16 March 2011

The Independent Spirit of CALF and the Rise of Alternative Anime

The past decade has seen the rise of a new generation of independent animators in Japan. In opposition to the dominant anime style associated with the country, innovative young artists are practising a wide range of animation techniques including stop motion (Tomoyasu Murata, Maya Yonesho, Hideto Nakata), collaborative animation (Tochka, Rinpa Eshidan), installation art (Takashi Ishida, Tabaimo, Mami Kosemura), charcoal animation (Naoyuki Tsuji) and other experimental styles (Mirai Mizue, Kei Oyama, Atsushi Wada, Mika Seike). 

Their rise has been so meteoric that international film and art critics have hardly begun to evaluate the cultural significance of their work. This is partly due to a lack of availability of the films overseas. Animated shorts tend to make a tour of the festival circuit, but then are not seen abroad again for years. To remedy this situation, the animation critic Nobuaki Doi of the blog Animations: Creators and Critics and some prize-winning alternative animators (Mizue, Oyama, Wada, and Tochka) decided to band together and start their own DVD label. Their goal is to make their own work and the work of their peers available both domestically and internationally for the first time. 

There are many reasons for this sudden swell of artistic output. .  .  continue reading at Midnight Eye.

Related Posts:

Mirai Mizue Works 2003-2010
Art of the Absurd: An Interview with Atsushi Wada
Tochka Works: 2001-2010

© Catherine Munroe Hotes 2011