In Powers of Ten and Cosmic Voyage, for instance, the metronomic overview of the underlying organization of the natural world generates ideological discourses on the position of humankind in the universe. The mechanical gaze these films produce, it is argued, reveals the instrumentality of new modes of knowledge and the posthuman nature of our perception. Finally, comparing the various ways with which scalar documentaries animate scientific models, this article suggests that the visions of the natural world these films construct should be more reflexive of the limits of representation at the edge of the knowable.
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
It is not easy to say what is "essential". (For myself? for everybody? for today or in all times etc.) What is essential depends by a context which does it essential or not, and all contexts are not similar...I always combine ideas that I find in different sources..In any way as you suggest "They are not necessary to deal with animation directly" I can mention books that I like and are references for me.
- Rudolf Arnheim, Art and Visual Perception, A Psychology of the Creative Eye, University of California Press, 2004
- Jacques Lecoq, Le Corps poétique : un enseignement de la création théâtrale, Actes Sud, 1999
- Various Books on Bauhaus
- Betty Edwards, Dessiner grâce au cerveau droit, Mardaga, 2014
- Giannalberto Bendazzi, Pages d'Alexeïeff, Annecy,14e JICA, 1983
- Giannalberto Bendazzi, Animation: A World History, Focal Press, 2015
- Theodor Adorno, Aesthetic Theory, University of Minnesota Press, 1998
Initially I was thinking about “10 References That Shaped Japanese Animation Studies,” but I revised this list to references from early animation studies through the early 1980s. I’ve grouped the list into five parts: (1) Works in the early 1960s including translations that were the “classics” of their time; (2) Works in line with the legendary F&FF circle that are as a fundamental references for animation proper; (3) Experimental cinema, experimental animation, and original works; (4) Film history and animation history, and (5) Film and visual studies, which are fundamental to this area of research (+x are listed as titles only).
- 1-1. Taihei Imamura, Manga eigaron (Manga Film Theory), First published by Daiichi Geibunsha, 1941; reissued by Shinzenbisha, 1948; Otowashobo, 1965; Yumanishobo, 1992; Iwanami Shoten, 1992; Tokuma Shoten, 2005
- 1-2. Roger Manvell, John Halas, Technique of Film Animation, Focal Press, 1959
- 1+x. Semen Sergeevich Ginzburg, Douga eigaron: Eiga geijutsu no houhou to ninshiki (Cinema Theory: The Method and Recognition of Cinema Art), translated by Shinichiro Kawagishi, Rironsha, 1960
- 2-1. Takuya Mori, Animeeshon nyuumon (Introduction to Animation), Bijutsu Shuppansha, 1966
- 2-2. Katsunori Yamaguchi, Yasushi Watanabe, Nihon animeeshon eigashi (Japanese Animation Film History), Edited by Planet, Yubunsha, 1978
- 2+x. Chikuji kankoubutsu (Sequential Publication), FILM 1/24, Anidou, May 1978 (New edition Vol. 8) – July 1984 (New edition Vol. 32)
- 3-1. Sheldon Renan, An Introduction to the American Underground Film, Dutton, 1967 published in Japanese, Tetsuro Hatano translation, Sanichi Shobo, 1969
- 3-2. Robert Russett, Cecile Starr, Experimental Animation: an Illustrated Anthology, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1976 / Reprint edition: Experimental Animation: Origins of a New Art, Da Capo Press, 1988
- 3+x. Kit Laybourne, The Animation Book: a Complete Guide to Animated Filmmaking from Flip-Books to Sound Cartoons, Crown Publishers, 1979 / Rev Sub ed.,; The Animation Book: A Complete Guide to Animated Filmmaking -- From Flip-Books to Sound Cartoons to 3- D Animation, Three Rivers Press, 1998
- 4-1. Georges Sadoul, Histoire du cinéma mondial, des origines à nos jours 9e éd., Flammarion, 1972, published in Japanese as Sekai eigashi, translated by Sadamu Marusho, Misuzu Shobo, 1964 and Sekai eigashi 1, 1980
- 4-2. Takashi Tomono and Nobuo Mochizuki, Sekai animeeshon eigashi (History of World Animation), supervised by Takuya Mori, edited by Takashi Namiki, Parupu, 1986
- 4+x. C. W. Ceram, Eine Archäologie des Kinos, Rowohlt, 1965, published in Japanese, translated by Yoshio Tsukio, Film Art Sha, 1977
- 5-1. Keiji Asanuma, Eigagaku Sono kihonteki na mondaiten (Film Studies: Fundamental Issues) Kinokuniya Shinsho A-17, 1965, republished: Kinokuniya Shoten, 1981; Seisen Fukkoku Kinokuniya Shoten, 1994
- 5-2. Shin eiga jiten (New Film Dictionary), edited by Keiji Asanuma, Bijutsu Shuppansha, 1980.
- 5+x. Eiga riron shuusei (Film Theory Compilation), edited by Kenji Iwamoto and Tetsuro Hatano, Film Art Sha, 1982