Anime Artwork Adventures #2

You could probably consider this a Summer 2014 issue of Artwork Adventures, as shows that ended this past week feature pretty heavily.

Fanart is an interesting thing because it represents a level of fandom engagement different than what we often experience on blogs, Twitter, Reddit, or on anime forums. It’s always fascinating to me that there’s basically another entirely different segment of the fandom (a ridiculously talented segment) that spends their time creating artwork of the shows they love, rather than just yakking away about it. Anyways, on to the pictures!

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Anime Artwork Adventures #1

Hello all! This is a new, experimental recurring feature that I want to start up here on the blog. Inspired by Nate Ming’s Fanart Friday articles that happen over on Crunchyroll each Friday and by my love of pretty pictures (as I can’t create them myself) and by my newfound friend Pixiv, this is intended to be an opportunity for me to showcase some of the cool fanart that I find that otherwise might go unseen by the English-speaking, non-Pixiv-using anime fandom. Depending on how things go, I may reach out to some other platforms (DeviantArt, etc.), too. I’m no art critic, but I’ll at least try and explain what attracted my attention to each picture. For now, sit back and enjoy!

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Under the Dog Update #27: On The Animation Process

Surprise! It’s a bonus Thursday post! (Don’t worry, Zankyou no Terror will be happening later today.)

So, I recently backed the Kickstarter anime OVA Under the Dog (directed by Masahiro Ando, notable—to me—for his work as the director of Blast of Tempest) and since I’ve done that, the UTD team has been sending out pretty consistent updates on the project that get sent to my email.

Their most recent update, #27, details a piece of the animation process and, to be frank, it totally blew my mind. Like, I knew creating anime was no cakewalk, but the frame-by-frame focus necessary to produce this stuff (even on a crappy level) is just…amazing. For someone like me, who has essentially no skill in drawing at all (have you seen my manga?), this kind of stuff is almost beyond my comprehension.

Check out the post here: Under the Dog Kickstarter Update #27


Under the Dog

Director Ando’s celebratory sketch for the achievement of the Kickstarter’s initial goal.

And while I’m talking about it, here’s the link to the Under the Dog website. The Kickstarter is over, but they’ll be opening up for Paypal backing soon. If you haven’t already, I really do encourage you to consider it if you love anime and are concerned about the direction the industry is heading. The producer of Under the Dog, Hiroaki Yura, did an AMA on reddit not long ago that addressed a lot of industry-related questions and how UTD fits in there. It takes a while to sort through some of the less interesting questions, but (again) if you care about the industry and anime, this is information you might find of interest.

Critical Thinking, Anime, and You

We all watch anime for different reasons. Some of us want a time sink, some of us want entertainment, some of us want an artistic experience, some of us want a combination of things from our anime, even differing our expectations by show. And when we’ve seen a show we love, for whatever reason, we usually want to tell people about that show. It is one of the great pleasures of encountering any form of media: finding something you like and sharing it with others.

Yet, many of us (myself included) struggle to articulate what it is about a show that drew us in, and struggle to defend our favorite shows from the negative criticism of others. And on the other side, many of us fail to effectively communicate our problems with a particular show.

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Ranking Anime: A New System

Due to the ending of the current fall anime season and the resulting influx of new anime into my Ongoing Anime Rankings, as well as a fascinating discussion about the 1-10 ranking scale over on the Crunchyroll forums, it came to my attention that my current ranking system, while good, needed some fine tuning. Below you will see the new system, but first, I want to share some of the philosophy and general standards that have been considered as I put together the new system. Continue reading