Having watched just the first episode of the classic anime Ace o Nerae!, my love affair with 70s-era classic shoujo has been rekindled. Not that it really died down in the first place.

However, this isn’t really about the content of the story but rather just the visuals, and not even in regards to the characters. Shoujo anime of that era, including Ace o Nerae!, have incredibly gorgeous backgrounds and just artwork in general, though they suffer quite a bit in the animation department. I think it’s a fair trade-off though, as the action and fluidity of animation or lack thereof are minor losses when we get shots this incredible.


Repeating the flower pattern seen in her night gown into the plaid background unifies the entire image.


This image almost borders on abstraction, but not in the confusing way. I love this style.


Particularly strong use of color here, as the building and trees blend together.


And I can’t say enough about this background. It looks like it was created with water colors, and it works far better than any approach I’ve seen for indicating melodramatic shock.

Shows like Zetsubou-sensei kind of have a similar effect as far as modern shows go, and Nana and Honey and Clover for example also have excellent cinematography, but they simply lack the rough yet gentle edge of classic shoujo.

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