24th Animation Division Critiques

Animation Takes Root without Having Been Sown

I don’t usually watch a lot of animation, and I’m amazed at how many excellent submissions we received, even narrowed down to between 2019 and 2020. As an animation artist, I’ve been braced for a future in which the world is tapped of reserves and this art form reaches irrelevance, but having viewed so many entries filled with howls of the artists’ hearts and their ardent will to illustrate, I find myself relieved. I rest easy now knowing animation has the potential to sprout from soil anywhere in the world, that it may blossom into small and unique flowers or enormous trees that engulf their surroundings.
The original Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! is a powerful work, and YUASA’s ability as a director to express that story in animation increased the persuasiveness of the core message, thereby stirring interest in and enthusiasm for animation production to a wide audience. In MARONA’S FANTASTIC TALE, director Anca DAMIAN’s bold illustrations and inclusion of digital art demonstrate her flexibility in selecting the appropriate method of expression of what needs expressing. This flexibility transfers energy, which in a very positive sense smashed through the prescriptive tenets of how animation must be made. The director of Haze Haseru Haterumade, Waboku, took on a project scaled for one artist to express, from moment to moment, a high skill level at full throttle, naturally generating courage and motivation in younger generations of artists and causing a stir in the socially networked world.

In these animated works in which I felt such a strong sense of presence, were high degrees of energy and enthusiasm. I have repeatedly witnessed this strange exchange where calories (energy) spent in a single cut in production reaches the hearts of audiences. In the past year, most of us have been so busy taking care of just ourselves that entertainment has become an afterthought. Even so, we are each free to exert our energy as we see fit. No matter what the future holds, I hope to support the use of that energy toward fueling and nourishing animation.

Animation Director / CEO, Kamikaze Douga
MIZUSAKI specializes in a wide range of preprocessing work including planning, directing, and designing, and works mainly on music videos, the opening sequences of video games and anime, and feature-length films. His recent activities include directing the main episode of SOUND & FURY, the visual album of Grammy-winning artist Sturgill SIMPSON; inventing a media style for switching smartphone images between portrait and landscape view to add a layer of animation to the music video for Tokyo Jihen's single 3min; and other efforts to continually expand the possibilities of video. His motto is "Compromise is death." His directorial works include the feature-length film Batman Ninja and the music video Togemeku Spica on NHK's Minna no Uta.
( 2021 )