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Old 2008-09-11, 06:18   Link #41
Matrim
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First, I will tell you what hooked me to anime - Noir. But I reckon it will work only if your audience has the patience to endure the slow pace of the plot. Other than that, the non-Japanese setting and the action will probably appeal to the uninitiated to the world of anime and provided that happen they mgiht just appreciate the other elements from the anime.

Second, Cowboy Bebop is an obvious choice. It has something for everyone, it's "westernised" enough as not to make viewers feel as if they are in some terra incognita and it's mostly episodic - I'd assume the people you want to hook up are more used to episodic TV series (you mention sitcoms) than to long story arcs.

Quote:
I'd love to show the second group Planetes but as SeijiSensei said the parents might fuss about Fee's smoking,
Parents who will be outraged by their offspring watching characters who smoke but have no problem with characters who kill (since there are such characters in Planetes) are one weird phenomenon, IMO...

If a more familiar setting is needed, you might want to try Red Garden. It's about a bunch of high school girls from New York but it's very different from typical anime with high school setting as it is rather dark. Though, I suspect it might be easily discarded as too "emo", alas.
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Old 2008-09-11, 06:59   Link #42
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wao View Post
(Speaking of which I haven't the slightest clue why folks suggested School Rumble, Azumanga Daioh etc - I thought it's a given that the OP's friends, being un-geeky, would also be extremely unfamiliar with Japanese-style humour.)
I'd watched some anime by the time I got to School Rumble, so perhaps it didn't feel so Japanese to me. Sure there's lots of cultural symbols throughout the show, but the humor transcends them. Most everybody has had a crush or two on someone who didn't reciprocate, and most everyone has done foolish things in the name of love. These are such human characteristics that they don't seem particularly Japanese to me.

Quote:
Would Dennou Coil work for the second group?
I considered it when making my list. You and I both see it as rather inoffensive, and maybe ultra-conservative American parents would agree. To the uninitiated, it probably does look like a science-fiction show since those viewers would miss all the references to shamanistic cultures. Megabaa isn't really all that different a character from Torogai in Seirei no Moribito, but people without a background in anime would probably just see Megabaa as a very weird old woman.

I also thought about Noein for this group, and for the first group as well. It's a more traditional sci-fi show than Dennou Coil and doesn't have those shamanistic overtones. Noein also has some remarkably animated sequences. It might appeal to anime newcomers who like science-fiction. One problem I see in all these shows is that they have rather "talky" sequences which might bore Americans brought up in a culture where most scripts emphasize action and jump cuts over dialogue.

Quote:
Oh fine, accuse me of pluggin the same shows over and over again
That's fine by me, wao. You'll notice my lists have a certain familiarity after a while as well. We're not alone, though. Whenever I read the Suggestions thread I can often predict what shows will be recommended based on the identity of the poster alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matrim View Post
Parents who will be outraged by their offspring watching characters who smoke but have no problem with characters who kill (since there are such characters in Planetes) are one weird phenomenon, IMO...
Well, it's okay if the villains kill, since they'll get punished in any appropriate show, but it might not be okay if the heroes smoke.
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Last edited by SeijiSensei; 2008-09-11 at 11:46. Reason: grammar
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Old 2008-09-11, 10:30   Link #43
wao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei
I'd watched some anime by the time I got to School Rumble, so perhaps it didn't feel so Japanese to me. Sure there's lots of cultural symbols throughout the show, but the humor transcends them. Most everybody has had a crush or two on someone who didn't reciprocate, and most everyone has done foolish things in the name of love. These are such human characteristics that they don't seem particularly Japanese to me.
I don't mean the content of the show per se, but the way it's delivered - the jokes, the visual gags, the pacing... IMO even the presentation of familiar material in this sort of package is likely to throw off casual viewers. Nothing spoils a viewing session more than something that is obviously trying to be funny but nobody gets it (curiously they're more likely to laugh if nobody's looking).
Of course, you're right that other than that it's not so hard to click with, but I'd have nevertheless been somewhat uncertain about recommending it. Either way, it didn't go with OP's friends...

I hadn't considered Noein. But I'm not sure about that either - while it's a special anime to me, the visual inconsistencies are I think major enough to be noticed by even the most casual of viewers... And as much as I love whacky deviation from character models, even I got jarred by it in the beginning, so as much as it should also be appreciated for its story, I am wary of recommending it even to any ol' anime fan.
The nature of the story is also very likely to make it feel "kiddie" I think.


As for Planetes I had completely forgotten people actually do killing in there - but I think since, afaik, it isn't shown in a graphic manner and they don't get portrayed positively, there's less awkwardness than seeing Fee smoking tons in the very episode she becomes a hero in (It does sound silly though, doesn't it? Tell that to my mum, she used to get seriously worried about the fact that I went on a forum where someone was called "Roarkiller".)

I hardly post in this forum, but I had to throw in my $0.02 because this topic - showing anime to casual viewers in a casual setting without intending to "convert" them - is a mental exercise I've had countless times. Nearly all my close friends have no interest in anime whatsoever... but I can prevent them from dismissing it all with simple things that need less "specialized" understanding, like short clips (particularly ads! Superflat Monogram did the trick once) and tasteful drawings.

As someone mentioned earlier movies are probably the best way to go. One day when I do get to show my friends one proper piece of anime I'm totally going with a Satoshi Kon work. I'm pretty sure even the most critical of them (a minor film buff) wouldn't complain too much...
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Old 2008-09-11, 11:58   Link #44
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Quote:
Well, it's okay if the villains kill, since they'll get punished in any appropriate show, but it might not be okay if the heroes smoke.
Well, I don't want to reveal much of the plot but you know as well as I do that this series has some terrorists who are not portrayed as nothing more than darker than black bloodthirsty monsters.

I see your point your point, though. That said, a lot of characters constantly tell Fee her smoking habit is harmful and silly.

P.S. Maybe some Christian fanatics parents couldn't care less about smoking in movies, I can't recall a commandment saying "Thou shall not smoke", after all.
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Old 2008-09-11, 15:34   Link #45
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The parents in question are actually cool people despite the fact they are quite conservative Christians. They are just a little bit over-monitoring their kids' activities. I will give Dennou Coil a shot.
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Old 2008-09-15, 20:40   Link #46
solomon
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Target audience and age is important, and don't forget the cultural differences.

Admittedly, for a lotta people mecha shows are hard to get into (not just cause of SF techno babble, but dealing with the fact that often mechs themselves LOOK REALLY SILLY).

Moe is out of the question.

In a general sense, you'll have to look at the show and the way it tells it's story. Naturally people recommend, DBZ/Bleach/Naruto but the idea of anime being only long running brawlers with aimless stories and inevitable "power-ups" is a huge disadvantage at interesting regular joes.

Also, id say at least 3/4 of anime consumed by internet otaku has at least a couple of unique elements that regular people (either Japanese or American) don't want to deal with or can't understand. Such cliches can be a huge deterrent.

These can include;
Certain character archytypes like agnsty bishies (even if your non-otaku GF likes watching Dawson's Creek, she's not gonna understand why the hell to swoon over Lelouch or Setsuna F. Seiei) or moe-like girls (I DARE someone to explain a moe like show such as Ichigo 100% or Mai Hime and like it, especially if you are a male fan).

Story cliches;
Power up fantasy shonen adventures (these can work, but use sparingly)
Moe-Moe chars
Mech shows
50 million episodes of nothing (DBZ syndrome)

Even sometimes something perifiral like the design of characters (I love anime but much of it isn't well designed, especially more otakuy shows, incidentally some of the more unique anime shows sometimes have distinct design styles, this isn't a rule but a trend I notice.) Also what may be off putting is the gag structure of some comedy's like Super Deformed type stuff but as long as the shows don't whore it, I think a general audience could get used to it.

or any combination of these (thusly code geass is immediatly a tough sell outside anime circles)

After all you gotta remember, the stuff you're selling will be in competition with Vh1/Nickelodean/Law and Order/Hollywood Films/HBO, etc.

Now that being said

TTGL? (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann)

I love the show but I am an anime freak

Gurren Lagann will work best in the non anime crowd with youth below the age of maybe say 13-15? (actually 14 is pushing it if you wanna play it safe)
At least if your talking about americans anyways.

Another great one for younger ones is Soul Eater, it can be taken as a general action cartoon show (which it is) and has enough unique western visual and audio "style" to gain the attention of non nerd youth IMHO.

FullMetal Alchemist is easily the best of these youth shows because the story is so well crafted and is imbued with so much empathatic feelings and world themes that you could be surprised who you could sell it to (beyond shonen target age IMHO).

These are like shows are the type you could watch with your kid brother who still kinda likes cartoons but want's something he isn't getting on CN, NIck, or Disney.

For example my bro in high school enjoyed watching FMA and certain shonen shows every week despite not being an otaku at all.

it is possible to have certain "youth" shows break out of their age ghetto in appealing to non-anime fans (after all look at how popular US cartoons like Animaniacs, Ren and Stimpy and today Spongebob are) but that's on a show by show and person by person basis.



Of course just cause these are "youth" productions in Japan, you gotta be careful scince they work best for people from say 8/9 years till 14/15 years old(which is actually the original target age for shonen in japan anyways)

cultural acceptance of violence or innuendo may be a factor from person to person with these youth shows (especially in hyper sensitive USA), so just be careful.


For people late teens/college age and up?

Hmm, Immediatley Cowboy Bebop. Very easy to get into. Same with Black Lagoon, these are essentially Hollywood action pieces in anime form in terms of appeal and style. Hellsing is another one.

Mature Science Fiction fans, (or detective show fans that can keep up) could prolly work with Ghost in the SHell: Stand Alone Complex
[/B]
People into general drama could enjoy Planetes nicely, it's a VERY REALISTIC (to the point of Mundane) SF show that basically plays out like a character dramedy other wise.

Wings of Honneamise from 1987 is a great drama.

Of course, there is the requisite Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli plug.

Another one is movies by Satoshi Kon;

Perfect Blue; his first movie. Great for people who like Hitchcock/Steven King thriller/suspense stuff
Tokyo Godfathers; A great christmas movie
Millenium Actress
and
Paprika; These are hard to describe but their tone and style are more like stuff that would run on the INdependent Film Channel or in Art House theaters. Still excellent movies worth recommending though.

Paradise Kiss is GREAT for chicks with it's hip, fashion flair, I think. Beck is cool for anyone who likes rock music and down to earth mellow feel.

Chevalier D'Eon is great for anyone who likes historical fantasy (this one is around the French revolution).

Honey and Clover and Nodame Cantabile are too shows that could work for young women (they were part of a project to reach out to non otaku Japanese women).

Proportionally, there are really few shows that can fit the bill (a tiny amount of anime is made for non-otaku and non-kid/family audiences) but there are options out there. You just have to dig and explore.

Note: I say youth for a couple of reasons;

While it's easily said that "shonen is for kids" many shonen shows wouldn't be shown to japanese kids under certain age sometimes. Fist of the North Star is an obvious offender, Gintama has had trouble with the PTA as well.

I don't wanna discourage people from looking into show that seem "kiddy", we all know that animation need not be for kids 2-11 like networks want. Still mielage may vary with shonen shows of any stripe really.

Also like I said, becareful with showing shonen shows to american kids. My family is actually fairly easygoing(BY COMPARISON) for example, my mom didn't freak out when me and my bro watched DBZ or Tenchi in grade school (helped that she liked anime herself and still does). After all she had to grow up when LOONEY TUNES we're censored for TV. (Seiji Sensei prolly remembers that

Still there are some shows I couldn't show some of my cousins (Gurren LAgann; prolly cause of Yoko-service, but also some violence) due to them being raised in conservative christian households. So recommend with caution.

Last edited by solomon; 2008-09-15 at 20:52.
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Old 2008-09-15, 22:19   Link #47
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Upon reading the main posters targets of conservative christians


You will prolly have to erase most shonen off the list, do to innuendo and violence and smoking and such.

Soul Eater, Gurren Lagann will work for more liberal open minded families
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Old 2008-09-15, 23:22   Link #48
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I tried Nodame Cantabile and Emma and it's working wonderfully ^^
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Old 2008-09-15, 23:45   Link #49
SeijiSensei
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For which of your two groups? NC for group one, and Emma for group two?

If you showed Nodame Cantabile to those conservative parents. and they weren't disturbed by Stresemann, they're pretty broad-minded for "conservative Christians."
Spoiler for Questionable scenes in Nodame Cantabile:
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Old 2008-09-16, 00:13   Link #50
solomon
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Holy crap, I forgot Emma.

Such awesomeness
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Old 2008-09-16, 01:16   Link #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
For which of your two groups? NC for group one, and Emma for group two?

If you showed Nodame Cantabile to those conservative parents. and they weren't disturbed by Stresemann, they're pretty broad-minded for "conservative Christians."
Spoiler for Questionable scenes in Nodame Cantabile:
Both to the first group. I will try Dennou Coil to the second group.
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Old 2008-09-16, 15:55   Link #52
-HyugaNeji-
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Originally Posted by ddwkc View Post
What would be the perfect anime for an audience that has never been interested in otaku/geek stuff and has a hard time to get into things like anime?

Any genre is fine.
I think i know what such an audience would want. Someone who's not familiar with Anime, is probably familiar with our typical western TV series and movies. The stereotypical portrayal of humans in most Anime/manga is a major turn off for most people. By that i mean: Big eyes, annoying voices, tiny bodies etc. (And TOO often, annoying kids as main characters) Also, TV Series which require a big attention span are a NO GO for people who had never been interested in Anime. How do you want to convince somebody with a series that takes like 10 hours to finish?

So my recommendations are:

- Patlabor 2
- Ghost in the Shell (The Movie)
- Street Fighter 2 (The Movie)
- Akira
- Ninja Scroll (The Movie)
- Princess Mononoke

At least these are the only ones that immediately come to mind. I wouldn't show a non Anime viewer anything else before. (You know, the typical anime character design is often the most controversial point. People just won't believe you that a movie or tv series, that features kids or youths, drawn the japanese way, could have a mature and intelligent plot. And for many people it's just annoying anyway) So. Start with MOVIES. NO Tv series!!
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Old 2008-09-17, 14:30   Link #53
solomon
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Hey there are a few Tv series that could work.


Monster is easily one that could work, it's essentially a suspense thriller.

Planetes is great dramedy about people in their 20s finding themselves.
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Old 2008-09-17, 16:08   Link #54
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Hataraki Man .... designed for adults, plots about problems at work, home, and life.

For children of conservative christians... it gets quite tricky since much of japanese anime incorporates non-christian religious motifs (shinto, kami, supernatural). That is often more of an issue than violence or smoking....

Sadly this often rules out wonderful stories like My Friend Totoro.... or even such innocuous "daily life" material as Lucky*Star or Azumanga Daioh (both of which have a fair extent of Shinto/Buddhist activities and also have comedic elements of 'creepy old men' in an episode or two).
Even a classic show like Planetes could be threatening to them with its philosophical ruminations. Having grown up in a "land of near-cultlike conservative christendom with really twisted interpretations" - sincere Christians educated in their religion would be appalled at what some who label themselves Christian take offense to and want to prevent their children from learning about.
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Old 2008-09-17, 17:43   Link #55
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Too bad they did not adapted Yotsubato yet, it could have been good for the kid.
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Old 2008-09-17, 23:38   Link #56
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Actually, for conservative Christians, first thing that came to mind would be H20: Footprints in the Sand. Sure it might deal with 'harsh' topics like persecution and such, but any Christian who doesn't see the parallels deserve to be excommunicated from the religion on the spot.

Now if the children would be interested or not is another story altogether, though.


But for the general audience? I'd show them some comedy in which its humour is pretty much 'universal'. I've had great success showing Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu not only those who aren't familiar with the series, but to those generally uninterested in anime to great success. The wackiness of the show doesn't get lost in translation, nor does one require prior knowledge in order to get the vast majority of the jokes (I think it was only the SEED reference they won't get, but they'll be laughing too hard to notice it)

And the best part? The dub there is GREAT, and if you're audience is your typical English speaking audience, this is a huge boon as dubs are much more popular for the non-otaku crowd.
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Old 2008-09-18, 04:45   Link #57
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Hey what about Nijuu Mensou no Musume ? It essentially feels like one of those Agatha Christie stories in young adult novel form.
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Old 2008-09-18, 07:17   Link #58
SeijiSensei
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I'd second Nijuu Mensou, but it's still unfinished, and it's another long series. I'm still of the mind that newcomers should start out with movies and episodic series so there's less of a initial commitment. Another recent adventure show that failed with me, but might appeal to younger viewers, is Allison to Lillia. Someone who watched the entire series should chime in here. I don't think either series has much that would disturb culturally conservative viewers.
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Old 2008-09-18, 09:45   Link #59
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For the second group.

Haibane Renmei?
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Old 2008-09-18, 17:22   Link #60
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I'd say Bleach mainly for the fact that I made my friends get interested in anime just by saying "watch bleach". After watching Bleach for a bit they started searching for more and more animes that they can be interested by. Then came naruto and quite a few other animes.
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