Love Assassin

I don’t know much about recent animation, I admit, not even much about the Japanese variety as I haven’t had much time lately to pursue it. In a haze of sleepiness last night however, as I paused between writing more disjointed paragraphs into my so-called essay, I took the time to watch a cute animated short called Love Assassin, embedded in one of the articles I was poring over.

Reportedly directed by a caucasian, the style was still very Japanese to me, encouraged at the time by the description of the character being emoji-like in the aforementioned article. Little did I know that it all ultimately still led back to Japan, yet encompassed so many different countries in the making at the same time.

The ‘emoji-like’ character I witnessed, an illustrated rabbit with eyes that look like the emoji (- -), is called Tuzki and was created in 2006 by Momo Wang of the Beijing Broadcasting Institute. Featured in emotes other than the mentioned, it is popular on QQ, MSN, and many other messaging platforms, though at the moment this popularity still seems largely confined to Asian countries.

I find it interesting this rabbit is in fact managed and owned by a joint-venture company in Hong Kong, established in 2008. Their recent animated short above, a ‘stunt’ for Valentines Day, was written/directed by Julian Frost, the creator of the popular Dumb Ways to Die, a promotion for rail safety by Metro Trains in Melbourne, Australia.

The animation itself brought in a third party, Japanese animation studio STUDIO4°C to create the fluid moving effects above, swiftly shifting between more modern favoured 3D effects and more traditional, flat 2D graphics we are accustomed to.

It can still be mindboggling sometimes to realise just how business today can be conducted in this widespread manner, where these otherwise widespread countries can work together on this product with ease.