12th Animation Division Critiques

[Critique by work category] Long Animation (Movie, TV, Original Video Animation)

In the final screening process, a rather harsh view emerged that no piece of work from this genre was worthy of a prize, but after the audition, I paused and realized something. KAIBA, The Sky Crawlers, HELLS ANGELS, SOULEATER, the Garden of sinners, and HAKABA KITARO. Believe it or not, these works are all set in "higan" (the other shore, where the dead live). The river that divides the dead and the living seems to be a keyword in 2008. The suggestion may be that "higan" is the world where we live now or that we do not know whether we are living or dead. Someone once said, "To be conscious of death is to feel truly alive." Now, does animation stick with that point? The jury members were divided over whether we should give an award to the Garden of sinners, and whether we should consider it as a new work or as merely a citation of a previous work. Debate raged over the issue but we eventually decided that we should wait and see next piece of work, and decided not to award a prize. The auditions for those "higan" works seemed to be taking us jury members to the other shore but left us with the feeling that we were stuck halfway.

IKUHARA Kunihiko
Animation Director
IKUHARA was born in 1964 and graduated from Kyoto College of Art in 1985. In 1986, he entered Toei Doga Company and in 1992, joined the production of TV animation series Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, in charge of rendition. He directed the film Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R in 1993. After that he left Toei Doga Company in 1996 and in 1997, started to be in charge of planning, writing the original story, and directing the TV animation Revolutionary Girl Utena in 1997, Revolutionary Girl Utena/Adolescence of Utena in 1999, Storyboarding of the video animation Top wo Nerae 2! in 2005. In 2007, IKUHARA created the OP animation for the TV animation, Nodame Cantabile. Other activities include writing novels and offering original stories for mangas.