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Halfway between 2D and 3D, there's 2.5D

Manga and anime fans are known for their love of two-dimensional girls, but artist Muneo Saito is rounding things out a bit without going overboard: To create his "2.5D" comic Attack 00 Gakuen 2.5D, he arranges flat cutouts in three-dimensional space.

RocketNews 24 has a detailed explanation of how Saito, who is the artist for the manga Pokémon Gold and Silver Golden Boys and was a character artist for several Pokémon anime, creates his comic: He draws the figures, inks them, cuts them out, and attaches them to little clear plastic stands. While the characters are two-dimensional, their surroundings are not; Saito has painstakingly put together a model school with 3D desks and even (my favorite touch) a little model wastebasket with carefully constructed trash.

To make his comic, he arranges the figures, and sometimes cutout sound effects as well, in his model school and photographs them — so the manga is also a hybrid of drawn comic and photo comic. Then he posts the finished product on Twitter, along with his sketches and other preparatory material, and even some short videos of his setups.

Attack 00 Gakuen 2.5D doesn't look like it's breaking any new ground in terms of story, but it certainly is an interesting technique, and the fact that the prep work and the finished panels are all part of the same Twitter stream suggest that this comic is as much about process as finished product.

その9…。 pic.twitter.com/D8lf9lUjp2

— 斉藤むねお (@muneondo) March 27, 2015

コミスタで修正してみた。描き直すより断然早いね(^^) pic.twitter.com/3qwT3Zgx7W

— 斉藤むねお (@muneondo) April 18, 2015

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