Explaining The Retro And Old School Visual Style Of Anime

Okay, I said I’d be gone for a couple of days, but now I’ve got to take a quick second here to explain something because twice now I’ve seen somebody mistakenly label the visual style of Munto TV as retro/old school.  I’m not trying to ridicule or anything, but I feel that I should be the one to point out that:


lol…..this is not retro, neither is it old school.  The first Munto OVA came out in 2003 and it is less than 6 years old.  It’s artstyle makes use of the now standard computer animated drawing style and the character designs that are instantly distinguishable from the hand drawn styles of the 60’s-late 90’s and the overall visuals are very much akin to the kind we see everyday in modern anime.

This is retro, it makes use of modern computer assisted animation, but it attempts to mimic the handrawn style of character design and visuals that were prominent in the 50’s and 60’s.

This is old school.  It is from the late 1970’s and features the completely hand drawn visual and character design style that was the norm during the period.

Hopefully that resolves the matter and I can now go back to chilling to my notably old school music.


12 Responses to “Explaining The Retro And Old School Visual Style Of Anime”

  1. 1 Roll January 19, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    In my opinion I think why people say that Munto TV is old school/retro is because Kyoani originally made Munto on a tight budget, so the animation’s not top brass. And the first episode recycled quite a lot of scenes, which of course, looks not as quality as the usual Kyoani anime would do.

    We shall see if the art quality improves after the parts in the first two OVA’s are covered. 😀

  2. 2 Kaioshin Sama January 19, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    @Roll: The character designs are supposed to change….but from the looks of what they are going to introduce, not much. Tight budget does not really equal retro though. Compare this to the new character designs and then compare it to Slayers Next or something and you’ll see a bigger difference on the latter. Slayers R by the way, that’s definitely retro, as is something like Votoms Pailsen Files when the scene isn’t Armored Trooper combat.

  3. 3 ghostlightning January 20, 2009 at 7:01 am

    Damn straight. Another interesting anime that may fit your operational definition of retro: Itazura na Kiss. The long faces with long pointy mouths that go downwards evoke a retro look, then again the whole thing doesn’t look old at all.

    Also, would you say Casshern Sins is retro? Or is it really just being faithful to the source material (I know little about it either).

    Let me know what other series within the last 2 years satisfy your retro definition. ^_^

  4. 4 The Sojourner January 21, 2009 at 4:40 am

    Retro = long pointy noses.

  5. 5 Roll January 21, 2009 at 8:35 am

    I was just trying to say that maybe the budget, etc made people mistake Munto TV for retro or something. D:

  6. 6 Kaioshin Sama January 21, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    @Ghostlightning: I would say Casshern Sins is retro yes.

    @Sojourner: Only if we’re talking about Escaflowne.

    @Roll: The OVA seemed to have had a decent budget to me. I’ve noticed that most people’s concern right now is the animation and whether it will get kicked up a notch once the TV series proper begins, but for me it’s whether they are going to be able to make something out of the presently convoluted story.

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