1998 was one of the most important years in the history of the Kanada school. On the one hand, it was when Yoshinori Kanada himself left Japan—and, with it, the anime industry proper—for Hawaii and games development. In the context of the general decline, if not total disappearance, of the creativity of Kanada-style animation in most productions, it felt like the ground had been given up to newer generations. But another thing happened in 1998: the broadcast of a TV series produced by studio Gainax, His and Her Circumstances. Just as Kanada-style animation was withering all over, KareKano became a formidable space for experimentation, bringing to the fore a new generation of animators from Gainax. These would go on to be called the “Neo-Kanada” school. Its foremost members form the trio now strongly associated with studio Trigger: Yô Yoshinari, Hiroyuki Imaishi, and Sushio.
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.