Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime That Use CGI

Tuesday's Top 5

It probably isn’t news that a lot of people don’t like CGI in their anime. And given some of the efforts at using it,  that’s actually pretty understandable. At some point I’m going to have to look at those anime that end up just being an eye-sore, but that isn’t today’s list. Today I have 5 anime where the CGI actually worked reasonably well (though not always perfectly). As always, I would love to know what some of your favourites are so be sure to leave me a comment below.

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Honourable Mention: Ajin.

Number 5: Blame

Blame

I wasn’t the biggest fan of this Netflix movie feeling it was more like an introduction to a much larger story, but I did enjoy the visuals for the most part. There were some great effects with the weapons and the movement of the characters in action sequences was very fluid and fun to watch. Admittedly, like a lot of anime that uses CGI, the characters when they were just talking looked a bit odd, but otherwise I really kind of enjoyed this.

Number 4: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

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So, there are definitely some odd moments in the animation in this movie, but I never did get over how beautiful the main character’s hair was. I’d never seen an animation that detailed before or that fluid in its movement. While the story might not have blown me away, the visuals in this film actually did and while comparatively there are much better examples today, I have a soft spot for this film.

Number 3: Kado: The Right Answer

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Another case where the story fell over, quite badly toward the end, and the characters themselves are kind of creepy to watch move at times. This one earns a spot for its backgrounds and for the design of the cube itself. While at times it may have looked like someone shoved the characters inside a kaleidoscope, I couldn’t help but love the backgrounds of so many scenes in this. Visually it was striking and while again, the character movement wasn’t great, there wasn’t a lot of it anyway.

Number 2: Attack on Titan

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This one is the opposite of Kado. The backgrounds here seem for the most part to be more traditional and the CG seems to be used for the character movement, particularly during fights. The end result is actually kind of exhilarating to watch and kind of beautiful (until the characters get eaten and we end up with blood splatter). Still, Attack on Titan kind of shows us a good compromise between traditional animation and CGI techniques.

Number 1: Land of the Lustrous

Lustrous9a

Definitely the anime that inspired this list and got me thinking about anime using CGI. I loved the look of this anime and the characters. Certainly, it isn’t a look I want everything to adopt, but the way the animation style and character designs suited the story here was kind of perfect. And that’s really what needs to be considered. Is the CGI really enhancing the story or distracting from it. In cases like Land of the Lustrous, I can’t imagine those characters or some of those fight sequences ever really working without it. Truly beautiful and well worth trying the anime if you haven’t had a chance to see it yet.

So what anime CGI have you enjoyed?


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Blame Movie Review

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Overview:

There’s a city with builders that just keeps getting built and humans somehow lost control of it and are now treated as pests to be exterminated by the various safeguards and things. Zuru lives in a village that is protected by a barrier but they are running out of food and so must venture into the city for supplies.

Review:

There’s something very disappointing about a movie that has a really cool setting and premise and then essentially does nothing with world or character building to bring either to life. Blame has everything it needs to be a pretty good sci-fi film and yet it settles for being a mediocre action viewing experience that spends so little time on its characters you’d be lucky to even remember three names by the time you get to the end of the film. Certainly it isn’t working at building any kind of emotional connection to these drone like and interchangeable cast members.

Still, it isn’t bad. Blame’s biggest issue is that it isn’t as good as it could have been and that left a really sour taste in my mouth which made it hard to really focus on what it was doing well. I  said it was mediocre action viewing, but the action is pretty good. From a visual point of view the movement and explosions are all very effective and if you just want to watch desperate people trudge about for most of the first act and then scurry in fear as the few major players duke it out in the second, you’ll actually get a fairly solid viewing experience.

Still, if you are after explanations, character motivations (beyond the obvious), a world that feels like more than a group of set pieces strung together, Blame is going to fall short of the mark. And no where is this truer than in Killy.

Blame

Killy originally rescues Zuru when she has led a group of younger people out of the village in search of food and of course for the sake of narrative convenience they run afoul of the exterminaters. I will point out over half of the party die and other than a few uncomfortable moments when they first get back to the village no one ever mentions these dead characters again. Considering how much fuss is made later over another character dying (and again she wasn’t the only character to die in that scene) it just seems really unnatural. Blame wants the audience to care about this death so the characters will make a fuss. These deaths were just to show you how spectacularly powerful these machines are. Don’t worry about these characters and the other characters won’t either.

Back to Killy. With very little discussion or actual reason, Zuru brings Killy back to the village. Zuru actually seems to have imprinted on Killy because she spends most of the rest of the movie either following him or hovering in his vicinity. They don’t seem to actually interact much and I don’t actually know why she’s hung up on him or if they ever even speak together again because as far as I can recall they don’t. Yet for some reason he has this incredible impact on her and that’s something the closing monologue wants to emphasise but it makes no sense because nothing we saw really warranted that kind of connection to have been forged.

The other characters to just seem to accept Killy. No one actually asks him the questions the audience would like answered. We get a few hints here and there and an antagonist pretty much tells us something we’d mostly figured out by sheer guess work in the end but where did Killy come from? Why was he so fixated on his mission? How did he survive that long? Nothing. Silence.

We know nothing about him. We know what he is seeking and that is the full extent of our knowledge of this character. Seriously, even Arnold as the Terminator had more personality.

There’s some cool technology and ideas floating around in this movie but again, don’t go waiting for any kind of explanation or elaboration. This is a case of cool concept, where’s the detail.

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Basically if you have a couple of hours to kill, you could do worse than watching Blame, but it isn’t exactly something you should prioritize.


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Karandi James.

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