domingo, 30 de octubre de 2016

A new sprite series

Decent start for a new animator

The 41th installment of Bad Animations dealt with the pilot episode of “A New Day”, the first series of the newcomer animator by sprites Destrayter. “BA New Day” encouraged me to try more of these commentaries even if they used to be the content I like making the least. But it’s still my most shared Spanish content, even more than “Aitor Molina Vs.” and I receive suggestions that I would love to fulfill if they don’t offer enough material to write a script.

Sometimes I am the one who finds interesting stuff to comment and noting it has became a huge part of me, since I’ve been doing this for five years. It’s the oldest show by me you can entirely find online, ordered and linked in its own tab of my blog. If those videos disappear from Dailymotion, tell me to reupload.

I should point that my criteria has changed since I started Bad Animations because there weren’t that many sprite-series. Which six years ago was a great video, nowadays is regular and repetitive. By sprites, you could find interesting fan-fiction mixing videogames and animes, today you need actually creating.

Since you can point a real effort to make sprites, it is half way to be something well-directed. The designs will probably improve after three or five episodes, like some of the mugshots and the title card. It distracts a lot trying to fit characters with a little effort alongside simple recolors. Specially because the pictures of the text-boxes just change the hair colors like a bootleg Donald Duck mask.

Half way to great stuff

Inspired by FlashEstudio, A New Day is a decent start for an animator and a good step to improve the sprite genre. But it shares the same problems from its predecessors like using gratuitous anime songs as openings instead of obscurer music that could be associated with this series. It distracts even more when the title of the song is on-screen and reveals where it’s from.

Other blatancies include, instead of shoehorning videogame characters like most of the sprites do, putting them on the intro justified as an “in-universe spin-off”. That’s even worse than the stolen robot designs from Oscar’s Nightmares from Hell! Having cameos from famous characters on TV like easter-eggs is ok, but giving them screentime when they are irrelevant to the plot doesn’t make any sense outside of pandering to the viewership you are trying to avoid.

So we have a confusing but interesting approach which takes inspiration from videogame-themed visual marvels like Scott Pilgrim. The first view doesn’t clear if they are inside a videogame or the universe is just bizarre since they have life-bar and magic unicorns.

Then, we have a too simple plot with the main character having to buy milk, reuniting with his one-dimensional friends and fight a random monster. It’s still better than most of plots and characters in sprite-series, which is sad when the roster is composed of: the main, her best friend, the black guy, Zurfura the ghost, Rakzol, the unpowered, the hated, the shy girl, someone’s girlfriend and the uncharacterized minor of the group who does “cute cajuai” stuff.

Convoluted mess with nonsensical plot

Not everything has been established, the episode doesn’t really explain who the characters are outside of their single characteristic. The main, that’s how he calls himself, meets with his friends to talk modernly without directly falling into random humor, even if it’s very meme-ish. For example, the annoying brat says “Nyan Cat Attack” but it’s a regular dash instead of something creative.

Too many characters to introduce in a single scene too little characterization to make them interesting. Too meta to be funny and too self-referential to be creative. The world should be at least more defined before breaking the fourth wall like Deadpool, who didn’t become a meta icon until many years later.

Jokes like the black guy or the main character would be funnier in case of being self-aware, like Rakzol or referencing how crazy a six-armed monster is. Too many mixed styles like Pikeyo and Scott Pilgrim makes a better John Show with the newest bad episodes of Nightmares from Hell.

The mixture of character-styles could be used for comedy like Gumball, which would be unique for a FlashEstudio animation. On the other hand, expies are properly used, like the ridiculous characters from One Punch Man. The derivative characters are hidden enough, at least not physically. It’s the most interesting new sprite-series from 2016.

It’s also mentionable that the first animation ever from the creator can be longer than ten minutes, because animators need years to achieve that. The ghost girl Zurfura is amazing because is not as one-dimensional and derivative, even her name sounds like a Norse god!

A half-baked parody

A New Day mostly lacks a bit of self-parody, I think that a Gag Dub like Digimon Abridged by GilZab or Friendzone Team would help a lot, or a humorous script-rewrite like Leslie Nielsen’s movies or Cuzco. Even the sprites wouldn’t be needed to change if the vague designs are acknowledged.

Crazy interfaces like life-bars made it difficult to get, but at least interests enough to tie-in a bit with the Revengeverse, at least with the ghost. The avatars could evolve into being represented by the drawings themselves instead of the recolored sprites.

I hope there is enough fanart for the second episode to make it more visual and getting to other stuff that could work or not. Even the title card style would be an improvement over how lazy the non-ghost designs look!

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