The Infamous Yashigani

In an age where people can get upset over minor drops in animation quality from episode to episode, they may be interested to know just how good they have it in comparison to some of the things that went on as recently as the 90’s.  Let’s take a look at what is quite possibly the most infamous poorly animated episode of a reasonably mainstream and popular TV series way back when.

Lost Universe Episode 4 (Part 1)

Lost Universe Episode 4 (Part 2)

The gist of the episode is that Millie enters a “Beauty” contest and is forced to do ridiculous things in order to be crowned “Best In The Universe”.  The irony I’m sure is not lost on many I should hope.

The legend of just what the heck went wrong goes something like this.  The animation was sublicensed to a Korean company for this episode and the Main Japanese production studio only gave them a basic description of what the characters were supposed to look like and left them to do the episode.  The result was this.  Amazing eh?

Some of the flaws that one may notice include extremely choppy frame rates, completely off-model character design not only in general, but inconsistent even within the episode itself, mismatched voice acting in comparison to the lip flap (You’ll actually get to here Megumi Hayashibara and Souichiro Hoshi [Kira Yamato’s] voice in this episode), and missed animation cues in general.  When this episode aired the public backlash was such that the episode had to be completely redone for the DVD release.  The legacy of the episode, titled Yashigani Hofuru, is that an episode seen by the Japanese public, and even some westerners in the know, to be exceptionally poorly animated, is often referred to as a “Yashigani”.


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January 2008
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