Fanart Friday returns, actually back on-schedule. Last week--er, sorry, this past Monday, we got to check out fanart of some of the many roles of Aya Hirano. This week, though, (like Madhouse Madness Edition) we're back to talking studios, and this week it's all about celebrated anime studio BONES! Originally founded in 1998, Bones was put together by former Sunrise staffers Masahiko Minami, Hiroshi Osaka and Toshihiro Kawamoto. In addition to their own independent work, two of their first projects were theatrical collaborations with Sunrise--but more on that later!
The funny thing about Bones is that--looking at their work--it's hard to pin down any actual bad titles. Sure, your mileage may vary and you'll always run into that one guy who absolutely hates Fullmetal Alchemist or something, but Bones' animation is of invariably high quality, with a surprisingly large amount of original work amidst all the manga and light-novel adaptations. Now, let's get started!
DISCLAIMER: None of the art presented is the property of myself or Crunchyroll. All characters and series are tm and © their respective creators and corporate owners. All art is the creative property of their respective artists. Any artists who wish to have their work removed from this article may contact me, and appropriate action will be immediately taken.
Bones' very first TV anime was Hiwou War Chronicles, which made its way to North America as Clockwork Fighters: Hiwou's War. Strangely enough, the DVD boxart reminds me of Ninja Resurrection, which you should never, ever actually watch.
"But wait!" you may say, "Cowboy Bebop is a Sunrise property!" Now, you're correct, but two of Bones' early projects were collaborations: Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door and Escaflowne, the theatrical installments of two big Sunrise titles!
It was around the time Wolf's Rain was released that I started paying attention to the name "Bones," and got a great, original story that really hooked me.
But ultimately, a studio's claim to fame comes down to their one big title: Toei has Dragon Ball (and One Piece), KyoAni has Haruhi, and Bones has Fullmetal Alchemist, the series so nice they made it twice. Hell, it was one of the first names that popped up when I was doing single-series Fanart Fridays--just look at the comments on Equivalent Exchange Edition!
This last season was a big one--I didn't have enough Newsletter writers to cover the whole thing--but Chaika - The Coffin Princess got snapped up pretty quickly! Speaking of which... wanna write for the Crunchyroll Newsletter? Shoot me a PM!
Another Bones original, Darker than Black told a grim, moody story about superpowered "Contractors" living in a world that seemed normal... but that the same time always felt like it was two seconds away from descending into absolute, terrifying anarchy and chaos.
by ultmte READER SUBMISSION!
Scrapped Princess is one of those titles that's so much more than the sum of its parts. Yeah, it's about an exiled princess and a dude named Shannon and his badass sister and it's based on a light novel (which in my mind already counts as a strike against), but in the end it's a smart, enjoyable show that has a really timeless feel to it. It's much better than you'd honestly expect.
Even CLAMP needs to do a tournament now and again. Angelic Layer was an adaptation of their toy-battle manga that amazingly didn't have a tie-in toy line, because real Angels would cost an arm, a leg, and maybe a redundant organ or two.
I keep wanting to call Captain Earth "Captain Ass." Not because it looks bad or anything--it reminds me a hell of a lot of Star Driver (more on that later) and I loved the first episode--no, the katakana for the title reads "Kyaputen Aasu." Thus, "Captain Ass."
A friend of mine pointed out something interesting: Natsumi Itsuki, the creator of Jyu-Oh-Sei (and Hanasakeru Seishonen) seems to really love having characters be around gigantic predatory cats. I never really thought about it until it was brought to my attention.
A truly gorgeous and jaw-dropping recent title, Noragami has been on my to-watch list for some time now. I'll get around to it after I finish all the other stuff I've told readers I'd watch--that comes first.
I dunno, I honestly don't think that RahXephon gets enough credit. Sure, it's a weird show and doesn't stick to standard mecha-series tropes, but I really think it's the One Piece to Evangelion's Dragon Ball--it gets a lot of the same feel while sidestepping or just plain avoiding a lot of its spiritual predecessor's problems.
I haven't watched HEROMAN yet, but looking at all this fanart (and seeing that it's from the mind of Stan Lee), I get a real melancholy Iron Giant-kinda feeling. Then again, not everything Stan touches is gold--does anybody remember Ultimo?
Right alongside Noragami on the to-watch list is Space Dandy, where Cowboy Bebop's Shinichiro Watanabe once again blasts off into space on another moody goofy, atmospheric sophomoric ride with a great soundtrack.
Ouran High School Host Club (swear to God, nobody gets the title right) has the personal distinction of being the first anime I ever bought on Blu-ray. It kinda confuses me how even the most un-spectacular of shounen titles get anime adaptations, but it's like pulling teeth to get shoujo series animated. At least when they do come out, they're usually really high-quality.
Eureka 7--so gorgeous. Those pastel colors and high-speed action sequences just take your breath away. It's a nice flipside of the action/mecha coin to...
Back when Blast of Tempest hadn't been released, I--for some reason--couldn't remember its title, and only referred to it as "that Bones show I'm looking forward to," which is kind of a solid indicator of Bones' overall production quality if I get that excited about a show that I now call "that one show with Evangeline Yamamoto and a bunch of other jackoffs I don't care about."
Soul Eater is one of those shows that I kept away from my friends for a while--y'know, then they'd all start talking about it, and then I'd get sick of it before it ended (and this was a long one, too, at like 51 episodes or something). Kinda glad I did that, honestly.
Wait, what are these lawyers doing here? Actually, Bones handled the animation sequences for Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies, and will be doing the same for the upcoming (well, upcoming in North America) Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney!
by 葛西 心
Okay, fair enough--this picture doesn't really give the proper feel for Gosick. Do you know how much of a bitch it was to find art for this, though? The kana for Gosick (ゴシック, or "goshikku") is the same for the actual word "Gothic," so the tag doubles for this awesome mystery series and the overall visual style. Thanks.
Un-Go is another series with loads of fanart that looks so damn good. How is it?
One of my housemates described No. 6 as a smart, well-paced series that doesn't tell you it's shounen-ai until the last part. Judging solely by the fanart, I was actually expecting something closer to that awesome RDJ/Tobey Maguire fake trailer before Tropic Thunder.
But y'know what my favorite Bones work is (besides FMA and Star Driver)? It's one of their movies: the spectacularly violent Sword of the Stranger! It's like a more thoughtful Ninja Scroll for this generation, with some jaw-dropping action choreography and one of the best sword throw kills I've ever seen in a movie.
And that's everything for this week! There's no way I could have included everything--what are your favorite BONES-produced titles? Sound off in the comments and let us know!
As always, your art is welcome here on Fanart Friday, regardless of your skill level or experience. Just PM me a link to your work, and I'll make sure to include it in a future installment! Here are the next three upcoming themes for Fanart Friday:
-Next week, on MAY 2nd, we start a month-long look at the FIVE ELEMENTS, starting with EARTH! From characters who symbolize the planet to characters who wield the Earth itself as a weapon, who do you want to see show up? THIS IS THE ONLY THEME I'M TAKING REQUESTS FOR THIS WEEK!
-Then, on MAY 9th, we're gonna burn this place down with an element that symbolizes both destruction and life, FIRE!
-On MAY 16th, find something sturdy to hang on to--the hurricane force of WIND takes center stage!
Thanks again for coming by to check out Fanart Friday. Have a great weekend, and I hope you drop by next week, too!