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AC04 Storyboards


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#1
Nemo KB

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A little while ago, this was posted to PA's twitter, and I figure it's worth sharing.
CRbb8aPUsAA0L3U.jpg
 

Original illustrations for AC04. According to director Sunao Katabuchi, the storytelling was to show the other side of war in Ace Combat

 

I guess we can add "storyboard artist" to the "director and writer of side story" credit he's got on IMDB. That makes sense, since that's his background, but more than that, it makes me wonder about what happened with Ace Combat 5. I'd say his creative control over AC04's side story was fairly solid, and when he's solidly in control, he tends to create good work. Black Lagoon is a phenomenal series, and his adaptation of In the Corner of the World looks amazing.

 

Most people give AC5 shit for being an anti-war war game, without also realizing that's exactly what AC04 is as well. The difference is that AC5 does it in a way that's super cheesy and """""anime""""". I had difficulty reconciling this with Katabuchi's prior record, which has absolutely nothing like it, but now I'm pretty sure that what went wrong in AC5 has got to be mostly Kono's fault.

 

Katabuchi uploaded a few more himself.

CRbehatVEAAfVIe.jpg

 

Anyway, here's one more from AC04. The vehicle in the bottom is an M422 Mighty Mite or something like that.

 

I always loved the sense of composition in AC04's storyboards, but it still amazes me how many construct errors there are. Look at the Mighty Mite's left wheel, and the Flanker model in the first set, for instance. Those are still there in the final versions that 4C illustrated. As DF rightly pointed out when we were discussing these, it's weird that they didn't trace over a CG render. Either the illustrations weren't digital (which is very unlikely), or they didn't have a model (which is just as unlikely, since 4C could have easily asked PA for their's).

 

Though honestly, they shouldn't have needed to.

 

It's one of the reasons why I think the illustrations Sadami Morikawa drew for ACX are very much overlooked. I'll make a thread on Morikawa and why it's incredibly cool that he worked on an Ace Combat game soon, but first I gotta get better versions of his work.

 

Anyway, that aside, I still really love Katabuchi's work, and it's a shame that the only place his name shows up around here is for having written Ace Combat 5.


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#2
Georgia Ace

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I love this behind the scenes stuff for the Ace Combat games. The one where the storyteller boy is holding a model plane in bed, is one of my favorites though I'm not even certain it was in the final cut (it has been awhile since I've played AC4). Also Katabuchi being involved with Black Lagoon, man talk about a tone difference. 

 

Most people give AC5 shit for being an anti-war war game, without also realizing that's exactly what AC04 is as well. The difference is that AC5 does it in a way that's super cheesy and """""anime""""". I had difficulty reconciling this with Katabuchi's prior record, which has absolutely nothing like it, but now I'm pretty sure that what went wrong in AC5 has got to be mostly Kono's fault.

 

Katabuchi uploaded a few more himself.

 

 

 

I think people around here don't mind Ace Combat 5 being Anti-War, the way it was handled seems to be what people take issue with at times. Thus the part I bolded. At times its incredibly unsubtle about its message, to the point where it could come off as preachy. 

 

Moments like that famous one from Mission 3 where Chopper reacts in horror at the sailors caught in the burning oil come off much better than any kind of speech or diatribe that Nagase, Grimm, Chopper or Snow tend to go into. I think the problem is that the latter may be more memorable to players or just more common than the latter. 

 

But that's just me and my well limited interaction with the game (I've sat through a lot of Youtube videos of it, but I never managed to get a good copy of the game before my PS2 went kaput). 


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#3
Nemo KB

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Yeah, that's fair enough. Honestly I was being glib because nobody would've replied to a thread about storyboards otherwise lol.

 

Speaking of which, I found one more!

BR6LTFlCAAAThOG.jpg

 

Katabuchi posts a bunch of interesting stuff to twitter. He says he'd have liked to have screened just the side story cutscenes as a short film in France, Shibuya, etc. He's pretty proud of that work.

 

I'm also piecing together some of what he's said about AC5. I'll make a separate thread if it ends up interesting enough, but the tl;dr is that his work on AC5 was actually so rushed that it's "basically ad-libbed." He mentions lots of long email exchanges at night. It makes me wish I were there at Otakon 2014 to have asked him a few questions (though I guess I could always @ him on twitter).

 

AC04 was put together in a bit of a hurry too, actually. Apparently they'd brought him and 4C in pretty late.


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#4
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I'll make a separate thread if it ends up interesting enough, but the tl;dr is that his work on AC5 was actually so rushed that it's "basically ad-libbed."

 

Explains the fuck out of Nagase's verbal diarrhea.


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#5
Georgia Ace

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Ha jokes on you! I'm just the sort of dork that loves reading about this stuff!

 

I can see why he would think the cutscenes would work as short film. They more or less tell a complete story all by themselves. Though a cutscene or two showing a dogfight with Mobius One (maybe the Stonehenge battle) to make it so what the Yellows are fighting against aren't totally faceless would enhance things.

 

Also a thread on his posts about AC5 would be pretty interesting if there is enough of them. Him saying his work on AC5 was rushed does make me wonder about a lot of moments in AC5. . . 


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#6
spellca

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I always assumed that the art was supposed to look like the Fin de siecle posters in the Moulin Rouge. He did in fact play the cutscenes as a movie in France in lille in 2007, though I can't find much about it. I still wonder what was up with that minute or so of CGI in the games intro and no where else but the credits.


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