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  1. #1
    Classic Speedy's Avatar
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    B: TAS: Why is Sunrise Criticized?

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    So I've been re-watching Batman: The Animated Series on DVD, having not seen the majority of the episodes since I was a kid. It's interesting to see how all the different overseas studios gave their own distinct looks to the show.

    But one thing that's puzzled me: Sunrise doesn't seem to get much love among some fans. Even the producers of the show didn't seem to think much of them! (though they did admit to liking "Heart of Steel Part 2" in the commentary) Which, frankly, I don't get. I very much enjoyed their work, for the most part, and would place them right up there with TMS and Spectrum in terms of quality. I've heard that they supposedly drew Batman "off-model". How? Because of the way they drew his mouth? Is that all? I didn't notice any blatantly strange character designs or animation in their episodes, certainly not like Akom had a penchant for.

    Seriously, if you want an example of bad Sunrise work for a U.S. cartoon, give Street Fighter a watch sometime. Low framerates, mistakes aplenty, odd character movements, fluctuating character models, continuity problems, it's all there. Didn't really see that in Batman.
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    It wasn't just the mouth it was his nose and just his overall body shape that seemed off. Funny thing is Heart of Steel is their best effort and for the most part looks nice...except Batman he just looked off. They did draw the best version of Barbara who was always off model but she and Randa looked awesome.

    I actually don't remember what else they did I remember when I first got the DVDs I remember their episodes I tended not to like. But after watching Heart of Steel recently I remember thinking it wasn't as bad as I remember. Certainly not as bad as AKOM, Jade, or Blue Pencil.

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    I really liked the work that Sunrise did on "The Man Who Killed Batman" (one of the best episodes), "The Cat and the Claw part 1", "Pretty Poison", "I Am the Night"... I thought they did a good job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderwall
    But after watching Heart of Steel recently I remember thinking it wasn't as bad as I remember. Certainly not as bad as AKOM, Jade, or Blue Pencil.

    Yeah, Akom were awful. "Mad as a Hatter" was the only one they animated that wasn't brought down noticably by their terrible work. The less said about Jade the better... Blue Pencil did a weak job as well, though I thought some parts of "If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?" seemed fine.
    "Are you the dreamer or merely part of someone's dream?" - The Mad Hatter.
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    Classic Speedy's Avatar
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    Blue Pencil was a mixed bag for me. I loved their work on "If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?"; it was definitely different looking than the typical episode, with its rubbery, looser animation style, but I think it worked quite well regardless. But "Day of the Samurai" was uneven and due to what seemed like rotoscoping for the fight scenes, the animation came across as swampy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowStar View Post
    I really liked the work that Sunrise did on "The Man Who Killed Batman" (one of the best episodes), "The Cat and the Claw part 1", "Pretty Poison", "I Am the Night"... ght some parts of "If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?" seemed fine.

    I agree. The episodes animated by Sunrise, from what I recall, were all fairly nicely animated, especially compared to episodes like "Cat Scratch Fever", "Christmas with the Joker", and some of the other Akom episodes.

    Reading over the WF BTAS section, which lists episodes by animation studio, I was surprised to see how few TMS eps there are. Its clear that TMS has the finest eps animation wise, but Dong Yang I think has some great ones too.

    Was there anything noticeably wrong with the models, in any Sunrise eps? Like, say, the Dong Yang episode "Harley and Ivy" where Joker's nose was slightly off, which didn't really bother me, and was nicely animated regardless, but it was noticeably different. I can't recall anything like that in the Sunrise eps...
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekPowers View Post
    Reading over the WF BTAS section, which lists episodes by animation studio, I was surprised to see how few TMS eps there are. Its clear that TMS has the finest eps animation wise, but Dong Yang I think has some great ones too.
    Yea TMS didn't do that many but when they did it was always a treat. Dong Yang was a great workhorse though that always did good work.

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekPowers View Post
    Was there anything noticeably wrong with the models, in any Sunrise eps? Like, say, the Dong Yang episode "Harley and Ivy" where Joker's nose was slightly off, which didn't really bother me, and was nicely animated regardless, but it was noticeably different. I can't recall anything like that in the Sunrise eps...
    I think it was Batman had that weird middle part in his lips that people have in real life but that Batman doesn't have in the model sheets. Also the one I noticed was the sides of his nostrils would poke out of the mask like a real mask would. It was weird because I think they're the only ones who drew him off model but more realistically.

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    I didn't think Sunrise did too bad a job on "Pretty Poison" and "The Man Who Killed Batman". AKOM was much worse. Just watch "Be a Clown" and you'll a agree with me.

    Okay, I'll admit that I haven't watched too much of the series, and I happen to find it very overrated, but still.

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    Sunrise always did good work... but their Batman brought alot of episodes down.

    - Bulky/chunky body
    - Those wierd V shaped lips
    - The VERY small bat-symbol on the chest
    - Just more linework in general.

    They did however do a great job with Bats by the time 'The Man who Killed Batman' was animated.

    Overall they were one of the better studios.

    AKOM, Blue Pencil and Jade were the most disappointing. I'm glad B.T gave them the boot.
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    I would put Sunrise in the middle. They weren't as on model as TMS/Spectrum but they were not the slop that AKOM was.

    The key thing I noticed was the more Beak nose on Batman as a constant on Sunrise.

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    I'm pretty sure the 'beak nose' was the work of DONG YANG.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dark knight 90 View Post
    I'm pretty sure the 'beak nose' was the work of DONG YANG.
    Wasn't "Almost Got 'Im" done by them? That episode had the 'beak nose'... but it tended to be more of a Sunrise thing: "Heart of Steel part 2", "I Am the Night", "Off Balance" and "The Man Who Killed Batman" all had it.
    "Are you the dreamer or merely part of someone's dream?" - The Mad Hatter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowStar View Post
    Wasn't "Almost Got 'Im" done by them? That episode had the 'beak nose'... but it tended to be more of a Sunrise thing: "Heart of Steel part 2", "I Am the Night", "Off Balance" and "The Man Who Killed Batman" all had it.
    Not as far as I can remember... and I just finished a marathon of B:TAS.

    Sunrise always had Batman's nose stick out from under the cowl. They presisted in showing his nostrils, etc.

    Dong Yang did the beak... where the cowl droops of his nose. As seen prominently in...

    - Almost Got Im
    - Tyger, Tyger
    - Eternal Youth
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    I don't have a problem with the 'beak nose'.

  14. #14
    Classic Speedy's Avatar
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    On the topic of "underrated" studios, I thought that for the most part, Studio Junio did fine work. In fact, had I not seen the credits beforehand, I would've assumed that an episode like "Baby-Doll" was done by TMS.

    Speaking of TMS, did they do uncredited animation for "Harley's Holiday"? Sure looks like it.

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    rajzfilm is offline Member
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    I don't think Akom was ever this bad:





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    Quote Originally Posted by rajzfilm View Post
    I don't think Akom was ever this bad
    Which episode was that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Classic Speedy View Post
    Speaking of TMS, did they do uncredited animation for "Harley's Holiday"? Sure looks like it.
    Could be, parts of the car chase do look like their style.

    But see, I think the reason why people hate Sunrise is because the producers do. I will admit that AKOM and Jade produced far worse (which makes me wonder why WB never booted AKOM off their shows altogether). But at the same time, Sunrise's episodes just kinda fluctuated in quality. Kinda gets me wondering whether or not Sunrise outsourced their episodes they way they did their anime.
    Aw come on, you expect me to put something witty here?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philmister978 View Post
    Which episode was that?
    Looks to me like "The Man Who Killed Batman"

  18. #18
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    Does anyone have a list of the episodes animated by Sunrise?
    -What the hell are you?!
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    Classic Speedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -batmat- View Post
    Does anyone have a list of the episodes animated by Sunrise?
    They did:
    -The Man Who Killed Batman
    -Off Balance
    -Heart of Steel Parts 1 & 2
    -I Am the Night
    -The Clock King
    -Pretty Poison
    -The Cat and the Claw Part 1
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Classic Speedy View Post
    They did:
    -The Man Who Killed Batman
    -Off Balance
    -Heart of Steel Parts 1 & 2
    -I Am the Night
    -The Clock King
    -Pretty Poison
    -The Cat and the Claw Part 1
    Well, from that list, I only recall "Off Balance" and "I Am The Night" for having really bad animation for most the episode, "The Man Who Killed Batman" had its moments too, but the other episodes are not bad at all.....

    On the other hand, episodes like "Terror In The Sky", "Joker's Wild", "Robin's Reckoning, Part 2" and "Harley & Ivy" had terrible animation, with all of them except Joker's Wild being animated by Dong Yang, although Dong Yong still animated mostly all the later episodes (Season 2,3,4&5) almost in entirety, except for some episodes.
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