We Publish Director Anime

Topics: AnimeWork

Now I could pick any of the many other directors I enjoy, all of which are already fairly well-known for example Satoshi Kon, Mamori Oiishi, Miyazaki, Yuasa, Takahata or Ikuhara etc, but rather than that I will be choosing a director that hasn’t made any masterpieces in my eyes, but boy did I really like pretty much all the works he’s directed. I will be mentioning works of his as well as what about his particular flair makes me enjoy his works.

Now perhaps I should start with a work that is more known? While Kenji does not have many works that don’t have more than a niche audience at best, perhaps the horror Mononoke of his I would say is the work he tends to be praised for. While I’m not big on horror anime works in general I have to say I love the art style, animation and general direction done in Mononoke in creating a truly immersive horror atmosphere from its color intensive presentation and trippy feel.

Bless the day Kenji decided to quit being a salaryman and Ayakashi: Japanese Classic horror ended up being his directorial debut which ended up leading into a mononoke spin-off that got infinitely more traction than its predecessor did (partly being from the fact that anthology like series don’t get quite as much traction either). Mononoke follows the tale of wandering medicine seller that encounters various maladies and spiritual disturbances and goes about tackling them through a 3 step process of form, truth and regret, by which he can use the power and sword to deal with them.

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While this is Nakamura’s most acclaimed work most likely and it is among my favorite horror anime works, it definitely isn’t my favorite of Nakamura, neither narratively or even visually speaking (although I do find it absolutely a treat).

Actually, if anything I find kuuchu buranko Nakamura’s most visually ambitious project and yes it can be jarring, what with all the trippy visuals in the form of hyper realistic animation mixed with 2d animation and the roto-scoping, it’s a narrative-based and visual surrealism that isn’t seen close to at all, except maybe in the vein of Yuasa works, but even so Nakamura’s has a particular style with his works. Kuuchuu Buranko is not only bursting with visual awe, but it goes about exploring the various mental illnesses present in a refreshing and unorthodox way, and keeping in mind the social stigma that was present in late 2000’s in Japan concerning the validation of these mental illnesses, it showcases Nakamura someone who is willing to go the distance to tackle societal commentary that might not be as simple to address plainly and he went about doing in an entertaining, weird and unforgettable way he does so well.

Case in point his next work after tackling mental illnesses, was Nakamura going on to interview CEO’s and politicians from across the world regarding the 2008 financial crisis and he used this information as a way to combine battle shounen in C: Money of Soul and Possibility Control as a means to more digestibly present the notion of global economics as well as the danger in shifting the risks etc to future generations and the consequences that might have. While I believe the barebones was used to some extent and I would’ve appreciated a more extensive deep-dive into economic terms, concept and contemplations, creating a balance act of educational and entertaining is not an easy one to get

For the next title Nakamura wanted to tackle a more lighthearted story, but as a result ended up creating his most accessible title in my opinion in Tsuritama, a story about  a boy that suffers with social anxiety and ends up- through some bizarre sequence of events- among them making friends with an alien tasked to catch a big fish that unless dealt with will bring about the end of the town they are currently resided in, the main character undergoes an immense amount of growth and it’s an earnest tale and while visually speaking it isn’t quite as awe-inspiring as say mononoke or kuuchuu buranko, it isn’t less poignant for the story it wants to tells and the more subtle or even more

The last work done by Nakamura is arguably for me my favorite work, despite being the first to admit that Gatchaman Crowds is a messy work and narratively and conceptually speaking it is too ambitious for its good. Even so, it ended up creating one of my favorite anime characters of all time in Hajime Ichinose and one of my favorite sentai/tokusatsu inspired anime to date. The original Science Ninja Team Gatchaman of the 70’s to 90’s couldn’t be more different than Gatchaman Crowds, but I believe if anything Nakamura is superb in modernization in works and concept, from mononoke that captures edo period, despite the trippy art that is reminiscent to some extent in the way Satoshi Kon goes about blending reality and fantasy or the way Nakamura seems keen on injecting postmodern movements, art or influences in general in his works.  (Side note I should do a deep dive into this and make it, its own blog)

Even this Gatchaman update, not only the costumes got a revamp, but the whole concept of the show got an overhaul and no doubt many fans of the original might be angry (I loved the original on re-runs when it was airing in the late 90’s), even so I think Nakamura and his team ended up doing a solid job and despite the contemplations of social media, obligation of civilians, what makes a hero, altruism, meritocracy, gamification etc among many others will definitely not be up many people’s alley I thought gatchaman crowds ended up tackling it in a very though provoking and interesting way, as well as having a banger soundtrack, which is another thing of note with nakamura works not only is To be fair, there hasn’t been anything from Nakamura since 2015 and I’m getting a wee bit impatient, here’s hoping Nakamura decides to grace us with his unique works, I can’t wait to see what he has in store next.

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