Sunday, July 27, 2008

Best Lupin Episode...

...I've ever seen!

Wings of Death!
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Miyazaki has often brought good timing and pacing to Lupin, along with good animation, well constructed stories and surprises, which are often missing from other directors' versions.
And UNLIKE other Miyazaki versions, It's not toned down! It's still cartoony, the cast is "in character" and it has very good balance, it's not reduced to "general family audience" material, it keeps an adult theme tastefully, without being crude.

When so many things are done right, I shift from just liking a film to loving it.

While watching Lupin films I've made some studies,the version on the left from "Lupin vs. the Clone" is my favorite design, since it's the most cartoony and appealing.

later I wanted to merge him with other characters:

This was meant to be a 1930s Fleischer theme, but reminds me more of Bakshi's Malcolm and Melvin, which I also love.

Do Lupin and Fujiko ever get together, or are they fated to continue to tease each other?
"Actually, it's kind of interesting. I think men and women in general as... rather than saying tease, say they enjoy each other... using their weapons against each other, but in an enjoyable way. That's how I think of that."
Complete interview with series creator can be found here

My favorite element in the more successful Lupin films, besides good characters and funny drawings, is a true to life attitude, You don't find it in many animated films that look appealing.
Lupin lives in "the real world", a competitive place, where many others have selfish interests identical to his, and will stop at nothing to get there first, sometimes even con him out of a treasure when he gets it. There is no rigged order of justice or pure good and evil here, there is RELATIVE good and bad.
Miyazaki sometimes portrays him as "The Gentleman Thief" and originally that is not the case, Lupin is simply better than the other crooks. In the episode linked above, he's very in-character.
I can relate this to the society we live in, something I can't do with many Disney fairy tales, but there are exceptions, my favorite is "Br'er Rabbit Runs Away" from "Song of the South", which is very true to life, Some of the shorts have it too, Like Jack Kinney's "Fathers are People". Bakshi films are very good this way too.
It's the difference between what's comforting and what's real, comforting films have their place, but I liked them more as a kid. Today I like making fun of what's real.


wascallywabbit said...

wow awesome post! How did you learn to draw so well? Im kind of stuck at the "advanced amateur" level but cant get my drawings up to professional level, would going to sheridan help??

Amir Avni said...

Thanks, Glad you like it!

Going to school can help but it's not everything.
It can introduce you to new ideas and helpful work methods.
The school system is often not ideal for learning art, to get the full benefit of school and improve your work, constant individual feedback/coaching is needed, and that is not possible with large student to teacher ratio.

The apprenticeship system has always been the best way to learn art, but today, since society has become so complex and competitive, It's been largely replaced by the internship system.
Many companies and sometimes individual professionals would prefer people with a school background, that is the prime importance of school, It's a part of our society.
In a world which doesn't operate like today's, going to school would be more productive, since you'd go for the love of knowledge, some of us still do, but many systems can't befriend us. Some teachers do encourage those who come to school for the love of knowledge, and they're the most helpful.

Different schools have certain theories about who's work to follow and how to become successful, and some stick to a very specific view, but don't let yourself be herded, there is no one way to do anything, develop your own outlook.

Personally what helps me the most is constant practice, I've drawn since a very young age. Another thing is watching a lot of cartoons/ films and becoming educated about who made them, looking into what you like, reading interviews and blogs, developing a critical eye and trying to apply the theory to your work.

The biggest help I've recieved in drawing is individual feedback from John K.

I think that today the best way to learn is to be self taught and add anything helpful you can from the outside, but not depend on the outside entirely.

Hope this helps, you Wascally Wabbit!

wascallywabbit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Trombley said...

Dear Sir, I took some pictures off of the storyboards Miyazaki drew from the first Lupin movie. It's not much, but you might find it interesting.

The DVD has an interesting interview with the animation director Yasunao Aoki. It's funny to find out that he learned to animate from the Preston Blair book. I wonder if the same is true of Mr. Miyazaki.

Mitch K said...

These drawings are great! I LOVE the 30's Lupin! haha It's so cool! Inked in illustrator?

That episode certainly WAS great. The voice actors weren't my favorite, but that doesn't count. Everything about the way this episode fits together is perfect. The timing is great (aka funny), the animation is beautiful (all of those planes, and the FX animation on the water = yum yum).

The poses are totally hilarious, too. Thanks for introducing me to this episode!

Amir Avni said...

Mr. Trombley- That's very interesting!

Mitch-Glad you like it!
The studies, Mickey and 30s Lupin are inked with a fabric marker, the Playboy is inked in Illustrator and colored in photoshop

Lynsey said...

I absolutely adore Lupin III! I've never seen that episode before, thanks for sharing! Do you read the manga? Even better than the anime, in my opinion.

Great studies too - I agree that the left one is great for its cartoony qualities, but the bottom right has a certain roguish charm fitting for Lupin =D

Amir Avni said...

Glad you like it Lynsey!

I need to see the Manga books, Will Finn recommended them too.
Which volumes do you like best?

Mitch L said...

Great post Amir!

Just watched the episode, great stuff. And you made some great drawings as well.

You gave allot to watch in youre recent posts.

Youre posts about learning things are really interesting. Hope you will make more.

I wish I could go to a school like Sheridan or work on location for great artist.

Lynsey said...

Hmm... go for the original Lupin III and/or Lupin III: World's Most Wanted series, as they are the two written and drawn by Monkey Punch - I haven't seen much of the Lupin III Y, S or M series, but I do know that Monkey Punch wasn't involved in Y at all and only wrote for S and M - I'd avoid them.

Not all of World's Most Wanted has been published yet, but that's the one I started with (the first 4 volumes were given to me two years ago when an anime-obsessed girl at school won them in a competition. She didn't find the pictures pretty enough and was disgusted at all the (non-yaoi) sex - I picked them up and begged her to let me take them off her hands). I've only just started collecting the original series (which is completed).

I can't for the life of me think of any individual volumes that stand out as my favourites, out of what I own (I really enjoyed all of them), but those two are the series you should collect from - just take your pick!

(Oh, and I found a site about the evolution of Lupin III characters here - thought you might find it somewhat interesting ^_^)

Amir Avni said...

Mitch L-
Glad you enjoyed the Lupin Stuff, and even more that you enjoyed the learning posts, I don't get a lot of feedback on those, but I will definitely keep them up for curious people like you and me.
I'd like to work on location too!
How's your school like in the Netherlands?

Thanks a lot for the info about the manga series, Lynsey!

Mitch L said...

Im on a media college, it's an education about modern media (I didn't realize before I signed up that I wanted to do animation). But it is mainly based on making websites... And most of the people aren't ambitious. And the teachers aren't motivating either. But I only have to go trough a couple of months, i'm trying to make the best out of it. I don't have a bad time there but it feels like I am wasting time.

There are some animation schools in the Netherlands. Some people recommended me to go there after I finish my current school. But I don't think I will like it there, because what I have heard from they are really abstract and artsy fartsy. But I will take a look soon for just being sure it is nothing for me.

I don't think I will go to a school outside of Holland (too expensive). But if I have a chance at working at a nice studio somewhere outside of holland I will take that chance. Ive had 6 months of experience working with great illustrators/animators on an animated tv serie in Holland (they only made one season) and I really enjoyed that time, I would like to do something like that in the future. So let me know if you start a studio Amir ;)

There aren't really allot studio's here in the Netherlands that makes animation shows. But there are allot of individuals and I got to know a couple of them. We are experimenting with some ideas, I hope that it will grow.

What are you going to do after you are graduated? Canada is a big animation land right?

Amir Avni said...

I'll definitely let you know if I start a project, I'd like to work with you.

Schools are hit and miss. I dunno if any school can live up to the hopes of the students, I've visited many schools, and students often have similar concerns.

Originally I'm from Israel, I came to Canada to study at Sheridan.
I'd like to work for anyone who makes cartoons CARTOONY, and would encourage creativity.

There's a lot of studios in Canada, but the creative projects are still happening in California. At a time like this it's hard to tell, the Industry is going more global, and keeps changing.
When I left for school there wasn't much going on in Israel, a studio I worked for had just shut down, and now the industry seems to be growing.

The inking we're doing for John now is a very fun Job and a good learning experience, I wish I could be in LA now.

Amir Avni said...

Oh Mitch, Another thing-

One of my teachers also teaches in Denmark in the summer, It sounds like animation is going well there, It's pretty close to the Netherlands, maybe you could look into it.
some of the animation on Asterix and the Vikings was done in Denmark

Mitch L said...

I didn't knew you came from Israel. Thats a big distance, respect.

Yeah, it's a great opportunity to work for John! Where lucky!

Thnks for the tip about Denmark, I never knew about that either. But I know about some studio's in Ireland.

Anonymous said...

miyazaki is a genius in too many ways. but i absolutely love your 30's lupin!!! you've caught his essence.... 30's style! awesome awesome awesome!!! =D TOO AWESOME! i love lupin!!! lupin, jigen, goemon, fujiko anD zenigata! i especially love the relationship between lupin an zenigata. his soft spot for lupin always lets him get away!

Marc Deckter said...

Cool post, Amir. You've inspired me to rent some Lupin from Netflix. Your Lupin interpretations are terrific.

Amir Avni said...

Hi Marc, Glad I've had this effect on you!

From what I've seen on Netflix, "Lupin the 3rd: The Movie: The Secret of Mamo" is the only one worthwhile.

Glad you like the interpretations!

Marc Deckter said...

Thanks for the Mamo tip - it has been moved to the queue. Too bad NF doesn't have the "Wings of Death" episode you mention in the post - it looks like a good one!