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 Animation Style Guide

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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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