Anime Vice News

Does Animation Quality Really Matter? - - THE VICE PIT

Is it all about pretty pictures at the end of the day? Have you ever enjoyed a show in spite of its sloppy rendering? Sam & Tom grab the bull by the horns for a frank discussion of the true value of visuals in anime.

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  • Be sure to submit questions and topics for a future Vice Pit session here. We will answer them!

    Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

    Sam Weller is a writer and actor who's scribed for shows like FIRST EDITION, GEEK THERAPY, and most recently BATGIRL: SPOILED. He also really likes anime. To know what is going to happen next, follow@cravesam

    rubberluffyon Dec. 20, 2012 at 3:22 p.m.

    The current running JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has what can only be described as mediocre animation it makes up for it with great true-to-source art direction with vibrant and varied colors, solid and clever directing (which can hide the lackluster animation), amazing music and great voice acting. Although it seems after getting to Part 2 - Battle Tendency with episode 10 that the animation seems to have improved. My favorite show of the year and definitely going to end up in my top 5 if the great care they've already given it continues for the next 13-15 episodes.

    Marshal Victoryon Dec. 20, 2012 at 3:23 p.m.

    Animation matters.But like any art its all opinion.But off top of my head in each actagory discussed,,,,,

    Show with noticable animation quality drop: Gunsmith Cats

    Animation way better than the story:Guilty Crown

    Story way better than the animation: Library Wars

    shelson Dec. 20, 2012 at 4:38 p.m.

    @rubberluffy said:

    The current running JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has what can only be described as mediocre animation it makes up for it with great true-to-source art direction with vibrant and varied colors, solid and clever directing (which can hide the lackluster animation), amazing music and great voice acting. Although it seems after getting to Part 2 - Battle Tendency with episode 10 that the animation seems to have improved. My favorite show of the year and definitely going to end up in my top 5 if the great care they've already given it continues for the next 13-15 episodes.

    this, the most recent example of a great anime with shoddy animation but everything else on it shines in comparison. While JoJo's is an example of this, i think K is a recent example of the opposite.

    To me good animation most of the times is a big factor to take into account. Recently when they announced the "Attack on Titan" anime i was a bit skeptical, fearing bad animation and CG filled crap because the source drawings are god-awful and there are lots of elements well suited for a CG treatment, nonetheless the story and setting is awesome. So when the trailer came out i was so blown away i watched it countless times, if animation does rises the expectations of a series this was a fine instance.

    But on other hand there are examples of really bad or non-existent animations in some series that happen to be favorites of mine, this due to compelling story, characters and sometimes great art direction.

    Examples of bad animation that i love:

    Infinite Ryvius

    Texhnolyze

    Gilgamesh

    Good animation bad story:

    Fractale

    Jyu oh sei

    Everything Manglobe has done post Michiko and Hatchin except for House of five leaves

    sickVisionz moderator on Dec. 20, 2012 at 4:43 p.m.

    Animation matters a lot to me, but it isn't the end all be all and I temper my expectations a lot. I think there are two parts, one being literally animation as in movement and another being shot composition. Pure animation quality is something I'm more lenient on as it can often be a function of money, although if a scene really needs it, I'll always be upset if it looks bad. Early episodes of One Piece were really plagued by this, to the point that they've actually made movies and OVAs dedicated to remaking older arcs but actually putting some effort and craftmanship into the animation.

    The other side to that is shot composition. Framing scenes and character in interesting ways. This can go a long way making a show visually appealing and it's really just a function of talent rather than needing to spend money. Series like Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari have some really well animated sequences, but even when characters aren't hitting back flips and fighting, they keep things really interesting by framing shots in interesting ways that show that while they might be saving some budget by not having constant animation, they also don't want to make it look like shit at any moment and it's always visually appealing, even if the scene is two people standing relatively still and talking.

    I think an interesting follow-up to the question of good shows with bad animation and bad shows with good animation would be what series were helped or hurt by their animation.

    I agree with Sam about older shows and DBZ Kai. The best parts of Kai imo were when they just remastered the old footage. The newly animated parts stick out like a sore thumb and sometimes they do ultra lazy shit in them like throwing a blur effect on a fight to hide the lack of animation where in the original show, a similar fight (mainly when they turbo speed battle in the air) would be super crisp and you could see each limb moving and every dodge.

    I don't mind the Eva rebuilds because they're telling a new story, but it's unfortunate that there are some who would dismiss the TV show just because it looks older. Especially when that show is beautiful in both shot composition and animation.

    AgentJon Dec. 20, 2012 at 8:01 p.m.

    @Marshal Victory said:

    Animation matters.But like any art its all opinion.But off top of my head in each actagory discussed,,,,,

    Show with noticable animation quality drop: Gunsmith Cats

    Animation way better than the story:Guilty Crown

    Story way better than the animation: Library Wars

    *Sigh* I wanted Guilty Crown to be good soooooo badly. Wasting beautiful animation should be a crime punishable by death.

    Marshal Victoryon Dec. 20, 2012 at 9 p.m.

    @AgentJ: Yeah i would have said K as well but its not over yet .But what i have seen of it sadly its in the same boat .

    Fat_Magnumon Dec. 21, 2012 at 8:42 a.m.

    I shall read the headline and respond, like an ass: Yes, yes it does.

    takashichea moderator on Dec. 21, 2012 at 2:34 p.m.

    @Marshal Victory:

    I was afraid of K jumping in the same situation with Guilty Crown. I'm behind in the series.

    Aleashaon Dec. 21, 2012 at 3:52 p.m.

    @takashichea: This latest episode of K was great things are really coming together.

    takashichea moderator on Dec. 21, 2012 at 4:01 p.m.

    @Aleasha:

    That's good to hear! I haven't watch any new episodes past 7 for K. If you haven't try Guilty Crown, it's hard to recommend. Animation is stellar, but the characters are not that likable and its story went off track after season 1. It introduce something new that contrast with its original theme, religion.

    Destinyheroknighton Dec. 21, 2012 at 4:08 p.m.

    I can go either way really, only if I enjoy it

    Kino88on Dec. 21, 2012 at 4:09 p.m.

    yes and no, I can accept middle level animation so long as the story brings the goods

    however it,s always sweeter when those frames are high,

    Aleashaon Dec. 21, 2012 at 4:38 p.m.

    @takashichea: Yeah this last episode was full of pieces of the puzzle you needed to pull the story together. I haven't seen Guilty Crown but I hadn't really heard of it before but the lack of likable characters probably accounts for that.

    Marshal Victoryon Dec. 21, 2012 at 9:21 p.m.

    @takashichea: as Aleasha says last episode it got better.I dont think it will go Guilty Crown as bad. quality of animation to quality of story wise .But the visuals still overshadow the story.

    @Aleasha: Totaly agree it got better .But its stil lacking story to visual ratio here. I belive it is just watchable story wise an takes way to long to set up whats coming.Tho any one who watchs enuff anime should be used to a slow burn set up.ITs fine for me if it has a good pay off. K is just starting to show a payoff at 10 an 11.

    Wonder tho really how close to the manga this is because it feels it missed its potential mark by sevrial notchs.Visualy tho its pretty.They do the over saturation thing that Guilty Crown did as well. Guilty Crown falls apart aroudn 12 for me where as it looks like K will just get better.Which i hope it does.Some decent designs an world consepts in it tho.

    Just started watching Vandread an its another show where animatin quality varies wildly from the 1st episode.

    Aleashaon Dec. 22, 2012 at 6:32 a.m.

    @takashichea: You should definitely catch up on K.

    Usually like with Guilty Crown they bring in something like religion when it wasn't originally a big part of the storyline they alienate most of there audience they had already brought in with the previous direction of a show then those who could get into it due to its religious aspects can't get into the beginning for the lack of and then any and all fan base unravels.

    @Marshal Victory: Yeah after so many anime the slow build up is something you learn to deal with as far as this one yes the animation/storyline is all off balance in K but I think a lot of it is its a new anime and both the manga and the anime are starting out so I can only hope that they are able to bring the storyline right up there with the animation and I believe I can see it turning into a really great show. I hope I don't eat my words here but this last episode was the best yet and for the most part has gotten steadily more involved with twist and turns to keep ya interested with the exception of what I could only describe as filler. All in all I have high hopes where as I had very little in the beginning beyond the amazing animation.

    ComicMan24on Dec. 22, 2012 at 6:46 a.m.

    Of course animation matters. Anime is something visual, it has to look appealing. The animation is the first thing you notice in an anime, since the story might take a while to become interesting or since you can never tell that much about the story from just an episode. Honestly, what can annoy me more than bad animation, is non-consistent animation. I don't mind it i the animation isn't always stellar, not all anime have the same budget but there is nothing I hate more that anime with episodes where the animation is amazing and episodes where it is crappy. Or even in the same episode.

    @Aleasha: K was and still is an anime that while I like, I was always afraid of what it is going to turn into later. Story-wise always. Animation-wise it has always been very good, even it is was always a little too blue for my taste lol But fortunately the last episodes, were good and they explained several things that were bothering me. And since there is only episode left, I think K was a good anime after all.

    Aleashaon Dec. 22, 2012 at 6:51 a.m.

    @ComicMan24: Yeah they are wrapping it up extremely well and I agree the blue did get old after a while but if you noticed it was a less blue this last episode lol.

    ComicMan24on Dec. 22, 2012 at 7:12 a.m.

    @Aleasha: lol You are right.

    MarioRedfieldon Dec. 22, 2012 at 2:47 p.m.

    Does animation matter?

    Yes.

    Marshal Victoryon Dec. 22, 2012 at 7:25 p.m.

    @Aleasha: I dont think it should ever be a case of eating ones own words here. One invest time in the hope it pays of for a better entertainment.Hope should always spring eternal.It Is just the winters reality that sheds cold logic upon things.Some times the time invested does not pay off.Its not the fault of the viewer who hoped for more.

    A good example of this would be Sword Art Online . 25 episodes an C to B+ story with C to A+ quality animation.But it paid off.At least for me.Sure some dont like the sword fighting part.But for a MMORPG player who has a actual year in real life invested in on character it was a very intresting ride.The animation helped gloss over the C story at times .An helped keep me intrested enuff to watch the next show.Were as i have tried twice now to watch .hack//SIGN an just could not get into it.

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