Introduction

Those who have seen Memories, Ninja Scroll and Kiki's Delivery Service side-by-side know that there's no such thing as "the anime style."

Even so, for the past few decades animators in Japan have had to wrestle with lower budgets than their Western counterparts, and that has affected what you see on the screen. For example, the most expensive anime to date (Princess Mononoke) cost $20 million. In contrast, the modestly budgeted (for an American production) Iron Giant cost $40 million.

Necessity is the mother of invention. The less budget and production time available, the more workarounds an animation will have to use. Anime television shows, in particular, tend to use more budget workarounds than anime OAVs and films.

Garage band studios and individual animators might find these workarounds useful. I see them as a way to wring the most out of your time and money. The tips & tricks listed here are only what I have picked up through personal observation. In no way does this form a complete list. I suggest turning off the sound on your television the next time you watch your favorite anime, to see how the creators chose to tell the story with the resources available to them.

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