Art is one of the many forms of expression other than the use of words, and can be much more meaningful on its own rather than speaking through conversation. Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as a painting or sculpture.
Anime is one of the many forms of art that can be used to express emotion and meaning on a global scale, by using animation to bring life to the characters and story. Over the years, anime has evolved from generation to generation, and many creators have developed different styles of art that visually appeal to the audience. But, back in the day, anime art was quite different than how it is today.
Yet, these older anime have a special place in people’s hearts, and have become a classic favorite of anime fans. Today, you may come across 1 or 2 anime that have eye-catching designs, but a ridiculously horrible story. The real question now is: “Does art in anime matter?”
Does it make a difference on how anime fans will react to the show? Will they be able to watch this show regardless of its outrageous plotline as long as the characters look pretty? Or would they prefer an old anime back in the 90’s that have a far more decent story?
It’s still all a big question mark, but soon we’ll find the answers to our questions by looking back at history.
Let’s take a look at Fullmetal Alchemist (2003). When I was a little kid, I used to watch Mermaid Melody and your typical Sailor Moon. I then moved on to watching anime such as Free! and the like. My only problem was, I only watched anime that looked “pretty” enough to satisfy my standard of what I think looks “pretty”. This led me to missing out on a lot of good anime until I reached highschool.
If you’re wondering what kind of anime I watched during the span of my elementary days, I watched stuff like Chuunibyou at that time.
It was only until highschool that I grew out of my phase and was able to watch Fullmetal Alchemist, Hunter x Hunter and even Fate/Stay Night (2003). You’re probably thinking:
“Wow! Took you that long?!”
Yes, it took me that long. But judging from my experience, I think that art plays a really important part in the making of an anime.
I’ve heard from many fans, that art shouldn’t be the basis of a good anime. Which all in all, is exceptionally true. This also applies to the quote “You cannot judge a book by its cover.” Although, I doubt anyone would want to watch a show that looks like chicken scratch. Visual images and depiction is what makes an animation, and if one were to not pay mind to the art, it could turn out to be its downfall.
Creators pay a lot to to detail and craft their work to the best of their abilities, which is why art does matter. But if we were to critique the story on the otherhand, that’s a different matter.
The story itself is also a very important factor, that one might say the plot is the brain of the anime. It is where everything starts and ends. I think a lot of problems young fans have, is that they base how “good” an anime is by the artwork. This was the same case for me. If I didn’t like the art, the anime was already crap. If it looked decent, it instantly became my favorite.
The story and the art are both a completely different aspect of anime, and should never be lumped in together. Art, does matter in anime but it should never serve as your basis for judgement if the anime is good or not. Many people often make the same mistake of saying: “Art doesn’t matter in an anime.” But, it’s a completely different meaning in itself which is why it should be phrased better.
“Don’t judge an anime by its art.”
Sounds better right?
I guess, I’ve finally gotten my answer. Art does matter in an anime. It matters, and it can tell so many things in one picture.
“So, does art matter? Of course it does. I’ve known it along, silly me.”
I really enjoyed writing this article in all honesty, and I hope to have the chance to write something like this again. Today, I stumbled upon a variety of Violet Evergarden gifs, and I have an obsession with Violet Evergarden (a very bad one too). Which is why this random thought came to mind: “Is art really that important in anime?”. I began to ponder upon this question and think, and I recalled to back in the day when I was still young. So, this article more or less is a letter to my past self and some sort of reflection. I also want to address this article to those who are like me when I was younger. I hope that this message can be passed on.