Previous entries in the Definitive Dictionary:
Hello everyone and welcome to a segment of Definitive Anime Review where we take a look at the many strange and confusing terms that are thrown about in the anime industry. It’s time for me to open up the Definitive Dictionary once again!
In this entry we will be taking a look at a term that has been used greatly in the past few years in anime discussion circles. It has been used specifically in discussion of the quality of animation in anime, we’re looking at Forced Animation.
Bit of a strange term isn’t it? Let’s try breaking it down so that it might be a little easier to understand:
forced (fɔːst) [フォースト]
1. obtained or imposed by coercion or physical power.
I was forced to watch anime Top 10 videos from watchmojo.com.
2. (of a gesture or expression) produced or maintained with effort; affected or unnatural.
I forced laughter when they showed me a clip from Akashic Records of Bastard Instructor.
animation (anɪˈmeɪʃ(ə)n) [アニメーション]
1. the state of being full of life or vigour; liveliness.
She was full of animation when she opened the door to Smashmouth’s All Star.
2. the technique of photographing successive drawings or positions of puppets or models to create an illusion of movement when the film is shown as a sequence.
This animation was made using a flipbook I found behind the sofa.
Forced Animation is a term used by anime critics and commentators to refer to the fact that the animation is of too high quality. The reason why people use this term is because animation can’t be too good. The problem with this however is that this doesn’t make any sense. How can animation be too good? What happens if animation is too good? That is what I set out to find out.
The first question that needs answering is how anime can reach the category of “too good”. For many people, the fact that something can be too positive, too pleasant, too good is alien. It just doesn’t sit right. For some people however, the danger of things being “too good” is all too real. I interviewed one anime fan and asked about their opinion of Kyoto Animation’s Sound! Euphonium, an anime that tends to attract this criticism about its animation.
Hibike! Euphonium animation is forced. It’s too good. When I watched the scene at the end of Episode 8 of Season 1, I was completely turned off by it. The reason being is that the animators animated it all too much. When I put my finger like that against my mouth it doesn’t do all of that! I haven’t seen it in action in the mirror but I’m sure that my mouth doesn’t vibrate that much. I dropped the anime after that, it just felt wrong.
As you can see, they were completely turned off by the idea of animation being too animated to the point that they would completely drop watching something because of it. In this person’s case, it’s the utter disbelief that something like that could even be real. According to them it’s a fakery of motion.
Now what you may think is that this is just an opinion but that’s where you are wrong. Animation can be forced and is actually a big problem which takes us to our second question: What happens if animation is too good?
For this we need to refer back to the 1994 film Speed, in which Keanu Reeves must keep a bus with a bomb attached to it over 50mph or it explodes in a big fireball. Animation, surprisingly works in the same way.
Animation can easily be rubbish and nobody would care whatsoever. There’s plenty of rubbish animation and the only one actually care about is Berzerk (2016-17), it’s only when animation is too good that things get interesting not only for the consumers of anime but also for the people making it.
You see, most anime studios are similar to that bus in Speed, except they must create average animation according to the public or run the risk of eternal damnation for being overly good. Unlike Speed however, there’s no definitive measurement as to what “too good” actually is. Unlike the velocity of a bus, you can’t give a measurement for how “good” animation is…until now.
Today I propose a new way of measuring the quality of animation by the creation of a unit of measurement for animation. Unsurprisingly, I’ve decided to call it the Sakuga (skg) which as I have mentioned before is Japanese for salmon. Studios are only able to output scenes in anime at a maximum of 50 skg/s or 50 Sakugas per second, once over this threshold the animation becomes Forced Animation. A studio like A-1 Pictures outputs anywhere between 5 and 30 skg/s, while studios like Kyoto Animation output well over 50 skg/s on a regular basis, which explains why their animation is so often labelled as Forced Animation.
The unit of 1 skg/s is the equivalent of 1.60934 an/s (Annie per second) which is another way of measuring quality of animation. You probably didn’t know the second one till just now but you can use that one too.
So in summary, we can now have a definition for Forced Animation. What’s even better is I was also able to obtain a list of synonyms for it as well from a very old tweet. So without further ado:
Forced Animation (fɔːst anɪˈmeɪʃ(ə)n) [フォースト アニメーション]
1. The act of animating something too well causing discomfort and anger for viewers.
They’re overdoing it this episode, this is Forced Animation.
synonyms: keyframe spamming, superfluous motion, fake movement, meaningless drawings, fabricated flow, untrue flow