I guess someone in the studio has impeccable taste. SHAFT are known to have amazing original OPs and EDs done by unexpected or otherwise awesome artists (such as ryo on the Bakemonogatari ed and Ootsuki Kenji on Zetsubou Sensei’s everything), and the Ootsuki Kenji to Zetsubou Shoujo-tachi album is by far my favorite anime-related musical project (to the extent that I actually own the album!).
Warnings for this post: there’ll be a lot of youtube embeds, and to get the point of the post, you’ll have to watch most of them. This post features some presumptuousness on my part; I’m going to say things like “this is Oonuma’s doing” or “this is Shinbo’s doing” or “you can see Shinbo’s influence on Oonuma here”—obviously, I can’t prove any of this to be true, as I’ve never met Shinbo nor Oonuma. This information is what I personally believe to be true, but you should formulate your own opinions based on the evidence.
I have a distinct mental image of Oonuma Shin and Shinbo Akiyuki as directors, and of SHAFT as a studio. Each has a definitive and irreversible influence on the others, and tracing whose original ideas are whose could very well be impossible. However, I have a lot of fun imagining all the guys at SHAFT as they come up with ideas to put into each new show. I also have a helpful device that makes this post possible—Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, the first show that Oonuma directed away from Studio SHAFT. I already know what Shinbo is like away from the studio, so now I feel I have a pretty good sense of what each of the three parties contributes to the work they’re involved in.
The opening video for Gonzo’s upcoming conservationalist anime Shangri-La has been leaked and reported by Moetron who lets you watch it here.
I already had plenty of reason to watch Shangri-La – first of all, I love Gonzo (I may be the last one) and second of all, the designs are by Range Murata, who is without doubt one of Japan’s great artists. (his site here, links are thankfully in English). Murata and Gonzo collaborated in the past on both Last Exile and Blue Submarine no. 6 which are both ten kinds of awesome. Shangri-La doesn’t look terribly original, and I’m a little leary over the amount of seriousness which may be present. It’s based on a novel, though, and that’s usually a good thing.
The preview has me very psyched. The animation is pretty much drop-dead gorgeous, as expected from a Gonzo op, but much more exciting is the lush art which brings back memories of Last Exile. If the show’s art is as good as the op, this will be an instant favorite for that alone. The buildings covered in moss were like a shoutout directly to me, haha. Really looking forward to this.
EDIT: Oh, and I guess the song was okay too.