The idea of having CG in anime is not a recent phenomenon in the industry. CG has been a slow-developing concept over the past few decades, however, with recent anime like Chainsawman and Trigun Stampede really emphasizing or having more CG than fans had expected, it sparked the discussion of whether heavy usage of CG in anime will become the industry standard.
Let’s make one thing clear, CG is mostly unaccepted by the anime community as of this date. Any time a new work of fiction is turned into an anime and fans find out it will have CG in it, there’s massive displeasure of that news. Yes, it may have been true that some anime’s CG in the past have been nothing short of atrocious, but recent anime that have implemented some, if not mostly CG have turned out really well and shows the potential of CG if given the proper allocated time to let it shine.
It’s understandable that after so many years of watching anime in 2D and seeing so many great works achieve wonders, to suddenly see 3D CG thrown in the mix can have fans concerned and discombobulated, it’s nothing that should be outright rejected as many anime that have implemented 3D CG, which has only enhanced the final product. Not only that but it’s essentially a necessity for the anime industry to embrace 3D CG going forward. Drawing complex 2D anime character designs and keeping up the consistency in animation scenes throughout a series is almost an impossible task, even greats like One Piece and Naruto are notorious for having had one too many receptive scenes, all in an effort to cut workload and save time. This is due to a toxic, tight schedule resulting in stiff animation, which then leads to characters going off model frequently.
And when you factor in that animation studios working environment and culture are abysmal, short-staffed, and demanding extreme hours, to the point of animators never seeing their homes for weeks, all in an effort to animate a scene on time, that is why so many anime have bad art and animation. Not every anime is a passion project, just like with games and movies, it’s a business at the end of the day, and making money is their main focus.
That being said, the anime community will have to brace themselves and accept that 3D animation and CG will become the standard in anime in the future. Well, a blend of 2D and 3D to be exact, 3D will pick up the heavy lifting with auto-creating frames to ease the workload, while an animator then goes in to clean out any errors that might have shown up, since computers AI isn’t perfect just yet. I mean look at the Fate series, a prime example of what is possible with allocated time and implementation of 3D CGI. These complaints that I’ve seen are mostly the result of a lack of knowledge of the industry and honestly a small bit of elitism of craftsmanship.
With the improvements in technology when it comes to 3D CG, there’s going to be a lot more digital work done in 2D anime to support the workload. This is the future, it happens all the time.