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Old 2010-06-08, 08:38   Link #41
Miyuki-ism
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I like SHAFT mostly because they don't bore me, rather than distract me. That's why I like their style.
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Old 2010-06-11, 03:02   Link #42
Xion Valkyrie
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I like it. It's quirky but their designs are still aesthetically pleasing. Plus when they do have the budget, they do amazing things with it, and even when they don't, they mask it pretty well.
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Old 2010-06-12, 18:28   Link #43
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I've got to say I have a really love-hate relationship. I enjoy the art style in stuff like ef and bakemonogatary enough to rank them in the personal top of animes I watched but the constant delays are a pain.
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Old 2010-06-12, 22:49   Link #44
felix
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I hate some shows, I like some shows, I love some shows. But that is mostly genre dependent. SHAFT is mostly all about impressing by moving outside the box with out moving outside the box I view them with. Good thing, in our love & profit world.
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Old 2010-06-13, 15:07   Link #45
Mushi
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No love for Natsu no Arashi around here? I found that to be highly enjoyable in all it's quirkiness.

The only Shaft series I've struggled with was Ef: Melodies. I thought Memories was brilliant, but Melodies felt a little too over done at times with the melodramatic effects. Still worth watching, it just seemed they were using style for content a bit too much.

I watched Negima!? before knowing anything about the franchise (no preconceived manga/anime notions) and was very impressed with the visual quality of it. I absolutely adore Hidamari Sketch. I haven't seen the DVD version of Bakemonogatari, but I thought the minimalistic approach in some of the broadcast episodes was used effectively and gave it an appropriate look and feel.

So yeah... I like Shaft.
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Old 2010-06-15, 10:12   Link #46
Blayne Barudorii
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Thus far I like shaft and to me there's enough difference between the different stuff they do with enough variation that it doesn't bother me, as I can't for the most part actually read the source material I can't exactly complain about it if they did somehow "ruin it" in the same vein that I watch Pixar because I know its Pixar I watch Shaft because I know its shaft, if their avant garde surrealism starts to get old on me I switch to a different anime and come back later.

I find watching them for the "Mr. Despair" VA and his quirky Robin Williamsesque brand of crazy reason in of itself to watch it. (I tend to pick my recs based on Seiyuu's followed by character tropes followed by plot)
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Old 2011-04-14, 08:14   Link #47
ahelo
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SHAFT: Studio discussion, speculation, and whatnot

Well PA Works got one so why not SHAFT I guess. Plus a lot of people here love SHAFT amirite? (There was a thread discussing SHAFT a while back but it was mostly for hatred. This as you can say is the official one.)

SHAFT started increasing in popularity in 2004-2006 with series like Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase, Pani Poni Dash and Negima!?. This also the time Shinbo Ayuki came into scene. With Negima, they became a studio to watch out for as people started recognizing their very unique animation style. The popularity of this studio increased even more with big franchises like Hidamari Sketch and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. In 2009, they finally got a big break with Bakemonogatari, with DVD/Bluray sales reaching up to 80,000 per volume. It is even considered a turn/wave in the anime industry as producers realized that blurays sell like hotcakes. Currently they are getting another big break with Puella Magi Madoka Magica, in which preorders are hinting might just sell more than Bakemonogatari.

SHAFT is also a very mysterious studio as no one even knows how many people they are. They are shamefully notorious for finishing their works very late, the most famous one being the Bakemonogatari Episode 10 incident.

SHAFT's biggest appeal(or flaw depending on how you perceive them) is their unique art/animation. Sometimes they just bloster text everywhere or put real life pictures on certain scenes. One of the famous ones is the head-tilting wherein in a scene, all the characters get close ups with their heads tilting. This type of animation has won many fans to consider SHAFT as one of the leading studios today.

So opinions anyone?
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Old 2011-04-14, 09:51   Link #48
Child_of_Sierra
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My impression of SHAFT was essentially molded in 2 of their works:

Negima!? which was a big disappointment. Mostly because I was a fan of the original work and felt "cheated" on how different the show turned out to be. . This first impression made me wary everytime they announced a new project since their artistic flavor doesn't always blend well with the source work.

The second show I watched was the Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei series. Here SHAFT's unique style paid off dividends and I really liked how the anime was constructed. I came out of this show thinking that no other studio could have handled the material as well as SHAFT did.

So yeah, in my experience SHAFT can be either a hit or miss depending on how much they insist on going with their style of storytelling with respect to the source material. Sometimes it meshes well at other times...
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Old 2011-04-14, 11:50   Link #49
DonQuigleone
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I think Zetsubou Sensei was their first big hit. There's a reason they got 2 sequeals and several OVAs out of it. Kodi Kumeta's acidic humour and simple art style and Shafts humourous insertions and propensity for visual weirdness went together hand in glove.

How well Shaft does related entirely to how well the source material relates their style (as Child of Sierra said). Bakemonogatari and SZS are good examples of this.
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Old 2011-04-14, 13:43   Link #50
Archon_Wing
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Can't make schedules, animation is wonky if it's even there and most definitely hit or miss. They do umm draw really well if they're not high or something though.
Sometimes I like their humor (Mr. Despair, Bake), and sometimes I'm just like wtf is this shit? The EF series is really good, though I hope we could agree.

Most of my respect for them comes from Madoka though, which I did truly enjoy... except those silly fight scenes.
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Old 2011-04-14, 16:14   Link #51
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Can't make schedules, animation is wonky if it's even there and most definitely hit or miss. They do umm draw really well if they're not high or something though.
Sometimes I like their humor (Mr. Despair, Bake), and sometimes I'm just like wtf is this shit? The EF series is really good, though I hope we could agree.

Most of my respect for them comes from Madoka though, which I did truly enjoy... except those silly fight scenes.
Forgot about Ef, their only non-humourous work I can think of, but ef is messed up in other ways (in a good way)
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Old 2011-04-14, 16:19   Link #52
solomon
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Great studio. One of the few in the industry with a distinct house style.
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Old 2011-04-14, 17:48   Link #53
Arabesque
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Nice opening post.

A unique studio. Very hat or miss, even for fans. That being said, I do have some form of respect for them respecting creator wishes (Dance in the Vampire Bund, Negima!?). But obviously
Quote:
Can't make schedules, animation is wonky if it's even there
yeah Always shewing more than they can handle, and never stopping even when they screw up. Constantly.

And obviously, when speaking about SHAFT, we need to talk about Shinbo Ayuki. He might not have directed every show the studio had produced, but he's easily the most known director from the studio. I'll give it to him, he's trying to be creative. And at times he can be cleaver, and can produce some excellent results. His problem however is that he ends up falling into being gimmicky, pretentious, or at worst cheap by covering the failings of the animation by being ''artsy''.

Still, he's among the few directors that are trying to actually be experimental, and only him himself can really use this style.
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Originally Posted by Child_of_Sierra View Post
Negima!? which was a big disappointment. Mostly because I was a fan of the original work and felt "cheated" on how different the show turned out to be. . This first impression made me wary everytime they announced a new project since their artistic flavor doesn't always blend well with the source work.
Didn't KenA ask them not to use the manga material though?
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Great studio. One of the few in the industry with a distinct house style.
Well, what they make is quite easy to tell apart from other things. Though I can't say that is always a good thing lol
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Old 2011-04-14, 18:03   Link #54
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On the whole, I like SHAFT.

Right now, they're probably even my favorite anime studio.


SHAFT does have absolutely glaring weaknesses (basically what Archon_Wing rightly pointed out), but they also have some spectacular strengths. And, perhaps most importantly, SHAFT is an anime studio willing to go against convention, and to do bold and challenging projects.

With SHAFT, you almost have to take the good with the bad, I think. For example, their often glorious architectural background displays can't be cheap to produce. So blowing budget on that in the early going (in Bakemonogatari and Madoka Magica) likely results in them having a harder time budgeting for later episodes.
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Old 2011-04-14, 18:12   Link #55
DonQuigleone
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Shaft can also sometimes use their budget quite efficiently.

Best example is their use of "Photoshop filters". They no how to use cheap digital tricks to good effect.

If nothing else, watching a Shaft anime is an experience.
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Old 2011-04-14, 18:21   Link #56
Arabesque
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Right now, they're probably even my favorite anime studio.
I ...

*hugs*

From the bottom of my heart, Good Luck
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
SHAFT is an anime studio willing to go against convention, and to do bold and challenging projects.
well...

I don't think they really go so much for the ''bold and challenging'' as much as they go for the weird and what has the potential to be wacky.

Thats not to say they don't attempt to be revolutionary. But tbh, the challenging aspect steams from them trying to coordinate and keeping the production of shows they produce even when they lack the capacity to do so lol
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With SHAFT, you almost have to take the good with the bad, I think. For example, their often glorious architectural background displays can't be cheap to produce. So blowing budget on that in the early going (in Bakemonogatari and Madoka Magica) likely results in them having a harder time budgeting for later episodes.
Thats a given with this studio, but that doesn't mean that it's acceptable, or even logical, to have a studio that's small in staff take on 20 projects at a time!

I mean, the backgrounds, budgets and whatnot aren't really the reason you have disasters like the infamous episode in Tsukuyomi, Hidamari Sketch, and Bakemonogatari for example. Those steamed from problems in scheduling, lack of resources etc.

I don't know, if my studio can't really handle multipliable projects at one time and is unable to successfully outsource work correctly in an effective manner, I wouldn't try to get so much work then. Cutting back won't bring about the end of the studio and would at least raise the level of production.
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Old 2011-04-14, 18:21   Link #57
darkchibi07
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Ya know, it's quite amusing how SHAFT's reputation came about ever since Shinbo went on board. Before then, they were your third-rate animation studio and occasionally doing co-productions with Gainax.
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Old 2011-04-14, 18:50   Link #58
Triple_R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arabesque View Post
I ...

*hugs*

From the bottom of my heart, Good Luck
lol

I appreciate the gesture.

Don't get me wrong, SHAFT definitely can be frustrating at times.

And they're very hit-and-miss.

The thing is, though, that SHAFT does so many different projects, that if a couple of them are stinkers, it's easier for me as a fan to move on from that and just hope that SHAFT gets it right next time (since I won't have to wait long, if at all, for that "next time").


Quote:
well...

I don't think they really go so much for the ''bold and challenging'' as much as they go for the weird and what has the potential to be wacky.
Well, they're currently deconstructing magical girl anime. Which, really, is only one step removed from deconstructing moe itself.

That's pretty bold, imo.


Quote:

Thats not to say they don't attempt to be revolutionary. But tbh, the challenging aspect steams from them trying to coordinate and keeping the production of shows they produce even when they lack the capacity to do so lol
Thats a given with this studio, but that doesn't mean that it's acceptable, or even logical, to have a studio that's small in staff take on 20 projects at a time!
They probably do a bit too much, yeah, but as I argued above, there are benefits to doing a lot.

There's probably a happy medium somewhere between SHAFT's "20 projects at a time", and Kyoto Animation's 2 or 3 per year.
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Old 2011-04-14, 18:59   Link #59
CrowKenobi
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Just a FYI: there was an older thread dedicated to Shaft which I merged into this one, the original first post is now post #47.
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Old 2011-04-14, 19:33   Link #60
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by darkchibi07 View Post
Ya know, it's quite amusing how SHAFT's reputation came about ever since Shinbo went on board. Before then, they were your third-rate animation studio and occasionally doing co-productions with Gainax.
Yes Shinbo is Shaft and Shaft is Shinbo. The only other studio i can think of who is so defined by a single person is Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki. Them and Mamoru Hosoda, and Makoto Shinkai are the only current Anime Directors names I can usually remember. 2 of those are iconic Mecha creators, and the other 3 are involved in high profile films, so Shinbo is a really odd one out.

Shaft didn't produce anything of note before Shinbo came along, though they colloborated with Gainax on a few things, and obviously did a lot in behind the scenes work. Then they kinda exploded producing loads of titles after 2005 or so.

It's an interesting question what kind of role Shinbo plays within Shaft.
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