I don’t always, or even often, agree with much of the writing on Wave Motion Cannon, but if you are into animation, they do have some pretty worthwhile interviews and stuff. Occasionally some interesting editorial writing too. I don’t agree with everything here either(not by a long shot), but it brings up some interesting thoughts regarding how we consume media. For me, notably, how execution might be the most important thing in any piece of work. This isn’t all that unusual of a position, but it seems that when talking about execution, a lot of people don’t really consider animation to be a significant part of that. I hear statements like “if the story is good, it doesn’t matter how it looks” or “no matter how good it looks, if the story sucks, it’s not worth it”, but those same people will go on to tout execution as the key to making a good anime. But what does that mean if animation doesn’t matter? Josh’s point, specifically, is that animation is the most important aspect of anime. I won’t go nearly as far as to say that, but it does deserve a spot at the table of variables when discussing the execution of an anime. As he mentions in the article, why would we watch 50 moe slice of life shows if the story is essentially the same? The answer is unequivocally because the execution to each of them is different. And the ones that become popular, unsurprisingly to me, tend to have at least competent animation, good direction, and personable and fun characters. What about shonen action? Sure, there are minor differences in the story, but are we really there just for the story? I would argue that no, we’re not. We are there for the execution and good execution usually includes good animation, or at least good visual direction. A well executed shonen action show can have the most basic storyline and cover the most familiar tropes, yet become exceptionally popular because of how it is executed. Considering the catalyst for this post, MHA, it’s hard not to see how brilliant animation is actually a huge part of that. Would the reactions to the pivotal recent fight be as bonkers if it hadn’t been so damn cool? It’s impossible to know for sure, of course, but I would definitely think not. There is a reason that, arguably, the most famous animator in the industry(Yutaka Nakamura), was put in charge of it. Because animation is a HUGE part of execution, and it can elevate, or destroy a production just as easily as anything else. And the key people in the industry know that very well.