What makes a anime/manga personally good in your eyes
As a fellow manga creator who wishes to make a anime from his manga, it's about time to ask the public what makes a manga special or memorable or just plain that d*** good in their eyes.
Of course everyone will say, the art should be good and the story should be good. But let's go a little further than that. While we cannot go much deeper about art because that specifically goes with the artist skill. What about the story should grab your attention? Is it character development? Memorable characters? What makes memorable characters in your eyes? People you can relate to.
How does a manga/anime become special to you.
(which hopefully help make a manga that d*** good too hahaha)
Let's see why I like manga and anime, well first of all since I watched anime since I was kid, and it was natural for me to watch it, to a kid a giant robot would appeal more then a love story and other type of drama that was constantly being aired on TV when I was young. Though I could have grew out of it, but I didn't. I didn't grew out of anime because I believe that it is the third greatest form of entertainment, first being book, and second being manga. Movie and TV shows(Not including anime or cartoon) have limitation imo, because I think that ideas of the creator are not able to fully realized. Books have basically no limitation because all you do is writing what is in your head and so with manga you could draw and write whatever is in your head, so I believe as a result you could fully realize your idea. Anime is quite similar since by all you have to do is just draw what you have in your head, but there is more limitation then book and manga, but not much as TV or Movies.
I am sorry what I wrote above is in mess, since I am quite a poor writer.
1) A good plot. A good example is SaiKano, which in my opinion and many others, has one of the most unattractive character designs. However, I just love it.
2) Something unique. I occasional enjoy cliche anime but what makes an anime good is non-cliche things such as Elfen Lied and Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu. Man, Haibane Renmei was just...special.
3) A sense of closure. This is often overlooked but I think that it's one of the most important aspects of anime. Anime such as Naruto and Bleach are indeed good...but they didn't know when to stop. This doesn't apply to long anime, but also some that seems like they just wanted to make 24-26 episodes where it was plagued with filler-like episodes that fluctuate its quality.
Other than that there are also some things that could make certain anime better:
4) A good mix of genres. One reason I like Avatar so much because sometimes anime's action/adventure series lack the "other genre," although some manages to put in a little comedy once in a while. Avatar, Seirei no Moribito, and Shakugan no Shana combined elements of action, adventure, comedy, romance, and drama so well that you're not just watching "the usual."
5) Animation. As much as I don't mind animation some anime just doesn't suit me because the animation is so repulsive that I just had to stop watching. Because of this, very old anime doesn't interest me, even though they're classics and such.
I suppose the most instructive question to ask would be: who's your target audience? Even if you take the world's most popular manga and anime, those aren't necessarily the sorts of stories you want to write or the sort of audience you want to appeal to. So as you sort through the replies in the thread, you'll sort of have to decide whose opinions are of more importance to you based on the sort of audience you're looking for. For example, I doubt you'd ever have a hope of getting enough money to make an anime if you focused on making a story that was "for me" personally. (That being said, I'm not sure if there's any sort of manga you could make that'd raise the millions of dollars needed to fund an anime production, and unless you're in with a major Japanese publisher...? Well, that's a thought for a different thread, I guess.)
To answer the question, I suppose the most important things to me are actually probably character designs (particularly of the heroines...), the "feel" of the piece (emotions, sentimentality, etc.), (for anime) the quality and use of music, the use of metaphor/symbolism/foreshadowing to tie the plot together around a theme/moral, and of course there's always a sway for the "wow factor" (which could be many things - plot, art, animation... anything really). Like I said, though, those are extremely different from the average fan's tastes, so probably aren't very helpful as a guide to follow.
I think there's a very strong sense of "escape from reality" in anime in general, and I think that's pretty appealing to a lot of people (myself included). When I get home from work, I don't generally want to watch a show that's stressful like real life, but rather a show that'll either lift my spirits, or reflects life "the way it should be" in one way or another (perhaps it's idealized characters that couldn't exist in real life, or idealized circumstances that are too good to be true, or a sense that the characters have power over all that's negative in the world). There has to be some way to identify with the characters and their struggles, whether that's because the viewer places themselves in the show (sort of an assumed first-person), or because they just find the evolving story interesting to watch unfold (but feel attached to it a bit beyond it being simple third-person narrative). Again, though, all that has to do with your target audience and what they find appealing, so there's no easy rule about it.
In the end, I suppose that, as an author, the equally important thing is writing about characters, circumstances, and themes that mean something to you, and hope that it reaches others with like-minded feelings. So even if there is a certain degree of pandering in order to gain popularity and make money, the most important thing to a creative person is generally to stay true to themselves. So, in that sense, maybe this thread isn't all that important after all. Really, as a creator, the "conversation" with the audience has to start with you.
Weeelll, let's see.
1. A good story. What makes an anime/manga good is the fact that it is built around a good story. Of course, there are exceptions (Lucky Star, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei), but keep in mind that they're 4komas, which I'd think is not what you're aiming at.
2. Good Characters. If you got boring, 2D characters, then it really ruins it for me.
3. Character development. If your anime/manga is over 12 episodes/4 volumes, then I'd like to see the characters evolve and change. 'Cause if they don't, then it'll be boring.
Animation is never a major factor for me, but do make it audience-appealing.
You can always go for the "epic", "wow" factor *cough* GURREN LAGANN *cough*, but you gotta make it work, keep the audience interested, keep them longing for the next episode/chapter/whatever. How do you think the mangas of Naruto/Bleach work? Because Tite and Kishimoto draws them in such a way that we always want to know what's next, what's gonna happen, how will ****** turn out, yadayada...
Alternatively, ignoring everything above, create something new. Create, draw, write something which has never been attempted. Make the story unique, special, give it some content which separates it from the so many other anime/mangas. Plenty of examples, like Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu, Gurren Lagann, etc.
Originality, nice character development , a good plot, animation and a little of mindfuckness
A sense of immersion in the story that fulfills anime's role in my life, which is escapism. How a series chooses to do that is something I don't really care about. Whether it's good humor, or an engrossing story doesn't matter to me. Usually a more realistic genre like slice of life comedy or teary romance/drama. Character design, development, and interaction are the elements that make or break a series IMO, which is also why I like those genres.
If the character is solid enough, it's enough for me to completely break suspension of disbelief and not care. Examples are Code Geass and Evangelion. Almost completely outlandish, but story and character are very well done.
Well, what makes an anime or manga truly awesome, what makes it extraordinary, e.g. like Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann or Higurasho no naku koro ni (kai) is the feeling, the heart and soul that have been taken into it.
This is not easy to explain, because, it's about the right feeling, let's put it this way: If you have a strong message in you, right form your heart, from your soul, you want to tell the world and you put all your heart and love into creating the best possible piece of art to convey your message, then the result will surely surpass most other works. :cool:
There's not an anime in the world that can personally impress me that well except a few unless it brings in the nostalgic theme. That's why all of my favorites has that theme in them. If they can present the story well, shape the character neatly, and do it with humor, then it's a seller for me.
What makes an anime good in my eyes, you ask? Before I answer that, I want to make a distinct clarification. There are two kinds of animes. You've got the silly ones where skirts and potty humor allows no sense of regard or care to any kind of grand scheme or story that the series may pertain. And then there's the serious ones made for teenage to adult audiences who might draw parallels to the quintessential American dramas. I, personally, prefer the latter, and it is this type that arguably fits best with this thread's discussion because mixing up the two with its two different intended audiences, themes, and characteristics just isn't very objective reasoning. And the thought of putting, say, Dragon Ball Z alongside Ghost in the Shell would be as unfathomable as saying The Sopranos would make a suitable runner-up to Family Guy.
This response is basically an extension of relentlessflame's response in his first paragraph. As you browse through these posts, you'll find them to be largely opinionated. Some of them you'll agree; others you'll shake your head and go, "that's not right. S/he obviously has no idea what s/he's saying." But what it all comes down to is there are so many genres in anime just like there are so many genres on your nearby television. You're asking us to summerize what we think are all the good animes from all the different genres as an entity of its own when it's not really that easy. I can tell you what aspects makes a proper fantasy anime or a slice-of-life anime hold dear to my heart. But to answer those two unrelated questions together as one would turn into the very conversation you had wanted to avoid: art should be good, story should be good, yada yada yada.
So to answer your query as best as possible:
- The story and setting are concrete and show signs of progression. The protagonist/s and antagonist/s are clearly identifiable very early on with each of their goals laid out in plain view. Each episode takes us on a wild journey to explore the world they live in and achieve their set goal/s. If there is no visible story, audiences get frustrated and impatient wondering about the whole point of the show and walk away, or it lulls people to sleep. Whichever comes first. If there is a defined story and nothing is done to advance the end result or explain the show's fictional environment (the latter being a loathingly common ploy to add filler episodes), the show becomes stagnant and your audience walks away.
- The cast is minimal and tight. Every character serves a purpose. Introducing too many characters and too many guest characters in the middle of a season can weaken a show. It allows the loss of focus on any one character and to me, it's a sign of producers not trying hard enough to make the existing, "more important" characters a shade more three-dimensional.
- Outcomes of conflict are due to personal effort, not reliance on chance. Chance and luck are the two things I absolutely detest in TV and film. Good characters know exactly what they're getting themselves into and resolve to act on it anyway, not by praying for miracles. If you want something done, do it yourself because every action will be followed by a reaction and that creates a better dynamism in terms of story and character. Situations where people believe that they will be rescued or have fortune reversed in their favor (and proceed to have it become so) is not only lazy, but weak storytelling.
- The story has a complete sense of closure. Obscurity and ambiguity is seldom a virtue. If the point you want to make has any significance, then there is no harm in making it clearly. People have this angst that to be clear-cut and obvious is to be boring or banal, but what it really amounts to is that s/he doesn't really know how to explain things without being dull. And in the process, failing to make an important point clearly irritates and confuses the audience.
- The show doesn't rely on irrelevant and distracting elements to carry itself forward. I'm directing this specifically towards fan service and comedic scenes. Obviously a little of each can't do no harm. But when you have too much, you get the sense that the story is not exciting or involved enough, that they had to fill in the time gap with something that's cheap, cute or perverted.
Perhaps you should be a little more specific in your questioning, babybro. Are you asking us about what makes a good comedy anime/manga? Are you asking us about what constitutes a believable and heart-warming romance? There's lots of good anime out there, and some animes I like'm for reasons I would not necessarily associate with another.
So hope this helps. And if you choose to elaborate, we (or maybe just I) can talk to you more about symbolism, plot, visual asthetics, and the balance between ideas and character. Anime is in many ways just like American or British TV. To even discuss it would be the same as bringing up the Emmy Awards; just as varied and complex in every style and detail that are imaginatively possible.
Hmm. The things that really appeal about anime to me would be...
Obviously, storyline. Need it to catch me from the start, in some fashion or another. Even if it's something zany that compels me to watch the next episode, has to be well paced, and preferably have a solid conclusion.
Music and voices are very important to me in anime, and the primary reason I watch anime over reading manga, for the mostpart. They bring so much more life to the story.
Then, the characters. While I like a lot of cliche stuff, I also like unique and interesting characters that diverge from the norm. (Zetsubou Sensei is a good example.) This also ties in with the storyline point, you need to have somebody interesting introduced at the start, to really draw the viewer in, and they have to be well developed and have decent interaction over the course of the story.
All very vague things, really. I watch almost every genre (except sports and pure shounen/shoujo-ai) as long as they appeal to me in some regard. But having very loose tastes makes a lot of things appeal to me in some manner or another.
Wow, I never thought I would get such excellent responses, you guys do not know how much you have help me in regards to expanding what makes an anime/manga good. For that I really really appreciate it.
Quite a few people have wanted me to explain a little more of what I mean so please bare with me as I give a brief summary of what's going on. I'm living in japan and am trying to submit my manga to kodansha. I was in the middle of the process of working on my first manga which was based on a modern ninja world kind of similar to dead or alive the video game. While I got finish with everything, timeline, characters, plots and whole script of first and second issue, I began drawing it and showed to my wife to gather her opinion.
She pointed out the comic might not be appealing to the audience because of how personal the manga was. Meaning it seem to fit mostly me, the creator, and not the audience who would read it. A couple examples were,
1) The main character is an african american boy, with much of the manga dedicated about his thinking.
2) The manga seem a bit to international, for example the main tournament was going to be held in the US, when these things are usually held in japan.
And a few others. That's when it hit me that I have to make a manga that's tailored to the audience just as much as it's tailored to me. I still want to have an AA being a main character just for the fact we don't really get much love in anime LOL! So my original post was going to be what make characters appealing to you, but than decide to expand the horizon and make a whole new scale of what makes everything about anime/manga grab you.
So perhaps to break it down even further. Let's go into the specific genre's. What makes a comedy manga/anime good? What about romance? Action-Adventure? Drama? Sci-fi?
An excellent question I have is, is it possible to create a manga with strong emotional and personal ties like a comedy/drama/romance manga-anime, and yet still have a very strong plot theme like action-adventure/sci-fi/fighting anime-manga?
Romance... I'm partial to, but I prefer comedy/romance like Lovely Complex (and School Rumble, if you want to call that a romance) over drama/romance, because I think it's more interesting to laugh about relationships and the trials and tribulations people go through in their interpersonal dealings, than just solemnly watching some relationsihp develop over the course of various events that drama tends to do.
Action-adventure, well, most of the long running series such as Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Inuyasha etc I'd probably consider action-adventure, with comedy and romance and other elements (all long series tend to be a bit of everything) and they're all compelling in their own right. Long series have a chance at excellent character development, though it's difficult to keep a story running that long without becoming boring (all four mentioned examples have some reeeally boring arcs, and poor pacing in places) there are of course shorter series, such as Black Lagoon that'd be action-adventure. They don't suffer the long boredom issue, but instead disappoint in you don't get to know the chars as well as you'd like over the course of the series. :(
With drama, as I already mentioned in romance, I think it's important to keep it interesting with some sort of other elements. Pure drama is kind of boring to me personally, yet add it in with another genre, and you get some of the best anime ever made, like PlanetES (drama/sci-fi) though drama/romance is a common one (School Days, Myself; Yourself) and can work, and be good, it is rare for it to be pulled off well.
Sci-fi, is very easy to screw up. As broad as the genre is, especially in anime (mecha, space, robot girls, all sorts of sci-fi around) a lot of it is really boring. I think again because you need to cross genres. Comedy/sci-fi (Galaxy Angel, UFO Princess) works well, but adventure/action tends to be best (Scrapped Princess, Soukou no Strain, Ghost in the Shell, Macross, Gundam etc etc etc) but judging by those titles, they all cross multiple genres, have excellent character development, interesting plot hooks, and solid conclusions.
So ultimately, it's all in the story itself, not so much the genre.
All of that is, though, talking about anime, using recent and popular examples, not manga. But I think the same still applies since most are based off manga and the best tend to be faithful to the manga. (though some are based off novels, too...)
But yeah. It's all in the writing, not the genre. I think it's possible to make anything good, with the desirable aspects of characters you can relate too/root for, while having comedy elements, your required drama, romance, while in a sci-fi or fantasy setting, with lots of action and fighting and adventure going on. There are numerous series out there that prove it's possible. Though naturally they do tend to be diamonds among mountains of coal.
Here is where personal opinion comes into play. A genre or formula that you enjoy is probably unique compared to everyone else. Everyone is different so it is only natural to assume this. For me then I enjoy a lot (and has seen my fair bit of good and bad) so I can sorta make out what I like the most. A large margin of what I want to see comes from my mood but there are some basic blocks I can put them in.
For comedy/romance I really think that Seto no Hanayome is a prime example of the genre. What makes it special for me is the fact that the comedy never really out shadows the romance (as much as people think so) but rather is a tool in order to get the story moving and offers development. I love seeing character development, and the added comedy factor while doing it is a plus. The case size is also important as too many would just mean that some characters ultimately fade into the background. Not to big and not too small - SnH has a perfect balance ;)
For action/suspense Gurren lagann wins my prize for being an anime that every other of its genre should be setting an example against. I'm not saying that all series should be as GAR as this but they "action" and drama is just top notch. Suspense enough to leave you biting your hands off waiting for the next ep and surprisingly has more emotion that a lot of other so called "romance" series out there. Manly tears are the best kind ;)
For me I guess that I just enjoy watching series that does surprises well and for this even the legendary love-hate school days is high up there in my list. Being predictable is overrated but some series do handle it well (like the recently finished Night wizard).
A type of genre I really can't stand much are the horrible slow moving ones...or even "soothing" ones as they always make my mind wonder off into the land of sheeps...and being tired doesn't help either XD
Uniqueness. That's it. If I feel like it hasn't been done a million times before, I'll enjoy it.
Best way to put it is: don't make your manga primarily for us. Make it for you. Although there are many techniques to make stories inward-driven, stories are in the end an extension of the artist's mind. Let it out. You can't appeal to everyone in the world simply because everyone has different tastes. But as long as you know in your heart and mind the type of story you're fleshing out, you can work it in a way that satisfies the minority you're trying to appeal. Others can simply grab hold however they feel like.
These days, everyone takes political correctness over the top. The American point of view is that "every group and nationality must be portrayed or we're under-representing them and protests and riots will break, etc etc etc". What the critic at Kodansha sounds to me is that your story had too much of an overseas feel to it. For example, a black for a protagonist in a medium that defines Japan and its culture? You could see it both ways: either it's too radical a departure from the norm, or the lady you were talking to was very conservative about publishing this kind of story in (what I assume is) a popular and successful manga studios.
I'm not telling you to fret and change your story. No. My material shares many parallels as yours. I had to streamline and know exactly what kind of audience my screenplays were targeting. I don't expect all the current, big studios to take'm. But lucky for us, there are many investors out there. If Kodansha doesn't take your material, go to another company and get their input. If after five or six tries that people don't see eye-to-eye with your idea, you might want to head to their advice and try an alternative or new approach.
Take it from me: studios crave new material. There is a heated demand for new stories. But it's going to take a lot of effort, thought, and criticism to really make your work stand out and give more than a ten second glance.
I've been an anime fan for a number of years now. As a person in general, I'm open to all sorts of thing, so this is reflected in my choice of anime and manga too. What makes these things good to me is when watching or reading one can make me completely forget about what is happening around me and suck me in story-wise. I'm not picky about stories either, but don't get me wrong, there are some things that are just too dumb to live, too unique to die (if ya know what I mean :-)
But anyway, TL;DR I like to become fully immersed by a story.
A list inspired by shonen combat manga.
The main characters
Acting stupid but steps up when everyone's down on the floor +1
Does not ignore the obvious solutions. Instead mentions why these would fail (internal monologue is fine) +1
Outclassed but wins through tactics (not stupid tactics) +1
Outclassed but wins though craziness but not all the time (eg not defending but using an exchange of your head for his head, etc forcing opponent to defend) +1
Has some hobby/quirk that is interesting (eg makes playing cards or reads a manga similar to the one he is in, in spare time)
Tactics used would require a strategist to solve -1
Redeeming the main boss (even if he turns out to be a good guy, best to let him die) -1
No humor of any sort -1
Too much humor attempts in the wrong places, eg main boss farts while fighting the last battle -1
Main boss outclasses everyone all the time so much that its ridiculous -1
Main boss has no reason to *not* involve himself but continues to let sub bosses get pounded -1
Main boss has believable reason or obviously more important task +1
Main boss does many rage inducing stuff eg getting daughter to kill mother in order to spare the lives of daughter and 2 sisters then maiming the 3 girls but letting them live (more rage is good) +1
Environment's logic must be internally consistent. It does not matter if it has no connection to actual physics/etc +1
Everything handwaved away -1
Twists foreshadowed quietly +1
Twists suddenly happens -1
A large gap between a seemingly stupid action and its explaination -1
Immediate explainaton of seemingly stupid action -1
I doubt you'll read this, since the original post was from over three years ago, but what the heck.
In fact, the best animes are like those two, in my opinion. Both have a tight, complex plot that's driven by the characters, and every detail is important and related to every other detail. Nearly everyone factors into both the plot and backstory, and they have multiple layers of interaction with each other (Shinji is related to Rei through their link as pilots, through their competition for Gendo's attention, through the fact that she's a freaking clone of his mom, etc.)
Humor is fine, but I see it as more a replacement for actual plot elements than anything else. Sometimes, humor will take the place of plot (comedies like Azumanga Daioh). Sometimes it will supplement it (Samurai Champloo, Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya). Sometimes it just won't be needed at all, because the plot can stand by itself (Akira). For what it's worth, I don't think the animes I've watched that have employed comedy would be worth watching without it.
As for the manga being personal, I wouldn't worry TOO much about that. Yes, there is an element of marketability that you can't ignore, but often our best work is done when it's from our hearts. Something can only be groundbreaking if it abandons the standard and the generic, after all.
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