**Animation Quality Discussion Thread**
Hello all,I would like to clarify a few things for those who mistake certain animation STYLES for "bad" animation. Naruto Shippuden has had a great deal of changes made to it over the years aesthetically, which continue to happen as we saw in episode 322. I understand how some of you who do not have an understanding of how animation works & how much effort goes into it can mis-judge something you're not used to. I will attempt to explain what all this confusion is about in the following text.
Episode 322 shares a similar animation style to the Bee vs Sasuke, Pein vs Naruto/Hinata fights. This particular type of animation is usually reffered to as "Sakuga" style. It is a preffered method for fast, fluid action & over the top scenes such as the ones these fights feature. Compared to the standard animation we normally see in Naruto, this style is very jarring & rapid. It also uses a distortion of bodily characteristics (facial expressions, limbs stretching) to convey raw power, strength, speed, or emotion.
The thing with animations like these is that the faster the action, the more exaggeration is need to convey those super-human speeds & strength. That's why some fine details don't look, well, as detailed. You see in several frames of episode 322 where Madara & other shinobis have very little facial details or sometimes NO FACE AT ALL! This is due to the speed factor and the difficulty of getting fine details into such a small or fast moving area. You'll notice this only really happens when the scene is panned out further away from the characters, diminishing their features. Much like how in real life, the further you zoom out from a focused subject, the more it's features are lost and kind of blur.
I thought this episode was fantastic, as I did the others I listed with the similar style. It is VERY hard to do this kind of animation compared to the boring, stale, slide-show like animation we are used to in Naruto. I thought the way the Alliances emotions were displayed was superb. We don't normally get to see those kind of strong facial expressions in this series. I love when they show people yelling like Gaara, because after all, this is war & people should be shouting battle cries when they attack. In closing, I implore those of who who criticize based something looking "silly" or "cartoonish" to understand that it's a choice the animators were well aware of when they made it, and obviously they were confident enough to use it on the most beloved fights/scenes. It's all a matter of perception. Remember that something done differently is not necessarily "wrong" or a "fail" it's simply a calculated risk to bring us a different level of entertainment from the series we love.