Tokyo Anima

Posted by on March 30th, 2010 at 8:01 AM

Suffice it to say I did not attend Tokyo Anima, advertised as a “Showcase of 30 Modern Animation Artists” (as opposed to “Anime” artists), but the website alone is worth the visit: Tokyo Anima
I’m going to guess this was the work of web designer Yugo Nakamura, and I’m going to use this opportunity to segue into a mildly controversial but fully mutinous statement:

Why do good people design abusively ugly websites? I’m talking about web design that makes me want to papercut my eyeballs. Publishers can complain all day about the iPad, Kindle or kids-these-days but until our own digital content platforms look like something other than my grandma’s diaper, readership will not grow. If content is king, let’s do it the courtesy of dressing it up a little, shall we? A product planner for say, an accessory line or a marketing manager of a newspaper would get fired for some of the stuff I’ve seen. I won’t name names because I don’t have to. Every. Single. One. Of. Our. Publishing. Blogs. Is. Fugly.

The music, toy, advertising, auto, fashion, and even politics industries have done amazing things with our people: illustrators/comics artists. Why can’t we work with these people to make a better LED experience? C’mon people. No one wants to look at Nana’s diaper.

Anyway, back to Tokyo Anima. These two animated shorts in particular fully stunned my trypophobic brain:

Ladybirds’ Requiem” (sic… Ed.: I’m pretty sure she meant “Ladybug,” but meh…) by Akino Kondoh

Lost Utopia” by Mizue Mirai

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4 Responses to “Tokyo Anima”

  1. Bill Randall says:

    Granted, it’s ugly here and pretty there. Do you have other examples of designs you like?

    Because Tokyo Anima’s site begs the question, why do good designers make abusively unusable websites? It’s like being trapped on the set of Saw IV, with buffering.

    You could reasonably call Steve Krug’s site fugly, but it works. More elegant is Scratchmedia, and best of all Mark Boulton’s magnificent site.

    A web site should be like a doorknob. Pretty’s fine, just make sure I can use it without thinking.

  2. Tim Tylor says:

    Ladybugs are known as “ladybirds” here in Britain – I honestly don’t know why.

  3. Caro says:

    When I saw Tokyo and “Ladybird’s Requiem” in the same post I thought it was going to be about Mrs Lyndon Johnson and the Japanese cherry trees.

    Bill — are you objecting to the fact that there’s a click-through front page at all (is that the right name for those things?), or just to the fact that it’s animated and buffers sloooooowly?

    I notice that the examples you gave don’t have those top level pages, but the rectangularness of Web design is limiting for artists and a click-through page is the only way I know of to get around it and establish a design identity where the web-feel isn’t as equally strong as the branding.

  4. Bill Randall says:

    I object to being asked to sit still and watch. Nakamura designs for TV, not for an interactive medium. His Designboom profile says “his work is based on a constant research in the interface
    enviroment.” I can’t see he’s ever spent time looking at how people actually behave.

    Compare artist sites like this one. Elegant, memorable, spare. My question is, “Do I like her work enough to bookmark/buy?” Easily answered with a couple of clicks. Front page brochures are fine when they have a clear next step. (Flash sites scare off search engines & real people, though.)

    5 seconds, tell me what to do or I’m gone.