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!)
Hey Buttbuddz™ fans it’s me back with another great new anime article, which research shows are the favorite articles of you Buttbuddz™ so here it is.
Mahou Shojo is a very popular subgenere of anime*, especially among the Buttbuddz™ fanbase (hi comica) which is why we will look into the very complex tale of the creator of all your favorite mahou shogun shows Izumi Todo of Toei Corporation.
Izumi Todo was born October 1, 1950 in a small cabin at the foot of Mt. Fuji to a family of very proud samurai, until they realized the time of the samurai was 300 years prior, so they decided to become shoemakers instead. After a normal upbringing, Izumi Todo was really desperate for a job (really desperate) so he got a job at ‘Toe Animation’ (This was before the merger with ‘I -Pictures’ which made it Toei Animation).
Izumi Todo had a very bad first 20 years of his internship as he had to mine asbestos for the animation cels. In those days, every animation studio of Japan was built inside asbestos mines so they could get asbestos for the animated cels. Then in the late 1990s he was promoted to “Creator of Cartoon”, or CoC. Inspired by his samurai ancestors, Izumi Todo decided to make a new popular anime in the girls Mahou Shogun genere.
The first known anime created by Izumi Todo was OjEmoji Doremi, which was the prequel to the hit movie The Emoji Movie. Even in this first cartoon you could see that Izumi Todo knew exactly what made for a good Mahou Shogun anime, which is, as described in this, Funny Faces and maybe some smears. It was also based on the true life story of Buttbuddz™ Member Pickles the Random Toon, believe it or not.
The series ran for 200 episodes, but had to be canceled when they realized the show was really really long. This brought up the problem that a show can only last 200 episodes before it gets pretty lame (see: The Simpsons). Izumi Todo now had to figure out how to make an Mahoo Shojougun which could run forever and also earn lots of cash in merchandising. So after some experimentation with shows about hamsters, Izumi Todo created Futari wa Pretty Cure which is a very popular anime among the buttbuddz fanbase (Don’t X out this window yet, Comica!). After each season, the series introduced new Precures to save the world and made by different cartoonists and writers, which means each season is actually a new mahoushow shogogun, meaning that it is never going to die it’s gonna make it if you try you’re going to love it. And also Precure is going to outlive you.
I would now write about how Izumi Todo lives a good life on retirement money in the french riviera, but sadly Izumi Todo died on the 12th of July 2016 after being brutally murdered by an angry fan of Dragonball Z, upset by Precure having all the good animators of the company. Life really is simply unfair.
I hope you enjoyed this essay article Buttbuddz™ fans please give us money on patreon and subscribe to the youtube for more Buttbuddz™ content.
*While most mahou shogunates are anime, a minority of mahou shogunates are largely non-anime in nature.
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!