Otaku USA Magazine
Nobody Can Stop Studio 4°C

To commemorate Berserk Golden Age Arc III’s June 19 release on Blu-ray, a special all-night movie marathon of Studio 4°C’s films was held June 21 at the Shinjuku Wald 9 Cinema, followed by a talk with a few of the directors and producers from the studio.

Besides the latest Berserk film, three of 4°C’s most highly-regarded films were screened: 2006’s Tekkonkinkreet, based on the manga by Taiyou Matsumoto and directed by American filmmaker Michael Arias, 2004’s cult-classic Mindgame, directed by Kick-Heart and The Tatami Galaxy’s Masaaki Yuasa, and 1995’s anthology film Memories, which, in addition to being Studio 4°C’s first foray into animation production, also marked the late Satoshi Kon’s debut on the world stage.

“When we brought Memories overseas, people were really taken aback by kind of things we were able to create through animation. Like, ‘wow, I never thought you could do that in a cartoon!’’” recalled Eiko Tanaka, founder and president of Studio 4°C during the event. “Studio 4°C is a group of inspired creators who use animation to express themselves to the world through images. They’re not looking to emulate the kind of things you’d see in overseas animation, so much as they want to convey the uniqueness of Japan in their own way.”

Michael Arias, whose directorial work on Tekkonkinkreet – despite being non-Japanese – serves as another example of 4°C’s willingness to push boundaries, said “everyone at [Studio 4°C] is just incredibly fiery and passionate about their work. They’re always taking risks, experimenting, and trying new things in order to create something enjoyable.”

Koji Morimoto, one of the most highly respected animation directors in Japan and one of the representative creators of Studio 4°C couldn’t attend the event, but sent a message to convey his gratitude. “I may not be with Studio 4°C right now, but it was a phenomenal place filled with friends I’d spent 30 years worth of highs and lows working with. Since leaving, I’m constantly struck by just how many unbelievably talented creators and artists they have working there.”

Source: animeanime.jp

This story originally ran in the 6/27/13 issue of the Otaku USA e-News
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