Intricate Animation Still Backgrounds

More than anything else the elaborate, meta-realistic backgrounds of anime feature films drew me into the genre. When first watching Akira twelve years ago I was blown away. I was looking at the things that had been missing from every American animation movie I had ever seen at that point. The vision of a nitty gritty reality condensed to deliver an emotional impact I had never experienced from cartoons, and in that moment I knew why cartoons and anime could never be considered the same thing.

Pixar, and DreamWorks, advanced computer animation to the point of hyper-realistic smoothness and clarity, but the edge of real life doesn't really enter into their equations. Darker Japanese animation, at least all the animation I consider high quality, doesn't leave out the broken glass, the drops of blood, the graffiti, the ash cans, the things most Americans consider less than ideal. Without that touch of flawed vision American animation has simply never struck me as meaningful in an adult world. Conversely, the more idyllic Japanese animation devotes massive detail to flower petals, interplay of light and darkness, spectral refractions, really the entire gamut of artistic heights. So many works are more like portfolios of artistic masterpieces than simple moving art.

Anime has proven to be more and more enlightening as I have grown older, visually, story wise and musically, at least as far as I'm concerned. There's still so much to be said for American animation and cartoons, but, as an artist, it has never satisfied my hunger for deep artistic lucidity. A lot of people have criticized my fondness for Japanese animation over the years. I have often wondered if they ever even attempted to watch any of it with an open mind.

I'm not sure where these backgrounds came from, but they do represent some of what I've been discussing. They are very appealing, and what I could come up with for free on short notice (I don't spend a lot of time planning my posts ["No!" You may exclaim]). Hopefully they will give a feel for what I intended to convey. There is a deep feeling of life in imperfections, and a deep sense of artistic integrity in intricately portrayed colors and light.
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