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GreenCine Movie Talk
Anime
Discuss all topics related to anime.
561

Anime with realistic character designs
Topic by: roadwarrior
Posted: May 19, 2005 - 8:13 AM PDT
Last Reply: May 20, 2005 - 4:11 PM PDT

author topic: Anime with realistic character designs
roadwarrior
post #1  on May 19, 2005 - 8:13 AM PDT  
Finally got vol. 1 of "Otogi Zoshi", and needless to say, I'm blown away by the plot, action, etc. But the thing that appeals to me most is the realistic character designs. In the style of the SamX series, Patlabor series, etc.

Is this sub-genre called by any particular name?

Big eyes, purple hair, and the ability to morph ones face to exaggerate emotion certainly have their appeal and are quite endearing, but part of the allure in this case is that (it appears from my novice viewpoint) much more work has to go into creating the proper facial expressions, particularly during close-ups (Hikaru is gorgeous from any angle, even when she's disguised as her brother... gulp!).

More effort is required to match the mood, as well as keeping eyes, nose, etc. to proper scale as the characters move about (again, an assumption on my part, knowing absolutely nothing about the creation process, but if it's true, I'm even more appreciative).

Anyway, I've seen SamX, the Patlabors, as I've said, and a handful of others (of course Ghost in the Shell, and Perfect Blue is right there) and I'd be interested to know if anyone has a top 5 list of anime of this type (just in case I missed something).

Thanx,

R.
ahogue
post #2  on May 19, 2005 - 11:31 AM PDT  
I can't find it right now, but some time ago I ran across an interesting list which might help you. It was composed of animes that are notable for not using conventional shortcuts to represent emotions.
jross3
post #3  on May 19, 2005 - 12:49 PM PDT  
I had a list like that.... it was pretty small and not really a good cross-section of that animation style, so it's been temporarily retired until I can make it good. (it could be a while)

First I would probably suggest Berserk. Its realistic chaacter designs are probably what you're looking for - and it has a rather unique style of comic relief (the Corbowitz family) that deserves note in itself.
Plus there's all the violence and gore. Rather similar to Samurai X on that point as well.

There's quite a few to choose from..... it's tough to say where to begin from there....

Witch Hunter Robin, Boogiepop Phantom, Wolf's Rain... hmm, what else? I'l let you know if I remember some others.
ahogue
post #4  on May 19, 2005 - 1:37 PM PDT  
> On May 19, 2005 - 12:49 PM PDT jross3 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
>
> Witch Hunter Robin, Boogiepop Phantom, Wolf's Rain... hmm, what else? I'l let you know if I remember some others.
> ---------------------------------

Texhnolyze, too. Apparently ABe had a hard time doing the character designs because he's never done a show with so many middle aged characters before. I think his designs for that show are fabulous.
hamano
post #5  on May 19, 2005 - 4:28 PM PDT  
I didn't think the character designs in Otogizoushi was realistic in a photorealist sort of way... A lot of the characters have these big eyes with weird "twin ring" irises and pinpoint pupils. There's an economy of lines and shading that makes them flat/minimalist, but realistic? I think it's just a different drawing style, and just as graphically stylized as any other, in its own way.
roadwarrior
post #6  on May 19, 2005 - 5:43 PM PDT  
> On May 19, 2005 - 4:28 PM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I didn't think the character designs in Otogizoushi was realistic in a photorealist sort of way... A lot of the characters have these big eyes with weird "twin ring" irises and pinpoint pupils. There's an economy of lines and shading that makes them flat/minimalist, but realistic? I think it's just a different drawing style, and just as graphically stylized as any other, in its own way.
> ---------------------------------

Perhaps it's a matter of degree. The character designs resemble the dimensions and features of "real" humans on the side of the bell curve closer to what you call photorealism than, say, (started to name an anime but then realized the can of worms it could open because this is subjective opinion and thus decided against it...) other works available for our viewing pleasure.

So, Hamano, within what you define as photorealistic, have you got a top five?

BTW, "Millenium Actress" and "Tokyo Godfathers" just came to mind.

R.
NLee
post #7  on May 19, 2005 - 7:08 PM PDT  
'The Wings of Honneamise'
'Magnetic Rose' (in 'Memories')
'Master Keaton'
'Grave of the Fireflies'
and most Miyazaki movies
jross3
post #8  on May 19, 2005 - 11:00 PM PDT  
You know, come to think of it, the characters in Cromartie High School (with the exception of Mechazawa) are all pretty well-grounded in natural proportions. That's a far cry from photo-realism, but their eyes are all remarkably small and narrow for anime.
IronS
post #9  on May 19, 2005 - 11:17 PM PDT  
But what about the lack of eyebrows?
jross3
post #10  on May 19, 2005 - 11:26 PM PDT  
> On May 19, 2005 - 11:17 PM PDT IronS wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> But what about the lack of eyebrows?
> ---------------------------------

It seems that some of them are hidden in the shadow of the brow - being hit in the face stunts the hair folicles, so they get thin and sometimes dissappear.
In any case, delinquients don't need them.
roadwarrior
post #11  on May 20, 2005 - 12:43 PM PDT  
> On May 19, 2005 - 7:08 PM PDT NLee wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> 'The Wings of Honneamise'
> 'Magnetic Rose' (in 'Memories')
> 'Master Keaton'
> 'Grave of the Fireflies'
> and most Miyazaki movies
>
> ---------------------------------

Thanks! "Magnetic Rose" looks interesting. I have it in my queue.

JRoss, is "Cromartie High School" anything like "GTO"?

Thx,

R.
jross3
post #12  on May 20, 2005 - 1:22 PM PDT  
> On May 20, 2005 - 12:43 PM PDT roadwarrior wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> JRoss, is "Cromartie High School" anything like "GTO"?

Well:

They're both set in a school.
They both feature a lot of punks.
They both have comedy (Cromartie more than GTO)
...
....
that's about it.
Things not in Cromartie: Girls, teachers, serious plot lines.
Things not in GTO: Robots, gorillias, hand-puppets.

I just watched disc 2 of Cromartie; I loved their "baseball gear". Best part of the show so far.
ahogue
post #13  on May 20, 2005 - 4:11 PM PDT  
> On May 20, 2005 - 1:22 PM PDT jross3 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On May 20, 2005 - 12:43 PM PDT roadwarrior wrote:
> > ---------------------------------

> I just watched disc 2 of Cromartie; I loved their "baseball gear". Best part of the show so far.
> ---------------------------------

I haven't seen all of that disk yet, but I really like Mechazawa Beta, or whatever it is they called him.

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