Anime, the Japanese style of animation, has been entertaining audiences worldwide for decades. Throughout the years, there have been several changes in anime animation styles. From the traditional hand-drawn animation to the use of CG animation, anime has come a long way in delivering its stories to audiences. In this article, we will explore the evolution of anime animation styles and the impact they have had on the anime industry.
Traditional Hand-Drawn Animation
Traditionally, anime was created using hand-drawn animation on cells, which were then transferred onto film. This technique was used from the birth of anime in the early 1900s until the mid-1990s. Hand-drawn animation gave anime a distinctive look with richly detailed backgrounds and characters. This kind of animation required skilled animators who could bring the characters and stories to life. The anime industry flourished with the help of this animation style, and iconic shows like Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon were born.
The rise of technology in the 90s led to the development of computer-assisted animation, which allowed animators to create anime using a mix of hand-drawn and computer-generated animation. The use of computer-assisted animation brought more fluid movement and more complex camera angles to anime, enabling creators to show the characters’ dynamic movements and emotions. This animation style became more prevalent in the late 90s with anime shows like Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion.
With the advancement in computer technology, anime studios started experimenting with fully CG animated shows. CG (Computer Graphics) animation enabled animators to create fully digital 2D imagery that had the look and feel of hand-drawn animation. It is cost-effective and requires less work hours than traditional animation, making it an attractive option for studios producing lower budget anime. Although it took some time for anime fans to adjust to the new style of animation, CG anime soon found its footing with series such as Ajin: Demi-Human and Ghost in the Shell.
Hybrid animation is a style that combines hand-drawn or digital animation with CG animation. This animation style allows creators to incorporate complex and fluid movements, as well as 3D backgrounds, into traditional 2D animation. Hybrid animation has a distinct look that combines the strengths of both hand-drawn and 3D animation, creating unique visuals that aren’t possible with either method alone. Anime series like Attack on Titan and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure have taken advantage of this animation style, showing the power of combining traditional and CG animation.
2.5D animation is a relatively new animation style that combines 2D and 3D animation. It is not fully 3D, nor is it traditional 2D animation. A 2.5D animation has 3D models with 2D texturing and shading, making the characters look like 2D animation brought to life. With the introduction of this animation style, anime studios have been able to create 2D-looking anime with the added depth and dimensionality of 3D animation. This animation style is still niche and not seen much in mainstream anime, but it is gaining popularity in shows like Kakegurui and Land of the Lustrous.
The Impact of Animation Style on the Industry
The changing animation styles in anime have greatly impacted the anime industry. Traditional animation styles required specialized animators and were costly to produce, whereas newer animation styles use technology to make the process more efficient and cost-effective. This has allowed smaller studios to produce anime at a lower budget, leading to a more diverse range of anime being created. The use of CG animation also allowed studios to create anime with complex movements and camera angles that were not possible with traditional animation styles.
However, some fans have criticized newer anime series for their animation style, arguing that it lacks the charm and detail of traditionally animated shows. At times, studios can prioritize the speed of production over the quality of animation, leading to subpar animation in some modern-day anime.
In conclusion, the change in animation styles in anime has had a significant impact on the anime industry and fans worldwide. From traditional hand-drawn animation to CG animation, anime has come a long way in storytelling, character design, and animation techniques. Each animation style has its strengths and weaknesses, and a combination of different animation styles has led to new and exciting anime series. Who knows what the future holds for anime animation styles, but one thing is for sure, it will keep evolving to bring the fans more visually stunning and exciting stories.