Tuesday, October 21, 2008

TV anime 'Kannagi'

I found this article on the net. Hope you find it interesting.


THROUGH OTAKU EYES / TV anime 'Kannagi' a work with great stuff

It is a standard storyline for manga or anime that an ordinary boy receives a visit from a girl from a different universe one day, and is drawn into a cosmic fray. Rumiko Takahashi's Urusei Yatsura is one of many such works. Kannagi, a TV animation that began broadcasting this month, is another example.

The animation is based on a manga by Eri Takenashi, which has been serialized in the magazine Comic Rex, published by Ichijinsha Co. The story revolves around school art club member Jin Mikuriya, who accidentally summons a goddess by creating a wooden sculpture from a fallen sacred shrine tree. The girl goddess calls herself Nagi and says her job is to protect the land. Nagi then starts to live in Jin's house.

Kannagi is drawing particular attention among the many anime shows that started broadcasting this month because of the people behind the work.

Director Yutaka Yamamoto is famous for his production of the final dance scene of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, which greatly fascinated otaku. He also directed the early episodes of Lucky Star before setting up his own animation production company. Kannagi is the first anime he has directed since the launch of the company.

Scriptwriter and author Hideyuki Kurata is in charge of the structure of the series, which makes the framework of the anime. He is known for Kamichu!, an anime about a middle school girl who turns into a goddess, and the R.O.D animation series based on his own story.

Hopes are high for Kannagi as the two giant figures in the anime industry are working together for the first time. It is also becoming a topic of discussion that Toru Honda, who is famous for his book Denpa Otoko, is also working on Kannagi's scriptwriting.

I actually found the first episode very carefully made. Yamamoto says in an interview on Kannagi's official Web site that he wants to make Kannagi in a simple way, and the animation does seem to have drawn on the exquisite, womanly feelings of the mangaka.

At the same time, I noticed some alterations made to the anime, as compared to the manga, to bring about better effects as an animated adaptation.

For instance, a scene of a beautiful girl in a bath, which can be described as a must for recent anime focusing on such girls, was added, and the timing of Nagi's meeting with Jin's female childhood friend Tsugumi, her potential rival for the boy's attention, also was altered from the manga.

Moreover, I was strongly impressed with the animation's closing number, "Musuhi no Toki." The lyrics, written in the style of Shinto prayers, create an ancient, Japanlike aura of mystery along with the distinctive melody.

As soon as I saw the show, I bought the manga. It was the first time in several years that an anime had such an immediate effect on my choice of reading. I'm pleased with the birth of an anime that I can so immediately get into.

(Oct. 17, 2008)

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