The anime community that has developed here in the western world has a couple of quirks. The largest of which being its insistence on a ‘savior of anime’ coming every few years. This usually happens when a particular show is popular both in Japan and the West, a mostly uncommon occurrence. It is during the airing of shows that have this quality that people will go about the internet and spread the word about that show that is ‘saving anime.’
We are in one such time now, thanks to Madhouse’s anime adaptation of Murata’s manga adaptation of ONE’s webcomic, One Punch Man. Now, we here at Monkeys Fighting Robots love One Punch Man as well, it’s an entertaining, beautiful, and hilarious show that hasn’t even gotten to the good stuff yet, but it’s more than that, because it might actually save anime.
When One Punch Man was initially announced to be Madhouse’s project, many assumed that Madhouse would dump as much money into the project possible in order to achieve the best animation possible. After all, the general anime fan is of the opinion that a bigger budget creates better animation. After all, that’s how Ufotable does it right? Though this have been proven false for the most part.
But Madhouse delivered, the episodes are gorgeous and wonderful. The animation has a flexible feel, with art style willing to change at a moment’s notice to enhance whatever happens to be displayed before our eyeballs. The One Punch Man fanbase collectively chalked up the beauty to budget. ‘Just Madhouse dumping endless amounts of money to give us the best possible product.’ But, this was false. One Punch Man doesn’t have the infinite budget we thought, nor does it have an above average budget, yeah, One Punch Man has a normal, average animation budget. As tweeted by this animator.
— 久保田誓 (@kubo_chika) October 26, 2015
Google Translation: “One Punch Man is tend to have the image that the budget is abundant, but it is never such a thing is not, strictly average level. Good for the passion of the animator that I am participating, one punch man there perseverance of each section has been made. Thank you the support of the anime One Punch Man in the future!”
Yep, Madhouse made One Punch Man these mind blowingly amazing looking episodes without the large money associated with good animation. But how could Madhouse pull this off? Don’t they need to give something of equal value in return for the end product? Does Madhouse have a Philosopher’s Stone? Well, no. Simply put, Madhouse bet on it’s animators.
Madhouse got together basically the entirety of the animation industry, a collection of the best. When first beginning the long yet rewarding process of producing One Punch Man, Madhouse had to pick one of two methods to achieve amazing animation, money, or passion. And Madhouse chose passion. These amazing set pieces, the fights, and overall polish, all of which contribute to the visual style of One Punch Man, that was not developed due to money given for quality, but from the passion of each individual animator.
We’ve all heard the horror stories about how terribly treated animators are. Horribly paid, with miserable hours, and way too little recognition. But this show has a chance to change that. This show is as good as we get it solely due to the passion by these animators, they aren’t getting extra money out of it, they won’t have their name associated with the anime, they get practically nothing, yet these animators are still putting their best work into this show. One Punch Man is a passion project, a love letter from the animators to us, the anime fans.
We need to retaliate in kind, a show with this much passion does not come around often, we need to show Madhouse, we need to show the animators, that their passion and effort did not go unnoticed. Please, if you in any way enjoy this show, please support it financially. As western fans, us just watching has no effect, it does not impact the studio in any way, they don’t know we are watching and loving One Punch Man, so we need to buy the manga, Blu-ray, Oppai hoodies, anything that will go directly to Madhouse, to the animators.
Madhouse bet on talent and passion, and it paid off immensely, we need to show them that we love and appreciate their effort, their passion, their love for the industry. If everyone does this, if One Punch Man is truly successful, who knows, maybe it will save anime.