What common traits of 'contemporary' i.e. 2011 anime style?

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Keilis
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Re: What common traits of 'contemporary' i.e. 2011 anime sty

#16 Post by Keilis » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:18 am

@LateWhiteRabbit: I like your examples, as they do pretty much reflect a lot of the changes over the decades. But, I don't think that being more stylized makes it easier to look dated as time passes on. Look at Dragon Ball; the style's ridiculously iconic and over-the-top. Large foreheads and hair, huge and overemphasized muscles, tiny noses and mouths, and angular everything. I'm not talking about the anime, but rather the style of Akira Toriyama in general. If you read Dragon Ball the manga, you'll see that the style's still very relevant today. I can't put my finger on why Toriyama's works are so timeless, but even reading the volumes of DB that I've got today, I think it's still a feast for the eyes. Same goes for Pokemon Adventure (I'd say the old artist's style is more classic than the new artist's, in fact), which is extremely simple, cutesy, and round.

As for my own two cents on the trends of 2011, I'd say:

- realistic anatomy: conservative with pretty much everything (small eyes, regular-sized noses and mouths)
- no more wacky hair, and reflects more on current trends of Japan
- relatively less saturated in colour in contrast to the '90s
- a lot less (if any) shine in hair
- digital backgrounds: fewer of them are painted now, though they still often try to retain the style of it; lighting effects are added to better reflect the overall lighting of the scene and blend better with the character lighting
see Guilty Crown, Fate/Zero, Bakuman, Gintama', Natsume's Book of Friends, Persona 4: The Animation, Sengoku Basara, Pixiv art

Basically, we're in a rather conservative period in terms of animation style, other than your usual moe-moe stuff.

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Re: What common traits of 'contemporary' i.e. 2011 anime sty

#17 Post by AxemRed » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:31 am

Taleweaver wrote:
AxemRed wrote:
Taleweaver wrote:You're trying to go for timeless anime-style art? Ghibli girl! Hasn't changed since 1974!
1984
I stand corrected about Nausicaa. But what about
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/41 ... liose.png/
Vintage 1979.
Studio Ghibli was only founded after Nausicaa -- it's more Miyazaki style than Ghibli style then. Artists sticking to a style for decades is very common, but that doesn't necessarily make that style timeless.

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Re: What common traits of 'contemporary' i.e. 2011 anime sty

#18 Post by Taleweaver » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:44 am

AxemRed wrote:Studio Ghibli was only founded after Nausicaa -- it's more Miyazaki style than Ghibli style then. Artists sticking to a style for decades is very common, but that doesn't necessarily make that style timeless.
I know Miyazaki created that style (during Castle of Cagliostro, Ghibli wasn't even a wet dream), but no matter who the lead artist in current Ghibli productions is, it's always that same style - "Ghibli girl". Thanks for calling me out on terminology when you didn't have anything to respond to the "timeless art style" argument.
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Re: What common traits of 'contemporary' i.e. 2011 anime sty

#19 Post by AxemRed » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:13 am

Taleweaver wrote:
AxemRed wrote:Studio Ghibli was only founded after Nausicaa -- it's more Miyazaki style than Ghibli style then. Artists sticking to a style for decades is very common, but that doesn't necessarily make that style timeless.
I know Miyazaki created that style (during Castle of Cagliostro, Ghibli wasn't even a wet dream), but no matter who the lead artist in current Ghibli productions is, it's always that same style - "Ghibli girl". Thanks for calling me out on terminology when you didn't have anything to respond to the "timeless art style" argument.
Your argument was: "Ghibli character designs haven't changed". My response was: "That's not a strong argument for timelessness".

Rumiko Takahashi style also hasn't changed in 30 years, yet someone earlier in the thread called out Inuyasha as an example of a dated style. (I don't really agree with that, but still...)

Mitsuru Adachi has been drawing in the same style for 30 years, and it looks very dated to me.

The character designs in Twin Spica (2001-2009) looks -very- similar to the art in "Heidi, Girl of the Alps" (1974). It's noticeably more simplistic than current desgins, but I wouldn't necessarily call it outdated.

Kaiba (2008) has character designs that look like they walked straight out of an early 60's Tezuka manga, but the coloring, animation and backgrounds look modern. Does that mean that Tezuka characters are timeless or not?

Lack of change does not imply timelessness. To show timelessness, you need to further argue that the artstyle doesn't look dated today. You never explicitly made that argument, so I felt the need to clarify.

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Re: What common traits of 'contemporary' i.e. 2011 anime sty

#20 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:29 am

Keilis wrote:@LateWhiteRabbit: I like your examples, as they do pretty much reflect a lot of the changes over the decades. But, I don't think that being more stylized makes it easier to look dated as time passes on. Look at Dragon Ball; the style's ridiculously iconic and over-the-top. Large foreheads and hair, huge and overemphasized muscles, tiny noses and mouths, and angular everything. I'm not talking about the anime, but rather the style of Akira Toriyama in general. If you read Dragon Ball the manga, you'll see that the style's still very relevant today. I can't put my finger on why Toriyama's works are so timeless, but even reading the volumes of DB that I've got today, I think it's still a feast for the eyes. Same goes for Pokemon Adventure (I'd say the old artist's style is more classic than the new artist's, in fact), which is extremely simple, cutesy, and round.
I guess we can agree to disagree. I think Akira Toriyama's style looks ridiculously dated, and I say that as a fan of his work on Chrono Trigger. In fact, I put forward the hypothesis that his style was a major influence on other artists in the 1990s like I showed. The type of over the top hair, eyes, colors, and muscles he used and the wide spread fame of his Dragonball work, not to mention all the Dragon Quest games, all likely helped usher in the prevalence of styles like that in 1990s. After all, his was some of the most successful works in manga and anime in the late 1980s.

I think it is important to say at this point that just because something looks dated - that doesn't mean it doesn't look good. I think Toriyama's designs are a lot of fun, but they consistently make me think of anime from my youth in 1980s. And especially the early 1990s. I enjoy it because it reminds me of childhood, but it is in no way "timeless", which is what we are debating or trying to decide here.

We are trying to come up with the "black suit and tie" or "black dress" of anime styles. Just like those two kinds of dress have a timeless quality that continues to look good in any era, so too are we trying to decide what constitutes the same in anime. Like the tie can differ in width or knot, so too can small details in anime style still be different and not detract from a timeless look. But I think designs like I showed from 1990s and Akira Toriyama are like the ruffled shirts and pastel suits of fashion as far as timelessness goes. Toriyama was/is really a victim of his own success - he trail-blazed a new and unique style that got copied in variation for a long time until it burnt itself out. I think at this point he is really the only one who can use that style and it NOT seem ridiculous or dated.
Keilis wrote: As for my own two cents on the trends of 2011, I'd say:

- realistic anatomy: conservative with pretty much everything (small eyes, regular-sized noses and mouths)
- no more wacky hair, and reflects more on current trends of Japan
- relatively less saturated in colour in contrast to the '90s
- a lot less (if any) shine in hair
- digital backgrounds: fewer of them are painted now, though they still often try to retain the style of it; lighting effects are added to better reflect the overall lighting of the scene and blend better with the character lighting

Basically, we're in a rather conservative period in terms of animation style, other than your usual moe-moe stuff.
I totally agree with that breakdown, though I'm not sure if it due to being conservative, or because it is finally possible do this animation style on TV instead of movie budgets.

The real evolution has been in TV anime. The anime movies have a remarkably consistent style over the decades, though as AxemRed points out, a lot of that is individual artists - Osamu Tezuka, Miyazaki, Satoshi Kon, etc. but it probably says something that the movies that remain popular decades after are mostly in their styles - a realistic one. All of them drew real noses on their characters for one thing! :lol:
AxemRed wrote: Lack of change does not imply timelessness. To show timelessness, you need to further argue that the artstyle doesn't look dated today. You never explicitly made that argument, so I felt the need to clarify.
One could also argue that timelessness is any style that consistently remains popular for decades and decades. But that's what we are trying to figure out. Is Tezuka timeless? One definition of "timeless" is something not restricted to a certain time or date. Styles, even if distinct, that enjoy widespread success and popularity for 30-40 years are certainly strong contenders if that is the case.

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Re: What common traits of 'contemporary' i.e. 2011 anime sty

#21 Post by DaFool » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:54 am

Keilis wrote: - digital backgrounds: fewer of them are painted now, though they still often try to retain the style of it; lighting effects are added to better reflect the overall lighting of the scene and blend better with the character lighting

Basically, we're in a rather conservative period in terms of animation style, other than your usual moe-moe stuff.
Yeah I thought it was just Hanasaku Iroha going overboard with the 3D but upon closer inspection practically a lot of other current-gen works use it. It's only usually very noticeable during street scenes though. I would concede that Uncle Mugen was right all along in terms of modern approach, but I am still prepared to shell out cash just to see an inspiring Disney, Vanillaware, or heck even Atelier style handdrawn BG.

I have a hunch... aside from the Production IG works, most late night anime now have roughly the same budget since they're using the same setpieces. So what makes one series stand apart from the rest is purely on the merits of its story or characters.

I think we're sort of reaching some stylistic steady-state in all forms of media and design. With the internet its so much easier to diffuse a new technique so that soon practically everybody is employing it, e.g. all the After Effects you can shake a stick at.

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Re: What common traits of 'contemporary' i.e. 2011 anime sty

#22 Post by Dollywitch » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:13 pm

I don't think there's anything wrong with crazy designs, hair colours etc. and while I prefer the more tasteful colour palettes of modern anime that sort of thing is a big part in what "anime" means to me.

Penguindrum balances the two quite well, IMO, though leans more towards the realistic side. It doesn't try to take an easy route out, and isn't afraid to use colour.

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Re: What common traits of 'contemporary' i.e. 2011 anime sty

#23 Post by Meems » Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:40 am

I'm actually very fond of '90s anime style - crazy colours, bad anatomy and all - though this is largely nostalgia; I first got into anime in the late '90s/early 2000s, but there were still a lot of series around from the earlier half of the '90s and they were a tremendous influence on me early on.

I find trying to analyse the way anime has evolved over the decades very interesting. What I have noticed, reading this thread, is that in some ways - particularly the move towards more naturalistic designs and anatomy, even when some stylisation is used - we're seeing a move back towards the styles popular in the '60s and '70s. Of course the anime being produced today doesn't look exactly like those earlier styles, but there are some elements, I think, that are being revived. Whether that makes those styles "timeless" or merely "fashionably retro" is another debate, of course.

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Re: What common traits of 'contemporary' i.e. 2011 anime sty

#24 Post by Desu_Cake » Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:42 pm

One thing I've noticed is that lately, anime have been trying harder to actually look like what they're based off of.
For example- Kaibutsu Oujo/Princess Ressurection
The original manga looks like this:
Image

The 2007 anime looks like this:
Image

The 2010 OVA looks like this:
Image

Now, the fact that the OVA clearly had a better animation budget is a contributing factor, but it's pretty obvious that they focused way more on keeping the style of the manga than the anime did. See also; Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle anime & OVA's.

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Re: What common traits of 'contemporary' i.e. 2011 anime sty

#25 Post by Dollywitch » Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:05 am

Colours look kinda messed up in the second one though :E

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Re: What common traits of 'contemporary' i.e. 2011 anime sty

#26 Post by Elze » Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:34 pm

Actually, I think the current "trendy" style seems to go for simplistic and graphic appeal. Just take a look at the big hits. I'm thinking along the lines of Durarara, Ao no Exorcist, Mawaru Penguin Drum, Inazuma Eleven, No. 6 and Uta no Prince-sama maji love 1000. With the exception of Tiger & Bunny (which had an old school shounen vibe to its style), all the popular (mostly shounen) anime had cleaner and fewer lines, with simpler features, and the eyes seem to be smaller and more 'foxish' or 'slitted' in nature. A lot of anime also go for simpler noses and simple clean jawlines. The bodies are also more organic and less rigid.

Some examples of modern popular anime:
Image
Image Image
Image
Image

Durarara isn't really that new compared to the other examples, but it seems to be one of the pioneers that started this current trend or season for simpler designs(hair and face) in shounen anime (that has a large female following). Overall, you can see variation in the various anime series, but most of them have forgone the details in face such as lashes and defined noses. A good way to check on what's considered popular for anime is to go on pixiv and check on their daily rankings. You'd notice that a lot of the artwork that gets into the top 50 share a similar trend. Moe art of females take after the likes of K-on or Shana, and shounen or BL art of males take after the likes of Drrr or uta no prince-sama.

It's easier to define what's "current" than what's "timeless", since the former is easier to achieve. But chances are, if your designs are simpler and don't have that many "trendy details", it'll probably stay in style longer.
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Re: What common traits of 'contemporary' i.e. 2011 anime sty

#27 Post by thomasclark » Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:40 am

I think you all are outdated or you never heard about the Oscar winning movie in motion sensor category “Adventure of TinTin” this is an animation, you all talking about 2012 animation??? This animation movie released in 2011. So think about it!

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