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DrizzlingEnthalpy



Joined: 13 Oct 2005
Posts: 252

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:35 pm Reply with quote
Anyone who's especially interested in an in-depth breakdown of the the production process behind Japanese animation and the ways in which it differs from that of Western animation should read this terrific post Peter Chung made on the AniPages forum and his follow-up posts in the same thread. Particularly interesting to me is the sakkan's role. As Chung said, the term sakkan is usually translated as "animation director" but unlike animation directors in Western animation the sakkan spends most of his time fixing the mistakes in the other animators' drawings.
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angelmcazares
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Joined: 23 Sep 2010
Posts: 1553
Location: Iscandar

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:46 pm Reply with quote
To me the animation studios who consistently do the best work are A-1 Pictures and Kyoto Animation. I also like what occasionally Production I.G. and Bones do. As far as the animation studio with the crappiest results, it has to be Gonzo. To their credit Rosario+Vampire looks pretty good on my opinion.

As far as underrated and/or more unappreciated studios, P.A. Works has done a good job with their original anime. Madhouse used to have very mediocre animation, but with often interesting stories/plots. Also, despite the negative criticism I hear about J.C. Staff, they animated Utena and Toradora! (two great anime series).
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 13103
Location: NZL

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:02 pm Reply with quote
When I see GAINAX running out of budget or or SHAFT being artsy or Gonzo running out of time and rushing their endings, then I am not surprised. Why? Because I've seen it before from said studios and I know that they will do it again if given the chance.

While we may not be able to predict with perfect accuracy if a studio does something or not, you can't tell me with a straight face that studios don't have their unique quirks and dispositions.
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Sheleigha



Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 1474

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:04 pm Reply with quote
With the mention of Class of Heroes 2 failing as a fancy deluxe packaged Kickstarter, it DID succeed with its email signup of 2700/2500 copies claimed by people. I just hope that people won't back out and will pay for what they quotes they would.
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Yupa



Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 77
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:33 pm Reply with quote
DrizzlingEnthalpy wrote:
Anyone who's especially interested in an in-depth breakdown of the the production process behind Japanese animation and the ways in which it differs from that of Western animation should read this terrific post Peter Chung made on the AniPages forum and his follow-up posts in the same thread. Particularly interesting to me is the sakkan's role. As Chung said, the term sakkan is usually translated as "animation director" but unlike animation directors in Western animation the sakkan spends most of his time fixing the mistakes in the other animators' drawings.


Thank you, I'll go read that topic. Animation directors aren't really directors indeed, but that doesn't make their job less important.

For those who want to know more about the jobs in an anime studio I recommend this website from someone who used to work at an anime studio.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 8385

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:47 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
So this whole idea of "you can tell what a show's going to be like given the animation studio" is pure rubbish.


I dunno, people seem to still do it instinctively for studios like Production IG "It's IG, it's gotta be good!" Studios tend to get bad wraps when their writing somehow follows a pattern, even if that pattern shouldn't actually exist? GONZO is known for having WTF moments of incomprehensible plot twists and random character revelations towards the ends of shows, if the show hadn't been horrible up to that point. There's at least some level of expectation you have when you know a studio, and there's also a statue of limitations on what they've made earlier in their life. The DEEN that puts out mediocrity now is not the same Patlabor OVA DEEN.

As for Kickstarter, I wonder if the Japanese view it along the same lines as tipping. Tipping is charity, showing that someone is incapable of doing their job proudly at the wage they earn. They won't accept tips, they won't accept "keep the change", and to press on it would be insulting them. Kickstarter, regardless of how it's viewed here, would be charity in Japan, and likely shameful to a degree. It's begging for money, isn't it? Even if it's not annoying like NPR and they're for good causes, it's still begging for money. Perhaps Yuuasa breaks the Japanese mold, but not all of them may be so Western thinking. That may not be the death of all Kickstarted anime before it begins, but it must be a massive hurdle.

So you've convinced the Japanese to accept handouts, now, animation is goddamn expensive. Unless you want to only be making mediocre slice-of-life animation quality, you'll need over $150,000 per episode. I wonder how deep Western pockets go. I believe you'll really only be able to get these nice little shorts out of established animators and their teams, no full TV series or movies.

Quote:
That's right. No more bitching and complaining about how they "don't make shows for ME anymore." We raise the money and find the right people to MAKE THAT FOR US. We write the scenarios and outlines and properly pay an animation studio to produce it and we distribute it. We control it. WE OWN IT.


But who is "we"? "We" are a diverse collection of fans who all enjoy different things in the anime medium. Not all of us hold this one show or that one movie to the same high standards. Some of us are downright content with how anime is going and have a positive outlook on its future. Others have been constant doomsayers for over a decade.
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TitanXL



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 4036

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:19 pm Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:
As for Kickstarter, I wonder if the Japanese view it along the same lines as tipping. Tipping is charity, showing that someone is incapable of doing their job proudly at the wage they earn. They won't accept tips, they won't accept "keep the change", and to press on it would be insulting them. Kickstarter, regardless of how it's viewed here, would be charity in Japan, and likely shameful to a degree. It's begging for money, isn't it? Even if it's not annoying like NPR and they're for good causes, it's still begging for money. Perhaps Yuuasa breaks the Japanese mold, but not all of them may be so Western thinking. That may not be the death of all Kickstarted anime before it begins, but it must be a massive hurdle.

So you've convinced the Japanese to accept handouts, now, animation is goddamn expensive. Unless you want to only be making mediocre slice-of-life animation quality, you'll need over $150,000 per episode. I wonder how deep Western pockets go. I believe you'll really only be able to get these nice little shorts out of established animators and their teams, no full TV series or movies.


Indeed.. people who claim Kickstarter can be a future in anime seem a bit overzealous. You might be able to fund a 10 minute short like Kick-Heart, but a full 26 episode sequel to an old anime you want to see get a second season which I think most people have this idea that's what they can do with Kickstarter? Not really going to happen, sorry. Animations too expensive.
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Echo_City



Joined: 03 Apr 2011
Posts: 1236

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:42 pm Reply with quote
How I wish all video were at "real" 60 FPS or higher. Whether it be Western shows or anime on BD, 24 FPS does not seem fluid to my eye when there is much motion on screen. It annoys me greatly.
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 3206
Location: NE Ohio

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:51 pm Reply with quote
TitanXL wrote:
You might be able to fund a 10 minute short like Kick-Heart, but a full 26 episode sequel to an old anime you want to see get a second season which I think most people have this idea that's what they can do with Kickstarter?

We so often fall short of that from mainstream series nowadays, is that really the target?

I'd think the primary target would be more likely producing a modern version of the OVA, from the single shot up to something like the six episode OZMA.

However, I'd think first it has to prove itself with things like the Sols project, Kickstarting international releases of catalog titles not previously licensed overseas, with the anime industry getting comfortable with the concept that way, before people would start thinking about turning to it to hit a certain level before green lighting a production.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1141

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:14 pm Reply with quote
The only sort of anime Kickstarter I could see working here is the idea of crowdfunding an English dub. For example, let's say a company licenses an anime & is thinking about dubbing it, but feels that it might not be worth the risk. Still, the fans for that show (let's imagine it's a show like Mononoke or Dennou Coil [i.e. niche, but has a fervent & loving fanbase]) are really happy that the anime has been licensed, and a dub would help in spreading the love...

So the company contacts a few dubbing studios about possibly crowdfunding an English dub for the anime: If the funding is successful then the dub gets made, if not then it's a sub-only release. Naturally, most studios are hesitant to the idea of possibly not getting work, but one company says yes, so the company & studio start getting the project started. There could be bonuses for higher pledges, like getting a copy of the dual-audio release, a signed copy of same release by a member of the cast, a "thank you" message from the dub cast, or even a visit to the studio so you can see the dubbing in action.

Anime fans who want more dubs to be made & released, especially for the more niche shows that tend to not get dubbed, would win by getting a dubbed release & the company that licensed the show isn't losing out as much by having to pay for the dub themselves (to not put all of the costs on the fans, the company could even only have the crowdfunding be for a portion of the costs, with the company paying the remainder should the funding be successful). I don't want to say "everyone wins", but it definitely is a mostly win-win situation... Unless the funding fails, but even then the anime still gets released, just as sub-only. Granted, I can only see this idea work for 12-13-ish episode shows, maybe a 24-26 at the absolute most, if only to keep the goal low enough to seem reasonable.
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kgw



Joined: 22 Jul 2004
Posts: 346
Location: Spain, EU

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:28 pm Reply with quote
Problem about Kickstarter and anime is that you depend of the Japanese companies. And maybe they want the deal close now, not expecting 30 days until your company close the bid or not.

As for the Spanish company's not release of Haruhi. Let's say there is not evidence that "telling worldwide the price of their licenses" were the real motive. Kadokawa never stated anything. The only thing we know is that they just cancel the deal as soon as they know about the bid in Kickstarter.

Any way, licenses' negotiations are usually very confidential -NDAs and everything-. Confidentiality =/= Telling in the Internet how much you gotta pay.
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CrownKlown



Joined: 05 May 2011
Posts: 1132

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:47 pm Reply with quote
@barbara, NISA still does exactly that with both games and anime. they release limited editions of games and premium editions of anime. And although a lot of people don't like their price so does Aniplex for anime. hell games are having a renaissance with every halo and gears being packaged with hulking statues for 150 dollar premiums.
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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 6246
Location: Penguinopolis

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:45 pm Reply with quote
Letting the masses take part in a creative process is flawed because by and large the masses aren't creative. You'll get these weird Frankenstein's Monster creations put together by random people on the internet.

It's hard for me to figure out just what anime studio I would consider the best, outside of Ghibli. I've never disliked anything I've seen from Gainax, but they've only made a few shows I would consider outstanding. I also have to consider I haven't seen EVERYTHING by EVERY studio, so I have to look at tendancies. Sunrise made a lot of my favorite anime in the 80s and 90s, but that's largely because I'm a Gundam fan. Outside of Gundam, there's still Cowboy Bebop and Escaflowne, Big O, Outlaw Star, and Planetes. But not a whole lot more and their recent shows aren't that great. Bones makes beautiful-looking shows with good production values, but sometimes stumble in their executions. I love both FMA shows, the CB movie, and think Darker than Black is pretty neat, but Wolf's Rain was a disappointment, Scrapped Princess is almost unwatchable, I never got into Rahxephon, and E7 is okay at best. Production IG made the first two Patlabor movies, GitS: SAC, and Eden of the East, so there's a candidate, too.
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roxfan



Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:26 am Reply with quote
Crowdfunding can work for licensing, and here's the proof:

http://store.otaku.ru/​catalog/​product/​2926.​html
http://store.otaku.ru/​catalog/​product/​45112.​html

Google translate will probably mangle it so I'll summarize. Reanimedia, one of the few successful anime licensors in Russia and CIS, made a program titled "People's License". In it, you could buy a certificate for 1000 roubles (~$30), and the money then would be used to try and secure the licenses for the movies mentioned. They did not mention the target sum ("due to the legal reasons") but they did display the percentage collected.
In case of success, the certificates would give you the right to receive a limited edition of one of the movies in the program, or use the sum for purchasing anything in the company's online shop.

The first time they ran it to secure funds for licensing Shinkai's Hoshi o Ou Kodomo and it was successful. The second one (for two Hosoda movies and Eva 2 and 3) ran from the 3rd September until the end of 2012 and managed to collect 115% of the target amount (100% was reached on 20th December).

Right now they're trying to fund a documentary about animation industry and fans in Japan. This one is much more Kickstarter-like, with several participation levels and various merchandise. For this one, they do list a target sum (182500 RUR which is around $6000). It started on February 26th and 56% reached already.
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reanimator



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 933

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:48 am Reply with quote
Echo_City wrote:
How I wish all video were at "real" 60 FPS or higher. Whether it be Western shows or anime on BD, 24 FPS does not seem fluid to my eye when there is much motion on screen. It annoys me greatly.


Is it just me or your eyes are too used to video games?
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