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Old 2008-11-21, 20:43   Link #21
Sides
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fipskuul View Post
Interestingly, I doubt anyone interested in watching anime be a non-escapist. And that would make Japan as one of the most-escapist nations in the world.
Sounds stupid, but since the walkman was introduced back at the early 80s, more and more people are trying to create small private spaces around them, isolating themselves from others. So yeah seeing images with people either poking on their handhelds, mobie phones or ipods, i would say bigger cities in japan and other cities worldwide have alot of escape-artists ^^.
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Old 2008-11-21, 21:53   Link #22
SOJC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fipskuul View Post
Doesn't that depend on what you watch on TV? And, yet, anime is a part of watching TV.
True...very true indeed.

Allow me to be more specific with my words...
Anyone interested in watching any fictional programme on TV could be described as an escapist, which I believe still includes a large proportion of the people in developed nations fall into...

Why should anime viewers be considered escapist when people who watch dramas/films aren't generally considered escapist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sides
Sounds stupid, but since the walkman was introduced back at the early 80s, more and more people are trying to create small private spaces around them, isolating themselves from others.
I agree with that 100%, I realised that when I have MP3 Player in, I barely nod to greet people or even look at people, it's quite sad really...
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Old 2008-11-21, 21:54   Link #23
Urzu 7
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It seems escapism does happen very much in developed nations, but a lot of it is mild. Casual viewing of TV, reading a book when one can, listening to music in ones down time, and playing video games frequently, but not excessively are leisurely activities which are mild escapism, I'd say.

Now, escapism can be more than mild, but still good and healthy, or not a thing that hinders you in real life. I think it seems many here fit in this category. Then there is the severe type of escapism, which can cause problems for people in life.

I'm friendly; not very out going, but sociable. Being engaged with people is important and healthy. I take care of my responsibilities and I have a firm footing in the real world. But I do indeed take part in escapism. I watch TV casually, and read here and there. I like to listen to music in my downtime, and I play video games often, but not excessively. I like to watch anime, but I haven't watched much anime this year, but in general I watch a good amount of it. Really, I'm like a lot of westerners and Japanese in these regards. A pretty normal and acceptable amount of escapism, with some things millions of people take part in (TV viewing, reading, music, and video games). There are millions of anime fans around the world, as well.

So a lot of my escapism, I don't even really call it that; they are common forms of entertainment and leisurely activities that I keep in check, and that is the important thing, keeping it all in check.

My greatest form of escapism comes from fantasies. I like to indulge in fantasies at times. However, I don't engage in them when working, doing tasks and chores, and engaging with others and socializing. Sometimes I day dream a little, but I try not to let it deter me too much from this thing or that thing. Usually when I fantasize it is in complete down time when I don't have to engage with any individuals or socialize or focus on any work or responsibilities. Like I said earlier, it is good to 'indulge responsibly'.
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Old 2008-11-21, 22:13   Link #24
Theowne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fipskuul View Post
Interestingly, I doubt anyone interested in watching anime be a non-escapist. And that would make Japan as one of the most-escapist nations in the world.
Well, the majority of Japanese aren't exactly into anime. But there is that phenomenon of hikkikomori which is escapist in a different way (at least, compared to my earlier statement).

Anyways, I think there should be a distinction between entertainment and escapism. It's true that developed nations have a bigger market for "entertainment" inherently, but that's not necessarily escapism. Any piece of fictional content isn't immediately "escapist" in the way we are discussing. Like, for example, "Friends". Most people just come home and watch it for some laughs and entertainment - it isn't really "escapist" in any serious way.
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Old 2008-11-21, 23:07   Link #25
u43368
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I do what I need to do, but aside from that, I avoid most interactions through reading or whatever. Blame it on my misanthropy.
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Old 2008-11-22, 08:43   Link #26
Liddo-kun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
You're referring somewhat to what some folks call "toxic personalities". The kind that suck all the happiness out of a room with their negativity.

One should do one's best to cut those sorts out of your life. Life too short to waste on them. Note I don't mean *challenging* personalities but the vampires that sap your wai. My mother happens to be one of those ... over the years, I've constructed a very well-defined few paths that I interact with her on -- and cut short the others.
Thank you for clarifying, I wasn't able to explain it very clearly on my post.

"Challenging" personality isn't really a problem for me, I would refer to those people as simply having a different way of doing things than I do. And even if there's conflict at first I usually find a way to get along with them.

"Toxic personality" on the other hand, is just as you described and is exactly what I have for company at work on Sundays. Even if there's no conflict, the pessimistic talk drains my enthusiasm so I have no choice but to avoid talking with that said person. And that's where escapism (daydreaming a little at a comfortable chair away from her) comes in handy, as long as there's no work that needs my attention of course.

Last edited by Liddo-kun; 2008-11-22 at 12:04.
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Old 2011-04-16, 11:25   Link #27
roriconfan
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Something is usually considered quality material when it talks to you in some form or another. Many shows we like usually have something we understand, sympathize with, and even relate to. That is why some say that true art always imitates life. It may be fiction but it is still based on real facts that help us identify with.

But there is another form of art; that of shallow entertainment and escapism. This form does not try to tell anything, does not try to provide catharsis and does not try to be doing anything other than making you stare at a screen like a zombie, laughing like an idiot.

Anime are like that; we have titles of both kinds.
A title can be based on real events, such as Grave of the Fireflies, which is showing the tragic side of war amongst the civilian victims. This one can be seen as a way to feel bad about wars even if it is not based on real life characters, despite it is very easy to imagine there were many like the two kids in that film.
A title can also be based on an existing lifestyle. Genshiken for example is showing how an otaku really thinks and acts, despite the occasional positive light under which everything is presented. It is still heavily based on real facts and does provide insight and entertainment.

The above examples are series were art imitates life in order to provide a link with the viewer. But there is also the other kind, when it’s the viewer who makes the connection to the series. Most date-sim adaptations for example are far from realistic, they play out very conveniently around ideal characters and ideal situations. Such shows have a great appeal as well but not by telling the viewer anything. They just manipulate his emotions and even his critical thought in order to be sucked in a completely unreal world that doesn’t have something to relate to but in the contrary to be something you would wish it could have in real life so you could relate to.

This is where the term escapism comes into play; the form of entertainment when you feel nice when relating to things that don’t exist as such. This is when life imitates art and reality turns to fiction. Various fads form out of this, such as the dance in Suzumiya Haruhi or people walking around with Naruto ninja headbands. Although one can still find things to relate to even in such shows, to the most part it is a form of brainwashing, a marketing trick to form opinions and milking wallets. And I hate it.

What made me create this thread is not so much the milking part as much as the hypocrisy part. Back when the Two Towers were destroyed, many rushed to digitally erase them from various films. The excuse was so not to disturb the viewers and prevent them from enjoying the film. What kind of a retarded idea is this? The towers existed. They were there when the film was made. Pretending they never did just so we can wow at some fictional superhero beating villains in that city is nothing but escapism to a fictional dimension where the Two Towers never existed.

The same thing was done recently with the tsunami that hit Japan. Many anime and games that featured tsunamis were censored or removed entirely. As if looking at anything that resembles a tsunami will immediately make the viewers be disappointed for reminding them of reality. So just for milking reasons they replace volcanoes and tsunamis and earthquakes with cat girls and maids and they expect us to stare like sheep at the screen, lost completely in a world of fads and unreal events.

Some claim that art-imitates-life works are nothing but pretentious works where the author is trying to tell you stuff and thus it’s nothing but propaganda, even one with good intensions. Others will say life-imitates-art works are true entertainment and if they wanted to watch realism, they could just stare at the evening news. Although that is true as well, I prefer when I am told how the director or the author feel about their works and not when they are telling me that a person with an extra set of ears popping out of his head is considered sexy, while fat girls with non-squeaky voices are ugly. Plus, not even news reports are that realistic; everything is filtered to be presented as the executives feel like it. They can present a genocide as the best thing after slice bread or even as necessary evil and demand from the viewer to forgive the atrocity. And I don’t like that.

I really like it when I see a series or a movie, where the makers are trying to show something personal. Something that relates to their unique thoughts and their individual worldviews. I dislike it when they are just going for mass appeal and fire away one cliché after another, all based on so-called public demand, all recycled again and again with zero experimentation, aiming at quick bucks and no depth or innovation. There is no value in such shows yet they usually score more in sales than more personal works.

The industry is currently afraid to experiment because of the economic recession, lowered birthrate and high piracy rate. They just rehash the same stuff to the most part, aiming at the otakus who will buy something as long as it is escapistic enough to make them forget how most of them don’t have a job or a real girlfriend/boyfriend. That is a cancer, a bog, a dead end.

I hate it when life-imitates-art so much.

Last edited by roriconfan; 2011-04-17 at 02:26.
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Old 2011-04-16, 11:36   Link #28
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roriconfan View Post
I really like it when I see a series or a movie, where the makers are trying to show something personal. Something that relates to their unique thoughts and their individual worldviews. I dislike it when they are just going for mass appeal and fire away one cliché after another, all based on so-called public demand, all recycled again and again with zero experimentation, aiming at quick bucks and no depth or innovation. There is no value in such shows yet they usually score more in sales than more personal works.

The industry is currently afraid to experiment because of the economic recession, lowered birthrate and high piracy rate. They just rehash the same stuff to the most part, aiming at the otakus who will buy something as long as it is escapistic enough to make them forget how most of them don’t have a job or a real girlfriend/boyfriend. That is a cancer, a bog, a dead end.

I hate it when life-imitates-art so much.
I don't know, this season has been going pretty well so far. 2010 and 2009 were mostly clichéd stuff, but this season has been much better...
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Old 2011-04-16, 21:31   Link #29
Otaku Guy
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I don't think there is anything wrong with being an escapist. If you want to take a break from the cruel world of reality and slip away into something you see as bliss I don't see anything wrong with that. Does it turn people into hikkikomori? Thats possible but regardless of the matter people do what they gotta do, anybody interfering with that fact is just a jerk =/

Last edited by Otaku Guy; 2011-04-17 at 10:01.
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Old 2011-04-16, 22:11   Link #30
Lost Cause
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My own form of escapism is just letting my imagination run rampant from time to time. What fuels it is usually a good anime, video game, or movie that I'm really into and then I usually wind up writing a fanfic, mostly just to get the idea out of my head.
As to "toxic personalities" I too try to avoid them as they are generally a "downer"! But if they press their ideals on me I try to make a happy occasion out of it by offering opinions, or possibly a viewpoint that might help them out of their dilema.
There's nothing wrong with escapism or a healthy imagination, as long as you have one foot solidly in reality! And I don't watch much tv anymore, what they call entertainment these days is just too silly.
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