Name of Anime: Huntik (?)
Streaming Site Used: Mystery DVD sale from Crunchyroll
Episodes Previously Seen: none.
Huntik puts me in a somewhat awkward position, because I’m not sure it’s an anime. The lack of Japanese vocal track was the first clue. A subsequent Google search indicated this was an Italian cartoon. But I might as well do it anyway.
So what is Huntik? Huntik is a shitty Italian retellling of the greatest story ever told. No, I don’t mean the bible. I mean JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, god damn it. The fact that you don’t already know that means you are not nearly weeb trash enough.
Anyway, Huntik is about a blond haired kid who travels the earth on a Johnny Quest/Venture Brothers–style escapade of child endangerment to collect stands–I mean, pokemon–or–well, whatever the hell this show calls them.
Anyway, in this episode, the trenchcoat bishie is, I assume, running from whatever child protective services/authorities meant to keep preteens from fighting to the death in dank smelly tombs. He leads the team along with his rival, Axe Guy.
So they are all in Thor’s tomb looking for a hammer, and hey, there’s this guy:
and his army of poorly animated beard men, who want the hammer for themselves.
They fight with stands/pokemon/what-the-fuck ever, and also the good beard guy (I’m pretty sure he’s the Grandfather Joestar from the Stardust Crusaders arc of JoJo’s) has axes in his shirt.
They fight, and blow up the room. Then the blond kid spends some time with the creepy beard guy.
Beard guy talks about his past and how he dedicated his life to enslaving sentient creatures and making them do his bidding because Trenchcoaot Bishie made it seem cool:
Speaking of Trenchoat Bishie, he and the other orphans he’s abducted for totally “wholesome” reasons are fighting a giant dog:
Even their stands are not a match for it:
But don’t worry, the answer is to 50 Shades the thing. (We have no idea what that means, either, but it sounds gross. – Ed) (They tie it up with magic rope that comes from somewhere -Keskel) Afterwards they meet up and the old creepy guy gets the hammer of Thor.
Just in time for some more poorly animated wizard men to attack!
Don’t worry, this guy is cheering them on:
And also there’s a troll. And I don’t mean somebody like me.
But don’t worry, through the power of teamwork they kill the troll with a hammer:
So, what to write about with something that isn’t anime, but is certainly trash?
Well, I guess I might as well use this as an excuse to talk about what I consider to be the difference between anime and non-Japanese cartoons. Given that I just had to sit through half of Heat Guy J, for me the answer is simply framing.
Because anime comes from manga, anime often copies the extreme closeups and expressive framing and shot composition of that medium. For lack of a better term, anime is “directed” in a way that most other cartoons aren’t–non-Japanese cartoons typically consist of just a foreground and a background and things happen.
So because this a retelling of Jojo’s, let’s use some examples from that anime. Here’s an axing from JoJo’s:
Versus a similar moment in Huntik:
Both are accomplished via what’s called a splash or movement shot. But the framing is much tighter and more controlled in the Jojo’s shots, and the “movement artifacts” or speed lines reflect the arc of motion, rather than being generic motion splash, as they are in Huntik.
In the greatest story ever told, each shot’s foreground and background is designed for the specific emotional impact of the conversation.
In the shitty Italian remake, it appears they are simply using already designed models for the characters in front of backgrounds with no specific purpose.
Next, another Jojo’s shot:
Compare to Huntik:
The Jojo’s shot is once again designed for the effect of the moment. It’s also composed as a much closer shot, a technique that specifically emphasizes the emotional state of the character, rather than just relying on changing the model, as Huntik does. Notice how the JoJo’s shot uses cheek shading and forehead creases to make the “performance” more expressive. Also, JoJo’s has shadows on the coffin, where the lighting is much “lazier” in Huntik.
I’d write more, but fuck it, I’m gonna watch some more JoJo’s.
So, uh, it appears that Sam has wandered off. If I had to guess, that permanently concludes our discussion of Huntik. I don’t know whether to offer you apologies or congratulations on that one. At any rate, tune in next week for more Nothing But Trash. We hope. Jojo’s isn’t that long, is it? – Ed)