Who got vaseline all over my cartoons?

Is this digital soft focus effect on anime a recent-ish thing? And is it just a Madhouse thing? Tokyo Tribe 2 was full of it, along with the oversaturated colours that Casshern Sins is rocking. Am I right in thinking Death Note had a touch of the soft focus to it too? Tetsuo Araki’s follow up Kurozuka is certainly full of it. Not to mention excessively dark. The hugely overrated Mouryou no Hako is another culprit.

I really don’t know why this is being used this way, it’s not like any of these shows are particularly poorly animated and so they are using it cover faults. One Outs, another Madhouse show, is distinctly less well animated in terms of movement, but actually uses focus effects to move things in and out of focus, rather than make it look like the cinematographer got mayonaisse on the lens.

Am I missing something or is this just unnecessary? Is it a cheap way of creating a sense of visual unity between production staff? Why is this being done? I think Madhouse are generally great, but frankly this is driving me crazy.

Which is why Michiko to Hatchin and One Outs are the main shows I’m following at the moment, lovely crisp, clean lines and focus effects used correctly. Yay.

One thought on “Who got vaseline all over my cartoons?”

  1. i think you’re wrong about casshern; i think the picture quality is an intentional stylistic choice. makes it look more like it was made in the 70’s to me.

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