Naruto and the Artist's Eye
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    Naruto and the Artist's Eye

    I've been reading Naruto since Shonen Jump started running it over here in the US. And recently I discovered some places on the web where I found scanlations of all the stuff that hasn't been released in the US just yet. Anyway, the art of Naruto has always been one of my favorite things about the series, it's just an example of great manga art. But recently the art seems to have degraded significantly, and it's really pissed me off. I posted about this at the forum I download them from, and noone else seems to have noticed (I'm basically assuming that the artist has dropped off the book and left it to assistants). Some of the people even suggested that the art has gotten much better.

    Basically this has made me realize that even if I'm not a very good artist yet, that just being around so much of it and studying it, has sharpened my eyes a great deal. At least as it applies to noticing technique in others.

    Here's an example of what I'm talking about:
    This is from a chapter about mid-way through the series thus far:


    And this is from a chapter a couple of years later:


    Even though these are small examples, I still think the difference is pretty clear.

    Basically this thread is just blowing off steam, but let me know if you all have had similar experiences like this.

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    The anime is the same way, some episodes you can clearly see that they really took their time ot handle the details and action of the character, while some other episodes looks so cheap that their movements only consist of 15 frames per second and the style almost doesn't look the same. The only reason because of that are art teams.

    Maybe he's a busy guy, I mean he's taking care of the anime and also having to draw the manga's which he has been pushing it out lately, and it far surpasses the storyline of the anime already, even like some comicbook artist after while, the quality goes down to subtitute for the story to be out for print.

    I use to read the manga's about a year ago, but didn't really want to spoil the anime, but my friend keep telling me what happen so it's useless.

    "If you only heard one side of the story, then you must be deaf in the other ear." - Sok N. Wett

    Sok's Sketchbook Thread Last Updated November 25
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    Geez, usually quality in manga is supposed to go up, right? That sucks, man, Naruto looked interesting from the first volume that I read. And pretty much all it had going for it, in my view, was the art. Pity that it gets worse.

    This is like the Tales of the Jedi graphic novels. You know that one where Exar Kun returns back to Ulic and the gang, and how the colors just fell off a cliff at the end of that one? And it had been totally awesome up until that point, too...

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    the Naruto story is Great BTW...

    It should be interesting to see how terribly bad Cartoon Network Hacks it to Dead.


    -JtJ

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    eh, they cant all be like berserk.

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    Btw the Manga was starting (i believe) in 1999 and it is a weekly book so you can't really blame the artist if he has decided to move on or take a break.


    -Joshua

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    Quote Originally Posted by prostate sunrise
    eh, they cant all be like berserk.
    Hah.. yea.. berserk rocks. \m/

    Naruto did a good job at creating a unified universe of design with a distinctive feel to it. I always thought the designs were the strong point.

    Has anyone seen Samurai Champloo 25 yet? I saw it last night and I'm still twitching from how good it is. That's an anime that can be truely appreciated for the quality of the animation and art direction.

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    Naruto has everything going for it. Sadly, some of the chapters aren't as good-looking as others, but again, with pumping one out every week, what can you do?

    Andrew Murray
    Concept Artist, Tencent Boston
    www.theincredibleandy.com
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    Samurai Champloo is good as well as also Samurai 7, shit I love anything ninjas and samurais

    "If you only heard one side of the story, then you must be deaf in the other ear." - Sok N. Wett

    Sok's Sketchbook Thread Last Updated November 25
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    I don't notice any difference in those two images, other than the user of screentone or whatever kind of shading is in the first pic. Naruto is a good series, but I think it's longevity may kill it. I stopped watching around 100...and honestly I can't even tell you half the stuff that's happened because I've forgotten most of it. Kind of like Dragonball, which would have been awesome if it didn't last forever.

    oh yeah, the only thing CN will butcher is the voices. Inuyasha is aired unedited, but the voice acting ruins it mostly anyways.

    N & B

    ~Sketches
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    My problem is just that it's a sudden and consistent drop-off. After a certain point, the quality just took a nose-dive and has stayed there. The style changed (different use of tones, line quality, etc.) and it's just much harder to read now. Also, the way some of the new story developments are going, it seems like he may not even be writing it anymore. Just kinda sad to see it fall. And after Hikaru no Go turned out to be such a bummer, I don't have many reliable manga titles to turn to anymore.

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    the quality in the anime series dropped a whole lot after the forest testing stuff was done... man, when sasuke fought the snake guy....I was like =O holy crap that looks cool... they haven't really done anything like that since, with that level of quality.

    N & B

    ~Sketches
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    Quote Originally Posted by one2hit
    the quality in the anime series dropped a whole lot after the forest testing stuff was done... man, when sasuke fought the snake guy....I was like =O holy crap that looks cool... they haven't really done anything like that since, with that level of quality.
    umm are you forgetting Rock Lee fighting Gara? that was the best fight scene in the whole damn series!

    Do you know the muffinman?

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    Once you understand what the word "stupid" means - age is no longer a valid excuse for being that way.
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    I havnt checked it out because its soooo appealing to the Emo Crowd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuffinMan
    umm are you forgetting Rock Lee fighting Gara? that was the best fight scene in the whole damn series!
    no I'm not forgetting. That was a good scene really. I am talking about animation quality, which was lower than sasuke vs. orochimaru in the forest. That rocklee fight was awesome, but the animation wasn't quite as good. I loved it when he took off the weights on his ankles.

    N & B

    ~Sketches
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    I've only watched the first couple episodes of the anime, just because the manga is so much better. Manga vs. anime is just like book vs. movie, manga is always better and book is always better.

    And yes, the Rock Lee vs. Gaara fight is the best in the series.

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    The artist may just be more comfortable with drawing some angles of the head more than others. Or he could have asked his assistants to draw some of the panels.

    You may like to check out Death Note. It's drawn by the same artist who illustrated the Hikaru no Go manga, and it has an intricate storyline. Scanlations can be found at http://www.deathnote.org

    Another recommendation is 20th Century Boys by Urasawa Naoki (Yawara, Monster). One of the best recent mangas I've read.

    ...+1 exp
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinix
    Hah.. yea.. berserk rocks. \m/

    Naruto did a good job at creating a unified universe of design with a distinctive feel to it. I always thought the designs were the strong point.

    Has anyone seen Samurai Champloo 25 yet? I saw it last night and I'm still twitching from how good it is. That's an anime that can be truely appreciated for the quality of the animation and art direction.
    I wish they continued the anime version. I was so bummed out after that last one...I wanted to see him kick the bad guy's ass.

    Last edited by Dizon; March 21st, 2005 at 02:35 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeraphSword
    I've been reading Naruto since Shonen Jump started running it over here in the US. And recently I discovered some places on the web where I found scanlations of all the stuff that hasn't been released in the US just yet. Anyway, the art of Naruto has always been one of my favorite things about the series, it's just an example of great manga art. But recently the art seems to have degraded significantly, and it's really pissed me off. I posted about this at the forum I download them from, and noone else seems to have noticed (I'm basically assuming that the artist has dropped off the book and left it to assistants). Some of the people even suggested that the art has gotten much better.

    Basically this has made me realize that even if I'm not a very good artist yet, that just being around so much of it and studying it, has sharpened my eyes a great deal. At least as it applies to noticing technique in others.

    Here's an example of what I'm talking about:
    This is from a chapter about mid-way through the series thus far:


    And this is from a chapter a couple of years later:


    Even though these are small examples, I still think the difference is pretty clear.

    Basically this thread is just blowing off steam, but let me know if you all have had similar experiences like this.
    I disagree. One thing I notice about the 2 images are it's simplicity. Both are done with atleast 2-3 flat values and also are both drawn well. His simple looking style IMHO works best for his kind of work.

    I dont know anything about the animation industry but I think the reason why the quality of the animation in some episodes is not as good as the others is because they are under a budget compared to like Samurai Champloo which only has 26 eps so it is understandable that the makers of SC have enough budget to show superb animation and quality in all of their episodes. It's not like Naruto where you have 100+ eps, which means that they have to save all that good quality for much important episodes.

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    I guess the pictures I posted aren't good enough examples. But reading old chapters and then the new ones, you can definitely see the difference. At least I can. The line weight, shading, proportions, and composition are all significanty worse. Another thing is, there hasn't been a big battle yet (since the art took a dive), and all fights generally cut away before you see any of the action, so I'm wondering if the new artists can make them look as cool as Kishimoto did.

    My basic feeling is it would have been better if he had stopped altogether, than let it continue like this. Would have been disappointing, but I still would only have fond memories of the comic. The same thing happened with Hikaru no Go. It ended unexpectedly, but I still like to go back and read it a lot, just because it's great. I never feel like re-reading these newest chapters of Naruto.

    Oh well, I still have Vagabond I guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeraphSword
    I guess the pictures I posted aren't good enough examples. But reading old chapters and then the new ones, you can definitely see the difference. At least I can. The line weight, shading, proportions, and composition are all significanty worse. Another thing is, there hasn't been a big battle yet (since the art took a dive), and all fights generally cut away before you see any of the action, so I'm wondering if the new artists can make them look as cool as Kishimoto did.

    My basic feeling is it would have been better if he had stopped altogether, than let it continue like this. Would have been disappointing, but I still would only have fond memories of the comic. The same thing happened with Hikaru no Go. It ended unexpectedly, but I still like to go back and read it a lot, just because it's great. I never feel like re-reading these newest chapters of Naruto.

    Oh well, I still have Vagabond I guess.


    Ohhh so other artists are doing the work? I see, well, that could be the problem then.

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    Basically this has made me realize that even if I'm not a very good artist yet, that just being around so much of it and studying it, has sharpened my eyes a great deal. At least as it applies to noticing technique in others.
    Yup, I've definitely noticed that. Going back and looking at artwork that I once thought was awesome, I realize that it isn't and that there are errors all over the place. Partly because of a higher standard, but also because I can spot weirdnesses much more easily now.

    Unfortunately (or fortunately, rather), I can also spot errors in my own work, and it's a real drag.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom_head
    Yup, I've definitely noticed that. Going back and looking at artwork that I once thought was awesome, I realize that it isn't and that there are errors all over the place. Partly because of a higher standard, but also because I can spot weirdnesses much more easily now.

    Unfortunately (or fortunately, rather), I can also spot errors in my own work, and it's a real drag.
    Believe me, if you ever stop noticing errors in your work, I think you're in trouble.

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    I think it's this way for most manga to anime series, but as mentioned earlier, when you're producing a manga once a week quality will be lacking in some chapters/episodes. I will agree though, the art seems to be less finished, but it could also be due to where they are in the story point at the moment...
    another nice manga to anime is Bleach, well that's my 2 cents worth, back to trolling

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