As a conclusion for this series on the sakuga community, it seemed fitting to me to target a different audience - not the experienced sakuga fans who would be interested in the theory and history of the community, but those who’ve just started getting into it, or haven’t even yet. Basically, this isn’t going to be an essay like the others, but I’d like it to be used as a resource : a place to find other places to start getting into sakuga.
Toadette, who I interviewed for my sakuga series, is not just a writer, but also a maker of animator's reels. Here, they were kind enough to chronicle the making of a titanic work : a complete retrospective of the career of legendary Madhouse animator Manabu Ohashi.
The other articles in this series are available here : Part 1 ; Part 2 ; Part 3 ; Part 4 ; An interview with manuloz ; An interview with Blou ; An interview with Geth This series on the sakuga community is going to be half articles, half interviews of members of the community. … Continue reading Exploring sakuga – An interview with Toadette
The idea here is not so much to add on complaints about the current state of the community, whether they’re justified or not. It isn’t either to be a normative account of what sakuga should be - I’ve been an active member of this community for far too little time to even dream of making such claims. Take it rather as my own follow-up on “At Least It’s An Ethos” - though I hope a less controversial one : some ideas about what sakuga means to me as an anime fan, and what it does and could bring to anime writing and criticism in general.
This time, I interviewed Geth, sakuga fan and Naruto expert, creator of the most famous sakuga Discord, Naruto Sakuga.
By 2016 and the creation of the companion Sakuga Blog, the sakuga community we now know had pretty much been formed. But that wasn’t without debates and heated discussions which would definitely establish the core elements of the sakuga discourse and positioning towards the general anime fandom. This all happened in and around one of the most prominent sakuga blogs of the time, Wave Motion Cannon, between 2016 and 2017.
This time, I talked with Bloodyredstar, aka Blou, sakuga fan and production assistant at Studio Tonton, currently making an amateur Naruto OP and ED.
In the previous essay in this series, I argued that one of the most important factors for the development of sakuga in Japan was the VCR and its widespread use during the 1980’s, when otaku culture in general was born and boomed. Go forward 20 or 25 years, and I think that you can find something of a similar situation in the West ; but the new technology was, obviously, not the same. It was, this time, the Internet.
If you ask different people what “sakuga” is or means, chances are you’ll get different answers ; but all these answers will probably revolve around a few similar ideas : sakuga is good animation ; animation that stands out ; animation made by some talented animators, etc. All these definitions rely on remarkably vague terms (“good”, “standing out”, “talented”), but they all point out a certain awareness that there’s something going on. Animation is not just the things you see moving on the screen, or even the way they move. So to speak, animation is the way things are made to move, in specific ways and by specific people, enough to make it remarkable.