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The Mike Toole Show - Anthology Chronology


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Sahmbahdeh



Joined: 05 May 2015
Posts: 474
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:49 pm Reply with quote
Thank you so much for this article! I love anthology type works, and I've added several anime from here to my watch list. Keep up the good work!
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 2866
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 4:02 pm Reply with quote
I remember during the Streamline days--of Carl Macek saying "Isn't it really cool and weird?"--our sci-fi festival fans kept demanding the new Anime, and there really wasn't anything but weirdo Streamlines to show on film.
The year they showed "Neo-Tokyo" (separately along with "Silent Moebius", as they were distributed in a Streamline double-feature back then) was....the last time anyone ever brought up the subject. Rintaro strikes again--Youuuuu don't wanna know. Confused

The problem with anthologies is that the older ones were done for features, and features had to be ART. Because they weren't cheap, mainstream TV anime, you know.
Robot Carnival's fun enough, with the opening, Starlight Carnival, and Tale of Two Robots, but except for two segments, almost the entire movie was done without dialogue (just try and stay awake during "Clouds"), and it's easier just to treat as a sort of music-animated Fantasia for how many genres Jo Hisaishi can work in.
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MIBlackburn_d6



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
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Location: UK
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 4:25 pm Reply with quote
Great article. I grew up on a diet of animated anthology films on VHS (mostly NFB and Aardman) and loved discovering these and other Anime shorts over the years, I just wish they'd produce more.

I agree with you on Memories, Magnetic Rose is good and all but Stink Bomb is brilliant for all the reasons you listed and is possibly my favourite Anime short.

I recently saw Michael Arias at his severely underattended panel at the MCM Comic Con in London in May and he was asked about his favourite animation and he talked about Neo-Tokyo (although he had forgotten the English release title) but you could see he really liked it the way he went in-depth into Running Man and The Order to Stop Construction. He also mentioned another Anime (forgotten it now) and the brilliant French animated film La Planete Sauvage/Fantastic Planet.

Liquid Television: The Dear Mum segments were called Psycho Gram, I remember them and the freaky narration.
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:29 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
When people say “Hey, remember that action segment from Liquid Television…” they're almost always either going to mean Running Man or Aeon Flux. (I'm the only one who remembers Invisible Hands and Dear Mum.)


When people say "Hey, remember Liquid Television?" at all, they probably mean Running Man. Aeon Flux hadn't aged well after the movie. And then they go into discussions about why MTV won't bring back "Daria".
(I always remembered Liquid TV for Fluke's "Atom Bomb" video, which was a better faux-J-culture bit of pop, and had a good beat and a videogame: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11Nq6PzY0xA )

Back in the early 90's birth-of-anime/death-of-80's-commercial-US-animation, everyone was waiting for the anime that would be the Big Mainstream Influence that broke the wall, and the fact that everyone remembered Running Man from MTV was the closest wishful equivalent.
That's probably why we still get such 90's-survivor fan-hyperbolic comments as:
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Sakura Shinguji



Joined: 09 Feb 2005
Posts: 122
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:26 pm Reply with quote
Great article as always, Mike.

Possibly only as a matter of semantics, no mention of the Japan Animator Expo project? It tends to register as an anthology project in my mind in many ways, despite lacking any sort of major overriding thematic subject (which I'll readily admit by definition kind of disqualifies it, but still). I suppose if khara and dwango had opted to release each "season" grouped together, either on disc or in some sort of special limited theatrical release, rather than one episode/short film at a time and only online, it might tend to be thought of as an anthology project by more folks.
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hoju22



Joined: 10 Apr 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Detroit
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:36 pm Reply with quote
Mike Toole columns usually send me scouring amazon jp for titles he writes about. True enough, I was off looking for Sweat Punch, which turned out to be a search for sweat pants (who doesn't like sweat pants?)

In case anyone is like me, seems like searching for Deep Imagination is the physical DVD release of the collection.
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:53 pm Reply with quote
I always did love Starlight Angel. It's still my favorite piece from Robot Carnival.

And that Halo screenshot, haha, that short may as well have been called Haloball Z. XD
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Errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:44 pm Reply with quote
Thanks, Mike. Your articles teach me so much about anime history and are a great resource for choosing anime to watch.

The other co-founder of 4°C, and its in-house director for many years, Koji Morimoto, is also deserving of recognition. I believe he is the link between Katsuhiro Otomo and the studio. Morimoto directs a segment on pretty much every anthology you mention, including Magnetic Rose from Memories, Franken's Gears from Robot Carnival, Beyond from The Animatrix and the opening sequence to Short Peace, just to name four. The one noteworthy omission is his own company's so-called "Sweat Punch".

I did some research on "Sweat Punch" recently. Around the turn of the century the film production company Grasshoppa Co Ltd issued a film magazine on DVD format, called Grasshoppa!. It only lasted for four issues, as far as I can tell. Each issue had an animation film, all produced by Studio 4°C. The segment was named "Sweat Punch". In 2007 Studio 4°C released the four short films, along with the new Junk Town as Deep Imagination. These are the five films in the anthology listed in your article. I recently tried to order Deep Imagination from CD Japan but it's no longer in print.

Here's the cover:



Grasshoppa's own history: https://translate.google.com.au/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&u=http://www.grasshoppa.jp/&prev=search

Studio 4°C: http://studio4c.co.jp/english/
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reanimator



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:31 pm Reply with quote
No mentioning of "Amazing Nuts!" from Studio 4°C?
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
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Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:37 am Reply with quote
All that talk about anthology films and no mention of the Cities of Love franchise by Emmanuel Benhiby? Paris Je T'aime, New York, I Love You (which contains a short by Shunji Iwai), and Rio, Eu Te Amo? I'll admit, I haven't seen them myself, but they're pretty recent and well known and there are more city tributes in the works, including New Orleans, Berlin, Jerusalem and Shanghai.

I recently saw Memories and I agree that Stink Bomb is possibly the best of the bunch. Magnetic Rose is gorgeous, but a little on the dull side, at least in comparison. I didn't really "get" Cannon Fodder, to me it felt like a snippet from a larger story that didn't quite stand on its own. But Stink Bomb manages to be hilarious, disturbing and filled with suspense. Great stuff.

Besides for that, and some of the Animator Expo Shorts (which are kinda anthologies if each season counts as one "movie") I haven't seen any of the anthologies mentioned in the article, and now I want to correct that. Is Genius Party the only one available via legal streaming on a major service?
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Errinundra
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:45 am Reply with quote
Canon Fodder is, as I remember, mostly a technical exercise: there aren't any cuts - it's one continuous take.
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Kimiko_0



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
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Location: Leiden, NL, EU
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:56 am Reply with quote
Pity there were no Encyclopedia links for some of the anthologies mentioned. Sweat Punch isn't even in the Encyclopedia as such at all. I had to resort to AniDB to find the different parts: (ANN links)


Speaking of anthologies, if you want to sample a variety of anime creators, there are also Ani Kuri 15 (15 × 1min.), Japan Animator Expo (35 × ~6min.), Anime Mirai (20 × ~25min.), its successor Anime Tamago, and Kodansha's BOX-AiR (not listed in the Encyclopedia, but includes Aruvu Rezuru, Mitsuwano, Kurage No Shokudou, and "Eiyuu" Kaitai). The quality of the first two sets varies wildly, but Anime Mirai and BOX-AiR, probably because of their larger budget leading to more oversight, are really good.

Thank you for this article, Mike. My to-watch list gained a whole bunch of new entries (I've only seen Robot Carnival and Animatrix) Anime smile
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Bamble



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:02 pm Reply with quote
Interesting to see that someone was willing to discuss the removal of Yoshiaki Kawajiri's directing credit from the finished version of Gotham Knight's "Deadshot" segment (although I guess it being nearly a decade later probably helps!).

Looking back, it's temping to wonder if part of the reason Warner ultimately downplayed the individual directors on the marketing had something to do with Kawajiri taking his name off "Deadshot".
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Triltaison



Joined: 03 Jul 2011
Posts: 136
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:37 am Reply with quote
Hmm... I actually own almost all of these on DVD already. Neo Tokyo, Robot Carnival, Memories, The Animatrix, Batman: Gotham Knight, and Short Peace are all on my shelf. I never bothered to pick up Halo: Legends and the others don't have a physical release in the US. I was unaware I owned the majority of anime anthology films. Neat!

I'll be sure to check out Genius Party and Sweat Punch if I get the opportunity. Thanks for calling my attention to them!
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_Emi_



Joined: 16 Feb 2008
Posts: 490
Location: Langjökull
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:12 pm Reply with quote
Errinundra wrote:
Canon Fodder is, as I remember, mostly a technical exercise: there aren't any cuts - it's one continuous take.

It's actually several long takes edited together to look like one. Am I the only one that likes Cannon Fodder over the others?

The problem with watching Genius Party on Netflix, is that their is no skip feature. Limit Cycle is awful and lasts for 20 minutes. My favorite piece is Masaaki Yuasa's Happy Machine. I really don't mind that it retreads Cat Soup, which I wish someone would release over here on Blu-ray.

I'm surprised you didn't mention Second Renaissance. Easily the best part of The Animatrix.

I've been holding out on buying Robot Carnival hoping that Discotek will release it on Blu-ray.
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