Throughout his career as an independent animation artist Tadanari Okamoto (1932-1990) challenged himself never to do the same style of animation twice. Along with his mentor Tadahito Mochinaga (1919-1999) and his friend and colleague Kihachiro Kawamoto (b. 1925), Okamoto is considered one of the pioneers of puppet animation in Japan. Unlike Mochinaga and Kawamoto, his work is rarely shown outside of Japan. Geneon Universal's release in June 2009 of a 4-disc box set of Okamoto's complete works made his films more widely available again for the first time since the 1996 re-release of films on laserdisc. The National Film Center in Tokyo held an exhibition of artworks from his animated films (ie storyboards and the puppets and sets that he used to make his films) in 2004, but as far as I'm aware no retrospective of his works has ever been held outside of Japan. I was lucky enough to see a couple of his films at Nippon Connection in 2008 together with films by Kawamoto. . .
Read the rest of this review at Midnight Eye. This month's Midnight Eye also features a wonderful interview with Momoko Ando. I am looking forward to watching Kakera at Nippon Connection!