Anime. Chances are good you either love it or you hate it. And if you’re an animation teacher, very often you fall into the hatred category for the simple fact that young, starry-eyed animators refuse to work in any other style if they’re obsessed with Anime and Manga. Some professors even go so far as to say it’s not legitimate animation! What do you think?
When you look at it objectively (as objective as humans can be, at any rate) it’s true that the general Anime style is a very limited form of animation. Often it comes down to scenes of mouths moving with the occasional eye blink, sandwiched between brilliantly rendered long shots of epic backgrounds. The fluidity of traditional 2D animation rarely make an appearance, except in short spurts during fast, motion-blur filled action. Anime is also the master of the “animated cycle” and reusing drawings and actions.
But does that make it some sort of “lesser” form of animation? While there may be fewer frames, most of the best Anime is still fundamentally very well crafted art. In fact, often it requires MORE attention to detail and proper posing, because those images and poses are going to be on screen (and held) for a lot longer. Still, art =/= animation; the two go hand in hand but are very different things.
We want to hear what YOU think about the great “Anime Animation” debate. Do you find it to be a cop-out? Think it’s the highest form of our artistic medium? Maybe it’s less black and white, and there are only particular films and shows done in the anime style that you feel go far enough to consider them proper animation? Whatever the case, leave a comment below with your thoughts and we’ll collect them together for a future article. Maybe together we can finally come to grips with the long running Anime discussion! Be sure to include if you, personally, enjoy anime or not, from an animator’s perspective!