Database for Animation Studies


Mamoru Oshii’s Production of Multi-layered Space in 2D Anime

This article articulates a Japanese spatial device: layering. In contrast to Western perspective, layering creates depth with contours by overlapping some 2D images. Through Mamoru Oshii’s theorisation of three layers, the author investigates the application of layering in traditional woodblock prints and anime and speculates on its derivation from calligraphy as an art form. This article addresses the idea that in anime, unlike in a unified perspective drawing, the layering system allows different depiction styles to be overlapped. Moreover, through Oshii’s films, his experiments in audio-visual exchange and the temporal application of concept of ma, pose and pause in anime’s movement are explored. The goal is to investigate the concept of ma and layering further by examining one locus of spatiotemporal experience – anime. It is speculated that the spatiotemporal concept of ma was generated by the written Japanese language, the combination of kana and ideograms.

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Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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