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My favourite anime studio, this is a discussion that I see a lot, and it's quite an interesting
one because for me, most studios don't have much of an identity.
I look at some of the bigger establishments and find it hard to find links between their
A lot of studios don't even feature the same staff.
Yet, people attach a kind of identity to them.
Look at A1 Pictures as an example, if we have a look at 4 of their recent projects over
the last year, there isn't one repeat director, in fact, very few of the roles have recurring
This isn't a bad thing for each individual series, they don't necessarily drop in quality
because of this but it means the studios lack identity.
And because of this, I find it hard to comment about 'anime studios'.
Which is a shame because much like following a sports team or band, it's fun to find
a collective group of individuals to support and enjoy.
People that you can identify with, on a personal level.
I mean, imagine if your favourite sports team played a whole new team every week, you'd
find it much harder to support them.
I just find that it's quite hard to do this with anime studio's, but this lack of identity
isn't the case for every studio, sometimes you find a group that you really connect with,
a studio that you can enjoy every time their make something.
When I was first getting into anime, that didn't happen for me, I never really found
a studio that i could confidently say “that's my favourite”, but recently a studio has
popped up that has filled that gap.
And to understand this studio, we have to go all the way back to where two creators
began working together: Masaaki Yuasa and Eunyoung Choi.
One of the industry's more talented pairings.
They first worked together at Madhouse with Kemonozume in 2006, Yuasa would be the director
of the project and Choi would work as an animation director and as an animator.
While Yuasa had been working in the industry for a considerable time at this point, this
was very early in Choi's career, and this period became quite formative for her.
To work on such an unorthodox project so early in a career is a real test, and she done some
fantastic work on the show.
Yuasa then went on to complete a trilogy of shows at Madhouse, with Choi working on all
The aforementioned Kemonozume, then Kaiba in 2008 and The Tatami Galaxy in 2010.
Three crucial shows that would basically give the pairing their reputation in the industry
as some of the most creative practitioners.
Choi's style was molded by her work with Yuasa during this period and the two formed
an important stylistic pairing.
Yuasa and Choi's artistic visions fitted well with each other and they would continue
working together.
Future projects would include titles such as Ping Pong and their episode in Space Dandy.
Over this time they have formed a very unique, recognisable style.
And it's all due to them working together again, and again.
Yuasa has a fantastic way of making the most out of his small teams, Choi being a perfect
example of who he likes to work with.
Let's have a look into Choi's work, because she's definitely one of the most underrated
individuals in the industry at the moment.
Like I said, her style fits very closely to Yuasa's and not only in the way it looks
but in the way she can work with resources.
She prioritises elements like colour and the movement of shapes, almost all of her scenes
have very bold colour choices and interesting compositions.
I've noticed that Choi likes to play with perspective in her shots, normally having
characters or objects cover a lot of distance.
This focus on exciting but simple animation is why she's perfect for working with Yuasa,
and is no doubt the reason he continues to work with Choi.
Yuasa and Choi's creativity is undoubtable and everything they've worked on together
has been fantastic, but the nature of their less commercial work means that they have
a hard time getting funding.
Madhouse's prosperity and willingness to give them a platform was an incredibly unique
Almost everything Yuasa has worked on has come from his unique creativity, producers
and other creators go out their way to have him involved in projects, but this approach
isn't one that attracts much funding, to be honest, we're very lucky to have had what
we've had so far.
But with the growing market in niche audiences and in Yuasa's fan base, the pair were able
to overcome this monetary hurdle and found their own studio: Science SARU.
Yuasa and Choi needed resources to create their projects, finding studio that are willing
to take such creative risks with every project is near impossible.
Ping Pong, for example, was notorious for it's struggles to come to fruition.
Science SARU is their gateway to showcasing more of their amazing work, giving them freedom
and creative control.
And they've already done some amazing work, showing what can be possible.
Let's look into what they've done at the studio so far and how that's evolved from
their earlier work.
One of their first pieces of work, and personally one of my favourite examples of their style
is 'Food Chain', an episode the studio created for the TV series Adventure Time.
The team done everything from storyboards to animation, to even singing the opening
Again, Yuasa and his team used their skills in utilising simple shapes to create expressive
and exciting motion.
Using lots of dynamic perspectives and wonderful background art.
For example the way in which the camera moves seamlessly between a 2D and 3D plane is great,
achieved by the lack of boundaries the team put on their visuals.
They can switch between a detailed painted background to an animated block colour background
very easily because they build this sense of, animation being a part of the world.
You get a feeling that the animation is more than just something to portray the narrative
but a narrative tool in itself.
And this is all done with a very impressive level of finesse.
The studio's style fits perfectly into the quirky and fun atmosphere of Adventure Time,
it's an example of the kind of work that suits Yuasa and his team.
It seems they're less bothered about where they're making things and more what they're
The studio also took on an episode of Space Dandy's second season.
I feel like this an example of what the studio can do on a larger production.
It contains more of that simple shape-based animation but also a lot of the sketchier
hand-drawn style animation we've seen in previous Yuasa projects.
A possible preview of what's to come, i'll get to that later in the video.
Again, much like Food Chain, there's so much dynamic animation, not necessarily realistic
but exciting, the movements of character models and their relationship the backgrounds.
I thought they brought the aliens world to life with imaginative object animations was
They've also done a number of smaller projects as a studio such as the 2nd opening to Garo
The Animation and a number of animation jobs in various Shin-Chan movies.
Further showing off the studio's talent and potential.
Having looked at everything they've done so far, it's clear to me that there are
patterns in what I like about them.
It's more than just me liking the shoes.
I like the work ethic in the amount of passion behind each production.
I like that people like you are so and Choi have such a vast palette of rolls and talents.
I think the fact that the individuals of the studio feel like they can stretch their wings
and do different roles is great.
I feel like when you give people creative freedom, their passion really show, and with
passion comes artistic expression.
For me, I watch a Science SARU project, not because of what it is, but who it's by.
And, i think, that's really important.
But, their upcoming works are the ones that will be most important for showcasing what
they can do as a studio, and maybe setting a standard for similar establishments.
They'll be handling two feature films this year and a Netflix series next year.
It will be the busiest time for the studio so far and a potential to see what they can
really do.
This is more than some commercial studios take on so it will be interesting to see how
things go.
The first film is 'Night is short, walk on girl' a series connected to the Tatami
Galaxy franchise.
It's got a lot of the Tatami Galaxy staff returning and will be sticking quite closely
to the TV series.
And then Lu Over The Wall, a new original film directed by Yuasa, and personally, it
might be one of my most anticipated projects from Yuasa and his team.
From the trailer it seems the movie fits perfectly into the studio's style while also offering
chances to delve into new areas.
It looks like a nice mixture of all of Yuasa's previous works, with maybe a more solid art
I feel like a lot of the elements in this movie will be more grounded compared to their
other works, and it will be interesting to see how the studio handles that.
I've always wondered how Yuasa and his team would handle something less abstract, I'm
very excited.
And of course, next year's Devilman, which might stray furthest from what Science SARU
have done before.
For those that don't know, Devilman was originally a manga series in the 70s that's
had a myriad of adaptations from Novels to Anime.
Again, stylistically this is a great opportunity for the studio to explore another avenue of
visual expression, if they can succeed at this, I feel like they can do anything.
What's interesting about this project is that it's going straight onto Netflix, which
has been a recurring theme for series and movies over here in the west for a while now,
and shows like Stranger Things have been met with fantastic success.
It could signify an important development in the distribution of anime.
Projects like this mean more niche works can meet a larger audience and not have to fit
into a TV or cinema template, there's a lot more room for experimentation.
So, Science SARU is obviously prospering in one way or another, this isn't one or two
projects getting miracle funding anymore, SARU are very, very busy and they've not
lost that unique style of doing things.
Yuasa and his team have managed to find a way of bringing their art to life without
This is amazing for them, but is it a sign of things to come for other directors?
Will more experimental, smaller studios making feature films and TV series be a viable market?
I'd love to think so, and services like Netflix must be the future.
When you look at the huge number of Netflix original shows we have in the west, there
must be a market for niche art, big enough to fund 10s of shows every year, so why couldn't
that translate into anime?
We know Yuasa has a large following in the west, a quick look at any of the western database
sites proves that, it's all about connecting them with the works of the creators, Netflix
and other streaming services could be the answer to that.
Could this even be a future for smaller streaming services like Crunchyroll and Funimation?
I guess we'll have to wait and find out, be sure to share your thoughts about this
in the comments, it's definitely something i'm hugely interested in.
But I can safely say Science SARU is without a doubt, my favourite anime studio at the
I genuinely feel like I enjoy everything they make and I feel like they have an identity.
I feel like i understand the passion and creativity of the studio whenever I watch any of their
I'm glad I've found a studio like this too, it brings an extra level of enjoyment
to follow their work.
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My Favourite Anime Studio

110 Folder Collection
二百五 published on September 11, 2019
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