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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why The Sea Is Salty - Anime

Mike Rogers of the very popular and inspiring Marketing Japan blog recently posted a cartoon.

When I read the title of the cartoon, I admit I was expecting something disgusting that I could watch in the solitude of my room over and over again - but I was wrong. This was beautiful and made me wonder where I would ever find free porn again.

Made in 1935, this black and white cartoon entitled: Why The Sea Is Salty (海の水はなぜ塩からい "Umi no mizu wa naze shio karai") is the tale of two brothers, greed and jealousy. It's 10-minutes long, and I really recommend you watch the whole thing. I even posted a comment at the end of Mike's blog, which you may want to read... 

The first thing that struck me was the fact that this is a silent movie. There is no sound or music track. When you play the cartoon below, turn off the volume as it has the annoying clicking sound of a movie reel.

There are English subtitles superimposed over the Japanese, so everyone else could be out of luck - depending on your level of English... but to be honest, the whole cartoon could probably be figured out without any language skills.

For a 1935 cartoon that lakes the sophistication of sound - US cartoon have had sound for years and years prior to this... but the quality of the animation here is superb!

In my own humble opinion, the black and white 1930s Popeye cartoons made by Fleischer Studios are the creme de la creme. Shadows on the ground, detailed backgrounds, fun plots, movements that actually look real or at the least, are fluid...

That remained the standard for me until the feature Who Framed Roger Rabbit? came out. I know there were a host of other great Bakshi cartoons and Disney et al, but I like what I like.

Anyhow... this cartoon was directed by Murata Yasuji (村田安司) (surname first) born on January 24, 1896 in Yokohama, Japan, and died on November 2, 1966 aged 69.

He is considered a pioneer in Japanese animation, and force in the creation of the anime style Japan is famous for... though that is not as evident in the film Mike has for us - link is below... 

Here's a full link to his work as a writer, animator and director of animated material: LOOK RAOUL

Without further ado, here's the link to the cartoon: SALTY

And... tell me if you see a resemblance to recent events in Fukushima?

Cheers
Andrew Joseph

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