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I've been watching Kingdom and Kingdom: Season 2 for a while now and I can't help but be a bit distracted by how differently it is animated compared to most anime these days.

Which animation style is used to achieve this more 3D-like feeling? And why did they pick this over the usual animation style?

sample image from Kingdom

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The series uses CGI, notably a combination of 3d objects with 2d illustrations (more so in the Second season then in the first). This has been common practice in the industry for a while (both to improve quality and save on labor). Most production use cel shaders or rotoscoping the model to mask the disconnect between the two dimensions.

A notable examples with less distinctions in recent anime are Berserker from Fate/Zero:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7OYPb3fTP0

and the new Code Geass series:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOYerOT_Wpc#t=48

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That looks to be cel shading which is "designed to make 3-D computer graphics appear to be flat". - Wikipedia

enter image description here

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