21st Animation Division Critiques

Works Only Possible with Animation

An animated film's craftsmanship is determined by a combination of various elements, including its scenario, editing, background, music, audio, drawing, filming, and voice production. A large polygonal area in which these elements make up the sides will be a master- piece. No matter how much one element may stick out, the area of the polygon would not increase much. Even an animation with little movement can be a masterpiece if the scenario and other elements are good. However, I believe that movement is very important to deliver a masterpiece representative of animation's potential. All of the works that won awards this year have impressive movement, which I was very pleased to see.The two films that won the grand prize certainly de- served this accolade.In This Corner of the World skillfully evoked the taste of the original manga in the animation, and exhaus- tive research gave the visuals a depth. The characters' movements are also expressed with great care.Lu over the wall highlights the new efforts and exper- iments typical of this director, and he also made good use if digital techniques to augment the action.Harmonia feat. Makoto made me realize that this is exactly the kind of animation I want to see. Nega- tive Space is a masterpiece of stop-motion animation, structured with no gaps. Digital animation centering on 3DCG tends to become quickly obsolete as skills progress, but I believe that COCOLORS, created using digital techniques reminiscent of handwork done with brush and paint, will still be with us ten years from now.There was a good balance in this year's works. We had fantastic full-length films, and impressive short films in a range of areas, and there were also mid-length animated features for television and original produc- tions well worth seeing. Many of the films that did not receive awards were very interesting. I was somewhat used to the process this year, and I regret that I wasn't a little more selfish, but the screening process this year was truly delightful and allowed enough time for enjoy- ment.

KIFUNE Tokumitsu
Animation Artist and Representative, IKIF+ and Professor, Tokyo Zokei University
Born in 1959 in Kanagawa Prefecture. He graduated from the Department of Fine Arts at Tokyo Zokei University, where he majored in painting. In 2001 he was appointed a professor at the same university. In 1979 he formed the unit IKIF together with KIFUNE Sonoko. They began creating animations and continuously released experimental animations and video installations. From the late 1980s he began engaging with CG animation and founded IKIF+ in 1997. Thereafter, he participated in the creation of the 3DCG animations for Metropolis, Innocence, Steam Boy and Sky Crawler, among others. He served as 3D director for the NHK Educational Petit Anime Series Bu-, ba-, ga- (1995-1997), BLOOD THE LAST VAMPIRE (2000), and Tachiguishi-Retsuden (2006). He participated in Doraemon the Movie as creator of the opening animation as well as 3D director and supervisor from 2007 to 2009. He is a board member of the Japan Animation Association and a member of the executive committee of the Inter College Animation Festival (ICAF). He is also a member of the Japan Society for Animation Studies, the Japan Society of Image Arts and Sciences, and Association Internationale du Film d'Animation (ASIFA).