Sakugabooru, Sakuga Blog, and Sakuga Video

Sakugabooru, Sakuga Blog, and Sakuga Video

Creating Animation Appreciation, With A Focus On Japanese Anime

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You're entitled to our heartfelt thanks, for being a cool person supporting this project that keeps growing larger than we expected.

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Send us your questions and we'll reply to them in the Sakuga Blog; newcomers with enquiries about the industry and how anime works, questions about particular animators and studios, quick personal feelings on titles, don't be afraid to ask! Also available to higher tiers, of course.


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Help us decide where to direct our efforts! We want to know what people would rather we focus on - weekly coverage like Mob Psycho's, more essays, curated craft news... We'll be asking people every month what they want more of, especially before new anime seasons start.




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About Sakugabooru, Sakuga Blog, and Sakuga Video

Sakugabooru and Sakuga Blog anniversary update!
I'll spare you the history of Sakugabooru, which as you might be already aware started simply as a joke. Four years later we've become a helpful resource for fans (or so we hope) as well as a tool for both industry members and aspiring artists. That couldn't make us happier...but we want more, of course. We're perfectly aware of the limitations of the material we've been putting out, particularly in this blog. There are only so many people willing to read long-form writing on animation, even as we try to keep it accessible; whenever we look at the gap between the visitors the Sakugabooru and Sakuga Blog receive, that couldn't be more obvious. This doesn't mean we're going to stop what we've been doing, of course. We know our supporters value it, and feel there's worth to everything we've been doing. So rather than change, let's add. These are our new plans:

  • Sakuga Video: We're launching our own Youtube channel! This is obviously the biggest news and the part that took the most effort. The idea is to make some relatively short videos (3 to 10 minutes) with a lighthearted educational tone, exploiting the video format to visually showcase someone's work. For now we've produced a couple of videos for a mini-series focusing on the most important anime character designers of today as a trial. More on this later.
  • Sakuga Chat: Not actually a dating service. People had requested some sort of casual discussion about the kind of industry and production matters we write about, so we spent a long time considering the best format possible. We didn't feel a podcast would really fit as we'll still be talking about many visual aspects, but if it's written then we can easily keep inserting relevant clips. We've taken some feedback over the tone and level of editing (as natural as possible but properly formated), but we're obviously still open to any suggestions you might have. The idea is to have at least one of these roundtalks a month, possibly bringing relevant guests now and then.
  • Sakuga Interviews: Not so much a new thing, but something we'll try to focus more in the future. We already published an original interview with Bahi JD, and we've got another very exciting creator coming up – even their studio agreed to work with us! Anime creators are always immensely busy so there are multiple directors and animators that haven't found the time to do this even after having agreed to this, so we'll just have to keep on pushing! Look forward to hearing more first-hand comments on the craft of anime.
  • More Stuff: There's a series of miscellaneous but nonetheless important news. For starters, we've got a new, more cohesive visual brand for all our sites. As we kept on expanding, that felt more necessary. Hopefully now everyone will be able to tell any piece of content is part of the same network at a glance. And while we're talking about technical changes, planning for a Sakugabooru renewal is in the works. No promises in this regard since the system is functional as it is and this entails a massive amount of work, but we'd like something that is genuinely built for your needs.

Sakugabooru launched 3 years ago, and we're about to take that anniversary as a chance to take it to the next level. The site has grown a lot in ways that make us very happy - there are more uploads than we could have ever hoped for, plenty of professional animators use it to source their own work, and it's even been partly responsible for the new wave of interest in animation within the anime fandom. People asked to expand the site with a blog and we feel that now it's the time. As an ambitious project it'll require more time and effort that we already give the site for free though, and that's why we're launching this Patreon campaign.

OK, but who are you?

You might know me as Kevin Cirugeda, freelance writer for Anime News Network on articles like The Joy of Sakuga and the extensive guide to understand anime ending credits. Maybe you know me as kViN or Yuyucow on twitter, talking way too much about anime. Either way, I'll be a main regular writer here. Onboard with me are writers like liborek, the greatest Studio BONES expert outside of Japan; kraker2k, a mecha connoisseur with a PhD on Masami Obari; Disgaeamad, the idol anime master. And leaving our core team aside, a handful of (professional) translators and writers have been collaborating with us. As you can see, quite the variety of points of view, and not by accident. We're open to keep broadening our approaches with other Sakugabooru staff and interesting writers, so look forward to it.

What's the plan then?

We want a site that any anime fan interested in visual and directional aspects can approach. That doesn't mean avoiding getting technical when need arises, but we don't want to alienate casual fans who want to find out more about anime's craft. There are enough resources for hardcore fans, and we plan to have interesting information for them as well, but this community still needs to work on the fundamentals.
Let's be more precise though: The Sakuga Blog will cover all sorts of visual analysis and appreciation of anime, with a focus - but not exclusively, of course - on the animation itself. It will also deal with anime industry knowledge, both its inner workings and chatter about staff members - which can range from analysis of their ouvre to interviews, translated and original. We've even considered ideas like industry rumors, perhaps as short form posts. Here are the concrete plans for now:

  • Weekly craft highlights: Thematic writeups focused on one element, industry discussion, perhaps a rundown of interesting pieces of animation worth talking about, anything goes on this column! Expect lots of current anime talk as the format fits that well, but it's obviously not limited to that. Anything we watch and feel is worth a mention can be brought up.
  • Individual weekly coverage: Particularly notable series deserve to be looked at on a weekly basis. Shorter posts talking about the staff, notable scenes, and the overall feeling until that point.
  • Monthly essays: Dealing on just about any of those aspects I mentioned before. Maybe an article about the smart usage of animation in a certain film, maybe a bit of an investigative project on some aspect of the industry. If the demand is really high it could even turn into two a month, but we'll see!
  • Irregular articles and translations: The two previous series are something you'll get no matter what, but we'll also have a handful of posts a month not following that pattern. The only reason this is being listed as a separate entity is that we wanted to ensure a minimum quota for the readers. If things go as planned though, expect a lot more.

UPDATE - Now that the time has arrived, here are our future plans set to launch when we hit the next goal:

  • Curated production and industry news: There are quite a few sites covering standard anime news, but certain kinds of information slips through their fingers. Were you aware that Yuzuru Tachikawa, the director of Mob Psycho 100, is currently directing an original anime? If you heard about that it was likely on twitter, since once of our writers mentioned it. Writing about pieces of information like that which aren’t covered by traditional sites is one of our objectives; the kind of news obtained through social media, acquaintances, and even trustworthy sources of rumors that have no proper platform to be published on. We plan to write relatively short form, irregular posts when required.
  • Notable upcoming staff roundup: One crutch that sakuga fans traditionally had over normal viewers was upcoming staff awareness. The narrative can give you hints about when big episodes are coming, but by knowing about upcoming directors well in advance it’s way easier to tell when a show’s strongest episodes will come. We would like to make this accessible to everyone by highlighting the Whos and Whys, both listing the staff we think are likely to do an excellent job and quickly detailing what makes them special. Our idea is to make a monthly roundup post as anime magazines list staff, but also cover things revealed on official sites and social media.

Fan feedback in this regard will be very important to finish shaping up our output. It's also worth noting that contributors who give us $20 a month or more (thanks!) will get to choose particular TV series and movies they want us to cover. We have a lot to write about without having to focus on straightfoward analysis of works, so we can leave that as an extra for the fans.

That's nice, but I'm a Sakugabooru user not particularly interested in reading articles

Understandable! We thought about that, and that's why this campaign is also meant to help the site fix some of its fundamental issues. It seems ridiculous now, but this all started as a joke on IRC. Sakugabooru launched on someone's server and kept on growing while freeloading in there. It's an awkward situation, and something that's had an effect on performance as well - I don't have to explain anyone how frustrating it is to have to wait for a short video clip to finish loading. We've set a goal for this: if there's enough interest, we'll move the entirety of the site to a dedicated server, which will hopefully make everything work better. Time to go independent!
$1,385.70 of $1,400 per month
Once we reach this goal, Sakuga Video will become a regular service! We're also planning more exclusive interviews with creators, a casual industry and production chat, plus a future renewal of our software. Read this for more details!
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