When Akira came out in 1988, Japanese anime was heralded globally for its epic illustrated worlds depicting dystopian megacities and urban sprawl. In 1995 Ghost in the Shell made the same impact. Since the success of Akira and Ghost in the Shell , Japanese anime films have been among the most important milestones in global pop culture. The action-packed hero stories and the visionary science fiction of Japanese Anime are set in impressive worlds that are constructed in painstaking detail. Looking at the creative processes, the film makers appear as architectural dreamers who operate with virtuosity at the borders of credibility, fiction and utopia.
By cooperating closely in different production studios in Tokyo they gave their distinctive signatures to many films and developed the prototypical Anime style. Their works, from 1987 to 2009, are shown for the first time in the book “Proto Anime Cut – Spaces and visions in Japanese animation” as individual works of artistic creativity, beyond their role in the production of films. The six artists selected for this book have worked together on major film projects in various configurations. They are united by their interest in real-kei, a form of science fiction that deals with the realistic design of possible world-views and realistic visions of the future. Proto Anime Cut was the first publication project outside Japan to highlight an individual and inspiring artistic practice on the crossroads of film, fine art and pop culture.
The book focuses on the development of arenas of action and narrative scenarios. Numerous background paintings, storyboards, drafts, sources of inspiration and film excerpts provide insight into the working methods of the most successful animation artists of the last two decades.
The presented artists have played key roles in the development of Anime – Hiromasa Ogura, Atsushi Takeuchi, Takashi Watabe, Koji Morimoto, Toshiyuki Inoue