Well, I've finally got some work done.
Not fully complete yet, however I wanted to get another gauge of how I was doing. Below, I have a comparison of all the different frames I have.
I plan to probably add frame 2 back in. However for the rest... I'm not sure. I've gotten a mix of suggestions of what to do. I think what I have so far technically is passable (I'll have to do this and more for all the characters, so on the laziness side of things, I'd like if things weren't more complex than this). I mean more than 4 frames for a simple RPG attack animation is a bit much.
In general I'm still bad at setting the speed for the actual frames. I think I have something like: 1 - 3 - 3 - 5 - 5b - 7 - 7b - 1.
I don't know if I'm being lazy by not wanting to add more frames. I see where maybe I could add some, but I'm wondering if it's necessary for something as simple as a 16-bit style RPG.
I've missed a few small details on the sprite too I've realized. A tail, the ends of his belt that hang off the front, but I have the basic gist of it all here so far. Also that frame 2 I wanted to re-add.
Comments, critique, or whatever is all welcome of course.