It matters a lot because most anime has completely uninteresting visual direction. Anime has had to build up shortcuts to hide the limited animation so so many anime looks pretty much the same. That's part of why studios like KyoAni are great. They can experiment more with camera angles because they can actually animate them. Otherwise you get the super limited stuff like old Shaft which is only good in occasional doses.
That’s the premise Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu (lit. The Lover’s Suicide of Mid-Showa Rakugo) begins with. Currently, only the first OAD has been released, with a second coming in August, after which the TV anime series is set to begin. Shinichi Omata (alias Mamoru Hatakeyama) holds the directorial position for both works. It’ll be the third work of which he’s taken a directorship, after Rozen Maiden — Zurückspulen and Sankarea. From the first OAD alone, it looks promising.
Rakugo Shinjuu noticeably departs, both in aesthetic and narrative detail, from the material one might expect from a manga adaptation. Over the course of its forty-three minute running time, the narrative complexifies in dramatic bounds. Yakumo accepts Kyouji as his apprentice, granting him the nickname Youtarou (“dim-witted man”), only for the latter to find out that the master has no intention of passing on his craft; he plans instead on taking the art with him to the grave in a “lover’s suicide”. Konatsu, a young lady in Yakumo’s care after the death of her father—another rakugo performer—and who wants desperately to practice the male-dominated art, accuses Yakumo of “killing” her father. Youtarou and Konatsu form a teacher-student relationship as the latter reluctantly agrees to teach the apprentice what she learned from her father. And one of Youtarou’s old yakuza pals (the same one he took the blow for) comes around to try and rope him back into crime. Some number of developments later, the episode reaches its climax with Youtarou’s first successful performance: “Dekigokoro” (passing fancy).
>>136169499 It presents all of this with a kind of subdued, almost unnoticeable deliberateness. Shots rarely take on dramatic angles, the majority of them are medium shots with characters blocked into the center of the shot. Jarring contrasts, abstractions and juxtapositions are exclusively reserved for Yakumo’s performances, and even they’re rather tame. The OAD’s depiction of the rakugo stage is clean and symmetrical, free of any heavy shadows or major points of visual attention save for the actor.
But this unpretentiousness serves a purpose. It separates the world of the performance—characterized in Yakumo’s performances by stark contrasts, in the comic material by simple archetypes, and in other performances like these by simple lighting—from the messier real world, which is marked with heavy, dramatic shadows and high degrees of visual clutter.
>>136169552 Equally impressively, the camerawork accentuates both Youtarou’s and Yakumo’s performative strengths. When Youtarou tries to practice Yakumo’s “Shinigami” routine, Konatsu walks in and tells him, “The shinigami persona doesn’t fit you. That kind of dark Death personality only works because the old man does it.” (A statement which, satisfyingly, is also informed by Konatsu’s intense dislike of Yakumo.) Accordingly, Yakumo’s performance constantly draws attention to his frail frame, with his thin hands and aged, sexy eyes. The camera acts differently for Youtarou during his (twelve minute long!) “Dekigokoro” routine: his silly, expressive face is constantly in view, and as he warms up to his routine, the camera begins to take on more dynamic angles.
Thematically, perhaps it’s too early to speak. There are ideas, in their nascent stages, here and there. The influence of one’s life on their art—Youtarou picks the “Dekigokoro” story because it involves an ineffective thief, reminding him of his own time as a petty gangster. There’s the idea of the “right role”—Konatsu’s comment about Youtarou’s “Shinigami”; Konatsu’s inability to break into rakugo because she’s a woman. It just remains to be seen whether these seeds, and a couple of unmentioned others, sprout into anything worthwhile.
the fact that we have two (two!) watchable shows this season is a goddamn blessing had real low hopes for TV this year but we're already off to a great start
>>136169343 did you make that? do one for the gon / hanzo and killua / illumi fights (28 & 29?), that was another highlight most of this show was gorgeous but that instance plus the suffering of kurapika is what really sold it for me, definitely an all-time favourite
>>136169761 >>136169598 don't post other people's blogs, if you wanna do that I think reddit's prolly more fitting for you if you wanna discuss something, then address the points yourself
>>136169404 This is the exact opposite of how things work though. Having a higher budget allows the director to do whatever they want which means you'll often get generic visual direction. When the creators have budget and other constraints, it challenges them to come up with new and interesting ways to show a scene. Hence why your statement that KyoAni "experiments" and SHAFT doesn't is wrong.
Posting this image in order to not start a KyoAni vs SHAFT war since I like both, but you're dead wrong.
>>136170779 that seems like a load of nonsense in all honesty we get big budget animated movies directed by the heavy hitters at the same time as small-time short TV series directed by micro-auteurs no one's heard of; I think interesting visuals are almost exclusively a product of the people working on it, rather than the money flowing through it
>>136170779 You might expect that is the case, and in a sense it is when you, say, compare anime to Western cartoons, but within anime it's actually not. It's usually the cheap/average anime with the most uninteresting visual direction. And you'll even notice in such anime when they have their "sakuga" episodes the visual direction becomes much more creative.
Anime storyboarders are lazy, and generally rely on the same visual tropes that have been used a million times before unless they have a good reason not to or you're dealing with someone really good.
On a shot to shot basis, KyoAni is a lot more experimental. You just don't notice it because you're conflating Shaft having a weird, very distinctive style in general with being creative within that style. They've been doing the same thing for over 10 years now.
>>136171347 lots of stilted angles, nothing spectacular it's a pretty show but nothing can save the atrocious writing which is silly of me to say, since at the same time Grimgar's atrocious writing is plenty saved by the visuals
>>136172271 Itoh's doing lots of cool shit with bars and fences and the like, obscuring details (like in your webm) or detaching characters from the rest of the scene. That one shot in the second episode where he enters the class for the first time was sweet, made me pause and look at it some more.
>>136172311 I've seen people whine about certain productions not taking advantage of their formal advantages as animation, but I think a naturalistic style is understated. Like, the fact that people can draw pictures and turn that into a realistic portrayal of life is pretty fucking impressive if you ask me.
>>136172423 Yeah, I'm not expecting to be particularly impressed with it but the director's a name I'm certainly watching.
>>136174683 Dude, this and Erased both are demonstrating a level of quality that's super surprising for TV anime, especially of late. Should be not-that-bad of a year, there's quite a bit coming out that I'm interested in.
>>136175165 Speaking of first person cinematography, that cut at the end of Gundam Thunderbolt was insanely good. Give it a watch if you ever get the chance.
I would post my compilation picture of Ruroken OP/ED art but I lost it.
Instead, just watch them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJGZOELiZFc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba4rEf9XnWo Look at them photographs.
Also, unrelated to the thread but holy shit, compared to the weak-ass music I had access to in primary school, Ruroken's OPs and EDs felt like goddamn crack. Thanks to whoever decided to leave the original songs for the latin american dub.
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