Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Kaze no Matasaburou (2016)

Kaze no Matasaburou (2016) (Matasaburou of the Wind) is one of this year's Anime Tamago (formerly Anime Mirai, formerly Young Animator's Training Project) OVAs. It is based on Miyazawa Kenji's story of the same name and was already made into an experimental OVA back in 1988.

The plot is slight. A young girl from the city named Takada has to relocate to the country for a while, because her father is supervising a power project there, and her mother is away on a business trip. Her new home is so remote and rural that her school class is made up of a boy, a bear, a pig, a frog, a turtle, a cat, a deer, and a worm. Strong winds blow frequently, and all the students believe that this is due to Matasaburou of the Wind, a child of the wind god. Takada gets to experience the tranquil wonders of country life, make a new friend, and find out the truth about Matasaburou for herself. Then she goes back home to be with her mother in the city.

Matasaburou is quietly humorous slice-of-life comedy, but the animation is the real draw. The art style is simple and beautiful, employing watercolor-style fills on starkly drawn outlines. The country backgrounds are reminiscent of Miyazaki but are more impressionistic, like this waterfall:


There are frequent wonderful and whimsical touches too, like this shot of a cricket making his music as the clouds roll in.




Matasaburou is the product of a relatively new studio, Buemon, which has mostly done CGI work. This is their first venture in conventional (looking) animation.

The elementary school students are all voiced by children, a recent trend in Japanese anime that contributes to more realistic performances. The adult parts are voiced by veterans of the industry. For example, the deep-voiced Matasaburou is played by Tanaka Masahiko, who has worked in the industry since the second Astro Boy series in 1980. The music is spare and quiet, befitting the mood.

Iri translated and did initial timing; Yogicat did the detailed timing; I edited and typeset; and Calyrica and Xenath3297 did QC. The raw is from Ohys Raws.

Please enjoy this beautiful anime.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you! Will you do other OVAs from Anime Tamago?

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  2. I enjoyed this little gem. I too, hope you will consider the other OVAs as well. Thank you!

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  3. I definitely recommend this one, beautifully animated and very unique in terms of atmosphere – not unlike other anime adaptions of Miyazawa's work.

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