The irony, of course, is that every official episode of Sailor Moon is already the work of a legion of artists “passing the baton” constantly. Animators are assigned specific characters, or scenes, or even cels, and follow style guides to create the illusion that the final product is drawn by one person. For Sailor Moon, that person would naturally be Naoko Takeuchi, the manga’s creator.
However, when over 300 animators assembled to remake episodes of the toon, they weren’t trying for uniformity. To the contrary: every shot of this Moon Animate Make-Up has a completely different rendering style. One will be more traditional, and the next will be highly abstract. Then one will be tightly rendered, while the next will be rough and gestural. In addition to being an homage to a classic show, the community creation works quite well as a post-modern art piece, directing reflexive and unavoidable attention to how even the tiniest aspect of animation is still a team effort.
Watch the second installment in this multi-year project below, and marvel at how truly trippy it’s made the O.G. Magical Girl’s adventures feel.
“Crowdsourced” fan tributes like this have actually been something of a growing trend–especially in anime and manga circles. To wit, Dragon Ball Reanimate applies the same conceit to our favorite alien monkey boy, freely switching from eight-bit graphics to 3D models and classical ink ‘n paint. Goku’s ill-advised effort to extinguish the roaring flames of Fire Mountain was already quite surreal. Now, with the art style switching up every second, it feels absolutely koo-koo bonkers.
Of course, the grand daddy of all these “team remakes” is the Bartkira Project, which piles more than a couple conceits atop eachother. Artists with radically different styles play round robin with Katsuhiro Otomo’s seminal manga, Akira–recreating every one of the opus’ more than 2,000 pages. And if that weren’t intriguing enough, the project also swaps Simpsons cast members in. So Kaneda is Bart, Tetsuo is Milhouse, Martin is Akira, et cetera. This “amalgam” works amazingly well. Better than even a monorail running through the downtown of Neo Springfield, maybe?
Any other crowdsourced remakes worth checking out? Drop some suggestions in the talkback.
Featured Imaged Credit: Moon Animate Make-Up