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2014: A Year in Anime

December 23, 2014

Belldandy

“Modern anime are getting dynamic, but the expression in motion that cel anime had is lacking.”
– Noboru Ishiguro

“I believe that making animation with pencils is the only way for us to survive.”
– Hayao Miyazaki

Another year comes to an end, one of the most eventful years in a recent history for me personally with many good and bad things, some of which I mentioned previously. Although I didn’t keep a very close eye on the anime throughout the year, I would like to mention a few important anime-related events that I did catch. Rather than focusing on any anime in particular, I’ll just mention some general events.

Compare and contrast

Goro Miyazaki makes his first full 3D animation. Well, technically, it is produced by Polygon Pictures and only co-produced by Ghibli. Nevertheless, I was somewhat shocked seeing the pictures and the trailer of the Ronia…

Ghibli takes the time to pause and reflect. Steelbound extensively elaborated on some potential future directions. Such a restructuring process is natural due to the change of generations, and I appreciate some efforts by Anno, but to induce a real positive change, a set of economic, social, and educational reforms would be needed…

Ah My Goddess ends. Kousuke Fujishima began the manga in Monthly Afternoon in 1988. One of my favorite parts of the last few chapters was the story about the bard and the lake goddess around the chapter 290.

“The dreams of the two people have come true. You have seen the sea, the same sea that he saw. The sea that is the sea of two people – only their beautiful sea.”

Kikuko Inoue turns 50! I wish her many more decades of healthy and happy life!🙂

Sailor Moon Crystal. Yay! All those good memories… I still prefer the original character designs, but it is interesting to see the anime in a new light, especially given that this is supposed to be a more faithful adaptation of the manga. Unfortunately, the production quality could have been better…


The following events happened during my break from blogging – I’ll highlight them also.

Noboru Ishiguro, one of the best anime directors, passes away in 2012. (Astro Boy, Legend of Galactic Heroes, Mushi-shi, Yamato, Orguss, Macross, Tytania). I covered Tytania episodically. Although the plot certainly could have been better, I enjoyed the excellent directing.

Sleep. After returning to blogging this year, I found out that Animekritik and many others stopped blogging…

Well, that was somewhat depressing… The next post should balance things out!

What about you? Any anime-related events caught your attention this year?

13 comments

  1. It’s no debate that 2D, hand-drawn anime wins over 3D-generated ones. But I have to mention that I fairly enjoyed Ars Nova and really liked Knights of Sidonia. On Ars Nova, the story was okay, but the choice of 3D animation was probably for the best since the ultra-detailed battle fleet and their specs wouldn’t look good otherwise.


    • 3D has its place and, just as you mention, some things just look better in 3D. There has to be a delicate balance for an optimal result.


  2. Addendum: On Sidonia, it would have been fine if it was done in 2D animation, but the story was highly entertaining for me that I didn’t really mind the 3D animation. Also, I think the mecha action and the building up of the setting benefited from this animation choice.


    • I, on the other hand couldn’t care much about the story and the harem net developing in Sidonia, so 3D only made things worse for me. I believe 3D is great for animating objects and battles if done right, meaning it integrates well with the rest of the art and doesn’t feel like a patch work eg. ristorante paradiso bgs and shingeki no bahamut’s beasts. That said, I love Dreamwork’s 3D works, but since I guess the budget is restricted in series like Ronja, I can’t take it seriously much more love it. At the state 3D is now in Japan I can only find it flashy and without substance if not ugly. Sailor Moon’s 3D transformation scene is such an example. It’s there to ellicit a childish impression without any purpose and while making the sailor scouts look a lot like plastic dolls (especially the hair).

      I’m not a person who usually laments what is lost in the past. I love my share of sparkly animation like the one in Book Girl by Production I.G. Yet I can’t not agree that at least 80s anime had a distinct grace both as far as character-design is concerned and animation-wise. There was a delicateness in the female figure and the way hair and body moved that is rarely seen today.

      Studio Ghibli’s loss is a big one as was Satoshi Kon’s. We can only pray people with similar visions will raise from the crowd to offer something different.

      ~.~.~
      I haven’t followed Ah My Goddess, but I know there’s tribute artbook from other artists like CLAMP http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2013/08/23/manga-all-stars-pay-tribute-to-ah-my-goddess

      Yes, it’s kinda sad we don’t have as many great anime/manga bloggers around as it used to be the case just 1-2 years ago, but real life is still an unavoidable force you can’t underestimate. It’s good you’re back at least! I’m looking forward for more discussions with you, Kitsune-sempai!


      • P.S.: Mamoru Hosoda is definitely one of the horses I’d count on to make up for the Studio Ghibli’s loss. I read steelbound’s posts, which was certainly interesting but I could only agree with Hosoda and Sunao Katabuchi. These two are the ones who without changing much of their style give off “Ghibli” vibes.


      • Yes, how seamlessly 3D integrates with the rest of the animation is very important. A similar problem can occur with background art in general: the background could be very detailed, but the characters are not or the styles are too different.

        At the state 3D is now in Japan I can only find it flashy and without substance if not ugly.

        Well, the state of 3D animation in Japan is not too bad in a technical aspect, but it would be too expensive to produce a full film at such a quality.

        Yes, the Sailor Moon transformation could have been much better, like Kill la Kill transformations!😛

        80s anime had a distinct grace both as far as character-design is concerned and animation-wise. There was a delicateness in the female figure and the way hair and body moved that is rarely seen today.

        Yes, I completely agree!

        Oh, thank you for mentioning the Ah My Goddess tributes! Unfortunately, most, do not quite capture the spirit of the characters. My favorite is painting with flowers by Chika Umino.

        I am also glad you continue blogging, Ayame!🙂


        • Were the Kill la Kill transformations 3d aided?

          Back when I seriously got into anime, I was fascinated by anything involving angels and demons, so I collected many Oh my Goddess! illustrations. Never got in the franchise though, probably due to its length. Or it could be my disappointment with Ao Yori Aoshi. Is there a film or arc you’d recommend?

          I’m trying my best. I’m a stubborn woman and very devoted to animanga, so I wish I’ll reach at least a decade of blogging! I know real life is bound to get in the way, but let’s try to be positive! I hope the best for you, too😀


  3. FoxyLadyAyame,

    Some parts might have been rendered in 3D, such as the instruments, but the majority of it seems to be 2D.

    Well, you are not stubborn, you just have plenty of grit!😀

    Hmm… It is not easy to recommend something in particular because I have not read every chapter of the manga, and I watched the anime series so long ago that I forgot many parts. Although I wouldn’t call the TV series a masterpiece, I do recall some moments that just melt your heart or affect you in a special way. For me, experiencing these moments was worth the time, in spite of some of the flaws in this anime. Moreover, I am extremely biased because I❤ Kikuko Inoue!🙂 When I'll be in a position where my life is about to end, and I have the time and cognitive ability, perhaps, that is the anime I’ll rewatch…

    In terms of manga, I read it for study purposes: I especially like the way he draws hair🙂

    If you want to follow the entire story, people said that the second season of TV ends around Vol 30 Chapter 189. So, you could watch the first two seasons, then read the manga. The entire manga consists of about 300 chapters, and art style evolves substantially.

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/manga.php?id=1608

    Oh, oh, and there is Chibi-version series too – these are cute and fun!🙂 This is one of my favorite episodes with no dialog and only about six minutes long. It is not representative of the series, but I really like it…

    There was one film. They tried to pick some key elements present in different arcs of the manga and put them in the film, but the film does not follow any particular manga chapter. I liked the film, and it made me wonder about the trial… It had a score above 90 out of 100 on my scale in 2006, while the film was released in 2000. How would I rate it now? Probably, somewhat in the similar range. In case you still have any doubts, I’ll refer you to the oldest anime review website on the internet!

    http://www.themanime.org/viewreview.php?id=133

    Oh, and speaking of the reviewer himself, Carlos Ross participated in Jeopardy with some success. http://www.themanime.org/credits.php?id=CR

    No superlative gives justice to this anime movie. If only other series-based movies were more like this. While those of you who don’t care for slightly sappy romance dramas won’t agree with me, it’s quite possibly the best the genre has to offer so far. And it IS that good. But watch the OAVs first, or better yet, read the manga

    That’s a good advice because chronologically, the film should be seen last. It is a self-contained story, but with a satisfying resolution, which is somewhat similar to how the manga ended. So it might be better to watch OVA to familiarize yourself with the characters, and then watch the film. You could watch the TV series too before the film, but that will depend on your interest.

    Another note of OVA:

    The storyline initially parallels the early parts of the original manga and is similar to early episodes of the later 2005 TV series; the first three episodes of the OVA cover the same story as episodes one through ten of the 2005 series. However, episodes four and five do not follow the manga or any other TV series.

    In summary, if have a very limited time and there is only one thing you can watch, watch the film. Otherwise, take the time and watch the TV series and read the manga.🙂


    • Oh I just noticed your reply. Yes, the hair are really pretty. Do you draw yourself?

      The mini goddess is so pretty and cute and serene!
      Probably not the series but the OVAs and film? We’ll see


      • Do I draw? Well, I try when I have the time. Hopefully, I can spend more time on it after graduation.

        Excellent! You are a poet, Ayame!😀


  4. Did I miss something? Ishiguro passed away in 2012…


    • Hi, Omo! Thank you for mentioning it! I edited the post for clarity!



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