Anime From A to D
Shuzo John Shiota · From fps #6 · February 1, 2006 | I've written earlier in this magazine that the defining characteristic of Japanese anime is in its economy of frame usage. This is due to the restrictions in budget and schedules that most anime must adhere to. Ours has been the history of trying to find ways to depict deep emotion and storylines through minimal expression.

There is no doubt we Japanese have a liking for flat, simple yet dynamic expressions that leave room for viewers to fill in the gap. We don't want everything spelled out, and rather prefer our imaginations to wander and speculate. Digital tools allow for more detailed and rich expressions. Three-dimensional animation even gives an added dimension. I think we're still trying to figure out what to do with the added detail and dimension. Used unwisely, it only serves to irk us, just as different complexions have a different tolerance level for sunlight.

Perhaps this explains why in Japan, digital revolution has occurred in ways that are more subtle and innate.

Want to read the rest of this commentary?

You'll find it and many other articles in the January 2006 issue of fps, available for only 99 cents US.
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