Sanzigen Staff on Advancing 3DCG (Confidence)

A short article with Sanzigen bigwigs talking about how they got to where they are, and hyping themselves up in the runup to their 10th anniversary work Bubuki Buranki.

Started this on an impulse and ran through the whole thing in about 90 minutes, so apologies for any errors that didn’t pass my second edit.

Source: http://www.oricon.co.jp/news/2064542/full/

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Get Behind the Bandwagon: The Added Fun Value From Loving Shows Some People Hate

To some extent, I’ve always been cogniscent of the fact that I’ve gravitated towards of a variety of indicators for the success of anime, rather than just word of mouth, because I have idiosyncratic tastes and using said variety of indicators helps illustrate that the case for or against many shows isn’t as clear-cut as many narrative-spinners would have you believe.

For the record, If there’s a worse anime blogger than Rick Reilly is a sports columnist, I’ve never met them. But I’ve read too many terrible columns by sanctimonious 70-year-old baseball writers about how Yasiel Puig has zero class and too many terrible columns by sanctimonious anime bloggers about how Kill La Kill is somehow “saving” an anime* industry that isn’t actually dying or lacking for fresh content not to see a lot of similarities between the two groups. I’m not saying that all writers who take a critical perspective on anime are like this, but far too many of them are more interested in grinding an axe against a genre rather than actually having a serious discussion about it.

But something hit me after I read this recent Andrew Sharp piece (he’s also the writer of the #hotsportstake series that mocks the aforementioned type of writing) about the appeal of bandwagoning on playoff football teams. One of his criteria that jumped out at me; “Does this team piss off Phil Simms and Jim Nantz?” I hadn’t thought about it for a while, but the Rex Ryan Jets were some of my favorite bandwagons for that very reason (plus the fact that those Jets played a defense best described as a shower of linebacker-shaped meteors backed by Darelle Revis eclipsing the sun). While my appreciation of a show is maximum when a show is great, my enjoyment of a show in a holistic sense is more of a 60-20-20 combination of 3 factors:

1. How much I enjoy it.

2. How well it performs commercially, usually in disk sales but potentially in other categories. It has to at least be a lock argument for having had break even sales.

3. The presence of a persistent group of (for lack of a better word) haters. Not just people who sort-of dislike and avoid it, but people who can’t resist taking paragraph-long potshots at it any time it gets mentioned.

This means that, as good as Attack on Titan was, it’s not a max-entertainment bandwagon. No one of any consequence particularly hates the show, and it’s just done really well. By contrast, Girls und Panzer was a near-perfect bandwagon show, putting up megahit numbers in the face of a number of vocal and hilariously ineffectual critics (it would be on my shortlist already if I weren’t currently watching it). There is really nothing sweeter in fandom than watching a show pile up vocal critics and subsequently both be good and sell well in spite of them. This post contains my personal shortlist of series I’ve had the privilege of being a fan of long enough to watch them do the Shaq thing and dunk all over the place.

To clarify before I actually get to the list, I don’t believe it’s a bad thing to hold any particular set of opinions. I do believe it’s a bad thing to constantly spend time talking scrap about stuff you don’t enjoy, and more generally about the way things are, rather than actually doing something about it. If you’re so upset about the majority of anime that get made nowadays, put up and post links to the BDs of the series you do like on your blog, or just buy them yourself. It’s trivially easy to use amazon for that sort of thing in this day and age.

That said, here are my personal bandwagon favorites of the past several years:

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First Reactions: Arpeggio of Blue Steel Episode 2

The first episode of Arpeggio was very much an introductory one a few very high-octane minutes followed by an origin story for the main characters and their supertech submarine. That expositional phase of the series apparently mostly ended last week, as this week’s episode was what I would guess will be the meat of the series; naval combat that was as snazzily animated as it was thought out and tense.

Arpeggio-2-1

Episode 1 also brought some predictable backlash, with many commentators criticizing the full-3DCG animation style. Personally, I have the same stance on it that I had on Kaiji (loved it), Aku no Hana (not a huge fan), the cars in Initial D (Eurobeat), and many other shows with atypical artstyle. Choosing to be different means nothing, it really comes down to how well it gets executed. So far, the show’s been doing a more than respectable job of that. Meanwhile, the market continues to speak for itself, as the BD for the show’s first volume is currently the 8th-most preordered one of the season and rising in spite of a significantly shorter solicitation time.*

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Where Might Future Changes in Anime Lie?

I just spent the past week and a half or so writing about how the anime industry responded to various changes in technology over the years. While I was writing those articles, I noticed that the changes occurred roughly every five years or so, and, going by that observation, we were “due” for another change soon. While the notion of things being “due” in general is a fairly foolish one, it did serve as the spark for a brainstorm about where that change might eventually come from. Eventually, I came across two possibilities that I felt were worth talking about: Web Anime and 3DCG anime.

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