22 May 2018

Music of the Visual World: Japanese Indie Animated Shorts

Music of the Visual World: Japanese Indie Animated Shorts
Sunday, June 3, 18:15 Naxoshalle Kino

When I heard that our animation guest at this year’s Nippon Connection would be the composer and innovator Yuichi Matsumoto, I decided to make music the theme of this year’s independent animation selection.  Music and animation have had a close relationship since the earliest days of commercial animation.  Many of the most innovative early animated films from Japan were the record talkies (レコードトーキー) of the late 1920s and 1930s animated shorts designed to be played simultaneously with a record (See:  Belly Drum Dance at Shojoji Temple, Song of Spring, The Black Cat, The National Anthem: Kimigayo, The Village Festival).

In Japan, the NHK (the national public broadcaster) has supported many independent animators by hiring them to do short pieces for their programming.  The most prominent of these programmes is the long-running series Minna no Uta (Everyones Songs/みんなのうた ) which has been pairing filmmakers (both live action and animation) with music since 1961.  Many early independent animators, like Taku Furukawa, Yōji Kuri, Sadao Tsukioka, Shinji Fukushima and Fumio Ooi, made names for themselves animating for Minna no Uta. 

Todays music video scene has provided a great source of income for innovative animation artists and many of the films featured here are recent music videos.  I have also selected recent animated shorts where I felt that music was integral to the theme/s of the work.  The first work in the programme, Moving Colors, is a group project featuring the work of 12 animation creators (aka Taku Team) with each team member representing their favourite colour.  The title design is by Taku Furukawa (the Taku of the Team name).  The team consists of: Takuma Hashitani (orange), Waboku (aka Wataru Nakajima, brown), Hakhyun Kim (purple) Yoshiyuki Kaneko (black), Shiho Morita (red), Moe Koyano (raspberry/turquoise), Yū Tamura (green), Yasuaki Honda (crimson), Yewon Kim (mint), Tomoyoshi Joko (blue) and Hiroco Ichinose (gold).

Many thanks to Florian Höhr for his help in putting together this programme.   I am pleased to announce that animator Yuki Hayashi has indicated that he will attend the festival again this year. 

Moving Colors
by TAKU TEAM, 2016, 5:04 min

by Hiroco ICHINOSE, 2009, 3:20 min

How Low Sympathy
by Decovocal / Music by scenarioart, 2014, 3:20 min

Slowly Rising
by Hideki INABA / Music by BEATSOFREEN (aka Stan Forebee), 2015, 3:30 min

On + On
by Akihiko TANIGUCHI / Music by Cumhur Jay, 2016, 5:30 min

The State of Things
by Ryo ORIKASA / Music by Tamaki Roy, 2017, 3:52 min

by Sarina NIHEI / Music by Whitney, 2016, 3:33 min

Mad Love
by Ryōji YAMADA / Music by Keita SANO, 2017, 3:16 min

La Madrague “Country of Westering Sun
by Yuki HAYASHI / Music by youcan ゆーきゃん, 2017, 5:00 min

The Synesthesia Ghost
by Atsushi MAKINO / Music by Sasanomaly, 2015, 3:20 min

I’ve Got to Take the Laundry In
by Naoya SANUKI / Music by Siamese Cats, 2016, 4:28 min


Enjoy Music Club
by Whoppers (Naoya SANUKI and Zuck), 2017, 3:38 min

Spring Time - Old Man
by Hōji TSUCHIYA / Music by Uri NAKAYAMA, 2017, 4:25 min

A Long Dream
by Hōji TSUCHIYA, 2016, 2:40 min

Oldman Youngman
Ryoya KAGA, 2016, 10:53 min

lilac (bombs Jun Togawa)
by ONIONSKIN / Music by Vampillia, 2015, 4:13 min

Nandaka Mou
by ONIONSKIN / Music by Kidori Kidori, 2016, 3:30 min

とう きょう
by Tsuneo GODA, 2017, 4:05 min

 Catherine Munroe Hotes