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NEWS: Range Murata Confirmed for Gonzo's 2011 TV Anime


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skchai1



Joined: 12 Oct 2009
Posts: 33
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:16 pm Reply with quote
@Sam Murai, I agree with you on the reasons the show was flawed aesthetically, but I was focusing more on why it was a total commercial flop in Japan. For that, I would still say the main reason was the inability to "implement" (is that the right word?) Murata's character designs in the anime. You did mention the complex topics it was taking on, but this does not seem to be as much of a sales-killer (at least among the target demographic in Japan) as "failure to love the main characters". Take most notably Evangelion, or if you're talking about seemingly dry and complex topics like commodities trading, Spice and Wolf.

For other problems, I would add that even with two cours, they tried to cover too much ground. I haven't read Ikegami's original novels, but they total over 1000+ pages, and it seems like Gonzo was trying to jam as much of it into the anime as possible, which left less time for developing the characters, not to mention a lot of unresolved holes in the plot regarding Atlas, Hiruko, and of course Nagiko. If they could have given time to filling in the character's motivations in a less cursory way, this could have made up for a lot aesthetically and even commercially. And if the boomerang had been turned out to be a little less useless!!!!

Probably shouldn't be commenting without certainty, but there's a 2ch thread examining claims that it's going to be a revival of Last Exile. A lot is based on a report attributed to an allegedly Gonzo-connected source. I think it's worth mentioning because such 2ch scoops turn out correct at least half the time, and obvious hoaxes are smoked out almost instantly by the board members, Still, the claim shouldn't be treated as anything but educated rumor.


Last edited by skchai1 on Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:54 pm; edited 2 times in total
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ZODDGUTS



Joined: 27 Oct 2003
Posts: 598
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:57 pm Reply with quote
Some things should stay dead. Range Murata is wasting he's talent on a 2nd rate studio like Gonzo. Shame Murata and Bones haven't hooked up yet.
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skchai1



Joined: 12 Oct 2009
Posts: 33
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:47 pm Reply with quote
@ZODDGUTS, not clear whether you're trolling, but "2nd rate" doesn't come to mind for a studio that created not only Last Exile and Blue Submarine no. 6 but also Gankutsuou, Bokura no, Red Garden, Saishuu Heiki Kanojo, Seto no Hanayome, Welcome to the NHK, Samurai 7, etc. etc. Along with a number of failed "experiments" along the way, but they never play it safe.

One thing that I agree with you on - notwithstanding Murata's long-standing relationship with Gonzo, it's true Bones would be more likely to land the budget to animate Murata's designs properly.

Getting back to Shangri-La, sad to say it since I really like Murata's work, it probably would have worked a lot better if they retained Yoshida Kenichi, who did illustrations for the original books and is himself a respected animator and character designer. And his designs are a lot easier to realize on screen. The Hojo Kuniko in the book looks a little like Anemone from Eureka Seven (yes, I know that's a Bones production) with shorter hair.
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NDenizen



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 70
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:29 pm Reply with quote
From what I can see, Gonzo's best works came from trying new things or using obscure influences. Gankutusou had an incredibly creative art style, mixture of 3D and concept in general. Last Exile used Steampunk as its basis and created a fascinating world out of it.

And actually, Shangri-La was the same. A brilliant concept, creative designs and at some points a really engaging storyline - if anything, they were lucky to get it. Had Bones or Sunrise picked it up i'm sure they would have had a triumph with it. But let down by the poor character designs and at times badly explained story...and well, Gonzo.

Either way, their next project needs to be a complete reboot of the studio's direction as a whole, to get some success. The 3D shows the right attitude - something new, not just doing what so many other studios do and adapt cheap fanservice flicks in hope for pushing commercial goods. What they need then is something creative, memorable, consistently designed and most of all something enthusiastic.
Then they could be on to a winner - even if it pleases a small amount of people, that is at least something. They spent too long scraping the barrel when it came to story choices and overreaching their resources, this is a chance to become a significant studio.
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Otaking09



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 636
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:46 pm Reply with quote
NDenizen wrote:
From what I can see, Gonzo's best works came from trying new things or using obscure influences. Gankutusou had an incredibly creative art style, mixture of 3D and concept in general. Last Exile used Steampunk as its basis and created a fascinating world out of it.

And actually, Shangri-La was the same. A brilliant concept, creative designs and at some points a really engaging storyline - if anything, they were lucky to get it. Had Bones or Sunrise picked it up i'm sure they would have had a triumph with it. But let down by the poor character designs and at times badly explained story...and well, Gonzo.

Either way, their next project needs to be a complete reboot of the studio's direction as a whole, to get some success. The 3D shows the right attitude - something new, not just doing what so many other studios do and adapt cheap fanservice flicks in hope for pushing commercial goods. What they need then is something creative, memorable, consistently designed and most of all something enthusiastic.
Then they could be on to a winner - even if it pleases a small amount of people, that is at least something. They spent too long scraping the barrel when it came to story choices and overreaching their resources, this is a chance to become a significant studio.


Y'see.... this is what I'm talking about.

The reason why I will ALWAYS love Gonzo, no matter how many "failures" they have, is because they DO, not try!
"We" call it trying, because see them ONLY as outright failures. But, to them, if we, the audience, can "get it". Then.... it's a "true" success.
That's what I see anyway.

I'm not saying EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEIR PROJECTS was like that, but...
When pushed into a corner, and their situation was do-or-die. They CREATE something worth checking out. If anything, they're like the late Satoshi Kon; they're ahead of themselves. Suffering from dyslexia.... or something....
One could say.... they lack the tools to properly explain 100% what their intent was....
Genius' like Mahiro Meada helped with that. And.... they have their classic's.
And fellows like Range would lend out his talents to assist. And I have a feeling that even if THIS project fails... he won't stop putting out his talent.
Japan's just like that. Sticking together through thick and thin.
Whew.... "breathing a little hard".... I think... I said I overdid it. Very Happy
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DangerMouse



Joined: 25 Mar 2009
Posts: 3689
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:05 pm Reply with quote
Otaking09 wrote:
NDenizen wrote:
From what I can see, Gonzo's best works came from trying new things or using obscure influences. Gankutusou had an incredibly creative art style, mixture of 3D and concept in general. Last Exile used Steampunk as its basis and created a fascinating world out of it.

And actually, Shangri-La was the same. A brilliant concept, creative designs and at some points a really engaging storyline - if anything, they were lucky to get it. Had Bones or Sunrise picked it up i'm sure they would have had a triumph with it. But let down by the poor character designs and at times badly explained story...and well, Gonzo.

Either way, their next project needs to be a complete reboot of the studio's direction as a whole, to get some success. The 3D shows the right attitude - something new, not just doing what so many other studios do and adapt cheap fanservice flicks in hope for pushing commercial goods. What they need then is something creative, memorable, consistently designed and most of all something enthusiastic.
Then they could be on to a winner - even if it pleases a small amount of people, that is at least something. They spent too long scraping the barrel when it came to story choices and overreaching their resources, this is a chance to become a significant studio.


Y'see.... this is what I'm talking about.

The reason why I will ALWAYS love Gonzo, no matter how many "failures" they have, is because they DO, not try!
"We" call it trying, because see them ONLY as outright failures. But, to them, if we, the audience, can "get it". Then.... it's a "true" success.
That's what I see anyway.

I'm not saying EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEIR PROJECTS was like that, but...
When pushed into a corner, and their situation was do-or-die. They CREATE something worth checking out. If anything, they're like the late Satoshi Kon; they're ahead of themselves. Suffering from dyslexia.... or something....
One could say.... they lack the tools to properly explain 100% what their intent was....
Genius' like Mahiro Meada helped with that. And.... they have their classic's.
And fellows like Range would lend out his talents to assist. And I have a feeling that even if THIS project fails... he won't stop putting out his talent.
Japan's just like that. Sticking together through thick and thin.
Whew.... "breathing a little hard".... I think... I said I overdid it. Very Happy


Totally agree, and I'm totally with you on the enthusiam for Gonzo, great to see another totally passionate Gonzo fan Otaking09.

And I also agree with NDenizen's general point too.

Since NDenizen mentions it, whether purposefully or not also points out one of the things, in addition to their frequently ambitious nature, that I love about them but that has also been their double-edged sword commercially especially once "character shows" became "the big thing", their big ambitious shows like Blue Sub, Last Exile, Gankutsuou, Samurai 7, etc. were rarely loaded with things pandering for extra sales and even their more mainstream shows with a bit of fanservice used in the classic way during rare downtime for a little fun but not totally out of place like say Gatekeepers and FMP were still focused more on their story or action or both and going back to their ambitious shows they have also almost always been wonderful ensemble pieces not bound to one character which is also sadly what's an easier sell. The problem ofcourse can be seen in their more recent years where it feels like they have some kind of bi-polar issue with some shows feeling somewhat like Gonzo shows but not enough and with too much pandering and others obviously solely commercial cash-ins. While flawed Shangri-La deserved a better fate and I enjoyed at least a partial return to Gonzo's original ambition (mirroring the comment of Gonzo's original founder when he left to form the new Lamda films anime studio), it's ashame that it didn't at least get more recognition for what it tried to do, sometimes successfully and sometimes unsuccessfully, at a time when most of these studios are doing a lot of safe and mundane shows. I seriously doubt the show hurt the studio all that much they were in trouble long before it was in production, but let's not dwell on Shangri-La because this should avoid talking about any one particular show but more Gonzo in general I think. Manglobe sadly seems to be on the cusp of facing the same dilemma now that they've had to venture further into commercial adaptations with Sacred Blacksmith and now that totally un-manglobe sounding one they've got coming in October (Edit: The World Only God Knows *sigh*), this is the studio that started with Champloo, Ergo Proxy and Michiko.

I also agree with the Maeda point and something that comes from that I too have voiced before, I feel that as they grew bigger much of their best talent moved away from roles that directly effected the most important thing what was physically on the screen or in the audio from the big stuff to the minutia, their key staff were spread to like a couple on each project instead of a number of them on one and their best guys were in supervisor or corporate positions and not effecting the visuals/emotion/story of what was being told on the actual screen. Also odd choices, like how after Last Exile you never really see that "team" or even part of it even do a single other show even remotely together and we didn't even see Chigira again until Druaga or since, which is obviously a totally different kind of work than what he did on Gonzo mainstays like FMP, Gatekeepers and Last Exile. Also, I think even they've brought this up before, after the expansion a lot of their projects have totally different directors and key designers each time with perhaps little continuity to build up in getting the staff personally invested in pushing the "Gonzo style" to the next level like Maeda and Chigira who've each done several works unlike say Bones which feels more consistent when you look up a staff and go "here's the next Okamura show or Igarashi show, plus a great surprise addition like Mizushima brought in for FMA", Gonzo really hasn't had that kind of consistency in staffing outside of Chigira's run of back-to-back shows (and Maeda), it's someone new every time not a bit of both.

here-and-faraway wrote:
I love the way Range Murata uses color and draws eyes. I also like the soft lines on his characters' faces. I look forward to seeing his new designs.


Rinkwolf wrote:
Finally Gonzo is back in the game, hope this show makes it big and put then back into producing more shows again.


AyumiHamasaki wrote:
Otaking09 wrote:
Gonzo, has, and always will be, one of my favorite studios.

All they need is Mahiro Meada or Koichi Chigara(two directors who same able to bring out Gonzo's best) to direct this mystery, and.... us, U.S. fans will wait patiently.

Don't get me wrong, I love Range's stuff as much as the next one. The fact that he's been brought on, further convinces me that they're gonna pull ALL the stops for this.
With any luck, I hope it'll be the Inception of anime.



OMG I second Mahiro Meada!! He's a genius and he hasn't directed any anime in years! I have enjoyed ALL of his shows that he directed so far. The best being Gankutsuou.

I hope Gonzo asks him to direct this.

Huge fan of both Mahiro Meada and GONZO. Glad they're coming back.


Agreed, totally looking forwards to what this new show might be and as he's still my favorite character designer I'm looking forwards to his new designs as well.

Same here we need this to take off and get them back into the "game" with renewed enthusiasm.

Yeah, Maeda, Chigira and Murata would have to be the three most prominent that certainly cultivated my love of studio Gonzo. That would be great if they could get Maeda to be prominent again.

And Maeda and his guys also get major props for being the studio that brought Murata and his art to animation ever since their big breakout with Blue Sub, I've been hooked ever since.


Last edited by DangerMouse on Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:04 pm; edited 2 times in total
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mufurc



Joined: 09 Jun 2003
Posts: 612
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:00 pm Reply with quote
While I only like a handful of Gonzo shows (Gankutsuou, Yukikaze, Blue Sub), I've always liked the studio's experimental side, so I wish them luck and hope they can make a comeback.

I'm not really enthusiastic for Murata and 3D, though. Murata, he does great mechanical designs an I usually like the way he does adult characters, but he seriously needs some variation in the (rather prominent) "young female" (loli) department. And as for 3D... eh, I just don't feel the pull.
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Otaking09



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 636
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:06 pm Reply with quote
DangerMouse wrote:

Agreed, looking forwards to this and as he's still my favorite character designer I'm looking forwards to them as well.

Same here we need this to take off and get them back into the game properly.

Yeah, Maeda, Chigira and Murata would have to be the three most prominent that certainly cultivated my love of studio Gonzo. That would be great if they could get Maeda to be prominent again.

And Maeda and his guys also get major props for being the studio that brought Murata and his art to animation ever since their big breakout with Blue Sub, I've been hooked ever since.


I hear what you're saying about those those three, inadvertently, being the most important people in Gonzo's history.
It's true that once they got a foothold in the industry, then did they show signs of "weirdness"... while STILL preserving a spirit of their trademark-ness.

I think one of the issues is that they never took the time to spread out the genius properly throughout their staff, so when they got big(and clearly, they weren't expecting that!), they had to make radical changes that they were neither prepared nor were equipped.
Still... they've won the hearts of many with their sheer "let's be different..." determination.

Heck, even some of there later stuff I find good, great, or.... highly acceptable.(NHK... IS my ultimate favorite)
Everyone saying Shangri-La is the cause, creates curiosity... I want to see this so-called "ticket to bankruptcy".
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DangerMouse



Joined: 25 Mar 2009
Posts: 3689
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:08 pm Reply with quote
I think you're totally right Otaking09. Yeah, it feels like they ended up top heavy and those guys became less and less involved in shaping what was seen/felt on the screen.

"Still... they've won the hearts of many with their sheer "let's be different..." determination. " Absolutely!

Speaking of Yukikaze, what an experimental style show, as a scifi fan I really liked it and another show that I feel Gonzo is really the only studio that would have ever done it, almost everything about it as rare mature scifi is against what "sells".
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Otaking09



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 636
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:45 pm Reply with quote
DangerMouse wrote:
I think you're totally right Otaking09. Yeah, they ended up top heavy and those guys became less and less involved in shaping what was seen/felt on the screen.

"Still... they've won the hearts of many with their sheer "let's be different..." determination. " Absolutely!

Speaking of Yukikaze, what an experimental style show, as a scifi fan I really liked it and another show that I feel Gonzo is really the only studio that would have ever done it, almost everything about it as rare mature scifi is against what "sells".


In a way, I have just as much respect for them, if not more, than Gainax.
Except... Gainax's formula with Wings of Honneamise was SOOOO timeless and SOOOO inspiring that many of their later works(minus NGE, Nadia, and... I think FLCL[that one was always mind-boggling to me]), just... ran with it.

Gonzo however, must've seen REAL potential with CGI. Much in the same way how John Lasseter created Pixar, a couple of people thought the same in the anime field.
Both took and knew the risks, and BOTH... knew they would have to think and behave differently to make it work.

Blue Sub 6, wasn't the best in the world, but... it was still VERY well done. The message was clear, the impact was way better than I expected, and it was just a well-made production.
And, I guess Japan's network must've thought so too!

But.... everything happened TOO fast. So much time between their debut to making many of their classic titles.... must've constantly knicked away at them until they started to show signs of stress.
Obviously, critics and regulars were surprised. They expected consistency.
(Heck, read ANN's Speed Grapher reviews!)

I, too, once thought it was weird for Range or even Koichi to still do Gonzo projects.
It wasn't until I saw more and more of their stuff 'til I realized: They've been there since the beginning. Only "they" and everyone else who's been there would know what to do.
Is splitting up their staff has done anything for them, it's taught them what NOT to do. (similar to how Edison invented the light bulb)

If this project works, let's welcome them with open arms. They're the only studio I know who's learned things the hardest... and are STILL around to apply it!
Hopefully, they can adapt themselves to the level of fame they acquire this time...
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