Sunday, 15 March 2009

Naoki Mitsuse "Invisible 1"

There is no more distinctive animator working in Flash than Los Angeles based Naoki Mitsuse. There's something ultra smooth about the way he tells a story. His latest work was produced for Japanese brewing firm Tateyama Brewing as a series of three shorts, Invisible 1 being the first. Tattoo Company have seen their sales of fast foods falling like the proverbial stone and their cigar toting president hits on the idea of hiring a bizarrely dressed runner to compete in the marathon, the guy having been trained on the company's French Fries. Literally: fast food - brilliant! I can think of real companies out there who would trade on this. Trouble is the police escort's motor cycle gives off foul fumes, upsetting the delicate equilibrium of a highly tuned athlete. Cue the president to have another bright idea and, using the services of his well endowed secretary/ gold watch/ monkey in a helicopter, he nobbles the motorcycle. I recognise the character in the mask from Naoki's previous work, and it's almost like greeting an old friend when the chimpanzee pilot appears. The invisible president is a welcome addition to the armoury as is, indisputably, the company secretary. Back to the story-telling. By slick cutting of scenes, use of text, close-ups and other graphics, all simply but elegant rendered, one gets sucked into his world. It is a world where whimsy and the unexpected seem the norm, all beautifully designed by a genuine master of his chosen medium. Naoki's movies have always been distinguished by fantastic jazz fusion and electronica mix. Sunday Mitsuru is a treasure, his original soundtrack artfully linked to the action, drawing one in to the narrative. When the credits roll and the characters take their bows, the change of music is cinematic and rather gorgeous. I'm a great fan of both artists - I shall have to get a DVD sorted out of Sunday's material. Two more in the Invisible series are available from Naoki's website. The brewers, as might be guessed, are responsible for the famous Japanese sake Tateyama, samples willingly accepted though nothing will corrupt the integrity of the Animation Blogger. As if.

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