Saturday, May 26
I started posting this as a comment on Steven's blog, but it got longer and longer and in the end I decided it was better as a post in its own right, so here it is. It's a discussion about the art styles in the various incarnations of Oh My Goddess! - particularly the OVA (which is a classic) and the recent TV series (which is a pile of poo). See hideous thirty-year-old transvestite Megumi and ugly flat-faced Urd for background.
Joe wrote:Joe is right that the artwork changes substantially over the course of the manga - with such a long-running series, that's not surprising. And the changes to Belldandy are the most significant (with Keiichi coming second - early Keiichi was kind of ugly, and that seems to be the version they picked up for the TV series).
I've been an AMG fan for close to a decade now, and I have a nearly complete collection of the original Japanese-language manga all the way to the latest volume (34), so I'm able to review the way in which the drawing style has changed over the eighteen-some years of the manga's run (the way Belldandy was drawn at the beginning is RADICALLY different from the way she looks now, so much so that if it wasn't for the identifying marks on her face, you'd wonder if they were even the same person). To me, Belldandy, Urd, Keiichi and Megumi have always looked like what they were meant to be - young adults - in the manga as well as the anime.
Steven wrote:18-year-olds tend to look more like kids than not (though of course there's a lot of variation). And Megumi is not just an 18-year-old, she's a cute and bubbly 18-year-old. The artwork in the anime is dull and flat; it shifts the colour of her eyes and hair from red-brown to grey-brown, elongates her face, makes her chin pointed rather than round. All it really succeeds in doing is making her look tired and washed-out, which makes her look older than she should be.
Within that context, Megumi as drawn in the TV series looks scandalously mature, even old -- but only because the context itself is distorted. Megumi doesn't look 29; she looks 18. The reason she looks out of place is because so many other girls that age (or slightly younger) in anime are drawn to look 12.
Steven wrote:But the change there is the eyes, Skuld being wide-eyed and childlike and Urd being narrow-eyed and mischievous - even in the manga. Manga Urd may have a similarly-shaped face to manga Skuld, but the expressions are different, and the proportions of the face are different.
The difference in art style between Skuld and everyone else is the source of one sight gag. Urd senses that Skuld is hiding something and needles her by imitating something that Skuld would say. The seiyuu makes her voice sound like Skuld's voice, but they also change Urd's face art so that her face has the same proportions as Skuld's. That gag wouldn't have worked if everyone had been drawn like Skuld is. And everyone is drawn that way in the manga and in the OVA. Irrespective of body proportions, they all have the faces of kids.
I don't recall that gag from the manga, but what Fujishima did do was have them swap ages, so that Urd was a little kid and Skuld was grown up. And their faces changed appropriately. They're similar, because that's the artist's style; they aren't identical. (And even if they were, the gag would work just fine - c.f. Jungle Guu.
Steven wrote:Actually, Megumi is supposed to be short and... well, not particularly slender. (As in, solidly built, not top-heavy.) Megumi is supposed to be cute, in contrast to characters like Belldandy and Urd and Sayoko, who are tall and slim and beautiful.
As it turns out, Megumi is quite slender and isn't at all top-heavy; and that's realistic.
Height's another age cue, but Chihiro is short like Megumi and Sora (and not particularly slender, either), and her face is drawn in the same style, but she still looks older. Fujishima does this using facial proportions and expressions - and hairstyles.
Steven wrote:That's partly true, but it's a small part. Anime Megumi's face looks tired and old, because they've washed the colour out of it. It just doesn't suit her personality. And the artwork of the entire show is ugly and flat.
Pixy is, I think, reacting first to the series history and objecting to the changes that were made. (Fanboy loyalty.)
Steven wrote:Well, where you define 'current' as everything since Osamu Tezuka first picked up a pen. And he stole the concept from Disney.
But he's also reacting to the current anime context where "adult" girls are being drawn more and more young looking, a kind of genre-wide pervasive lolicon.
Oh My Goddess! is supposed to be cute and bright, and it is, in every version except the TV series. The characters look older in the movie, but that's because the movie comes late in the ongoing story, and the movie doesn't make Megumi (or anyone else) look washed-out. (In fact, the movie is gorgeous.)
It's not simply a question of neoteny, it's that the art style in the TV series is both ugly and inappropriate.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at
| Comments (9)
| Add Comment
| Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 879 words, total size 6 kb.
It especially bugs me that Belldandy never has a nose in the TV series.
Posted by: Balentius at Saturday, May 26 2007 02:35 PM (lQRkC)
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Saturday, May 26 2007 03:11 PM (PiXy!)
Wow, a batting practice fastball right over the center of the plate... and nobody's taking any swings at it??? All right, I'll do it.
There. You happy now, Pixy?
Posted by: Wonderduck at Saturday, May 26 2007 06:16 PM (R/R0E)
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Saturday, May 26 2007 07:48 PM (PiXy!)
I don't know WHY I didn't think of it as I was posting it...
But seriously, that bugs me. A lot.
Posted by: Balentius at Sunday, May 27 2007 04:58 AM (lQRkC)
Personally I don't think Megumi looks all that bad in the TV series, although that particular frame is fairly unflattering. In general the artwork of the TV series is not nearly as good as the manga, but the manga sets an unusually high standard of comparison.
Posted by: Jonathan Tappan at Monday, May 28 2007 08:17 AM (Zimal)
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, May 28 2007 10:31 AM (PiXy!)
Obadiah is a pen name of a politician. He writes extremely controversial articles about Israel, the Middle East politics, and terrorism.
Obadiah advocates political rationalism instead of moralizing. He is economic liberal and political conservative.
Google refused advertising our site and Amazon deleted reviews of Obadiah's book. Nevertheless, Obadiahâ€™s is the largest Jewish personal blog, read by more than 100,000 people monthly. 210,000 people from 81 countries downloaded Obadiahâ€™s book. The blog was voted the best overall in Peopleâ€™s Choice: Jewish and Israeli blogs Awards, received Webby Honoree and other awards.
Please help us spread Obadiah's message, and mention the blog in one of your posts, or link to us. We would greatly appreciate your comments at www.samsonblinded.org/blog
Jewrusalem.net â€“ Israeli Uncensored News
Posted by: Eugene at Wednesday, May 30 2007 09:50 PM (ysnsy)
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thursday, May 31 2007 04:50 AM (PiXy!)
56 queries taking 0.1625 seconds, 333 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.