Modern anime follows a typical animation production process, including storyboards, voice acting, character design, and cell production. Since the 1990s, animators have increasingly used computer animation to improve the efficiency of the production process. Early anime works were experimental and consisted of pictures drawn on chalkboards, stop-motion animations for paper pieces, and silhouette animations. [32] [33] The animation grew in popularity until it became a dominant medium.


In the twenty-first century, the use of other animation techniques was mainly restricted to independent short films, [34] including the animated cartoon works produced by Tadahito Mushinaga, Kihaichiro Kawamoto and Tomoyasu Murata. [35] [36] Computers were incorporated into the 1990s animation process, with works such as Ghost in the Shell and Princess Mononoke mixing cellular animation with computer-generated imagery. [37] Fuji Film, a major cell producer, has announced that it will stop production of cells, sparking panic in the industry to purchase imports of cells and accelerate the shift to digital operations. [37]

Before the digital age, animation was produced using traditional animation methods using the Pose to Pose approach. [32] Most mainstream animations use fewer emoji and more animation in between. [38]

Japanese animation studios pioneered many limited animation techniques and gave animation a distinct set of conventions. Unlike Disney animation, where the emphasis is on movement, animation emphasizes art quality and allows limited animation techniques to compensate for the time spent in motion. These techniques are often used not only to meet deadlines, but also as technical tools [39]. Anime scenes emphasize the realization of 3D scenes, and backgrounds are essential for creating an action atmosphere. [9] The backgrounds are not always composed but are sometimes based on actual locations, as exemplified by Howell’s Moving Castle and the depression of Haruhi Suzumiya. [40] [41] Oplegger stated that anime is one of the rare mediums in which the assembly of all-star cast is “hugely impressive”. [42]

The cinematic effects of anime differ from the plays found in American animation. Animation is filmed just as cinematic as it is in a camera, including panning, zooming, distances and angles to more complex dynamic shots that are difficult to produce in reality. [43] [44] [45] In animation, animation occurs prior to voice acting, in contrast to American animation which performs voice acting first; This can cause lip-sync errors in the Japanese version. [46]

The body proportions of human anime characters tend to accurately reflect the dimensions of the human body in reality. The artist considers head height the basic unit of proportion. Head height can vary, but most cartoon characters have between seven and eight heads. [47] Animators sometimes make deliberate adjustments to body proportions to produce highly distorted characters that have a body disproportionately small compared to the head; Several super deformed characters are two to four heads long. Some anime works like Crayon Shin-chan completely ignore these proportions, resembling Western cartoons.

A common design convention for cartoon characters is exaggerated eye size. The animation of the characters with big eyes in the anime dates back to Osamu Tezuka, who was heavily influenced by cartoon characters from as early as Betty Boop, who was drawn with disproportionately large eyes. [48] ​​Tezuka is a pivotal figure in anime and manga history, as her artistic style and iconic character design have enabled the representation of a whole range of human emotions through eyes only. [49] The artist adds changing pigment to the eyes, especially the cornea, to give them greater depth. Generally, a combination of light shade, shadow color and dark shade is used. [50] [51] Cultural anthropologist Matt Thorne argues that Japanese animators and audiences do not view such stylized eyes as somewhat strange. [52] However, not all anime characters have big eyes.

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