studio shaft

Color Theory in Shinobu Mail and the Monogatari Series

The Monogatari anime adaptation has always paid close attention to color. Although SHAFT can — and has been, rightfully so in my opinion — criticized for their lack of animation at times while drawing the Monogatari series into its animated form, there’s no denying its purposeful style or cinematography, which changes from narrative arc to narrative arc

Along with other stylish visual choices that set the adaptation firmly apart from its source material, color creates an ancillary emotional narrative, or helps direct the viewer’s attention to a specific character, even if that character is offscreen.


Rei Kiriyama’s Curtains — Lighting in March Comes In Like A Lion

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“Curtains are more expensive than I thought, but now I’ll finally be able to sleep peacefully.”

-Rei Kiriyama, March Comes In Like a Lion, Episode 4

I’ve had trouble getting out of bed lately for a myriad of reasons, all of which fall under the general umbrella of depression. From its first moments of a drowning Rei Kiriyama — pictured in the premiere episode itself and the anime adaptation’s opening sequence — to the latest episode that shows Rei sleeping his days away due to apathy, depression has been at the forefront of the series’ narrative. SHAFT’s visual direction regarding this theme is very heavy-handed, and often lacks the nuance that a strong discussion or portrayal of depression requires.

Yet, in the series’ sixth episode, bits and pieces come in and out of focus, giving us hints at the larger picture. Like one of Rei’s shogi matches, we can finally see the path ahead of Rei. By extension — if you resonate with how he feels or what is shown of his mental state throughout the series — you may be able to see the path ahead for yourself, regardless of how arduous or daunting it may seem.


Mekaku City Actors as a Kagerou Project Commercial

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It is impossible to spend any amount of time blogging about or discussing anime on the internet without running into a mention of Hatsune Miku and the Vocaloid program. Miku’s visage is ubiquitous in many social media circles. This is thanks, in large part, to an aggressive marketing campaign from her Crypton Future Media creators, who developed her character using Yamaha’s Vocaloid 2 and Vocaloid 3 software. Armed with a cute character design from manga artist Kei Garou, Miku exploded onto the scene with professional and amateur producers alike. Her image is peppered frequently throughout various anime, which is how I came to know of her. In spite of learning who and what she was, it never inspired me to seek out music made with the Vocaloid software.

This all changed with the recent production Mekaku City Actors. Little did I know that this series would be the catalyst for my personal descent into the world of Vocaloid.