In case you didn’t know, there is a booru where the focus is on Japanese animators and their handicraft in terms of clips from TV (and other) anime. If you want to revisit a scene for the visuals, it’s a good place to start looking. There are no audio in any of the clips though. To foster the community for sakuga fans overseas, they’ve started a blog and started to ask for money to host their booru better.
My problem about sakuga fandom overseas so far is that it celebrates, typically, in a very simple kind of way. It’s literally about the animation, and by that I mean the way images shifts from one frame to the next. There’s also a sense of understanding in contextualizing the careers of various animators, both veterans and neophytes.
But to me that’s not enough. My sense of animation enjoyment extends to not just animation, and specifically, the “sakuga.” Direction, storyboarding and layout, for example, are super-duper important things that I dig even more (arguably). I can understand separating the use of audio (SFX and music) from this fandom but a cohesive narrative has to have all these elements work in harmony, if one can even dare to further a narrative argument about sakuga alone.
I suppose this is kind of the strangeness about sakuga as a fandom vertical, and why it takes some focus-minded fostering. It really is something worthy of study, but also at the same time not really something to put on a pedestal. It is one part of anime that maps well to the Japanese sense of artisan craftsmanship, but it also gets lost inside the reality that it takes a large team to make an anime. And this is all underneath the ever-confusing and ever-prevalent relationship between art and entertainment.
Since I couldn’t find a place on Patreon to voice this, and I pledged a few bucks to Sakugabooru this coming month, I figured it’s worth a shoutout here and I just want to say I pledged because of all the Cinderella Girls translation. For fans of the franchise, the animator relationship between these shows is an added layer of eye-opening relationships and contexts for us to enjoy and understand the source material. It’s not vital but definitely enriching my experience as a viewer of Dereani. It’s always great to see that the key animators from the scenes/cuts you enjoyed are also fans of the material much like we are, so check the below links out:
- Interview: Dereani director Takao and Animas director Nishigori
- Interview: Rising star animator Kouno Megumi
- Interview: Dereani animator round table
PS. This passive-aggressive rant is brought to you by my continued indifference to the Mob Psycho 100 sakugablog posts. I enjoyed the anime a lot (one of my favs this season) but I can’t bring myself to read the blog posts on it… It just doesn’t engage me.