Masaaki Yuasa is without a doubt one of anime’s most unique voices; someone worthy of the endless praise he receives as an inventive director, but also a bit of an unsung hero as an actual animator. His particular brand of expressionism and relentless pursuit of love in unexpected corners make him a personal favorite of mine. So here’s the story of his new studio, and how tools can get in the way of the artist even if they’re not intrinsically bad.
Photos of Kyoto Animation’s new building have been surfacing as it was being built, thanks to very dedicated fans. It seems like there’s quite a lot of confusion about this development even within the Japanese fandom though, so let’s explore KyoAni’s studios and their specific purposes!
As of late I’ve been talking about mainstream and family anime properties that don’t get all that much attention in the west. One of the few franchises that does have a bit of a fanbase is Precure, the everlasting kids show. Most fans don’t have much of an interest in a show openly aimed at young girls, but its sincere positivity and the fact that it’s one of the last strongholds for magical girls have made it gain a bit of a niche following overseas. Since a new series just began, this is a good chance to learn about the franchise’s production.
On the first part of this essay I addressed some common misconceptions about anime widely enjoyed by general audiences; first regarding misguided attitudes like mainstream acceptance being related to excellence and artistic intent, but also important facts like the existence of huge family series invisible in online discourse. And perhaps more relevant to people’s interest, a sample of latenight shows that managed to reach non-anime fans, which proved that the assumed biases against common aesthetics and premises are massively exaggerated by the western community. For many years, television has been the vehicle through which all sorts of anime has arrived to many audiences beyond what English-speaking fans and other subcommunities outside Asia tend to assume. But there’s a slight issue – TV is dying.