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Plot Summary: Much like looking through a window, Iblard Jikan explores the fantastic and beautiful world of Iblard by panning through art created by Naohisa Inoue. Iblard shows itself to be nothing short of amazing and will wash serenity over your mind.
Iblard Jikan is a short animated film that almost perfectly distills the Studio Ghibli spirit in its brief 30 minute span. Directed by Naohisa Inoue, who also handled the similar dream sequences in Whisper of the Heart, Iblard Jikan is devoid of story and is instead a vibrant piece of living art. Paintings of the magical world of Iblard are set, with minimal animation, against the orchestral and synthetic musical compositions of Kiyonori Matsuo as a tour into the heart of the Ghibli aesthetic.
Without a story to distract, Iblard jikan draws the viewer into this world where Victorian and Art Moderne-influenced cityscapes teeming with characteristic airships and trolleys are wonderfully integrated with vivacious natural life. Steep, mountain-hugging villas are topped by lush greenery as pathways and trolley rails wind through pristine waterways. Pastel flowers and vines color a society that seems to have discovered the appropriate limits of necessary technology while living holistically with the natural world.
It is not without its outright fantastical scenes of floating mountains and multitiered lakes, but the real inspirational beauty of Iblard Jikan is in how it can just as well serve as concept art for our own world. This shows us a vision that does not eschew technology but does know its proper place, which is integrated with and in deference to life: human, animal and vegetable. In this is reflects, distills and crystalizes Ghibli themes that run through such films as Castle in the Sky and places as the Studio Ghibli Museum.
January 5, 2009
Recently, I had a pleasure of watching an unusual Studio Ghibli work titled Iblard Jikan. It’s more or less like watching a collection of Impressionist stills for 30 minutes brought to life(…?) through minimal animation and meditative music. There are no characters or story. Well you could argue that it’s a story of beautiful landscape, houses, their harmony, and the ways in which people inhabit them to make up a world of Iblard. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, then at least scroll down to the screenshots at the bottom as they’ll make fine wallpapers. To review works like this, I think, it’s best if I make brief commentaries along with screencaps as visual reference.
You may have observed from below screenshots that they evoke quite a number of “flavours” of Impressionism, Monet being the most notable one. I won’t be comparing it to Monet or other Impressionists because 1) I am no expert 2) there are more eloquently writings on Impressionism on web. I have to say though, I enjoyed watching these scenes much more than looking at some of Monet‘s paintings at the gallery. What I prefered the most from Iblard Jikan was its depiction of the unusual and fictional, this beautiful world of Jikan. It’s of floating planets and islands, tiny houses situated near strange trees and lakes, residentials “plugged” into the side of canyons to resemble a kind of massive, natural metropolis.
Like the above screenshot for example, the mountain is surrounded not by clouds, but very thin layers of water rippling without spilling one drop, almost like a beautifully shaped disks. It’s just very unusual and incredibly beautiful to watch. That’s another thing about this OVA, there’s more than just panning of stills. Grass dance to the wind, surface of water ripples and sparkles, all done in minimum amount of animation. If Monet was free with his forms and colours to create an impression of rippling water, then think of this as reproducing that impression in motion. This beautiful and unreal way in which people are living in harmony with nature is Iblard Jikan‘s essence.
Honestly though, 30 minutes of absolutely nothing happening was bit too much. I normally have no problem enjoying anime without “stories” just fine, like 1001 Nights, Angel’s Egg and Cat Soup. But at least they had something to follow. Another point might be that those titles (including Mari Iyagi), although lacking in over-kill meticulous details of background art, are much better at evoking the sense of being inside that space, rather than merely observing it. This is a shame because Iblard Jikan does have actual characters animated (omg really?) inside these beautiful backgrounds. These are magical moments to say the least and definitely the best part of the OVA, which unfortunately aren’t enough of to be engaging for 30 minutes. So in a sense this is like Oshii‘s Mezame no Hakobune, you really have to be in a right mood to get the most out of it. And even then, I’m not sure if you can restrain yourself from skipping through at least once.
A warm welcome to all you Iblarders and to all new comers!!
Would you like to listen to distant memories, feel the wind of an enchanting world, visit breath-taking landscapes, and meet the people of your wildest dreams? Then come visit Mr Inoue's enchanting world of Iblard!
If you would like to visit some scenes from Iblard, please come visit our Iblard Galleries. Gallery 1 offers scenes from the movie Whisper of the Heart, Gallery 2 offers a guided journey through the world of Iblard, and Gallery 3 is a collection of nostalgic scenes from Iblard. If you would like to understand a bit more about Iblard, perhaps a brief introduction to the artist and his world will help!
Introduction to the Artist and his world
..............Many of you proably first saw Mr. Inoue's works when watching Mimiwosumaseba, or, Whisper of the heart, directed by Kondo Yosifumi and produced by Japanese Animator Miyazaki Hayao . However, Mr. Inoue has in fact been painting and illustrating for many years, opening a number of exhibitions each year in Japan. His most famous works are a collection of paintings which depict a fantastic and magical world which he names Iblard (pronounced e-ballade). Mr. Inoue Naohisa is now a much acclaimed artist who continues to paint scenes from his fantastic world of Iblard. His countless paintings from this imaginary world of his has influenced a great number of artist and fans throughout Japan to the extent that many have come to regard Iblard as a kind of Utopia, a Utopia to which one can first learn to access through contemplating Mr. Inoue's multiple works.
..............Those who love and believe in Iblard become citizens and are referred to as Iblarders. If you like Mr. Inoue's world, you too can become an Iblarder! But first of all, there are many things which need to be explained in order to fully understand this wondrous world of Iblard (and explaining it in English is a bit of a task! So please bear with me!).
..............One thing to keep in mind is that everything in Iblard is always under constant change, floating islands often disappear, unknown forests grow spontaneously, new fantastic lands can suddenly appear. Mr. Inoue records these scenes and happenings of Iblard through his pictures and writings and continues to do so.
..............Have you ever faced a beautiful landscape in the country-side, or perhaps even in a city, a landscape which you thought was so beautiful that it was in some ways 'out of this world'? That could have been a scene from Iblard. It could have been a beautiful sun set, or an extraordinary tree, anything can open your personal door to Iblard. Or perhaps there is a place you have always dreamed of, a place that doesn't exist in this world, but which would have been great fun if it DID exist. Anything your heart desires can be seen in Iblard and everyone opens there own door to this eternal land. When you see something that pleases your eye, that is YOUR entrance to Iblard whether it be a precious stone, pretty clouds, or a beautiful field.. Thus Iblard can in some ways become a mirror reflection of our hearts desires, the landscape in Iblard can change according to our desires, the trains in Iblard (known as Siema) move according to where we want to go.
..............When looking at various images from Iblard, one often feels nostalgia, and many times one can't help feeling that he or she once knew such a place. Has your heart ever whispered to you? Has it ever said "I know this place, perhaps this is my real home!" Iblard is just full of nostalgic places, it is a land of memories, a home to return to after a long day's work!
..............Miyazaki Hayao, an internationally acclaimed Animation movie director, is also an Iblarder. He often speaks of a new way of observing our own world, a way in which we " look through Iblard eyes". He discovered that there was a so-called "Iblard way" of looking and perceiving things. When looking at things through the eye of an Iblarder, even the huge sky scrapers and millions of train lines in Japan become a beautiful scene from Iblard! These are a few examples of how to look through Iblard eyes.
Examples- his painting photo
Mr. Inoue often says that Iblard is in many ways based upon our own world, its just that perhaps buildings in Iblardare covered in ivy and surrounded by beautiful woods or gardens. Our world can always resemble Iblard, it just depends upon how you observe it. When you can observe things through an Iblard eye even the most simple scenes from daily life can become wonderful images from Iblard, and thus, observing your own world can also become really interesting! Thus this so-called 'Utopia' is in no ways separated from our world today, in fact in painting his pictures from Iblard, Mr. Inoue is sending us a message which is; 'to look closely, listen carefully and to observe our own world with care, because there really is no border between it and Iblard.
..............Although some characteristics of Iblard can be explained, many elements also remain unanswered, even for Iblarders and Mr. Inoue himself! Some of the most peculiar things happen in Iblard, many which just can't be accounted for. Just remember that Iblard is a mixture of the known and unknown, anything is possible in this curious world- so let your imagination run wild! One concept which all Iblarders find most important though, is that of beauty. Iblard is a land of beauty and dreams, a land where one comes to talk of enchanting stories and wondrous people
..............What is most important is that Iblarders respect one another's ideas, imagination, and concept of beauty, for certain Iblarders may have different dreams and stories than others. No one has the right to say what exactly exists in Iblard or not, or what is right and wrong in Iblard, although we mustn't forget that it is largely based on Mr. Inoue's works. Everyone has there own personal links to Iblard and feelings towards its wonders and we wish that all Iblarders and non Iblarders understand this. Otherwise ; Welcome! And please stay for as long as your heart desires!
And remember, you too can contribute your imagination to the world of Iblard!!
CD-ROM / Visions of IBLARD/ 18 / $17
It includes 287 images, and special 5 musics for Iblard and etc.
Paitings titles have also been translated into English!
weight : 90g
by ART SPACE Co. Ltd. in 2003
detailes , outside of the package , inside
BOOK / Sekai wa anata no Collection/ 35.5 / $32.5
(Art Book) "The World is your collection", "Le monde est ta collection"
Titles have also been translated into English and French!
weight : 380g
Published by Cacoosha Co. Ltd. in 2001
CD-ROM / 36 / $32.5 / sold out
A journey through Iblard (CD-ROM with a collection of paintings,games,etc.)
Size : 12.5cmx14.5cm / weight : 90g
Published by SynForest Co. Ltd. in 1996
Awarded the "Asahi Shimbun Prize" in the 1997 Japan Software Grand Prix
Includes approximately 150 paintings, and a narrated walk-through of the famous children`s book, "A Journey through Iblard. " Also includes comic strips from the "Tales of Iblard" comic book $B!" (Band a special gallery called "Wandering-around-Iblard," where one can enjoy secret entrances and endless journeys through Iblard. The CD is also equiped with an art gallery, an Iblard dictionary, and an Iblard world map! With all these programes one can understand and enjoy Iblard from all angles! Also includes an original soundtrack with 28 tracks.
use for Windows 2000,Me,98,95,3.1 / Macintosh / Japanese only
Iblard CD-ROM / 36 / $32.5 / sold out
Second CD-ROM, "The World of Iblard" (with a collection of paintings, games, stories,etc.)
Size : 12.5cmx14.5cm / weight : 90g
Published by SynForest Co. Ltd.
The "Iblard Gallery" in this CD includes over 160 paintings, from early unpublished works to the artists lastest works. The CD-ROM also includes a "Variation Gallery" and a "Close-up Gallery". In a section called "The Making if Iblard," the viewer is given a detailed lesson (narrated by Mr Inoue himself!) showing the variuos stages of development of a painting from Iblard. Also includes an original soundtrack with 8 tracks
use for Windows 2000,Me,98,95,3.1 / Macintosh /Japanese only
BOOK / Iblard Hakubutushi (1) / 27 / $24
(Art Book)/"The Natural History of Iblard"
96pages / 113 color images / weight : 490g
Year : 1975-1993
Size : 20cmx23cm
Published by Cacoosha Co. Ltd. in 1994
BOOK / Sora no Niwa, Hoshi no Umi / 27 / $24
(Art Book)/ Second volume of $B!! (Bthe Natural History of Iblard $B!! (Bseries entitled, "Gardens of the Sky, Stars of the Sea"
96pages / 108 color images / weight : 490g
Year : 1973-1996
Size : 20cmx23cm
Published by Cacoosha Co. Ltd. in 1997
BOOK / Zipangu no Kishibe (3) / 28 / $25
(Art Book) / Book three of the Natural History of Iblard series entitled, "Seashores of Zipangu"
120pages / 144 color images / weight : 550g
Year : 1994-1999
Size : 20cmx23cm
Published by Cacoosha Co. Ltd. in 1999
POSTCARD BOOK / Tasoukai Reijitu / 9 / $8.5
Collection of Iblard postcards
21pages / 21 colorful postcards >>>all images can be seen here
Size : 11.7cmx18.3cm / weight : 160g
Published by Cacoosha Co. Ltd. in 1999
POSTCARD BOOK / Megezo no ita hi / 9 / $8.5 / sold out
Collection of Iblard postcards
20pages / 19 colorful postcards
Size : 10.5cmx15cm / weight : 150g
Published by Sanrio Co. Ltd. in 2001
A small post-card book featuring a collection of pictures of the popular Iblard character,"Megezo." Megezo is a peculiar elephant-resembling fairy who often appears in Iblard. According to legend, first-class wizards and migicians who encounter Megezo become second class and or inactive. However, children seem to love this curious fairy.
BOOK / Iblard no Tabi / 15 / $14
A Journey through Iblard (Children`s book)
20 pages / 18 color images
Size : 24.5cmx27cm / weight : 490g
published by Cacoosha Co. Ltd. in 1995
A wonderful children`s book where one has the joy of taking a train ride through Iblard. Written and illustrated By Inoue Naohisa.
BOOK / Iblard Monogatari / 9 / $8.5
"Tales of Iblard"/(Comic book)
Size : 21cmx15cm / 209 pages /weight : 430g
Published by Seishinsha Co. Ltd. in 1995
A comic book written By Inoue Naohisa featuring all the main characters of Iblard. The book consists of multiple short stories such as "The Legend of Megezo","How to get home from the Market","The awakening of a Laputa," which introduce us to these main characters and their powers. This book is also the key to learning the unique words, expressions and objects of Iblard.
BOOK / Baron no Kureta Monogatari / 22 / $20 / sold out
"The Story which Baron gave to Me"/(Art book+movie guide)Featuring the making of scenes from "Whisper of the heart" / "Si tu tends l'oreille" >>> Link
91 pages / all color images
Size : 21cmx29.5cm / weight : 550g
Published by Tokuma Shoten, Studio Ghibli in 1995
Supervised by Miyazaki Hayao
This book features a combination of illustrations and story boards drawn by Miyazaki Hayao as well as scenes painted by Inoue Naohisa for "Whisper of the Heart." The book also includes an art lesson by Inoue.
Megezo doll / 27 / $25 / sold out
produced by TV ASAHI, Co.Ltd.
Height : 16cm / weight : 180g
by TV ASAHI Co.Ltd. in 1997
This Megezo doll was created when Playstation released its Iblard game. Megezo is a very popular Iblard character!
Limited Prints / 630 / $580 "Borrowed Garden"
Image size : 43cmx38cm / without frame
Edition size : 200
Paper : Velin d'arche
Technique of printing : Giclee
Supervised and signed by Naohisa INOUE
Published by ART SPACE Co. Ltd.
other Prints >>> Link