Toradora! Photoshop Anime


Toradora appears to be an anime where the staff have been uncharacteristically dependent on taking their cameras around Tokyo in order to make the backgrounds; a great number of such scenes have been discovered, and doubtless there are many more:

These scenes are all from northern Tokyo (Kita-ku), though a letter in the show lists Aisaka’s address as being in Saitama.


Photoshop anime or legitimate use of photographic reference, call it what you will, but it seems we are receiving a rather convincing picture of northern Tokyo whilst viewing the title. And of course such economies can have positive effects on overall production values.

If you have any interest in this, be sure to check the frightening comprehensive Google Maps anime comparator

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    Avatar of Bill Lumbergh
    Comment by Draken
    04:34 08/08/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I don't care its still my favorite anime. In fact i like even more for having real settings.

    Comment by Scion
    11:54 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    How nice, Taiga lives in my I know where to look. She's turning this anime into shit & she must pay. I kinda like the Kannagi scenes better. Its always great to see the places you've been to in an anime.

    Comment by SnooSnoo
    14:04 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    In before "I've had enough of these comparison shots, Artefact, don't you have anything better to post."

    Also, I prefer the 2D renditions of certain places to their 3D counter-parts =3=

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:27 08/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's because they use vibrant colors and unrealistically pretty clouds and they can easily tweek lighting and add pretty details and usually leave out details of realism that would be perceived as less pretty comparing them with their 2D counterparts.

    Avatar of Piroko
    Comment by Piroko
    09:45 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Is this a stroke of lazyness, or an overkilled attempt at animators wanting fans to go "omg I know where that is!"?

    Avatar of Quen
    Comment by Quen
    09:49 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Use as a reference seems more likely, given that Toradora!'s equivalent real-life locations aren't known and knowledge of these resemblances are mostly unknown by otaku.

    Not a negative comment towards the show, of course. I think it looks swell.

    Comment by Role
    06:21 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I fail to see what the big deal is about all of these, though. So they look to real life to depict a scene. Your point? I'd actually expect someone who's, for example, making an anime taking place in Tokyo to actually look at Tokyo as references for scenery. Now if something's way out of place, then sure, have issue with it, but seriously, how do you plagiarize real life? Next thing you know? "Oh, that person was drawn as a human! It must be plagiarism!"

    Now then, outright tracing I'd not have an issue with in terms of plagiarism, but WOULD have an issue with in terms of sheer laziness. You can use it as reference, sure, but if you freaking trace it? That's just lazy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:25 08/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Traced pictures still need to be colored, shaded, lightened, etc. It's hard to define any urban area realistically. If they trace a photo and burn the photo it's just as good for me.

    Comment by Dan
    16:32 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I know perspective, i have studied it for more than 10 years, and if the post implies what i think, that photos have been traced, i think is unfair.

    it seems in order to make this backgrounds pictures have been indeed taken "as reference" in order
    to have all the detail they have, but actual backgrounds have been rendered by hand and not traced over,

    Why i affirm this:

    if they had been traced over the visual mistakes produced by the curvature of the earth would appear, an instead i see all architectural elements to allign quite nicely with the imaginary lines, , that converge in the vanishing point. (one has to draw when using perspective,which proves perpectives rules aren't all that precise and don't reflect rality just take a look at M.C. Escher drawings)

    just take a look at the 2nd photo in it the curvature i talk about is quite obvious, while in the rendered background the elements look more alligned,
    straight lines rather than curves.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:31 08/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This might not be the only photo of that street, nab. and ofcourse he's using basic drawing techniques when producing background CGs for an anime scene. That's what he's a background CGer for. Some people are fckin stupid and fail to see the big picture.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:28 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Slowly, slowly, the hidebound otaku conservatives will come to understand that the "Photoshopped backgrounds" are not a crime, but sometimes excellent. If it really makes the process cheaper, we will see more and more of it.

    Comment by CMWilly
    04:46 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I myself think it's a great and effective way for BG's. It brings a sense of reality to the audience and connection. Showing that these characters are in a real world, in real world situations....supposedly.

    I think the issue of whether not it's bad may depend on who reads the articles. Adding the word photoshop anime rubs me the wrong way personally. I would prefer the latter, "photographic reference".

    Whether they do trace over it or not, I can see why they would. The perspective, details and angles on some of the shows are rather intricate. My assumption is based on time and budget, that would be the most logical sense of execution. Given these BG's.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:29 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    all artists use reference photos. doenst make it a shop. sarcasm detector is broke if you arent actually serious.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:08 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Thank you, I was going to say the same thing.

    Only a fool of an artist never uses reference, whether it be real or photos. These are hardly "photoshopped", they aren't a blatant tracing.

    I'm sick of seeing these posts, waste of space.

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    Comment by MaidNiac
    00:47 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    These things are normal to me.. The series took place in Japan so what can we expect,the Great Wall beside the Takasu resident? Niagara Falls in Taiga's bathtub?

    Comment by Anim3Fr33K
    00:16 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    honestly dont care, its a great series. and given the building fail shots we were shown earlier proves that there just references and not shoops.

    Comment by イチロ イノ Ichiro Ino
    23:30 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think kannagi's tracing was moar effective in terms of visuals...

    tracing instead of copying is better in quality, but of course, we always want to put efforts in it. So you just copy it all over without tracing and add some minor details...

    Comment by Aquamarin
    23:43 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't mind watching anime with such photoshopping. Why is it so bad to be a photoshop anime?

    Comment by イチロ イノ Ichiro Ino
    Avatar of Quen
    Comment by Quen
    03:26 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nobody here was saying that.

    Avatar of Xavi
    Comment by Xavi
    11:28 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Copying is somewhat okay for me but photoshoping omits entirely the part of art. In the end they will make scripts that would mostly automate the process of making backgrounds. Of course the best would be to create all backgrounds with their fantasy instead.

    One major reason that I watch anime is the art. I like the drawings and whenever I encounter a 3D scene I am turned off. Alternatively Knowing that someone just snapped a real picture and quickly overlaid his drawing modifications sucks.

    Comment by gonzomehum
    02:14 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Honestly, I rather like the increased usage of background photos. If the point is to make the series a realistic fiction (+/- magical subtype), then using real locations make sense. It's often hard to grasp the details and atmosphere of an urban landscape without some heavy use of references.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:22 08/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    True, it's hard to define a background like that usually.

    Avatar of Crisu
    Comment by Crisu
    02:56 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I like seeing these comparisons. For the fans who find them, it's like an extra bonus assignment. Detective work or a memory test: "So have you been here before?"

    And I agree with a previous comment that the characters are supposed to be living in a modern Japan that we're all familiar with. They're celebrating the same holidays and traditions in the show; why not also live in the same city with the same buildings?

    It allows for a closer attachment to the series, I think. It's a fortunate convenience, and I wouldn't call it cheating or "shopped" in the negative sense.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:34 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I like it. This gives the anime a bit more reality as said. Japanese Teenagers living in Japanese areas. Why not orientating on the real world ?If you forget about thats mostly all clean and neat in the animes compared to the real life pics.

    Comment by TenAkira
    03:29 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Like it or leave it...its the way of future anime...unless u prefer the perspectively failed scene in certain degree...

    i think it all started since MAKOTO SHINKAI kantoku so openly showed that how he shopped his scenes in his well crafted anime...LOVE it

    Comment by dario
    03:54 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    im an architect and i love anime. well about this i think is great. you know the enviroment can change peoples mood i would probably find the perfect place and then draw it. i totally agree with this. and i have realized that somehow before, when i started watching toradora. keep it up.

    Avatar of Bokusatsu Tenshi
    Comment by XSportSeeker
    03:27 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yep, I never really understood people complaining about animes that uses real life scenarios to compose anime locations and stuff...

    In fact, I find this a positive point about animes in Japan.

    Seeing places in animes you like, sometimes even with some cultural reference to it...

    And even if artists do that to get the work done faster and more efficiently, I don't see a problem if the result is good.

    Wouldn't call them lazy too, since we all know how stressful and how tight their schedules can be...

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:13 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Also worth to point out is the statement that the places dont match. I might be wrong, but residential areas are a bit iffy to depict 'accuratly' since people may or may not want their house shown accuratly in a mediaform widely spread around the world. Atleast thats one reason i would use to use accurate renditions on the wrong locations.. so to speak >_>
    Because obviously obsessive fans do go to great lengths to actually find the places and go 'zomg photoshop anime!'

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