Most of the time when someone says an anime or cartoon has good animation, they leave it at that. Calling something ‘good’ isn’t very descriptive of why it’s good, and it ignores one very important thing; there’s more to animation then art quality.
No matter how well drawn technically your animation is, it doesn’t matter to me if it doesn’t have any style. Inversely, a strong style can surpass a low animation budget; the best example of this is 2012’s new anime adaption of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure by David Productions.
This anime was practically a slideshow, very little animation happened even during fight scenes, with a lot of freeze frames for emphasis. But JoJo had style, and the lack of animation is easily excusable for the fact that JoJo looked incredible at almost all times, the use of color, ‘camera’ angles, and digital effects add up into a very good looking show.
Another example of this is the recent anime The Rolling Girls, which has an incredibly vibrant color pallet that was extremely pleasing to look at, even though the animation itself wasn’t that high budget.
I’ve seen countless anime that have very high budget action scenes but seem to think that can excuse lazy angles, often showing the scenes in the most boring way possible.
Sword art online is a prime example of this, it has incredible budget and very smooth action scenes… that bored the hell out of me.
The shots are framed in the most generic, boring ways imaginable, completely wasting the budget spent on the scenes.
Style is vastly under-appreciated; good style can counter bad animation, this can be applied to the game industry as well. Which is why 2d sprite based games, such as Japanese fighting games like the recent Under Night In-Birth exe:late (great game, terrible title) still continue to look great.