Brent’s recent post on Otaku, No Video reminds me how infrequently I ever bother to describe or critique the actual art of anime. For all the time I spend here blathering on and on about such a visual medium as anime, I almost never (if ever?) talk about how it looks, why it is or isn’t appealing to the eyes, or what the artists behind it are actually doing when they somehow bring a script to a storyboard to an actual animated final product. Since almost everything I know about the animation process I learned from Animation Runner Kuromi and Paranoia Agent, maybe I feel unqualified to dig into their work, instead sticking to discussing such conceptual topics as story, characters, themes… ideas that can be treated with more subjectivity than the straightforward appearance of a single frame or series of frames. I’ll leave that to the bloggers who complain about characters being “off model,” whatever that means. Honestly, I’ve tried to watch for this kind of thing myself and I just don’t have the eye to spot it.
I guess I can add visuals to the list of subjects that I rarely touch when it comes to art (or media) in general, which already includes plot (something I hate to endlessly rehash beyond a certain point) and sound (concerning music, how can one describe such slippery ideas as melody, rhythm, timbre and such, which provoke such strong emotions but defy easy linguistic pigeonholing). Where does that leave a blogger like me? Relying on the good old “reader response” (er, viewer or listener response, if you prefer) makes for more unique reading, in my opinion, but is it really what blog readers are looking for? Does it come across as a narcissistic or uninsightful view of a work?
But I digress. Even when I love the look of a series, I find it very hard to string together the right words to explain why, or to at least describe it to a somewhat accurate degree. I’ve noticed myself praising series for being “colorful,” whatever that means. I guess I just know it when I see it! And until I take a few more art classes, that’s probably as good as it’s going to get around here.