Backgrounds are primarily responsible for giving an impression of the world that the lead characters inhabit. They inform the viewer not only of where their focus should be at what time, but also give a certain framework through which to view the main characters, and determine the lenses that they look through while in their world. Backgrounds also take, in most cases, both time and money, specifically when there are other people occupying the same space as the main characters. Usually, the larger the amount of people needed to occupy a background – in a more crowded space like a school assembly or heavily-trafficked Ikebukuro – the more those denizens become a simple pattern. It’s a visual shortcut, allowing the viewer to easily understand that the area is densely-populated while continuing to identify where the main characters are at all times.
Allow me pitch an idea for an animated television series to you. Are you ready?
Here it is: a group of five, energetic young men at a technical school form a club solely based around wearing glasses. Their main mission is to create a pair of X-ray glasses to see through women’s clothing. We will call it “Meganebu!” or “Glasses Club!”
Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous – and potentially quite boring – but no more or less so than a club of three girls looking up random things on the internet and, like Yuyushiki, Meganebu! delivers genuine laughs and sentimentality through its ability to relate to the viewer, further proving that quality is more execution than premise.