List of anime series/movies with unique art styles.
For my friends on tumblr, in case you guys want something to watch, here’s a quick list of anime series/movies with unusual/unique art styles that you may or may not know.
With an artstyle reminiscent of the original Astro Boy, Kaiba has a very simplistic (yet stylized) and fluid style of animation and art. The story revolves around the titular character, who wakes up with a hole in his chest with no idea of who he is. I enjoyed this a lot for the art, music and characters, who all have realistic motivations and ideals, as well as the themes handled in it; such as what defines “being human” when bodies and memories are as disposable as plastic. Genre: Sci-Fi, Psychological Drama
In terms of sheer action and excitement I got from watching a movie, I’ve got to say that Redline is one of the best ever in those departments. With a highly stylized comic-book-esque art style with a high influence from Western comics like Dick Tracy (with the emphasis on black shadows on solid colours and thick black outlines), this show is extremely fluidly animated, the movie is said to consist of 120 000 hand-drawn frames, taking seven years to complete. The movie follows the story of racer JP (aka “Sweet” JP, because of his refusal to use weaponry while racing) trying to win (and survive) the titular Redline, a race consisting of multiple racers from multiple different galaxies and planets. Genre: Racing, Sci-Fi, Action
Every frame of this anime could be screencapped and slapped onto someone’s dashboard for their aesthetic. That is how distinct the art style and character design of this show is. The show uses a form of “plaid animation”, where something will be animated over a still color or object as it moves, creating most of the time a jarring effect that is usually the sign of a lazy animator, however in Mononoke, the show utilizes the art to create a sense of a surreal, dream-like environment, intentionally focusing on the jarring effect. The art and design of the environment is also extremely ornate and beautiful. The show focuses on the story of the unknown Medicine Seller and his travels through Japan (in an unknown time period), killing spirits and creatures known as Mononoke. However, he cannot do so until he learns their Form, Truth and Reasoning/Regret, which leads to some very interesting lessons at the end of each story. Genre: Mystery, Horror
Another comic-influenced movie, and just barely under an hour too; Dead Leaves is an extremely fun, hyper-action-packed movie with amazing character design (almost EVERY good character in this movie has a unique design, barring the civilains and generic bad guy cannon fodder), driven by slapstick, humor (usually of the sexual kind) and more pop culture references than you can digest within the time span they’re thrown at you. The story focuses on criminals Retro and Pandy; Retro having a TV instead of a head, and Pandy having a panda-like marking on her eye, who, shortly after waking up on the moon and causing havoc on a nearby planet, are imprisoned in a super-jail. Genre: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Kuuchuu Buranko / Welcome to Irabu’s Office
Combining rotoscoped 3D, 2D animation and live action elements, Kuuchuu Buranko is an extremely surreal look into the world of psychiatry. The art and designs were created by the lead artist of Mononoke, Kenji Nakamura. But whereas Mononoke had some subtlety to its art, this show is bright, colourful and neon as all hell. The show focuses on Dr. Ichiro Irabu and how he helps his patients with their problems, who are all connected in some way or the other. Genre: Comedy, Psychological Drama
The Tatami Galaxy
With a bright visual style that also manages to be subtle at the same time, The Tatami Galaxy also utilizes not just its art as a device for story telling, but the form of the show itself to convey its messages. I can’t spoil too much about the show, but I can give you this: if you enjoy the first episode, please watch it to completion, as this show basically requires the viewer to watch the show in its entirety. The story focuses on an unnamed protagonist, commonly referred to as Watashi by the show’s fans, who tries to attain the “rose-tinted” college life style he has desired for his whole life, as well as all the challenges he faces on the way. With fast-paced dialogue, a lot of humor, interesting character and background designs, as well as the various forms of “characterization”, and also the themes tackled by this show, I’d say it’s one of my favorite shows of all time. Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy, Drama, Psychological, Sci-Fi
Mind Game. Directed by Masaaki Yuasa (also the director behind The Tatami Galaxy, Kaiba and Ping-Pong). I don’t think words can do this movie justice, but I’ll try. Imagine a combination of 3D-morphing-into-2D, sketches, animated photo images of (presumably) the voice actor’s for talking, extremely smooth and fluid movement, plus an insane amount of exaggeration,all coupled with a huge range of bright and dark colours and you’ve got Mind Game’s animation style down somewhat. Go look up more GIFs, they’ll help you understand the range of styles this surreal (and extremely fun) movie goes through. The plot follows Nishi, a down-on-his-luck, 20-years-old manga writer, running into his childhood crush Myon. He discovers she’s getting married soon while they’re talking inside her father’s restaurant. After that (plus another key event), the craziness in the movie begins; Nishi having a new-found desire to live life. Genre: Comedy, Surrealism,
Tekkonkinkreet, although similar in appearance to some Masaaki Yuasa works, was not made by the man himself (although, it was made by the company,
Studio 4°C, that helped produce Mind Game). This movie has incredibly detailed backgrounds, similar to a Studio Ghibli film, with amazing usage of lighting, camera shots and motion blur as well as a wide variety of colours and shades. The story follows Black and White, two street orphans who call themselves “The Cats”, trying to keep control of their town from dangerous enemies. Although vastly different in personalities, they support each other emotionally, mentally and physically very well. Genre: Action, Drama, Adventure
The Diary of Tortov Riddle
The Diary of Tortov Roddle, although very short (6 episodes all leading up to 14 minutes! Watch it here! It has three special episodes that are part of the DVD though), is an interesting adventure of a surreal world that seems almost like a moving/animated picture rather than a movie or series. It follows the journey of Tortov Roddle and his pig-steed throughout this world, with just his calm thoughts and experiences. There’s no dialogue in this series but it doesn’t really require any dialogue at all, the only dialogue being Tortov’s journal entries at the beginning and end of each episode. The music, lack of dialogue and artall contribute to a very interesting, mysterious atmosphere. Genre: Fantasy, Surrealism, Adventure
The Tale of Princess Kaguya
Straight outta Compton Studio Ghibli, The Tale of Princess Kaguya is an adaption of one of the staples of traditional Japanese folklore, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. This film adapts the ancient story of the young princess who grew out of a bamboo shoot and breathes fresh new life into it while still staying 100% true to the source material. The art can only be described as absolutely gorgeous, using a pale colour palette in a constantly shifting style that recalls the ancient Japanese watercolour paintings that the original story was recorded on.
Genre: Fantasy, Drama
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
Oh man this show. Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei follows the story of Nozomu Itoshiki, an overdramatic teacher so pessismistic about everything that he would try committing suicide over pretty much the smallest inconvenience (his name, when its Japanese characters are read horizontally, also translates into “Despair”) and his bizarre homeroom students’ antics. The series parodies almost everything there is to satrize in Japanese culture (the show even parodies itself from time to time with casual 4th wall-breaking from every show), as well as the general media and politics of the world, as well as having an insane amount of references to various things regardless of fame; from Gundam, Evangelion and Gurren Lagann, to Franz Kafka, Edward Gorey and South Park. The art’s very minimal (which itself gets parodied later on in the series), but it, uh, changes a lot, to put it simply.
Genre: Comedy, Parody
(gotta lot of requests to list this one)
Sports anime tends to always get a bad rep amongst anime fans for various reasons, whether it be that the viewer gets tired of seeing another Dempsey Roll, or the amount of reused frames in the series, they’re all understandable. And so comes Ping-Pong to shatter those preconceptions of what a sports anime can be. Focusing rather on the characters, their emotions and development rather than the titular game that the anime’s based on (unlike most sports anime), this coming-of-age show following two boys as they (one actually) strive to become the best table tennis players in the world, is directed by none other than Masaaki Yuasa, who has directed a lot of the shows and movies on this list actually, with his trademark style of not having a trademark artstyle (other than wobbly simple lines and psychedelic colours).
(im still in the process of watching Gankutusou and Ping-Pong (thanks school) hence why they weren’t in the original post)
Gankutsuou is what most people would call “art porn”, as it uses various still textures, colours and patterns within the character’s lineart, similar to Mononoke and Kuuchuu Buranko though to a much greater extent, whileusing 3D and 2D animation on the characters and backgrounds. The story is broadly based on the titular story of The Count of Monte Cristo, but with many differences, such as being set in the year 5053, plotlines and character endings being altered/removed, the pacing being changed from the original story, as well as the incorporation of many sci-fi themes. The general aesthetic of the show is that of 19th century France in a highly futuristic setting.
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Supernatural
Based off a popular gambling manga by Nobuyuki Fukumoto, Kaiji follows the story of the titular character, Kaiji Itou, an unemployed slacker who spends his days gambling (and always losing), stealing, drinking and being obsessed with money. He suddenly finds himself 3 million in debt, and is offered the chance to erase all of his debt, and maybe even earn some cash, in one night.
With thick bold lines, exaggerated expressions and hugely caricaturized faces that woul make more sense in a comedy that all serve as a plus to the show, Kaiji is an intense psychological thriller that always leaves you on the edge of your seat, with some of the most insane and dramatic gambles in any piece of fiction.
Genre: Psychological, Thriller, Gambling
Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt
Two angels, kicked out of Heaven, have been tasked with cleaning up the filthy sin-riddled Daten City, and can only return once they’ve gotten enough Heaven coins!
Not like that matters to Panty and Stocking anyways, whose only cares in the world are what tastes good, much to the chagrin of local priest Garterbelt.
With a ton of American pop culture references, humor that would make South Park seem like a kid’s show, action that is so bizarre it can’t even be explained, and an animation style that’s more akin to a cartoon on a huge drug trip than anything else, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt shows that sometimes too much of a good thing is still a good thing.
Genre: Comedy, Action, Parody, Not something to play around Grandma
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
There really is no other gif that explains and summarizes Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure better than this one.
Based off the hugely popular manga by Araki Hirohiko, the show follows the story of the Joestar bloodline. Jojo is unique in that it doesn’t follow one group of characters or main character throughout the entire franchise, but rather a different cast in a different location throughout the world, ranging from 1930s New York, to 1980s Japan, to Egypt and much more.
If I’m being rather vague about describing this rather popular show, I apologize, but there really is no way to properly explain this bizarre series.
With proportions that look like it was ripped straight out of a bodybuilder’s magazine, poses that could probably break your spine if even just attempted, and fights that end up being some of the most hype as well as some of the most ridiculous you’ll have ever seen, as well as a bright, dramatic colour pallete, this is a show that truly lives up to its “Bizarre” title.
(also protip: start with the 2012 adaption first rather than the 90s OVA, and read the manga.)
It It their FIRST gay character. They are not going to obviously just have their very first gay character jump up and say it (especially in the time and place the movie is set)
But consider this, Disney is finally saying fuck you to the homophobia in their past. They aren’t afraid to piss people off anymore because they know how important representation is in this day and age.
Soon, we’ll have same-sex couples in the background. Soon we’ll have a gay/lesbian/bi sidekick who finds their true love and is happy with them. Soon we’ll have a gay prince and lesbian princess forced to be engaged before they find their real loves in the village below.
Soon, a young suicidal closeted LGBT kid will look at a Disney character like them and realize no matter who hates them, they are valuable and deserve to be alive and happy.
Soon, Disney will be on top once again and the world has the live action Beauty and the Beast to thank.
Lemme just start off by saying 2010 was a great year in animated shows. Unreal great. Like, seriously.
To put this in perspective, about 2007-2009 wasn’t a stellar time for animated shows. The best one by far was Phineas and Ferb, and maybe … El Tigre (which had so much personality andlife, but I haven’t seen since it aired so I can’t tell you how it holds up), but there wasn’t a lot of new stuff that lived up to the top contender.
Also important to remember is that in 2009, Cartoon Network briefly went insane and wanted to transition to more live-action shows or live-action/animation mixed like Out of Jimmy’s Head. None of these really held my attention, and it took airtime from the cartoons that could’ve come out.
We also could point out that Nickolodeon was well on its way to airing basically only Spongebob and Fairly Odd Parents forever amen (as much as I love those shows).
Disney Channel hosted P&F, but other than that, pickings were getting slim.
So, realizing that, you’ve gotta understand how remarkable it is that we were getting so many good shows all at once again! It was unreal!
But it didn’t stop there, not even for a year.
2011 gave us families.
2012 gave us blends of story and comedy.
2013 gave us stellar characters in interstellar adventures (also the Mickey Mouse shorts, but that might not count).
2014 gave us surprises.
2015 gave us heart.
And this year? A return to form. What with the Loud House finally breaking Nickelodeon’s streak of poor nicktoons, Voltron keeping the action cartoon alive from the Avatar team we love, and the upcoming Milo Murphy’s Law from the creators of Phineas and Ferb.
There’s also shows like Mighty Magiswords and Long Live the Royals on the way that could just as easily make this list.
So the question remains. What the hell happened in 2010?
Well, I don’t know what caused all this, but I’ll tell you what happened.
Sym-Bionic Titan happened on Cartoon Network’s Toonami. And nobody told me.
When I stumbled on it way after the fact, I thought I remembered seeing something like that advertised when I was a kid. You know, early 2000s action show. I figured it got lost in the Beyblades, Ben 10s, and Yu-gi-Oh ripoffs, and I could at least make peace with that.
But then I find out this aired just a few years ago and I’m shit-pissed. aND MY OWN BEST FRIEND APPARENTLY WATCHED IT AND NEVER?? TOLD?? ME??
how dare you I instantly forgive you.
What I’m getting at is this is a high quality show. Really high quality.
The basic premise is summed up best here:
The three main characters include Ilana, princess of the royal family; Lance, a rebellious but capable soldier; and Octus, a bio-cybernetic robot, all of whom must now blend into everyday life in Sherman, Illinois. Posing as high school students, Lance and Octus work to conceal Princess Ilana from General Modula and his hideous space mutants sent to kill the sole heir of Galaluna.
When called into battle, the Galalunans are outfitted with individual armor that provides more than ample protection. It is when the gravest of danger appears that Octus activates the sym-bionic defense program and he, Ilana, and Lance unite “Heart, Body and Mind” and come together to form the spectacular cyber-giant Sym-Bionic Titan.
If that sounds great, it absolutely is. The characters are well-devloped, the story is front and center, there’s continuity between episodes– everything we’ve come to love in some of our modern favourites. So, my point is … why the hell was this left out of the cartoon revolution?
Well … honestly, I can’t figure it out. Advertising? Not enough cross-promotion in the daytime? Weak word of mouth? It’s certainly nothing the show did wrong.
Why Watch It?
Reason 1: HOLY SHIT, IT HAS A STORY
I’m not gonna spoil much more than the summary, but despite the fact that it takes place on Earth for the most part and focuses on week to week stories, the overall story is very much in the forefront at all times– and you know how rare that is even for shows that do story well.
Reason 2: HOLY SHIT, IT HAS GREAT CHARACTERS
I’ll let you discover them for yourself, it’s too much of a treat, but I’ll just say, you might fall in love. Again.
Oh, and Voltron fans?
We found their son.
Reason 3: This Guy
So, even if you’re too young for some of these, you might’ve heard something called Samuri Jack is getting a fifth season after 10 years … and it’s going to be on Adult Swim.
Yeah, it’s gonna be badass.
The important part to all this is that this dude does awesome design, awesome shows, and if you have respect for any of these properties, you know you’re in for a good time.
Which leads me to
Reason 4: The Animationjfsfksnfksafafsj
Between the lighting and the angular designs, I just don’t know what to do with myself. Is bootiful.
Watch the first few minutes there. You see what I mean, right?
Reason 5: It Deserved Better
We’ve championed so many great shows in the past few years, but for whatever reason, we missed one. A great one at that. If you have any love for the shows I listed, I highly recommend you give it a chance. Who knows? You might just find another favourite.
Clockwise from top left: Ilene Woods, the voice of Cinderella; Eleanor Audley, the voice and reference model for Lady Tremaine; Rhoda Williams, Eleanor Audley and Lucille Bliss, the voices and reference models for Drizella, Lady Tremaine and Anastasia; Helene Stanley, the reference model for Cinderella
The third in my series celebrating classic Disney live action films, “The Ugly Dachshund”. I’m hoping maybe a few of you are inspired to go back and watch some of the great films again. Or, maybe enjoy them for the first time. They are as much a part of the history of the Disney studio as animation and theme parks. Pure Disney magic.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017): EASTER EGGS, TRIVIA, AND THINGS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
THE BEAST’S COAT OF ARMS
The coat of arms in the ballroom of the Beast’s castle consists of a lion, a boar, and the letters WD. The boar and lion are references to the Beast’s design, and the W.D. is of course, a reference to Walt Disney.
In the 2017 beauty and the Beast, the Beast has mentioned that he had an expensive education and read most of the books in the castle’s library, whereas in the original animation, the Beast never learned how to read, so Belle teaches him. Dan Stevens, who played the Beast, also famously portrayed the character Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey, who also had a expensive education. Dan Stevens himself also studied English Literature at Cambridge University.
THE BEAST’S BEARD
At the end of the new adaptation, Belle asks the Beast how he feels about growing a beard, and the producers have confirmed that that line was originally supposed to be included in the 1991 animation, but it was scrapped.
When the Beast shows Belle the magical book that allows her to teleport to anywhere in the world, she chooses Paris. The scenery of Paris shows, we see Notre Dame; Beast also suggests that they go visit it. Belle has a tiny cameo/was an easter egg herself in The Hunchback of Notre Dame!
Extra: Just like Belle in the movie, Emma Watson herself was also born in Paris!
During the opening song, Belle, she asks Monsieur Jean if he lost something again, to which he responds that he can’t remember what he forgot. While many fans considered this a nod to Neville’s scene with the remembrall from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, director Bill Condon said that it was a total coincidence and that the line was supposed to be a reference to the Enchantress’ spell on the palace and townspeople; Monsieur Jean forgot about his wife and son, Mrs. Potts and Chip.
The name of Belle’s town in this movie is Villeneuve, which is a reference to the author of the original Beauty and the Beast story, Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve.
When Maurice enters the castle for the first time, he travels the sound of music to the great hall, where Cadenza was playing a song, and that song was Be Our Guest! This is also a reference to the fact that in the original animation, Be Our Guest was initially meant to be performed for Maurice instead of Belle.
Director Bill Condon has said that the Be Our Guest musical number has at least 12 musical homages including Singing in the Rain, Chicago, Cabaret, and West Side Story.
In the original draft for Beauty and the Beast (1991), Chip was initially a very minor character with only 1 sentence of dialogue, and all his other scenes were supposed to be replaced by a music box that couldn’t talk, only playing music to show his emotions. The music box was replaced with Chip after the producers realized it would be better to have a viewpoint of a child shown in the film.
MRS. POTTS’ ORIGINAL NAME
When Belle enters the castle, Chip tells Mrs Potts that there’s a girl in the castle and also wonders what type of tea she likes to drink (Chamomile, Oolong, Earl Grey, etc). This is a nod to the fact that Mrs. Potts’ original name was supposed to be Mrs. Chamomile but it was changed to Mrs. Potts after the producers realized that Chamomile might be too hard for children to pronounce.
THE BLUE BIRD BOOK
When we see Belle teaching a young girl to read in the village, the book reads “The blue bird that flies over the dark wood.” This is a reference to the opening scene in the original Beauty and the Beast animation, where we see blue birds flying over the dark first in front of the Beast’s castle.
LEFOU IS CLINGY
At the tavern, Gaston asks LeFou “why no woman has snatched him up yet” to which LeFou responds that he has been told that he’s clingy, but he doesn’t see it. This could be a subtle reference to Olaf from Frozen (also voiced by Josh Gad), who is a very clingy character and is completely unaware of it.
Just outside the tavern there are 2 wooden carvings of boar heads, which is a reference to the design of the Beast in both the animation and live action movies. The production team used a wild boar as the main source of inspiration for the Beast’s head, with the tusks being a big resemblance (especially in the animation).
OLD LYRICS REUSED
When creating the music for the movie, the director, producers, and music team came across some lyrics that were scrapped from the original film. Bill Condon confirmed that the lyrics were in Gaston, as well as the ending of Emma Thompson’s Beauty and the Beast in the finale.
The new Beauty and the Beast words are: “Winter turns to spring//Famine turns to feast//Nature points the way//Nothing left to say//Beauty and the Beast”
& the new Gaston lyrics are: “When I hunt, I sneak up with my quiver//And beasts of the field say a prayer//First, I carefully aim for the liver//Then I shoot from behind//Is that fair?//I don’t care”
The new lines from Gaston “First I carefully aim for the liver/ Then I shoot from behind / Is that fair? / I don’t care” can be seen as foreshadowing to Gaston shooting the Beast in his back after the Beast let him go.
MAURICE MOVING ON
During the song “How Does a Moment Last Forever”, Maurice is shown making a music box that resembles his life in Paris with his wife and an infant Belle. (His art studio is also full of sketches of Belle’s mother and baby Belle.) These reflect Maurice’s inability to move on from his tragic past and let his daughter find true happiness. At the end of the film, during Belle and the Prince’s party (and possible wedding), Maurice is shown painting a picture of the joyous event. This reveals that Maurice has finally continued on with his life.
MAURICE AND GEPETTO
Maurice played by Kevin Kline is possibly inspired by Gepetto from Pinocchio as both old men are single fathers and are creators by making music boxes and toys respectively and both get separated from Belle and Pinocchio respectively as well.
THE MAGICAL BOOK
The book the Beast uses to transport Belle to Paris is similar to the book seen in Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas during the song Stories, in which Belle flips through a book and is then incorporated into the scenes within the book.
The 2017 edition does not feature the song “Human Again” which was deleted from the 1991 animated edition but included with the home releases after 2002.
HOMAGES TO THE BROADWAY ADAPTATION
The concept of the household objects slowly losing their mobility comes from the stage musical. When Belle first enters in her bedroom, you can hear the instumental version of “Home”, the song which Belle sings in the musical in this moment of the story.
Anyways since I’m still upset about Tiana how about the fact that she’s the only Disney Princess since Aurora to literally only have one animated feature centered on her? Besides a 3-5 minute cameo on Sofia The First, Tiana has not been seen in any other animation (or live action for that matter).
Aurora had a straight-to-video short
Cinderella and Belle had multiple tv/straight-to-video movies
Ariel and Jasmine both had multiple movies and TV series based on their movies
Mulan and Pocahontas both got (admittedly bad) animated sequels
Rapunzel had an animated short and is getting a tv series, and I don’t even have to mention Anna and Elsa’s copious media.
They literally??? Could have addressed all the issues they had with the first movie (displaying their leads of color as frogs ¾ths of the movie, Tiana having to work during the entire thing, her hair never being out, etc) with a short, tv movie, or a series
'Thor: Ragnarok' Trailer Is Marvel and Disney's Most Watched Ever in 24 Hours
People want their “Ragnarok”-n-roll.
Marvel’s promise of a Thor vs. Hulk battle seems to have re-energized the Thor movie franchise.
The trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, which was unleashed Monday by Disney, the parent company of Marvel, has garnered more than 136 million views in only 24 hours.
It becomes the not only the most viewed Marvel trailer ever, but also the studio’s most viewed trailer ever across all its brands, which includes Disney’s live-action and animation divisions, Pixar, Star Wars, as well as Marvel.
The Beauty and the Beast trailer was the previous 24-hour record-holder for Disney with 127.6 million views. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was viewed 112 million times in that time frame. Captain America: Civil War held the previous Marvel record with 94 million views.
The trailer was met with tremendous enthusiasm, with it channeling a Guardians of the Galaxy vibe with both music and sci-fi fantasy worlds as it set up a scenario where Thor, played by a returning Chris Hemsworth, is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer. It offered glimpses of Hela, the movie’s powerful new villain played by Cate Blanchett. And it closed with a killer line as Thor, forced to fight in a gladiatorial arena, sees his Avengers comrade Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and bellows, “He’s a friend from work.” It’s a line he quickly rues saying.
The Ragnarok trailer doesn’t hold the most viewed overall record. The trailer for New Line’s adaptation of Stephen King’s It was viewed 197 million times in the 24 hours after its March 29 release, while Fate of the Furious was eyeballed 139 million times.
Taika Waititi, the New Zealand filmmaker behind the acclaimed indies Hunt for the Wilderpeople and What We Do in the Shadows, is in the director’s seat for Ragnarok.