The Igarashi Lab. at the University of Tokyo is developing a new type of physics engine which can faithfully recreate in 3D the stylizations common to 2D anime.
"Physics engines are used in 3D animation, to generate the motions of hair and clothes. They can do physically correct computing, but the problem is, that's all they can do. The engine we've created makes it possible for artists to adjust such physics computations, in other words, to deform things."