(Cross-posted from my main blog)
|K-On! (Spring 2009)|
|Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure (Spring 1999)|
Excluding anime that seem to go on forever (eg. Bleach) or targeted at children (eg. Doraemon), I have watched new anime, since 2006. Of course, I had watched some older ones like Kahimashi, Cowboy Bebop, and Lain.
I never noticed it unless I looked back (for anime since 2006) or watched older ones, but character design and background details in general has improved. Or it could simply because more recent ones looked better in widescreen in HD over the older lower-definition letterbox standard.
The early 2000s was a transitioning period for animation studios for doing each frame using computers over a cell sheet. To the viewers, this means that higher detail could be inserted, and scenes with things moving would not have everything else on the scene to be “moving”.
Character designs can sometimes be timeless or be specific to the general era, but you can generally tell. The differences between the original Kanon (Winter 2002) and the remake (Autumn 2006) is an example of a big improvement of design. Not just visually, but how the story is executed too.
|Death Note (Autumn 2006)|
The main thing that tells you about an anime is its opening and ending, and the segments surrounding it. While I do agree that Death Note is the odd one out with the use of (very) heavy metal music, the best ones to me are ones that do not have scenes from its episodes, something that you wouldn’t dread looking at many times. Another one, which I don’t mind if it’s not used, are the way the text of the credits are displayed being anything other than the generic one. Speaking of generic, I noticed that the animation of the ending of some anime, like Hanasaku Iroha (Spring 2011) and Durarara!! (Winter 2010), seems to have very minimal animation. I’m also not a fan of having new ending song in every episode, though I don’t mind those once-in-a-while things that reflect a sad atmosphere (eg. the death of a major character). As for those that use a song that has been used in several anime, it’s a mixed bag. However, songs like Secret Base: Kimi ga Kureta Mono, is the most often, and the most emotional, one I know of by singers used in Kyou no Go no Ni (Autumn 2008) and Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (Spring 2011).
|Kill Me Baby (Spring 2012)|
Nowadays, anime having an opening some minutes after it started instead of the very beginning seems to be the norm. From my observations, those that don’t, or always have a flashback, or have something that repeats every time like Yakitate!! Ja-pan (Autumn 2004), generally don’t have a good storyline. On the opposite end, anime that do not have an opening (most commonly the first and last episode), replaced with credits in its place, or have the main episode overlapping with the ending in certain episodes are quite good.
It’s hard for me to decide what is a good anime between a slice-of-life anime with simple design with playful schoolgirls in a school as main characters (eg. Nichijou), or lots of action with serious men and highly detail things (eg. Gundam series). Generally, it’s easy to tell a bad one, and I seem to find a lot of anime with little content in the middle of the series falling into this group. It’s also hard for me to watch one with a good story, but not-so-good in the character design part.
In the past, I used to be able to tell the kind of anime that would be produced just by looking at the name of the animation studio. Before Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Winter 2011), I used to think that animation studio Shaft would be only be producing slapstick-like anime like Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei (Winter 2008). Madoka was a big surprise as they suddenly have moe characters, and a plot that’s a big departure from what they (or those with magical girls) normally have. Actually, not really sudden as they produced Bakemonogatari (Summer 2009) in between: still have elements typical of earlier Shaft anime, but a bit more to the serious side.
|Angel Beats (Spring 2010)|
Speaking of animation studio, I heard that Angel Beats could have been produced by Kyoto Animation instead of P.A. Works as most of the works written by Jun Maeda (Canon, Air, Clannad) are usually produced by former. The reason possibly being that KyoAni was already busy producing K-On! at production time.
What would the the most ideal anime for me? Protagonist being a smart girl that should not be ugly or extremely sexy. She is a serious girl who could accurately tell if she’s lied to, which you can’t tell unless you paid attention to her tone of voice. These days, character design seems to be based on that of K-On!. Of course, that won’t happen, would it?