Posts Tagged Shots
Cinematography is perhaps the ultimate challenge for a TV anime to overcome. Inherent of television anime are limited budgets and tight schedules, meaning that the resources and time provided are not enough to allow for the same level of quality that we see in movies or elsewhere. And while quality often refers to detail in the art and animation, such as more complex or frequent sakuga sequences, it also means an improved cinematography where shots have more variation and camera motion is more prominent. Since the production schedule and resources are difficult for a TV anime, they must rely on a number of industry techniques to make a finished produced on time, with perhaps the most recurrent being the use of shooting dialogue scenes using still characters with only their mouths moving. And in terms of cinematography, the shots are often flat and still, making it easier for the animators to anime with a consistent level of acceptable quality. However, this is difficult to do when the anime’s story or purpose resolves around the characters acting or performing or moving in complex ways. This leads us to Ping Pong the Animation, one of the most acclaimed and illustrious anime of the year, and its brilliant and artistic use of cinematography to convey action throughout the series. While the series was overflowing with symbolism, the topic of this post is primarily on its cinematic techniques that were some of the most innovative, resourceful, and memorable in recent memory.
Back during Week 10: expanding my theory about the primary and secondary focuses of Hanayamata, an example of the magnificent cinematography in Zankyou no Terror, what made episode 23 of Captain Earth the best in that anime, and the return of the subtle yet sensational running gag in Space Dandy Season 2.
This week: how transitioning focus away from the cantus has strengthened Shin Sekai Yori, how the diversity of settings in Battle Spheres reflect on the characters in Senran Kagura, the brilliant cinematography utilized in Tamako Market, and finally realizing what’s important in Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo.
A common miscalculation with many anime is that the ending is a disappointment. Some end up being rushed, forgoing major details in storytelling in order to wrap up the show in the limited time given while others feel incomplete, leaving holes in the plot that could potentially be fatal to an anime. Dog Days, however, allotted two full episodes to tell its conclusion, which is an intelligent move since it can now try to avoid these mistakes. So how is this anime using its wisely budgeted time?
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hououin Kyouma (or going by his real name, Okabe Rintarou) be my favorite character this season, even after just one episode. He possesses the personality that’s infectious in an anime, a character you can’t take your eyes off of when he’s on the screen. His uncanny actions around friend and stranger, his rather sharp intelligence, and his compassion provide a multi-dimensional lead for Steins;Gate, perfect for a time-traveling themed science fiction anime.