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How Important is Period Costume Accuracy in Historical Anime?


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IceLeaf



Joined: 08 Sep 2019
Posts: 82
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 5:59 pm Reply with quote
I feel like a lot of these are being very nitpicky as the several of the series aren't actually historical anime and are more set in fantasy based alternate world's. And since all the examples are from the more shonen side you're less likely to get accurate historical outfits as shonen series both use more simplified designs that would prevent some of the more intricate historical outfits and also they are primarily action and as both western and eastern period clothing both tend to rely on more layers of fabric you either lose the body movement or the animators have to animated a whole lot of fabric swirling about every time a character moves which would make it take longer to animate especially if you have an entire cast of characters wearing the same style of outfits. Plus with the vinland saga section mentioning out of date items, while several hundred years might be a bit far out of date for a style to still be worn even for armour, you do have to give leway for clothes throughout history tended to be past down and worn through family especially if they weren't wealthy or the item sentimental value and family owned armour was one thing that did tend to be based down to use. In terms of handed down outfits while some might be altered to fit more into the more current fashionable style, without having to buy more fabric, hangover parts from old styles could still remain in garments
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Morry



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 6:01 pm Reply with quote
For me, how the show presents itself at first is important.

If it looks wacky and nonsensical to any historian from the get-go, fair enough. You're clearly going for style, and I can unconsciously think of it as some sort of alternate reality.

If you start off looking and acting like a serious period piece, then devolve into more and more anachronisms, that gets red marks from me. At that point, I want to feel like I'm going back in time to be a fly on the wall.

I'm generally pretty lenient with fashion, though. Sometimes it's clothes from the wrong decade, but most won't notice that. It's all hundreds of years ago to them. Same with clothes which are unlikely but "feasible" to have been manufactured with that period's technology even if not fashionable. It's where you get the "medieval" skintight rubber leotards with exposed chest or whatever that I raise an eyebrow.
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Engineering Nerd



Joined: 24 Apr 2008
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Location: Southern California
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 6:05 pm Reply with quote
In terms of period accuracy, I was very disappointed to see Maria the Virgin Witch did not get mentioned at all, from weapons to common culture, it even gets some recognitions from non-anime-fans Crying or Very sad
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 6:17 pm Reply with quote
Rebecca is going to love this article. Smile I'm just impressed that you know the names of all these articles of clothing. Which leads me to ask if you happen to know what the meat-bun hairstyle with the fabric covers (see Chun-Li) is actually called. Assuming it's not just an anime invention.

I'm also kind of surprised Morarty The Patriot wasn't among the series evaluated. Guess there's only so much room though.
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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 6:49 pm Reply with quote
I have been curious about clothing-based worldbuilding -- that is, outside of specifically historical fiction*. I know practically everything about clothing goes in and out of style, but what logic is there to it beyond the whims of the day? If you're writing fantasy or science fiction, what do the clothes in use tell you about the society? About their mores, their technology, their labor organization, their natural resources? It seems like there's a lot of potential there for making a setting feel both convincing and distinct, and I'm sure there must be writers who make a point of it, but I don't have nearly the background necessary to know who they are or pick up on the messages they're sending. About the limit of my knowledge is a couple bits from The Stormlight Archive, like "textiles are mostly plant-based, and while they don't have critters like silkworms, there is a 'seasilk' plant that grows in the ocean near the coasts" and "fans suspect that the Vorin practice of women covering their left hands was meant to keep them from using Shardblades".

*There I gather it's mainly a matter of fidelity to the source, or making compromises with it to express character or look cool. And fandom, at least in other contexts, has a bit of a problem with overvaluing fidelity. So, that I'm not so interested in.
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 8:18 pm Reply with quote
Morry wrote:
For me, how the show presents itself at first is important.

If it looks wacky and nonsensical to any historian from the get-go, fair enough. You're clearly going for style, and I can unconsciously think of it as some sort of alternate reality.

This is why I give "Appare-Ranman!" a pass because it does that!
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Gem-Bug



Joined: 10 Nov 2018
Posts: 252
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 8:22 pm Reply with quote
I think D.Gray Man and Black Butler both waffle between pretty accurate Victoria era styles and more varied/original battle outfits.
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tywhoppity



Joined: 09 Sep 2019
Posts: 47
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 9:06 pm Reply with quote
No love for Golden Kamuy?
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Coco-girl



Joined: 24 Mar 2018
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:01 pm Reply with quote
tywhoppity wrote:
No love for Golden Kamuy?


Right!? Like I was looking for someone to mention it but no luck Crying or Very sad
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Q4000



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 35
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 1:07 am Reply with quote
Agree with the first post. Most of the titles mentioned leans more to 'heavily influenced' rather than to 'attempting historical accuracy'. And as someone who is not exactly well-versed with the fashions earlier than the American 60's and can't tell apart a fedora from a trilby, unless it's totally obvious I won't know the difference.

Shay Guy wrote:
I haveAbout the limit of my knowledge is a couple bits from The Stormlight Archive, like "textiles are mostly plant-based, and while they don't have critters like silkworms, there is a 'seasilk' plant that grows in the ocean near the coasts" and "fans suspect that the Vorin practice of women covering their left hands was meant to keep them from using Shardblades".

I remember a WoB about this. The safehand was influenced by tradition that women were expected to perform tasks primarily or solely with one hand, a symbol of delicacy, whereas men were expected to use both hands, a symbol of strength or force. Though Brandon did say he would expound on this eventually in the books. Great to see a Cosmere fan here.
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mangaka-chan



Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 278
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 2:31 am Reply with quote
I’m surprised no one mentioned Victorian Romance Emma or Kaoru Mori’s other opus, The Bride’s Tale (which has yet to get the anime treatment). The amount of detail and research in both works is astonishing and I have so much respect for Mori-sensei for all the hard work she must put in to bring settings as diverse as Victorian England and turn of the century Central Asia to life.
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HoshizoranoUtage



Joined: 20 Jul 2020
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 5:49 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
Which leads me to ask if you happen to know what the meat-bun hairstyle with the fabric covers (see Chun-Li) is actually called. Assuming it's not just an anime invention.

"Double bun" in English, "odango" in Japanese, apparently:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bun_(hairstyle)

EDIT: the url won't link correctly because of the parens. Just copy/paste it.
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marshmallowpie



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 262
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 9:42 am Reply with quote
If there's an anime that I wished had more period-accurate clothing, it's Princess Principal. Well, the male characters look fine, but there's a very huge double standard... all the short skirts and the corset lacing / corsets as an outer layer... Dorothy's spy outfit is the worst. I'm sure that outfit would be too much even for a prostitute in 1900. The corset as a shirt and the boob harness! Plus the micro-miniskirt. Gazelle's outfit is awful as well – suit and tie with... side-split booty shorts and a pointless leg harness? Thanks, I hate it.
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AkumaChef



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 766
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 10:06 am Reply with quote
I appreciate historical accuracy, especially if the show is clearly striving to be more realistic rather than highly stylized. But I do think it can be overdone, and sometimes too much historical accuracy can make scenes less dramatic.

Let's say we have a scene in which our hero is drawing back a bow. It's quite likely there will be a "creaking" sort of sound effect added. That's not realistic, bows don't make noise when you draw them, but that creak sound adds dramatic tension to the scene.

As another example, let's say we're doing an action shot of two knights fighting it out during the battle of Agincourt. Realistically they would have been wearing full-face helmets, something like a pig-face bascinet. But we probably don't want them to be doing so in our anime (or film). Those helmets look pretty stupid, and if the characters are wearing a helmet then the camera can't see their dramatic facial expressions as they fight. Also the helmet with full-face covering would mean we can't hear them talk clearly whereas we probably want to be able to hear the actors deliver their dramatic lines during the fight. So for situations like that I don't mind unrealistic costume choices because the choice adds something to to film.
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 16528
Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 10:27 am Reply with quote
While I am not obsessive about it, I do look at historical accuracy for series set in specific time periods, so I appreciated this quite a bit.

I could see this becoming a recurring feature - perhaps once every one or two seasons look at a couple of recent series with historical settings and a handful of old ones.
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