19th Animation Division Critiques

Encounter with Characteristic Animated Expression

Reviewing selected animation works in this judgement, I was amazed about the substantial difference between animated feature film and animated series works, and short animated films, regarding the concept of expression, and concerns for the target audience, among others. It was almost impossible to judge works from both categories on an equal footing this time. There were similar tendencies in the previous two years I joined, but it was interesting to see a wide range of animated expressions and there were more contents to focus on and make comparisons in both occasions. Animated feature film and animated series works that remained until the final selection process were mostly domestically produced entertainment and commercial works, and none from abroad were included. In contrast, animated short film finalists included artistic and personal works exploring the spiritual world. I might have felt this way because of this extreme contrast. In the future, if directions in both divisions are far apart like this, we may have to reconsider the screening method.
The most difficult part was choosing the Grand Prize winner. Although nobody had opposed that Rhizome was an excellent work, there were some different opinions among jury members whether it was appropriate for the Grand Prize.
This is related to the problem mentioned above, and the difficulty or senselessness of choosing was even more apparent. Rhizome, an extremely unique work, can be described as philosophical, due to its spatial expression like the Mobius loop. I think the work was highly praised for the brilliance of expression, which cannot be evaluated within the conventional genre of animation works. This time, many short films have applied, and I found many excellent ones. Yùl and the Snake, which won an Excellence Award, is well-balanced for the artist's first work. Chhaya, which did not get an award, is a young director's graduation production which successfully describes the sadness of aging like an old and mature artist. In contrast, SIGNUM is a wonderful work directed by an 88-year-old director showing no signs of old age.

OHI Fumio
Animation Artist
Born in 1944 in Kyoto Prefecture. Graduated from Tama Art University (Department of Graphic Design). He has been involved in animation production since his university days where he won awards at Sogetsu Animation Festival and Experimental Film & Video Festival. In 1981, he took part in the establishment of 3D Incorporated. Producing opening titles and animations for many TV programs, including the animations for NHK’s Minna no uta (Everyone’s Songs), he has also been involved in the production of a number of TV commercials. Since 2000, he has been engaged in production activities as a freelancer. He is a member of the animation production group G9+1 and a Japan Animation Association (JAA) supervisor.