Horrible / Asian Animation
When we think about Asian animation, we usually think about anime
and the like. But there's an awful lot of the rest of Asia, with an awful lot of animated series... and Sturgeon's Law
applies to them as much as anything.
Merely being offensive in its subject matter is not sufficient. Hard as it is to imagine at times, there is a market for all types of deviancy (no matter how small a niche it is). It has to fail to appeal even to that niche
to qualify as this.
Examples (more-or-less in alphabetical order):
- Ali Baba & the Gold Raiders, from the same Indonesian animation studio that brought us Beauty and Warrior and Space Thunder Kids (see below). The animation's laughably amateurish, with than hand-drawn characters incongruously imposed over a 3-D background ("Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba's Forty Thieves" did that better with 1937 technology!). Despite being set in the Scheherazade mythos, a guy wearing a Batman t-shirt and a fat dude wearing sunglasses and sneakers are seen, telling us just how seriously the filmmakers are treating the source material. The plot is ridiculous, with many characters behaving like idiots and having the stupidest ending ever: The main villain being tied up and yelled at to get out, despite the fact he's tied up...and then the words "Ali Baba and the Gold Raiders" appear on the screen and the credits roll. Marzgurl reviews it here, and Phelous, Allison Pregler, Brad Jones, and Harry Partridge give another review here.
- Beauty and Warrior, dubbed "The Worst Anime Ever," is what happens when you let a financial company make a movie that's not just a commercial. It has deplorable dubbing, abysmal animation, and painfully obvious overuse of Stock Footage. The plot is boring, incomprehensible, and almost nonexistent. Its most glaring flaw, however, is that it only has two or three character designs. The only difference between the two brothers, for instance, is eye color. The movie's one "saving grace" is that it's only about 50 minutes long.
- The camera has a seizure every time a plot twist happens. There's a lot of random zooming on people's shocked, slack-jawed faces, and those shots are held for a while. note
- Blue Seagull is an obscure South Korean animated movie from 1994 that suffers from poor recycled animation, hideous artwork, an incoherent plot, unnecessary sex scenes that add nothing to the story, uninteresting and bland characters, weak pacing, quick jump cuts, and incomprehensible English subtitles.
- Kiara the Brave poses as an obvious mockbuster of Pixar's Brave, filled with the terribly dated and jerky CGI animation, child pandering dialogue, and weak voice acting that we've come to expect from titles like these. But what makes a title like this in particular so horrible is that it isn't based on Brave at ALL. While the ripoff heroine is on the box, the movie is a total Bait-and-Switch. It turns out this movie was actually released in 2011 under the name "Super K", and the princess character was marketed to fool people into thinking it was related to the more recent movie. The real movie is centered around an unsubtle plot making reference to global warming involving a superpowered Indian child who can control the weather. It's terrible too, but at least it's not pretending to be something it isn't. Cinematic Excrement took a look at this garbage so you don't have to. MikeJ had a go at it as well, as did Bobsheaux.
- The King of Tibetan Antelope is a 2010 animated miniseries by Shenzen Films. The plot is about a young Tibetan antelope who wonders off to the "Way of the Antelope's Home" with friends after losing his mother. The problem is not the plot (which, albeit not too original, could have been interesting), but rather the execution: Basically, it's too reminiscent two Disney features, replacing Bambi's deer with antelope (the antelope's faces are very similar to the faces of the lions in The Lion King), and directly lifting the "Circle of Life" sequence, the Pride Rock pose, the orphan plot element, and so forth from The Lion King. Characters are Cel Shaded, making the series look like a cheap and flat-out attempt to achieve traditional animation visuals, the environments are computer-generated and don't blend at all with the characters, and most of the animations have very little sense of scale, depth and movement - for example, when the walking animation of an adult antelope stops in poor timing after her model's movement in the beginning. Here is a video of the first episode with English subtitles.
- Legend of The Condor Hero, an anime adaptation of Jin Yong's The Return of the Condor Heroes note . Do note that only the first 26 episodes were actually made by Nippon Animation. This is due to production issues, low ratings, and glaring deviations from the source material, forcing them to hand over the series to Hong Kong-based studio Jade Animation to animate the remaining 52 episodes while Nippon are only responsible for the character designs. As a result the series suffered from a huge drop in quality; namely stiff and reused animations (especially in the Siege of Xiangyang arc due to featuring hordes of Mongol soldiers), same bland soundtrack used over and over again to the point of being tiresome, Off-Model close-ups making dramatic moments narmy, and pacing even slower than the anime episodes. Only a select few post-Nippon episodes are better-drawn, but the special effects look fake and did not blend well with the animation style. The only saving grace is that the Hong Kong episodes are closer to the original novel and Jade Animation actually cleaned up some mess the anime made with the continuity (such as the absence of Huang Yaoshi) because they had more episodes allocated for them.
- Shen Shou Jing Gang (also known as Celestial Warriors) is clearly a rip-off of a certain popular show. The main hero is the Yellow Ranger (though to be fair, since the show uses The Four Gods, it's obvious that he's meant to be the Yellow Dragon, which is kind of the king of those beasties). Have we mentioned the awful Conspicuous CG yet, or the absurdly cheap 2D animation, or how the two are sometimes incongruent (the chubby Blue Ranger's CG model has the same body type as his fellows)? And why hasn't its licensing agent noticed what it rips off? More info.
- Space Thunder Kids, a Korean animated movie about the Dark Empire trying to conquer the universe and three children try to stop them with their Humongous Mechas. Of course, the movie follows the plot very loosely as it Jump Cuts often, leaving the story with a lot of unanswered questions. Off-Model plagues this movie as characters (many of which are blatant anime Captain Ersatzes) are constantly drawn differently and have very strange facial expressions. The whole incoherent mess was made by copypasting eight different movies, including Mockbusters of Mazinger Z and TRON.
- Arguably the only redeeming factor about this movie is the occasional bits of weirdness note such as funny faces, random plot points thrown in and out, and the infamous tank scene.
- Tales in Mushroom Village is a 2010 CG animated series by "Anhui Lister 3D Animation" from China. It's filled with humanoid animals who look unintentionally grotesque (the yellow one has a strange resemblance to a Pikachu). The series come with sloppy animation, scary-looking movements, and unrealistic effects (one scene even has some gameplay footage of a King of Fighters game for some odd reason), and the characters' faces are dull and too detailed. Have a look at it, and the description.
- Thunder Prince. A Korean animated Cliché Storm that makes the Inheritance Cycle look original, it contains inconsistent character designs that make Jack Chick's shittier illustrations look like Dave Gibbons', and a spectacularly gory scene of the sidekick monkey playing around with the aqueous humors of a snake's eyeballs, which the creators felt the need to flashback to for no apparent reason. The Big Bad undergoes instantaneous Badass Decay, and the back of the tape gives away the ending.
- The Malaysian animation series Ultraman: The Animation seems to take everything we know about Japan's epic Ultra Series and drop it on its head. With franchise favourite Ultraman Taro being reduced to little more than a laughing stock Cloud Cuckoolander, a generic Excuse Plot involving a monster reviving other monsters, characters that have no importance to the plot whatsoever getting far more attention than the supposed main cast, what appear to be OCs and recolours strewn everywhere, and characters that just won't stop talking, You'd be far better off watching the Tsuburaya-approved Upin & Ipin Ultraman episodes.
- Xu You Ji, a company that Chinese families can supposedly pay $275 to feature their child in a movie, has gained infamy in recent years for its poor eye-burning productions. The example linked here not only completely rips off the mecha from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and bizarrely use the cast from Monsters vs. Aliens as the villains, it also features horrible CG-rendered kid protagonists in plugsuits. Moreover, it uses music from Code Geass and Mobile Suit Gundam 00 in fairly inappropriate times (the music that plays during a certain character's death scene in Code Geass, for example, is used as the opening song). All in all, the unnerving combination of Uncanny Valley children and countless copyright violations has attracted much hate across the entire internet and led to demands to shut down the company. Here's an overview of their productions.
- Another notorious work from Xu You Ji features a girl becoming a mermaid. The villain arrives and petrifies her unicorn, but the girl transforms herself into a mermaid to go underwater to find a fairy and stop the villain. About EVERYTHING underwater (and the songs "Under the Sea", "The Storm", and maybe to "Little Mermaid" by Bandari) are stolen and used with original content like characters, considering that the backgrounds and most sea creatures seen are from Finding Nemo.