Posted by psgels on 29 October 2012 with categories: From the New World

I love these kinds of episodes: the episodes that just say “screw it” to consistency, and instead go on with their own style based on the vision of someone on the episode staff. It may look weird, but I find that it gives each episode so much personality. I really encourage creators to put i their own styles to spice up the story they’re animating. It’s so much more interesting than the same thing over and over again.

This episode’s animation may not have been as crisp as usual, and there were a lot of distorted faces, but yet the animation was really good. It was full of creativity: the camera angles brought out so much in the characters, and there were plenty of scenes that had movements and actions that are very uncommon in conventional animation. It’s not just the scene at the beginning of that Queerat blowing up, but also where Satoru gets cut on his forhead, the scene at the end of the episode with the slime. The backgrounds looked utterly gorgeous inthsi episode as well, and what also caught my eye were the scenes that focused on touching. They had a strange focus in this episode (not to mention the near-sex scene was stunning).

So let me check for a moment who was behind this episode… and everything suddenly becomes clear: Shigeyasu Yamauchi was behind this episode. Holy crap, this guy is just amazing. I’m not sure whether I want him to do another series, or to keep doing episodes like this, because he is both incredible as an episode director and a series director, bringing out the best in the characters and not caring for conventions at all. This is the first time since Casshern however, that I’ve seen him on an episode that was intended for a more mature audience. Seriously, this is where this guy belongs. His work on shounen shows and romance series is nice and all, but this episode was just incredible, and this is where his style shines like no other.
Rating: 6,5/8 (Amazing)

40 Responses

  1. Bunny says:

    What did you think about the plot, boob monster, war between two queerats colonies?

  2. Nyangoro says:

    While I found the artistry/imagery very appealing, I actually didn’t like the animation in this episode. It was different, to be sure, but it movements were so inconsistent and the perspectives so wonky during the more intense moments that I just found it off-putting overall.

    Regardless, the content was some of the best yet. The use of their sex drives to further reinforce the internal conflict of their own reality was just brilliant, and the lore keeps getting better and better.

    I will admit that the Queerat explosion was pretty cool though, lol

    • Puran says:

      I think this episode was… rushed. It was too ambitious and they didn’t have enough time to polish it as much as they wanted. While I can appreciate what they were trying to do, it just wasn’t there yet….

      The backgrounds shifted from highly detailed, to really rough (you could see the photoshop rough brush strokes), often within the same background, which reinforces the idea that this was rushed. The animation was also looking like they were going for really rough but fluid, but didn’t manage to get it to the level they wanted. The shading on the characters was also changing from completely flat, to weird CG shading.

      And to top all that, the pacing was a bit off too, with a lot of inconsistencies here and there that I don’t think were intentional.

      All in all, this was episode where they wanted to do something unique, but they got half-way there. Still, it wasn’t a bad episode, but I’m guessing it will be one of those were the DVD/Bluray version is going to be different.

  3. Aegd says:

    This episode was really cool. It’s not often that you get that sense of complete despair in anime. They are completely stripped of power, dumped in a situation they have no idea how to handle, trapped in a maze below the ground, with a bunch of crazy monster rats that wants to kill them… or do god nows what to them.

    The scene with the monster rat wielding the spear was pretty intense. In these kind of shows you can often tell what’s going to happen next, but I honestly had no idea if they were going to kill the guy or not… it was real tense.

  4. notintheface11 says:

    Couldn’t disagree more. The direction in this episode was horrible. I couldn’t tell what was going on half the time, because the cuts were disjointed and random. The animation was also terrible, especially the way they re-used the same shot like three times on separate occasions of the queerat roaring. I was really disappointed and hope the production values return for the rest of the show. Thank god this guy is only doing one episode.

  5. Spike says:

    I don’t know if it was just me being tired, but it just seemed kinda jumpy like flow was off or something. Like you see the monk block the explosion, then he’s dead and evaporated apparently. Or They are being chased by queerrats like RIGHT behind them, fall into a gourge for what seems like a really long time before the rats catch up to them, then all of the sudden they are in a cage. Just seemed like really weird flow to me.

    • Sam says:

      Yep this was for me by far the biggest issue this ep. How could Rijin not save them all from the blast perfectly, I would’ve thought he’d be sick at using PK which is a seemingly limitless power? Then yeah, the rats just stop chasing all of a sudden, I dunno, the pace was just weird and was for me the most jarring part of the episode.

  6. Kiavik says:

    The animation was crap, as were the altered character design, and the horrible horrible direction. You really couldn’t tell what was going on 90% of the time. This Yamauchi is a hack, and I hope A-1 corrects this episode for the bluray released because it has poisoned the entire series. You giving it the highest grade of all the episodes till now was almost expected, really.

    • Gloomy says:

      I agree with the negative sentiment. Totally destroyed my enthusiasm for the show, characters annoyed me, animation was offputting and there were too many closeups. Nice color palette though. Didn’t feel mysterious like previous episodes, just cheap.

    • Avalon says:

      Like many others I hated it. I can understand using that style for an entire series (with a few fixes to the facial animations here and there), but for a single episode it was simply off-putting and annoying. The characters seemed almost completely different, the story was disjointed and sometimes hard to follow, as mentioned above the facial animation was terrible, and I was too distracted with all these little issues that I wasn’t able to enjoy the episode near as much as I KNOW I would have if it was the same as the others.

      It seems like with a lot of things I agree with your tastes psgels, but whenever I feel strongly about something you almost always have the complete opposite opinion. It can be quite frustrating.

      Well, whether I hated this episodes style or not, at least you enjoyed it. Happy someone wasn’t put off by it.

  7. Oroboros says:

    While the experimental animation may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I found it well suited to the story in this episode alone – dark, confusing, morbid and scary. The writers and creators of this show have perfected their calvinball formula in building the world, making it richer with each passing episode.

    Shinsekai Yori continues to be the best show of the season.

    Psgels I apologize for trolling earlier; I just cannot resist when it comes to craptacular shows and their defenders.

    • Mike says:

      Eh, it’s one thing for the the animation style to get the feelings of “dark, confusing, morbit and scary” across to the viewers, it’s another when the animation style itself becomes what’s confusing instead, and IMO this episode is closer to the latter instead of the former.

      Also, apologizes for trolling, then launches another parting shot in the same sentence? couldn’t resist indeed :rolleyes:

      • Oroboros says:

        Actually the confusion was spot on, for that translated to a confusing experience.

        Anime should be transparent in communicating the mood of the story, not necessarily a spic n span representation that tries to communicate confusion.

        Read some Deleuze and learn proper film criticism.

        • Mike says:

          Yes, obviously only your viewpoint matters, and people should totally based their opinion on what a philosopher thinks.

          a bit pretentious don’t you think?

  8. Entrav says:

    The animation quality and some scenes really killed the episode sometimes. It felt kind of disjointed and inconsistent. Still, next episode looks to be good so this is just a minor setback.

  9. NDenizen says:

    As much as I respect this style, it really screwed up scenes for me, at least in terms of explaining what the hell happened. The beginning was absolute confusion, as were other major points of the episode – it could have been toned down in some places.

    Still, it’s nice to change things up now and again. It’s something anime is very good with.

  10. wddsz says:

    I for one loved this unique animation style and direction. Though there may be some flaws I found it to be very intriguing. SO why all the hate?

    • Yerld says:

      Lots of close-ups make the presentation too cheap, plus Yamauchi’s style is characterized by unconventional framing. A common complaint is that the camera tends to focus on the wrong things – close ups of elbows, forearms, feet, etc. – particularly during action scenes.

      In terms of art and animation, consistency is pretty loose, with the rationale that standards should be relaxed to show more of an animator’s individuality. Not all key animators are necessarily great illustrators since their real job is to depict interesting motion (with today’s schedules, the reality is that key animation is often rough, and other people are hired to clean it up. Some of it may look like a child’s scribbling, but that rough work details how the models are to -move-). Sometimes they intentionally warp character art to see what they can get away with, as well as to plant their signature on a cut. Typically, the animation director redraws the characters to spec, but in some cases, the director tells him/her to minimize the changes.

      At any rate, Yamauchi is a legend. He mentored greats like Junichi Sato and Kunihiko Ikuhara, so he certainly knows what he’s doing. However, he has been experimenting with a new style (starting with Casshern Sins – guess it’s now a mark of -his- individuality) that not everyone likes.

  11. I think this episode’s animation was horrendous. It reminded me of the low budget work they did on Birdy the Mighty: Decode:02. To call this a ‘style’ and say you like it is laughable (personal opinion, not a jab at you.) The people producing this are professionals, and to take one episode, which provides insight into Queer Rats and their organizational structure, and crap on it, is kind of sad. Sure Queer Rats are ugly, but that doesn’t mean the episode about them had to be.

    • Reverse says:

      Birdy low budget ? stop spewing bullshit. unless you got data to back it up . frankly studio don’t released it budget data , inb4 nitpick frame to prove your no point

      but base on the animator and people involved on that episode, i surely isn’t low budget that is for sure

      also all animator ( minus kyoani studio ) got paid by frame, not the quality the frame it produce. it pretty much the same paid

      if you saying i hate this frame = low budget
      your just stupid

      • Hogart says:

        Pro tip: calling someone’s opinion “laughable” *is* a jab at them.

        Moreover, it technically is a style. It just doesn’t match the styles that have become prevalent in modern anime. To you it looks low-budget, to others it looks creative.

        Sometimes the budget is blown on something other than in-between animation and CGI shading. Sometimes, the budget for a single episode is so low they have to bring in a pro who can salvage the situation.

        Birdy, for instance, clearly ran out of money in season two for a few scenes, so I agree that it was “low budget”. And yet, I was even MORE impressed by what they pulled off, and wish it got the budget of a KyoAni show.

        And what about Bakemonogatari? Was it “laughable” too, or does it get a pass? It’s a fine line, and certainly not worth insulting someone for circumstances.

      • Hogart says:

        Hmm, I was replying to Mr.Moreau, if it wasn’t obvious. That comment wasn’t meant for you, Reverse.

      • Commenting on someone’s subjective view by calling them stupid is kind of out of line. I’m entitled to my own opinion. By saying it was laughable means I don’t agree with his viewpoint, I’m not saying he’s wrong in viewing it as such.

        There were episodes in Birdy the Mighty where the animation wasn’t up to par with the rest, the high octane scenes where there’s a lot of motion. While I understand what they were trying to achieve, my subjective view tells me that I don’t like it, and if they did pay more for that kind of work, I don’t think it paid off. Here’s an example: http://indiegamedevs.com/images/screenshots/btm-subjective-low-quality.jpg

        Granted, every single image can’t be 100% stellar, but at the same time, some of the motion was horrible: http://indiegamedevs.com/images/screenshots/btm-subjective-low-quality-2.jpg

        The feel I get from episode 12 of BtM:D:02 is the same that I received from this episode of Shin Sekai Yori.

        • Hogart says:

          #1: Calling someone’s opinion “laughable” is no better than being called “stupid” for having your own opinion. You’re basically implying that you’re laughing at their opinion. So getting defensive when someone in turn dismissed your own opinion as stupid.. well, you really have no ground to stand on here. Online, people interpret words in the worst possible way, especially when they detect criticism. If you didn’t realize that, then I hope you do now.

          #2: As for Birdy, some people were too busy looking at the unique framing, highly kinetic storyboarding, and keen use of contrast to focus on sloppy in-betweens and a few bland backgrounds in dark scenes. I’ve seen amazingly smooth animation that was still so bland I didn’t care that it was painstakingly in-betweened. But Birdy made me WANT to see a full-budget realization of its attempt.. in my books that’s a win. It was memorably different compared to boringly smooth.

          #3: Some people just LIKE that kind of brutal, raw, uncertain animation when they’re watching a brutal, raw, uncertain scene. Some people like Picasso, without knowing anything about fine art or cubism. Birdy’s no Picasso, of course, but there’s an undeniable emotional edge to this that some people experience, whether or not you think that was the intent of the director to cover up other flaws (I happen to think it was, and that it was a brilliant choice).

          • Interpret it how you will, but there’s one thing I know: what I said and mean, versus how you perceive it: are two different things.

            If I say I’m not trying to be offensive, then being offensive is not my goal. No one, not even you can say that isn’t so, you can say how you perceive it, nothing more.

        • Hogart says:

          Oh, I understand. I just hope you understand what I meant, too. This whole thing could have been avoided if you said what you meant frankly, and not in a way that would easily be interpreted as an insult by others. If you don’t care, fine.

  12. MochiRochi says:

    I don’t mind the art style. Given that Saki and Satoru were about to do something, I think the art was needed to make them look a bit mature and not so young. I do miss the old one, but thankfully, it’s going to be back in the next episode.

    My problem is the faces though. Maria sounded like she was screaming, but her mouth hardly moved. It happened with the other characters too. There was a lot of random smiling too. It took me out of the episode and left me annoyed, instead of interested in what was happening.

  13. billish says:

    In this case I agree with your assessment, psgels, as I am also for the unconventional change in style to particularly depict emotion in this episode aside from others.

    There were some animations that were rough and poor, but it didn’t bother me so much.

    As this is your favourite (rated, which for you isn’t always the same) episode of New World, I’d have to agree in this case: This episode actually did something beside the regular, and Satoru’s preceding anoying character in regular social functions really worked for him in this episode. I wasn’t distracted at all by the dialog in this episode as I have been in the past, which effectively eliminates one of my only large criticisms of the show.

    • HunterWulf says:

      It seems Satoru actually found himself (rather rediscovered himself) in this new world they ventured into .. it’s as if he was unknowingly frustrated by the boring and suffocating sterile controlled life back in the settlements and was expressing that indirectly by being annoying and obnoxious, but once he got his chance to experience a world filled with thrills and danger he actually starts enjoying it and starts acting differently (note that he so far seemed the one most interested in learning stories about the outer world, its creatures and dangers) … this gives the change in his personality in this ep some deeper meaning.

  14. jzar says:

    I did like it, I loved the camera angels and I enjoyed trying to figure out what was going on. Much o Mini mysteries with this world and I can’t wait to see more. My hat’s off to the animators for being so bold and initiative. So nice to see something different and new.

  15. eddiedingle says:

    I thought this was the best episode since the first one. Things were a bit disjointed and felt like you were being jolted around, but i feel like that really helped to convey the mood of the episode. The kids are in a strange and unfamiliar place, they just heard a rather long and confusing story from the past, and have lost their power. to that effect I think the animation really put us in the children’s shoes.

  16. Ebisu says:

    I got bad feelings through the first half of the chapters. The animation or direction (I don’t know who’s guilty) broke the rythm from past chapters but in a bad way. I think it’s because I hate action scenes which use only close-ups.
    I know this kind of episodes should be awesome but this one felt wrong. An undeserved high note, as it was painful to watch for me rather than enjoyable. The scenes could have been done really really really better.

  17. HunterWulf says:

    I think people are really overreacting with regards to the style change this episode .. for me it just took few moments to get used to but the effect that i think they intended was achieved .. it really gave the episode as a whole a surreal, weird, disjointed feeling .. the whole episode felt like a weird dream (specially with its sexual undertones, bizarre gigantic six-breasted Queerat queen, and dynamic camera work).

    It was like those dreams that you wake up from all sweaty and saying “what the hell did i just dream about !!!” …. you try to piece it all together but it feels disjointed, weird and surreal .. that’s the feeling they wanted to invoke .. and seeing we are back to the other style next episode i can say i’m 70% sure this style was meant the way it is to get that feeling through not because of technical difficulties or low budget .. it’s also meant to emphasize the uncomfortable shift in the characters life from their confined, sterile life before in the settlements into a wild, bizarre and crazy world.

    Overall it was a very enjoyable episode IMO.

    • Bunny says:

      I have never experienced waking up sweaty and said “what the hell did I dream about”.

      • HunterWulf says:

        Well, not all people dream when they sleep, and not all those who have dreams have vivid and crazy dreams .. it differs from person to person .. and this “what the hell did I dream about” thing didn’t happen to me more than two or three times in my entire life XD

  18. kraken says:

    About Yamauchi, I hope you know that his most famous work is Saint seiya (the best episodes of the serie, and 3 of the 5 movies) and the two DBZ movie Gogeta and Broly.
    And Morio Hatano (Saint seiya Omega) and Tatsuya Nagamine (Heartcatch Precure) were his disciple.

  19. Obvious Dude says:

    My this episode was so intense. It had me on my edge of my seat the entire time.

  20. Suumirae says:

    I agree with what some of the people said about the episode feeling rushed and lacking clarity, but the word that you said that struck me was that it had personality. It’s so true~ SO much personality in this episode. I feel like they spent a lot of that thoroughness in the opening episodes and that it’s sort of fun that what started out as a very slow show has gotten so quick and intense.

  21. Vanichu says:

    Oh, no wonder I felt a strong Casshern vibe! Love this guy. The episode did feel a little choppy here and there, but I didn’t mind it. Just another style I can appreciate.
    Also, the whole sexual tension scene was so well done.

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  • Bam
    (Monday, Aug 3. 2015 03:32 AM)
    Man Witcher 3 is one dense game. I’ve put 110 hours in and I’m just over halfway thru. The amount of detail is staggering. I catch myself listening to NPCs for 10 minutes sometimes lol
  • ;(
    (Sunday, Aug 2. 2015 09:47 PM)
    @Masky: Are you talking about me?
    Because if you are, you completely misread all I wrote…
    But if that’s the case I don’t feel like explaining myself considering you probably don’t want to listen anyway…
  • Masky
    (Sunday, Aug 2. 2015 02:09 PM)
    Geez, people really make odd excuses when defending stuff they like ._.
    …I feel like thats probably hypocritical comment coming from me since I’ve probably done that too, but I think I usually go with attitude of “Hey, you’d probably not like it anyway, but I think you are wrong about that thing” xD
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 09:47 PM)
    @Aidan: I would recommend downloading it rather than browser-playing it as my browser kept crashing when I tried to.
    Its quite short but it gives a great teaser and introduction to the game, that gets me excited for it.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 09:45 PM)
    @Aidan: Mangagamer have released the demo for kara no shoujo 2, they’ve also confirmed a release for Autumn. Its probably better to call this demo more of a prologue/compliment to the game with content exclusive to it.
    Demo/prologue here: http://mangagamer.org/kns2/
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 02:14 PM)
    @invicableGod, Yep that comment was spam. Should have got rid of it first time I saw it.
  • Wicked
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:10 AM)
    well, this place changed a lot. Gotta say, I’m not a fan of how they adapted GATE into an anime. It feels too decompressed. Manga did a better job at keeping the tension taut
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:08 AM)
    Also I am not the blog, I’m just a poster… I really hope you have enough sense to tell the difference…
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:07 AM)
    @Emo: you’re saying all that like that doesn’t fit your description to a T. Kinda sad actually…
    Well I guess now at least I gave you one more thing to get angry about so your day seems just a bit more active than your last.
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:03 AM)
    I don’t think people are really expected to read it from the start anymore. I mean that’s probably why it stays popular in Japan considering people would have to be in their 20s at least to keep up from the start without reading hundreds of chapters just to keep up.

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