As you’ve no doubt noticed, the animation and art quality of Naruto Shippuuden is very inconsistent, often varying from extremely good, to absolutely terrible. :amazed The key reason for this is that Naruto Shippuuden is a long-running anime series. Unlike 6, 13, 26, 52, etc. episode series, long-running serials do not have a set budget. This means they often have to refrain from using great animation because they don’t know how much more money they have to spend. Also, production is very rushed, as they don’t get a chance to take a break, whereas set-episode series can take as long as they want pre-production to design their anime. To cope with the strain of this, all anime (long or short) use a variety of staff to help create the series. In Naruto Shippuuden, the most influential to the quality of the animation is the animation director. The animation director’s (AD) role is to supervise the animation process of their episode. In Naruto, we generally have 8 ADs working at one time, each having their own episode. They direct each animator how to animate their scene (unlike in US cartoons where there’s 1 animator per character, Japanese animators animate and entire scene all by themselves. They each get around 1-3 minutes to animate), and each AD has a particular style. They also draw the first and last frame of each shot, and tell the animator how to move from the first frame, to the last frame. Now, when Naruto Shippuuden began, it was very low budget. And because of this, a lot of ADs were hired with very, very different styles of drawings. And this is what makes Shippuuden especially inconsistent. However, over time, the quality has generally increased. What also makes Shippuuden especially special is that each Animation Director generally works with the same team of animators and storyboarders, making them much more like a Team. For this, we have designed a Team system of the Animation Directors and their respective co-workers. Here, the Team name takes precedence, so if an AD changes, but everyone else stays on, the Team’s name remains intact, but just with a new AD. The same goes for animators (who may leap from team to team) and storyboarders. Here is a graph showing you the most important Teams that we’ve numbered, showing you the different styles with which the ADs draw Naruto’s face, demonstrating how varied this is, but also to help you recognise their own indivuality. Look out for things such as the eye and nose design. The depth of the chin versus the wideness of the cheeks. And, of course, the consistency of the Headband’s design Spoiler: Large image. Please give time to load. X Now, that isn’t all of them. But those are the most prominent Animation Directors and Storyboarders to work on those teams. As you’ll have noticed, whereas an Animation Director may leave, Storyboarders tend to leap from Team to Team. Usually depending on the needs of that episode (ie. Is it a dramatic one that needs lots of interesting poses?) As you saw, the styles differ immensely, some are fantastic (1, 7, 11) and some are… um… (10, 12) However, before anyone cries about how Shippuuden’s so much worse than Part 1. In Part 1 Naruto, this was about the standard of their teams too. It’s just that the main flaw of Shippuuden is that it’s especially rushed production (It didn’t get the chance to set itself up pre-production like Part 1 did, but instead had to rush into production ) means that there isn’t a very good Team rota. So, for a long time, they stuck every Team doing 1 episode every 8 episodes, meaning that often good teams did boring episodes and bad teams did fighting episodes. However, that’s beginning to change now.