Genius Party Beyond Review

Animation ProductionStudio 4C

Release Date – February 2008

Genius Party Beyond includes 5 short animated films that where not included in the original Genius Party, a Studio 4C led collaboration with the industry’s top directors and animators.

Dimension Bomb – Directed by Koji Morimoto who in the past also directed Magnetic Rose which was part of the Otomo short story anthology Memories (one of my favourite collection of short films). Sadly nowhere as good and frustratingly abstract despite the cool gritty cityscape imagery.

Gala – Directed by Mahiro Maeda a famous mech designer (Gunbuster, Last Exile, Escaflowne etc.) and animator who in the past also directed Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo. No mechs in this short, taking its cue from the nature motif in Miyazaki films (who Maeda did key animation work on). I didn’t care for this one at all, the art style really put me off.

Moondrive – Directed by Kazuto Nakazawa a noted character designer known for working on El Hazard and Samurai Shamploo. It’s no surprise that the animated short with the most charm, humour and wackiness was done by a character designer. This was my favourite of the bunch with its hand drawn art style and it not being a typical abstract short film. It’s about a ragtag gang on the moon looking for treasure.

Toujin Kit – Directed by Tatsuyuki Tanaka who in the past did Kin Jin Kitto in Studio 4C’s other series of short films Digital Juice. My second favourite out of the bunch about a strange world where a girl is raising alien lifeforms in stuffed animals. I like the art direction the best in this short as it evokes a depressing dystopian environment.

Wanwa the Puppy – Directed by Shinya Ohira a key animator in many of the biggest movies in anime such as Akira, Redline and Studio Ghibli movies. A short about a kid’s dream full of child fantasy imagery of candy, monsters and a puppy.

Overall not as good as the first anthology with only 2 out of the 5 worth watching. Hard to recommend over other anthologies and clearly the left overs that didn’t make it into the first Genius Party release.

Rating – C

Genre – Short Film Anthology

Length – 5 Shorts (Roughly 15 to 20 minutes each) Year – 2008

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Tensai Okamura

Anime Industry – Director Spotlight

 

Currently directing Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor.

Age – 47 (1961) Changed first name from Yutaka to Tensai.

 

Notable Past Works as Director

1995 – Memories (Stink Bomb)

1999 – Medabots

2000 – Kikaider

2005 – Wolf’s Rain

2006 – Project Blue Earth SOS

2007 – Darker Than Black Season 1

Storyboard Work for Cowboy Bebop, Rahxephon, Full Metal Panic

He wanted to do a modern Tokyo based anime with spies and as a result we have Darker Than Black. An awesome concept that is paying off now in a time with very few mature action/mystery shows.

Anime Directors – Satoshi Kon Part 2

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Perfect Blue 1998 – His directorial debut is a psychological thriller which depicts a pop-idol turned actress who has a obsessive fan/stalker. It became a classic which was praised by famous movie directors and reviewers. It cemented Satoshi Kon as a talented up and coming director.

Millennium Actress

Millenium Actress 2001 – An ambitious time spanning movie about a documentary film maker interviewing an actress about her past roles. The blend of complex fiction and reality is again present in this film. It was a critical success having won various awards.

tokyo_godfathers

Tokyo Godfathers 2003 – A departure from his usual themes involving a makeshift homeless family who find a dumped baby and try to return it to the parents. An interesting view on a different world which gives insights on family issues and values.

Anime Directors – Satoshi Kon Part 1

SatoshiKon

Satoshi Kon is an established Japanese animation film director and screenwriter.

The 45 year old Hokkaido born Satoshi Kon began as a manga editor and artist creating Kaikisen Return to the Sea which was published in 1990 by Kodansha. A french version of Kaikisen has been published.

Kaikisen

His first work on anime was as a screenwriter for Memories where he work on the Magnetic Rose segment of the movie adapting Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga short. In addition to the script he worked as the art director. The segment involved two space travelers who investigate a distress signal. It is a prelude to his core themes of dreams and the metaphysical that are involved in many of his works.

memories

Stay tuned for a continuation of the works of Satoshi Kon.