The digital technology has been generalized in recent years as expected, however it is regrettable that great majority of the submissions were primarily picture-led works. The works considered for the grand prize were Howl's Moving Castle and MIND GAME. Although the reliable workmanship and ability of the so-called majors were recognized in the former one, there was an argument about the inconsistency between its theme and ending. As for the latter one, there also was an argument whether its way of expressions was suitable for this Festival. It was highly evaluated for its style which can be called a general movie and the story-telling which plainly expresses the theme of the story and the distortion of society today with the technique used which is only possible in animation. Other works of feature-length were not seriously considered as the subject of selection, although there was an evaluation based on the preference of some critique members. It was quite difficult to watch some submitted works whose directors and staff have wrong attitude that animation is well accepted in society, or that making animation is low level of work. However even if it is not regarded as a first-class medium, the animated work should be shown to the public for their entertainment and judgment. We see the same tendency in the short features. Therefore, we are very grateful that there were a lot of excellent works among this year's entries rooted in enterprising spirit. BIRTHDAY BOY is a good example. We were impressed with the clear story- development of this short-feature which well expresses the feeling of the time, not too emotionally. We might say that the production staff in advanced countries of animation can learn a lot from this work. ACIDMAN is a vivid work with a consistency between technique and theme worked into the story. Dreams, the winner of the Encouragement Prize, gave us good impression in the cynical way that the visual images were projected throughout the story. The mentality of many of the production members, which is stuck in tradition and their accustomed work, is the across-the-board. Therefore we would like to ask all of those who are involved in this field to challenge creation with new passion.
Born in 1941. Graduated from Nihon University, College of Art, Department of Film. In the mid-1960s, made TV animations such as Astroboy as director and scriptwriter. Left Mushi Production to be a freelancer. Since then, has handled a great many pieces with continuity and direction for a series of animations. Since the late 1970s gave new inspiration to a genre of robot animations with his own drafting and direction. In 1972, made UMI NO TORITON, his debut in animation film, followed by Mobile Suit Gundam, Space Runaway Ideon, and others made under his direction. Has directed and recently made the theatrical version of Mobile Suite Z Gundam, The Wings of Rean, and many other popular animations.
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