This studio’s a fairly young one, but it’s been making some waves lately.
Studio Colorido was founded by Hideo Uda, who worked on Evangelion and Saikano, on the 22nd of August 2011 (Studio Colorido 2020). Technically, they debuted with a set of advertisements/short videos, but their true debut can be considered to be Typhoon Noruda (Yoshida, 2015).
The studio focuses on digital techniques to reduce the burden on animators (Yoshida, 2015). Based on the works I’ve seen from them – all movies and short OVAs, such as the Pokemon ONA series Twilight Wings – this seems to include allowing animators to work for less time while still ensuring a high-quality finished product. Also, one of the consistent signatures of the studio (if you look at the official list of works they’ve produced here) is bright colours and emphasis on detail work – not as much as, say, Kyoto Animation, but enough to get sakuga fans to sit up and notice. It could be said the colour part of that is an aftereffect of them focussing on digital animation, as opposed to cel animation or emulating cels. Apparently, one of the studio’s specialties is camera mapping (Yoshida, 2015), although since I’m no expert on how to identify this, I wouldn’t know how to look for signs of this technique.
As pretty as A Whisker Away is, I already mentioned Twilight Wings previously and I’ll mention it again here. Certainly, the Pokemon franchise is a hugely dense series to get into for beginners who don’t hold any nostalgia for the original anime or any other arm of the series and since I haven’t played anything since the last games released for the DS (specifically Pokemon Black 2), I had my own doubts about taking this ONA series on. However, Twilight Wings is a particularly grounded take on the whole “battling monsters” thing by showing how people coexist with the title creatures in a way the main anime doesn’t. Since it takes a slice of life-style approach to the series, it both allows the viewer to take in the scenery, as would be expected when it’s based on a series where travelling the skies and regions is key to the experience. This is where the studio comes into play – by having that clean digital animation, Galar becomes a small slice of escapism one can imagine interacting with. In particular, Nessa’s episode Early-Evening Waves stands out for its water animation and selling Milotic as a Pokemon of beauty.
Sidebar: If you don’t really know the significance of what that means, then a Milotic is a water Pokemon which evolves from a Feebas (an ugly fish) when it has a high beauty stat. The approach Pokemon Adventures took to demonstrate this for the character Ruby was for him to abandon his Feebas at one point and recognise the Pokemon’s inner beauty later on, causing its evolution. Of course, this being an ONA with a limited runtime, Twilight Wings couldn’t take that approach…
Furthermore, the approach allows the viewer to be carried along by the plot, meaning you don’t necessarily have to worry about checking up what so-and-so Pokemon’s type is to understand why things happen the way they do…although as with all Pokemon media, taking in other media from this generation to familiarise yourself with the Pokemon, region and Gym Leaders in question would immensely help your understanding.
So, what’s your favourite Studio Colorido work? Certainly, they haven’t produced many longer works yet, but that could always change in the future…
- Studio Colorido, 2020. Company. Available from: http://colorido.co.jp/company/
- Yoshida, 2015. The future of digital animation in Japan. Available from: https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/film/the-future-of-digital-animation-in-japan