a/n: I wrote this ages ago and never published it…but here it is 🙂
It’s a strange topic to cover how characters move in a specific anime. I guess I could call it directing, but what I’m discussing in this post is the way the art director chooses to have the characters move. In many cases, the each studio has it’s own specific art style
KyotoAnimation is praised (quite lavishly) for their beautiful art, and indeed it is beautiful. It utilizes light and colors quite vibrantly. The fluid movements of the character emphasizes the flow of life and creates something gentle and pleasant to watch. All together, this creates quite an astounding image.
Meanwhile Shaft uses lots of close ups, sharp cuts and movements and still movements juxtaposed with dramatic movements to emphasize the drama and the sharpness. Their style is very punctuated. At times, often, they choose to have the character move very little and use the movement of the frame, clothes and hair to convey movement. It creates something dynamic and different to watch. (Let’s not forget about the very famous Shaft head tilt)
But enough about Shaft and KyoAni. We’re here to talk about The Perfect Insider (which is what I’ll refer to this anime as). It’s produced by A-1 Pictures who has created a myriad of animes including Sword Art Online, AnoHana, Fairy Tail, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, and a whole brigade of very popular anime. Each has their unique look, and all with fantastic art.
While I’ve only watched a handful of their anime, The Perfect Insider is a standout in terms of art within their line up. Not in the way where the art is very unique like KyoAni’s or Shafts but the way the chose to implement movement of the characters as a tool.
What you’ll notice about The Perfect Insider is that often times, the characters
movements are almost bland. But they’re also very real. In this world of anime where the movement of people is very dramatized and created to emphasize the beauty, cuteness, or
direness of a character, The Perfect Insider leaves all that behind to tell a story that is very much based on the dialogue. Without the distraction of the drastic movement of these characters, we’re allowed to focus on the characters themselves and what they are saying, which is important for such a dialogue heavy show such as The Perfect Insider.
The simple art style also grounds the show. The show, in of itself, is something that a viewer may find quite difficult to relate to. In a show where the main three characters are geniuses who are thrown into a murder mystery, it could be quite difficult for a viewer to be convinced by its reality. But the rather bland and normal movements of the characters keep the show very real and honest.
The drastic movements would not be fitting for an anime of this genre either, being rather dark and ominous, flares and fun would be quite a sore thumb. But even then, the movements of each character are quite simple and the more interesting shots are used exclusively for very important scenes.
The show saves these for the far and in-between moments of necessary flourishes. The whole show is doused in dim colors for the most part, the colors dull. However the use of color is unique in which it is used to emphasize moments: the blood of certain people (omitted to avoid spoilers) and the scenes in which they enter the Virtual Reality (which are very important).
As anime is the use of art to tell a story, it is rather important the art is reflective of the show and it’s mood. The movements of a character can either be dramatized to emphasize their direness or cuteness, but in this case, The Perfect Insider creates simple movements to ground the show, match the mood, as well as create a contrast for only the most important moments.
I really enjoy examining the use of style in anime, and this was quite a fun post to write. I hoped you enjoy it! 🙂