13 Comments
May 8Liked by Animation Obsessive Staff

I've always been into this "stylized realist" style in anime - it never dominated the anime industry but from the late 1970s - early 2000s it was a rare and interesting treat that could be found in prestige projects.

I kind of feel like the origins of it can be traced back to the Isao Takahata's world masterpiece theater shows of the 1970s esp. 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother which pulls heavily from Italian neo realism. I feel like the style hit its absolute peak with Okiura/Oshii's "Jin-Roh", but then quickly started to fade away after that. Even Satoshi Kon's was starting to move in a more surrealist direction with Paprika and I could see an acceleration of that trend with the art released out of his never finished film "Dreaming Machine" -even Takahata himself abandoned it with 1999's "My Neighbor's the Yamadas" never to return again in his career.

One of my biggest frustrations with modern anime is that this sort of film just isn't really made anymore. I think hints of it survive with Yasuhiro Yoshiura's work (esp his short "Bureau of Proto Society" from the Japan animator expo) but its just not a thing anymore. I miss this sort of realism and mature storytelling that tended to accompany it.

(I accidently posted this on the older version of this article, put it here instead)

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May 30Liked by Animation Obsessive Staff

I love that story. Although I have only seen the Fuji TV 1980 version. It will be interesting to see the 1992 too.

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May 8Liked by Animation Obsessive Staff

Thank you for this. I'd never heard of it, and I look forward to watching it.

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Another great post. Very interesting to see what is happening at Douyin at the minute and how that could grow.

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