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Sakuga

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For those wondering what Sakuga is, the short answer is "great animation". For the long answer, go here and here. That or ask JacobYBM.

Anyway, this thread is for talking about the best animated scenes of the Pokemon anime and the key animators who draw them.

Let me begin with the first two episodes of Sun and Moon. I think this new art style is beneficial to the animators. I love how expressive everyone looks.
 
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It's easy to list any number of Tamagawa/Iwane episodes (and Aito Oohashi as of XY) but I was also a huge fan of Natsume's during DP. I loved DP103, it was just so quirky! It's been years since I last watched it but the Nyasu scenes are the ones which stood out enough that I remember them. I can't wait to see what he has in store for us in SM as I think he'll have a little more freedom once again.
 
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I'm really looking forward to Sun & Moon Episode #3. Judging by the preview it may just be the best Iwane episode in a long while, especially now that he doesn't have to focus so much on staying on model. With looser designs he'll be able to draw more key frames and control the finished product better. It'll be interesting to see how this affects his battles, too, once he's doing big battles in his solo episodes and not just battles for other animation supervisors.

Iwane's episodes always have great character expressions, so it's nice to see that being encouraged in the other supervisors, too. Who knows what new super talents will be birthed in this new, more creative environment, especially considering the greater production schedule allocated to the franchise.

I'm looking forward to seeing if Iwane and Asada will be allowed to do big episodes on the level of XY & Z Episode #23 or the Mega Evolution specials. Hopefully we learn about what's going on for a while.
 
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I love this scene. It wasn't the typical talking scene where only their mouths were moving. This was actual character acting. Look at how much Bonnie moves when she is trying to comfort Dedenne. Even though the clip I linked has no sound, this scene is still emotional because it is using body language and facial expressions. Yasuhiko Akiyama did a great job. I'm hoping SM can provide more moments like this.

OK, now I want to ask a favor. Does anyone know of any Sakuga in the hand-panted era (Kanto, Orange Islands, most of Johto)? No, the movies do not count. For an example, there is the scene in "Electric Shock Showdown" where Pikachu keeps dodging the body slams of Lt. Surge's Raichu that is used in the first English theme song and I know Iwane most likely drew that scene because he is listed as a key animator for the episode.

BUMP! Sorry for the double post.

Anyway, would you say there was any differences between animators? For example, could you tell the difference between one battle animated by Iwane and one animated by Ohashi?
 
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Let me rephrase that. Can you tell who animated a scene just by looking at how the characters are drawn?

Bump again. *sigh*

It is funny. Up to BW, only 3 animators mattered to fans: Kunihiko Natsume (to a point), Akihiro Tamagawa, and of course, Masaaki Iwane. All were animation directors and the episodes they did had excellent work, especially the latter two. When you saw fluid animation, it was most likely Iwane doing his own work or working as a key animator under another animation director (I'm still convinced that the scene of Picachu dodging Lt. Surge's Raichu is his work).

Then in XY, something happened. We started to see other key animators get credited for amazing work. They included Aito Ohashi, Ryuuta Yannagi, Isao Nanba, Shingo Fuji, and Yasuhiko Akiyama. Some of those animators have stayed onto SM. I would like their names to come up in conversations.
 
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Then in XY, something happened. We started to see other key animators get credited for amazing work. They included Aito Ohashi, Ryuuta Yannagi, Isao Nanba, Shingo Fuji, and Yasuhiko Akiyama. Some of those animators have stayed onto SM. I would like their names to come up in conversations.
Aito Oohashi's name is starting to circulate. Do you have examples for any of the others?
 
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There was this one scene in EP074 when, right after being burnt by the torch, Musashi angrily stands up and throws Nyarth off of her before talking to Satoshi. It was such a small moment and not *amazing* necessarily but it stood out to me as being unusually fluid for Kanto.

I also thought Serena's dance number in XY109(?) was incredibly fluid, I almost feel like they outsourced it to another studio because it was noticeably better quality than even some of the films.

Let me rephrase that. Can you tell who animated a scene just by looking at how the characters are drawn?


Yes.

There was actually this one Johto episode where there were definitely Tamagawa, Iwane, and a third (worse) AD scenes all thrown in there. It wasn't stock animation like a battle move or the Rocket motto either, it was all new stuff which made it extra jarring.
 
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Glad to see this thread bumped so I can post one of my favorite scenes:
Aaaaaaaaaah so good! OS sakuga is unbeatable. Reminds me a bit of the BDSM dungeon scene in Guardie & Kojiro (though probably marginally better) where he is just roughed up in such a wonderful-to-watch way. I'll see if I can dig up a gif or something later.

And also, I'd meant examples of the others who aren't Oohashi!
 
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For some reason Iwane's work doesn't do it for me most of the time, it feels too snappy and and *proper* to put it in a way. It's serviceable, it's really good actually, but it doesn't excite me as much as some of the other animators.

Shingo Fuji has one of my favorite shots, though there aren't many I'm aware of. In the few I've seen you can clearly appreciate how well they understand and implement 3D space into their animation. This shot from XY&Z is one of my favorite, but this other one from Alola! is insane too.

There are some animators I haven't seen much work of too, like Yasuhiko Akiyama, and Yoshimichi Kameda (this shot is my absolute favorite).

Isao Nanba has some pretty cool shots too. But I still can't really tell him apart from other animators.

Ohashi's work is probably my favorite overall, though. I consistently like how rhythmic their work feels, and I must admit those eye zooms they do have leaked into my own work as well.
 
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There are some that are really easy to recognize through movement tbh, like Iwane, whose work tends to be extremely fluid and bouncy, Maenami, whose work uses lots of smears and stretching for fast paced action, and of course Ohashi, whose work feels kinda snappy and sharp (in a good way). There's also one whose name I don't know that always feels "foamy" (the one who animated All Out Pummeling and Lillie's goodbye scene)
 
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I found this article on Sun and Moon's animation.
God that article is so crammed full of content that it's taken me hours to get through it, but amazing! It's just so cool that there is so much depth to the knowledge one could have about animation in Pokeani, it's a little fan subspecialisation of its own!

It's a small detail, but the article references that they intentionally put a grainy filter on the initial digitally coloured episodes, a fact I didn't previously know. It's hilarious because I've always noticed it when fishing for caps from the late OS-mid AG period and thought 'gosh, doesn't that era look so much more pleasing to the eye?!' Fell for it hook, line and sinker :ROFLMAO:
 
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One of my favorite scenes that Masaki Iwane animated was Pokemon Sun and Moon Episode 144 Pikachu vs Tapu Koko. The visuals are amazing and it was so fast paced duirng the scene. Hand's down one of Iwane's best scenes imo that he animated
 
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I keep forgetting about this thread... I need to gush in here more often.
For some reason Iwane's work doesn't do it for me most of the time, it feels too snappy and and *proper* to put it in a way. It's serviceable, it's really good actually, but it doesn't excite me as much as some of the other animators.
I absolutely adore Iwane's work and he's easily one of my biggest (if not THE biggest) inspirations, but I also totally see where you're coming from. His animation is, like you described, more "proper" when compared to a lot of animators that have joined recently, but I do think part of that is also because he's, like... in charge of animating an entire episode every 20 seconds. (Not to mention doing key animation in other supervisors' episodes at the same time)

Most of the other crazy awesome animators show up relatively sparingly in comparison. Even when Ohashi (UGH his animation is so ludicrously good) would supervise an half-episodes, it would still be a significant while between them. Of course, I know most of these animators do work on other shows as well, but I still don't think they come close in terms of sheer output.

That said.. who knows how his work would be if he wasn't doing that, and had more time to specifically focus on battles, etc. His twitter is a good example of his experimenting with various styles, and even in-show he's trying out different things when given the opportunity:


Regardless, I think the amount of character he still manages to get add in his episodes, even in random small interactions, is something to be admired. Dude is insanely dedicated.
 
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One of my favorite scenes that Masaki Iwane animated was Pokemon Sun and Moon Episode 144 Pikachu vs Tapu Koko. The visuals are amazing and it was so fast paced duirng the scene. Hand's down one of Iwane's best scenes imo that he animated
It wasn't just Iwane alone, there was a boatload of animators who worked on that: Maenami, Nakano, Namba, Ohashi, Yasuda, Murata, freakin Yoshimichi Kameda were just a couple of the many animators involved too.
 
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