Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Psycho Pass Season 2 broke my poor little heart ...

After Psycho Pass Season 2 was announced, i like others was quite excited about the thought of another adventure in this cyberpunk world Gen Urobuchi created. In retrospect i should have been more worried that Tow Ubukata was the dude chosen to handle this season while Urobuchi worked on the movie. Ubukatas track record when it comes to anime writing isn't the best but then again neither is Urobuchi's since the nigga did write that clusterfuck, Blassreiter. More thoughts after the jump along with spoilers.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Top 10 Favourite Cuts (Animated Sequences) of 2014

Well that certainly quite a year for anime. It has to have been one of the better years in recent memory. There were lots of great shows on and lots of great animators doing some of their best work. We saw Studio Mir put out their most work in a single year, MOI Animation produce 2 good looking DC animated movies, Space Dandy be a thing, The Boondocks go down in flames, Black Dynamite return in spectacular fashion and lots more. There was so much good work produced this year that it was incredibly hard to choose what to include in this list. Now like last year, the 3 simple rules i set for myself are as follows:
  • I have to have watched the show (no just seeing a cool clip on sakugabooru, i have to have watched a good amount of the thing).
  • The show must have aired this year (only episodes of a continuing show that aired this year count).
  • One sequence per show.
Warning before we continue, there will be spoilers for many shows including but not limited to Korra, Space Dandy, Hunter X Hunter, Noragami, Naruto Shippuden and more. Now without further adieu.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Thoughts on Aldnoah Zero, Tokyo Ghoul and Terror in Resonance

This past summer anime season was the first in a while that I watched more than 4 airing shows at the same time. That was thanks mostly to the fact that some really good directors all had shows come out at the same time. Just to clarify I won't be covering all the shows I watched in this post cause Hunter X Hunter I'll cover in a long in depth post sometime down the line but I was following this list of shows:

  • Aldnoah Zero
  • Tokyo Ghoul
  • Space Dandy
  • Hunter X Hunter
  • Terror in Resonance
  • Akame ga Kill
  • Sword Art Online 2
  • Jojos Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

Those were just the ones I was actively making sure to watch as soon as a new episode was out. Theres also One Piece and Naruto but I'm currently in a on off relationship with those 2 shows so my viewing was spotty at best. Now lets take a look at my final thoughts on the 3 shows name checked in the post title.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

My Top 10 Favorite Animators

This post is basically to expand upon my answer to @tamerlane's question about who my top 10 animators were. So this is basically an explanation as to why these 10 individuals are my favourite animators of all time. I, like many "Sakuga Otaku" follow the works of a lot of animators and know their styles mostly by sight but when it gets down to it, i in particular have a very specific taste in terms of the kinds of animators whose work really excites me. This list is entirely subjective so the order isn't based on objective skill but rather how much i enjoy their work. 

10. Masahiro Sato

Masahiro Sato is by far one of my favourite effects animators because of the extremely detailed and unique way that he animates natural elements like fire and water and the way that he conveys movement. Of all the animators on this list he Is the most recent that I became aware of and that was late last year when I was putting out my Korra Book 2 blog posts. I became aware of him after I was informed he animated segments of Pierrot's book 2 work by Jojo's character designer Masahiko Komino who worked as Animation director on Episode 4 of Book 2. His work is easily the best in Pierrot's half and after I saw his other work when putting together the above video I was Immediately enthralled. His work is consistently great and his effects always impress with their detail and smooth motion. Whats not to like.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The Boondocks Season 4 Review (a.k.a. An Exercise in Frustration)

So after waiting just under 4 years for a new season of this amazing series the final season of The Boondocks ended up being mainly an exercise in frustration. With original creator Aaron McGruder off the series there was an immense wave of disappointment that befel fans upon the realization that something we've wanted and been looking forward to for so long may end up being shit. Now my first reaction was as long as Aaron's co-writer on many episodes Rodney Barnes stayed on there may be hope. Now that the season is over and i've had time to process i can say with conviction this season is terrible. Thats not even me being hyperbolic, it is legitimately awful. Now the animation by Studio Mir was pretty good. They did a great job upping the ante in terms of animation quality form JM Animation's work in season 3 but the problem really was that they were let down by the mostly terrible scripts they had to work with. Anyway heres the usual video and i'll go into detail about my frustration after the jump.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Psyren: Fan Animation Project

So as a longtime fan of the Shonen Jump manga Psyren, I was always upset that it never got an anime despite being one of Jumps better series of recent memory. Its been quite a while since it ended and i have been re-reading the series as Viz Media have been putting the volumes out and i now own 8 of the 16 released volumes. Its one of those series that i haven't forgotten because it was just such a fun read and it was just well executed and hit all the right notes for me. In my infinite wisdom i asked myself "Hey, i'm trying to teach myself how to animate shit. Why don't i animate an opening for the series using my current skillset. How hard can it be right?" Well obviously its a lot harder and longer a process in practice than it is in theory but its getting there. Storyboarding as the sequences come to mind isn't exactly the best way to work but it helps to note down what sequences then figure out how to chain them together in the best way as to make it enjoyable. When i first started this was the first thing i though all anime openings should include. Headshots of the main characters with flowing hair.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Thoughts on Kill La Kill, Fairy Tail (2014) and Stardust Crusaders

Kill la Kill

I finished watching Kill la Kill some time ago but after another re watch i think i'm finally able to properly express my opinion on it. It was good. It was very enjoyable and for a first series from a newly formed studio it as quite a feat. The overall story does drag at a couple of points but i did still really enjoy it. The comedy felt like a progression from Trigger's web-series Inferno Cop (Which is the best show ever made and you should watch right now. No seriously go watch it right now) with episode 4 being the closest in terms of that sense of humor. It was really funny and unlike other fan-service shows it wasn't overtly creepy in the way that it uses fanservice but rather doesn't have the fanservice overshadow the goals of the main characters who are the subjects of it. In other words you won't be remembering the characters for the size of their breasts or how much their privates glow like in some of the other shows of this ilk but rather for their strong personalities and good character development with the best character in the show in my opinion being Satsuki who went through quite a change over the course of the show. We also have a pretty good protagonist in Ryuko and a fun sidekick in Mako. An excellent villain in Ragyo and overall you have a very good show.

Friday, 9 May 2014

How do you know what's "good animation" and what isn't?

So on the forum i frequent the most someone posited the question "how do you know what's good animation or not?". Its certainly an interesting question and the answer i ended up delivering made me realise that while i don't generally think too much about it and can generally just tell, i do have a system in my mind that helps me tell what's good and what isn't. In this post i will be elaborating on my previous answer and offering an example of how you can teach yourself to identify an animators style as that ties into this as well. The animator we'll be using for this case study will be Takashi Torii so in preparation here's my new Sakuga MAD featuring more of his recent work.

Here's the link to the new video because like with my Masahiro Sato video, Blogger refuses to recognize that the video exists so the old one is available to view here but watch the new one if you can cause the old one has a lot of mistakes.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Hunter X Hunter (2011) Animation Analysis

So after quite some time we're gonna take another look at the quality of the animation in the current Hunter X Hunter series. So since last time we've reached at the time of my writing of this post, episode 125. So yeah, Madhouse is a ridiculously consistent studio even when working on a long running series. I mean good lord, they have 2 animation directors who produce excellent animation consistently, 1 other who gives us generally good animation, 1 who gives us great art despite stiff animation and the rest who give us average animation with generally no off model shots. For this post I'll go through the work of the main 4 AD's (Animation Directors) and finish off with a summation of my view overall on the animation and show in general. So lets start off with a video by fellow sakugang member AnimeBlue.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Quick Review: The Lego Movie


So this movie was beyond entertaining when i saw it last week. The story took unexpected turns, the characters were all charming and the animation was incredible at parts. After having seen Frozen i was sure there wouldn't be another animated movie in a while that i enjoyed as much but nope. Phil Lord & Chris Miller weren't having any of that. I dare say the movie wouldn't have worked quite as well without their involvement. At this point they have proven more times than needed that they are some of the most talented directors working in feature animation after launching the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and this movie.