The problem is that the names of all these different substudios are lost on us, since the Japanese DragonBoxes (and the individual R2 releases) are the only sets that provide accurate credits for each episode. As such, we tend to give these studios our own names which reflect how well or how awful of a job they do ("Triangle Crap Guy" being the most prevalent name). Well, I own DragonBox Vol. 2, and have been going through the episodes and making note of the genga ("original picture") credits. What I hope to accomplish by providing these names is so fans will be able to avoid confusion, since the fan-given names disagree with each other.
Now, I don't have all of the names, since Volume 2 only covers DBZ from the fight between Piccolo and Android 17, up to the end when Goku leaves with Oob; and there are a few studios which disappear before then, and I know of at least one that shows up only in GT. But here's the central meat of the series' animation studios:
These quotes are taken from the aforementioned thread.
I believe this is one of the styles which don't show up after the Freeza saga, so I'm afraid I don't have the name of this one.Mike D wrote:I always had a keen eye for the different animations so I am going to try and sort the different types the best I can.
First we have what I call the "Evil Eye Type":
This is what I consider to be the the second-worst studio. It's known as Last House (you'd think it's because it's Toei's last resort!), and I positively hate it. I used to call it "Mediocre Guy", since this style is seen throughout a horrifyingly large chunk of the original DragonBall and it works well enough for that series. But with the way Toriyama's style changes for DBZ, it makes every character's face look like they've got their eyes too close together, or their nose off-center. During the Cell Games, it goes a step further on the crap scale by giving Cell (and Goku and Gohan in their SSJ forms) bright, twinkling eyes. And don't even get me started on how awful Mr. Satan's face always looks.Second up to bat would be the "Pale Cartoony Type":
Triangle Crap Guy's real name is Studio Live. This is the one I consider the worst. The art is given no depth or sense of decent proportion. Perspective is skewed, and the lines don't converge toward the same point on the horizon. Plus, the characters' faces are extremely flat. Nothing is round, or can be conceived of as round in this style!Third already has a name; "Triangle Crap Type":
OK, now that the bad's out of the way, let's cover the really good ones:
I'm pretty sure that some of these shots aren't from the same studio (they get much more difficult to identify the better they get!). All the same, all of them should either be from K Production, Kino Production, Studio Carpenter, or "Seigasha" (I might have gotten the pronunciation wrong there, as no furigana is provided in the credits, but at any rate it means "Turnip Picture Hut"). All of these greatly resemble Toei, but Turnip Picture Hut does have a style distinguishable from the rest: the characters' faces are more compact. This is greatly apparent whenever a character has their mouth open wide or is yelling angrily at another character (one example would be the actress who yells at Gohan -sorry, I don't have a pic- for ruining the scene in that Saiyaman movie directed by the Commander Red look-alike). Turnip is also known for making wide, sweeping animations whenever a character turns around quickly.Fourth (my favorite) would be "Next to the Best":
This is my favorite style. It's called Studio Cockpit, and it rocks. It's quite a far cry from Toriyama's original style, but I really like the sleek appearance and the angles.I always thought this guy's was the same as the first but, since the only time I see this artwork is after the Androids appear, I call it "The New Type":
Again, some of these are actually from conflicting studios. I don't know if Toei credits themselves as Toei, but the best-looking episodes in DragonBox vol. 2 are credited by a studio that... well, once again, I don't know if it's the right pronunciation, but it might be "Shintou Pro" or "Shindou Pro". The Kanji the first word is made up of is that of "advance" or "go forward", and "wisteria" as in the wisteria plant.The last identifiable animation would be "The Best" or "Closest to Toriyama":
What I've also noticed is that the worst studios, Last House and Studio Live, are terribly understaffed with only two to three genga artists. No wonder they look so horrendous! With the rushed schedule, there's no doubting why the art is sub-par - they had to sketch it out quick and leave out any extreme detail. Of course, this doesn't win these studios my respect - in fact, it worsens them in my eyes. Workplaces that try and get away with being understaffed are the absolute worst - I recently had a data input job that I've had to quit because of our low numbers: we were working so much overtime that there literally became no real reason to go home for the night. Toei's other substudios have usually six or more genga artists, and just a few more people can make a world of difference.
Despite the fact that these two studios make DragonBall look like a farce, it does rouse my curiosity to know more about them. Why is it that they look so terrible that it's almost on purpose, and why does Toei put so much faith in them? And on top of all that, how did they get through animation school? At first, one gets the impression that perhaps they're apprenticing, and Toei employed them so they can get some hands-on experience, but both studios have been around since the days of the original DragonBall, and from then until GT, the style doesn't improve one bit. Well, OK, so the first Triangle Crap/Studio Live episode with Vegeta in it made him look just ghastly, and it does get a teensy better from there, but aside from that...