Ben Ettinger has another must-read essay on his Anipages blog, this time about two immensely talented Studio Ghibli veterans, Osamu Tanabe and Yoshiyuki Momose. Both have extensive experience with Isao Takahata's films at the studio, from Grave of the Fireflies to Winter Days. I've written about Momose a few times before here on the Conversations on Ghibli blog, mainly for his work on Ghiblies Episode 2 and the three Capsule videos that appeared on Japan's Short Short DVD. Here's another opportunity to look at his career.
Osamu Tanabe, it turns out, was the director of a terrific little music video called "Doredore no Uta," which also appeared on Short Short. It also happens to be one of my favorites, thanks to the catchy song and vividly colorful, yet realistic animation, firmly in that sparse watercolor style the studio's been playing with ever since My Neighbors the Yamadas. Hmm. Since I have the Short Short DVD, I really should have known Tanabe was the director. Really need to brush up on my Japanese.
Tanabe also animated Takahata's 60-second short for Winter Days - you know, I think that one's still available on YouTube, and his career spans across familiar anime classics like Akira (as an in-betweener) and Like the Wind, Like the Clouds and Hakkenden and Cat Soup and Junkers Come Here and all of Takahata's Ghibli movies. Ben Ettinger goes into detail on his favorite Tanabe moments, particularly Doredore no Uta, and offering all the usual brilliant insights that make him the number-one anime resource in the West, bar none. Not that I'm piling on the praise too highly; he really does deserve the credit for all his hard work. There isn't a better person to study anime history from. Give it a read and pass along.