Having never seen anything from the Shadow Skill anime series or read any of the manga, I admit that I didn’t understand much of Shadow Skill: Secret of the Kurudan Style (2004). This 60-minute movie features Elle and Gau, who must stop a bad guy from obtaining knowledge of an ancient fighting style and taking over the world with it.
I recently watched a video on the use of CG in anime series. In the creator’s opinion, CG doesn’t typically work because, in 2D-3D hybrid shows, 3D elements clash with the 2D assets, and, in shows made entirely or mostly with CG, the 3D elements mimic 2D animation with cell shading, lowered frame rates, and severely limited and stiff movement, which presents CG as a bad rip-off of 2D animation as opposed to its own type of animation. I don’t watch a lot of CGI anime series, so I’d never noticed this myself. Most of the series in these Anime Abominations blogs have their own styles that, while they look horrible and are inspired by traditional Japanese animation, don’t limit the animation or art in this way.
Shadow Skill was the first time I witnessed this extent of 2D-animation mimicry. It kind of reminded me of Tokusatsu movies and television shows, which often feature live-action actors mimicking the exaggerated drama and flamboyance of anime in a charming and delightfully cheesy way. Shadow Skill, however, doesn’t mimic anything that makes anime fun to watch. In fact, it mimics the worst that anime has to offer. Most of the movie contains long, monotonous dialog in which the characters hardly move; badly choreographed fights with characters that swipe at the camera and then fall over; and abstract flashbacks… No, not even flashbacks, one flashback that is repeated over and over again. Not even talking about the CG anymore, the pacing is just awful. This 20-minute episode lasts three times longer than it should.
Anyway, if this description isn’t all of Shadow Skill that you want to experience… enjoy?