Smears go by many names; in-betweens, multiples, happy accidents, outline distortions, sakuga, among countless others. However, one thing everyone can agree on is that smears are the little frames in animation that smooth things out, and speed things up. They’re the unsung heroes of cartoons; (usually) undetectable to the untrained eye, while still keeping the other frames in line.
The smears featured in today’s article have been given to us from the courtesy of the Nobaddy Institute of Fine Animation; only the finest of screencaps (handpicked from the institute’s collection by Nobaddy himself) are going to be shown.
However, what makes this a “blind review” is that there was no context given for any of these smears! After all, the truest form of reviewing is having absolutely no context whatsoever; that way, you remain completely unbiased as you watch/read/play whatever you’re reviewing!
These smears aren’t going to review themselves, though, so we should probably get started already…
SMEAR 1# Kaboom!
You know how sometimes in cartoons, characters explode? Well, in this smear, the poor toon has been blown to smithereens; poor guy… Don’t worry about him too much though; he’ll be back to normal in about 24 frames or so.
9/10: A classic smear.
SMEAR #2: Delicious!
Wait, this isn’t a smear… It’s a long-distance anime cook-out! Just look at those long-distance anime patties cooking on all of those grills; they’re even grilling the buns! The buns! It’s almost like these generic anime background characters are supposed to stay still so we can focus on the food…
Not Applicable/10: Nice purple table, though.
SMEAR #3: It’s all smear!
I can’t even tell who this is anymore; Is this supposed to be Sailor Moon? Bart Simpson? Lisa Simpson? Well, whomever it is, they’ve accomplished the highest form of smear; becoming completely unrecognizable. It’s completely amazing! They’ve become the SMEAR MASTER, the one with the smears and living embodiment the smear itself.
∞/100: Truly Majestic.
Sadly, we were given only three smears to work with; however, they were all very, very good smears. Would we blindly review smears again? Yeah, sure, let’s do it.
(And remember to subscribe to the Buttbuddz and send us more smears if you guys want to see another blind review!)
Board Game Online, the board game that is online, is a time-honored tradition within the Buttbuddz; it’s a sample of many game nights and the catalyst of many of our civil wars. Nowadays, there’s enough rounds of Board Game Online being played that it could arguably be considered a competitive sport around here. (Or perhaps more specifically, a competitive e-sport!)
With every rematch after rematch (after, of course, another rematch), the competitive BGO scene blossoms more and more as a result. As the competition grows more heated, players are figuring out ways to make their rounds more fair, fun, and free from any bullshittery. (E.g. The Hungriest Games.) These sweaty tryhards will do whatever they can to be the victor of Board Game Online!
As the competitive scene grows and the (re)matches grow more intense, the unofficially-official competitive BGO community is already proposing some ground rules for future rounds of Board Game Online. They are as follows:
#1: All Items
Yes, all items. Every single item in the game. Even the sucky ones.
Normally in competitive gaming, items usually get banned; however, they’re a crucial part of the Board Game Online experience. Why would anyone want to ban them if they’re so pivotal to the game-play? After all, items are one of the hugest strategical elements in BGO!
#2: Assassins Only
“Sprint, kill, and sprint some more!” —Specialized Adventuring! Description
A class dedicated to sprinting, killing, and speed boosts gained by killing is the only true way to play competitive Board Game Online; After all, you’re trying to get to the finish line, right? By having everyone play as assassins, not only are you giving everyone a good class to play as, you’re also making everything more fair, as everyone has the same abilities.
Now, you might be asking, “dual-typings are allowed right?” Nah. It’s just assassins; otherwise we’d have cheaters such as assassin-necromancers or assassin-saboteurs running around, and that would completely defeat the point of banning all classes but assassin. (That, and you can’t dual-type the same class; sadly, that means no “The Ultimate Assassin”/assassin-assassins.)
#3: Final Destination
Had the competitive BGO scene come up with seven more rules, we might have a perfectly good top ten on our hands! (Let’s be real, though; they’re eventually gonna come up with seven more anyways… All we have to do is wait.)
As for the future of Buttbuddz BGO matches, nobody really knows for certain how things will turn out in the long run; Board Game Online is still being updated to this day. Will there be sweatier tryhards? Will there be a specific game-mode designated for competitive play? Will there be diss tracks written by the competitive community? …We just don’t know!
However, speculation has already started to arise among the players, as people are making educated guesses about the future of competitive BGO. In fact, let’s read one of them!
The year is 20XX. Everyone plays Assassin at levels of perfection comparable to BGO being somehow set on auto-pilot. Because of this, the winner of a match depends solely on joining priority, which means if you made the game, you automatically win. The Board Game Online metagame has evolved to ridiculous levels due to it being the only remaining factor to decide matches.
Doesn’t the future look great? In the meantime though, competitive Board Game Online is only just starting to begin; things might not turn out exactly like the prediction says, but we, the staff of Butt With A Blog promises to keep up with competitive BGO news updates as they come out!
Subscribe to the Buttbuddz for more rounds of Board Game Online.
What’s up, GAMERS!? Today, we’re gonna review a video game, and that video game is Splasher!
Splasher is a side-scrolling action platformer and hydraulics simulator made by the similarly-named-to-the-game studio Splashteam. Also, this game was created by some of the people behind Rayman Origins, so you’re likely already familiar with Splashteam, although you just weren’t aware of it!
The story of Splasher takes place at Inkorp, a corporation that lives up to its name by making ink/paint/art liquids. At beginning of opening cut-scene, the player is treated to a tour of the factory, from its output of potato-based ink to the backroom containing Inkorp’s huge amount of custodians. (Which are referred to as “Splashers” within the game’s sales page descriptions.)
However, things are not what they seem at the workplace, as one custodian (and main character of the game), “Young Hero” discovers that Inkorp has been performing experiments on its employees.
“Young Hero” and the player even get to witness one of these experiments, in which one of the Splashers ends up… Well…
Horrified by what he just witnessed, our hero goes off to save any and all remaining coworkers, who are scattered across many of the game’s levels. Armed with a paint cannon, water, and two different kinds of ink, he is also in pursuit of Inkorp’s boss -the brute responsible for the experiments mentioned earlier- to make sure that his crime does not pay.
Of course, one of the reasons we play video games is for the gameplay, and Splasher delivers; the controls are nice and floaty, yet still fairly quick, and the properties of the inks are a highlight of the game. The red ink lets the player stick to surfaces they wouldn’t normally be able to, the yellow ink lets the player bounce around and reach new heights, and the water is for pretty much everything else.
If this all sounds fun to you, that’s because it is; The inks are very fun to use, even when you don’t have them unlocked, as the design of the earlier levels take advantage of its properties in a way that is still exciting and fun to play with. (And makes you all the more excited when you actually get them!)
Aside from it’s main “play through the game normally” mode, the game also has a bunch of speedrunning options, so if you’re into speedruns, time-attacks and stuff like that, these modes will probably something you’ll enjoy.
To put it simply, Splasher is an excellent video game worth plenty of Pepsi cans. If Splashteam ever needs to put in a fourth liquid, perhaps they should consider adding Pepsi?
Simple visuals that look nice, yet still detailed enough to do Inkorp and its employees justice visually.
The ink mechanics are an absolute blast to use!
Game’s levels are challenging, yet still very fun.
I’m not really sure if this can be considered much of a “coke”, but on lower-end gaming setups Splasher‘s a bit slower and floatier. While it’s still very, very, very playable on them, I wouldn’t recommend speedrunning it on a toaster. (Especially if you’re trying to get the world record!)
Splasher‘s available for not only the PC, but the PS4 and Nintendo Switch, and you likely own at least one of those so you have no excuse not to get this game. Have fun gaming, gamers!
Over the two years the Buttbuddz have existed, many YouTube videos have been made, and many subscribers have been gained. To celebrate our channel’s 2nd Anniversary, we’ll be holding the first ever BUDDZCon!
Yes, you read that correctly; BUDDZCon is our very own YouTube convention (located in Buttsburgh) that’s exclusively about the Buttbuddz, the best channel on the entire site. It will run from March 4th through March 4th (which was picked because it’s the release date of the hit video game Pepsiman), and it’s one party you will not want to miss!
To start off your BUDDZCon experience, everyone will have to attend the opening ceremony, in which Mr. Buttbuddz goes over the growth of our channel, and congratulates everyone for helping us get as far as we have. After all, without you -the subscribers and content-creators alike- The Buttbuddz would not be here today!
After the ceremony, you’re free to explore the convention center, and all of the fun events we have set up. Like panels? We’ve got plenty of them! Featured panels you’ll be looking forward to include (but aren’t limited to):
How To Make A Buttbuddz Top Ten
In this panel, you’ll get to witness the live creation of a Top Ten video, a staple of the Buttbuddz channel. One lucky audience member will have their suggestion for the Top Ten come to life, so be sure to bring in your best ideas!
Mr. Blobby’s Philosophy of Life
His philosophy of life will steer us through; There’s nothing in the world he cannot do, so that’s why Mr. Blobby is hosting his own panel; He knows he’ll show the world a thing or two!
The philosophical musings of John Blyth Barrymore are performed live for the first time, as he spends an hour discussing the significance of the Pipe Strip, a classic work of art among many Buttbuddz fans. (We promise, we won’t get a copyright claim for having him and the soundtrack of “Kundan” here.)
Anime Containment Panel
It was really hard to plan for BUDDZCon this year, and some of that was because the staff got into a heated argument over whether anime should be banned or not; This is the solution to that problem. …Honestly, we’re not sure what to actually do with this panel; you guys can discuss Moomin or something in it, we guess.
Another fun, popular BUDDZCon activity is gaming, and naturally -like any gaming convention- we’ve got some video games set up for everyone to enjoy! Catch our gaming events to have lots of fun, and maybe even help make a Buttbuddz “Let’s Play” or two!
1:00 to 1:30 PM: let’s play a video game. 2:00 to 3:00 PM: Tower Unite Mini-Golf Tournament. 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM: Break Time. (Go take a nap, watch some shows, do whatever. Just don’t play any games.) 7:00 to 7:55 PM: wacky_races_v2 Race-Off. (All participants will randomly to teams RED/”Subscribe” and BLU/”Pepsi”) 8:00 PM to The Very End of BUDDZCon: Live “Let’s Play” Recording: Pepsiman. (Which will eventually be posted on the Buttbuddz channel.)
Aside from panels and gaming, we’re also using the theater for Donkey Kong Country marathons and showing off the best of the Buttbuddz videos from the past two years, so you can check that out if you want.
Of course, all of these fun activities sound great, but there’s still one important question you’re about ready to ask us: How do I get into BUDDZCon anyways?
Well, aspiring guests, that’s why we have all sorts of tickets for all kinds of subscribers! From our budget “viewer” tickets, to our high-end “creator” type, there’s a ticket for anyone’s needs. (We also accept ticket payment in Buttcoin.)
“Hey Buttbuddz, what’s that Meet-and Greet Lottery you guys just mentioned?” Yeah, we’ll let you guys know about that, so don’t you worry about that.
Anyways, we hope that everybody attends BUDDZCon this year, and celebrates the 2nd Anniversay of the Buttbuddz with us! And remember to like, comment, and subscribe when you get there!
On the day of November 3rd, everyone’s favorite lasagna-eater decided to do something nobody would have ever expected him to do; Garfield dabbed on his haters!
“As we all know, Mondays are my haters; It made sense to dab on them,” Garfield explained in his signature thought bubbles. “What can I say? Fridays bring out the boogie in me.”
The only thing more shocking than the dabbing itself is the revelation that Garfield considers Fridays to be the opposite of Mondays: Does this mean that Fridays are the Anti-Mondays!? (Not that anyone disagrees with that… For many people, Friday is more or less the beginning of the weekend; Monday isn’t.)
When asked about what shocking and topical plans Garfield has planned next, the cat isn’t currently sure. Rumor has it that he might dab while using a fidget spinner, but only time will tell how Garfield will surprise and shock us again.
Remember Game Review #1: Kirby: Squeak Squad, one of our first ever articles on the blog? Of course you don’t; The quality of articles didn’t get to “memorable” levels until about two days later. (So memorably, in fact, that we can still feel the waves of the Pretty Cure Content Flood of Summer 2017 to this day; At this point, we might as well give Cure Marine her own pillar/merge it with the Sailor Moon one…)
So what separates that simple, humble review of a Kirby game from our many great articles after it? Well, what if we told you it was an awkward, early article that suffered from being rushed? Sure, the game-play part of the review turned out okay, but the critical research failures within the review were about the game’s LORE.
Yeah, that’s right; Kirby: Squeak Squad‘s lore is a lot deeper than it looks, and -like the original article mentions- is not very noticeable in the game, for you see… Everything’s actually in Squeak Squad‘s manga adaptation!
First off, the manga goes over time and time again that Kirby is not evil. For example, -rather than being up everyone over cake- here’s Kirby spreading the wealth of Maxim Tomatoes and Invincible Candies with Dreamland’s residents, making every man a king comparable to the likes of Dedede in the process.
Speaking of King Dedede, Kirby also offers the great king parts of the plot’s strawberry shortcake if he helps look for it; Kirby sure is a straight up honest guy!
For a game commonly nicknamed “Kirby’s Fucking Pissed”, the manga is somehow a lot calmer; Even the “treasure chest that contains the cake/villain” part of the plot is more sugary-sweet than what one would’ve seen in the game!
Of course, we know what you’re really here for; RATS. Don’t worry, they make plenty of appearances throughout the manga adaptation of the game they star in.
Even Kirby himself liked Squeak Squad’s very own rat clan enough to try and join them at one point in the manga!
There still might not be any Escargoon in the game’s manga, but to say that Kirby: Squeak Squad doesn’t have a lot of lore for a Kirby title is simply a mistake; Squeak Squad has as much of a story as any other title, you just have to know where to look for it!
This article was brought to you by Fivebuddz: Buttbuddz-quality freelancing for only $5 of the Buttbuddz budget! (Or, alternatively, over 500 jelly beans.)
September 18th, two days ago, marked our one-and-a-half year anniversary, and we’re still here; We’ve been through a whole lot of good, bad, and completely average times, but most importantly it’s been so long, we’ve MADE OVER 200 VIDEOS together. And now is a crucial time in the Buttbuddz’s lifespan where we decide if we watch it all fade away, or come together like NEVER before.
Introducing BUTTBUDDZ.CLUB, The Buttbuddz’s very own super community, which is much better than a normal, run of the mill Youtube-and-blogging community!
Aside from our already existing Buttbuddz Youtube channel and Butt with a Blog, we’ll be adding a new forum and subreddit to our empire of websites! The forum is of course, Buttbuddz.club, and our subreddit is r/buttbuddz. These two newest additions are active, fun places where you can discuss anything and everything Buttbuddz! (Did we mention they’re also ACTIVE!?)
If you already have a YT channel or blog, you can also merge with us! Yeah, that’s right; If you can prove you own an officially-supported YouTube channel or blog, we’ll support you, whether you want to be a part of us or not!*
(*Gift only applies to select communities such as the late Toontastic, and maybe a few other places.)
We’re also sprouting the first real Buttbuddz streaming network, The ButtTeam. (Located at streams.buttbuddz.club for those of you who want to check it out!)
You’ll be able to join our network of streamers in mere seconds, just as long as you have a Twitch channel, and are willing to have our lovely Buttbuddz logo clearly visible on your stream at all times! Then we’ll add your stream to our official ButtTeam page that consists of multiple Twitch streams going off at once, which is definitely easy for your web browser to handle, and the page itself isn’t a security risk at all!
With our new super community, we expect to enter a new, exciting era of The Buttbuddz! Break through the haze and confusion to see our true potential, and join our Buttbuddz Super Community today! (Or else!)
For as long as there’s been SpeedChat Plus, there’s been Toon Valley. Despite having gone through many names over the years, it’s become an infamous staple of Toontown Online; Whether one has always known it as Nutty River, or Vibrant Valley, everyone can always agree that it’s almost like a state of mind among the game’s player base.
However, with Toontown Rewritten‘s newest 2.0.0 update and the game finally leaving beta, one of the many changes the team made to current build of their Toontown remake was renaming all of the districts again. What was wrong with names like Colorful Canvas, Stencil Steppe, and Acrylic Acres? Those were perfectly fine district names!
A hopefully-intended side effect of renaming the districts was getting rid of the Vibrant Valley residents; Well, it worked. Sort of. They got rid of Vibrant Valley, but they couldn’t get rid of the Vibrant Valley; It’s just been displaced from its home-district once again, now wandering around from Blam Canyon to Zoink Falls in search of its new namesake and home.
So what’s Toon Valley’s latest incarnation then? Problem is, it’s a lot tougher than normal to find out, as its former populous is currently split up among Toontown’s many districts. Just as quickly as they’ve been displaced, though, they’ve just as quickly narrowed their choices down for their newest home.
First off, they’re not gonna pick a SpeedChat-only district; That would completely defeat the point of being Toon Valley. After all, one can’t make clans or invite people to one’s lousy game show with the default SpeedChat. This means that we know for certain it’s not Boingbury, Gulp Gulch, or Whoosh Rapids; You can’t become Toon Valley if you don’t have the chat system needed for Toon Valley to begin with!
Another clue to figuring out which district would be the newest incarnation of Toon Valley is its color: Blue districts are barren worlds, free from the influence of the Valley, and -luckily for us- make up the majority of the districts. (Because how many people are on Toontown at any given moment, really… Maybe a few thousand at most?)
…As for the one red district that always seems to show up in game, well… There’s a reason it’s considered “full”; It’s currently being used as Toon Valley! Think of as the game doing you a favor by not letting you into, for an example based on the screencap below, Bounceboro, at that very moment.
Another thing to keep in mind is what time you’re playing the game as well; If it’s too early in the morning or too late at night, not a lot of people are going to be online, and as a result, it would be harder for Toon Valley to keep a stable hold on a district; At worst, maybe you’ll just find a small pack of brutes, but you WON’T be finding any massive brute-conventions that end up covering most of Toontown Central.
If -for some unknown reason- you actually want to go to Toon Valley, the afternoon and evening would be your best bets on finding its newest host district. (Do keep in mind that both the game, AND this article are following American time zones, so going in the afternoon/evening might not work for everyone, everywhere.)
With all of that said, you have successfully found the newest incarnation of Toon Valley! …Or, at least in theory, you would have found it; The real question is whether or not it holds up in practice. Yeah, that’s right; We’re gonna go to Toon Valley!
…Oh god, we’re gonna go to Toon Valley.
For our mission, we’re gonna be sending a RAT, a protector of Toontown Central’s streets, to the newest incarnation of Toon Valley.
You see, Rat Jack is already experienced in dealing with Vibrant Toons; He and his boss, Giant Rat, have encountered cats, and even a hacker before! If Jack’s dealt with some of the worst Vibrant Valley had to offer, then surely he can navigate his way through its newest incarnation, right?
…Wait, what do you mean that Bounceboro’s TTC, the only red district in the game at the time, was completely barren!?
We sent another one of our toons, Peony, to the other playgrounds that Rat Jack was unable to cover, and as it turns out… The reason Bounceboro’s been red all day was because of a an all-day beanfest located in Donald’s Dreamland!?
But when all hope seemed lost, it turns out that Toon Valley was in actually Thwackville (a green district) at the time! Rat Jack couldn’t believe it; the Vibrant Valley he knew before was still alive. Perhaps not as alive as it once was, but it certainly was alive.
When Rat Jack returned to the Buttbuddz HQ a second time, he did mention that Thwackville/Vibrant Valley was a little calmer than it would’ve usually been, which he found kind of odd. However, -as mentioned earlier in this article- the removal of the Vibrant Valley district had been causing more than a few issues for its residents. Or perhaps, maybe Rat Jack just showed up during a calmer moment for the reconstructing community, and it was/became FUCKING TERRIBLE before/after his brief visit to the district.
This article, though, is about proving Toon Valley still exists, not about the Toon Valley experience itself. If you’re reading this article, you’re already likely familiar with what the district in its many forms -including its currently-nomadic one- is like; We don’t need to, or even WANT to go over it again.
In conclusion, you can take Vibrant Valley district out of Toontown, but you can’t truly take the Vibrant out of the Valley. Now whether or not Vibrant’s toons will stick with Thwackville, or eventually settle onto another district, only time can answer that… In the meantime though, be careful when going into red and green districts, especially if you’re located in Toontown Central; You’ll never be able to truly know if the district you’re moving to is actually just Toon Valley!
Also, subscribe to the Buttbuddz for more quality investigative journalism like you just read in this article, as well as many other exciting types of articles you won’t want to miss!
Contrary to popular belief, the ButtBuddz is not actually a weeaboo establishment; For as much as we write about, say, Hidamari Sketch, we also like western stuff such as Swing You Sinners! as well. Anime (and by extension, anime styled video games) is only one piece in the pie that is “Stuff the Buttbuddz Like”, and a fairly small piece at that.
First off is the What Japan Thinkschart/poll mentioned in the original article; Luckily for everyone here, What Japan Thinks is a very good source. In fact, it’s such a good source that it even mentioned its sampling of the population and the statistics involved!
“Between the 29th of August and the 1st of September 2008 464 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed a private online survey.”
For reference, the amount of people who live in Japan is about 127 million people. The poll only represents the opinions of a mere 0.000003% of the country’s population. How can one say that it represents Japan’s opinion on Pepsi as a whole? Even if turns out that there aren’t a lot of Pepsi drinkers in Japan, Pepsi still makes non-anime-related efforts for their market such as their beloved mascot Pepsi Man, and all sorts of fun, Japan-exclusive flavors such as Pepsi Sakura, Pepsi Salty Watermelon, Pepsi Blue Hawaii, and Pepsi Mont Blanc, among many others.
This leads into our next topic; Pepsi’s advertisement in the anime Tiger & Bunny. First off, judging an anime (or any piece of media, for that matter) by its name is like judging a book by its cover; It’s not an accurate way to tell if the show is good or not.
Rather than talking about the title, let’s get onto the show itself; The lady featured in the advertisement, Blue Rose, is actually sponsored by Pepsi for the entire anime. She’s also a superhero, so she’s basically the anime equivalent of Pepsi Man.
While I haven’t actually seen Tiger & Bunny either, if we calculate the review scores to get an mean-average score for the show, it’s apparently as good as Batman Begins. (Or at least Rotten Tomatoes and IMBd’s opinion on the film.) This proves that Pepsi only approves the finest productions for its sponsorships. If you want to see what a truly BADsponsorship looks like, perhaps we should have a look at the works of Pepsi’s rival company, and the drink of brutes everywhere, Coca Cola.
CASE STUDY: MAC AND ME.
While Coca Cola brags that it’s appeared in many, many famous films over the years, the first film that comes to the mind of the average person is the 1983 film, Mac and Me. To say that Coca Cola sponsored it would be a severe understatement; It’s Coke in film form!
The film is about aliens that require Coca Cola to survive. While the plot of the film is basically E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, you would never be able to tell due to the sheer amount of Coca Cola and McDonald’s product placement in the film. (Did I mention that the film really likes Coca Cola?)
There isn’t a lot more to say about Mac and Me, so we’ll be moving onto the next topic: Western Animation. I will give “Why anime is Anti-Pepsi” some credit here with its Spongebob Squarepants screenshot that points out that the show is pro-Pepsi; It’s the most compelling argument in the article, and provides actual evidence for its claims in the form of the screenshot itself. (Although Spongebob being pro-fish shouldn’t come to as a surprise to anyone, seeing as it’s located under the sea to begin with.)
Clearly, while Spongebob and every other fish-related cartoon are pro-Pepsi/pro-fish and therefore good, does it hold up for the rest of the western animation? I’m sure the “patriots” at Hanna-Barbera would like to disagree with you.
If that’s not an excuse to bring our scooby_doo_desecration channel back, I don’t know what is, and yetanime‘s supposedly the anti-Pepsi one… As far as finding pro-Coke stuff for both types of animation went, (not counting fan-made videos for either, because there were A LOT of those; the same thing applies with pro-Pepsi videos, too) they actually had about the same amount of Coca Cola sponsored content; It doesn’t matter if you’re The Simpsonsor One Piece, you’re still not immune to being an advertisement for Coke.
Ultimately, anime is just as capable of being pro-Pepsi as any western medium can be. Likewise, western media is still capable of being pro-Coca Cola and unpatriotic. Anime is still part of Pepsi, and by extension, the Buttbuddz; Whether you love it, or hate it, it’s here to stay.
If you’re not into anime though, there’s still plenty of other content to enjoy here at the Buttbuddz. (Although I’d suggest checking out our YouTube channel instead, as it’s more balanced content-wise than Butt with a Blog currently is; The last few articles haven’t been helping with the over-abundance of anime on the blog at all.)
Remember to subscribe to your local Buttbuddz today!
An art style can make or break an anime; For example, an art style with a superb use of color theory can enhance an anime, but one with a complete lack of understanding anatomy would absolutely ruin it. However, there’s one element of an anime’s art that stands above all the others, ready to wreck devastation onto the animes that don’t use it: We’re, of course, talking about the funny faces.
Anime fans everywhere know that funny faces are a staple and a signifier of a good show; These expressions are an indicator that you’re in for a good time, whether you’re watching the anime itself or just simply posting about it online. It’s basically telling its viewers “Are you ready for fun? Because it’s time to have fun!” After all, who doesn’t like to have fun?
To start our analysis of why funny faces are pivotal to successful anime, we’ll have to go back to anime’s humble beginnings: Anime originally started in the 1910s, much like many other cartoon industries from around the world. Not unlike the rest of the world, Japan was following in the same footsteps as everyone else: They took up sound when it was invented, they took up making animated feature films when they realized they could do that, they then— Well, you get the idea already.
Predictably, this would lead Japan to follow in the footsteps of western animation companies such as Disney and Fleischer Studios, and become inspired by their expressive characters. In fact, Japan liked them enough, Fleischer Studios even sent Betty Boop over there to perform once!
…That, and the fact that Donald Duck basically invented modern anime/manga. How could we ever forget about his influence on anime?
While anime characters have always been expressive due to their traditionally-cartoony roots, another element would later come into play of the effectiveness of funny faces: Reaction images.
You see, all of these animation companies made sure to consider the classical principle of “emoticons” in their work. Dating back to a simple drawing of a smiley face in 1653, emoticons were instantly incorporated into animation to help make their characters easier to draw (especially repeatedly) than having to draw realistic human faces for nearly every frame.
However, it wouldn’t be until 1982 that the idea of emoticons being used digitally was taken into consideration. As the internet and other digital mediums grew, people began to develop new kinds of emoticons to use in their communication, such as smilies, sideways emoticons, kaomoji, emojis like the ones in The Emoji Movie, -and of course- using gifs/pictures of shows to express one’s feelings. Naturally, anime funny faces ended up being a common occurrence among all of the gifs and pictures people used.
Meanwhile, back in the anime industry, all of the companies were starting to notice that images of their show’s funny faces were starting to be posted nearly everywhere online. Originally, the anime industry was considering suing everyone who used reaction images into oblivion, but as soon as they noticed all of the “what anime is this?” comments near many of the anime funny faces, it turns out they found free advertising for the shows themselves.
As soon as many studios released again how much impact funny faces could have on their anime (getting people attached to their characters, free advertising in the form of reaction gifs, its fun to draw and animate, etc.) they made sure to provide plenty for their audiences to enjoy. However, what happens to an anime that doesn’t use funny faces?
Maybe it’s a deep, serious drama that can’t see itself using wacky expressions? Perhaps they spent too much of the animation budget on special effects? Or maybe they’re just complete brutes who don’t like people having fun while watching their shows?
However, what if an anime is nothing but funny faces? One example would be the soon-to-become-an-actual-anime, Pop Team Epic; It plays with this idea, having it’s main characters faces always look adorable and funny, while engaging in all sorts weird, oddball scenarios, mainly since it’s a comedy series.
In conclusion, anime funny faces is a time-honored tradition dating back to the 1930s that also still holds up to this very day, and very likely into the future. Everybody loves and relates to them, they’re fun, and they’re an indicator of whether a series is truly good and worth watching, especially as we go further into the digital age; Wherever there’s pictures, there will be anime funny faces!