Well, it LOOKED cute: A look at art style dissonance in anime

Hey all, this is a repost of a blog entry from 2018. I’m trying to get back into writing stuff like this, so I’m giving it a reblog as inspiration for me! Plus, consider this a placeholder while I try to get back into my groove 🙂

Have you ever been fooled by an anime’s cutesy art style? Were you one of the people who were absolutely floored when episode three of Madoka Magica came around, or someone who wasn’t expecting Made in Abyss to involve so much gore and vomit based on the character designs? Did you think Doki Doki Literature was just an innocent dating sim?

Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Even Cactus Matt was fooled by a manga’s cover art recently! The poor fella just wanted to see some cute anime girls, but instead he got cute anime girls melting!

This concept of having an art style that doesn’t necessarily match up with the show’s tone is commonly utilized in anime. It’s called art style dissonance. The logic behind it is simple enough – if you see a cute looking character getting absolutely obliterated, you’re (probably) going to be more shocked by what’s happening. That can’t happen to her, she’s got pink hair and big moe eyes!

There are the more well-known examples like Madoka and Made in Abyss that I mentioned above, but those just scratch the surface. There are many, many series that utilize this method. Let’s take a look at some of my favorites.

Content warning: since this post is specifically talking about anime that are secretly fucked up, there’s some mention of some fucked up stuff in here. Some mentions of body horror and sexual assault beyond this point.

Continue reading “Well, it LOOKED cute: A look at art style dissonance in anime”

The Great Ketchup Cake Caper of Magia Record

Part of the appeal of Shaft’s animations is that there is ALWAYS something going on in the background. It makes for great re-watchability. Once you’ve watched a new episode of the studio’s Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story, rewind, turn those subtitles off and look for pendulums swinging symbolically in the background. Check out the hidden details of a Witch’s Labyrinth, or see if any street signs start displaying tidbits about a characters’ emotional state.

Or, go rewind because THIS GIRL JUST PUT KETCHUP ON HER CAKE. Yeah. Are you seeing that screenshot? That’s for sure ketchup, right? And then, to make matters worse, it seems that she’s decorated the ketchup swirls with…candy and a wad of meat? Excuse me?

It can’t be some kind of meat pie, right? Then there would be beef pouring out the sides or something when she cut into it. Another troubling thing is the fact that there doesn’t seem to even be ketchup on the table. Does she have a secret stash of ketchup on her at all times? Lastly, none of the other magical girls seem to react to her decking her cheesecake out in ketchup – no one except for the newbie, Iroha, anyways. This leads me to believe that this is a regular occurrence. She must be dousing things in ketchup so often that her friends don’t even react to it anymore.

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WHERE DID IT COME FROM??

A few others have speculated on this odd phenomenon. Scott posited that maybe she’s eating a potato cake somehow. Remy gives the impression that she might just be a monster, like theYouTube lady who puts ketchup on her French toast. K at the Moviespoints out that she should just cut out the middle man and eat one of those Canadian ketchup cakes.

In all likelihood, it’s just a clever visual gag from the people who brought you similar fast-paced visual comedy in the Monogatari series. I love the idea of a conference room full of creators and animators being like, “yes, as Momoko is detailing the logistics of Witches, have this girl do some goofy shit in the foreground like putting ketchup on a cake.” Once again, Shaft is proving that they’re on another level, because they have the power to make me pause an important scene just to marvel at small details.

This anime is based off a game, too, and I gotta be honest – this mystery is making me want to download the mobile app just to see if this girl does more things like this canonically. Guess that’s just part of Shaft’s genius, too! Get me to download a game off of a freaking ketchup gag!

Great, now I definitely am going to play the game to learn more about this girl…

[A Very Belated] Anime One Liners Tag!

HELLO, I’M BLOGGING AGAIN! Here is an Anime One Liners meme I was tagged in by the magnificent Yomu like…a month ago.

I might be late, but that doesn’t mean Yomu ain’t great!  Seriously, if you haven’t read any of Yomu’s “Review Reviews,” you’re really missing out. They’re so good at reviewing, they even review things they’ve never even seen!


Da Rules

  • Accept and thank your challenger(s) by linking back to their post.
  • Make a post of one-sentence summaries / roasts of at least five anime.
  • No spoilers!
  • Link back to The Awkward Book Blogger so she can see your post.
  • Challenge as many or as little people as you want!
  • Have fun.

Honestly, I’m being SNEAKY by making this post my “””comeback””” because it means I can tag other people and FORCE YOU TO ACKNOWLEDGE MY RETURN!!! Mwahahahaha!!! Anyways. The tag meme.

Continue reading “[A Very Belated] Anime One Liners Tag!”