All too often, I see the phrase ‘animation’ getting tossed around without a proper knowledge of what the word entails. Although, for the record, I also see people talk about wanting to watch anime with ‘good graphics’ so at least most of us aren’t that bad, but nonetheless, I think a lot of people confuse a series having ‘good art’ with having ‘good animation.’ There are a lot of ways I could explain this with examples unrelated to one-another, but I think the more effective way to illustrate this is with Haibane Renmei and Texhnolyze – two shows with art designed by my favorite artist, Yoshitoshi ABe.
Now that I’m an art college student, I’ve learned a bunch of boring, shitty modern art terms as well as a bunch of awesome, badass ancient art terms. Watching the first six episodes of Shin Mazinger Shougeki Z-Hen On Television (don’t worry, I’ll finish it soon!) brought to mind some of these classic, epic stylings.
Sakae Esuno‘s Future Diary (or Mirai Nikki as it is known in Japan and still know by most fans) is a psychological thriller that might be one of the best entry points into modern Japenese young adult fiction around. The first volume, which has recently been published in the US by Tokyopop, moves at an insane, whiplash-inducing pace that burns through plot elements, action scenes, character interaction, and emotional development so fast you might not even realize at first that any of it happened. However, whether you have just finished your first blast-through or are turning the pages again for a closer look, there’s no doubt that you’ll find something enticing in the pages of the Future Diary.