Posted by psgels on 6 June 2008 with categories: Kurenai


As this episode was mostly boring, I’m going to hijack most of this post for something completely different that caught my attention. I stumbled upon this post, referring to this piece of art, that rants against the lack of shading in the anime of the 21st century.

Ironically, it’s done by the same guy who posted those documentaries on fansubs. This means that there indeed is a lot of one-sided bias against today’s anime. The guy’s very selective about his examples: most of the images from the eighties are from OVAs, while the recent images are all from TV-series. Of course these have a bigger budget. There are enough anime from the eighties with cheap animation as well (Gundam, anyone?). The guy obviously is a narcissistic elitist, but I admit that he does have a point.

The fact remains that the shading in recent anime is usually minimal. I never really paid attention to it, but very rarely do I see a second shade-colour, let alone a third. I’m not going to deny that Hyper Future Vision looked absolutely gorgeous, with its distinctive art style, and it’s such a shame that today, so little anime try to experiment with shading a bit.

Of course, not every series needs shading. Porfy and Kaiba hardly have any shading at all, and yet they’re among the most visually pleasing series to currently air. But the fact does remain that creators could play so much with different kinds of shading, and you hardly see anything of it.

Nowadays, the trend seems to be incredibly detailed background art if you want to show off your budget. It would be interesting to see series break away from this trend, in order to focus more on different kinds of shading. There are of course exceptions here and there, but I do agree that things could be more varied, though I think I’m going to pay more attention to this in the future.

But indeed, there are enough exceptions and Otaking seems too stuck up to notice this. If he happens to read this entry through some strange reason, then I advice him to check out Shion no Ou. Obviously, the show had a small budget, but it’s the perfect example of a show that really tries to play with its own art style, and the best shots are absolutely gorgeous, with intricate shading, creative poses. It’s the perfect example of a visual feast that tries to think outside the box.

Anyway, a bit more about this episode of Kurenai: I guess my expectations worked against me for this time. For this series, I expected an action-packed finale, just like the first episode suggested. What we get is a Shinkurou who needs an entire episode to figure out that he wants to save Murasaki, wasting precious time for this series. This is especially aggravating since a similar series, Crystal Blaze, is about to finish with a huge finale that keeps building up speed, while Kurenai seems to slow down more and more as it goes on.

16 Responses

  1. Denizen says:

    Otaking is too selective and his presentations are always unbalanced. It would be easy to understand him if it wasn’t so easy to contradict him with the simplest of evidence.

  2. nahrub says:

    otaking’s argument is stupid. time changes, so does the animation style n ppl’s taste alike. i personally dislike the over-shaded-80s-style. he’s just an old man who cant let go of the past. n comparing ovas/movies with 100ep anime is just plain stupid.

  3. Archer says:

    indeed there are many people who don’t like the way anime series are made today but there are just as many who don’t like the old anime,we talk about two different generations so of course u cannot have the same style and the way the anime is produced won’t remain always the same and over the time it will chance in good or in bad,everyone will have different opinions

    overall i can’t say i like old anime more than the new one just as i cannot say the quality of the new series is a lot better and i like that ones more,i love anime in general and i think each anime period has its good things and bad things and the current anime generation has given us a lot of gorgeous animation and has a lot of talented artists

  4. Autonomous Monster says:

    In a vain attempt to talk about the episode at hand, I do get this uncomfortable feeling that it’s going to go with the “violence solves nothing” angle and the last episode will be twenty minutes of Murasaki and her father talking out their differences. I wouldn’t care so much, but Kurenai taking Murasaki back to the flat (and Benika letting him ffs) pretty much destroyed my suspension of disbelief and I was hoping for something a bit more towards cynicism side of the scale to balance it out. Shinkurou’s always been a bit naive in his treatment of Murasaki, but I didn’t think he’d go that far. Well. This series is nothing if not good at dialogue.

    As for quality… I will admit that I was never into anime in a big way until a couple of years ago, so I can’t say I noticed. I have to say the shading thing would be lost on me, though; I’m not big on colours. Quality anime to me suggests quality animation. Fluid, convincing and detailed.

  5. TinyRedLeaf says:

    I wonder how those “old guys” would feel about “flat art” anime such as Mononoke and Kaiba? And while shading might have “declined” (in Otaking’s opinion), other interesting styles have emerged. Notice for example the line art used in Toshokan Sensou, which mimics the art style of manga and comics.

    Quite simply, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Not to mention that an audience’s preferences change will over time – it’s called creativity. Ironically, if animators and artists stuck to the shading techniques of the ’80s, as Otaking insists, anime would look very stale today.

    Funny you should hijack a Kurenai blog post for such opinions though. While the animation in Kurenai has been choppy and uneven, the background art, on the other hand, has been stupendously gorgeous. Especially the painted wall screens in the Inner Sanctuary and the Hozuki household.

    When you have such eye candy to hold your attention, who needs gratuitous cell shading? ;)

    Shame that you found this episode boring though. Shinkuro received further development, as did poor Yayoi. It’s also nice to see Shinkuro’s “sisters” give him much needed encouragement. The pieces are falling into place and we’ll soon see how Benika’s masterplan turns out.

  6. omo says:

    I think there are a few other anime that had experimented with shading–Gonzo’s got their kaleidoscopic stuff, and Ufotable is notable for their gradient hair.

    The problem with experiments in shading in animation is that it increases the complexity of actually animating things drastically as shades change with motion.

    In fact, I think Otaking makes the mistake repeatedly. For example, OAVs actually don’t always have big budgets (especially back in the 80s). What makes them shine over TV series is scheduling–OAVs like Giant Robo had all the time in the world to produce, yet Macross Frontier has a brutal, weekly schedule. Time is more of a limitation than money when it comes to TV broadcasting.

    When you want to animate in color, shading will reflect change in lighting. Having 3 shades versus two means your coloring now takes 50% longer. Ever wonder why Kaiba is so pale color-wise? Because it’s “very” animated. With computer inking, we can do tricks like ones in Gankutsuou where you just slap some transparent layer and let loose some CG rendering. CG cell shading is another common form of experiment with shading, because it’s not as labor intensive.

    And truthfully, I don’t entirely blame Otaking as his ignorance regarding the animation process is quite common place among fans.

  7. Denizen says:

    On the subject of the actual episode.

    I do feel that Kurenai has almost run out of steam. It was great at first, but now everything does indeed feel like an extremely contrived device for some drama, and it’s just dissapointing.
    I still have faith for a good ending which can be both a mixture of character interaction and some decent action, but as has been said it could easily go the other way, and really let the show down.

    But considering Baccano built up to an action-packed last episode, didn’t, but still managed to make a good episode and ending – I think I can imagine Brains Base pulling off a good ending.

  8. Autonomous Monster says:

    omo: “With computer inking, we can do tricks like ones in Gankutsuou where you just slap some transparent layer and let loose some CG rendering”

    Was that the effect where the characters’ clothes looked like windows onto a flat texture? I though that was beautiful. :)

  9. RedMaigo says:

    Is Otaking trying to become the hardest working troll in the fandom or what?

    He kind of reminds me of Answerman from ANN. Both of them know their stuff and make very good points. At the same time they also torpedo their own arguments by making sweeping generalizations, providing contradictory evidence to support said arguments and being opinionated to the point of myopia.

    I’m wondering if this guy will ever blog? He could win next years ABA Peoples Choice Best Dorama Awards easily.

    Oh yeah…this post was also about Kurenai wasn’t it?

    I have stopped watching this show as of episode 8 and I am not really sure I want to continue.

    After reading this post I am almost tempted to just delete all of the episodes on my hard drive and move on to something else.

    It was one of the few shows this season that seemed to have some potential. Now it seems like it is going to finish with one big meh of an ending. Kind of like last season’s Spice and Wolf.

    Here’s to hoping I am wrong.

  10. Denizen says:

    I think deleting the whole series is a bit extreme. It’s not as if Kurenai is a major commitment or anything.

  11. RedMaigo says:

    @Denizen

    Yeah, but I got a lot of anime to catch up on and only a lifetime to do it in. Which only gets shorter and shorter day by day.

    To paraphrase someone whose name escapes me at the moment, “Life is too short to watch mediocre anime.”

  12. Solaris says:

    @Omo: wow this is the first time i read you and understand your point. You spoke cleverly and precisely. Thank you. :) I agree with you in every single aspect.

    Furthermore, people don’t listen to MightyOtaking’s personal rants. He really doesn’t deserve all that attention. He proved himself to be blind and onesided to his own arguments. He just made fun enough of himself with that hilarious youtube megarant on fansubs history. Not only he proves not to know and undestand modern animation, but he also tends to prove his desplicable thesys with wrong examples.

    I’ll reply about Kurenai as soon as i’ll finish watching the 9th episode.
    But I still will warn you this particular eoisode is indeed the calm before the storm. It was clear from the outcome of the former episode.
    A final confrontation was too early and Shinkuro was easily defeated. Now it’s the time of regret, so we have plain solw and boring episode, but next episode will still begin Shinkuro’s awakening, leading to fireworks in the last episode. Many anime follow that route, and they end up awesome! Just wait and see ;)
    Don’t drop the serie now that’s the best part is finally at hand!

  13. Sang says:

    Man, I’ve never heard of this Otaking, and I’ve been watching anime since Astroboy and Elite-Fansubs was using Vandread to advance the model of online fansubs distribution.

    But whatever, he’s obviously an elitist tool too self-indulgent to listen to anyone elses arguments. He’s like those Final Fantasy nutjobs who swear the series should have stayed 2D because it was more charming.

  14. helen says:

    we can have both wonderful backgrounds and detailed characters – the problem, again, is the funding. Lots of anime have beautiful background art – but their characters are extremely flat. Based on technology in the 80s and 90s, the character shading techniques are already impressive.

  15. Kilroy says:

    I see no problem with a story slowing down for character development. I see no problem with a director taking chances in the current ADD generation. I welcome the slow pace to gain more insight on the characters in order to lay foundation for more action later. I thought it was good, not the best but it’s good.

  16. omo says:

    I guess now that I bothered to come back to this post, I’m going to say I loved Kurenai episode 10. Best in the series so far for me.

    And it’s not just money, it’s time and talent. In fact I would argue those two are more important. Kaiba is a good exmaple…

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, May 24. 2016 12:17 PM)
    I hear other Dublin Irish accents and they sound foreign to mine, I don’t have a yob/chav voice.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, May 24. 2016 12:15 PM)
    @Aidan: Actually I thought you would sound more aggressive/deeper voiced.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, May 24. 2016 11:55 AM)
    I seem to recall people saying they thought I would sound more English. Generally get surprised by the irish accent.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, May 24. 2016 07:36 AM)
    Recalling now when Ninjarealist mentioned that my voice when writing comes off as different from how I sound in my posts.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, May 24. 2016 07:14 AM)
    What often surprises me even more is how different some people can be apart from their Internet personas, from an Internet cynic to a meek person irl. Thats to be expected but fascinating.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, May 24. 2016 07:08 AM)
    @Kaiser Surprise reactions are to be expected from faceless interactions over a chatroom, so it’s pretty normal. But that’s a first, I’ve always thought I looked pretty Italian.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, May 24. 2016 07:06 AM)
    As a teenager when I had a long scruffy beard and messy long hair, Ian Anderson comparisons were made.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, May 24. 2016 07:04 AM)
    @K-off: I remember you stating you were of some Italian heritage, my image at first was that you’d be more Latin looking.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, May 24. 2016 07:01 AM)
    I’ve gotten surprised reactions before from people, people not believing I’m 30.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, May 24. 2016 06:54 AM)
    @Kaiser Oh really, I had this image of a 30 some-ish year old Swede having blond hair, which to my surprise wasn’t the case, and in yours to an extent as well. As Supermario said it’s impossible to not have any kind of superficial image in your mind.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 08

I feel bad for the artists and animators who made the opening and ending for this show as they don’t seem to be getting much use. Not that I am complaining of course as if the choice is between a catchy theme song and more content then content wins every time. Though it is a […]

Kiznaiver – 07

To some this may be the strongest episode of Kiznaiver to date. However to someone like myself I find myself mixed on what I just witnessed. I have said before that what I like about this series are the aspects which are distinctly Trigger which would be it’s sense of wacky humor and character chemistry. […]

Mayoiga – 08

Again this week Mayoiga succeed at bringing a big screw-you to us audience. The cliffhanger last week is quickly revealed, and we come to learn that Masaki is not a ghost, nor is she a witch, but simply that… she had visited the Lost Village before. Big surprise! It really is a ridiculous anti-climax, but […]

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – 06

If you haven’t heard by now, the second season of Attack on Titan has been delayed till 2017 because Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is far too awesome for Studio Wit to handle in a single year. I really couldn’t care less about the delay since I already know what’s going to happen in season […]

Bungou Stray Dogs – 07

This week the plot revolving the Azure King was resolved and it raises the conflict of sense of justice between Dazai and Kunikida. Like what I suspected last week, all the new characters are in play in this episode and now I get the hang of Bungou Stray Dogs storytelling now. The new characters will […]

Joker Game – 07

You know, I am beginning to wonder just how do those lessons go at the D-Agency. Is it something like “Ok, class. Today I will teach you how to summon dolphins with a whistle. After that we will go over the magic rituals of Aleister Crowley and finally have a refresher on the finer points […]

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress OST Review

This will be the first time in my anime blogging career that I have ever done one of these anime OST review. It should be known that I have a complete bias for Hiroyuki Sawano as he has become one of the biggest composer for anime in recent years in some of my favorite anime […]

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 07

A certain criticism has loomed over this series from its very inception. As the series continued people have asked the question “How can Subaru brush off his horrific deaths so easily?” Today we have the answer to that question and that answer is that he doesn’t. It’s been building incognito in the background all this […]

Kiznaiver- 06

This week we have focus on the problems of a specific member of the Kiznaiver, that member being Maki.Well my assumption about Maki’s problem turned out to be incorrect though I did think compensated dating is a bit too serious for the tone of this show while proposing it. Her actual problem turned out to […]

Latest Reviews

Schwarzesmarken – 65/100

Schwarzesmarken is a strange title in that it has a setting with fantastic potential yet the story is dampened by a rushed pacing and Missing characterisation. Despite this there are signs of a greater story under the hood and at times that story can shine despite haphazard adaption. The Stasi make for a great villain […]

Boku dake ga Inai Machi – 85/100

In the large reservoir of anime it is surprising just how few titles focus on the concept of time travel. There are of course titles which feature time travel but few that make it the core focus. So here we have Boku Machi or ERASED, a tale about a mangaka time traveling to his childhood […]

Gangsta. – 58/100

Gangsta is an anime with a lot of things going for it. A mature cast, gritty themes, a interesting setting and a trio of main characters who can carry the show. However due to a number of factors it never quite reached its potential. The main trio of characters are unconventional and quite interesting with […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 80/100

Gakkou is one with a good facade as promotional material would have you believe it was some dime a dozen moe slice of life. I was one who wasn’t fooled by the cute cuddly exterior but I was truly surprised with just how good this anime ended up being. Gakkou is one of those rare […]

Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade – 81/100

I wonder when it was that a film being childish became a flaw. As a medium grows it takes steps to aim to mature itself and seek a more intellectual level of presenting entertainment. Animation did it as Anime aimed to explore terrontry that cartoons refuse to explore and video games only recently broke away […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Review – 85/100

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided […]

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]