The Elusive Samurai #01 — The Many Faces of Shounen Comedy and Tragedy

July 6th, 2024


Okay, there's only actually one.


It's unusual to actually see production issues in this day and age. Most studios just… don't animate things now. But if any animation studio will be at the forefront of that, you can count on CloverWorks. There's both a bunch of framerate problems where the cel work on the CGI isn't quite synced up correctly, but also the old-school issues where people go slightly too far into the background and the animators can't be bothered to draw their faces at all. They squash and stretch to exaggerate movement, but then devolve to weird stills of yelling for 'impact.' How exactly do you manage to combine both old and new school problems but then also put together one of the few actually impressive action scenes of this entire season? CloverWorks' production process really needs to be studied by experts. 

Aaaanywho, a very bipolar episode. It's all goofiness and comical screaming for the first half, then jumpscares with a severed child's head and tries to pretend to be bloody and dire… except that every adult is still making absurd faces in the background, especially the one priest dude who's determined to turn this into a grotesque comedy. Dude is making faces next to piles of severed heads on spits. The juxtaposition and transition between these things is not being used effectively at all, least of which because they're using basically the same face to show terror and manic zeal. Really, just get rid of the one dude, or take his whole schtick down by around 98% and this would have been a relatively standard and inoffensive generic shounen adventure with some animation flair (and issues). But that one guy sticks out like a sore thumb, or all the background people who keep losing their faces.

Next Episode:

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