The layouts, the backbone of Japanese animation and its keen sense of immersion, are currently shattering. In this long dive, we contrasted the views of industry veterans and fresh faces with our own findings: the death of studio culture and training cycles, the pressure of cynical commercialism, the inherent labor issues, and the attempts to address it all.
Kaguya-sama Season 3 was a massively fun & heartfelt romcom gem, but unbeknownst to many, it also was a constant fight against adversity that had its team prove they’re among the most resourceful and creative people in anime. Let’s recap its whole production!
10 years ago, director Kenji Iwaisawa absentmindedly agreed to create a movie about a group of school delinquents absentmindedly becoming musicians. The result of its long production process was On-Gaku: an outrageously funny deadpan comedy, which will encourage you to create as recklessly as its team and characters did.
10 years ago, Toei Animation released Nijiiro Hotaru: Rainbow Fireflies, the stunning culmination of a lengthy production to honor the iconic works of their past and the power of traditional animation altogether. A decade later, the loss of projects like this threatens the studio’s future.
Tomohiro Furukawa draws from the philosophy and methods of living legends like Mamoru Oshii, Hideaki Anno, and his mentor Kunihiko Ikuhara. He reconstructs their teaching and his influences from countless fields into a unique thrilling style—that’s Revue Starlight The Movie, and what he calls experience-centric anime.
It’s no secret that Spy x Family is a co-production between Studio WIT and CloverWorks, but what’s the backstory behind that deal, what does it involve, and what are the dynamics, history, and intent of anime co-productions in the first place?
Five years ago, we highlighted a woman who had yet to direct a single episode of anime as one of the most promising young creators in the entire industry. Today, she’s the mastermind behind the most celebrated moments of TV anime—this is Megumi Ishitani, who might genuinely be too good for her job.
Mamoru Hosoda and Takayuki Hirao, Pompo the Cinephile and One Piece Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island: two of the most brilliant anime filmmakers used their personal misfortunes to fuel very entertaining movies, processing their darker feelings through lively animation.
Toshimasa Ishii’s direction on 86: Eighty Six elevated a war drama with a keen political outlook, but despite his team’s many successes, they always faced an uphill battle because mismanagement from above dealt them an unfair hand. This is the reality even for anime’s most brilliant directors.
Many works nowadays try to manufacture skin-deep nostalgia, but by naturally evoking it, Ousama Ranking can afford to combine that authentic old-school flavor with many innovative modern techniques – as seen in its spectacular latest episode.