“I Love You” by Rinat Timerkaev

Is there such a thing as Russian anime?

Rinat Timerkaev‘s I Love You, evokes the gentle moods of Japanese directors like Hayao Miyazaki and Makoto Shinkai. In Russian, without subtitles, it plays both as a human love story as well as a love letter to its director’s home town, Yekaterinburg.

(Thanks, Roman)


  • Timanim

    This is almost getting into the bad ripoff territory. The moment I saw that sunset and the two on the train it was like I was watching 5cm per second all over again, but badly done.

    Also, Why oh WHY did they have to try and make it look all anime? It just looks creepy when it’s done by someone who can’t do it right. Those faces were so awkward on heavily realistic bodies and very referenced/rotoscoped animation.

    Sure the backgrounds were pretty, but why do it like that when Shinkai can do them better? Do your own thing, artists!

  • Iritscen

    Fantastic backgrounds (well, most of the piece *was* backgrounds, wasn’t it?), and nice music. Do I detect more than a little rotoscoping? But there is some excellent artistry here.

  • http://gervart.com Gbop

    couldn’t help but be distracted by every single shot containing a camera pan.

  • Liesje

    Strange. I’ve never heard of Rinat Timerkaev before this morning when a group I ‘Like’ on Facebook posted a link to the trailer for his animated interpretation of Bulgakov’s novel Master & Margarita set to release 2012. You can check it out here:

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xg5ggh_the-master-and-margarita-animation-trailer_shortfilms

    I wouldn’t have called Rinat’s style ‘anime’, at least not in the Margarita trailer. More of a Hanna-Barbera TV Special (a la ‘The Halloween Tree’) type. Supposedly, Rinat supposedly claims on his blog that the animation will be far more refined by the time the final film is released, though.

    Either way, as a lover of Bulgakov’s masterpiece, I’ll probably end up watching it.

  • lola

    I found the characters’ appearances extremely disturbing and distracting from everything. It’s weird to see a 3D-esque rotoscoped body with a flat, poorly designed, anime face.

    Other than that I can’t say much about it. It’s certainly well-put together (though not in entirely new and exciting ways). It had its awkward moments with fluid body movements together with stiff hair movements in the wind but it wasn’t too horrible. If anything, the backgrounds were quite pretty to look at.

  • Mike Johnson

    Aw, what the hell. I think this is the most exquisitely beautiful thing I have seen in ages. I suppose being an animation enthusiast rather than an industry insider (as pretty much everyone else in these forums seems to be) keeps me from recognizing most of the things that invite a valid critical response to any given animation. This leaves me feeling like a kid with a crayon who is WAY in over his head amongst those, who like you, are good enough to actually make a living out of doing this.

    That being said, this really did make my day and I am thankful that Cartoon Brew continues to allow me to discover truly wonderful animation that I would have no other way to be exposed to.

    My hat is most certainly off to Rinat Timerkaev and his crew for creating such a beautiful work of art!

    • Timanim

      You seriously need to watch ANY of Makoto Shinkai’s stuff then.

      Gorgeous backgrounds AND appealing characters into stories that really tug at nostalgia and past romances.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDBH4xCE9ys

      and the film that’s not yet released that looks a lot like miyazaki so far.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDCh1kpHvRk

      • Mike Johnson

        Wow…so much beauty! I really like this look and especially the ‘feel’ of the animation. It really strikes a nice chord in me. The clip that is reminiscent of Miyazaki is especially nice, though I suppose there are those who would find some fault with this. As for me, I wish more animators would try to emulate Miyazaki or any other animator who consistently produces quality product.

        I will certainly look forward to seeing more by Timerkaev any chance I get!

  • http://unseenfilms.blogspot.com/ dbborroughs

    That is wonderful.

    Thank you

  • Tim Douglas

    Well there’s not a lot for me to say, Timanim pretty much said it, really great backgrounds (the star of the film), but an awkward mix of rotoscoping & (sub-par) anime faces.

    For me the mood just barely avoids ripping off Shinkai through nice execution. Can’t really see a specific Miyazaki influence.

    Here’s hoping he can develop this into his own style.

    +1 for an anime(ish) themed post.

  • http://swinsea.com S.W.S

    The environments are nice, but the characters detract from the style and the animation of the characters amplifies it. There is something very unnatural about them and the stiff way they move (though I suppose it matches the animation of much of the backgrounds, which look like photographs with effects painted into them – note the leaf with rain dripping from it, and how it doesn’t move).

    I could see immense potential in the beauty of the backgrounds and objects, but the characters need more natural movement and perhaps the strangeness of the faces would be improved if it looked like they simplified a regular human face rather than imitate a Japanese style. (Compare to Studio Ghibli’s work; simplified anime faces are fine, but you need to do it well.)

    I like what Tim Douglas said: “Here’s hoping he can develop this into his own style.” I would love to see what his work will be in a few years.

  • http://jessicaplummer.blogspot.com Jessica Plummer

    So much time spent on beautiful backgrounds, so little spent on the characters faces (ex. at :41…really? Couldn’t put more time into some more inbetweens? Actually settle that hair straight instead of looking like a cut-out?? =\). It totally kills the experience when the camera cuts to one of the characters. Otherwise, great execution…if not a little overly obsessive with the environment’s influence.

  • http://www.customtattoosusa.com Jen Green

    I think this is lovely. I found the faces to be lacking some emotion, but I felt that was intentional, adding to the subtle beauty and movement of the piece. It was incredibly moving, and really well done. Thank you for making this available.

  • http://www.shortoftheweek.com Sondhi

    I object. Everytime someone non-japanese does something that looks like anime, people flip out. Guess what? There aren’t all that many people doing truly original stuff! I loved the student series that just wrapped up, but pretty much every one of them employed an established aesthetic, so if someone wants to do something Shinkai-esque I congratulate them on good taste.

    BTW Liesje, that Master an Margarita film looks cool, i’m a fan of the book too, so thanks for sharing.