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Old 2009-08-16, 07:54   Link #21
npcomplete
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C.A. and brocko: Ok thanks, I see what you mean. Although I've never seen the antagonists exhibit such potential, especially considering that antagonists can very well end up in the same situation (rhetorically speaking; yes I know, it's all up to what the author wants)

I suppose this discussion can be broken down into:
- the means to support the will
- the justification of such will

The second point is actually more interesting to me, especially when there is a clash of wills -- heroes on opposite sides if you will. Despite the small group of people in Bleach winning against overwhelming odds, it's clear that Soul Society and the people of Soul Society aren't perfect, nor are the intentions or causes that noble when viewed from different perspectives. Likewise we still see some justification on Aizen's and the Arrancar's side, why they fight. From their perspective, the causes of the antagonists or villains are understandable too.
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Old 2009-08-16, 08:11   Link #22
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by npcomplete View Post
C.A. and brocko: Ok thanks, I see what you mean. Although I've never seen the antagonists exhibit such potential, especially considering that antagonists can very well end up in the same situation (rhetorically speaking; yes I know, it's all up to what the author wants)

I suppose this discussion can be broken down into:
- the means to support the will
- the justification of such will

The second point is actually more interesting to me, especially when there is a clash of wills -- heroes on opposite sides if you will. Despite the small group of people in Bleach winning against overwhelming odds, it's clear that Soul Society and the people of Soul Society aren't perfect, nor are the intentions or causes that noble when viewed from different perspectives. Likewise we still see some justification on Aizen's and the Arrancar's side, why they fight. From their perspective, the causes of the antagonists or villains are understandable too.
Ah, but as the saying goes, may the best man win; the villains might have their own reasons to fight, but if their will is weaker than the heroes, they will still go down. The idea isn't that only the heroes have willpower, but that they have more than the antagonists.

The hero has more willpower by default; he/she wouldn't be the hero otherwise. How else would Frodo enter Mordor?
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Old 2009-08-16, 08:31   Link #23
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But is will a direct testament of strength and talent? Can a lack of power and ability be replaced or made up for with willpower instead? I think it can be, but only to a certain extent, dependent on how large your suspension of disbelief is along with the given nature of the situation/story.
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Last edited by brocko; 2009-08-16 at 08:43.
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Old 2009-08-16, 08:56   Link #24
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Bleach is the worst example for Shounen ever, its terribly unfortunate that it is so popular in the West.

I recommend people to read Fist of the North Star, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure and One Piece, if you want enemies that actually display willpower, that's what you should be reading.

One Piece being the number 1 manga for the past 11 years in Asia, was plagued by terrible dubbing and censorship in the West, it is undoubtedly the best Shounen of this era.
Quote:
Originally Posted by brocko View Post
But is will a direct testament of strength and talent? Can a lack of power and ability be replaced or made up for with willpower instead? I think it can be, but only to a certain extent, dependent on how large your suspension of disbelief is along with the given nature of the situation/story.
If one really has that great of a will to become great, he would have put in effort to reach that level of power. True willpower is reflected by the amount of effort the person puts into his desire.

However, you can be strong, but you'll never be stronger than your will. Your will is the limit of your strength. No matter how strong you are, if you don't have the will to do it, you will never do any better.
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Old 2009-08-16, 09:09   Link #25
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@OP

I really think that the only time it's a copout is when you constantly use and devalue the will power with over powering up of the characters. But to say TTGL is in any fashion a copout means that you really didn't watch the series or at least pick up on the subtleties of the story. This wasn't just some shill of a tale of people beating one opponent after the other. Their power came from the fact that they were human, where as the animal men, where just dolls with no soul. The idea that we humans can overcome anything is what makes TTGL's use of guts, gar, will great, the fact that not just anybody, but a human that uses their entire will and mind can achieve anything.
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Old 2009-08-16, 09:15   Link #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brocko View Post
But is will a direct testament of strength and talent? Can a lack of power and ability be replaced or made up for with willpower instead? I think it can be, but only to a certain extent, dependent on how large your suspension of disbelief is along with the given nature of the situation/story.
Strength and talent are wasted if the person is lazy. As simple as that.

Your willpower determines EXACTLY how much of your potential is actually utilized. A weak-willed person will never be as strong as he could be, and his talents will never be realized.

Translate in another way, willpower can translate into "hard work". And we all know there is no substitute for hard work to do anything properly.

Saying "strength and talent is more important" is missing the point. Those with less will, by default, would be unable to use their full power. Focus, drive, desire to win; those things aren't optional. If you don't play to win, you play to lose.
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Old 2009-08-16, 09:50   Link #27
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Great answers. But to be honest the question i really had in mind, had to do when there is a clash between said wills and strengths of opposing forces. (Maybe i should've worded it better, my bad. But still really good answers nonetheless )

For example: Villain is heavily stronger than Hero due to unwavering circumstances (greater natural ability, handicap advantage, etc). Could Hero still be able to beat Villain through sheer willpower alone?

I would've like to have elaborated on the above scenario along with a few other points a bit more but it's a late Sunday night and it'd just take too much time to gather my thoughts properly. So sorry for cutting my post and discussion short guys, i need my sleep to get me started through the week But i do look forward to the discussions being had while I'm gone
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Last edited by brocko; 2009-08-16 at 10:14.
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Old 2009-08-16, 09:56   Link #28
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I see a big deal when one man defeats a thousand or a few rebels outpower an empire. How can a smaller group of people outpower billions? Especially when even the villains have goals of their own. I mean, duh, a handfull of teens in Bleach kicked the shit out of hundreads of centuries old ghosts... in their own turf!!!
If every member of Soul Society were united together in stopping Ichigo's rescue party, then yes, I'd absolutely agree with you - it would have been painfully unrealistic for Ichigo to succeed against those odds.

But you have to remember that...

1) Most of the squads were intensely competitive with the other squads. Hence, they were not operating as an united whole. Each squad was trying to beat out the other ones in getting to the invaders first. This is particularly true of Kenpachi's squad.

2) Ichigo and two of his allies (Chad and Ishida) were already on the level of a top Lieutenant/average Captain. Another one of Ichigo's allies (Yuichi) was actually above most of the Captains, being a former Captain herself. So, in actual fact, this group should be able to handle either one of the squads (by itself), except perhaps the 1st or 5th squad.

3) Ichigo's rescue attempt flowed nicely with Aizen and Jin's plans... it provided the perfect distraction for them to start to implement their plans. This kept many of the top fighters within Soul Society internally divided, and fighting one another, instead of going after Ichigo and his allies.

4) A lot of Soul Society - including some Captains and Lieutenants - never had their heart in it at all. Many of them were secretly hoping Ichigo would succeed. They felt that Rukia's punishment was overly harsh. Here's a case where one side's will power is, due to perfectly sensible reasons, much stronger than the other side's.

5) Renji defected over to the "rescue Rukia" side, shifting a bankai-using fighter from Soul Society's side over to Ichigo's. This is a significant defection.


Taking these five altogether, I didn't find the Soul Society arc that unrealistic at all. It was an insane gamble that Ichigo took in going after Rukia, yes, but the gamble paid off due to the circumstances listed above (primarily due to Aizen and Jin's activities). It wasn't that Ichigo's will power enabled him to defeat 12 Captains all more experienced and powerful/talented than him... it's that circumstances played out in a way that favored his mission, for the most part.

Quote:

Did you knew of propaganda in cartoons during the WW2? Youtube is full of idelistic crap of that time. Look what blunt propaganda were feeding to the poor children back then

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmCd0QXTS7I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_F_sUpMH18
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRcBt904OJ0

By the way, this is not off topic. Willpower is practically Japanese propaganda for having children to keep fighting (working in the real world) no matter the odds (no matter how much their work and lifestyle sucks).

WW2 was a different era. All sides used propaganda back then. There was no internet, or even TV network news back then.

Uninformed idealism can indeed be a very bad thing.


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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
If you don't have the will, you don't win. It doesn't matter if you have everything else; you need a goal to fight for.

Heroes don't fight against overwhelming odds because it is easy, but because it is hard.

Go ahead; try to write a story containing no will power. The story would have no humanity or purpose. A will to succeed is not optional; it is mandatory, to win in anything and everything in the world.
Beautifully put. Great argument.
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Old 2009-08-16, 10:11   Link #29
CeDeR
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thats why i prefer more mature anime....with a few exceptions of course like Hajime no ippo(Ippo doesnt rely on sheer willpower alone he trains his ass off)
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Old 2009-08-16, 10:13   Link #30
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Agree. This willpower thing in action anime is lame.
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Old 2009-08-16, 10:47   Link #31
C.A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brocko View Post
For example: Villain is heavily stronger than Hero due to unwavering circumstances (greater natural ability, handicap advantage, etc). Could Hero still be able to beat Villain through sheer willpower alone?
It can happen, but 'sheer willpower' is never just pure willpower. When you have that willpower to do something, it means you must already have the power to back up your willpower. If you've never worked hard to attain something, it means you never had the will to achieve it. So if someone has extremely strong willpower, he must already have put in alot of effort to attain it.

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Originally Posted by CeDeR View Post
thats why i prefer more mature anime....with a few exceptions of course like Hajime no ippo(Ippo doesnt rely on sheer willpower alone he trains his ass off)
Like mentioned above, it also applies to Ippo. Its exactly because he has such a great will to win, he trained himself so much. Will and effort comes together.

Even in 'mature anime', there has to be will. All battles are battles of will, only with opposing wills can there be conflict.
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Agree. This willpower thing in action anime is lame.
This is the exact kind of statement as people who think 'moe is lame' in moe anime.

People who make such statements are people who don't get the genre.
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Old 2009-08-16, 10:50   Link #32
Nosauz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimura sensei View Post
Agree. This willpower thing in action anime is lame.
hmmmmm.... clearly it works in some and not in others, your general statement really irkes me, because will power is important in ttgl, and op, hell its even important in plantes, which is not an action anime and more a scifi drama, will power is something that all humans contain, its something we all can relate too, and if used properly can be an effective way to progress a story.

hell even in many scifi novels, like Dune, Ender's Game, will power plays an extremely important role, but because it's not animated the actual emphasis doesn't solely lie in the will power but also lies within the prose.
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Old 2009-08-16, 11:03   Link #33
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It's certainly unrealistic. But I'm not sure I wouldn't miss it. Anime is fiction, and there is something satisfying about the idea that one can overcome obstacles through willpower.

In a lot of the shounen action anime(Naruto, DBZ) there are scenes where the loss of a friend or cared one elicits such strong rage that the main character can defeat the opponent. Maybe that isn't realistic in real life, but ...well, I kind of like those scenes. I like when wanting to protect somebody gives you a greater will to succeed than selfish intentions.

The idea that when pushed to the limit, people can unearth their hidden potential. The idea that never giving up is a path to success in itself. The idea that friendship and bonds are powerful enough to defeat the worst of enemies. No, it's not realistic. But this is fiction. And I like seeing my ideals played out on screen.
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Old 2009-08-16, 11:10   Link #34
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That's a good mindset.

People who are searching for realism in anime shouldn't be watching anime in the first place.
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Old 2009-08-16, 11:18   Link #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theowne View Post
It's certainly unrealistic. But I'm not sure I wouldn't miss it. Anime is fiction, and there is something satisfying about the idea that one can overcome obstacles through willpower.

In a lot of the shounen action anime(Naruto, DBZ) there are scenes where the loss of a friend or cared one elicits such strong rage that the main character can defeat the opponent. Maybe that isn't realistic in real life, but ...well, I kind of like those scenes. I like when wanting to protect somebody gives you a greater will to succeed than selfish intentions.

The idea that when pushed to the limit, people can unearth their hidden potential. The idea that never giving up is a path to success in itself. The idea that friendship and bonds are powerful enough to defeat the worst of enemies. No, it's not realistic. But this is fiction. And I like seeing my ideals played out on screen.
I disagree... in that I don't think that it's anywhere near as unrealistic as you make it out to be. Normal human emotion in response to seeing a loved one killed or severely injured is either immediate mourning and shock... or going into an adrenaline-filled rage against the killer/maimer.

Adrenaline rushes are real - they do exist in real life. The death of a loved one could certainly conceivably fuel one.


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That's a good mindset.

People who are searching for realism in anime shouldn't be watching anime in the first place.
I disagree. I think that anime can do an excellent job of reflecting reality, and hence commenting on it.

There's nothing wrong in searching for realism in anime. I, myself, often search for realism in anime, and I'm a big anime fan.
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Old 2009-08-16, 11:19   Link #36
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Old 2009-08-16, 11:25   Link #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Normal human emotion in response to seeing a loved one killed or severely injured is either immediate mourning and shock... or going into an adrenaline-filled rage against the killer/maimer. .
Not really what I meant. Taking my examples of Naruto and DBZ, there are moments in these series where the loss of a loved one unleashes a hidden power (going Super Saiyan, or unleashing the nine-tails power) and allows an unbeatable opponent to now be on equal level or below you. The idea of love or friendship being such strong forces that can unleash such power unattainable by those with selfish desires. I'm talking about a broader, very idealistic concept.

The Harry Potter series shares this idea, with Dumbledore frequently telling Harry that his strength is his ability to love, which can defeat even the greatest of evil wizards who don't understand it.
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Old 2009-08-16, 11:33   Link #38
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Not really what I meant. Taking my examples of Naruto and DBZ, there are moments in these series where the loss of a loved one unleashes a hidden power (going Super Saiyan, or unleashing the nine-tails power) and allows an unbeatable opponent to now be on equal level or below you. The idea of love or friendship being such strong forces that can unleash such power unattainable by those with selfish desires. I'm talking about a broader, very idealistic concept.

The Harry Potter series shares this idea, with Dumbledore frequently telling Harry that his strength is his ability to love, which can defeat even the greatest of evil wizards who don't understand it.
Oh, well, that's just an extension of fictional super powers. Fictional super powers are tied to everything imaginable - Ryoga Hibiki in Ranma 1/2 used to get powered up by depression, of all things.

Once you accept the existence of super powers (or super abilities/hidden powers) in a fictional setting, then I don't think it's much of a stretch to say that certain conditions will tend to amp up, unleash, or weaken those powers.

Granted, super powers aren't realistic, of course, so you're right there.

Thanks for clarifying.

With this in mind... to clarify what I said to C.A., if you're going to watch anime (anything outside of the most basic slice of life or harem comedy or romance, anyway), then yes, you're going to need to accept the existence of super powers/super abilities as part of the fictional universe that the anime is in.

What I mean by looking for realism in anime is that it's good to see the fictional anime universe having a certain set of rules and guidelines that it adheres to - there's a framework and method to the fictional universe that makes sense, even if elements of that fictional universe don't exist in the real world.
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Old 2009-08-16, 11:44   Link #39
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@Triple_R:

There's two types of 'realism'.

One is realism in the sense where it can be compared to real life, reality, and stuff happens within realistic limits. If one is searching for such in anime, they are looking in the wrong place. Of course there is nothing wrong if an anime portrays realism, but if one watches anime specifically for realism, then they're just expecting too much.

The other is realism in the sense of believability, how far the story suspends your belief. This is entirely subjective, everyone has a different limit to how much they can suspend their belief. There's nothing we can do about it here. If someone complains about anime being unrealistic in this sense, its just their own preference at work.
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Old 2009-08-16, 12:15   Link #40
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Not really what I meant. Taking my examples of Naruto and DBZ, there are moments in these series where the loss of a loved one unleashes a hidden power (going Super Saiyan, or unleashing the nine-tails power) and allows an unbeatable opponent to now be on equal level or below you. The idea of love or friendship being such strong forces that can unleash such power unattainable by those with selfish desires. I'm talking about a broader, very idealistic concept.

The Harry Potter series shares this idea, with Dumbledore frequently telling Harry that his strength is his ability to love, which can defeat even the greatest of evil wizards who don't understand it.
Those idea of love and friendship serve more as a motivation for their will. The will itself had different motivation, wanting to become strong, protect someone, rage, out of love, or just wanting to win. No matter what the motivation in the end they all become the drive or the will for the character.
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