14th Animation Division Critiques
Thanks to this screening, I've become acutely aware of three aspects of an animated work: originality, completeness, and necessity. Excellence Award-winning MARONA'S FANTASTIC TALE had a compelling design born of innovative ideas as well as unique motion and production not often seen in long-form animation. The other three winners in the category were less innovative but showed extremely advanced techniques in illustration and a sense of completeness as finished works. The exceptionally high degree of originality and completeness of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! seized unanimous votes for the Grand Prize, a satisfying result. What makes Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! exceptional is its diverse presentation of original ideas, like illustrations resembling imageboard or setting or character sheet drawings that have leaped unfinished off the page. These are not gimmicks; they're essential to making the story easier to understand. YUASA is the only director I can think of who has produced such varied and entertaining animated works so rapidly while incorporating experimental techniques and direction. Haze Haseru Haterumade represents the trend of indie animation that has captured widespread attention on the Internet and thus merited the Social Impact Award, and I look forward to seeing what it kicks off and where it goes from here. The Man on the Shore won one of the New Face Awards for abandoning superficial notions of realism in favor of a unique vividness and verisimilitude. The Jury Selection Just a Guy is a very strong piece depicting an interesting theme through various animation techniques, but what I failed to interpret from the work was the necessity of its techniques and design, which felt at the end of the day like mere preferences of the artist. Animation can't captivate a significant audience without originality, completeness, and necessity. There are, however, times when an unbalanced and misshapen work grabs a single viewer by the throat. It's truly disheartening to have so many exciting submissions that broadened the possibilities of animation production and the opportunity to select only a spare few of them.