Arpeggio of Blue Steel #01 — Uncanny Valley

October 7th, 2013


Even that might be ascribing too much credit to it.


Maybe I dropped the ball in the preview somewhere, but I hadn’t realized that this would be 100% CGI instead of just all the ship/AI stuff… which was about all they showed int the promos in my defense. I guess it’s not all that different from 100% rotoscoped like a certain ugly show, and at least it makes the visual style consistent instead of jarring as the usual CGI blending is. However, they’re still really bad at it. People move and walk awkwardly as hell and due to the regularity of it, especially for things like the wacky hair styles which stick in gravity defying place like hairspray is made of cement, that becomes even more obvious. It looks like… well… not that far off from PS2 models scooting around but with better cell shading and the same cheap effects we’ve been seeing for a decade.

They also don’t do much interesting with it either, which leads into problems with the actual content of the episode. Essentially immobile ships shooting at each other, then talking heads, talking heads, unintentionally emotionless talking heads, and intentionally emotionless talking heads. You’d think they’d at least try to create contrast between the two in some way, but apparently not. Not even for the flash forward (I guess?) before it switched gears into the origin story. There’s also a reason that things like Hunt For Red October keep the focus on the characters inside the subs/ships/whatever and not just show a fireworks display outside. It eventually kind of got there, but took way too long to inject any real kind of actual human element.


Posted in Anime | 6 Comments »

6 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Afrosquirrel says:

    You forgot to change the template and it exploded at the end there.

    And that OP/ED/whatever was actually pretty good!

  • Longhaul says:

    the origin’s part is actually from the drama CD’s and not the actual manga

  • Jinzilla says:

    Fuck, I can get over CG battleships, but know if i can do same for CG character models, To make matters worse, everyone move like jerky robots.

    • icymirage says:

      Tell me about it. Everyone learned over a decade ago that you’re supposed to motion capture 3D people. I guess they’re short on that kind of experience in Japan.

      • Dynellen says:

        It’s not a matter of experience, it’s a matter of money. Hiring people, renting a motion capture studio etc. is costly and if we’re being honest most anime are just a glorified adds for the source material, done on a tiny budget.