It’s Time to Unveil the Animation Styles Guide
Published by 30 July 2012, 7:13 AM EDT

It is definitely no secret to fans of Dragon Ball that the series’ animation quality was quite variable at times — it had its good days, and it had its bad days. There’s no doubt that this variation in quality has been a major point of discussion on just about every message board or forum across the internet since the beginning of the franchise. Many of these discussions involve numerous screen shots showcasing examples of some horrible, or at some points even laughable animation days. Some fans have even gone so far as to classify animators with certain artistic styles, giving them “fan-titles” and ranking their quality of work. So with the help of all this fan discussion, and our “Production Guide”, it’s time to finally unveil the “Animation Styles Guide”.

In this guide we’ll examine these various artistic styles, discuss the animation process and how its deficiencies ultimately led to such variations, look at various character models, and much more. We’ll also be rolling out pages for the series’ animation supervisors on a weekly schedule (hopefully every Monday), each of which will include a thorough biography, an examination of their artistic style, and a breakdown of their main animation teams. The first animator covered this week is Minoru Maeda, Chief Animator for Dragon Ball and the first part of Dragon Ball Z.

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  • mrkaytos says:

    Wonderful and hard work 😉
    I’m one of those guys worried about the detail of the drawing, and this article is really clarifying ^^
    Thank you for sharing this staff 🙂

  • zestanor says:

    This is great! I was wondering when something like this would pop up.

  • mrkaytos says:

    I almost forget it, please correct the titles below the images of Freezer in “Comparison #5”: Dragon Ball GT Episode 42 — Dragon Ball Z Episode 90, It’s the other way around 😉

  • zestanor says:

    Always here to help:
    “know that Satō was skilled and trusted enough as an animtor to fill in for Maeda during his absence.”
    This line has a typo.

  • Chuquita says:

    That is such a cool article. X3 This sort of thing is really interesting to me.

  • saiyajinnotatsujin says:

    I’ve been waiting for a detailed guide like this for a long time. Thanks for all your hard work, guys!

  • darkprince92 says:

    Awesome. Maybe we can have an in depth view on Shimanuki Mashiro next….?

  • bleed0range says:

    Brilliant and awesome new guide. This is something I’ve really wanted to know more about for a long, long time. Thank you guys!!!

  • jawdrahb says:

    I cherish how y’all do what I say without me even mentioning it…and with the expectedly consistent quality. Thanks again, your time and efforts are highly appreciated!

  • jawdrahb says:

    Please excuse the double-posting although as the subtly impending typos are being collectively shared within this section, I’d like to point out the following from ‘Comparison #2 — The “Triangle Guy”?’

    ‘…Ebisawa’s animation staff, unltimately increasing his episode’s animation quality from there on out.’

  • theawesomepossum777 says:

    Using this guide, I’ve decided who some of my favorite animation supervisors are. They are Minoru Maeda, and Masahiro Shimanuki. Anyways, this helped me figure out whose work is whose.

  • attitudefan says:

    It’s about time! I’ve been yattering this stuff for years; I love it.

  • attitudefan says:

    Also, Maeda was the best of the best, especially in late Dragonball. I still will never understand why the animation was better throughout Dragonball and Early Z up until Aoshima left. The best animated episodes seemed to decline slowly in the Namek arc. It’s a shame really, Even the triangle crap episodes were pretty good in Dragonball (see Yamcha vs Shen and Goku vs Huge Piccolo). It follows well into the good animated episodes by Maeda.

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