Production I.G has created the animation for Kao Corporation's Asience shampoo creative challenge, entitled Asience: Hairy Tale. The 60-second animated film is directed by Kazuto Nakazawa, who gained international fame by directing the animation part in Quentin Tarantino's world hit Kill Bill: Vol. 1. Nakazawa also designed the characters and directed the animation. Art direction has been entrusted to Shuichi Hirata, the texture wizard behind the stunning artwork of Cannes-nominated Innocence and Annecy-selected xxxHOLiC - A Midsummer Night's Dream.
The graphic style in Asience: Hairy Tale is visually inspired by XVIII century Japanese paintings, and personalized by Nakazawa's nervous and expressive brush touch used for the characters outlines. Without any support from 3D animation, the brush lines were painstakingly traced with pencil on paper by the in-between staff. The story concept, focusing on woman's hair as metaphor of feminine life, is portrayed as a tragic love story in a samurai drama fashion.
Profile: Kazuto Nakazawa - Born in Niigata Prefecture on March 4, 1968. Animator. After graduating the Toei Animation Gakuin, he joined studio Magic Bus, and is currently in force of studio Manglobe. His credits include Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003, animation sequence director, 2003), TV series Samurai Champloo (2004, character design, chief animation director), Linkin Park's video clip Breaking the Habit (2004 MTV VMA Viewer's Choice Award) and the commercial film Kirin Lemon Black: Monster Blacks Fights Back (Best Commercial Film at the 11th Holland Animated Film Festival).
Profile: Shuichi Hirata - Born on December 25, 1961. Art director. Hirata is credited as background artist in Mamoru Oshii's Patlabor 2: The Movie 2 (1993) and Ghost in the Shell (1995). He served as art director on Rintaro's Metropolis (2001, based on Osamu Tezuka's manga). For Production I.G he worked in Innocence (2004, directed by Mamoru Oshii), xxxHOLiC - A Midsummer Night's Dream (2005, directed by Tsutomu Mizushima and based on CLAMP's manga) and Mylene Farmer's music clip Peut-etre toi (2006).
Profile: Yoshihiro Ike - Born in Kanagawa Prefecture on August 25, 1963. Music composer and bassist. After his major debut in 1987 with the Aike Band, he pursues a solo career as composer for live action movies, TV dramas, animation and video games. He wrote the scores for many Production I.G titles, such as Blood: The Last Vampire (2000), Kaidohmaru (2001), Dead Leaves (2004), Oval x Over (2005), and Reideen (2007).
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