10 years ago, director Kenji Iwaisawa absentmindedly agreed to create a movie about a group of school delinquents absentmindedly becoming musicians. The result of its long production process was On-Gaku: an outrageously funny deadpan comedy, which will encourage you to create as recklessly as its team and characters did.
10 years ago, Toei Animation released Nijiiro Hotaru: Rainbow Fireflies, the stunning culmination of a lengthy production to honor the iconic works of their past and the power of traditional animation altogether. A decade later, the loss of projects like this threatens the studio’s future.
Tomohiro Furukawa draws from the philosophy and methods of living legends like Mamoru Oshii, Hideaki Anno, and his mentor Kunihiko Ikuhara. He reconstructs their teaching and his influences from countless fields into a unique thrilling style—that’s Revue Starlight The Movie, and what he calls experience-centric anime.
It’s no secret that Spy x Family is a co-production between Studio WIT and CloverWorks, but what’s the backstory behind that deal, what does it involve, and what are the dynamics, history, and intent of anime co-productions in the first place?
Five years ago, we highlighted a woman who had yet to direct a single episode of anime as one of the most promising young creators in the entire industry. Today, she’s the mastermind behind the most celebrated moments of TV anime—this is Megumi Ishitani, who might genuinely be too good for her job.
Mamoru Hosoda and Takayuki Hirao, Pompo the Cinephile and One Piece Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island: two of the most brilliant anime filmmakers used their personal misfortunes to fuel very entertaining movies, processing their darker feelings through lively animation.
Toshimasa Ishii’s direction on 86: Eighty Six elevated a war drama with a keen political outlook, but despite his team’s many successes, they always faced an uphill battle because mismanagement from above dealt them an unfair hand. This is the reality even for anime’s most brilliant directors.
Creators tend to have their range of expression limited when working on big franchises, and that’s precisely why Fate/Grand Order – Divine Realm of the Round Table: Camelot is such an interesting case. This is how a young team amidst a huge mess challenged anime production standards to create something spectacular.
Anime’s production schedules, the wellbeing of its creators, and the quality of their work are deeply interconnected. It’s a complex balance fraught with misunderstandings, and even lies by exploitative companies protecting the marketability of their products.
Sonny Boy is an anomaly in commercial media, let alone as a TV anime: a fascinating creator given a blank cheque that he cashed in to explore his philosophical views, mixing cultural touchstones and personal musings into a unique sci-fi story, and tweaking animation production norms to illustrate a singular worldview with unmatched cohesion.