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Winter Anime 2015 |OT| ZA WARUDO is not square!

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Jex

Member
[Yu Yu Hakusho] - Early Akiyuki Shinbo

I imagine most people reading this thread are familiar with Shinbo's name, his style and 'his' various shows at SHAFT. In reality, while Shinbo is credited as the director of numerous SHAFT works in reality he doesn't actually do any direction on them, instead they simply replicate his very distinct visual style.

There was a time when Shinbo actually created directed anime personally and his earliest work is extremely distinctive. Even though Yu Yu Hakusho feels like a rather traditional shounen property his influence and style clearly shines through the material. While the first episode he directed was episode 7, I'd like to focus on his work in episode 16. This is because episode's 16 and 17 are actually part of the same fight sequence so you can easily compare and contrast Shinbo's style with that of another director.

As a director, Shinbo is extremely fond of canted angles, the technique where a scene is shot diagonally so as to suggest that the world if off-kilter. Ep 16 opens with a very distinctive example of this shot to demonstrate that our heroes our truly exploring a dangerous and alien world, that of the demon:


Shinbo remains committed to this extreme angle in his next shot:


We finally arriving at the our heroes:


In subsequent episodes directors will re-use Shinbo's extreme castle shot:


But then follow it up immediately with this shot:


Completely spoiling the effect. Shinbo creates a world out of sorts, an off-balance location where our heroes are not safe. If you start with an unbalanced diagonal shot and then immediately cut to a an shot that's heavy on flat, regular and horizontal lines you've immediately put everything back into balance and reduced tension. Which is completely wrong, because the characters here are still facing a demon and in mortal peril!

Now, back to Shinbo's episode 16:


You'll notice how even though we've arrived at our heroes the shot is still unusual. The characters are heavily framed by an thick window whose depth is accentuated not only by the very noticeable brick lines but by Kuwabara leaning on the frame itself. Moreover, the shot is tilted downwards noticeably.

Finally, pay attention to all the visible lines in the picture frame, not only of the bricks but the grid on the floor. These lines help the viewer keep track of the structure of the world by keeping it regular and they help to differentiate similar looking walls and floor.


Once we head inside to meet our characters you'll notice how even though they are shot normally from the front in a flat fashion there are really distinct vanishing points in the background, along with regularly spaced windows, to give the hallway a real depth. Shinbo is extremely good at creating tangible "3D" space.


Here you can see Kuwabara preparing his 'sword', and to accentuate this moment Shinbo chooses a really extremely low angle turning Kuwabara into an extreme longitudinal plane.


Later on we see the reverse of this angle in a shot accompanied by a camera movement upwards and really noticeable background animation, another trademark of Shinbo that re-occurs throughout this episode.

This episode is littered with unusual and stylish choices, such as this shot of Botan which is shot at a low angle in an apparent POV from an insect:


There's even a very unusual transition where a single frame contains Botan fighting a demon in the left of the frame and Kuwabara on the right of the frame. The transition is the passing of a body across the screen from left to right, effectively linking the two worlds in a single frame without a 'hard' cut:


You'll recall I mentioned that the gridlines on the floor helped to accentuate regular, straight lines and order? Well when our heroes encounter the boss of this area, Byakko, things get a little crazy:


This extremely high angle, coupled with the canted framing combines to make it look like our characters have stepped into a truly bewildering situation beyond their expectations. They're shocked by what they have encountered.

Compare and contrast with how another director fames the same location:


It just doesn't compare. Shinbo's shot tells you about the characters state of mind, the above shot is simply conveying information about a location. It describes, it does not inform.

Shinbo doesn't even 'reveal' Byakko in a normal manner. He appears to be going for a straight motion where the camera travels up this monsters body (notice that even in this shot he's not in the centre of the frame, putting us off balance):

But just when we think we're getting to the head, Shinbo pulls the rug out from us an cuts to a number of extreme close ups:

Each image represents part of this creatures animal nature. His dangerous claws, his enraged eyes, his powerful teeth etc. Once we've been treated to this uncomfortable close up with the monster we've treated to the shot we had originally imagined:


Because Shinbo brought us so dangerously close to the monster, and in such an unexpected manner, we are now keenly aware of his his strength and presence in a way that would be impossible with a flat reveal shot like this:


For reasons unknown, episode's 16 and 17 actually share a minute or so of exactly the same fight. However, the animation from 16 is not reused for episode 17, instead episode 17 has an entirely different version of this sequence. It's instructive to see how Shinbo works with material compared to another director. Here's how the two directors handle shots of our other heroes (Shinbo on the left):


As always, Shinbo focuses on bringing out the emotions of the scene through the visuals, in this case once again the canted frame. Where as on the right we are still in a life and death struggle but everyone is shot as frontal planes, an image with no tension or emotion. It simply highlights that there are characters standing near each other.

In this next sequence Byakko finds himself gaining power and literally growing bigger. On the left, Shinbo:


Shinbo shoots the monster Byakko from below via a low angle and from slightly to the side. The low angle emphasises his strength and dominance over Kuwabara. As he's shot from the side he doesn't occupy the entire frame because of this, making him look strong but not fat. Kuwabara's head is barely visible at the bottom as a size comparison.

Meanwhile, as always, the other director shoots Byakko face on, completely flat. Because he takes up the entire frame he just looks fat, not strong. Moreover, even though he's clearly big without the low-angle to emphasise his height he doesn't feel as imposing.


In Shinbo's work (on the left once again) Byakko strikes a strong pose. On the right he looks kind of cuddly and dumb.

Notice how Shinbo's attention to detail with regards to the background art subtly alters the picture for the better. Because the floor is detailed it's clear that Kuwabara is standing on a tiny slice of floor at the bottom of the frame with no escape from the Byakko who occupies all other space. Kuwabara has no room for manoeuvre because there's literally no where for him to go in terms of floorspace.

In the other episode the floor has no texture and it's not even clear that it is a floor. More importantly, because the floor isn't clearly separating Byakko and Kuwabara they are now in the exactly the same space, with the 'floor' situated behind Kuwabara. So we've gone from a shot where Kuwabara is clearly isolated in space from Byakko by a sliver of floor which has tension (e.g. who will cross the gap brining both characters into the same 'space') from an image without that same tension because both characters are already in the same space.

Heck, he doesn't even appear to be standing on the floor as we can't see his shoes, so is it a wall in front of his feet? Who knows.

Also, notice the background art of the tower. In Shinbo's image the castle is clearly separated from the outside world at the right of the frame. This gives the image a location that you can understand in other words it's an exterior shot.

In the other version of this shot, the wall behind Byakko appears to go all the way to the left and the right. Are they indoors, in an enclosed space? Who knows?

You might not notice these details, but you brain will pick up on them and this will change how you react to the scene.

Anyway, I hope this has helped highlight how Shinbo's directorial style shone through from his early works but also just how talented he is at actually directing anime. It's a shame he doesn't do that anymore.
 

Stulaw

Member
Garzey's Wing Part 1

So from what I've gathered, Chris' soul was split in two and the half outside his body was brought to some time in the past, he has the power of Garzey's Wing but doesn't know why, and everyone in the ancient time expects him to help them, if he gets damaged in that world the damage appears on his body in the future.

If they weren't bothered with actually trying to do decent voice acting, they might as well have gone Ghost Stories on it. Chris seems a bit bipolar, in one seen he's saying "I don't want to do this" and straight after he's like "Yes I will help you good sir". I can't be sure whether Chris doesn't want to fight because he doesn't think he can, or if he just wants to go home, they also seem to have chopped and changed scenes, either that or it was originally edited that poorly. I love the fact that there's a little girl voiced by a man doing a "girl" impression, and I can't tell which blonde lady's which.

Oh yes, and EVERYBODY IS SHOUTING and talk-ing in bro-ken Eng-lish, with the best voice acting coming from the pixie thing.

On to the next part.
 

Mature

Member
[Yu Yu Hakusho] - Early Akiyuki Shinbo
So it's that stark, huh?

Like you mentioned at the end, the differences might seem slight when they're put face to face, but cognitively they're very important. It's those details that can keep me wrapped in and enthralled by a scenario. For me, an elaborately constructed and framed atmosphere is the aspect of a good work I end up appreciating the most.
 
Gintama 33

So Ginpachi and friends trick two carpenters into making rebuilding their house into a flying Parthenon. What heroes.

And I think that will be the first and last time I see a Seaman reference in anything ever
 
Hunter x Hunter - 20

Waaaat Killua's brother? What a nice and friendly family he seem to have. I thought he and Hisoka would be bro tier clown buddies who could tell you cool stories over a couple of beers. I don't like this dude anymore, he gives me the creeps.
Also I didn't expect
Killua to be the one to fail
. I wonder what happens to him now. I should go to sleep.. but maybe just one more episode.
 

fertygo

Member
Shirobako - 18


The nerve of this guy.. lol

I don't feeling previous eps, but this return to form for me, always liked when the show bringing more and more new personality.. the conservation with the newbie seiyuu and old background artist is very fun,
 

Stulaw

Member
Garzey's Wing Part 2
Great quotes:

"If you taste it or smoke it, you get happy and do crazy things."

"You certainly got sexy, Miss Taiosia. "(to her face) " Do you have a crush on her Chris?"

I don't know how long it's been since they escaped from the cave, but now they've got proper clothes and Horses with Wagons. Sometimes the voices don't match with the action, and sometimes I think Chris is supposed to be saying things in his mind but is saying them out loud (like the second quote). Oh and apparently everyone believes what real world Chris says instead of taking him to a Doctor.

Part 3

And so here it is, the spectacular finale, the battle that started in the second episode continues, the bad guy with the gold armour is nowhere to be seen, and real world Chris is ill and in trouble.

More editing problems happen, with scenes not matching up, or looked like they were heading towards something and nothing happened.

Well, in the end ,
they defeated the army, Spirit Chris was throwing up because he killed someone (which he did quite a lot before) and apparently real world Chris has Garzey's Wings for no reason whatsoever.
Seriously, the fact that Mars of Destruction made less sense than this is an amazing feat, although it was pretty entertaining.
 

Mr.Jeff

Member
Samurai Flamenco - 06
So apparently the idol girls somehow end up working together for reasons I missed. Possibly because they have stuff after the ED which I neglected....
The ridiculousness notched up when seeing Masayoshi's newest additions to his arsenal. Also, was mightily impressed with Gotou's reaction to Mari. For all the ludicrousness, it's nice he's a bastion of propriety.
Next episode is where they begin to go insane right?

Doremi - 03
Another jam-packed episode.So much goes on in these episodes! It's also interesting to see how they don't shy away from how dysfunctional and unusual the 3 families are. Doremi's family arguments would nowadays be either other dramatic or reliant on comedic results.
Hazuki's is more over the top but you can feel the pressure placed on her and Aiko is unusually blunt about her mother leaving rather than the usual death backstory.

In fact that scene where they discuss Aiko's mother is unusual for it's brevity but it feels all the more honest for how open it is especially at that age.
Finally there's the emotional moment when Aiko's dad makes it to the school on time. It's an easily relatable occurrence; wanting to show off your parents and be part of the normality of everyone else by having your parents there.
The only thing which struck me was the class's response of clapping after they have a tearful moment of bonding. Seemed a rather unusual reaction.

Non Non Biyori - 02
As I remembered, a far worse episode from the first. In the initial episode, we're treated with a mostly grounded cast with a few minor quirks that carries a pleasant relaxing tone throughout.
With this episode we begin with an unnecessary recap of the characters at the start before it becomes a series of wacky hijinks, the introspective scenes all gone.
These aren't bad per se and rather most of the cast don't seem to be too outlandish in their actions; from the their introduction previously, the types of they jokes they make match their chemistry. Hotaru is the one who sticks out from her initial introduction as a quite retiring schoolgirl to one who apparently becomes unusually obsessed with her classmate in a disturbing way.
Perhaps this transformation would be fine if we had some basis for it but instead, it falls into a 30 second logic chain of "she is small and cute = obsession". With no sense of time progression from the first episode, this is jarring alteration.

On this subject, the second half of the episode revolves around the incredible suspension of disbelief that when Hotaru dresses up, she looks so much like an adult that Komari can't recognise her.
From this you would have to assume that they still don't know each other well or Komari is an absolute idiot since even if her appearance is so radically different, the voice should key you in.
If this is still recently after Hotaru's introduction, it again raises the issue of her transformation from the first episode to the second. Perhaps her parents move was less because of a new job but more because of issues raised at her previous school about her worrying attachment to other classmates?
 
Samurai Flamenco - 06
So apparently the idol girls somehow end up working together for reasons I missed. Possibly because they have stuff after the ED which I neglected....
The ridiculousness notched up when seeing Masayoshi's newest additions to his arsenal. Also, was mightily impressed with Gotou's reaction to Mari. For all the ludicrousness, it's nice he's a bastion of propriety.
Next episode is where they begin to go insane right?

Why don't you watch it and find out for yourself. :)

Shin Mazinger Z - 20

So the full truth of what happened on Bardos Island is revealed.

Wow, I don't know if Kenzo was possessed by a Kedora or not. He seemed pretty into it at the time. Though that would make the most sense for his change in behaviour and those familiar-looking appendages that came out from under his coat. That and Tetsuya was the one who asked Tsubasa to kill Kenzo along with himself while he had him pinned down. Dang.

That aside though, looks like Mazinger Z is getting its God Scrander upgrade now! Sweet, time to see the anime version of that awesome attack from SRWZII!
 
Shirobako 18:
That episode director was probably worse than 'funny story' editor and Hiraoka combined. What a dick.
And then after doing such subpar work, he just runs off without telling anyone.
They've definitely showcased the horrors of outsourcing pretty well. I really don't know how Aoi is going to manage to get through all of this. But then, just as everything started falling apart, we got one of the most triumphant moments in the show yet.
Yano's return had me cheering. She's been gone too long, and she's always good at helping Aoi get some new perspective on things. Hopefully she can help her gain control of the situation. Plus, it will be good to have a competent production assistant agian.

The newbie voice actress playing the main character is so enthusiastic that I just have to root for her. She had a tough job, but she managed to pull through in the end.
I really liked how the sound engineer went in and talked with her one and one and helped her pull through.

The recruiting of Ookura was pretty amusing, too. Both of those scenes worked out pretty well.

This was a really fantastic episode for the series. They covered a lot of ground, but it all managed to flow together well. Things are looking pretty rough at the moment for the show, but I'm hopeful that they can figure out a way to pull it out.
 

faridmon

Member
Blue Excorist Ep 23 -24

HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA what a dumb twist

guys if you are taking a methodology or a belief, can you just follow it till the end. Demons are the good guys, you guys are killing.
 
Shirobako 18

I could never do Miyamori's job.

The episode director was such a dick. Outsourcing seems like a really stressful process in animation.

Based
Yano-san
is back now though.
 

Midonin

Member
Strawberry Marshmallow 10-12

I liked the way episode 10 was structured - starting with Nobue discovering the shop, a brief segue into hypnotism, and ending with everyone walking home after going to meet her. The two winter-themed episodes were also pretty cute. Since Matsuri was asking for a Harry Potter book, and this was 2005, the book was probably Order of the Phoenix - Matsuri's going to be in for a shock once she gets to the end. I can't really consider these final thoughts since I still have five episodes left to go, but I liked what I saw. The offbeat humor works, and the character chemistry and use of silence is really strong. Hard to believe this came out a time in the American anime industry when it was able to get dubbed. Nowadays I feel lucky if something like this is licensed (though almost everything is licensed these days), but having a series like this get dubbed would be exceedingly rare unless it's a K-ON! level seller.

So, onto the OVAs!
 

Quasar

Member
Saekano 5 - Another enjoyable episode. Treating a shopping trip like a con expedition. Getting stuck in slow orderly lines drives me insane. But I generally don't like crowds.

Kind of interesting his complaints given I guess the Japanese cliche would be for Japanese crowds to be polite and orderly like that! Rather than that being some specific otaku behaviour.
 

Syrinx

Member
Shirobako 18

Aoi needs a hug. All this shit being put on her shoulders and none of it is her fault. Seriously, send that episode director to the moon. Half-assing his job and then just leaving altogether without telling anybody? How the hell do you even make it in that industry in the first place if you end up pulling shit like that? Luckily now, in a stroke of absolute perfect timing, Yano is back to help her shoulder some of the load.

Scene with the sound director and seiyuu was pretty cool. Seeing what he did to get her to loosen up and deliver the line the way she needed to was nice.

Bizarre of Aoi and Musani to approac that dude while he's drunk off his ass at a bar. Seems like it'd be an iffy proposition and kinda unprofessional, frankly. Whatever works, I guess.
 

ibyea

Banned
Shirobako 18
Poor Miyamori! The show just won't stop giving her assholes to deal with. Man, that scene towards the end where she was feeling all the pressure was kind of intense.
Good thing someone came back to save the day!
 
Your Lie In April 17

Kousei's never gonna confess is he. I guess Kaori
also confirmed that she's dying? What else can "its not looking good for me" can allude to otherwise?

Not really.

I mean sure there's apparently going to be handjobs, titjobs, and like 10 blowjobs.

But no penetration.

I see :3
 
Shin Mazinger Z - 21

BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG BAAAAAAAAAAAAAANG PAAAAAAAWWWWWWNNNNNCH.

Okay, how did Yasu survive? The others I can accept more easily, but Yasu had a freaking BOMB inside him! What, did he rip it out of himself and run away to a safe location or something? I mean, it's not a deal-breaker or anything, but come on, how can I not question that?

That aside though, this was a good episode. We got the return of Detective Ankokuji, comeplete with a rebuilt Gamia, and Kouji fully acknowledging Tsubasa as his mother.

Oh, and Juuzo is now an A.I. with a plug for a tail. That's a thing now too.

Final battle is coming up soon, and oh man it's shaping up to be one huge finale. Man this show is so much fun.
 

firehawk12

Subete no aware
Saekano 5 is terrible, as it is still making turgid nerd culture references, but I hope someone makes gifs of all the terrible CG they used in this episode.

I think between bad CG and slow panning still frames, I vastly prefer the latter.
 

firehawk12

Subete no aware
thisisneogaf.gif
Nerd culture is nerd culture and people will eat that stuff up. Well, that and the terrible harem stuff.

But the CG is just ass. Not that I'm the biggest fan of Apollon, but imagine if all the piano playing used in that show was made with CG instead of rotoscoping. Barf.
 

Quasar

Member
Nerd culture is nerd culture and people will eat that stuff up. Well, that and the terrible harem stuff.

God damn nerds ruining our anime.

But the CG is just ass. Not that I'm the biggest fan of Apollon, but imagine if all the piano playing used in that show was made with CG instead of rotoscoping. Barf.

I didn't even notice. Maybe I'm just so used to anime CG that I'm now blind to it.
 

firehawk12

Subete no aware
I'm the last person to go "OMG SAKUGA" or whatever since I take animation for granted anyway, so when I notice the bad CG, it must be bad. :p
 
Shin Mazinger Z - 22

The worst kind of clip show episode, sadly. Where they have all these new scenes to go with them so I can't skip the episode completely.

Wow, the difference between how Dr. Hell treats Baron Ashura here and how he treats it in Mazinkaiser is staggering. I mean, all he did in Mazinkaiser was say how tired he was of its excuses. Here, he made it so Baron Ashura could never take his own life, saying it's like a limb to him, and saved his strongest mechanical beast just for him.

I wonder if that's how Baron Ashura was treated in the original Mazinger Z show? If not (and I imagine that wasn't the case coming from Mazinkaiser), then major props to Imagawa for putting in all this effort into giving all this characterization into what was originally your average one-note minion character.
 

John Blade

Member
Just finish this show just now and love the show quite a bit. Kinda surprise I never have a chance to watch this show when it came out. It match what I like. Might be the breast thing.....

The only thing right now I am kinda at odd is the ending. I dunno what to say about it right now as it's just end it in a way I didn't expected to end. Kinda a 180 degree turn for me. I might need to sink it down a bit before I can say about it.
 

cajunator

Banned
Just finish this show just now and love the show quite a bit. Kinda surprise I never have a chance to watch this show when it came out. It match what I like. Might be the breast thing.....

The only thing right now I am kinda at odd is the ending. I dunno what to say about it right now as it's just end it in a way I didn't expected to end. Kinda a 180 degree turn for me. I might need to sink it down a bit before I can say about it.

This show is just awesome. Were you watching the dub? Dub is the best!! Its actually worth watching again if you havent.
 

John Blade

Member
This show is just awesome. Were you watching the dub? Dub is the best!! Its actually worth watching again if you havent.

Yup, I watch the dub based on people who watch it. The show is actually fun to watch and it's awesome as you say. What you think of the ending. I kinda see why they did it (the main character personality basically push it that way) but kinda ruin the mood a bit. Still, love the show and would tell people to watch it as it's actually decent show.

Update: I think I let people decide what show to watch next. Which show should I watch next. All this are my Anime DVD collection and trying to get through them now.

Witch Hunter Robin
Gasaraki
Divergence Eve and Misaki Chronicles
Kite and Kite Liberator
Paranoia Agent
 

cajunator

Banned
Yup, I watch the dub based on people who watch it. The show is actually fun to watch and it's awesome as you say. What you think of the ending. I kinda see why they did it (the main character personality basically push it that way) but kinda ruin the mood a bit. Still, love the show and would tell people to watch it as it's actually decent show.

Update: I think I let people decide what show to watch next. Which show should I watch next. All this are my Anime DVD collection and trying to get through them now.

Witch Hunter Robin
Gasaraki
Divergence Eve and Misaki Chronicles
Kite and Kite Liberator
Paranoia Agent

The ending wasnt what I wanted but it was acceptable. The show took a new direction with the pink haired girl but I liked that.

you should watch Paranoia Agent next. My favorite director.
 
Just saw the Witch Craft Works OVA. Haha. This show is so insane. I hope they make a second season. I missed that disturbing ending animation as well.
 

Jarmel

Banned
Shirobako-18

Best part of the episode.
I think the show has gotten a lot stronger in the 2nd cour. Mainly because the characters play off each other a lot better now. So a couple of themes hit me this episode. The first is how important relationships are in this business. I found this a bit interesting mainly because a lot of shows might have these one-off super cuts done by some seemingly random animator who isn't that involved with a production. The other thing was the notion of responsibility in that you have that shitty episode director saying he'll review it but quits right after and doesn't even have the balls to quit in front of the director. Then on the other side you have that legendary background artist who flatly refuses multiple times and when he finally does decide to work, while he seemingly cuts off communication, he's not loafing about but rather getting inspiration. I guess it shows the contrast between people who are in the industry for love rather than just money.

I brought this up earlier but I'll elobarate a bit. I think it was a poor choice on the director's part to go with a flat 'moe' face for the girls. It stands out poorly when taken in context with the detailed male and older female faces, in that they look flat. The flat character designs might have worked if all the faces were done in a similar style. It breaks immersion at times just because it feels like such blatant pandering to otaku.
 
Mushi-shi - 6

AW MAN. :(

As much as I'd like to complain about how the end of this episode was an unnecessary gut-punch that pretty much invalidated almost all the hard work Nagi and Ginko went to in this episode, I can't. Because it fit with the girl's character and everything that was established and was still presented very well.

But still. Gah...that really didn't sit too well with me.
 
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