Studio Last House vs Studio Live (2022)

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Studio Last House vs Studio Live (2022)

Post by anameraucana » Sun Nov 27, 2022 9:32 pm

I know there was a topic just like this one, but since it's dead and "necroposting" is frowned upon, I figured I'd make a new thread about it, but I do have another question related to the topic:

if every episode of classic Dragon Ball (OG to GT) had to be animated in the art AND animation style of one of these studios at their peaks, which would you rather?

Here's some of the more appealing shots from each studio, straight from my single DVDs

Studio Last House:

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Studio Live:

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Re: Studio Last House vs Studio Live (2022)

Post by JulieYBM » Sun Nov 27, 2022 9:53 pm

Obara Tai'ichirou and Shida Naotoshi from Last House produced cool battle scenes considering the conditions that they were forced to work under. Anytime a Studio Live episode had a cool fight I believe it was handled by a freelance key animator, so I'm not really inclined to say Studio Live episodes were better simply because of the staff not always being from Studio Live (well, if memory serves). Last House episodes tended to look like they did because the staff were doing more work in the same amount of time as Studio Live, only they would more often than not use fewer key animators. In fact, after Shida left Last House it was only Uchiyama and Obara handling the key animation, which means each one handling about 150 shots in six weeks or less. That's not exactly an easy feat, especially when you consider that they would also sometimes work on the films. Obara Tai'ichirou was providing key animation for every 3-4 episodes in the rotation, of course the series is going to have occasionally 'weak' shots as the character designs from Maeda, Nakatsuru and Yamamuro become increasingly more complex.
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Re: Studio Last House vs Studio Live (2022)

Post by anameraucana » Sun Nov 27, 2022 10:47 pm

JulieYBM wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 9:53 pm Obara Tai'ichirou and Shida Naotoshi from Last House produced cool battle scenes considering the conditions that they were forced to work under. Anytime a Studio Live episode had a cool fight I believe it was handled by a freelance key animator, so I'm not really inclined to say Studio Live episodes were better simply because of the staff not always being from Studio Live (well, if memory serves). Last House episodes tended to look like they did because the staff were doing more work in the same amount of time as Studio Live, only they would more often than not use fewer key animators. In fact, after Shida left Last House it was only Uchiyama and Obara handling the key animation, which means each one handling about 150 shots in six weeks or less. That's not exactly an easy feat, especially when you consider that they would also sometimes work on the films. Obara Tai'ichirou was providing key animation for every 3-4 episodes in the rotation, of course the series is going to have occasionally 'weak' shots as the character designs from Maeda, Nakatsuru and Yamamuro become increasingly more complex.
While I had known about Last house widdling down to only Uchiyama and Ohara, I didn't know Live had mostly freelance workers, so I got to learn something new! Of course I should clarify that I have nothing but respect for the animators and supervisors despite any wonky art or animation they may make. Animation itself is already super difficult, but having to do so under the kinds of conditions these two studios were under requires a whole other level of dedication I don't even know if I have or not. I just wanna look at the artstyles and animation present as I see them. I do agree that Live can't take full credit for good scenes if it's mostly freelance, but I do feel Kanno and Ida are still some pretty great artists and animators, however Shida and Ohara do have the better movement, as even Kanno's stuff can occasionally be stiff. However, as strange as this sounds, I do prefer the artstyle in studio live episodes since the weird triangle crap is slightly more distict. Last House's stuff usually looks plain, and animators hardly ever escape correction if at all. Meanwhile with Ebisawa, he does leave Kanno and Ida uncorrected quite often, and even then Ebisawa's style is slightly more interesting, as bizarre and wonky as it looks (Although Shida's uncorrected stuff still looks better as a whole.) I'm not saying Ebisawa is a great artist or that he's severely underrated, but I personally find his stuff a bit more unique, as shitty as it can get.


As a whole I'm torn between the two studios, but I guess Last House at its peak is the stronger studio of the two, although Ebisawa did improve more overtime, so there's that.
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Re: Studio Last House vs Studio Live (2022)

Post by Cipher » Mon Nov 28, 2022 1:28 am

Comparing anything Namek-arc onward in Z, I’d take Live every single time.

The angular style certainly stands out, but I never had much of an issue with the way their episodes moved. On the other hand, Last House’s animation becomes increasingly abysmal, and more than anything, I just can’t stand the strange, thicker, unchanging line weight they (Uchiyama) saddle everything with. The line weight and underdetailing (but neither stylish nor for the purposes of flashier movement) alone make Last House’s the more distracting visual eyesore for me. Even at their “peak,” I feel this becomes an issue as soon as Z, with its slightly more angular, complex character designs, starts, if not sooner (and I’d say it actually is sooner).

I am of course sympathetic to the schedule, seniority-based hierarchy and work conditions that led to the production of subpar work from both studios. That’s simply the opinion I’m left with as a viewer.

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Re: Studio Last House vs Studio Live (2022)

Post by anameraucana » Mon Nov 28, 2022 9:44 pm

The way I see it, Last House would have looked so much better had Uchiyama not done such heavy corrections, but either way with everyone except Ohara leaving, it still would have gone downhill
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Re: Studio Last House vs Studio Live (2022)

Post by TheQuazz » Tue Nov 29, 2022 4:28 am

At their respective peaks, Last House is the superior studio. Uchiyama's scenes and corrections were what really brought their output down, if one takes him out of the equation and just leaves the stronger animators' best stuff there's not really any major issues. I don't mind Studio Live's art as much as most seem to (the "triangle style" has really grown on me), but their animation was rarely as good as LH's better fight scenes.
Last edited by TheQuazz on Tue Nov 29, 2022 6:24 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Studio Last House vs Studio Live (2022)

Post by Vijay » Tue Nov 29, 2022 6:15 am

Uchiyama > Ebisawa/Triangle guy

Both studios have talented like Shida & Ohara in LH

Toshiyuki Kanno is life saver of SL with his art bein the best of the lot

Both guys have given memorable outputs since DB days

Feel Uchiyama would work. Heck I find his work > Shintani

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Re: Studio Last House vs Studio Live (2022)

Post by Gaffer Tape » Fri Dec 02, 2022 11:42 am

My preference for one or the other almost feels inversely proportional. The better each one is at any given time, the worse the other seems to be. From the beginning of Dragon Ball through most of Freeza, I would argue Last House is substantially superior in pretty much every conceivable way. I happened to throw on a random Freeza Arc episode last night, and while characters like Freeza, Zarbon, and Dodoria look pretty bad in this simplified rounded art style, Kuririn and Gohan are the cutest they've ever looked. Meanwhile, Studio Live is always distractingly pointy and pinched.

Post-Freeza Arc, though, the balance almost immediately shifts. Last House is consistently bad. And while Studio Live still regularly suffers from its same problems, there are usually at least a couple of scenes an episode that look really good.

Comparing their peaks, though, I'd have to say I prefer Last House. When the cute round, heavy line weight stuff works, it works really well. And those are areas of the franchise I prefer anyway. Even when Live works well, it's still not among my favorites.
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Re: Studio Last House vs Studio Live (2022)

Post by Soppa Saia People » Fri Dec 02, 2022 2:05 pm

Last House during the late Cell and all of Boo arc looks consistently worse then Studio Live ever did, but as a whole I'd still take Last House. They had the best fight scenes during the original Dragon Ball anime and even as late as the #17 vs Piccolo fight, yeah the art is wonky as all hell but it moves really well and feels super impactful. It's not untill around the Cell games where those episodes look bad and barely move, which is where I really can't stand them. Studio Live, I mean yeah they look pretty good during the Boo arc, and someone like Toshiyuki Kan'no always did good work, but I just can't stand their output for a vast majority of the 9 years Dragon Ball aired. I think it's really ugly, and this could be wrong but frankly I don't even think they move that well untill the Freeza arc, but I don't really have anything to super back that up besides what I remember.

Not to really shit on any of those people who worked on it though, animation is hard and they did do good work at times, but I could only take so much Studio Live when I was younger.
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Re: Studio Last House vs Studio Live (2022)

Post by JulieYBM » Fri Dec 02, 2022 2:27 pm

Studio Live episodes typically had about three key animators early on. Combine that with the series having a small number of drawings allowed per episode as well as any number of other factors and it's not that surprising that their work could often not be great if those three key animators were individually not very good. This doesn't even factor in things like production schedules for episodes or whether or not they were taking on other series at the same time. I feel like Ebisawa could have an interesting sense of timing occasionally but Dragon Ball so rarely had dense, complex animation in an episode that one would often just be stuck with still shots that looked...like Ebisawa's style.
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Re: Studio Last House vs Studio Live (2022)

Post by Koitsukai » Fri Dec 02, 2022 3:34 pm

I'll make Cipher and Mistare Fusion's words my own.

Last House style works up until the Namek arc... before Z, the style to me was barely changing, it looked all the same to me, in a good way, but after that arc it's unwatchable to me, it's too distracting, the style is too chubby and unproportioned. Perfect Cell's legs remind me of my grandmother's.
I'll concede this, though, some of the best action scenes belong to them. They sure struggled with the character designs, but they definitely could make those fat little fuckers entertain even Gandhi.

Studio Live is, to me, a slight improvement on Last House. Too edgy for my taste, still hard to watch, but better than LH.

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Re: Studio Last House vs Studio Live (2022)

Post by anameraucana » Sun Dec 04, 2022 5:26 pm

Gaffer Tape wrote: Fri Dec 02, 2022 11:42 am I happened to throw on a random Freeza Arc episode last night, and while characters like Freeza, Zarbon, and Dodoria look pretty bad in this simplified rounded art style, Kuririn and Gohan are the cutest they've ever looked.
I do agree that last house's portrayals of Gohan and Kuririn are pretty friggin adorable, but Studio live can manage some adorable shots of Gohan every now and then.

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The better each one is at any given time, the worse the other seems to be
This is also a pretty good point, While last house's art in the Cell arc isn't HORRIBLE, I personally feel Live's art starts to get a little better most of the time (of course there's still the wonky shots), meanwhile Last house's stuff used to be a lot more refined, especially when Naotoshi Shida's art wasn't corrected as heavily.

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(This thread may or may not just be an excuse to post the hundreds of screenshots I have saved)
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