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Old 2012-03-16, 13:04   Link #1
Chiibi
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Do you prefer 80s chara designs over current ones?

Over my journeys through many anime forums, I've found people complaining "character designs in the 80s were more attractive boo-hoo where did they goooo!?"

............I really can't agree with that at all. I'm a bishoujo/nen fan and can't really name any 80s anime characters that made me go "Ooh, she's/he's pretty!" On the contrary, they look ugly to me, with the smaller eyes, pudgy faces and thick hair.

I mean, why would an anime watcher prefer this

Spoiler:


Would you chalk up old-school preference to simply nostalgia? Or not? Also, where do you stand and why?

Remember, this is character design ONLY, not about the characters themselves, okay? No posting "BECAUSE RICK RULES AND LULU SUCKS!!"
This is a strictly artistic discussion, savvy?

Now, I've heard that the 80s-lovers state that today's character styles "all look the same, with the same faces and hair and body types".
I suppose I can see where they're coming from with bishoujo game characters. But um....I don't see any differences with 80s' anime characters EITHER. o___O The Dirty Pair girls and the brunette basically all have the same face, don't they!?
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Old 2012-03-16, 13:11   Link #2
mecharobot
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Yes I do, but they look like crap with digital animation (see Cross Game).

To elaborate more, I like the lines and the jagged edges. It looks a bit more cartoonish, opposed to the smooth style that I find unappealing.

And come on, you could find a better pick of Hikaru if you wanted. DYRL looks fantastic.
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Old 2012-03-16, 13:13   Link #3
Stealther
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I was going to say that I agree that I generally like modern artstyles more, but looking at these examples I prefer 80's more...

Though what I dislike most today is not the artstyle, but the coloring and shading, which in many instances look way too artificial. Especially all glossy shinyness and poor 3D.
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Old 2012-03-16, 13:17   Link #4
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Quote:
To elaborate more, I like the lines and the jagged edges. It looks a bit more cartoonish,
That's the exact reason I don't like it. I want to be able to tell I'm watching anime and not American cartoons without having to look at the character's eyes, you know?

Quote:
And come on, you could find a better pick of Hikaru if you wanted.
Sorry. I didn't wanna spend a long time looking for references.^^;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealther View Post
I was going to say that I agree that I generally like modern artstyles more, but looking at these examples I prefer 80's more...
Really?
But why? The 80s ones look so.....not...pretty.
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Old 2012-03-16, 13:40   Link #5
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Well there's not really a difference between "anime" and "cartoons". They're for the most part the same exact thing. In fact western animation has had a lot of influence over the development of the Japanese animation industry.

Anyway, the 80's era characters you put there look just as attractive as the modern ones. It really makes no difference in my eyes, they're all still animated characters.

Besides, I'm not the kind of person to really give a crap about character designs as long as they suit the series they are a part of, and sometimes there's a lot of leeway for that in fictional stories.
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Old 2012-03-16, 13:41   Link #6
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I'm not a big fan of 80's character designs (not that I dislike it, it's not really my cup of tea). The 2000's designs looks better because the artstyle look smoother and the hair's shinyness looks more real with a bit of reflection compared to the 80's ones.
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Old 2012-03-16, 13:54   Link #7
Akito Kinomoto
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Well, I would be lying if I said artstyle in general didn't effect how willing I am to pick up shows. Now obviously there are less superficial reasons for me to avoid something but when I have no idea of what to expect then at least appeasing my aesthetic senses can make the decision to start a series a little easier.

Now as far as comparing anachronistic character designs and current cast visuals. Well, I got into anime in 2006 and focused mainly on the shows the rest of the fandom was watching so I built an expectancy as to what a series should look like. It became pretty generic after a while though which is part of why I picked up Fist of the North Star and Legend of the Galactic Heroes. The artstyles of those two shows were refreshingly different but eventually the novelty wore off. Not that I jump into shows all the time for looking bright and shiny mind you.

On that note I don't find it accurate grouping character visuals from any single decade together solely for being contemporary. Hidamari Sketch's artstyle is very different from K-On!'s, Yoshitoshi ABe's stuff has a look all its own from Satoshi Kon's works, and Ranma 1/2 has no aesthetic resemblance to Fist of the North Star.
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Old 2012-03-16, 13:57   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiibi View Post
I mean, why would an anime watcher prefer this

Images
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?
Feel free to call me crazy but while I feel Kei's haircut is definatly showing its age I'll take Yuri over any of the girls you posted afterwards,even had her as my avatar at the start of the year.


I'll go too the 70s,meet cutey Honey:



Hotness incarnated.


Another girl that comes to mind is Kozue



She's just adorable. (sadly couldn't find the meganekko version)

Mysterious Girlfriend X airing this spring,looks a bit retro and I like it.
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Old 2012-03-16, 14:05   Link #9
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Today's character's visual aspects are usually better, but when it comes to non-visual aspects, 80s characters were just as good. If you limit the scope of discussions to top 25% of the characters in screen time or dialog lines, 80s characters were more complicated in their personality, background, skill sets, and most of other non-visual aspects. The big reason for this is due to the fact that in the 80, most series were designed to last a whole year, that is 40+ episodes. Today, we very few series even reach 30 episode, thus today's characters have less time to present more complicated facets to us.
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Old 2012-03-16, 14:14   Link #10
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While there are some exceptions, I think I prefer today's sleek and streamlined female character designs over the 80s ones.

OTOH, I must admit I miss the badass mullet-sporting anime guys of older anime.


So I guess for me, the best of both worlds would be yesterday's guys and today's gals.
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Old 2012-03-16, 14:18   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiibi View Post
Don't even get me started on the men!![/i]
I don't know, I personally like this:
Spoiler for pic:


over this:
Spoiler for pic:


Compare the features of this 80s loli:
Spoiler for pic:


to this new one:
Spoiler for pic:


And yeah, I know that the visual quality in 80s anime is very oscillating, but we are talking about the general idea here.
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Old 2012-03-16, 14:22   Link #12
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The "80s" character designs and modern character designs are about equal in my eyes. It's what fits the show best, and personally I think it would be great if we had a new series with chara designs reminiscent of earlier anime.

Both design styles have their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, the designs with "smaller eyes, pudgy faces, and thick hair" are incredibly expressive. Look at this vid.

YouTube
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Old 2012-03-16, 14:46   Link #13
xxanimefan4_ever
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here's more 80s anime pics. Just wanted to post it just so you know that NOT EVERY single girl character from 80s sports that hairstyle/shape. I personally hate that thing too whether it's on an anime character or a real person lol.

NOTE: the girl in the pic is not sporting a mullet nor shoulder pads lol. wow I really hate that shoulder pad look + mullet look.




more pics!
Spoiler:


But anyways for the 2nd anime in the pictures I posted. I like the character designs because even though it's from the 80s it's still cute... like no one has the mullet/weird head shape thing that 80s character sometimes have (I don't like it personally).

for the 1st picture.. .I just wanted to post it because how the colors are tame yet it's still well-colored (whatever word you use here). PLUS it's one of my favorite childhood animes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealther View Post
Though what I dislike most today is not the artstyle, but the coloring and shading, which in many instances look way too artificial. Especially all glossy shinyness and poor 3D.
I absolutely abhor the coloring sometimes because it looks artificial or just plain ugly or too damn bright. It's sorta ironic in the sense that they can easily choose anyway color as supposed to the 80s where it wasn't a click with a computer, YET they choose these shitty colors. I just feel so much warmth/organicness from the 80s/90s animation/character designs for that reason.
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Old 2012-03-16, 14:58   Link #14
Obelisk ze Tormentor
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Maybe it’s not exactly the era’s style but the style of the authors/animators. For example, here's some comparison:
I like Athena-Saori from the 80s


better than Athena-Sasha from the 2000s (different chara design)


But it’s not due to the era but from the character design alone.

So,when the chara designs are the same, the era doesn’t matter anymore, for example:
Athena-Saori 80s


Athena-Saori 2000s (same chara design)


I like both of them. Yes, the newer one has ‘cleaner’ picture but they’re still the same style-wise.
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Old 2012-03-16, 15:18   Link #15
Chiibi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mecharobot View Post
I don't know, I personally like this:
Spoiler for pic:


over this:
Spoiler for pic:

Oh sir, definitely NOT me.

........but I already said I like "pretty guys".... It makes sense a girl would choose Tomoya, I think. XD

Quote:
Both design styles have their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, the designs with "smaller eyes, pudgy faces, and thick hair" are incredibly expressive. Look at this vid.
Well Sailormoon is from the 90s and I really don't have complaints about 90s character designs. Most of the problems I had with 80s ones disappeared by then. The example video you posted is a rather weak example because Usagi's in super-deformed mode and it was also a badly animated episode.
The true Usagi really looks more like this:


Speaking of problems,
I never really understood why animators would draw black lines across a character's nose in older anime. Is it supposed to be a blush? Use red then! Actually they were rather sloppy with noses in general. Sailormoon was not exempt from this. It could make me cringe sometimes...

NOSEWUT XD

This isn't a problem with design though, it's just "sloppy animators".
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Old 2012-03-16, 15:28   Link #16
xxanimefan4_ever
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Oh I prefer that bad ass 80s anime character's design over tomoya's character design tooo.... each to his/her own! besides the fact that the tomoya character is just lacking as far as personality and all that crap... the design is mad generic imo. I didn't even remember his name till somebody mentioned on this thread. You could've called him any name, and i would've believd you... because I don't remember his name from watching that anime (which I happened to drop at episode 8 though it should've been at episode 1)
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Old 2012-03-16, 15:41   Link #17
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Check Space Battleship Yamato (1974-1983) and then check Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (2012)

You will see how animation art styles have changes and yet how to keep within the spirit of things after so many years.
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Old 2012-03-16, 15:52   Link #18
Chiibi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxanimefan4_ever View Post
Oh I prefer that bad ass 80s anime character's design over tomoya's character design tooo.... each to his/her own!
Sorry but I'll take the "generic" bishounen over an ugly, hairy-eyebrowed dude ANY day.
Badass does not always equal "sexy". Besides if you want "badass AND sexy", there's always:

Spoiler:

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Old 2012-03-16, 15:55   Link #19
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I don't know.. compared to the protagonist from Maison Ikkoku and SDF Macross, Tomoya's personality is absolutely magnetic. You see, Kenshiro is one of the few characters that I like from 80's anime but comparing him to a high school romance drama protagonist is just wrong. As is comparing that particular "80's loli" to Ika-chan, a protagonist from a very lighthearted comedy show.
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Old 2012-03-16, 16:07   Link #20
C.A.
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Here's an objective and technical reply from me as an animator.

Animators outside Japan are not encouraged to draw in anime style, basically because it is a style that has developed over many years of pigeon holing. It is a style designed to target a niche audience, people who like big eyes and sharp chins, thin figures and colourful hair, people who only like to see things 'pretty'.

The average anime or manga style art prefers form over function, for example physically strong characters don't have to look strong, but they have to look pretty or cool, resulting in stick thin figures with super human strength. Manga and anime popularity depends on its style alot, artists work on their 'unique' style so much that they often are stuck with a very narrow range of design ability. This creates characters that all look alike, combined with the already pigeonholed design preferred by average anime and manga fans, it makes anime and manga designs technically inferior compared to the west, which prefers form over function.

Speaking purely in artistic context, western animation and comic designs are far superior technically and have extremely broad range of designs. Western characters are designed to reflect completely their personality and appeal. If a character is to be hated, he will look evil and downright ugly. If a character is lazy and gluttonous, he will be drawn fat. No evil bishies and gluttons who are skinny, function of characters determine their appearance.

Also anime suffers from low budget and man power, limiting the quality of design and animations. Anime character design cannot be too tedious to draw, the same can be said for manga, characters must be kept within manageable line mileage to keep up with deadlines.

As for whether I prefer 80's or current character designs, I'd say 80's, they have more soul. Character designs now are too manufactured and made to look too pretty over their function.
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