Yasuo Otsuka’s Pioneering Realism

The more I dig into the history of anime the more I’m coming to understand the impact that one man had in turning it into what it is today. Sure, Hiroshi Okawa bankrolled the start of the industry in founding Toei Douga, and of course Yasuji Mori and Akira Daikubara were deeply influential as the…

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The start of the anime industry – Toei Douga & Hakujaden

Anime historians loathe to settle on one ‘first anime’, going to great lengths to traverse back to the most ancient relics of Japanese animation. But I’m going to have to pick a practical starting point that doesn’t have me dusting off my tools and traveling to Japan on an archaeology expedition. A popular choice for kicking…

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Anime Snapshot: Kameda Burns Lust (FMA Brotherhood)

Spoiler warning: Significant spoilers for Full Metal Alchemist It’s been a long while since I watched Full metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Names of characters, the beats  of the story and most of the dramatic climaxes have faded to a distant haze. But one brief moment of the 60-odd episode saga still leaps to mind with perfect…

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Anime Snapshot: Attack on Titan 39 – Levi’s Chase

I’ve been really enjoying this new season of Attack on Titan so far. Of course, we’re only two episodes in and I know that’s not saying much when we’re talking about a WIT production, but it’s already streets ahead of last year. Season 2 seemed to be deeply unsure of itself, intent on recapturing the…

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Why 3DCG Cannot be Allowed to Replace 2D Animation!

In the late 90s, after Gegege no Kitarou 4 went digicel after the 64th episode, the Japanese animation industry quickly transitioned from being filmed with a camera to being scanned and composited in computer software. Over the last decade, there has now been some further evolution with stylus and tablet often replacing pencil and paper…

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Depth in Anime – Photography, Compositing and Animation

So I watched the first episode of A-1 Picture’s ‘Granblue Fantasy the Animation’ last night. Not sure I’m a fan. Like so many other anime these days, Granblue appears to be a victim of its own ambition. On the surface of it, it has all the hallmarks of a big-win production – ornate, beautiful characters, battle…

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Kabaneri’s ‘Make-Up Animation’

If you’ve seen Koutetsu no Kabaneri I think it’s safe to assume you noticed that a few times every episode, a particular shot would rear its head as particularly beautiful and well-drawn. I know a lot of people, myself included, found the effect a little jarring – in addition to blowing me away with those…

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Anime Snapshots: Mob Psycho #10 Fire Scene

Sometimes an anime struts along that is charismatic from beginning to end, a complete package that is so much more than the some of its parts . And sometimes a more run-of-the-mill series can break form and produce a wondrous episode that you can neatly lift out and up onto a pedestal. But once in a while this glory lasts only a fleeting moment – a…

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Episode Spotlight: Mob Psycho 100 #8

Director: 立川譲 (Toshiyuki Takei) Storyboard: 立川譲 重原克也 (Yuzuru Tachikawa  Katsuya Shigehara ) Animation Director: 亀田祥倫 (Yoshimichi Kameda) Yoshimichi Kameda is undoubtedly the pedestal animation force behind this series. Although he was responsible for the character design, he did not take up the credit of chief animation director that usually accompanies this. Generally the chief animation director is the…

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On the Postponement of Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars

Phew, that was close! I was almost a tragic victim of irony. You see, I was just about to sit down and polish off a new blog post extolling the 2D hand-drawn mecha animation and surprising levels of enjoyment I was getting out of Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars when BAM, the show’s production committee…

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