07 November 2018

NC2018 Animated Shorts 4: Slowly Rising by Hideki Inaba

Nippon Connection 2018 Animated Shorts 4: Slowly Rising by Hideki Inaba 

Hideki Inaba (稲葉 秀樹, b. 1988)’s Slowly Rising came to my attention because the film was part of the Jury Selection at the Japanese Media Arts Festival 2017. Inaba is originally from Ibaraki Prefecture but is now based in Tokyo where he works as a freelance video artist. He has had a lot of success in the past couple of years, participating as part of the filmmaking team that did the animated special effects for the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Getaway Tour and having his work featured at many international festivals and online media platforms.

Slowly Rising from kanahebi on Vimeo.

Slowly Rising is a music video for the Dutch artist formerly known as BEATSOFREEN, now using the moniker Stan Forebee (Beatsofreen is an anagram of this name). Forebee is based in Melbourne, Australia. He describes himself as a beatmaker and multi-instrumentalist who grew up immersed in jazz and classical music in a musical family in the Netherlands. In March, he released his debut jazz album Jazz Sessions and he promises another album in the near future. 

On the Japanese Media Arts Festival Website, Inaba describes the music video thusly: “Under the sun that is the source of life, a single seed is born. Seeking light, the seed forms a group that gradually increases in numbers, then dies off. Another seed then grows in its place. The creator brings a cel animation touch to a story that overlays human relations in the corporate world with the rise and fall of living organisms.” (source). 

The film begins as simply as the music, with plant-like fronds waving against a starlit, other-worldly galaxy. As the music becomes more layered, the variety of imaginary organic creatures multiplies – some resemble plants, others pulsing sea creatures, and still others flying insects. They fill the screen like a colourful, ever-changing kaleidoscope. The result is a hypnotic video as entrancing as the music itself. 

Learn more about Inaba (username: kanahebi): 

Daibutsu Animation Club: 

Learn more about Stan Forebee: 

2018 Cathy Munroe Hotes

NC18 Animated Shorts 3: How Low Sympathy by Decovocal

Nippon Connection 2018 Animated Shorts 3: How Low Sympathy by Decovocal  

How Low Sympathy (ハロウシンパシー) is a music video for the three-piece Japanese band Scenarioart (シナリオアート). The band is from Kansai and features Kōsuke Hayashi (@kosukedao) on guitar and vocals, Kumiko Hattori (@drumkumiko) on drums and vocals and Yakahisa Yamashita (@yamapio) on bass and vocals. Their music demonstrates the influence of rock, electronica, and shoegaze pop. Their first single, Raincoat Man was released in 2013 and their single Sayonara Moon Town featured in the end credits of the popular anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. The single How Low Sympathy can be found on their debut studio album Happy Umbrella.

How Low Sympathy | ハロウシンパシー from Decovocal on Vimeo.

How Low Sympathy is animated by the husband and wife team Decovocal (デコボーカル): Tomoyoshi Joko (上甲トモヨシ and Hiroco Ichinose (一瀬皓コ). I wrote about Ichinose and Decovocal in my last post about (read here), so for this post I will focus on the other half of the team. Like his wife, Joko also studied at Tokyo Polytechnic University where he was mentored by art animator Taku Furukawa (古川タク). I first wrote about him back in 2011, when my kids fell in love with his animation short Lizard Planet (read more). Joko has a remarkable ability create fantastic visual worlds using simple line drawing and computer colouring techniques. In addition to Lizard Planet, his film Buildings (2008) is clever and engaging. 

This combination of originality of design and colourful aesthetic has led to a successful carrier in commercial animation design. In addition to music videos, Decovocal make animation for television and advertising. 

Check out the work of Decovocal on their official channels: 

Learn more about Scenarioart: 

2018 Cathy Munroe Hotes 


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