14th Animation Division Critiques

A milestone year from the perspectives of culture, expression, and generational diversity

From the moment I was appointed to the jury, I knew that this year the selection would be very difficult. I had seen many ambitious and unique works through my work alone, so I was aware that there would be a rich variety this year. Just as I expected, the screening process was fierce. We narrowed down the award nominees with much regret. The selection of the Grand Prize winner, in particular, caused intense discussion. Package sales have now reached a turning point, and commercially they are entering a harsh period. In the field of theatrical release animation, however, we saw the fruition of numerous unique projects whose groundwork took three to five years. 2010 should be recognized as a milestone year for animation from the perspectives of culture, expression, and the generational diversity of both creators and audiences. In the short animation genre, the wide scope of expression and diverse themes in the works submitted from various countries were interesting. The expert use of CG in some works was truly amazing, while the hand drawing in others was very impressive and prioritized a soft yet powerful dynamism close to the origins of animation.

HIKAWA Ryusuke
Animation Critic
Born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1958, HIKAWA graduated from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, School of Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology. From when he was a student he was active as a magazine editor, music album creator, and writer in the field of animation special effects. After gaining experience as an engineer/manager at an IT company, he launched his own writing business, through which he provides commentary on various topics for magazines, videograms, and the Web. Other activities include directing the "Anime Maestro" segment of the television program BS Anime Yawa, commenting on products distributed on the Bandai Channel, and serving as a lecturer at Ikebukuro Community College. His publications include 20 Nenme no Zambot 3 (The 20th Year of Zambot 3; Ohta Publishing, 1997) and Akira Archive (Kodansha, 2002).