Ian's Rambles - Anime Vs Western Animation Teachers

In any context where I have been around teachers and students of animation, whether it be as a student myself, working in the industry where senior staff are instructing junior or as a teacher, there has been this struggle. Over and over I’ve seen teachers roll their eyes at a students insistence at copying the Anime look and just as often I’ve seen students shoulders slump as they are discouraged from producing work in a style they dearly love. This year a large percentage of our new students at Southbank are obviously into Anime, so I thought it might be an issue worth visiting.

Before we go too far lets just take a moment to ...........

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Lisa said...

couldn't agree more, Ian.

Ian said...

Ta Lisa

Always good to have some backup from someone in the biz :)

Terry said...

What a beautifully written article Ian. I agree wholeheatedly. It's been interesting to see the resurgence of interest in Anime this year - our last few batches of students haven't been huge fans of the Japanese stuff. But with 23 of our 25 new students listing it as a big influence, it's obviously back in a big way.

Kristi said...

Anime is a pretty big field really. I mean, there's Ghost in the Shell and Akira, and then there's Yu-Gi-Oh and Dragonball Z...
Perhaps the true anime obsessives should be in an illustration course, not an animation course?

Ian said...

If we did that we would have to send away most of this years students.

A fact of life is that we need people who are into Anime, and if thats the case we have to run a course that works for them.

What I hope to communicate is that its worth learning about full animation and animation principles anyway, in the end it will make any kind of animation (including Anime) better.

Even if I conceded that there were some things you didn't need to know to make good Anime (which I don't), the skills we teach will help people get started in the industry. A point from which they can work towards their own goals while being paid to do something creative, instead of flipping burgers.

Ian said...

I do like a lot of Anime, and like the idea of a great anime animator coming from our course. As long as that person is leavinf with a well rounded understanding of the craft of animation.

To achieve this the Anime style may have to be put on the back burner for some activities, or even many activities while a student. I just hope students with who love Anime can see the greater good in it.

Mitch said...

Link to my reply


you KNOW you wanna go there ^_^

Princess Dabby said...

Besides the fact that my eye's have gone all funny after reading that, I agree! I used to resist doing anything but anime as well but my dad used to get mad at me cause it was the only thing i did ("You'll never get any where if you only do one sort of style Dana!!")
Ever since I went to the Griffith opening day I relized that I needed to change my style, and I've never really gone back to anime since.
Although it would be great to become an illustrator (cause colouring can be soooo much fun) I know that the reality is that I'll have a much better time finding a job with animation.

See Ian, your not the bringer of bad news in my world, my dad was the one who got to pop my nice little bubble and boy was I unhappy.
But I'm glad he did ^__^

Ian said...

Your dad sounds wise and learned Dana :)

Although don't feel that you have to abandon Anime all together. Its just that variety is good.

Princess Dabby said...

Mmm...i don't see it as abandoning it, I could still do it if i tried, I just find drawing a more disney style fun. It also makes drawing expressions easier for me =D..Even if my no. 1 expression is a cheesy grin >__>

Danielli said...

There were far too many big words in that post, and to be honest i didn't read it, but i agree whole heartedly with you, unless you said something i disagree with then we shall do battle at dawn!!!

frank said...

Is Miyazaki anime?

I thought I read somewhere. maybe even one of his own quotes, that he is not "anime".

I like Miyazki's style of animation and would like to bring elements of it into developing my own style. Particularly his narratives and use of strong female characters.

Other than that, Anime is appealing to look at, so bring that along you anime-ators and anime haters, and apply that concept in your smooth well rounded craft.


Hayao Miyazaki said...

I think that too many movies are influenced by manga, especially dramatic manga.

...I suppose that manga are the root of the ideas. Manga techniques are at play in how the world is viewed or re-structured.
Recently, I was doing a movie called 'Futari' (directed by Nobuhiko Oobayashi), which featured Tomoko Nakajima and Hikari Ishida.

I hated the movie once I'd seen it. I was very unhappy with it. I thought that there were too many long talking-heads shots. I thought it was a comic strip.

The director made it as though time and space could be extended freely, as they can be in a manga. Therefore, there was absolutely no tension that would shorten the passing time.

When all is said and done, a movie is time. When you want to show a face for 2 seconds, and this look must only take up 18 frames, the tension of how to distill those 18 frames and express that feeling must be present, or else you are wasting your time.

Everything is expression.

It might seem like you're ordering someone to feel something, but that's no different than using a close-up of a face in the frame of a manga. This director also was not making a movie-he was making a manga...

courtneyradcliffe said...

as you know, i dont actually have the attention span to read all of that, but i read snippets.

and i completely agree with this " I sometimes stop to count how many seconds they can pass without anything actually being animated at all as two character gaze at each other across the battlefield thinking deep thoughts."

i am currently watching one of these scenes in Naruto, which i usually fast forward. but this time i thought, okay i have about 3 minuets to kill, i might go perve on Ian's blog.

:) cheerio dear, keep up the good rambling.

Cassie said...

Anime is produced on a small scale level.. with little time or money they try to get away with all shortcuts in the book.. that's why you cannot try to emulate it because you would probably throw out all the traditional principles that made all those old animators great.
Note: too much detail will kill your fingers!!!