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Underwatched Animated Films I Recommend You See at Least Once in Your Life

EDIT: i didn’t expect this post to get so many notes. for the record, these are just my personal recommendations, not a definitive list of best underrated animation. i also did not include anything made by Disney. I know that they made some movies that didn’t get as much attention as their other hits, but lists of underwatched Disney films are pretty common, so I thought I’d make one of films by studios that aren’t household names. 

Angel’s Egg (1985)

This movie is a nearly silent film with painstakingly beautiful frames and environmental details. All I can say is that it is a real piece of art worth watching and can be watched on YouTube here.

Les Triplets de Belleville (The Triplets of Belleville) (2005)

An incredibly quirky, strange and humorous French film, also with almost no dialogue. The colors, creative storytelling, and almost caricature-like designs make the Triplets a must-see. The setting and timeframe is left sort of abstract, but it’s a clear transition from last-century rural France to the hustle and bustle of urban America. Lots of homage is paid to cartoons from the 1920s.

Mindgame (2004)

This movie, quite like the title says, blew my mind. It’s also incredibly strange and out-there, but the awkward imagery gives way to real emotion and huge payoff by the end. The colors and animation are delightful, and always tailored to the situation. It is an amazing intersection of an altered state, a love story, a struggle to get home, an existential trip, and an unlikely group of friends. I almost always cry when I watch this. Seriously, can’t stress this enough. There is absolutely nothing like Mindgame. 

Le Chat du Rabbin (The Rabbi’s Cat) (2011)

Rabbi’s Cat is a French film based on a French comic by the same name. The comic artist also directed the movie. Honestly, the dialogue  in this is unmatched. Both Cat and Rabbi are witty and have the best banter. The setting is one of the most unique and real-feeling I’ve ever seen a film take place in: a Jewish community in Algeria. It’s wonderful and incredibly charming, could not recommend more.

Tekkonkinkreet (2006)

This movie hits me on a number of levels. I have so much love for the two orphans, Black and White. The story quickly becomes raw and almost difficult, as it touches on a lot of the feelings we see in things like Grave of the Fireflies, but in a much more abstract way and on a much grander scale. Also less sad, but there are very sad parts also. I guess the best way to describe this movie is intense. While there are a lot of sweet, domestic moments, none of the gruesome reality is sugercoated for you. 

The visuals are all completely stunning; the art is on another level. Treasure Town is a rich, fantastical environment and the characters flow through it effortlessly, like water. You gotta see this at least once in your life. 

Chico and Rita (2010)

An American/Spanish romance between an aspiring piano player and a young singer. The film opens in Cuba and has a vibrant and unique visual style while exploring a multitude of music styles and cultural backdrops. It’s touching and sweet, but does not erase the hardships of being a black music star in America or living through the Castro regime. 

Wizards (1977)

Ralph Bakshi is notorious for underappreciated gems. Wizards is set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world where magic is real and man has survived the radiation to evolve into fairies, elves, and dwarves. It’s a classic nature vs industry story with Bakshi’s unique spin. My favorite character is Necron 99, the assassin robot turned pacifist. I’ll warn you though, Bakshi films aren’t everyone’s taste (he’s responsible for Fritz the Cat, which against my better judgement I recommend as well).

Wizards was completed during the dark age of animation, and its fascinating to see how Bakshi gets around these limitations to produce something that grossed more than twice its budget.

Memories (1995)

Memories is a three part anthology based on three different manga short stories, Magnetic Rose, Stink Bomb, and Cannon Fodder. While the entirety of the movie is beautifully animated and worth the watch, the best of these is the first one. It is a mysterious, tragic sci-fi horror short film set in space and worked on by Satoshi Kon (so of course its amazing). 

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Linkin Park’s; One More Light, was the heaviest inspiration for this painting. 

Hence all the stars and glitter and such, I wanted to render Prompto again for some time now, it’s been a while since I’ve done so properly so here’s something I did with Clip Studio Pro and PS! I’ve finally got the knack for painting on there now, and picking out a color palette for this was he hardest three hours of my life! The combinations were endless, but I settled on something!

“Is this 03 or Brotherhood?”, the definitive guide

I know a lot of people have trouble telling the two FMA anime apart, and I’ve noticed an increase in confusion lately, so I thought I’d make a post to help clear it up! I’ll go over some telltale differences between the two styles, in order of ease. For images, Brotherhood will be on the left, and 03 on the right.

1. Al’s armor

If Al is present in an image, he’s the quickest way to tell the difference between the two series. 03 Al is fairly greenish in hue, and his face looks similar to the early stages of the manga, with a very rectangular chin. Brotherhood Al is much greyer, a little shinier, perhaps a bit bulkier, and his face is more angular with a curvier chin, giving him something of a permanent >:( face. His toes curve up in Brotherhood, but not in 03. Also, since the fight with Buccaneer never happened in 03, if Al’s ponytail is short, it’s definitely Brotherhood!

2. Characters who appear in one series but not the other

This is something of a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning. Look at what characters are present in the image. Anyone who appears after the Dublith arc in the manga/Brotherhood would not be in 03. Conversely, characters such as Dante, Lujon, Archer, the Tringham brothers, and Leo don’t appear in Brotherhood.

3. The women

While this doesn’t necessarily apply to every screencap, women in 03 tend to have somewhat defined lips, while they don’t usually in Brotherhood (with the exception of Olivier, who wouldn’t be in 03 anyway). This is especially true of promotional art, as opposed to screencaps.

4. The chain

(Running in the shadooooows~)

On every Amestrian military uniform, there’s a rope chain on the right shoulder, which also attaches to the front of the breast. In 03, the bit connecting the chain to the front of the uniform is braided, while in Brotherhood, that portion is a single cord.

5. Colors + general vague feeling

Colors can sometimes be used to tell the difference, if the lighting is standard. Colors in Brotherhood are fairly muted, but not too dark, and generally stick to shades of red, blue, yellow, black, white, and brown. They might almost be described as pastel, at least compared to 03. While colors in 03 are usually more saturated than Brotherhood, they’re also a lot darker, and not nearly as coordinated in hue. Also, 03 characters in general tend to have something of a youthful look to them, compared to Brotherhood, and noses are usually longer and pointier than in Brotherhood.

6. Specific character differences

Certain characters have notably different looks between series. If these characters appear in a screencap, you can look to them for clues. Some examples:

  • Ed: His hair is darker and more orange in 03. He also wears the same outfit throughout most of it, while his alternate outfits from Brotherhood don’t appear. His face shape also pretty much stays the same in 03, while in Brotherhood he matures physically towards the end of the series.
  • Al: His human form in 03 has noticeably darker, more brown hair than Ed, whereas in Brotherhood there’s really very little difference between the two. Shamballa Al is also very distinct: Long hair in a ponytail, basically dresses like Ed. Post-Promised Day Brotherhood Al looks older than Shamballa Al, and has short hair.
  • Winry: Her “work outfit” in 03 had a pink bandana and light purple pants. In Brotherhood, the bandana is green, and her pants are tan.
  • Rose: Had dark skin and pink bangs in 03, while in Brotherhood, her skin is light and her bangs are more of an auburn color. She also appeared much more in 03.
  • Scar: 03 Scar looked way younger, and had no cheekbones. Brotherhood Scar has cheekbones and could crush 03 Scar’s teen vogue looking ass with his bare hands.
  • Bradley: Brotherhood Bradley has wrinkles on his forehead, and a very defined nose. 03 Bradley has a more empty face, and also usually a darker skin tone. Brotherhood Bradley also looks a lot more pissed off compared to 03 Bradley, most of the time.
  • Greed: In 03, Greed’s shield form is dark blue with red eyes. In Brotherhood, it’s grey with black eyes. His undershirt is also dark blue in 03, while it’s dark red in Brotherhood. Also, obviously, Greeling does not appear in 03.
  • Kimblee: Brotherhood Kimblee is a suave ass motherfucker with the best fashion sense in the entire series. 03 Kimblee has this absolutely terrible circa 1980s Rachel Summers-esque braid/buzz cut combo that makes me want to cry every time I look at it.
Notable African Americans throughout history (and their signs)

Aries: Maya Angelou

Taurus: Duke Ellington

Gemini: Muhammad Ali

Cancer: Thurgood Marshall

Leo: Barack Obama

Virgo: Jesse Owens

Libra: Fannie Lou Hamer

Scorpio: LaVern Baker

Sagittarius: Shirley Chisholm 

Capricorn: Martin Luther King Jr.

Aquarius: Rosa Parks

Pisces: Jackie Joyner Kersee

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Jalak Bali

The Bali myna is a medium-large bird, almost wholly white with a long, drooping crest, black wing-tips and tail tip. It has a yellow bill with blue bare skin around the eyes and legs. The Bali myna is restricted to the island of Bali in Indonesia, where it is the island’s only endemic vertebrate species.  The bird was discovered in 1910, and in 1991 was designated the faunal emblem of Bali, its local name is jalak Bali.

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