Friday, April 11, 2008

The best animated show in 2008, no contest: "Kaiba"

Subject: Noir
So far only the raw has made it out since yesterday's airtime, but the first episode of Kaiba, even without being able to understand the dialogue, is all I could have hoped for and more.

Here's the OP:

The style and design is definitely retro-inspired. The expressions, the little hints in the animation, are all straight out of the 60's. But they're all executed with modern technology and modern capabilities with high definition and high fidelity in mind. And my eyes were wide and my jaw in the dropped position through the whole thing.

Okay, it's definitely quirky. There's some bits of stilted pacing and storyline that, if I weren't drooling over the retro-awesomeness and wonderful, whimsical liveliness and imagination, I'd be wincing a bit. Primarily because there was some narrative behind it that I wasn't able to hear. It's all got to be just as surreal and baffling as the visuals, but with it missing, it didn't hold up on it's own as well as all the other scenes.

That raw, soulful energy and authenticity in every line and brushstroke are still delightful, even when you could plainly see some "digital" shortcuts and convieniences. And the long list of Korean 'tweeners in the credits does little to dissuade the impression that this is a deeply intimate, personal execution; a lovingly-keyed classical homage to the legendary craftsmen that founded what we now know as "anime".

Confession time: I still haven't made it very far through Kemonozume, and only halfway through Mind Game. And it's not because I don't think they're well done; to the contrary, I think they're brilliantly well done. But, well... they're ugly! The art is raw and alive and full of energy, but there's a lot of gross and shocking and, well, the other raw, that I really have to be in the mood for, and can't really do to much of in one sitting. Yuasa definitely "gets it", though. I just need a little more time to work through his other works.

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