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SpikeDevilman
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PostSubject: Animation Style Guide   Animation Style Guide I_icon_minitime30th December 2018, 9:47 pm

When watching Sailor Moon, you may notice that while the art style is largely consistent, some episodes look slightly different than others. For instance one episode may be beautifully animated, while another will look cheap or "off" in some regard.

Ever wonder why that is?

It's all dependent on the animation director. Each have their own "stamp" so to speak, with some being more noticeable than others.

For me the easiest to identify is my least favorite of the bunch; Masahiro Ando. If you see a lot of kewpie-looking faces and awkward roundness in an episode, chances are he's the animation director for it.

My favorite on the other hand is Ikuko Itoh, who later went on to create Princess Tutu. She animated a number of stock animations as well as openings and endings. She even did the Laserdisc release cover art!

ai-no-senshi.net (linked twice above) has info on each animation director as well as examples of each of their styles, under the Anime tab followed by Animation Styles. Go check it out if you're interested!

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PostSubject: Re: Animation Style Guide   Animation Style Guide I_icon_minitime30th December 2018, 10:29 pm

I have a love/hate relationship with Shigetaka Kiyomiya As do I with most of the StarS animators.

My favorite of the StarS animators has to be Katsumi Tamegai with the much noticed improvement form Season one. The series Finale was beautiful, as were the episodes leading up to it, which brings me to Yoshihiro Kitano

My favorite absolute animators
Hisashi Kagawa
Ito Minako
My least
Kiyoshi Matsumoto
Taichi Nakamura is my absolute least favorite from the original and R, but made some great progress in S.


Of course I love Ito and Tadano. <3

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PostSubject: Re: Animation Style Guide   Animation Style Guide I_icon_minitime1st January 2019, 6:20 am

Ahhh thank you so much for posting this, Spike!! What a great resource! I'll have to take some time to look at it thoroughly because I seem to be totally unskilled at noticing subtle differences of style between animators ;_;... Though I do recognize one or two of the Stars episodes as being definitely different so maybe I'll start there for recognition's sake? ^^;;;; As I said on Discord... Gotta get learned here lol ...

Ikuko Itoh's openings and endings really are beautiful though!! So she's my first favourite for now~.

EDIT: Also, looking back on the examples given for her on the site, it seems like she really improved over the course of the series, but even somewhat noticeably after the first episode she did. I wonder if she bought some of those special pencils like the animators in that one episode XD.

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PostSubject: Re: Animation Style Guide   Animation Style Guide I_icon_minitime1st May 2019, 4:21 pm

While there are episodes here and there from most animators, that I like, Katsumi Tamegai would be my favourite. I don’t just like his later work on the series, from the start he looked promising, I think. All characters and the details look great and I don’t really know how to put it into words, I just really like him.

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PostSubject: Re: Animation Style Guide   Animation Style Guide I_icon_minitime1st May 2019, 7:07 pm

@Lavender wrote:
While there are episodes here and there from most animators, that I like, Katsumi Tamegai would be my favourite. I don’t just like his later work on the series, from the start he looked promising, I think. All characters and the details look great and I don’t really know how to put it into words, I just really like him.

Tamegai is quite the veteran, the only other animation director besides Masahiro Ando to have worked on all 5 seasons of the Sailor Moon anime. But unlike Ando, who stopped after 170, Tamegai made it all the way to the end. Literally. His last episode was 200.

He's got a pretty distinct way of drawing smiles, adding a couple curves to them which can make them look super cute. It's best shown here on a couple of the Stars laserdiscs that he illustrated:

Spoiler:
 


I can't think of much that Tamegai has done that looks particularly bad off the top of my head. Aside from this right here, which is also from his Stars laserdisc art:

Spoiler:
 

Now I'm no artist, but Luna seems like a pretty easy character to draw given her fairly simplistic design and how none of the other animators have ever really screwed up on her. But here, her front legs look awkwardly skinny and off-model. This was on promo art too.

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PostSubject: Re: Animation Style Guide   Animation Style Guide I_icon_minitime2nd May 2019, 6:57 am

@SpikeDevilman wrote:
@Lavender wrote:
While there are episodes here and there from most animators, that I like, Katsumi Tamegai would be my favourite. I don’t just like his later work on the series, from the start he looked promising, I think. All characters and the details look great and I don’t really know how to put it into words, I just really like him.

Tamegai is quite the veteran, the only other animation director besides Masahiro Ando to have worked on all 5 seasons of the Sailor Moon anime. But unlike Ando, who stopped after 170, Tamegai made it all the way to the end. Literally. His last episode was 200.

Yes, I’m aware of all of that, and like I said, I’m not focusing entirely on his SuperS and Stars work, even though considering from your post that’s when he was most involved, but anyways, his S work is pretty good too. Well, I might be biased cause S is my favourite season, so that’s why I focus more on its every aspect, but I don’t know, as you know, the SuperS and Stars artwork and animation were the best in all of the series, even though from what I’ve seen about it here, fans still say there where some mistakes here and there... So, I guess I’m trying to find what was best before those seasons, though S was pretty good itself, artwork/animation-wise, in my opinion, it was where things started to change in that regard, leaving behind the Classic and R style.

On another note, I’m not much of a fan of the early style (Classic and R), but when it’s done right, it’s rather good, examples that come to mind are Minako’s episode about her past in England and Koan’s redemption episode, and I may be wrong on this, but I think they had different animators.

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PostSubject: Re: Animation Style Guide   Animation Style Guide I_icon_minitime17th June 2019, 1:50 pm

You're right Lavender: Kiyoshi Matsumoto was on the Minako backstory episode (ep. 42 - "Sailor Venus' Past, Minako's Tragic Love") and Hisashi Kagawa was on Koan's redemption episode (ep. 70 - "A Battle of the Flames of Love! Mars vs Koan"). Kagawa also did the Stars opening sequence. I get the impression that Marco Albiero primarily channels his style.

In any case, for me at least, what ties those two episodes together well in terms of animation was the use of "postcard memories" freeze frames for emotional effect. Kagawa uses these for the Haruka and Michiru intro ep as well in S.

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PostSubject: Re: Animation Style Guide   Animation Style Guide I_icon_minitime18th June 2019, 4:25 pm

They both did a good job with their respective episodes, even though it's the art style from Classic and R. Personally, I don't like the art style from the first two seasons much, but some animators do it justice. I feel like I'm about to state the obvious here, but Classic and R had a very... rigid art style, if that's the right word for it. Meaning that, the characters' bodies, clothes, hair, etc. are not very fluid, moreso when they move around and they don't have much detail, or rather it's not very conspicous. Like for example, showing the strands in their hair, an outfit looking good from all angles and in movement, the faces. With the beggining of S, which isn't somewhere in between for me regarding its art style, it was starting something new art style-wise, with the later episodes being especially good and then maybe that style developed to the Super S and Stars one? I'm not sure, but yeah, as everybody knows, the style in the three last seasons is more fluid, more versatile, more clear and everything. I don't think I'm doing it justice with my take on it, but yeah. 

Anyways, Hisashi Kagawa really was good, I mean, look at these shots from Koan's redemption episode, they're great.
Spoiler:
 

And here is some of his Super S work, in that season's style, much better.
Spoiler:
 

As for Kiyoshi Matsumoto's work on Minako's backstory episode, uh, I'm linking all of these images from Tumblr, and well, Minako being a main character and in every episode, there are lots of posts of her in different episodes, unlike Koan, whom I could narrow down quickly, but instead of that, here are some shots from episode 36 that he also worked on, obviously.
Spoiler:
 

Sorry about cluttering my post with all of these pictures, I don't know if there's a regulation about that or something, if there is, I'm not aware of it, but I just wanted to show some examples of those art styles. Also, I haven't really talked about how they handle scenery, objects and such, but I guess I haven't payed too much attention to that in Sailor Moon. 

As for those postcard effect scenes, can't say I'm too much into them, but yeah, they continued them till S, right? I remember another one that was in Ami's pure heart crystal episode, of Michiru swimming in the pool... There's also one at the end of episode 118, of Hotaru and Chibiusa, but that's more of a drawing with a postcard effect, rather than a scene 'turning into a postcard'. Well, anyways.

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