25 August 2006

Anime Cliché #2: Animation and Styling

The way a movie or series looks or feels to its audience greatly influences the reaction of that audience. If you don't like the style in which a movie was filmed, even if you love the content, it'll never be top notch for you. It's the same exact way with anime, except with an entire genre. The unique animation and styling of anime movies and series has long been a deterrent of many potential viewers. It seems to me that the average joe thinks of Dragonball Z or Pokémon when he thinks of anime, and these are among the series with the most prominent "anime clichés" in them. To fans of anime, these clichés can feel like home to us, while alienating others. For this reason, it's important to understand what the styling clichés in anime are and perhaps why they are this way.

Wikipedia has a great section on anime styling and animation, and I'll be using this as a reference as I explore this topic. Osamu Tezuka, a former Disney artist and manga writer, is credited as being the "father of anime", and he set the tone for how anime would be stylized.

This post will be broken up, because there are too many styling issues to cover without making things ridiculously long. Sections will include topics such as the drawing of the characters themselves and the way emotion, stress and action is communicated.


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