The day anime goes full CG is the day anime will be dead to me, or atleast this is the funky idea I had in my head for a few years now.
The crazy increase of CGI used not only in anime, but in cartoons and art aswell for the past 5-10 years is an interesting subject to talk about: We complain about the awkward movements and unnatural-ness of the whole, but little do we know that pretty much 80% of every modern anime ever is handled with exactly that, CGI.
Backgrounds, items, some movements even: Things that have become so common we barely notice it, and when others point it out we shriek and realize: holy shit, she’s right.
Just look at the latest anime you’ve watched or an anime and you’re going to watch and find it out yourself; So why do we (or atleast I) have problems with anime going full CG?
Well, the answer is exactly that: Anime going full CG.
The generation of today and the generations before it have grown up witnessing our cherised 2D hand-drawn after-school cartoons evolve in ugly,experimental and computerized CG shows. The idea of anime getting the same treatment is not an optimistic one.
Anime is unique, anime is weird. This is the social stigma anime has, and it being 2D for the most part just helps that idea. I want my anime to be 2D, ’cause that’s the way it should be, it’s just one of the things that make anime anime.
I might sound like a grumpy adolescent that doesn’t like change, but I swear to bajesus that it’s the care, time, effort and love put into 2D where the charm lies.
Thankfully, the producers of Arpeggio Blue Steel have said themselves that the entire show was just an experiment that just happened to succeed, but that they would never go down the Hollywood CGI route simply because the consumers don’t accept it yet. Thank you Japan.
And while working with CG is usually faster and cheaper (less staff and such), one would be mistaken to think that it’s a quick n’ easy quirk to learn.
It takes plenty of training, and I don’t think that today’s animators are ready to go full CGI just yet even if they want to.
This is not to say that CGI will never work, I fully appreciate a show of this caliber once in a while, ’cause animation is evolving every single day, and I am sure that one day it will reach a satisfactory level: Maybe in 50 years, maybe in 20, or perhaps within the next 5.
Furthermore, the world has proven that CGI can work: Disney proves it year after year, and the not-so-recent Advent Children and Avatar say the same. Want to know the difference between HollywoodDisney and Anime?
Money. And we go full circle back to my first point: Anime is still a shady part of geek culture that’s (still) not accepted by way to many people, the producers still don’t have the money and investors Del Toro has and companies still don’t have the animators Tekken or Call of Duty has: Anime is just not ready yet to transform, and personally I don’t see why it should.
So unless it’s a big-budget film like Evangelion I just don’t see CGI work yet: But that doesn’t mean that it never will. As I pointed out before, animation is growing everyday, and the creators aren’t stupid, I trust that they will know when to do what.
And even if all hope is lost and we get to see anime tits and lolis in all it’s 3D glory and Free! will have a CG sequel, we still have manga to rely on, so whatever I guess. Cheers.