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Anime Production Companies and How They Differ from Western Studios

Compare the Japanese and Western animation industries. In particular, look at some of the major studios in Japan today and in the West, and compare how they function. How is the work load divided? Is the software used to animate the same? How many series will be created at once? Is the pre or post production sequences done differently? Interviews with anime staff on Anime News Network, Youtube documentaries on Animation production, or information from the Hey, Answerman column may be useful to refer to.

  • This would be fascinating to read about, looking at cultural differences in animation studios, are there any in particular you had in mind when considering this topic? – Camille Brouard 2 years ago
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  • Other than Studio Ghibli, there's very little information on how Japanese anime is produced that I've been able to track down in either video or written form. I've always wanted to understand the methodology behind how they draw each frame of movement, and how they choose when to draw that frame. Because while anime is often very limited in its animation, it is decidedly skillful in how it retains a strong sense of expressionistic and stylistic movement, that also incredibly fluid when it needs to be, and subtle and frugal the rest of the time. But no manual exists for this that I know of. There's also no explanation as to how, where, and for how long Japanese animators learn their craft for the stunning animation they produce in the amazingly short time spans that they do. Each studio is different, and has reproduced the art-styles of numerous directors, but in almost all cases, everyone is a brilliant talent, unlike a lot of animation produced in the West, where we're much more simplified in our art-styles, rather than semi-realistic with a unique shape to faces and eyes. The best documentary I've seen on the system is the 45 minute piece created for "Little Witch Academia." And Studio Trigger is definitely one of the strongest examples of Japanese animation today. – Jonathan Leiter 2 years ago
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  • I think how you search for the information (search terms) can make a big difference. I've seen a number of videos on it. There are also books. Some other studios which might have information are Sunrise, Toei, Gonzo, Gainax, Production Ig, Bee train, Bones, Kyoto animation, Madhouse.... – Jordan 2 years ago
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  • I believe I saw a video on an American produced Japanese culture Youtube series which toured Madhouse for a special episode. Ghibli just seems to be the main one that gets the most coverage in terms of televised documentaries and other special behind-the-scenes footage. – Jonathan Leiter 2 years ago
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  • The main avenue of investigation seems to be drawing style. Investigating this would likely yield much of what you seek. – JDJankowski 2 years ago
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