It doesn't have to be exactly the same in each view. The differences make it look more natural.
My thinking on it is two things:
1) with a "side" animation like steam, sparks, misc little stuff, if you keep them in the same place on the character through all 3 angles, there are only 2 unique puffs of steam total coming out of the guy as a character...but if you have them in different places on each angle, then that's like 6 unique puffs. So it kind of gives more unique animations to him. It would be similar to, say, having a guy with a long trailing Ryu style headband running left and right, and on the left run his headband flows in one motion and on the right run his headband flows in a different motion. Just something to add a little more variation in the animation. It's not something anyone really pays attention to unless they see the frames side by side like this, it's just psychologically you think "ya that has a lot of animation"
2) art-wise it's just a balance...if in the side view, there's a lot of space in front of him, then I'm going to make the cloud poof come out of like, his knee, and rise up in front in that empty space. if in the back view there's a lot of space behind him, then I'm going to make that cloud poof come out of his ankle to fill that space. I guess it could be like that Disney animation rule of making a character look good in silhouette form so you never have him doing stuff in front of him, always do it off to the side so it's obvious what's going on...keeping the cloud poof at the exact same point on the exact same frames might look good on the side view but cover half of his sword or something in the front view.
also I didn't totally notice when I drew it heh...but it's not something I pay attention to usually for these 2 reasons, unless I'm specifically asked to make the character exactly consistent in all directions.
Also, I totally know what you mean about red. I always thought it might have been my inexperience. Good to know red just doesn't work that way
good, glad someone else has run into it, heh...red is a really weird color in pixel stuff. Capcom always uses super intense red for like, Ryu's headband and stuff...that's why I did it for the ninja turtle looking guy in MK. just RGB: 255/0/0 but I don't get why exactly. something to do with how it shows up on a screen I guess.