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Old 2011-02-03, 05:22   Link #1
Archon_Wing
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Studio Deen: Studio discussion, speculation, and whatnot

Recently, I've noted a quite a few studio discussion threads that's not about KyoAni flying around. I've usually never paid attention to these things, but it seems like quite a few people know their stuff. Thus, I've decided to inquire about the (in)famous studio DEEN.

I've heard a lot of hate from certain fandoms, especially on the When the Cry and Fate/stay Night fandoms. Although I greatly enjoyed these works (at least Higurashi and f/sn) I wonder how badly have they wrecked the source material really. Besides that, I've also heard of the really cheap, shoddy animation that they frequently use. Higurashi season 1 and Umineko had widely inconsistent animation; sometimes they couldn't even get the hair colors right, and had those distorted faces.

Besides those two franchises, I remember hearing back then about how they butchered Samurai Deeper Kyo (now that anime had really really shitty and cheap animation)

Even their theatrical movie, Unlimited Blade Works, while looking superior to the tv version still looks pretty cheap compared to something like Kara no Kyoukai. Maybe that's not a totally fair comparison, but I couldn't help but notice everyone jumping for joy when ufotable took over for Fate/Zero.

I suppose it's hard for me to hate them, since they did do my favorite series-- Higurashi Kai visually was far superior to the first season with great looking character designs. The later two seasons also had really great atmosphere with music and shit even if it lacked in the wtfness and trashy violence. The first season is pretty overrated to me since the narrative was pretty lousy, really.

And to my shock, they also did the amazing Kenshin prequel OVA, making me think that oceans of blood seem to be their thing. F/sn, Higurashi, Umineko, oh my human bodies are just so highly pressurized!

They seem pretty adept in the ecchi category, looking at the throwaway shows I sometimes watch once in a blue moon.

And looking to the other shows that they did, I find that it's really hard to generalize by a studio. It feels more like a brand name loyalty thing; it seems more appropriate to look at the staff and writers.

So please, enlighten me, or throw your own opinions in the mix.
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Last edited by Archon_Wing; 2011-02-03 at 05:49. Reason: I fail at grammar
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Old 2011-02-03, 05:58   Link #2
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To be honest, I don't quite get the reason for all the hate Studio Deen gets, but then again I never grew too attached to any of franchises they adapted - namely Ryukishi07 and Type-Moon. I like them, but not to the level I say I like (or use to like) Key. I'm also not a hardcore VN player so that probably relegates my opinion further down. I'm finding that most of the haters for Deen comes from these VN players, whilst anime-only watchers don't seem to generate the same level of hate.

I'm also finding a similar analogy between Deen vs Ufotable like the one found in Toei vs KyoAni. Everyone seems to have an automatic preference (due to proven history) for Ufotable/KyoAni adapting Ryukishi07/Type-Moon/Key works over Deen/Toei nowdays.

The only series I enjoyed by Deen were Fate/Stay Night and Higurashi Naku no Koro ni. Others I didn't really care about or only enjoyed to a certain extent (e.g. Seitokai no Ichizon, Giant Killing). All in all though, personally I think Studio Deen is at least an average anime studio and is somewhat overhated.
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Old 2011-02-03, 06:18   Link #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acejem View Post
I'm also not a hardcore VN player so that probably relegates my opinion further down. I'm finding that most of the haters for Deen comes from these VN players, whilst anime-only watchers don't seem to generate the same level of hate.
Ah, perhaps I'm in the same boat. I'll probably never play a VN much to the disdain of some of my friends. The other thing is that many fans tend to pass the VNs as the best thing ever. Not all, of course, but enough to grate on my nerves when they all go "PLAY THE VN" constantly and think that every criticism of the show is an attack against the sacred source.

Quote:
I'm also finding a similar analogy between Deen vs Ufotable like the one found in Toei vs KyoAni. Everyone seems to have an automatic preference (due to proven history) for Ufotable/KyoAni adapting Ryukishi07/Type-Moon/Key works over Deen/Toei nowdays.
Interesting you bring up Toei, which is another studio that gets accused of being cheap with the production values. Indeed, the KyoAni versions of Key works seem to be better received as they look better. Kanon 2002 would look terrible for 1992, and the Clannad movie was too damned bright. The Air movie, I think though is on par or better than the KyoAni series.

Another irrelevant sidenote is that the Toei Key adaptations usually downplay the supernatural elements, which make them less faithful but also better for a lot of people too.
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Old 2011-02-03, 07:18   Link #4
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As a Fate/Stay Night VN fan, I have a deep seated hatred for Studio DEEN. I really don't want them to adapt the Heaven's Feel route. I really don't.

Fyi, I watched the anime first and then played the Visual Novel.
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Old 2011-02-03, 08:18   Link #5
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They're been responsible for a lot of anime, relatively little of what I've actually seen when I sit down and study their list of productions. They have definitely made some amazing stuff, though.

My favorites from them include Higurashi, Umineko, Shion no Ou (Not enough love for this fantastic series), Fate Stay Night and most importantly, the outstanding Jigoku Shoujo series. The latter would be enough to make me love the studio for a long, long time. A lot of people have problems with the lackluster animation from Deen in Higurashi and Fate-Stay Night I've heard, but I didn't mind it at all. The series were engrossing, and I'm not too concerned with great animation as long as the story is good. (Whether or not those people even agree that the story is good if a different matter entirely of course.)

I haven't seen many series I didn't like from Deen, but I think that's because a lot of their stuff never gave me a reason to check it out in the first place. I often mistake Studio Deen works for J.C. Staff works too, so I hope I didn't mess anything in this post.
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Old 2011-02-03, 08:25   Link #6
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most of deen hated is form VN fan base. if you just think F/SN and higurashi as stand alone anime. they actually pretty good. furthermore VN tend to hard to animate.

pretty much hated of deen is same as how Harry Potter book fan complaining about the movie.

but i do agree that the hatred is bit to much. people think that every anime that Deen animate is cheap. i disagree with that. even though it probably not as par as Kyoani or ufotable. their anime can actually make big surprised (which arguably make the anime more fun because you dont know the direction of it)

but usually their quality of anime is based on adaptation they get. if the original is awesome, then they usually great (doesn't mean on par with the original thought)
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Old 2011-02-03, 08:56   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrw View Post
most of deen hated is form VN fan base. if you just think F/SN and higurashi as stand alone anime. they actually pretty good. furthermore VN tend to hard to animate.
Even without having played the visual novels, I'll happily concede that this is probably true. Adaptations are hard to pull off, and even when they are done flawlessly, they still won't please many of the fans of the original content. This is partially because you develop your own ideas of how things should be when you read/play through it, and any deviation from that will displease you. Like you mentioned, it is the same when it comes to movies. A lot of people did not like Lord of the Rings because it just felt different. The images on screen didn't match what their imagination conjured up as they were reading through the book, and no amount of directing and acting can bridge that gap.

I agree that both are good (Higurashi is easily one of my favorite series, ever) as stand-alone anime, and that's all that matters to me. Whether it's a good or bad adaptation, I leave to the fans of the visual novels. It could have butchered the material completely; doesn't really matter to me as long as I enjoyed it.
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Old 2011-02-03, 08:57   Link #8
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Looking at this thread, I afraid that someone start to make a thread dedicated to Green Bunny or something like that. If you know what Green Bunny is, you already understand what I meant.

Back to topic, just consider F/SN VN never existed to enjoy its anime.
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Old 2011-02-03, 09:05   Link #9
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On the other hand, I am enjoying Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?
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Old 2011-02-03, 14:03   Link #10
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Originally Posted by Echoes View Post
My favorites from them include Higurashi, Umineko, Shion no Ou (Not enough love for this fantastic series), Fate Stay Night and most importantly, the outstanding Jigoku Shoujo series.
Shion was the first show from Deen to which I paid much attention. I enjoyed the story immensely (except for the ending) but was annoyed that the quality of artwork seemed to collapse in the second half of that show. I was like Deen sent their "A" team of animators off to do their next show and left Shion with the "B" team.
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Old 2011-02-03, 16:09   Link #11
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On the other hand, I am enjoying Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?
I second that, 'Zombie' is definitely one of the top anime this season, I would rate it second to Gosick.

As for Deen, F/SN anime was pretty entertaining for what it's worth. I mean...the story was full of plotholes and such but nothing you can really do with only 2 cour to cover such a grand story from the VN. Even though it was so off from the VN i still rated as one of my favorite of all time. Now UBW is a completely different story, the animation was pretty good, but the story was all over the place because it wants to cover all the events in UBW...it's like the opposite of the anime.

Shion was kinda interesting, nothing to write home about but worth a watch.

Jigoku Shoujo was pretty boring imo, but that's just me I guess. I watched through two seasons and I still don't understand the hype.

Hiragushi is definitely one of their best work, even though first season was questionable at best, Kai was definitely up there when compared to anime in recent years.

I think the biggest problem with DEEN is the crappy B/C team they have for animation, nearly all their works suffer a huge quality drop near the middle, sometimes all the way till the end.
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Old 2011-02-03, 17:25   Link #12
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the last good show this studio has done is the Kenshin OVA. You know it.
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Old 2011-02-03, 22:54   Link #13
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Studio Deen needs a huge time out. The quality from this studio is nonexistent. Their standards are so low, it's mind boggling. And what's the worst thing about this studio? People accept their low standards.

I'm sorry but the UBW movie was a failure among failures. They had already botched up the anime of F/S N with the horrid pacing (HAY GUYZ lets SPEND first few episodes DETAILING SHIROU's LIFE and then put in plot threads that make no sense within the given route!)., but then they somehow got it into their heads that a route longer than FATE could be correctly adapted into a movie of little over 1 hour 30 minutes.

Whoever thought that this idea was a good one should be fired and have to write lines a thousand times "I will never again try to adapt a source material..." I mean holy shit, UBW wasn't even a movie, but a freaking slide show of random fight scenes that break many of the rules of the source material.

The narrative makes almost no sense either with how there is nonexistent character development. "HAY GUYZ, STORIES ARE BORING, LETS MAKE IT ALL ACTION SCENES WITH NO TRANSITIONING." Unfortunately, even for eye candy, this movie failed pretty bad. The quality of the animation and art quality in general was abysmal for such a high profile anime film.

It's one thing to try and then end up making a bad story. It's another to put in as little effort as possible, and try to exploit the fanbase in every manner possible by spending as little as possible. DEEN is an enemy of the common anime fan, and UBW is but one of the better representations why. The days of the beauty of their Kenshin OVA are long gone.
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Old 2011-02-04, 00:49   Link #14
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Well, the movie length wasn't Deen's fault - that's what Geneon and the production committee ordered. Even if they passed on the project, another studio would just get the job and produce something similar. Sure, the exact execution would differ, but anyone working on it would still be constrained to 90 minutes. You could say that Geneon simply saw Fate/Stay Night as a property to exploit, so they weren't concerned about producing a masterpiece.

Bad writing and direction are a bit more unclear. It's more the fault of the director and writer rather than the studio. However, I suppose the studio could share some "blame" for appointing that staff in the first place, even if they aren't directly responsible for the work.

OTOH, the poor quality control that plagues Deen's animation would definitely be a studio issue. I'd guess that they're more budget conscious than some of their competitors (they don't invest in many productions, so in most cases, there's no money to be made even if they knock one out of the park. Taking a monetary loss for higher quality might mean more opportunities for future contracts, but they don't seem to have any problem lining up work), so there's minimal over-expenditure.
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Old 2011-02-04, 02:02   Link #15
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I think they rely on people buying a fixed DVD/BD version of series slated for TV too much? I remember this little number from F/SN that slid down the hill, which was followed by the battle with Gilgamesh that had odd body proportions.

I know it is unfair to compare a series made for TV to an OVA, but if they had made the Higurashi they aired for TV like Higurashi Rei quality in the first place that would have saved them a whole lot of flak. That being said, I've watched a lot of series from them without much complaint, but without as much expectation either.
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Old 2011-02-04, 02:17   Link #16
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You can't expect much out of DEEN, just like you can't expect much quality out of Gonzo after the first episode.

Now, the UBW movie, in terms of story, pacing, plot, was horrendous, but you got to give it up for the good fighting scenes though, they were pretty well-drawn. It probably would have been much better if they did UBW as a series of movies, like Eva or Macross Frontier is doing right now.
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Old 2011-02-04, 03:03   Link #17
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every VN has problem with Story and plot when they facing Movie, Clannad for example have same problem as UBW. the anime was good because Kyoani provide them +50 episode.

about quality of animation. Deen can be awesome if they concentrate on one anime. they one of biggest anime studio among staff work. many of them been used by other studio as in between animator. Sunrise tend to ask deen is they need help. (consider they background relationship is close)

unfortunately they tend to use quantity over quality method. which still work at most of the time. basically its depend the budget they willing to put on an anime.
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Old 2011-02-04, 06:03   Link #18
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I'm not familiar with Studio Deen, but they really need to upgrade their writing department.

Especially Dragon Crisis on episode 2 and 3. you can't start a series with a fist-pound pilot and turn it into a slow snorefest at the next episode. It's like a driver forgetting to change his car after he started driving his really fast car.
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Old 2011-02-04, 07:10   Link #19
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Studio Deen did [Seitokai no Ichizon] right? That's got to count for something...


(They also did [Shonen Onmyouji] and [Loki Ragnarok], two personal favorites of mine but doesn't seem to be popular... At all )



That said, my immediate impression when I heard any show is being done by Studio Deen is- "Uhoh... Warning! Warning! Code Yellow!". And a mental image of the <Blood Geyser> that they seem to favor alot.

I know I know, It's not like they always screw up or anything... Just enough times to be wary of
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Old 2011-02-04, 09:53   Link #20
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Originally Posted by Taufiq91 View Post
I'm not familiar with Studio Deen, but they really need to upgrade their writing department.

Especially Dragon Crisis on episode 2 and 3. you can't start a series with a fist-pound pilot and turn it into a slow snorefest at the next episode. It's like a driver forgetting to change his car after he started driving his really fast car.
Dragon Crisis, like the majority of anime these days, has source material. That may not be their fault. Plus, balancing slow moments with fast ones is a vital technique in writing anything. You need moments of downtime in between action.
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