Superflat (23)

1 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-09 06:11 ID:IAZZ5Sbm

Ok, guys. I was interested in superflat styles in animes of particular genre and was an artist himself. The bad thing is that I don't know where should I start. I need some good references on this particular genre of anime. Any good websites, forums or animes that's related with it? It would be grateful if somebody can help me with this..

2 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-09 15:29 ID:AVCriMAX

Wasn't superflat as a genre of art made as a criticism of anime in the first place?

3 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-09 17:25 ID:xJovGlFr

Superflat Monogram while being too short does have what you wanted

4 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-09 19:32 ID:KpmtKaIk

>>2
Not really. Alien Nine for example has those moe elements and was an anime.

5 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-09 20:35 ID:xkPGtmf3

>>2
Superflat is supposedly a criticism of the "shallow emptiness of Japanese consumer culture." This would undoubtedly include some anime, but not all.

>>4
I think Henmaru and Tomizawa are considered superflat because of their knack for subverting moe - taking moe artstyles and childish characters and exploring the boundaries of artistic expression with them; pornography in Henmaru's case, realism and perhaps child psychology in Tomizawa's case.

Narutaru might be another anime/manga that accomplishes this, although I don't think it becomes nearly as surreal as Tomizawa's work.

6 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-09 22:20 ID:xJovGlFr

Narutaru deceives people with a mahou start then it was very weird

7 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-10 21:39 ID:yCrveS/Z

Anything by Kon Satoshi right now can be considered Superflat.

Like Paranoia Agent, Paprika... that sort of thing.
Also, Hideaki Anno and the more chaotic days of Gainax, so Kare Kano and Eva, that sort of thing.

You might also try Yuasa's Mind Game, although I'm hesitant to count that.

I don't really know what to make of Supeflat to be honest. While I love Satoshi Kon and Anno, I don't have much to say about the likes of Murakami.

8 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-10 22:03 ID:yCrveS/Z

>>5

I see Superflat (the term was coined by Takashi Murakami, I don't know if the aesthetic movement actually exists) is a kind of perverse self-parody of otakuism and the "database/modular" 2D visual culture. Basically it observes a move away from narrative content and into a kind of purely aesthetic gratuitous composition of pretty much identical elements (look at any range of character designs and you'll see how the characters we worship are built out of repeating iconographic elements, a lot like the way religious icons were designed in history, so that anyone could draw them.)

Murakami pokes at this kind of "deification" directly with his giant, larger-than, life pvc figures (kind of).

The basic idea of Murakami's Superflat Theory is to recognise an aesthetic system which is completely divorced from notions of "high" and "low" forms of art, in the similar ways that anime Otaku tend to embrace extremely shitty shows (by conventional aesthetic standards) because of otakuism's own standards and the database elements at play, as well as the show's meme-like cult personality.

It's not a very clear movement, but I guess it's exciting because it's young and radically different from how art has been made over the last century. In many ways it has more in common with older forms of Japanese art; ukiyo-e with its mass-produced, flat-graphic, cartoon elements (not to mention some of the sexual, moe paralells with some ukiyo-e artists) so it tends to attract a kind of Orientalist attitude which I don't much care for. The people most qualified to talk about Superflat seem to be the Otaku themselves, and they tend to have a hard time talking about it since they're so defensive.

But if you look at the broader picture, you can consider a lot of mainstream animated series today especially as being "superflat" in that they tend to no longer interface with original narrative content but feed off of otaku elements and otaku output in a kind of symbiotic relationship. A Kyoto-Animation (a fairly unapologetic creator of otaku content, like Gainax was) adaptation of a show like Haruhi or Lucky Star (I'm using these shitty examples because they're popular) with their self-conscious fan-service and inter-lacing of genres/archetypes I think might illustrate how their already isn't much of a divide between what Superflat illustrates in the Art World (that horrible place) with what's actually going on in the Otaku subculture, which is where "Superflat" (if we can call it that) is actually living and breathing.

you can pretty much look at any otaku series today and see similar examples of "flatness" a lot of fans might complain of these shows as "fanservice shows" with no souls, and that's just the point, traditionally transcendentally important elements of the art-form like "Story" are designed to be as basic fan-service like pornographic aesthetic enjoyment as the panty-shots and cute character designs. So Story is basically used as much as a vehicle for character design as visa-versa, and as far as otakuism is concerned that's how it should be.

9 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-10 22:10 ID:xJovGlFr

>>7
Magnetic Rose and Perfect Blue would not be anything close however

10 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-10 23:02 ID:dRVuY6AG

>>8
OP here. I love this guy!

11 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-10 23:40 ID:xJovGlFr

You should wonder why someone like him has not done their own site

12 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-11 00:28 ID:xkPGtmf3

>>8
Well, that makes sense, but in that case I don't see how Henmaru and Tomizawa are examples of the the movement at all. Their work is anything but a perverse self-parody of otakuism, at least not in the way that you're describing.

13 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-11 02:32 ID:xJovGlFr

Does such parodies also include something like Welcome to the NHK?

14 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-11 08:34 ID:dRVuY6AG

>>13

>Welcome to the NHK?

facepalm

15 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-11 14:48 ID:xJovGlFr

You are right Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei would have worked that best

16 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-12 16:15 ID:dRVuY6AG

>>15
WAT

17 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-12 16:29 ID:xJovGlFr

Nevermind that when you have Higurashi which inverts the loli part

18 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-12 19:15 ID:Heaven

ID:xJovGlFr is a perverse self-parody of otakuism.

19 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-12 19:32 ID:xJovGlFr

One that was never supposed to like Angel's Egg over Gurren Lagann

20 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-12 23:00 ID:dRVuY6AG

This thread needs moar experts on the subject

21 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-13 01:12 ID:xJovGlFr

You may not see any more resourced than the anon who wrote earlier

22 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-13 05:25 ID:yCrveS/Z

>>14

I'm not sure. The movement isn't very well defined. Welcome to the NHK isn't the only popular manga series to involve to poke fun at otakuism while celebrating it to a certain extent. It has an otaku audience and the otaku audience is willing to laugh/(cry?) at itself after all.

It might be that within the context of the subculture the distinction between parody or criticism and direct perpetrator doesn't really exist. So the whole movement (and it isn't the only postmodern movement to do this) is basically kind of suicidal in that it basically proposes that any otaku art is at a fundamental level "Supeflat", thus making the whole movement irrelevant. On the other hand, "otaku art" can be pretty much anything. I don't think you'd call "Ponyo on a Cliff" or most of Miyazaki's films "superflat", but otaku will still love it, and what would you call the silly Ponyo porn pics that showed up on Futaba a few days before release? Or those horrible, ridiculous, sometimes brilliant NicoDouga videos? It's otaku art in its purest form, it's subcultural and subversive and sometimes self-critical, so you could probably call it Supeflat right?

EVA is still celebrated as one of the greatest otaku series of the 90's while simultaneously completely "Superflat" in the way it stretches the limits of its medium's aesthetic sensibilities and crams in a bunch of heavy-handed symbolism and squashes it down to play on the same level as the heroines' character designs. People still argue over whether it's Anno's big "FUCK YOU" to the otaku subculture or a huge celebration of it, and as I see it, it's both of these things, which makes it much more interesting than Okada's propaganda film "Otaku no Video" as I see it.

tl;dr: Superflat seems to be a pretty meaningless marketing label placed on otaku artists who've figured out how to sell their works to the non-otaku of the art-world for ridiculous prices.

... which I guess is alight since a lot of it is kind of neat stuff. Yoshitomo Nara's girls are pretty cool character designs after all.

23 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2008-09-13 16:30 ID:xJovGlFr

Perhaps it would take something like Studio 4C to popularize those

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