Abby Careful by Juan Manuel Suarez, Spain 2008
Abby Careful is the new series for teen-agers created by Forma Animada, one of the most successful animation studios in Spain, known for its animated series and feature film Mocland. Realised in 3D animation, the series is based on one girl’s dreams, who thinks to be a superhero, dealing with every day life, as if it was a dangerous adventure. She welcomes everyone who enters her home as if he was a threat to fight against in order to save the world. Due to this she creates any sort of problem for her resigned parents. The operative device is the one which has been used in the popular Calvin & Hobbes’ strips, where both characters were dealing with the consequences of real life and the perception that kids have of it.
Back at the Barnyard by Steve Oedekerk, 2007 USA
Based on the film of the same name, released in 2006 and previewed at the 9th edition of the Future Film Festival. The series, aimed at children and made in 3D, has a main character called Otis, a cow, together with his colleagues at the farm: a rooster, a pig, a mouse, a ferret, a dog and other cows. Otis and his friends have to face crazy adventures every time, such as the organisation of the weekly party at the farm. The series will be broadcast on Nickelodeon.
Casshern Sins (Kyashan Sins) by Shigeyasu Yamauchi, 2008 Japan
The new Kyashan series is more a revival than a remake: set 100 years after the original series created by Tatsunoko in 1973, it describes a world devastated by the robots to whom humanity has become enslaved. The android Kyashan reappears suddenly on Earth but has no recollection of his past, he seems to have forgotten his guilt. The MadHouse studio is responsible for this cult series and has admirably renewed the original design, assuring extremely high quality animation.
Celebrity Desktop by Joe Tucker, 2008 UK
Every episode of the series follows the absurd things that happen on the desktops of the PCs owned by famous people, and every famous person is “spied on” during their everyday life through their computer. We can hear these people having conversations on Skype and see their world through a small webcam. The series is previewed exclusively at the Future Film Festival 2009 and will be broadcast on Qoob.
Cobra The Animation: the Psychogun by Buichi Terasawa 2008 Japan
Space adventurer Cobra is back, created 30 years ago by cartoonist Buichi Terasawa, in a new miniseries of 4 OAV also directed by him. Cobra is a space pirate, gifted with a bionic arm, which contains a powerful laser cannon: an ironic daredevil, he is the prototype of the real macho, always surrounded by beautiful women. The story picks up the events where the TV series left off, thanks to the retro style of animator Kenichi Maejima and art director Shichiro Kobayashi.
The Fairly Odd Parents! by Butch Hartman, 2008 USA
Created, written and directed by Butch Hartman, this TV show is distributed by Nickelodeon and produced by Frederator Studios Incorporated. The series The Fairly Odd Parents!
boasts a wide audience of adults and children, and in America it is one of the most popular series after Spongebob
and The Simpsons
. The main character is Timmy Turner, a ten-year-old boy with parents who are always very busy watching TV, reading the newspaper and punishing him. But Timmy, when he needs help, can always turn to Cosmo and Wanda, two magic parents, complete with magic wands, who help him to fulfil all his desires.
Freedom by Shuhei Morita, 2006-08 Japan
The director of the eye-opening short Kakurenbo has created his first animated series completely in CG, with precious contributions from character designer Katsuhiro Otomo. Influences on the Akira director can be seen in the extremely rich science-fiction setting, which describes life on the lunar colonies in the 23rd century, from speed races to futuristic meteors. The 7 episodes have been written by Dai Sato (Wolf’s Rain, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Ergo Proxy
) and Katsuhiko Chiba (Inuyasha, Black Jack, Gundam Wing
Gegege no Kitarô by Yukio Kaizawa, 2007Japan
After the live action film in 2007, the animated series has finally arrived in Italy with the friendly main character Kitaro from the Yokai family, spirits from the Japanese world catalogued by cartoonist Shigeru Mizuki in the manga of the same name. Created in 1959 and animated for the first time in 1968, Kitaro is one of the first characters inspired from the horror tradition: this series presents once again the stories that captivated generations of Japanese children.
Hakaba Kitarô by Kimitoshi Chioka, 2008 Japan
This brand new series with Kitaro as the main character is the faithful animated adaptation of Shigeru Mizuki’s manga, it manages to capture the original serious spirit. The grotesque world of the Yokai is represented in its daily form, in a continual and fragile balance with the world of the living. Kitaro attempts to make the human world coexist with that of the ghosts, but he is often just a witness to the feelings that lurk within the individuals. Director Kimitoshi Chioka (Digimon, Gash Bell!
) and art director Takashi Kurahashi (Ayakashi, Mononoke
) aged the images on purpose, to give the series a 50’s touch.
Huntik by Iginio Straffi, 2008 Italia
A new Rainbow production, already busy producing the series Winx, and dedicated towards the male market, Huntik is the saga of new explorers, the Searchers, who fight for control of the Amulets, objects capable of invoking the legendary Titans. The series, animated in 2D and 3D, is directed by Iginio Straffi, while Sean Molineaux has written the screenplay and he has already supervisor and dialogue adaptor on Samurai Deeper Kyo, The Gokusen, Mirage of Blaze, The 12 Kingdoms, Versus, Ichi the Killer and Zatoichi.
Molineaux wrote the screenplays for the second and third series of Yugi-Oh. In 2003 he wrote the screenplay and supervised the English version of Winx Club for Rainbow, series II & III, and of the series Voltron: Defender of the Universe
currently broadcast on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.
Gladiatori: Il Torneo delle Sette Meraviglie by Maurizio Forestieri, 2008 Italia
I Gladiatori, TV series made in traditional animation, tells the story of the Roman Empire and of an extravagant priestess. It is an unstable time: the Emperor is old and frail and ambitious men fight for power. His nephew Marcus is still young and many wish he does not reach his adult age. One such person is Canidia, wicked priestess of Anubi. Hadrian announces an unprecedented gladiatorial tournament, which will take place at the sites of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The series has been directed by Maurizio Forestieri.
Kaiba by Masaaki Yuasa, 2008 Japan
In the new TV series, the ingenious Masaaki Yuasa changes genre with respect to the previous Kemonozume, producing a clear tribute to Osamu Tezuka’s rétrò-science fantasy. Thanks to the classic cartoon style of character designer Nobutaka Ito (Kemonozume, Samurai Champloo
), Yuasa transports us into a bizarre fantasy world, where an individual’s personality is closed in a conical capsule that can be extracted from the head, and where the rich can change their body at will. Leiji Matsumoto’s themes are intertwined with Topor vision, offering moments of wondrous awe as only MadHouse would dare.
Kim by Giuseppe Laganà, 2008 Italia
The entire series is directed by Giuseppe Laganà, famous animation author, who also worked with Bozzetto as artistic director on two episodes of Allegro non troppo (Ravel’s Bolero
and Debussy’s L’après midi
), and more recently on the animated Lupo Alberto series. The series, produced by Rai Fiction and Mondo TV, is based on Rudyard Kipling’s novel, famous for The Jungle Book. The episodes follow the incredible adventures of the orphan Kim in search of his origins, set in India at the end of the 19th century.
Matt & Manson by Grégory Panaccione, 2008-09 Italia / France
The series created by Jan Van Riisselberger and Yves Coulon in flash animation, and produced by Lanterna Magica and Alphanim for Rai, tells the adventures of a family who, for work and pleasure, capture monsters. Ben, Helen, Matt and some household monsters, together with the daily activities of every family, face unknown and apparently very dangerous monsters in every
Michiko to Hatchin by Sayo Yamamoto, 2008, Japan
After Samurai Champloo and Ergo Proxy, comes the new series produced by Manglobe supervised by Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop
): women and motorbikes in a road story that winks at Tarantino. The two main characters meet on the sunny roads of a Latin country: Michiko, a charming and uninhibited criminal and a girl, Hatchin, both on the run from the law. The project has been entrusted to a promising young group including Sayo Yamamoto and character designer Hiroshi Shimizu, it is not by chance that they have both been assistants to Masaaki Yuasa and have worked together on many MadHouse series.
Mononoke by Kenji Nakamura, 2007 Japan
Following the success of the mini-series Ayakashi, Toei Animation decided to make a spin-off of the last narrative work, Bakeneko, entrusting it to the same director Kenji Nakamura: there are fifteen disturbing adventures, from the cold nameless shaman, to the demons and curses in ancient Japan. The digital experimentation introduced by art director Takashi Kurahashi (Hakaba Kitaro
) and by character designer Takashi Hashimoto (Steamboy, Freedom, SOS! Tokyo Metro Explorers: the next
) has been put to use in the previous series by excellent screen writers such as the always interesting Chiaki J. Konaka (Serial Experiment Lain
Moonlight Mile by Iku Suzuki, 2007Japan
From the science-fantasy manga of the same name by Yasuo Otagaki, the Hibari studio has made a faithful animated transposition, full of details and realism thanks to Akinori Endo’s screen writing (Mobile Suit Gundam 0083, Inuyasha, 3×3 Eyes
) and to director Iku Suzuki (Slayers Gorgeous, Ranma 1/2
). The exploration of space is retold through the experiences of two young and ambitious astronauts, the Japanese Goro Saruwatari and the American Jack F. Woodbridge, in the search for new sources of energy in a now imminent future.
Psicovip by Bruno Bozzetto, 2008 Italy
Supervip rumbles across the sky, in typical superhero pose. Minivip flies to the psychoanalysts couch… Minivip, the main character from VIP: Mio fratello superuomo
, the unforgettable film by Bruno Bozzetto in 1968, comes back in the new 3D animated series from Maga Animation Studio and produced by Rai Fiction. The series, created and directed by Bozzetto, contains 26 exhilarating mini adventures for the Superhero Minivip who tries to get to grips with his dreams, his complexes, a clumsy brother and a nutty psychoanalyst.
South Park by Trey Parker, Matt Stone, 2008 USA
Now in its twelfth series, South Park presents a style that is always recognisable with an ever more marked wickedness. They are disruptive, impertinent, foul-mouthed, troublemakers, obscene and damned intelligent: these are the main characters of the series created by the Americans Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The twelfth season, which includes references to the latest American presidential elections, has already caused a worldwide sensation in the press for the topics it contains. South Park, started in 1997, has always been one of the strong points on the Comedy Central channel.
Tak (Tak and the power of Juju) by Mark Risley, Jim Schumann, Heiko Drengenberg
Based on the TV series and the video game of the same name, it is also the first Nickleodeon series made entirely in CGI. The main character of the series is a 14-year-old boy who used the magic Juju creatures as a link between his world and their other worlds. With over twenty characters and other Juju creatures, the series presents a great complexity of stories and management of the visual set up.
Teen Days by Maurizio Nichetti, 2009 Italy
The animated main characters of this series, produced by Rai, are six teenagers who share a passion for music. Teen Days is the name of their group, and their dream is to participate in the International School Music Tournament. Every episode of the series is directed by Maurizio Nichetti, great expert in the world of animation.