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Old 2010-06-29, 17:35   Link #81
Samurai dono
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mushi View Post
I used to feel put off by fanservice, back in my days when I preferred action/sci-fi/drama/paranormal titles, mostly. But then, I began to "expand my horizons" and found out what a hopeless romantic I was. Naturally, I began to watch a lot more harem/moe/slice of life type stuff.

I eventually came to accept the fanservice as part of the way things were. There are degrees of it in different series, and I usually decide how seriously I'm going to take it as soon as I figure out what the degree is. If it's light, I go along with it. If it's being shoved down my throat (like the panty-shot-per-minute in episode one of Rosario+Vampire), then I basically ignore it... if the rest of the series has some redeeming quality of some kind.

So, being the old fart that I am, if the story and characters are something I think I can get into, I basically brush off the fanservice as something intended for the younger crowd, and focus on getting the most out of the other elements of the series -- art/direction/seiyuu/story/characters/music/etc.
Very nice. If the problom was the entire exaistance of fanservice, then yes, your post makes perfect sense. The problem however, is the forced, unjustified, non-fitting fanservice. Some fanservicing in a moe show for instance is usually not a problem, same goes with romance and comedy. Because it goes along well with the general atmosphere of the show. But the fan service some of us are complaining about is the type that's usually unfitting, distracting, and in most cases cheapening the otherwise deep and tasteful anime. If you get what I mean.
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Originally Posted by Qikz View Post
This for me too, so sad Working, Mayoi Neko Overrun, Angel beats and Arakawa are already over.
In the case of Basilisk and Gunslinger Girl I had to force my self into the mood and bring my self to start watching whatever was next on my to-be-watched list. Otherwise, I would've probably spent my entire life waiting to gte back in mood, heh. (judging by the animes you listed here, I don't think you really felt sorry for me, and my gory examples :P)

Anoo .. Ojisan-tachi (Mushi-san to Bexo-ojisan ): I really hope you don't pay attention to that loser who left you these comments. Not that it's any of my business, I just wanted to say that I personally think the older cast is adding a touch of richness to this place - I'm sure the same can't be said about your negrepper, and that your posts are always something to look forward to. Again, not that anyone asked for my opinion (lol), but I don't see how age has anything to do with appreciating drama, action, cuteness, or whatever poeple seek in anime.
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Last edited by Samurai dono; 2010-06-29 at 18:24.
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Old 2010-06-29, 17:45   Link #82
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Originally Posted by zette View Post
This. I hate how it's almost impossible to tell someone who is not an anime fan that you like anime without them going 'lol nerd'.
So what? There's nothing wrong with that. Wear the badge of nerdery with pride. Or badge of geekery with pride. Point is, all of us are into Japanese cartoons that vary from reality on anywhere from a mild to wild basis, and it's a part of who we are. Take nerd not as an insult, but as a compliment. For are we all not nerdy about something in our lives, wanting to understand and seize it to its best, regardless of what anyone thinks about us?

I am Midonin.
I am an anime nerd.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.
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Old 2010-06-29, 18:11   Link #83
GuidoHunter_Toki
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One thing I hate about Anime is that it lacks the use of certain animation techniques that make animation more life-like and pleasurable to the eyes.

1)Well the first thing I'll point out is really more an opinion on style than anything else. Anime tends to use a style which has sharp and jagged lines as oppossed to smooth and curvy. Although details presented through the use of sharp lines stands out very easily and is easier for the viewer to distinguish it makes things look very unnatural. This allows anime to be more easily produced compared to the smooth/curvy american Western/traditional style. The sharp and jagged lines make things seem very unnatural. That causes your eyes to focus on it and also gives this artificial-feeling to anime that some people seem to like, but in my opinion, it designates anime as a lesser form of animation.

2)Sometimes in anime you will see little lines sparked across the screen when a character's expression changes suddenly or some form of action is taking
place. These lines are called "action lines". The action should speak for itself and not need some fancy lines to guide the way for its viewers. It should be able to grab the attention of the viewers by itself.

In more traditonal forms of animation there is a technique called anticipation. What this does is warn the viewer's mind before hand that a certain action is about to take place so it can register in the viewer's mind before it actually happens. If you watch American animation, you'll notice that often times a character may anticipate that he's going to be hit in the face by reacting before he's actually hit. Or he may anticipate that he's going to break into a run by stepping backwards first. However, the anticipation technique is usually very subtle when you're watching it because it blends so seamlessly and naturally with the animation.

3)Path of action. This usually has to do with where a character starts out,
where he should end up, and how he will get there. I really haven't seen this technique performed well in anime. The big reason behind this is that traditional animation uses a technique where the motion of things (good examples being hands and feet) moves in curves. This is usually impossible to do with Japanese animation because of its use of sharp and jagged lines; you have less freedom in movement without contorting the character's body into some unrealistic shape. On the other end curved motion makes the animation seem very fluid and natural(animated).

One may also also notice that in Western styled animation, the time frame of action tends to be parabolic ( the action starts out slow and gets faster
until it slows down again). This makes the animation seem very smooth and appealing to the eyes, increasing the percieved sense of realism.

4)Squash and stretch. This adds a rubber-effect to the animation. When a force acts upon a body of mass, it either expands it or squeezes it. This makes the object seem real, solid and three dimensional, since the physical reaction conveys weight and mass. Unfortunately, to use this technique, one must work with a roundish body of mass. This means that you can't use it with drawings based off those jagged lines usually found in anime.

So anime is a very restrictive style of animation. Also it comes across as a very extreme form of limited animation.

In anime, when one character is speaking, everything else on the screen will appear as if it has been frozen in time. The other characters will stand in the
background like zombies. Even in the American versions of limited animation, you will often see that animators still pay attention to small details. Take a closer look and you will see characters blink their eyes and fidget in the background of a regular cartoon. Nobody really notices this when they see it, however the absence of it looks painstakingly clear in anime. Once again, animation is all about movement; even small movements add to the sense of realism.

Since this is getting kind of long I'll just leave it at that for now, but I was also going to tackle the lack of variety in facial expressions and the poor use of body posture to convey emotion.
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Old 2010-06-29, 18:55   Link #84
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Restrictive maybe in a technical sense... But how about creative sense?

I assume all these limitations exist only to cut costs? If the animation process requires far less resource, then far more ideas have a shot at being made into an animation, including risky and unconvenctional ideas that noone would be willing to spend a lot of money on to see if it becomes popular. So there are two sides to the coin.

A very nice analysis on your part though. I have never even realised any of these things. Except I have thought about how ridiculously few lines manga style can use, and wether it was to conserve the time spent drawing.
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Old 2010-06-29, 20:17   Link #85
Divini
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I hate how a good amount of anime have 'rushed' endings. It doesn't have anything to do with running out of source material or having a limited # of episodes or w/e, I feel that w/e their circumstance they can do much better. It's especially infuriating when said anime has a really good plot; the ending ruins it.
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Old 2010-06-29, 22:12   Link #86
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
HAH! I was called a "dirty old man" by one pathetic little anon negrep for showing interest in one series. Seems we have at least one "age prejudiced" little lamer in the shadows
I've always pictured you as Animesuki's cool old guy.

Anyway, look on the bright side: have you ever had a pointless anon negrep that actually had a noticeable impact on your rep? Think of it as mathematical proof that the little troll’s opinion matters less than yours.

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Originally Posted by Mushi View Post
Well, I was trying to address the issue of fanservice, since that seems to be a common thing to "hate." You had mentioned that specifically in a way that seemed to be exclusive. So, the phrase that came to mind was "refined tastes."
I actually think you can fit moe shows into “refined” and “unrefined” categories too, but I always hesitate to give examples because I spend enough time arguing about moe over the internet with people outside the fandom… I don’t need to sow discord within it. fellow moe fans. I will, however, submit that fans of Horo and Matsuri Shihou have exquisite taste.

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Originally Posted by james0246 View Post
What's not to like about anime? It's an incredibly imaginative medium that is only limited by its innovators (and of course socio-economic issues). About the only thing negative that can be said about the medium, is the fact (or at least my opinion) that animated drama will never equal live-action drama (and this is mostly due to the whole valley thing (that is not to say that voice actors/directors/etc cannot help to bridge this gap somewhat)). Besides that, though, anime/animation is filled with amazing potential that, while squandered at times, offers endless entertainment and sometimes more.
I don't think that animated drama can equal live action drama for realism, but sometimes that's not the goal.

I remember one of the more sophisticated analyzes of moe that I've read referenced the biological concept (and yes, it appear in nature) of a "supernormal response" - basically, a response to an imitation that is similar to but stronger than a response to the real thing. I would submit that this concept is useful for explaining not just moe, but quite a few of the other attractions people have to anime as well.
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Old 2010-06-30, 08:19   Link #87
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Originally Posted by GuidoHunter_Toki View Post
Since this is getting kind of long I'll just leave it at that for now, but I was also going to tackle the lack of variety in facial expressions and the poor use of body posture to convey emotion.
You should continue. What you're saying is interesting, and I agree. Is this something you can see in every show [aka, including movies like Summer Wars or some other well-animated movies/shows] or is it just most anime?
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Old 2010-06-30, 12:13   Link #88
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I too would liked to know if GuidoHunter was talking about all anime in general or just most anime in general.

I have never compared western animation to anime and I am not so sure is Guido Hunter comparing wertern animation or western cartoons to anime....

You could start new topic with an article about this, if you just have time and nerve GuidoHunter_Toki. I would read it.
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Old 2010-06-30, 12:41   Link #89
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Originally Posted by Midonin View Post
So what? There's nothing wrong with that. Wear the badge of nerdery with pride. Or badge of geekery with pride. Point is, all of us are into Japanese cartoons that vary from reality on anywhere from a mild to wild basis, and it's a part of who we are. Take nerd not as an insult, but as a compliment. For are we all not nerdy about something in our lives, wanting to understand and seize it to its best, regardless of what anyone thinks about us?
My main complaint is not so much of the nerd label itself, but rather, the fact that people would shun anime and miss out on this amazing form of media just because of some terribly skewed public opinion that it's only for nerds or children. I suppose though that that's not something I hate about anime, but rather people in general.
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Old 2010-06-30, 13:45   Link #90
Mushi
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Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
I remember one of the more sophisticated analyzes of moe that I've read referenced the biological concept (and yes, it appear in nature) of a "supernormal response" - basically, a response to an imitation that is similar to but stronger than a response to the real thing. I would submit that this concept is useful for explaining not just moe, but quite a few of the other attractions people have to anime as well.
I like the "supernormal response" explanation, myself (yes, I've read the essay you mentioned). Never thought about it much outside of moe, though. But now that you mention it, I recall one of my personally most favorite "memorable scenes." It's from Air when Yukito jumps into the stream to play with Misuzu. She's completely surprised and starts prancing around in the water out of delight.



That's a scene that could easily be re-created with live action, but there's a truly magical something that comes from the artistic medium of anime that a live action version could never capture... in my mind, at least.

Thanks for pointing that out.
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Old 2010-06-30, 14:33   Link #91
Vexx
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Mushi's example is a fine one of the *impressionism* style possible in anime that live-action never really duplicates --- we also see it in the anime 5cm/second at times and many other examples. Major elements also can use "surrealism" in ways difficult to do in live-action (though the new film Inception and the original Matrix used surrealism to good effect).

Scenes like that hit the brain at a very base, evoking major responses (unless you're dead or too inexperienced/stupid I guess ).

Much like any other medium though... for every scene that catches the heart like the one Mushi notes... there's nearly a dozen that just look amateurish or boorishly hacked. That's just the "10% rule" of Sturgeon at work and I suppose something to lament about anime.

I just love the reaction of people when I show them what anime is capable of and watch it collide with their negative preconceptions.
"People usually see what they want to see, that which confirms their predisposed opinion or makes them comfortable with those opinions ... "

Last edited by Vexx; 2010-06-30 at 14:52.
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Old 2010-06-30, 15:08   Link #92
GuidoHunter_Toki
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Originally Posted by Vantek View Post
Restrictive maybe in a technical sense... But how about creative sense?
From a creative sense? Well I was just voicing my somewhat disliking of the technical aspects commonly found in anime, but as for the creative side any animation can instill creativity. My overall thesis is basically that I believe traditional animation nurtures what is most important to its art form, the animation itself and that anime (due to a wide variety of reasons) lacks many times in that department.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanBlue View Post
You should continue. What you're saying is interesting, and I agree. Is this something you can see in every show [aka, including movies like Summer Wars or some other well-animated movies/shows] or is it just most anime?
Quote:
Originally Posted by janipani View Post
I too would liked to know if GuidoHunter was talking about all anime in general or just most anime in general.

I have never compared western animation to anime and I am not so sure is Guido Hunter comparing wertern animation or western cartoons to anime....
I'm basically comparing the traditional style/techniques of animation to the styles/techniques generally used in anime. You may as well call it the West vs the East I guess since the West is where many of the techniques I'm speaking of are most prominent, of course they have been used in many other countries (all depends on the studio/artists decision).

As for whether I was refering to all anime, no I wasn't, just the vast majority of anime. There are anime out there that break from the medium's usual style/techniques (Miyazaki's works being the best example), as there are Western shows that do as well. There are many deciding factors that come into this, like budget/cutting costs, the artistic style of the sudio/artist, and tradition in that medium.

Since people want me to continue I will, but I'll state one more point before moving. I don't want people to think I'm self-righteous about my statements. If I come across as so, don't take it personal as I'm probably just caught up in my own rant/anaylsis/beliefs.


Anyways I'll probably post about other points at a later time, but for now I'll tackle the idea of why? Why do these techniques rarely appear in anime and why do certain restrictions seem prominent. Well the obvious thing would be budget, but I believe it could be a lot more than just that.

As I stated before (I think) animation is about movement; the smallest movements can add to the sense of realism. I sometimes get the impression that only traditional animators (the West/America if you want to label it as such) seem to understand the importance of such a concept. Maybe this is due to many of the old-time animators growing up in an era when all animation had to be drawn again and again by each individual frame. It was a time-consuming and endearing task, which's only worth was from the stisfaction one felt with the final product. It seems as though there is a self-imposed level of quality that Western animators expect from themselves. They give me the impression that they understand that animation is not just about telling a story; it's about bringing it to life.


That bolded statement above is a firm belief I hold in animation.
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Old 2010-06-30, 15:12   Link #93
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^Kind of a side point, but I've always thought that Anime is very good at "emotional realism"...

@Vexx: Buñuel, Fellini, Lynch, Gondry, Anger, Jodorowsky and several other would like to talk to you about how Surrealism doesn't work as well in live-action...

Additionally, Gance, Epstein and Dulac would like to talk to you about how Impressionism doesn't work as well in live-action...

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Old 2010-06-30, 15:45   Link #94
Vexx
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Originally Posted by james0246 View Post
^Kind of a side point, but I've always thought that Anime is very good at "emotional realism"...

@Vexx: Buñuel, Fellini, Lynch, Gondry, Anger, Jodorowsky and several other would like to talk to you about how Surrealism doesn't work as well in live-action...

Additionally, Gance, Epstein and Dulac would like to talk to you about how Impressionism doesn't work as well in live-action...

Yes, and I credit their work especially with the primitive tools many were working with in the 20th C. ... but I think animation can do it better
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Old 2010-06-30, 16:15   Link #95
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Yes, and I credit their work... but I think animation can do it better
Blasphemy! Despite the best works of Oshii, Anno, Kon, Shinbo, Amano, etc, none have matched the sheer majesty of Buñuel or Fellini images, let alone the brilliance of Lynch or Anger (okay, maybe Kon is getting there, and some of the early Oshii is definitely up there)...

Sorry, got carried away there....

Seriously though, animation can create greater fantastical landscapes, there is no doubt in my mind of that, but surrealism isn't just about the "fantastical". It's about the absence of control brought about by reason; it’s about the functioning of thought; it’s about the joining of 2 different realities to create a new reality. Animation is simply too controlled, too scripted/storyboarded, and too edited in its presentation to represent the truest forms of surrealism...of course, this is all personal opinion, and I will not hate you if you disagree .
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Old 2010-06-30, 17:07   Link #96
Vexx
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I'll see you one dream and raise you a taco-powered mah jong loli. (but we're derailing the thread methinks) so I'll lament that anime *could* do this sort of thing more often and doesn't. In fact, fear of risk seems to dominate the industry in today's economy so the risks I see taken are on the "micro" level (little moments within a series).
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Old 2010-06-30, 17:14   Link #97
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key word is *could*.... it's so easy to talk up the "potential" of anime, while so hard to actually get people to put those words into action. when something mildly inventive like sarai-ya goyou airs, it's mostly ignored...after a look at what makes the popular series subforums...I somehow doubt more shounen or moe garbage is going to convert the mainstream about the potential of anime.

of course..most of the original Japanese market anime is kids, teens, or teenage-minded adults (otakus) anyways, so I suppose it's not much revenue lost. for the non-otaku older viewers who aren't interested in squealing how moe a character is or giving pet nicknames to the exposed skin under a girl's skirt, you have a bare few directors like Satoshi Kon actually delivering valuable stories in the medium. but as long as the expectation from the actual audience is that minimal, I'm not sure how many preconceptions can be expected to disappear.
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Old 2010-06-30, 17:21   Link #98
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i hate a lot of things about anime.
like calling your attacks, repeatedly calling each other's names, and a huge number of other things that can be summed up as "the use of cliches/tropes".
off the top of my head...
hate it when a character starts a metaphoric monologue, that makes little to no sense, but the other characters listen in silence like they were hearing the best news ever or something.
example, that i made up.
"the mind is like a blooming flower under the moonlight. when the moon is replaced by the sun, the mind dies like the flower that gets burnt by the scorching rays of the sun. "
***if that example made sense, that was NOT my intention. just in case, you know.
another thing i hate is how stupid everyone generally acts in anime, especially romantic comedies and dramas *cough*ef-*cough*. characters are wondering what to do for 24 eps, when the solution was right in front of his nose, if only he'd used LOGIC.
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Old 2010-06-30, 19:00   Link #99
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I mainly don't like two things about anime. One is not resolving something for characters or storyline if there was development throughout the anime. The other thing I dislike is rushed endings which is self explanatory.
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Old 2010-07-01, 00:15   Link #100
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A lot has been said suddenly - which is prompting me to state my stance and to justify it. A fair bit of this is going to be some form of rebuttal to GuidoHunter_Toki. While I appreciate what you're trying to say, that you've established a good argument and you've got your reasons for saying it - I don't agree with it.

From the outset, I want to state that what I'm about to say should not be interpreted as being right or the only way. This is merely my opinion. Take from it what you will.

The state of animation has changes substaintially in the last 15 years. In the 60s, manga and anime styles were very round and loosely defined. More shape and detail filtered in onto the 80s, while darker lines and shadings became definitions of 90s styles. In the 00s, a very 'less is more' approach - somewhat out of financial constraints - is now predominant. But in all honesty - I don't have that big a problem with that. There were two aspects of the heavier definition of of the 90s styles that really irked me. Firstly, the overemphasis on lighting - particularly with shadows/different parts of characters bodies. It wasn't well defined at all. You could have some sections looking ridiculously dark compared to the rest and not well defined at all. The scratchy rubbings used to denote blushing, raised eyebrows, anger, etc. - they felt rather archaic. And the other thing was the skin tones - I didn't like them at all. Skin with either so red it looked utterly sunburnt or a creepy, pasty white it looked almost corpse-like. And there was a real flurry of oily skin textures around then - I really resented them. They seemed to turn the wonder that is the human body into a monstrosity. Watching cels looking like they're drenched in baby oil was rather off-putting. Those seemed to go with the heavily shadowed, over-defined style while the overly wispy cels got the pasty white treatment.

So not seeing those aspects in the 00s doesn't give me any problems at all. But I would agree that a great deal of series are missing in detail sometimes, particularly with faces. And that in a lot of more generic series, it is virulent. However, I'm fairly certain that's more to do with a lot of series being designed to fill time slots and not to create a fanbase. That is the purpose of a reasonable proportion of anime in Japan - which is rather sad, but that's life. It's the equivalent of B-grade or C-grade shows filling up non-prime time TV slots in the West. And I'm sure the majority of them will employ the lesser detail for that reason.

I'm sure K-ON! would definitely be one example that people will fire up readily as a more successful, intentional example of that lesser detail style. But after I think about it somewhat, I think the shift has been necessary - to a point. I think we've gone too far in the other direction somewhat, but that such a change hasn't been as negative as some people think. Sometimes too much detail can make a character look too serious, too corny, etc. But on the other hand, losing detail too much creates a medium with its own restrctions, where expression of emotion and the like would become much harder. There needs to be a middle ground.

I think the lessening of detail has allowed more variety in some ways. The very abstract, grim nature of the animation in The Tatami Galaxy is rather intriguing - it suits the series and its abnormal ways. It amplifies the feeling of emptiness and regret. It feels very adult - no wonder it's in the noitaminA time slot. House of Five Leaves comes from a manga-ka who used a very weird art style - drawing the characters in a very bizzare, macarbe way. But because the story is so twisted and devious, it suits the characters as they exist in a world with beautiful, detailed backgrounds, but they themselves are not really so, which is appropriate. Yet in Ristorante Paradiso, that artstyle became something that instilled a refined, antiquated atmosphere to go with the elderly spectacled men that Nicoletta worked around. Again - overt detail would not have worked here. Other examples I could forward is the mosaic clothes style of Gankutsuoh and the baroque, surreal vibe it invoked. Or the minimalist style of Shin Takahashi used in Saikano that suited its war-torn setting and the hell that came with it. And we might as well acknowledge moe series. They rely on less detail to invoke a younger, more innocent vibe to generate the atmosphere and feelings associated with moe.

I.e. There are times when highly detailed character cels are required and there are times less detail is more appropriate. The degree of detail should go with the style of the series and what it is trying to portray/achieve. I also get the feeling there's a correlation between detail and age of the character - than a younger character gets less detail than adults because they are less developed. Detail seems to instill growth/maturity more while the lack of it equates to purity and innocence in some ways.

There needs to be some straying from the norm - otherwise the status quo will prevail, anime won't evolve with changing times and the industry goes belly-up because people will grow tired of the same old, same old. Hmm, that's already happening, I think.

All that said - I do love good aesthetics. Mushishi, Aria, Sora no Woto and Garden of Sinners are my visual stunners. But I wouldn't like them if that was all I liked about them. There's got to be a good story and a worthy cast of characters steering it to make me want to watch it.

Onto the East vs West side of the argument - I think the one thing that needs to be taken into consideration is both sides of the coin have their pros and cons. Certainly in terms of being fluid and more life-like, sometimes detail as well - the West has the advantage. But I think the East has the upper hand in variety of content and its strength. The West mainly funnels out stuff tailor-made for the kids. The equation of animation = cartoon still holds sway in the West - there are series here and there being oriented towards young adults, but they're not that common and they're still somewhat comedic in look and approach. I'm not saying the East doesn't do these things - they do. Animation = cartoon holds sway there too. What I do find is you have a better chance of finding a more mature/different series within anime than you do in the west. And the East is willing to make ero material of it while the West wouldn't really go there. Each realm has their own restrictions based on their style and approach to the medium. Honestly, I was an absolute sucker for the Looney Tunes and still am. But I think that was the West's best days, honestly. Everything is too cutesy, clean and censored these days. Heck, even the Simpsons had a fair few episodes deemed unfit to air at normal times. Mind you, the almost-animation style of the Sin City movie was delish. On a side note, Hanamaru Kindergarten seemed to employ those styles you prefer. But here's a problem - roundness creates youthfulness. Trust me - I'm 29 but most people think I'm early 20s. It's the roundness that tricks them. If it happens in real life, it's bound to happen in animation. Agreed, some series employ WAY too jagged lines you could cut rock-hard cheese with, but the other option has its own restrictions and drawbacks too.

Now here is a point will be on the complete opposite side of GHT. I'm not watch anime for realism, most of the time. No freaking way! If I want a portrayl of reality, it would be a series like Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. Satoshi Kon, one of the masters of the medium, once said that 'The women in anime don't exist in reality.' That probably applies to the men a lot as well. The characters in these series are designed to either be larger than life, soft as anything to draw you in or colder than ice to make you shiver in fascination. They aren't desinged to be real. If you tried to animate reality, it wouldn't be as interesting. Furthermore, I think there's a necessity to always have a disinction between animation and reality. If you try to mimic reality too much, you're killing the magic of the medium that is anime. It is meant to be a temporary escape from reality. The directors know that. What they want is for people to know that distinction and to not want those unrealistic characters or worlds to be real (aka the darker side of otaku and hikikomori obsession). You can't beat the real thing and I don't want animation to get to the point it can mimic reality to a T. I want that line that separates the two to remain and hold. There is a magic you get from anime because you know it isn't real - that means the rules of reality are not there to restrict the possibilities! One of the golden rules of being an author is that there are no rules. You need to have that ability to think outside the square and dare to dream. otherwise the moment you restrict yourself, you're really restraining what you can accomplish, but furthermore, what you can enjoy.

A friend of mine who is an author used to write what she wanted to write. With her second fantasy trilogy, she got her breakthrough and began to get her sales. However, she admitted that within that trlilogy, she had already begun to make massive compromises. She was told to take away aspects of what she wanted to write and replace them with what she knew would sell. Her next trilogy became almost purely material designed to sell and I couldn't read her work anymore. Her flair was still there but she had long conceded that few people get to write/create the way they want to. And within the anime industry, that holds true. if you're there to make money, you've got to make something that sells. And that will mean tailor-designing something to hit the fanbases's wallets and rake that cash in. So it's no wonder that series like K-ON! and Railgun get the sales. The ones that want it get what they want and pay up. That's a grim reality of the industry. Unless you're Miyazaki, Mamoru Hosoda, Satoshi Kon, Makoto Shinkai, Mamoru Oshii or someone else established at that level, you'll have to compromise aspiration with financial reality, unless a studio is really willing to take a major gamble with something different and daring. But in times of recession - especially a nearly 2 decade long one for Japan - that isn't going to happen much.

An aspect of this industry that riles me is the major targetting towards kids. But as I said, target the money audience - and there is no more profitable age group than the younger kids. Less picky, willing to try most things. Hosoda knew it and Summer Wars has gotten him the money because it's for the kids. Miyazaki will willingly admit he despises adults/humanity and that he only likes kids. That was the whole point of Porco Rosso - the pig was him and lived out his love of planes, that time in history and his continual fascination with a young female protagonist. I don't have a problem with that, though - I did like that one. Spirited Away and Kiki's Delivery Service were brilliant. What I do have a problem with is what seems to have become more apparent with Miyazaki's attitude post-Spirited Away - that attitude has grown more severe. And he is really beginning to preach - he changed Howl's Moving Castle to include a war into the core of the story. There was no war in the original novel from the 19th century...Yet Miyazaki can get away with it because of who he is. It was still a decent film but to have that much time spent preaching about the stupidity of war - well, Miyazaki, I think most people on the planet have the brains to know that war is one of the worst things humanity is capable of. People don't like being preached to. He was able to convey a message without preaching in the 80s and 90s but in the 00s, I think he lost that ability somewhat. I'm worried Hosoda might trade in his values, which would be a crying shame. I sincerely hope he doesn't. If the two biggest directors in the industry will only market to kids, then that really does send a message to adults out there that animation may not be for them. Because big names will make an impression based on their material and actions.

On the side of maintaining values so far, that would certainly describe Kon and Shinkai. Kon has always maintained that the true horrors of the world lie within humanity and he's done it well. He's never made a dud title and awlays aims to make a quality one. He sells enough to afford to keep aiming fopr quality but not at the numbers Miyazaki or Hosoda do. Same for Shinkai - master of the realm of young love and the agony & ecstacy of longing for the one you love. Heck, this guy was able to outdo the quality of most studios with a simple computer and Flash with his first title. What does that tell you about the industry?! Oshii I gradually warmed to - he won me over with The Sky Crawlers. This was what I wanted to see - a message without preaching. He told a story full of grimness, surreal beauty, delusion and the like, but subtly wove a message to the industry and otaku. It wasn't the type of message every viewer would get and some found the movie too slow, but I found it a very harrowing yet heartening film. There was a guy who was still willign to fight for what he believed in and the industry. He had the balls to say what needed to be said and didn't care about the financial setbacks that may have come with it. That is the spirit and passion the industry needs more of.

In the end, this is what I believe in:

1. Challenge me - Make me believe/want to see something I normally wouldn't have thought to be interesting/worthy of a series/hasn't been done before. Those series/movies always end up the top of my lists.

2. Bring quality, not a cash cow.

3. There are no rules. Don't let reality or cultural clashes restrict what you can do! That said, following the law and morality within the constraints of society is something worth doing.

4. There is more than one way to do something. Have an open mind. Don't write off a series or movie for its genre or whatever. Otherwise you could miss out of something special and never know it.

I've said a lot and I think I've said about everything I can think of. Once again, this is merely my opinion. Take from it what you will. Frankly, I think anime is an amazing medium that still fascinates me today and has since I was 5. As in any industry, there are flaws and concerns. Hopefully the nurturing of talent and creativity will continue and there won't be one predominant style or approach that ends up being the only way. I will continue to approach the medium with and open mind and see what Japanese culture has to offer. This is a Japanese medium - I don't want it to be too similar to the West's ways of doing things. Its distinct differences gives anime the edge that makes it worth watching.

Peace.
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