Computer generated graphics are a great feat in animation. It makes the job of an animator easier, it allows the studio to spend less time on the show and makes the animation easier to produce. Though I have to say that I prefer classic animation more because it looks nicer, seeing the drawing styles and differences between shows is always fun to look at. What I have problems with is the completely CG shows that replace most things with CG. Kingdom is a fine example of this.
I am a big fan of the manga Kingdom, one reason is the story and the art is awesome to read. The second is I am a big fan of the historical shows, but for some reason I notice a trend where historical shows tend to have more CG in them than most other shows. I am okay with the use of CG in anime don’t get me wrong about that. CG can lighten the loads of the studio by allowing them to spend less time animating a crowd or distant figures. I am okay with that because it isn’t a character we focus on. However, what I don’t like about CG in shows like Kingdom and Nobunaga Concerto where all the characters are CG animated. The animation looks stiff and unrealistic, with the facial expression and movement looking unnatural.
Though this could be seen as the theory of the Uncanny Valley. Where the more something looks unrealistic the more other people will accept it. The more realistic it tryies to be we find the flaws more prominent and repulsive. This is because we see know it is not real, but because it is starting to resemble life more it feels unnatural. This is not to say that the CG in an anime like Kingdom is so good it looks real that it’s unnatural, but it could be that I am not seeing it over my distaste. The second season of Kingdom though they fixed the animation and added less CG and more hand drawn. I was happy I didn’t have to push through the poor animation.
Nobunaga Concerto is the anime that got me to write this review. I read some of the manga before the anime was announced, but it hadn’t been completely scanlated. So when it was announced that it was getting an anime, I was excited that I could continue the story, but I have to sit through this crappy animation, that is hard to watch, I just don’t like it. Souten Kouro used CG animation wisely, it was used to animate the armies fighting and the vast crowds. The way they used it, didn’t stand out and wasn’t a problem. The rest of the show was animated well and though you could notice the difference it wasn’t a big problem. CG is also used in most anime for vehicles and Mech’s. It is alright in using it there because it looks okay unlike when it is used on humans. We don’t know what a Mech would look like, so we have no frame of reference to how it would exactly move or look.
Overall I think that CG in anime should be put on hiatus for a while, because at the moment it is not fitting well enough. Until that can make the animation look similar to a cutscene in Fire Emblem Awakening or Final Fantasy it should not be used widely. This is because that is good animation and that is going to be how the anime will most likely look like once they are able to produce it during in a limited time.