Saturdays are about cartoons and this post is filthy with them.

*None of this stuff is licensed for release in the US, unless we're talking trailers. But it all should be, even though most of them don't have a prayer, being short-form works and old things.

*Oh heavens. Your anime god is Koji Morimoto, and now you can watch his 16-minute 1997 short film Noiseman Sound Insect in two parts. Fansubbed, even! Buckle up for some truly swell animation (courtesy of animation director Masaaki Yuasa, who’d later helm Mind Game), a Yoko Kanno soundtrack that’s inextricably bound to the action onscreen, and a fevered, jumpy script concerning a beat-crazy CGI villain named Noiseman who loves the Crystal, and the bold traditionally-animated youths who break free of his grip thanks to the Juice, and bring back all the sweet melodies to their 2D/3D hybrid world. THERE ARE NO DRUG REFERENCES IN THIS FILM. And definitely not any culture clash comment, nor even a speck of satire regarding the looming shadow of computer graphics over the animation world. Just good clean fun for the whole family, folks.

*And speaking of Yuasa, fans of Mind Game will certainly be interested in his latest project as a director: Kemonozume, a brand-new (and NOT SAFE FOR WORK) 13-episode anime television series that just started airing the other week. Episode 1 is already up at YouTube (it’s more than just English-language television on there, you know), though it’s not translated or anything. Pure Japanese, and boy is there a lot of talking. The plot involves forbidden love, and a super-squad of monster hunters romping through what seems like several different time periods at once. No real bowl-you-over set pieces, and a lot of it seems kind of rote from my admittedly limited English-only perspective, but there’s a refreshing visual approach at work, and I’m certain things will liven up as the program continues on.

*But if it’s anime classics you’re in the mood for, well - how about a little part of me? In two installments, Yasuomi Umetsu’s 1987 short film Presence, from the long-lost (at least to the US, though I don't think it's been released on dvd anywhere) theatrical anthology feature Robot Carnival. Note the crummy video quality. I’ll be honest: it’s really turgid, some of the symbolism is just awful, and the English dub is kind of dodgy. But staring at this thing at two in the morning on TNT when I was a kid - it was the first piece of animation that really grabbed me by the throat and throttled into me an appreciation for the lyrical qualities of cartoons. There’s still some really strong, rhapsodic scenes in this. And sweet fucking shit does Umetsu know how to design. To this day he’s still one of my favorite designers, though the flawed-yet-ambitious nature of this film (his directorial debut) never gave way to much acceptance as a filmmaker - he remains something of an outsider auteur as a director, whether in porno or television, but god do they not make ‘em like Presence anymore.

*Ok, back to Koji Morimoto. He did other things in 1997, and some of them have also been fansubbed. Like Eternal Family, a set of 53 micro-episodes of television that add up to a single serialized story. Very antic and goofy, but there's something about it... must be the furry outfits.

*Iou Kuroda. If you haven't thrown your lot in with terrorism and Satan, you probably own a copy of Sexy Voice and Robo, brought to you in lavish done-in-one phonebook format by VIZ. You also fast and pray every night for the licensing of his other works, like his longest complete story, Japan Tengu Party Illustrated, or his one-man anthology showcase, Nasu. Well, one of the more memorable stories from the latter was adapted in 2003 into a 45-minute anime short film by Studio Ghibli stalwart Kitaro Kousaka, working with a different studio (Madhouse). It's called Nasu: Summer in Andalusia, and a good job was done. Not a lot of folks seemed to know it even existed until the fansub came out earlier this year, and that's what you see here. Kind of strange seeing Kuroda's scratchy style translated to the smooth lines of the Ghibli house look, but it works.

*Well hell, we've touched on most of the 'big' anime studios by now, so why not good ol' Production I.G? They have teamed up again with Mamoru Oshii (best known from the Ghost in the Shell films) for the upcoming feature Tachigui: The Amazing Lives of the Fast-Food Grifters. Here is the trailer, in which you can savor the truly awesome look of 'superlivemation,' as the director calls it. More traditional is Gedo Senki, an anime adaptation of material from The Earthsea Cycle, directed by Goro Miyazaki (Hayao's son, making his directorial debut) which has already inspired some mixed feelings from creator Ursula K. Le Guin. Oh, and Saitoshi Kon has a new feature coming soon too, Paprika.

*All right, enough of this. Play us out, Koji!