What is Sakuga? [Definition, Meaning]
We all know it when we see it - that moment in an anime when the animation suddenly transforms from its normal, plain self into a fluid, amazingly beautiful spectacle that takes our breath away. It might be a pivotal battle, a long-awaited love confession, or (fittingly enough) a magical girl transformation. And then, when it’s finally over, we pick our jaws up from the floor and marvel at what we witnessed. What just happened? and, why can’t anime be like that all the time?
This momentary leap in animation quality is called “sakuga”, which literally translates to “drawing pictures”. But in industry terminology, sakuga refers to these special segments of an anime that the studio dedicates a disproportionate amount of money and effort to so that they’ll look absolutely astounding. These moments tend to be the most important parts of the show, like opening themes and the aforementioned fights, story climaxes, and transformations. Showrunners want to leave a lasting impression on viewers by putting the animators’ effort where it really counts – in these concentrated moments of pure aesthetic pleasure.
This article was written for Honey's Anime, so please read it on their site.