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Can you tell an anime studio apart?


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flavius184



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 36
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:30 am Reply with quote
Hello. I was wondering if you guys ever had a "sense" of knowing which animation studio produced an anime title, especially without reading the credits or browsing the ANN encyclopedia?

It seems like the more anime you watch, the more you can tell just from the fluidity of the animation. Gonzo and Production IG titles are easy to tell sometimes because they tend to integrate a lot of the 3D\CGI in their shows.

Kyoto Animation is also a studio that, if they produced something without giving away their name, would easily be recognizable (they do produce quality animation).
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Key
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:09 am Reply with quote
Watch enough anime and it isn't hard to eventually peg style points distinctive to certain anime studios. As a result, I can identify the studio about half the time on new releases.

Kyoto Animation titles are some of the most distinctive because, with one or two exceptions, there's a certain lushness to their character renderings that you just don't see in most other titles. Their style is also amongst the most consistent of all major studios.

Gainax works are also generally easy to spot, though not just because (or even often primarily because) of their artistry. Their storytelling tends to have a distinctive feel to it that is particular to their titles and falls into two categories: the ultra-high-spirited classic mecha homages like Gurren Lagann and Gunbuster and the more involved character studies like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Kare Kano, and Mahoromatic. The latter style, for all its flash and fan service, generally has more involved characterizations (and ones that probe deeper into troubled psyches) than most other companies bother with.

Of late Sunrise titles have become easy to spot because of their penchant for beautifully-rendered cutting-edge CG artistry, though that wasn't always the case. (That used to be Gonzo's domain, but they've lost their artistic edge over time and been watered down by too many titles of iffy visual quality.)

Madhouse and Production I.G. are also often mentioned as being easy to identify, although their styles have been more inconsistent over the past few years.
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DuskyPredator
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 10 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:01 am Reply with quote
I am starting to I think, I am a little new but I started to realise that some anime had seemed to have simular styles and then I took notice in the studios. Most of the ones I have started to pick out some like J.C. Staf and, Kyoto Animation and Shaft.
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The King of Harts



Joined: 05 May 2009
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Location: Mount Crawford, Virginia
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:18 am Reply with quote
Kyoto Animation and Gainax are the only ones I'm able to recognize. KyAni because the eyes they give their characters, specifically girls, just make them look different from most other anime. For Gainax, I can just notice the way characters move. I don't know if it's smoother animation or what, but I can just sense something different. From TTGL to FLCL to Abenobashi, the way they swing their heads and arms separates them from other shows. I do have a harder time with recognizing their older shows like Eva and KareKano, but after I found out they were Gainax I was like, "I should've known that".
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rainbowcourage



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
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Location: what is commonly known as "hell week"
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:37 am Reply with quote
Allow me to link you up to this helpful thread.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:29 am Reply with quote
Short answer is no I cannot. I can often recognise characters from the same designer, but I just cannot tell which company made which work just from viewing the show (unless I read the credits that is).

I especially don't recognise music, and the only Voice Actors I can reliably recognise from sound are Sean Schemmel, Crispin Freeman, Tiffany Grant, Spike Spencer, and occasionally Johnny Yong Bosch, Chris Patton and Brad Swaile. On the Japanese side, it is just Jun Fukuyama and Mamoru Miyano, possibly because I like Code Geass and Death Note so much. And then there's the visual side of things. People talk about "Gonzo moments" in shows like Gankutsuou and Basilisk, the "screen jitters" in Neon Genesis Evangelion, and the "clashing CG" in the first episode of Gundam SEED. They talk about how episode seven of Samurai 7 had "off-key character models", and how Hellsing and Speed Grapher had "shoddy animation".

But I didn't notice any of those, not one. I never once thought that Hellsing or Speed Grapher looked awful (they looked fine to me), but if you ask people around here for instances of titles with poor animation those two always crop up, often as one of the first mentions. I never noticed (and still don't) how the CG Heliopolis didn't mesh well with the background in Gundam SEED, the way the characters looked different for one episode in Samurai 7, or how the screen apparently jittered in EVA; not on my Platinum DVDs (naturally) but not on my old DVDs either. Haydée in Gankutsuou certainly looked nice in that flowing dress, but it didn't make my jaw drop and it didn't make me go "that's Gonzo for you". Similarly, Okoi speeding through the trees in Basilisk also didn't seem especially notable, nor did the mountains in episode one of Moribito stand out in an overall artistically impressive show.

It's quite funny; all those apparent "defects" or "problems" or "issues" I mentioned didn't affect my enjoyment of any of those series, and all of those "notable scenes" didn't either. Whether or not a certain Voice Actor or Seiyuu is in the show makes not one whit of difference, so long as they turn in an adequate performance. Sometimes I think some fans get way too caught up in the various side shows; I just want to watch a good story. Which is of course the most important (and overlooked) aspect. After all, the stories Anime tells, and its ability to easily depict alternate worlds and settings as opposed to live-action, is the reason why I'm an Anime fan in the first place, and why after four years I remain so. Which company made what? I don't really give a hoot.
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wandering-dreamer



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:55 am Reply with quote
Kinda, I actually seem to gravitate towards shows made by certain companies, but I think you can make a good guess if you've seen enough anime.
I find Studio Deen really easy to identify since their work isn't top notch and the styles they seem to be geared towards more female audience.
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flavius184



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:59 am Reply with quote
rainbowcourage wrote:
Allow me to link you up to this helpful thread.

Thanks for the reference.

Although my question is more along the lines of "do you personally have an eye to recognize the various studios, or do you find it to be difficult to do so?"

In other words, can you tell apart anime studios, just as how we can sometimes tell the difference between a Pixar CG animated movie versus, say, a Dreamworks one? There are subtle differences between the two, at least in my experience, but I know I've mistaken the latter for the former many times. Anime smile + sweatdrop
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tarheel91



Joined: 28 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:48 pm Reply with quote
I've always found BONES fight scenes very distinctive. As others have mentioned, Kyoto Animation has a very distinct style. Their shows are like video games with a lot of bloom (done correctly) to me. JC Staff's unique style always sticks out to me. Their shows don't look the same, but there's always something about them that remains uniquely JC.
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KanjiiZ



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:50 pm Reply with quote
Most of the time. Mostly Studio Comet, Bones, and Kyoto Animation. Studio Comet's artwork is bland. Bones artwork is usually crisp and has heavy outlines like in Ouran. Kyoto Animation is just moe. Simple as that.
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JacobC
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:15 pm Reply with quote
tarheel91 wrote:
I've always found BONES fight scenes very distinctive. As others have mentioned, Kyoto Animation has a very distinct style. Their shows are like video games with a lot of bloom (done correctly) to me. JC Staff's unique style always sticks out to me. Their shows don't look the same, but there's always something about them that remains uniquely JC.


Yeah, for me it's BONES and Kyo-Ani as well. I don't know why BONES sticks out to me so much. Their series tend to have both very colorful (or at least varied) palettes, wild and fluid animation, and despite the fact that there dozens of different character designs, many of them have that very appealing roundness to them with thick, distinguished outlines. (Eureka 7 looks like X'amd looks like Darker than BLACK looks like Soul Eater to me, anyway. Even when they do slightly less bombastic-looking shows like Wolf's Rain, there's just a BONES-ness to the boldness of the art.) They're my favorite studio in terms of visuals.

Kyo-Ani is just recognizable because all their stuff...looks...the same? That sounds bad. It all looks amazing, but it's that enormous-eyed moe/shoujo-centric look that's usually associated with bad animation, but gets from Kyo Ani lovely milky textures and amazing detail.


Last edited by JacobC on Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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zawa113



Joined: 19 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:16 pm Reply with quote
yes and no, for me, the easiest to recognize studios are J.C. Staff, Satelight, Madhouse, Studio Ghibli, Sunrise, and Gainax
The easy one is Studio Ghibli where all the characters are drawn by Miyazaki and are missing noses that have been replaced with dots (yes, this annoys me a lot). They also pretty much only make movies. And easiest of all, I really don't like them. I don't like their brand of story telling to be frank.
Satelight can be a tricky one to pin down, but they usually have some fantastic undertones of epic animation, often in the backgrounds and fight scenes. Good examples are Noein's opening scene where Karasu fights that thing or just about any given background in Basquash!. Their character designs can be all over the place from Shugo Chara to Noein, but their backgrounds usually tell me.
I'm most familiar with Sunrise during the Cowboy Bebop era, but they all seemed to have dark tone colors and a hand drawn feel about them (of course back then it was all hand colored, no computers to color stuff in).
Madhouse can be all over the place, they do Satoshi Kon stuff, Monster, etc, but it's like the style doesn't quite fit anything else either and in the case of things done based on existing manga, the character designs remain very true to those in the manga.
I tend to associate Gainax with over the top and I pretty much identify the entire studio by Gurren Lagann, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, and FLCL (since I did not see NGE until much later). Here, I tend to find their stuff cutting edge for the most part so it's not really about the animation, which can vary but is always crisp and clean (except for episode 4).

The ones I often mix around for each other and other stuff are Gonzo, Bones, Shaft, and Production I.G. I can tell "shoddy" Gonzo (stuff like Speed Grapher and Welcome to the NHK) apart, but not normal Gonzo (like Last Exile) from either Bones or Production IG. They all look similar and tell stories somewhat similarly to me. And Shaft, I would've sworn than Mononoke was Shaft after seeing part of Gankutsuou and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei beforehand, but it wasn't.

Even then, all this means that I can basically guess at a studio and sometimes be right based on the animation. I tend to look up what a studio has done that I like or don't like to go towards or away from a certain show though.
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flavius184



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:41 pm Reply with quote
JesuOtaku wrote:
Kyo-Ani is just recognizable because all their stuff...looks...the same? That sounds bad. It all looks amazing, but it's that enormous-eyed moe/shoujo-centric look that's usually associated with bad animation, but gets from Kyo Ani lovely milky textures and amazing detail.

I guess I can sort of agree with this. But then again, they did do stuff like Full Metal Panic! TSR, so it's not like the big-eyed/shoujo look of their most recent shows is all they have on their resume.

But for the most part, I think their attention to detail really is a dead giveaway for that studio, as well the general fluidity of the animation (for shows on TV, anyway). I especially like the way they animate the character movements, which for the most part are very detailed.
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rainbowcourage



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:20 pm Reply with quote
flavius184 wrote:
rainbowcourage wrote:
Allow me to link you up to this helpful thread.

Thanks for the reference.

Although my question is more along the lines of "do you personally have an eye to recognize the various studios, or do you find it to be difficult to do so?"


Yes, I got that I just thought it might be helpful. KyoAni's a dead giveaway at least in recent years (and I can't stand their character designs). Mostly I go by character designs, to be honest; sometimes I can recognize certain directorial similarities and I know which studio the director works most closely with. BONES is another one people have mentioned for character design and story-telling (you can see this especially comparing Eureka 7 and Xam'd). Finally, GONZO is usually recognizable for me, though I can't say why--sometimes it has to do with CG incorporation. They often also do a really good job with the world/setting.
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Elfen12



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 479
Location: Bay Area
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:30 am Reply with quote
I can't, and to be honest, i do not want to be able to. For some reason or another, and this may sound ignorant to some, but i think that ruins it. If right when you start watching an anime you can just figure out who makes it, the studio, the VAs and all that... it's just sorta like... well what happened to the anime. I just would perfer to not watch anime that way, and to just watch it the most raw way possible since i can't speak japanese. If i go into all the specifics of it, it's ... it's just not what i want to do. I feel as though i would get distracted from the story and the actual analyzation (if i feel like i would like to) of the meaning as well as being able to enjoy the characters. So i honestly cannot recognize a studio for my life... in fact, i hardly know what studios exist... and i like it that way. If i needa figure something out by the same people, i'll juts go look it up, but i have no need nor the desire to memorize or be able to pinpoint anything of the nature.

-Elfen12-
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