Oh, I hear your voices already. “Bless, you’ve already sold out to straight-up lazy clickbait titles and topics?” “So you only really care about views after all—I thought you were different!” “Umm…you do remember that you do end of season rankings, right?”
To which I say, “Ha! Fooled ya!”
I’ll admit this is a title straight up designed to get people to click, but I promise you it’s not for my own affirmation—it’s for something bigger. Namely, the Animator Expo. Now, I’m not a exactly a sakuga buff or a huge industry nerd, but I am invested in this industry and the places it’s going. And I think that path is set out before in the shape of this project. And I honestly think it’s important people take notice. So I went for the hot sell; the easy-in; the rope ’em up strategy. All to get people to watch a weird 7-minute short about a pair of dorky sisters.
Talking about Animator Expo gives me a really easy choice of bonus content for the week. I’ve actually slowly been reviewing the whole project (up through #20 now!), other than on Twitter I’ve not put down in solid writing what my top favorite of the project have been. With only a few shorts left (and two of them being pure CGI), I have a sneaking suspicion this could be my final lineup. Sadly, a number of my favorite are already down—sorry.
“tomorrow from there.” – Basically the perfect mix of wistfulness, young adult melancholy, and hope. Throw a gorgeous song on top and you got my favorite short of the Expo.
“Kanón” – Utterly fascinating conceptually, based on a play I desperately want to read and still haven’t been able to track down. God, creation, and man…it’s all in here, and treated with an inquisitive, tongue-in-cheek humor/respect that makes it super fun to watch.
“I Can Friday by day!” – Back to my normal aesthetic wheelhouse for this one; that is, bright colors, cute designs, and a charming story base that uses both the bittersweetness of high school and the drama of war in one pop song-boosted ride.
“Endless Night” – The darling of critical Anitwitter, and for good reason. A lavishly-stylized, ultra-compact, music-driven story of one boy’s journey to the top of the figure skating world. There’s really not much you can’t love.
“Bubu and Bubulina” – Starts out quirky, hits touching in the middle, goes back to quirky at the end. Not the best animated, but probably my favorite anime of anything the project’s done because of how it’s used. Also, great, great, great soundtrack.
“20min Walk” – Another one with a unique artstyle, used in the service of a story where a woman shrinks to a tiny size and her boyfriend/husband thinks she’s a cockroach, which is gross, but fun to watch happen.
“Dragon Dentist” – The project’s inaugural short, it hit on a lot of neat points and although it seemed more like ‘standard anime,’ then some of the things that would come later, it was still aesthetically impressive and a very good watch.
“YAMADELOID” – So much color, so much cheese! About a samurai-type guy who was also maybe a robot and the background song was absolutely ridiculous.
“Diary of Ochibi-san” – Probably the most experimental short of the project in combining stop motion animation along with traditional 2D animation. I believe the production artifacts are still available on the website, so check them out.
“Bureau of Proto Society” – Basically one elaborate anime-fandom in-joke. And yeah…I laughed pretty hard at it.
“Hammerhead” (a bit too gritty for me to love), “Iconic Field” (listen ridiculous puberty-mecha fusion shows just appeal to me for some reason), “Ibuseki Yoruni” (didn’t really get it, didn’t really need to get it, although I’d like to), “Power Plant no.33” (fantastic setting, wish the core story concept had been a bit different than a big battle).
So, yes, I hope you will all become educated anime fans and check out the Expo shorts. If you need places to start…well, that’s what I wrote these two posts for!