15th Animation Division Critiques
Among perfect copies, strong stories stand out
There was a conspicuous trend among television series: a strangely large proportion was adapted from original works and executed in a way that suggests they must have been trying to copy those works exactly. Furthermore, their subjects were images of daily life from beginning to end, no longer needing dramatic developments or structure; they shared a tendency toward thinner narratives. Translating or transplanting a manga work into animation -- that is, creating an exact copy-- actually requires a high level of artistic technique and directorial skill, and in this sense supports the fact that the relative technical level of staff working on such series has risen. This may be praiseworthy insofar as it meets the demands of today's animation fans but is clearly a step backwards as a creative activity. If this trend of specialization to meet specific demands continues-- and it seems sure to do so -- it will go beyond the level of something to be apprehensive about and approach a suicidal act by the industry as a whole. Among entrants, however, a certain number of creators and directors have turned this trend to their advantage, testing out high-level narrative and standout direction. It is their works, though perhaps lacking universal appeal, which I decided to rate highly.