I’m a huge fan of animation. I think of it as an art form, an idea that doesn’t get the same amount of respect as a Jackson Pollock paint enema or a Dadaist toilet installation. And that’s a shame, because traditional 2D animation is a bridge between modern and older techniques of art, mixing digital advances with hard-earned talent.
But lately, there’s also been a shift towards a more three dimensional form of animation. On paper, it makes sense: Cheaper production values, quicker turnaround times on episodes and kids are stupid enough to fall for this each and every single time. But what about a merger between 3D and 2D? It’s not exactly un-possible. In fact, its been done plenty of times over the years, as 3D models sport cel-shaded designs to give them a more graphic visual style.
And in short bursts, that works. But maintaining that ceaseless look over multiple minutes and hours? It’s just…weird. It’s something we got a taste of in the original video animations for Berserk, which blended the two styles, using 2D animation for more serene sequences and 3D models for the bigger action setpieces. But with a new Berserk anime on the way, the 2D and 3D marriage is looking downright odd:
Something’s missing, right? Anime forums are massively divided right now over this art direction. Some call it cheap, others think its the right kind of gritty. And I’m straddling a fence like some sort of pervert with a very specific picket fetish over this style. Whatever the end result, I’m still damn excited to finally see the Berserk tale progress further, covering newer arcs that previous series never had the time or budget to adapt. The Berserk manga is dark, gruesome and ultra-violent stuff, but also legendary for its unique visuals.
Hopefully this early look leads to something better along the way as 90 seconds just isn’t enough.
Last Updated: June 14, 2016