An attempted anime Noble Heart, I don't think I was quite able to slough off that Western look.
You know, it's funny this picture even exists, I loathe
anime with the burning passion of a million suns.
As a genre I mean, of course there are exceptions. My biggest problem with anime is that it doesn't live up to it's name. Anime is short for Japanimation, an outdated term used, obviously, to refer to animation originating from Japan. But most anime isn't
animation, the very definition of the word "animate" is "to make lively, vivacious, vigorous"
or "give zest or spirit to"
or "to give motion to"
making it pretty much the antithesis of the average anime. Have you ever really sat down and examined anime? I'd make Herr Trump's wallet blush if I had a nickle for every time an anime took a lazy shortcut.
Like how walk cycles are swept under the rug, the camera just zooms in above the waist and the character bobs up and down while the background goes by.
I've been subjected to many scenes where literally nothing was happening, a character stares at a sunset either in complete silence or with scheiss inner monologue pretending to be Shakespeare while the the camera slowly zooms in. No, they're not "setting the mood," they're trying to spend as little on animation as possible so more money can go into their own pockets.
Even during a fight scene corners are cut, take Pokemon for example: how many times have you actually witnessed the moment two battling Pokemon make contact with each other? Typically what'll happen is the screen will go black and there'll be a flash or swipe to denote impact or a slice, followed by a still picture of, say, Bulbasaur headbutting Pikachu while the camera pans to one side.
Why are all anime characters constipated? Have you noticed how often they just stand around grunting and sweating when the camera cuts to their face?
Speaking of faces, Japan has no idea how to animate them. It's not just low-budget studios that resort to using emoticon-expressions either, even Ghibli characters seem to suffer from an acute case of Stonefaceitus. There's like zero
squash and stretch. Go watch Aladdin or Hunchback of Notre Dame for a second, notice how the entire face can squish or elongate to express a wide array of emotion, it's not only the mouth that moves. Not only that, but the mouth can take on many different shapes, sometimes extremely exaggerated ones, which is fine since while the picture is in motion your brain will barely have time to process it anyway.
Something that both Japanese and Russian animators often ignore are animation smears
, while I do occasionally see anime using them it's usually never for anything more sophisticated than a swipe or twirling motion. It's like when high budget anime tries to imitate Disney it thinks all it needs to do is hike up the number of frames used per scene, but if you actually watch a Disney movie frame by frame you'll see there's a lot more up it's sleeve than just frame quantity. In fact, it's a bad idea to make an entire animated movie glassy smooth since some scenes actually look better with fewer frames to give the illusion of speed or panicky movement.
I've had people defend anime's rigid animation style telling me that squash and stretch or a vibrant palette subtracts realism from the feature, so it's harder to suspend disbelief and get invested in a movie unless the characters are just as stiff and desaturated as we are. This is what I would politely refer to as "fucking horseshit," because Lion King not only had squash and stretch out the wazoo, but it was a colourful musical about talking animals and I know a senior citizen who admits to choking up whenever he sees Mufasa die. Can't chalk it up to childhood nostalgia kicking in, this dude was almost 40 when Lion King came out. You can get an audience invested in a pillow looking for it's case if you're talented and creative, our mirror neurons will switch on at the drop of a hat. Besides, if it's realism you're after, why not just watch a live action movie? Surely animation's appeal lay in it's ability to depict things that, on a real set, could never physically happen.
Don't even get me started on proportions. Ever Googled "Yaoi hands?" It's almost like these artists have never seen another human being before. Just the other day I was looking at some height chart from an anime and, I swear to Odin, their legs must've been three times longer than their arms. Now, unless you were born with some sort of deformity, every human should, with stretching and daily practice, be physically capable of bending over far enough to touch their own toes. It's useful to remember tricks like this to avoid those mistakes.
99.99% of all anime looks and feels exactly the same. Unless it's Ghibli, I can't tell any of these studios apart. I swear, Japan's entire animation industry is one workaholic asian guy frantically running from studio to studio making it look like thousands of people are employed there.
And my final complaint about anime is the rabid fans who worship it in spite of it's many flaws and look down their noses at Western animation despite the former still having much to learn from the latter."And you drew horsedad in a style you deem inferior because...?"
To lure the Millennials.
After their time spent at this gallery, they'll
develop a physical attraction to golden eagles
toss anime in favor of quality
entertainment like The Lion Thing!... He looks like he's about to serve that star to a sword-wielding Brave Heart in tights.