sdshamshel on Gold Lightan

In starting this blog I wanted, among other things, to have a place to note helpful and/or fun posts elsewhere. I was delighted to see a new blog post about Gold Lightan at Ogiue Maniax. Posts about Gold Lightan don’t exactly weigh my RSS feed-reader down every week! Indeed, this might be the first one I’ve seen.

sdshamshel highlights the show’s unexpected aspects—most of its aspects, by the sound of things—and its distribution of craft attention. I often wonder what combinations of chance and design focused efforts and talent on this or that part of an episode.

The flippancy of the show’s premise also sounds like a plus. I often enjoy a good spot of flippancy. Or even a bad one. I hope I find myself with the right marriage of time and mood to watch it one day!

HiDive stream Gold Lightan in the USA, putting it in the growing basket of old giant robot anime unexpectedly available over there. I’m not sure that we even had a full English translation before this (I would be interested to know, in fact). The past few years have seen more of these obscurities emerge into easier English availability via streaming outfits, a trend much to be welcomed.

The labours of Yoshiyuki Tomino

I recently watched Heavy Metal L-Gaim (1984). Or, rather, I recently finished L-Gaim: I started watching it on 14 July 2009, and so it’s become the anime I’ve taken the longest to see from start to finish. I forget exactly how this happened, but it wasn’t fully translated into English when I started, and I bet that fact played a role. Continue reading “The labours of Yoshiyuki Tomino”

Big hand for Govarian

Twitter user @DogBarkingBees recently alerted us all to this moment in Psycho Armour Govarian (1983). Govarian shows every sign of hasty craft, although, in fairness, I’d rather watch it than Michael Gove, and its opening song slaps. To see it in the UK, one must trouble the Navy, but Discotek’ve released it on standard-def bluray in Region 1.

Here, for a sliver of time, the hand of (presumably?) a photography staff member becomes inadvertently a character. Or, more seriously: here, on the rushed side of eighties anime production, a lapse prompts us to remember the labour that kept other, luckier shows more pristine. Continue reading “Big hand for Govarian

Kazuhisa Kondo interview translated at Zimmerit

In starting this blog I hoped, among other things, to grant myself some free space to take notes on items published elsewhere. Yesterday threw up a good opportunity: Zimmerit’s just issued a translation of an interview with Kazuhisa Kondo, an artist and mechanical designer who’s had a long career in and around Gundam. Continue reading “Kazuhisa Kondo interview translated at Zimmerit”

The two of them are still Pretty Cure

I sat down with a friend across twenty-four Saturday evenings and watched the original Futari wa Precure again. Writing about one’s favourites always throws up challenges, and for a long time I simply avoided doing it. Every time, mere words let fondness down. But, for all the strains it brings, writing about favourites offers a chance to think about what one values. Continue reading “The two of them are still Pretty Cure”

Anime’s shift to digital colouring and photography

Two cels from Armour Hunter Mellowlink (1988). The upper cel just bears eyes and eyebrows; the lower cel carries all the rest.

We know that anime shifted from an analogue production process to a digital one.

I can’t find a very simple, understandable account of the shift, of the sort which one could gently link when a friend refers to anime animators ‘no longer drawing by hand’. Upon questioning, many fans who attend to production info, most of them more knowledgeable than I, don’t seem to know much about the nature and timing of the shift either. So I set out, in foolish ignorance, to write such an account.

I’ve tried to keep what follows clear and brief. I’ve also tried to exclude my views on the relative strengths of different times and techniques. I’m no expert on the topic, and this post is a call for facts, additions and corrections as least as much as it’s as a summation of them. Continue reading “Anime’s shift to digital colouring and photography”

Golgo 13

Many know the 1983 Golgo 13 film—when they know it at all—only for its brief, early and ill-boding experiments in the use of 3DCG animation. This is a shame, for it stands as a bit of a landmark.

Osamu Dezaki had a knack for deliciously jarring direction, but he also spent a lot of his career wringing beauty out of the constrained circumstances of television anime, making a virtue of necessity. This film offers a chance to see him guiding something lavish, no longer making do and mending. Continue reading Golgo 13