Webgen (web系): Popular term to refer to the mostly young digital animators that have been joining the professional anime industry as of late; their most notable artists started off gaining attention through gifs and fanmade animations online, hence web generation. It encompasses various waves of artists at this point so it’s hardly one generation anymore, but the term has stuck.
Impact Frames: Usually monochromatic or otherwise chromatically stylized drawings hidden within sequences to give them extra oomph. While they tend to flash for a fraction of a second for the most part, some animators choose to flaunt them instead.
Sakuga (作画): Technically drawing pictures but more specifically animation. Western fans have long since appropriated the word to refer to instances of particularly good animation, in the same way that a subset of Japanese fans do. Pretty integral to our sites’ brand.
Series Composition (シリーズ構成, Series Kousei): A key role given to the main writer of the series. They meet with the director (who technically still outranks them) and sometimes producers during preproduction to draft the concept of the series, come up with major events and decide to how pace it all. Not to be confused with individual scriptwriters (脚本, Kyakuhon) who generally have very little room for expression and only develop existing drafts – though of course, series composers do write scripts themselves.
Color Designer (色彩設定/色彩設計, Shikisai Settei/Shikisai Sekkei): The person establishing the show’s overall palette. Episodes have their own color coordinator (色指定, Iroshitei) in charge of supervising and supplying painters with the model sheets that particular outing requires, which they might even make themselves if they’re tones that weren’t already defined by the color designer.
Art Director (美術監督, bijutsu kantoku): The person in charge of the background art for the series. They draw many artboards that once approved by the series director serve as reference for the backgrounds throughout the series. Coordination within the art department is a must – setting and color designers must work together to craft a coherent world.
Outsourcing: The process of subcontracting part of the work to other studios. Partial outsourcing is very common for tasks like key animation, coloring, backgrounds and the likes, but most TV anime also has instances of full outsourcing (グロス) where an episode is entirely handled by a different studio.
Layouts (レイアウト): The drawings where animation is actually born; they expand the usually simple visual ideas from the storyboard into the actual skeleton of animation, detailing both the work of the key animator and the background artists.
2nd Key Animation (第二原画/第2原画, Daini Genga): This clean-up role makes its appearance when the work of key animators is too rough, unpolished or flat out unfinished. It can range from tidying up to drawing secondary elements that the key animator couldn’t afford to draw.
Production Assistant (制作進行, Seisaku Shinkou): Effectively the lowest ranking ‘producer’ role, and yet an essential cog in the system. They check and carry around the materials, and contact the dozens upon dozens of artists required to get an episode finished. Usually handling multiple episodes of the shows they’re involved with.