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.
Our yearly animation awards have once again gathered animators, directors, producers, writers, translators, fans, and everything in between to pick the greatest contributions to anime and the world of animation in general for the year 2021—enjoy!
The Fall 2021 anime season is frontloaded with a few truly exceptional creative efforts, then chockful of titles with interesting teams having to brawl with this industry’s circumstances. Let’s dive deep into a season that, for the good and the bad, is very representative of anime’s current state.
A teaser for 86: Eighty Six‘s second cours dropped today, so let’s look back at this surprisingly daring show—a stunning showcase of a beginner director’s vision, technical skill, and confidence to stick to his unique style all the way through, except for one brilliant interlude.
86: Eighty Six packs a fairly compelling war story with a surprisingly nuanced political message. And this is how its team is streamlining it and amplifying its impact, with direction that emphasizes perspective and tonal shifts to make you viscerally feel the inequality.
It’s time to go over the many interesting offerings in the Spring 2021 anime season to talk about their creative teams, the themes they’re touching on, and their production circumstances—with a lengthy talk about the increasingly more polarized state of the anime industry.