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Old 13-12-2002, 01:03 AM   #1   [permalink]
jennwenn
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"Artsy" Anime

After watching Angel's Egg, this type of anime really interests me. So what are all the good arthouse, experimental anime out there?

Can someone share infomation/opinions on:
Angel's Egg (Tenshi no Tamago, directed by Oshii, character designs by Yoshitaka Amano)

Memories (stories by Katsuhiro Otomo) - what are the titles of the 3 stories in this?

Robot Carnival - how many parts is this? Who worked on it?

Is there any more anime like these movies? Or even any anime that is so beautiful, unconventional, and full of imagery that it can be considered similar art?

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Old 13-12-2002, 01:11 AM   #2   [permalink]
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I'm hesitant to say it, but I think the Utena TV series and movie qualify. They go beyond mere symbolism at times but still manage to convey meaning and an attractive style.
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Old 13-12-2002, 01:15 AM   #3   [permalink]
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Memories is pretty cool.

#1: Magnetic Rose
#2: Stink Bomb
#3: Cannon Fodder

Each is a mini-movie that has nothing to do with the other 2. Magnetic Rose is wierd, but good. Sink Bomb is just fun all the way. Cannon Fodder is interesting. Though they are not exactly my cup of tea, I can see many people enjoying these.
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Old 13-12-2002, 03:57 AM   #4   [permalink]
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Hrm. Utena is sort of borderline artsy. It's not as screamingly "Screw mainstream!" as those you listed, jennwenn, but it's pretty...yeah, experimental. It's the most experimental [highly marketable] magical-girl series I know of.

There's also 1001 Nights, which is really beautiful and strange. No dialogue, and pretty short; it's almost like a semi-erotic Fantasia. The art was by Yoshitaka Amano and the music by the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra. If you like Fantasia and/or Amano's work, this is really spectacular. I loved it.
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Old 13-12-2002, 05:31 AM   #5   [permalink]
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How bout those Daicon videos that Gainax did in the 80s? Some semblance of a plot, but really, they're just great pieces of amateur animation. What do you mean by artsy anyway?
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Old 13-12-2002, 12:52 PM   #6   [permalink]
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Robot Carnival, according to The Anime Encyclopaedia, is at least 8 parts.

Staff include:

Katsuhiro OTOMO - the credit sequences
Hiroyuki KITAKUBO - Tale Of Two Robots
Yasuomi UMEZU - Presence
Hiroyuki KITAZUME - Starlight Angel
MAO Lamdo - Cloud
Hideyuki OMORI - Deprive
Koji MORIMOTO - Franken's Gears
Takashi NAKAMURA - Nightmare

I thought most of the segments were interesting, the last two listed and the credit sequences a bit less so.

Cloud is probably the closest you'll get to "artsy" in this lot. Tale of Two Robots is hella funny, but pretty standard animation. The two "music video" segments, Starlight Angel reminds me of mid-80s Madonna videos. Good ol' cheesy fun. Two years on, I can't say I remember exactly what Presence and Deprive look like


Memories is legendary for the Magnetic Rose segment, but while it's spectacular, I actually would re-watch Cannon Fodder in preference. Kinda brutal artwork in the latter, though. Of course, that adds to the mood.


For other films, if you ignore the characters and concentrate on the backgrounds, AKIRA, Metropolis, Tree Of Palme and Tale Of Genji all look beautiful - or at least fascinating. Spirited Away as well.

Night on the Galactic Railroad, and the film about the author's life, Spring and Chaos are two mesmerising films.


Wings of Honneamise? I haven't watched it for two years either, but some of the scenes should be good for a look.


I got a chance to see a tiny bit of independent Japanese animation in October, but I must say it didn't really entrance me as I'd hoped.


Ooh - just remembered - Hoshi no Koe is apparently rather nice, although I haven't seen it myself.
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Old 13-12-2002, 01:02 PM   #7   [permalink]
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Thanks everyone. I've been looking for information on Robot Carnival and Memories for ages.

And I love Fantasia, I love Amano's work. 1001 Nights looks especially interesting...

Quote:
Originally posted by Psyk0
How bout those Daicon videos that Gainax did in the 80s? Some semblance of a plot, but really, they're just great pieces of amateur animation. What do you mean by artsy anyway?
Hmmm, yeah I guess "artsy" is hard to describe. I think some posters here have got the idea though. I guess I'm just looking for the equivalent of independent, arthouse films in the anime world.

Or basically ANYTHING that is anime, bizarre, beautiful (or violent, whatever), and maybe stresses the visual more than dialogue? (that's not necessary though.) Any anime that is so "weird" and doesn't look like your average anime. Usually anime that isn't mainstream, but being mainstream and popular doesn't disqualify it. I haven't seen Utena, but from what I've heard of it from other sources it seems like it could be at least be a borderline "artsy" anime. And that's good enough for me.

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Old 13-12-2002, 03:07 PM   #8   [permalink]
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OK the definition from AB's unabashed film buff; By artsy I think Jennwenn means she's looking for things were made more for artistic value than say the sake commercial entertainment, an anime that was made more for the expressions, exploration and driving passions of the artform than for money. In this respect Utena is very much an "art" anime. Unfortunately, I would think that there aren't too many of these due to the very commercial nature of animation itself.

However my interest has no been piqued by the existence of 1001 Nights which I had thought was merely a concert showing and not an actual film. Anyone know where a fan of Amano such as myself could find this?
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Old 13-12-2002, 07:44 PM   #9   [permalink]
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Quote:
Originally posted by Project Akira
OK the definition from AB's unabashed film buff; By artsy I think Jennwenn means she's looking for things were made more for artistic value than say the sake commercial entertainment, an anime that was made more for the expressions, exploration and driving passions of the artform than for money. In this respect Utena is very much an "art" anime. Unfortunately, I would think that there aren't too many of these due to the very commercial nature of animation itself.

However my interest has no been piqued by the existence of 1001 Nights which I had thought was merely a concert showing and not an actual film. Anyone know where a fan of Amano such as myself could find this?
Well, actually, she cleared it up for herself. But I was kinda wondering if by artsy, she meant like the theme, the idea of it's artsy - which is what you're saying - or just artistically well done in the visual point-of-view - which is what she said.

LOL, everyone's gonna roll their eyes when they read this, but FLCL is a fairly mainstream anime that has a _lot_ of artistic value. It _does_ stress the visuals to an extent, but probably not enough to make it an artsy anime in jennwenn's definition.

But if visuals are what you're looking for, I liked some of the Daicon videos. Very old-school style - well, it WAS made in the 80s - and just a very entertaining set of clips. I think they total only like 10 minutes, but it's quite "artsy" according to jennwenn's definition.
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Old 13-12-2002, 09:04 PM   #10   [permalink]
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Don't forget Serial Experiments Lain. With it's surrealism, it's designed to affect with the sound and the subtitles turned off.

I have a Lain Wall scroll at work that people keep connecting to. It's quite interesting. It's not really the people I would expect to be the ones connecting with it either.

I guess that reveals that I like the artsy ones with an intriguing story. I'm not a real fan of Robot Carnival.
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Old 13-12-2002, 09:05 PM   #11   [permalink]
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Quote:
Originally posted by Project Akira
OK the definition from AB's unabashed film buff; By artsy I think Jennwenn means she's looking for things were made more for artistic value than say the sake commercial entertainment, an anime that was made more for the expressions, exploration and driving passions of the artform than for money. In this respect Utena is very much an "art" anime. Unfortunately, I would think that there aren't too many of these due to the very commercial nature of animation itself.
Yeah that too. I think the definition can be pretty open-ended. It seems to me that most anime that is visually artistic and different is made for that express purpose, just as you describe. And yes, these are hard to find, that's why I tought I'd ask the experts here at AB.
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Old 13-12-2002, 09:19 PM   #12   [permalink]
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Originally posted by Psyk0
But I was kinda wondering if by artsy, she meant like the theme, the idea of it's artsy - which is what you're saying - or just artistically well done in the visual point-of-view - which is what she said.

I mean both. In my mind I always thought those categories were the same, but now that you mention it, they are slightly different. Both are the type of "artsy" I'd like to discuss.

I guess being artistic in the visual aspect will be a matter of opinion and difficult to define. I mean, some people may think Pokemon expressed true visual artistic beauty and animation skill to them personally, but um...they'd be in the minority and hopefully non-existant. No normal person thinks Pokemon is art, but that one person might. By yours and PA's clarification of "artsy" as produced for the idea, Pokemon is NOT classified as artsy. And by those standards, that's easy to agree on.

So yeah, both definitions are worth discussing here. Just mention a title even if you're not sure its real art or not. I think we'd all like to hear them anyway.

LOL, everyone's gonna roll their eyes when they read this, but FLCL is a fairly mainstream anime that has a _lot_ of artistic value. It _does_ stress the visuals to an extent, but probably not enough to make it an artsy anime in jennwenn's definition.

That's one anime on my "to watch list" as well. I've heard its "bizarre" and "freakishly cool" as my friend says, so I'm checking that one out. I think some mainstream anime can achieve true artistry, but this just seems rare. And I haven't seen any yet, but I'll watch these suggested titles and see.

Basically I just LOVE surrealism (especially in paintings), so any anime like that is interesting to me.

But if visuals are what you're looking for, I liked some of the Daicon videos. Very old-school style - well, it WAS made in the 80s - and just a very entertaining set of clips. I think they total only like 10 minutes, but it's quite "artsy" according to jennwenn's definition.

Thanks, I'll look for those, along with all the other interesting anime described here.

Last edited by jennwenn; 13-12-2002 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 14-12-2002, 10:06 PM   #13   [permalink]
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Tenshi no Tamago, what the hell did I just watch??? Can someone explain it to me, or is everything open to your own intepretation.

I consider all of Hayao Miyazaki movies artsy, titles like Laputa, Tonari no Totoro, Tonari no Yamada-kun, Mononoke Hime, Nausica of the valley of the winds and Spirited away. They are all unique and some are required taste, Tonari no Yamada-kun with its childlike animation which takes on serious family problems in everyday life. Tonari no Totoro with its heartwarming animations, a good story, fantastic imaginations shows that you don't need violence or gorgous girls in skimpy swimming suit to make an anime interesting.

Katsuhiro Otomo in an interview on the special edition Akira DVD, when presented with the question of why the girls don't look stunning as norma animes girls, he reply that he could have made the girl looks beautiful and sexy, but would that help progress the story, he was presenting a story, not a beauty contest and that is where most anime production lack nowadays, no heart for the show, just commercial succesfull and if that means lots of fanservice than lots of fanservice it is.
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Old 14-12-2002, 11:03 PM   #14   [permalink]
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Originally posted by Takahashi
Tenshi no Tamago, what the hell did I just watch??? Can someone explain it to me, or is everything open to your own intepretation.

Ditto! What the heck does it all mean?!? What is the egg? Why did the guy do that (don't want to spoil anything)? Who is the guy? Who is that little girl? What happened to the planet? Some apocalypse? Tenshi no Tamago is VERY spooky though. All the blue colors, the lack of people, and the shadows of those fish - that was scary. The music also made the whole atmospere very haunting.

I consider all of Hayao Miyazaki movies artsy, titles like Laputa, Tonari no Totoro, Tonari no Yamada-kun, Mononoke Hime, Nausica of the valley of the winds and Spirited away.

Yeah I forgot those! I think those are pretty good examples of mainstream anime that is high-quality art.

Katsuhiro Otomo in an interview on the special edition Akira DVD, when presented with the question of why the girls don't look stunning as norma animes girls, he reply that he could have made the girl looks beautiful and sexy, but would that help progress the story, he was presenting a story, not a beauty contest and that is where most anime production lack nowadays, no heart for the show, just commercial succesfull and if that means lots of fanservice than lots of fanservice it is.

Hey, that's a good point! Notice how only pretty people are usually the heroes in most movies and anime. I have even more respect for Otomo now.

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Old 15-12-2002, 03:55 PM   #15   [permalink]
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Quote:
Originally posted by jennwenn
Hey, that's a good point! Notice how only pretty people are usually the heroes in most movies and anime. I have even more respect for Otomo now.
That's one of the things that appeals to me so much about Akira to be honest, the characters seemed like blue collar working class folks who were trying to eke out a living but get caught in something that exceeds their own ordinary lives. In my opinion, I think that's a recurring theme of Otomo's work which is evident in works such as Domu and Akira not to mention works that he had even a marginal participation in such as Roujin Z.
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