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Old 2009-04-06, 03:30   Link #1
lubczyk
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You've gone Hollywood in my Anime - Quick Cuts and Photoshop!!!

I will be the first to admit that I'm a old school guy. I enjoyed Hollywood of the 60s, 70s and 80s where they would just have the camera be static while they filmed a scene over several minutes. Then, The Bourne Supremacy came out which popularized the quick cut - A technique where an unskilled film maker instead of choreographing a scene, quickly does a bunch of close-up cuts over a short period of time to simulate action and movement. The same can be said for shows like Sin City. Just because you can totallly screw the colour palette, doesn't make you automatically good.

The animation industry of Japan has caught onto these technique and has had them popularized with studios like SHAFT leading the way. Their early shows like Sakura Diaries and Mahoromantic were great. I even enjoyed Pani Poni Dash. Then, everything changed. SHAFT decided to add photoshop and quick cuts into every one of their subsequent parody comedies. Negima!?, although similar in style to Pani Poni Dash, was hard to watch due to quick cuts to and from weird flashes of text and absurd changes to the colour palette. Then came Hidamari Sketch and So long Mr. Despair and even Ef - more quick cuts and totally flipping the saturation and colour palette at least 50 times an episode. Lastly, Galaxy Angels, a parody anime that I've enjoyed the first 4 seasons of came out with a remake - Galaxy Angel Rune - and was utterly obliterated by bad comedy and quick cuts. My eyes and brain can not keep up with the quick cuts. I can't watch these shows and get the gags and be entertained, because I can't even read all the subtitles and subtle visual cues without the use of the pause button and rewinding.

I want real comedy and visual stimulation, not a sparkly show with an agenda to burn out my retinas and detach my eye balls from their sockets.

It sometimes feels like studios are using these techniques to try to adit a sense of sensory overload resulting in laughter and tears rather than actually making content that produces said results.

With the blatant overuse of photoshop and quick cuts, many a parody anime have become unwatchable for me. I've been going backwards to shows like Ichigo Marchmellow or even sticking to KyoAni shows for my comedy fix.

Anyone else turned off by the blatant overuse of quick cuts and photoshop filters in parody anime? It's like directors are more interested in slicing up the comedy instead of framing it.
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Old 2009-04-06, 04:23   Link #2
Kamui4356
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I know what you mean. Those techniques are fine every now and then, but over use of them actually detracts from the experience. I did enjoy Hidamari Sketch, but I can't help think it'd have been better with more traditional "camera work".
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Old 2009-04-06, 05:45   Link #3
yezhanquan
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This only pertains to Hidamari Sketch. The out-of-order airing of the episodes only serves to disorientate me. After a few eps, I went out and bought the manga. Yes, the anime did have many expansions. But, ask me which version I'll recommend, and I'll go with the manga. If I can get my hands on the Zetsubou-sensei manga, I'll probably recommend it too.

Anime's advantages are the voicing and OSTs.
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Old 2009-04-06, 05:59   Link #4
Kamui4356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yezhanquan View Post
This only pertains to Hidamari Sketch. The out-of-order airing of the episodes only serves to disorientate me. After a few eps, I went out and bought the manga. Yes, the anime did have many expansions. But, ask me which version I'll recommend, and I'll go with the manga. If I can get my hands on the Zetsubou-sensei manga, I'll probably recommend it too.

Anime's advantages are the voicing and OSTs.
The out of order thing was a bit confusing for me too. It was like they saw Suzumiya Haruhi and tried to copy the out of order thing without actually trying to make it work. I vaguely remember there being dates on each episode to tell you where it fit in the series, but there wasn't really anything else except for subtle things like the sign on the apartments being the original or their hand made one, and the dates themselves were easy to miss or lose track of.
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Old 2009-04-06, 12:31   Link #5
4Tran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lubczyk View Post
With the blatant overuse of photoshop and quick cuts, many a parody anime have become unwatchable for me. I've been going backwards to shows like Ichigo Marchmellow or even sticking to KyoAni shows for my comedy fix.

Anyone else turned off by the blatant overuse of quick cuts and photoshop filters in parody anime? It's like directors are more interested in slicing up the comedy instead of framing it.
I do like my share of visually innovative, experimental and stylized artwork (Utena, Touka Gettan, etc.), but I largely agree with you. All of these non-traditional techniques have their place, but they should be employed for specific purposes, and in measured quantities. Surreal shows can use them a lot more because of their nature, while more realistic shows should use them very sparingly, and only for shorter periods of time. I have noticed that while a few anime over-use this kind of technique, it's been at an acceptable level for the vast majority of the ones I watch.

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Originally Posted by Kamui4356 View Post
I know what you mean. Those techniques are fine every now and then, but over use of them actually detracts from the experience. I did enjoy Hidamari Sketch, but I can't help think it'd have been better with more traditional "camera work".
Hear hear. More traditional cinematography and direction would have made watching just about any SHAFT show more enjoyable for me, and I note the same thing for a few other shows like White Album.
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Old 2009-04-06, 13:32   Link #6
0utf0xZer0
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I actually enjoy the sort of stylization Shaft employs, but there's one conditions: I have to be able to follow the narrative regardless of the visual style. I didn't care much for Shaft's version of Negima because I couldn't tell WTF was going on.

But two other Shaft shows, Moon Phase and EF, are honestly series I'd consider contenders for my top five series. Moon Phase had the colour palette thing despite predating Pani Poni Dash, and I loved the atmosphere it provided. And EF... I can't really imagine EF without the stylization, to tell the truth. I don't think things like season 2 episode 6 would have had the same sort of intensity if portrayed in a more conventional manner.
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Old 2009-04-06, 16:04   Link #7
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i'd say its, AGAIN, very subjective. i, for one, enjoy quick cuts. this especialy is true for amv's.
if you cant process information fast or dont want to, it doesnt mean its bad. same goes for color palette. some movies are just better in black and white or with added filters. it just wouldnt be the same if "space captain or the world of tommorow" and "sin city" were filmed without messing with the palette. it creates a unique atmosphere...
lubczyk, it would be interesting to hear what you think of FLCL. i couldnt keep up with the subs the first 2 watches.
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Old 2009-04-06, 16:57   Link #8
Pixelation
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
I actually enjoy the sort of stylization Shaft employs, but there's one conditions: I have to be able to follow the narrative regardless of the visual style...
I agree: 'Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.' But as long as it doesn't disrupt my ability to enjoy the show, I actually love those techniques. Fortunately I process pretty fast, so it didn't affect my enjoyment of Zetsubou.

Hidimari Sketch is still sitting on my hard drive waiting to be watched. I have to find a day when my eyeballs are feeling tolerent to get past the character designs and see if it's worthwhile...
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Old 2009-04-06, 18:42   Link #9
Vexx
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This is the natural end-game of what I was calling "Shinbo-izing" a couple of years ago (director Shinbo and SHAFT). Prudently used, its a great tool for art-on-the-cheap. Bury the series in it and you begin hating everyone associated with the production.

Zetsubou's manga ... well, given the set-piece look of each frame of the comic, the process seemed to fit to some extent (though I got really tired of his idiotic face 'shopped in so often).

Moon Phase was one of the first shows to employ it all (early Shinbo) and used it fairly sparingly (except in the tv broadcast fight scenes where it was a "save the day" technique when outsourced animation came back a total failure and they had to do SOMETHING before the air date -- it was all replaced in the DVDs).

Negima!? .... my complaint with that series wasn't so much the art style or technique as with the storyline itself --- we can't get the damned original available story on anime but they went and did an "alternative nutball" plot. But yeah, the still shots got pretty old and annoying after a while.
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Old 2009-04-06, 21:02   Link #10
Haruyasha
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Is Shaft really the studio to be glamorizing? When I watched Natsu no Arashi, it gave me the feeling the animation staff were amateurs. (Unless horrible animation is now a style.)
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Old 2009-04-06, 21:45   Link #11
0utf0xZer0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
This is the natural end-game of what I was calling "Shinbo-izing" a couple of years ago (director Shinbo and SHAFT). Prudently used, its a great tool for art-on-the-cheap. Bury the series in it and you begin hating everyone associated with the production.
I'm curious as to what you have to say about EF's visuals, Vexx. Yeah, Shinbo didn't direct it but it's just as stylized as most other Shaft shows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haruyasha View Post
Is Shaft really the studio to be glamorizing? When I watched Natsu no Arashi, it gave me the feeling the animation staff were amateurs. (Unless horrible animation is now a style.)
I think it was choosen because it's the studio that has made the greatest use of very heavy stylization in their shows. Also, I wouldn't judge a studio's output by a single work alone, there's some studios that produce a combination of greatness and mediocrity (*cough* Brain's Base *cough*).
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Old 2009-04-06, 21:58   Link #12
Terrestrial Dream
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Don't really understand quick cuts and all but if it looks good and it is easy understand then why would it matter?
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Old 2009-04-06, 22:25   Link #13
Vexx
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Originally Posted by Terrestrial Dream View Post
Don't really understand quick cuts and all but if it looks good and it is easy understand then why would it matter?
By that criteria, we should be fine with slide shows or stick puppet theatre. The problem is it doesn't necessarily "look good" -- it *can* look like some of those cheap hideous car dealer commercials with cut'n'paste stop-motion paper cutouts.

EF reminded me of a series of paintings almost... an interesting effect for THAT particular story but do I want that to be a dominant style? Not really... it depends on the story.
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Old 2009-04-06, 22:57   Link #14
0utf0xZer0
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Well, I will admit that EF would lose a lot of its effectiveness if it wasn't so different from conventional animation styles.

I do, however, often find myself wondering if it could be possible to switch into an EF type style for certain types of scenes. It seems to me like it's a very useful style for when the emotions the characters are feeling are far, far more intense than anything that's actually happening on screen. And again, I think season 2 episode 6 is kind of the quintessential example of this: it's just a conversation, but I found myself going "holy crap" as the scene progressed. It's also much, much longer than a lot of "big reveal" scenes I've seen in anime, in part I think because the surrealism allows things to build in a way a more realistic portrayal wouldn't.

I think it's interesting to note that one commentator described EF as having the most visual novel like feel of any VN adaptation he had scene. I'm not really surprised because the closest thing I've experienced to the aforementioned scene is some of the "wham" moments in the VN Ever 17: again, some rather long scenes that were far more emotionally charged than a portrayal of what was actually happening that moment would have captured.
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Old 2009-04-07, 19:45   Link #15
Terrestrial Dream
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
By that criteria, we should be fine with slide shows or stick puppet theatre. The problem is it doesn't necessarily "look good" -- it *can* look like some of those cheap hideous car dealer commercials with cut'n'paste stop-motion paper cutouts.

EF reminded me of a series of paintings almost... an interesting effect for THAT particular story but do I want that to be a dominant style? Not really... it depends on the story.
Well wouldn't that apply for any type of animations? All type of animation technique could look bad or look good.
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Old 2009-04-07, 20:01   Link #16
OceanBlue
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Well wouldn't that apply for any type of animations? All type of animation technique could look bad or look good.
But I think what Vexx is trying to say is that, more often than not, it will look worse than better.

Basically, I have nothing to add to this conversation other than what has been said, though, other than to agree that when it's overused, it's jarring. Less is more.
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Old 2009-04-07, 23:11   Link #17
Vexx
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I'll just refer people to the "classic" omgmakeitstopmyeyes Clutch Cargo series...
Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFnLirXjjto

Like Shinbo/SHAFT, they were highly 'creative' in keep costs at rock bottom.... but, at some point we might as well bring out the sock puppets.
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Old 2009-04-08, 10:43   Link #18
lubczyk
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I'll just refer people to the "classic" omgmakeitstopmyeyes Clutch Cargo series...
Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFnLirXjjto

Like Shinbo/SHAFT, they were highly 'creative' in keep costs at rock bottom.... but, at some point we might as well bring out the sock puppets.
Exactly, I want actual fluid movement in my animation.l A lot of these "stylized" studios end up making shows with just a bunch of clips of talking heads with only the lips moving most of the time.

I know that Full Animation is too much to ask for from Japanese productions where most of the drawing is still done in frames and by hand, but when you have practically a slideshow with a screwed-up colour palette passsing for animation, I think it's time to take a step back

It also upsets me that we still have well-established studios like Sunrise and SHAFT drop production values mid-season on all of their major shows. You'd think they've learned to spend their budget wisely by now.
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