Looking at Anime Fans: Why There is No Such Thing as Art Style in Anime

Part 2 in the Looking at Anime Fans series on the blog. Part 1.
I was having quite the discussion with a few anime fans on Youtube. While I usually dislike having any type of discussions on there since I always see the types of anime fans that usually go into their tirade of how new anime fans now only appreciate the moe concentrated anime nowadays or the elitist types of anime fans.

To which these two types of anime fans that exist I would love to say:
Not that anime in the old days was all golden I’m sure. I bet it had its share of bad too. And, hah, I am a “younger” generation anime fan and I do make it a point of seeing some anime with varying stylings. Not just the moe anime. Not that there is anything wrong with moe anime. As for the overly serious fans. In general, I, wholeheartedly dislike them so very much.

I still wanted to tackle yet another anime related matter. At this point it seems I would continue to tackle so many issues of discontent that I keep coming across when it comes to the fandom of anime.

There seems to be anime fans that believe that an art style in anime and an animation style are two descriptors with variances. If anything these two applications being thrown around are something I have seen a while when it comes to anime fandom. Though the art style is something I disapprove over it not really being a correct term use of how anime fans view anime.

Here is why I believe these two terms do not carry much of a real difference between them since I thoroughly believe what most anime fans see as the ‘art style’ should be unified under simply ‘animation style’ for sensible purposes. This would be very helpful in anime where always making so many distinctions seems badly inconsequential.

Psycho-Pass anime series

Psycho-Pass. Character Designs by: Akira Amano. Animation Style [anime setting designs and other designs in combination]: A stylish and modern urban. Animation Production: Production I.G. for Season 1 and Tatsunuko Production for Season 2.

I can see where some anime fans are coming from when they bring up an “art style” when what they are really referring to is the blueprint of a particular anime. The art style I guess for reference purposes would be the character designs and any other anime setting designs as well as the coloring associated with an anime. There are just so many things that go into the supposed “art style” as well as so many staff members involved with an anime which I guess makes sense given the long list of credits for any given anime. That is why I heavily dislike when some anime fans bring up “art style” when making a remark about anime. You could always highlight the character designs or anime setting designs as well as techniques to describe the anime or those responsible for those parts for the anime. This way you’re making a case to the appearance of the anime but, of course, not actually calling it the animation style if you do not like to call it that. I mean if you’re going to be specific do so all the way.

Even so in the end all this gets lost in the mix of how you view an anime based on the animation studio that animates an anime. In other words, the sole way to judge an anime is most entirely on referring to it as its unique or distinguishing animation style and not to refer to it as the art style. The art style is giving an indication that it is the character designs/designs and other factors without the combination of the animation. And I’m not sure about you but one doesn’t work without the other. The animation style in essence encompasses both the animation and character designs/designs along with all other details. All of it working together: as a whole. This is the state in which one views or I guess experiences anime.

Seraph of the End manga Vol. 2 cover released in North America by VIZ Media

Come on! Anime without animation would only be fixed drawings without any life.-Seraph of the End Volume 1 manga cover in full color

An art style only truly matters when your looking at it through the form of manga. Through manga when the artwork is only in black/white and sometimes in color can you really see it for what it is-the art style. Thus being capable of calling it the artwork or art style. This where you see all the little facets in the purest essence. The drawing style at the very core. This just does not make sense when it comes to anime since the art style is so ambiguous once it is mixed into the animation. Again you could always make an appeal to distinguish the animation style over the character designs/designs or the coloring used in the anime.

Something that is not usually brought up by most anime fans, I notice. Instead it is described as the “art style/artstyle”.

Due to how anime fans really converse over anime I would rather they realize that bringing something up like art style has quite the ambiguity attached to it. It also just sounds like plain wrong terminology usage. A term that should never be used when describing anime unless your meaning manga.

This is the mindset to how anime will get referred to on the blog. Animation style or plainly animation on this blog will mean the animation and other designs (buildings, anime setting/background) except character designs. Unless otherwise noted or distinctly pointed out directly.

Updated and Edited June 28. 2015

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One thought on “Looking at Anime Fans: Why There is No Such Thing as Art Style in Anime

  1. Pingback: Looking at Anime Fans: Anime Fans Who Are So Demanding! | The Huge Anime Fan

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