Archive for October 22, 2014

Anime: Learning the Ancient Art of Animation the Japanese Way

They say I’m a tech geek.  Calling a spade a spade, I guess I am.  When I was just a young kid, I was taking things apart just so I could fix them.  That included electronics.  The second my parents left for work, I would start disassembling.  I knew I had better have everything put back together and in ship shape condition before they returned…or else!  So I became the master of fix-it.  That skin spilt over into everything else so when I got old enough to get a computer, there was nothing I couldn’t fix and no online issue I couldn’t solve.

Anime is my thing.  I have watched it ever since I can remember.  The first thing I did when I got old enough to get online was to figure out how to make my own.  Of course I create my own characters and the story lines too.  I go for the programs that are detailed and difficult as you can imagine.  Sometimes I secretly hope for a problem to come up…just so I can fix it.

“Can you make this guy sweat bullets?” someone asks me.  “Of course,” I answer.  Then there are those who can’t get the anime to act like anime.  The character looks right.  The scene is well set.  The plot is properly twisted but…something’s just not right.

There’s an art to making an anime production.  Not only do you need to watch hours and hours of genuine anime, you really need to analyze it too.  Each character will take on his or her own personality as they would if they were done by a Japanese anime producer.

In order to create like a Japanese, you must think like one.  In the Japanese culture, blood type and personality type is synonymous.  You’ve got to master these things.  Type O is an optimistic, strong personality.  Type A is creative and a bit reserved and perhaps over-responsible but stubborn at the same time.  Type B is passionate, irresponsible and self-centered.  AB Type is forgetful yet adaptable.

Birthdates and names are ultra- important too.  And don’t stop there.  Give them a job, a goal and a story that includes background information.  You will want to know where the story as a whole is going to go and what part each character will play in it.  The character’s appearances will have a lot to do with their personalities.  Their eyes will reflect their hearts.  Big dramatic emotion-filled eyes are usually on characters that we can all relate to as being good, kind or at least have some positives.  Evil ones will bear slanted eyes and harsh facial markings.

Once you have given your characters character, let them come to life.  Let them move around accordingly.  They will begin to act out their own fantasies but you must be in tune with the process.

If you want to make the best anime, you must study the best.  That is the bottom-line.  You must get into the role of a Japanese artist because there is no better anime creator than a true Japanese.  Research not only anime history and philosophy, but anything and everything else that has to do with Japan.  As your knowledge and feel for the culture begins to blossom, so will your work.  Remember, when it comes to anime, you don’t have to be Japanese to do it, you just have to make them think you are.  Practice makes perfect and only when done the Japanese way can anime be exactly that.