'Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse' Reveals Its Anime Inspirations

When it comes to animation, the U.S. market has fallen behind Japan, but that isn’t to say the medium is a wash. This month, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse debuted to rave reviews, and it turns out the Marvel venture took a bit of inspiration from Japan’s anime industry.

Over on Twitter, fans were given a note about how Into the Spider-Verse pays homage to some recent anime titles. It turns out animators like David Han turned to Japan to scout new techniques, and one of them was taken from Land of the Lustrous.

Eric Huang, an artist with Trinket Studios, revealed the secret after fans began pointing out some of Into the Spider-Verse’s slickest scenes.

“My friend David Han is responsible for bringing this technique up for use in this film,” Huang wrote. “Cgi anime like "Land of Lustrus" [sic] use it and was one of the refs. He's currently nominated for an Annie in Character Animation category and I'm super proud!”

If you check out the first tweet praising Into the Spider-Verse, fans can see the technique Han brought over from Japan. It can be seen in scenes where Spider-Man is thwipping around the city as the technique forces the background frames to refresh while the hero stays static. Those brief bursts make the scene feel smooth, and Huang said Han pitched the idea to his lead after noticing it in various CGI anime series.

“They wanted to combat that stuttering and this was one way of tackling it. He presented this to his lead which resulted in it being used by the whole team, and subsequent workflow/tool as well to lock camera to character. Though I'm butchering the explanation here,” Huang revealed.

While series like Land of Lustrous popularized the technique, it seems Hollywood is eager to put its own spin on the method. Into the Spider-Verse is proof that anime-centric procedures can transfer to Western animation, and netizens are eager to see how the two industries can continue bouncing ideas off each other.

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is currently in theaters as of this writing and stars Shameik Moore as Miles Morales, Jake Johnson as Peter Parker, Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy, Mahershala Ali as Uncle Aaron, Liev Schreiber as Wilson Fisk, Nicolas Cage as Spider-Man Noir, John Mulaney as Spider-Ham, Kimiko Glenn as Peni Parker, Lily Tomlin as Aunt May, Brian Tyree Henry as Jefferson Davis, and Luna Lauren Velez as Rio Morales.