In an article with WEB Anime Style, studio SHAFT director, Tatsuya Oishi (Bakemonogatari, Hidamari Sketch x365, Paniponi Dash!) was asked to share the top ten anime that influenced him. The interview was held six months after Bakemonogatari completed June 25th of the same year, with his current work, Kizumonogatari announced in July shortly thereafter.
The following is a translation of Oishi’s own words.
I thought about it for a while and decided to restrict the list to those I watched when I was at school, before I got into the industry. It’s quite a banal choice, but they’re all uplifting.
Heavenly Puss (Tom and Jerry)
I used to watch Tom and Jerry over and over when I was a child, to the point where I knew the episodes by heart. Heavenly Puss is a particularly memorable one for me. Tom dies in an accident and tries desperately to obtain Jerry’s forgiveness to be able to get on the train to Paradise. It was painful no matter how many times I was watching it…
Hanna-Barbera’s Tom and Jerry are all fantastic, so I hope you watch all of them. I also have an affection for the dubbed version with Toshiko Fujita playing Jerry, I recommend it. As an introduction, maybe The Cat Concerto or The Little Orphan which both won an Academy Award are a good start. For the record, I searched for The Little Orphan on the internet to prepare this article, and found out that they cut some parts because of racism towards black people. I was surprised that even an award winner could be censored…
It was on TV at the same time as Tom and Jerry, and I was watching this one repeatedly as well. Tex Avery’s works may have been the most influential thing on me as a child. Like, they could do whatever they wanted to. Mixing cartoons with actual images or meta humor were their specialties. Among all of Avery’s works, Magical Maestro is his ultimate masterpiece in my mind. I can’t get bored of the numerous gags displayed on Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville”, no matter how many times I watch it. I just realized that I may have a tendency to appreciate when the music and movements are synchronized. It feels so good when they perfectly match the sounds…
The photography allowed by the 10-layers multiplane camera (the stereoscopic feeling when Pinocchio wakes up and goes to school! Avatar’s 3D has nothing on it!) or the effect animation of the sea during the climax are all fantastic, but what I want to highlight is Figaro and the goldfish’s kissing scene! At that last scene I always end up crying… How is it possible to draw such a beautiful form of love? …I don’t want to think it’s just hypocritical.
Hayao Miyazaki’s part in Animal Treasure Island
The Miyazaki work I like the most is his key animation part in Animal Treasure Island. The massive comical scuffle on the pirate ship’s deck in the middle of the story… The intensity of that mob scene! If you like Miyazaki anime and have never seen it, I recommend it to you. The scene where Kathy jumps off a rope to pick Jim up is particularly worth attention. The camera work, the action planning (the visceral kick of the rope stretching another notch!), the animation, they’re all stunning.
Galaxy Express 999 (Movie)
Talking about visceral kick I got from movement, the climax scene animated by (Kazuhide) Tomonaga and (Yoshinori) Kanada. I was watching it like a mad man while making storyboards of my graduation project for professional school. Nozomi Aoki’s music is also great. Of course, even as a Rintaro work, I think it is his finest piece…When you think about it, everything is fantastic in 999. It confirms that only having the animation stand out is not enough. Good direction and music. Without these kinds of elements I cannot watch something so many times. 999 is one of the rare Japanese animations I can confidently recommend as a true masterpiece.
One more thing, there is a scene where Emeraldas learns Tochiro’s death from Harlock, and the editing here is stunning. I was surprised the first time I watched it. The time is cut out in a quite daring way, but it remains efficient. By cutting Emeraldas’ emotions, we feel her sadness even more.
Invincible Super Man Zambot 3 (episode 22 : “The Final Day of Butcher”)
Since we are talking about Kanada, here is one more from him. If we simply consider the animation’s execution the previously-aired (Wakusei Robo) Danguard Ace or Gaiking are way better, but this is the one I used to go back to watch. In the end, it was for the good character drama. The acting of Kappei facing his father Gengorou’s death, the cut through the glass where his sadness brims over his stunned expression is so poignant. Then I usually end up watching the last episode “Burning Space”.
Urusei Yatsura : Only You (Masahito Yamashita’s aerial battle)
Here’s one scene from Urusei Yatsura which I loved, by Yamashita-san who I equally loved. His works in Urusei are all great, like in “Ghost Story ! Old Man Willow” or “The House of Mendo – Summer Christmas” but this is the one I really love. It’s a chasing scene at the end where Lum is on an air-police cab, running away from an F-18. There are also some cuts animated by Kozuma-san so there actually are not so many of Yamashita-san’s, but I was watching these ones repeatedly. The timing and camerawork are so spot-on it is pleasant to watch. I first met Yamashita-san during Popolocrois’s production meeting, and I don’t know why but after that we went to the karaoke, only the two of us. I don’t remember how it happened, but I was very nervous.
Shinsaku Kozuma’s animation cuts
I guess this one is not so banal… When I was a student, I loved Kanada-style animation. Among them I was a big fan of Kozuma-san. When I saw Go-Q- Choji Ikkiman’s OP, we got so excited with a friend we thought about making a fan club. We even sent a postcard to Animage, but in the end it didn’t happen… There was no internet yet, we couldn’t get much information and didn’t have many friends to share our passion with. So I was showing my little sister Kozuma sakuga against her will. I was a terrible older brother. When I think about it, the first classmate I socialized with when I came to Tokyo’s professional school was someone with whom I talked about Kozuma sakuga on Sonic Soldier Borgman, which was airing at the time. The first day I joined GAINAX I got along with Yoh Yoshinari (who was sitting at the desk next to mine) talking about Kozuma-san. Even when we first met with Akiyuki Shinbo-san on Yū Yū Hakusho, I think the first thing we talked about was Kozuma-san…
He is particularly good at making animals or sport performances look cool. Ikkiman’s OP is great of course, but if you want to dig deeper, I recommend you to check the soccer scenes in Moero! Top Striker or GeGeGe no Kitarō season3 ’s Neko-Sennin episode as well.
Sally the Witch episode 60 “Pony’s Flower Garden”
I rewatch it at least once a year. And I cry every time like a baby. …It is a very moral story, but not in a pompous way. I feel all of Yugo Serikawa’s efforts on the direction. You know, in anime, the creator’s will appears directly. That’s what I find interesting.
Itagaki-kun has already talked at length about Dezaki-san, and Nishida-san has also mentioned him, so I hesitated to put it on the list… But I cannot take this one out. If you have not seen it yet, I absolutely want you to do so. Particularly if you’re still a teenager, watching it in your adolescence is the best thing I could hope for you. Who knows, it could even be decisive for your life choice. Of course, John Silver… It all starts and ends with the life of his own. Treasure Island is the all-time, number one TV anime in my heart.