Super Animation Catalogue 2.0 - Episode 93

Discussion specifically regarding the "Dragon Ball Super" TV series premiering July 2015 in Japan, including individual threads for each episode.

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Super Animation Catalogue 2.0 - Episode 93

Postby Ajay » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:26 pm

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Updated with Episodes 91, 92, and 93 - June 10th 2017


Learning styles involves making a lot of mistakes. While the individual pages of this thread may contain useful information, it may also be out of date and/or incorrect. Please ensure you're using the catalogue entries, as they're generally kept up to date.



The look of an episode is ultimately defined by its "Animation Supervisor". While one part of their job is to ensure the submitted cuts are of an acceptable standard, one of the biggest parts is to ensure there is visual consistency throughout an episode animated by any number of key animators. That's not to say that they erase every individual characteristic - though some certainly do - but instead, they ensure that from scene to scene, it all fits together.

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In Dragon Ball Super, the job is essentially the same. However, as a result of the series' problematic production (something that extends outside of Super, throughout much of the industry), many episodes have two or more supervisors, alongside several second key animators. This means there's a need to maintain consistency within a single episode. This is where the "Chief Animation Supervisor" comes in. Taking the already-corrected work from the supervisors, they apply their own corrections in an attempt to patch together the different styles.

In most cases, this job falls into the hands of the character designer; who better to ensure the characters look like themselves than the one who designed them? In Super's case, Tadayoshi Yamamuro should be the one with this role. He is strangely absent, however, with Miyako Tsuji and Takeo Ide sharing the load between them, instead. Two different animators with different styles trying to maintain consistency across all of the episodes? Madness. Unfortunately, that's the nature of today's anime industry.

For more details on the animation process, I highly recommend you check out this website's very own aptly named "Animation Process Guide".

The intent of this guide is to provide an easy-to-reference catalogue of each supervisor's style by episode. Within each entry, you can find examples of the supervisor's style, alongside any standout scenes from the key animators or chief supervisor. By covering each episode individually, I hope to illustrate any stylistic evolutions, or devolutions, for that matter.

Learning about animators is an endless process, so there are bound to be discoveries and corrections along the way. Be sure to check in regularly, and I hope you find this helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to post them in this thread or at me on Twitter.

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Animator Info: Masahiro Shimanuki is a long-time animator for the Dragon Ball franchise, hailing from studio Seigasha with the likes of Kazuya Hisada and Naoki Tate. Originally working as a key animator under Tomekichi Takeuchi for much of Dragon Ball and early parts of Z, Shimanuki would eventually graduate to a supervisor role thanks to his angular style fitting more with the visuals established in the later parts of the series.

Shimanuki’s signature style was drastically altered by his lengthy stint on One Piece, leading to his earlier Super episodes taking on Oda-traits such as wide and round faces. Fortunately, after a year working on Super, his work is beginning to look more and more like his classic Z art.

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Animator Info: Though an experienced animator with a plethora of work on the PreCure series, and even taking a supervisor role on the Yu Yu Hakusho movie, Yukihiro Kitano’s first major stint as a regular supervisor was on Toei’s Disk Wars: Avengers series.

Disk Wars: Avengers’ character designs were primarily by Dragon Ball veteran and Super character designer, Tadayoshi Yamamuro. With experience working to Yamamuro’s designs, it’s unsurprising that he landed himself a regular supervisor role on Dragon Ball Super.

Unfortunately, Kitano appears to struggle with not only sticking to the character designs, but producing aesthetically pleasing drawings on the whole.

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Animator Info: Born and bred on Rurouni Kenshin, Osamu Ishikawa honed his skills working extensively on the likes of Digimon Xros Wars and Saint Seiya Omega. Much like Yukihiro Kitano, Ishikawa found himself with a semi-regular gig on Disk Wars: Avengers before beginning work on Dragon Ball Super.

Ishikawa’s style is very much in-line with Yamamuro’s work, though he tends to favour “cuter” designs – making characters a lot cleaner and younger looking. Though he has yet to show off any impressive animation, his model quality ultimately makes him the most consistent supervisor working on Super next to the likes of Yuichi Karasawa.

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Animator Info: There are few animators with the ability to animate like Yoshitaka Yashima. Across series like Saint Seiya Omega, Digimon Xros Wars II, and Disk Wars: Avengers, Yashima has soloed a number of episodes. That means he served as the storyboard artist, animation supervisor, and often the sole key animator on an episode. He is the animator that frees up the schedules of other animators, allowing them to work on future episodes with more time. On a series like Super, he is a godsend.

This does mean that Yashima’s work often lacks the same level of polish found in fully-staffed episodes. His work is easily identifiable thanks to the unique way he draws noses – from the side and three-quarter views, they’re extremely pointy, and from the front, they’re thin and round.

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Animator Info: Beginning as a inbetweener at Seigasha, Naoki Tate was quickly promoted to a key animator role where he worked under Masahiro Shimanuki for Dragon Ball Z, and onward into GT. Despite producing reasonably nice work under the Dragon Ball brand, it wasn't until his work on One Piece that he began to develop his trademark style, and eventually morph into one of Toei's most prolific animators. Heavily inspired by the work of Sushio and Hiroyuki Imaishi on Mamoru Hosoda's One Piece Movie 6, Tate developed a loose and somewhat abstract form of animation; expressions and poses are wildly exaggerated and contorted to hugely emphasise the intended emotion or movement. The results are eye-catching, but have caused controversy among the uninitiated or those fonder of more conservative styles. Regardless, his reputation within the animation industry has landed him a number of high-profile episodes on Dragon Ball Super.

Tate's character designs are often much less daring than what's found within his action animation, and bear more resemblance to his work during Dragon Ball Z. Keep an eye out for thick, arched eyebrows, upturned noses, and rounded ears and faces. Keep in mind that, due to Super's rushed production and the number of cuts Tate does per episode, the overall polish often varies from episode to episode -- his work may seem looser or more polished depending on the episode's circumstances.

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Animator Info: Yuichi Karasawa is no stranger to Dragon Ball, working on Ultimate Blast/Tenkaichi’s cutscenes and Battle of Gods. Hailing from Studio Live, Karasawa has an impressive résumé, handling key animation for shows such as Hunter x Hunter (2011) and Ushio & Tora.

Dragon Ball Super is Karasawa’s first stint as an animation supervisor, and despite only joining the series in episode 31, he has shown fans that he is one of the most capable staff on the series. His effects work is hugely reminiscent of Yuya Takahashi, while his character art is a slightly rounder, but more detailed take on Yamamuro’s character designs. He is easily recognisable by his sharp shading, high-positioned ears, and angular eyebrows.

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Animator Info: Seizo Toma is an expert when it comes to character expression – so much so that he was appointed the unique role of a “Character Director” for the show Betterman, meaning he assists the animation supervisor with work related entirely to character acting.

While he worked as an inbetweener on Dragon Ball Z Movie 6 and was an assistant supervisor Path to Power, Dragon Ball Super marks Toma’s first regular position on a Dragon Ball product. His distinctive episode 4, packed to the brim with gorgeous thick line work and expressive characters, brought his work to the attention of many fans. Since then, unfortunately, Toma has seldom been left to his own devices, leaving the remainder of his episodes rather generic so as to keep in with the supervisors he is paired up with.

Though his thick line work has been toned down significantly, his work is still easily recognisable. Keep an eye out for thick eyelashes on female characters, pointy chins, and skinny ears.

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Animator Info: Usually paired up with Tatsuya Oka across a variety of projects, Shuichiro Manabe began on Super in much the same way. Oka inexplicably vanished after a few episodes together, and Manabe has been working with a variety of other supervisors, instead. It's unclear whether Oka will return.

Manabe's presence on Super is rather limited, often only appearing for major episodes. Straying far from Yamamuro's character designs, Manabe's work is extremely angular, and unlike any other supervisor.

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Animator info: Making his Dragon Ball debut with Battle of Gods, Itai continued to participate on the series with Resurrection 'F', before heading straight on to Super as a key animator. After taking a break from the series at episode 43, Itai returned to work on the 'Future Trunks special', before coming back to Super as a supervisor for episode 64.

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Animator info: Koji Nashizawa joined the franchise towards the tail end of Dragon Ball Z, often working under prominent animators such as Minoru Maeda, Tadayoshi Yamamuro, and Naoki Miyahara. He made his big return to the series as an assistant supervisor on Resurrection 'F', before joining Super as a key animator. He worked on the series fairly consistently until 45, where he left to work on the Future Trunks special and Xenoverse 2 cutscenees. Much like Hiroyuki Itai, he was promoted upon his return to Dragon Ball Super.

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Animator Info: Known for his ability to animate incredibly quickly, Hirotaka Nii joined the Dragon Ball Super team through the external animation studio, Anime R. After working as a key animator on select episodes, he was promoted to an animation supervisor during the Universe Survival arc.

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Animator Info: Perhaps the most well-known animator in Dragon Ball's history, Yamamuro began as an inbetweener in the 80s working on the original adaptation of Dr. Slump. Moving into Dragon Ball, Yamamuro became a key animator, and towards the middle of Z, he would graduate to a supervisor role, alongside providing a number of character designs and promo art through to the series' end. He has ultimately become as much a part of Dragon Ball as Toriyama, to some fan's distaste. He has provided character designs and supervised all of Dragon Ball's modern productions -- including Super.

Despite playing such a large part in Dragon Ball's modern productions, he has been almost entirely absent from Super, only animating some of series' endings, supervising episode 13, and providing key animator for episodes 19 and 39. No explanation has been given for his absence.

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Animator Info: Despite supervising only one episode of Super, Iseki has become a fan favourite thanks to his Z-era character art. Primarily a web animator with a focus on music videos and shorts, Iseki has found himself working on major productions under Studio Khara -- providing inbetween and key animation for GAINAX and Trigger productions such as KILL la KILL and Evangelion.

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Last edited by Ajay on Sun Jul 17, 2016 1:14 pm, edited 68 times in total.
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Re: Super Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20)

Postby ekrolo2 » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:33 pm

Excellent work making this one Ajay! Out of all of these shown here I think I'd say Naoki Tate seems to have the best art with Yashima being a close second. Although, they all seem to have a rough time getting Piccolo to look decent.
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Re: Super Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20)

Postby MozillaVulpix » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:36 pm

This was awesome! Thanks for making it!

It's also really good that we have a Yamamuro episode for reference. Obviously, his art is going to stick closest to the character designs.
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Re: Super Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20)

Postby Doctor. » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:39 pm

I really, strongly dislike Yashima and Shimanuki's art styles. I'm aware that Yashima often draws most of the episode he works on by himself, and that he'd do a better job with a better schedule and more time, but from what we've gotten of him, I can't say I like his style; it's especially jarring whenever someone goes Super Saiyan, the hair looks extremely simplistic and off, reminds me of the Uchiyama days. As for Shimanuki, I didn't like his style in Z and it seems like he's only gotten worse. The heads are too wide, I thought episode 20 looked incredibly lifeless and boring (though that may have been the storyboard artist's fault, rather than Shimanuki's style).

I still stand firmly behind the opinion that Tadayoshi Yamamuro is easily the artist that manages to capture Toriyama's Cell-Boo arc art-style the best. It may not be the best style for the other key animators to try to emulate in such a tight schedule though, due to the level of detail in Yamamuro's drawings, especially in regards to shading (which, admittedly, I'm not very fond of). I also very like Iseki's style very much, despite thinking it's a tad bit too over the top. Reminds me of Masunaga a bit. I also like Kitano's style a bit and was a big fan of Tate's drawings in episode 5.

Everyone else is alright, I guess. Toma's thick lines may a bit jarring to some but they add some depth to the drawing, I feel.
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Re: Super Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20)

Postby Ryuman » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:44 pm

Great stuff. I'm hoping for more Iseki, myself.

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Re: Super Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20)

Postby Sodhi » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:47 pm

I am really confused, sorry If i sound dumb but I am new to animation business. So the characters are drawn by Animators not by person doing the art?. Also whats the job of key animators and can they make any changes or difference in an episode?

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Re: Super Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20)

Postby DoomieDoomie911 » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:48 pm

Great work, Ajay! Out of all of these I think I like Osamu Ishikawa and Yoshitaka Yashima best. I also really like Seizo Toma's style with the thick lines too, though. I would love to see Toma come back sometime.
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Re: Super Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20)

Postby Wezenheim » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:20 pm

Thanks for this Ajay, good job! Tate, Iseki, and Yamamuro's styles are probably my favorite. The animation for episode 5 may have been pretty bad, but Tate's art was still pretty good when there wasn't a whole lot of movement going on. Episode 11 showed how good his style can look if animated properly (not that 11 was perfect, but it was one of the better looking episodes we've had). Not a big fan of Shimanuki. Like others, I really hope we see some more of Iseki.

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Re: Super Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20)

Postby Chuquita » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:45 pm

My all-around favorite is Tate (I think that's whose Gokû I've got as my avi right now.), but I really dig special-guest Iseki on that Vegeta episode.

Yashima's base and ssjg Gokûs are so sweet. ( = u = )

I liked Toma's thick-lines-time, but I'd like a 2nd episode by him to know for sure.

I am amazed at how close Tate and Shimanuki's base Vegetas are; very cool.

Is Kitano responsible for indecisive Gokû at the end of ep 1? Because that was also wonderful. :3
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Re: Super Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20)

Postby Scarlet Spider » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:52 pm

Amazing job. Gohan soon?

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Re: Super Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20)

Postby FortuneSSJ » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:55 pm

You did an awesome work. The watermark is not a problem at all.
Thanks for this. :thumbup:
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Re: Super Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20)

Postby Black_Liger » Mon Nov 23, 2015 1:46 am

Great work! Water mark is not annoying at all, I only spotted it when I read about it lol.

From all of these it seems Beerus is pretty consistent through the series. Can you do Whis?
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Re: Super Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20)

Postby Bullza » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:17 am

Tate or Kitano seem to be the best of that lot (though the couple shots by Yamamuro were definitely the best).

Shimanuki is easily the worst followed by Yashima.

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Re: Super Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20)

Postby Tzigi » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:59 am

For me it's Yamamuro hands down. I know many people hate him but I have always loved his drawings best and this thread only confirms it that the pictures I most liked were by Yamamuro :)

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Re: Super Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20)

Postby JacobYBM » Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:02 am

I'm glad to be seeing some comparisons within the series but it is very important to remember that the animation supervisors are not working with consistent staff nor do they work with their staff in the same room. On the first three series the episodes were entirely sub-contracted to a single studio for the most part. Dragon Ball Z Episode #4 was sub-contracted to Seigasha and the animation supervisor was the studio's founder and owner, Take'uchi Tomekichi. The same can be said of Studio Live and Ebisawa Yukio or Shindou Pro and Shindou Mitsuo.

Anyway, outside of Toma Seizou and Iseki Shuu'ichi my favorite is Tate Naoki. His faces are very fierce.

Super Saiyan Gokuu and Super Saiyan God Gokuu as drawn by Yashima look very different. One of them clearly isn't Yashima, probably an animator from TAP, which I assume is the Super Saiyan Gokuu shot.

Sodhi wrote:I am really confused, sorry If i sound dumb but I am new to animation business. So the characters are drawn by Animators not by person doing the art?. Also whats the job of key animators and can they make any changes or difference in an episode?


'Art' refers to static backgrounds. A key animator only draws the background if they want to use 'background animation'. Watch this clip. The dirt ground that the characters are running on is drawn by the key animator, Tanaka Hironori, rather than a background artist, who would only draw a single drawing.

Key Animators (genga men) draw the important drawings of a motion. These are key animation drawings:

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After a key animator finished his drawings the animation supervisor, episode director, series director and chief animation supervisor approve them and then send them off for tweening.

If a good key animator does many cuts then his work will stick out through the episode.
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Re: Super Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20)

Postby Ajay » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:41 am

JacobYBM wrote:I'm glad to be seeing some comparisons within the series but it is very important to remember that the animation supervisors are not working with consistent staff nor do they work with their staff in the same room.

Super Saiyan Gokuu and Super Saiyan God Gokuu as drawn by Yashima look very different. One of them clearly isn't Yashima, probably an animator from TAP, which I assume is the Super Saiyan Gokuu shot.


Yeah, I'd hoped the website's animation guide would make that pretty clear to people. I actually plan to break down the episodes properly, so people can see how different they can look depending on the staff. Yashima can look pretty solid one week, and the next, he'll be giving me flashbacks to Ebisawa.

On the topic of Yashima, though, I'm not convinced that Super Saiyan shot is from someone at TAP. It has the traits of Yashima (the nose, for example), but it just seems incredibly rushed. Given that this was his big solo episode, I think it makes sense. He really seemed to prioritise the last five minutes of that episode.
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Re: Super Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20)

Postby JacobYBM » Mon Nov 23, 2015 1:01 pm

Ajay wrote:Yeah, I'd hoped the website's animation guide would make that pretty clear to people. I actually plan to break down the episodes properly, so people can see how different they can look depending on the staff. Yashima can look pretty solid one week, and the next, he'll be giving me flashbacks to Ebisawa.

On the topic of Yashima, though, I'm not convinced that Super Saiyan shot is from someone at TAP. It has the traits of Yashima (the nose, for example), but it just seems incredibly rushed. Given that this was his big solo episode, I think it makes sense. He really seemed to prioritise the last five minutes of that episode.


Episode #9 has only Yashima Yoshitaka credited by name with key animation sub-contracted to Triple A and TAP. Triple A is a lot like Wanpack, they're a massive sub-contracting studio with a huge number of animators--or ties to smaller sub-contracting studios--that does a tremendous amount of work. Studios like Triple A and Wanpack will work on an episode...except to speed through the production and get the contract fulfilled quickly they use dozens of key animators to scribble out drawings. The large number of key animators used if probably why Toei doesn't even bother to credit everyone by name, it would look really bad in the credits. If Episode #9 wasn't mostly Yashima then it was surely either mostly Triple A or TAP. I don't remember Yashima's episodes from Disk Wars: Avengers looking so scribbled out before, although he did only solo Episode #11.
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Re: Super Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20)

Postby Ajay » Mon Nov 23, 2015 1:08 pm

That makes sense. It would certainly explain the huge discrepancies between the usual Yashima-led work and that episode. I could well be wrong; it just seemed like a lot of his traits were there, but the art quality lower due to what looks like hastily drawn work. If it's truly down to a mass number of people scribbling out work, then at least I now understand what's going on there. Thanks.

On a totally different note: I've now updated the original post with a huge number of images, each broken down by their animation supervisor. It should hopefully give a more rounded perspective.
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Re: Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20) [Update 1]

Postby raulvalente » Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:00 pm

This thread is absurdly good. Thank you Ajay for providing this organized comparison and thank you all for the insightful posts.

I was thinking about making a video about the Dragon Ball Super art and animation, talking about the production context too. Brazilian fans need it bad :lol: I think that knowing about the production aspects and having these comparisons in mind would help us all to understand the roles of each participant in the production in Super and enjoy these moments in the episodes.

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Re: Animation Comparisons - (Eps 1 - 20) [Update 1]

Postby Lord Beerus » Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:09 pm

This was a thread desperately needed. Bloody awesome work, Ajay. And I must say, I love Iseki and Toma's artstyle. It's so vibrant and dynamic. And Tate, man, he's still got it. :thumbup:


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