AnimeSuki Forums

Register Forum Rules FAQ Members List Social Groups Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   AnimeSuki Forum > Anime Related Topics > General Anime

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 2011-08-19, 15:12   Link #21
Flawfinder
Loves the Experience
 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Earth...hopefully
When it comes to making a series, pandering and unoriginality are unavoidable complaints. However, that doesn't change the fact that if your series doesn't do anything to stand out from other series, even within its genre, then it's not considered a good series. For me, entertaining or stand-out characters is what I mostly look for in fiction, let alone anime. If a series doesn't have anything to make it different from other series, then what's the point in seeing it?

Concerning the issue of otaku-pandering shows outseliing the exotic fare, it's true that the audience and the timing is very important. However, I still stand by the saying that a show shouldn't just give the audience what it wants, but what the audience doesn't know it wants. That's why there were huge gaps in DVD sales between Madoka Magica and other generic series. Hourou Musuko...yeah, I don't know why it didn't sell, but then again, I never watched it.
__________________

My Awesome Anime Blog: Standing On My Neck
Flawfinder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 15:17   Link #22
Triple_R
Center Attraction
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Age: 33
Send a message via AIM to Triple_R
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post

I think that "unoriginality" mostly means that the critic is familiar with similar story elements from another work. A lot of pandering has very little to do with lazy writing,
I totally disagree. It's a lot easier to just copy and paste a bunch of tropes into what is being wrote, and play them entirely straight, than it is to try to come up with something interesting without instantly grasping at the most common tropes in the book.

The best way to connect with an audience is by making well-written, relatable characters.

But then, that takes actual work, unlike playing out the exact same scene in the exact same way that a thousand other anime shows have done.


Quote:

I haven't seen all of the titles you listed as non-otaku-centric, but surely something like Madoka should be considered as prime otaku fare.
I disagree.

It has no tsunderes. None of the characters are otakus themselves (which I find to be an increasingly common element in pure otaku centric shows). It has as many references to medieval European literature as it does to other anime shows. It has no significant fanservice (of the most common sexual kind, at least). Many would argue that its moe elements are subverted, if anything. Its narrative is hardly "feel good", or "comfort food". It's very far away from something like K-On!
__________________

Last edited by Triple_R; 2011-08-19 at 15:29.
Triple_R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 16:07   Link #23
Arabesque
Licensed Hunter-a-holic
 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I disagree.

It has no tsunderes. None of the characters are otakus themselves (which I find to be an increasingly common element in pure otaku centric shows). It has as many references to medieval European literature as it does to other anime shows. It has no significant fanservice (of the most common sexual kind, at least). Many would argue that its moe elements are subverted, if anything. Its narrative is hardly "feel good", or "comfort food". It's very far away from something like K-On!
I think you might've misunderstood his point. Madoka doesn't have these elements, true, but that's not where the shows' otaku appeal comes from.

Madoka's main selling point to the otaku has been it's ensemble staff.Ume Aok, Akiyuki Shinbo, Gen Urobuchi, Kajiura Yuki ... these are names that had made works before that resonated well with otaku's and anime fans in general. A lot of the following and hype surrounding the show before (and a even after) airing has to do with who worked on it.

The thing is, and I think this point was mentioned already, just because might pander to a certain segment of viewers doesn't make it bad (hence why that Nanoha review is honestly silly in how it criticizes the show for attracting or being targeted to otaku) and certainly, I think that Madoka that is deserving of both the hype and success based on it's own merits, but I do also think that a lot of said success and attention it had gotten was from the list of staff who worked on it.

Now, about the topic ... I think that the problem seems to be more about how the reviewers throw the word ''pander'' a lot and treating it as a bad thing automatically. Sure, excessive use of it is bad, but does that mean any use of it needs to be damned as well?

Another issue seems to be the reviewers prejudice. Some ANN reviewers seem to have a problem saying whether shows like Koi Kaze and Bunny Drop are good because they contain themes (or are meant to contain themes) that are considered creepy or disgusting to them, and so they dismiss the show as being awful from the get-go. So things like how they ''pander to be successful'' or ''fall into the same thinking as every other anime out there'' etc. start popping up whenever they are mentioned, none of them addressing if the anime they are bashing on actually treat the subjects they are addressing maturely and without any actual pandering.
__________________
Arabesque is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 16:51   Link #24
4Tran
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flawnalyst View Post
When it comes to making a series, pandering and unoriginality are unavoidable complaints. However, that doesn't change the fact that if your series doesn't do anything to stand out from other series, even within its genre, then it's not considered a good series. For me, entertaining or stand-out characters is what I mostly look for in fiction, let alone anime. If a series doesn't have anything to make it different from other series, then what's the point in seeing it?
A show can be both unoriginal and good at the same time by taking familiar story elements and presenting them in a well-made manner. For example, Sturges' The Magnificent Seven is a retelling of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai beat for beat. However, it's still a great film with a lot of entertaining scenes. Critics worth their salt wouldn't go around complaining about how it's unoriginal. When it comes to anime, there's almost no show that copies its original to this degree, so why is originality so much a problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flawnalyst View Post
Concerning the issue of otaku-pandering shows outseliing the exotic fare, it's true that the audience and the timing is very important. However, I still stand by the saying that a show shouldn't just give the audience what it wants, but what the audience doesn't know it wants. That's why there were huge gaps in DVD sales between Madoka Magica and other generic series. Hourou Musuko...yeah, I don't know why it didn't sell, but then again, I never watched it.
Shows sell precisely because they give their customers what they want - that's pretty much the first rule of salesmanship. That doesn't have anything to do with predictable or not taking chances or anything like that, it just means providing the kind of entertainment that caters to their customers.

Hourou Musuko didn't sell for the same reason why a lot of other shows of its nature don't: they don't appeal to the people that buy DVDs. For anime, the vast majority of DVD-buyers are otaku, and so we have that conundrum. It basically sits in the same category as a lot of well made shows like Dennou Coil, so it's not exactly unexpected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I totally disagree. It's a lot easier to just copy and paste a bunch of tropes into what is being wrote, and play them entirely straight, than it is to try to come up with something interesting without instantly grasping at the most common tropes in the book.
Sure it is, but if we take "pandering" to mean to go out of the way to cater to a particular group's tastes, then it's no longer a matter of copying and pasting tropes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
The best way to connect with an audience is by making well-written, relatable characters.

But then, that takes actual work, unlike playing out the exact same scene in the exact same way that a thousand other anime shows have done.
The problem here isn't the pandering, it's the bad writing and direction. There are some examples where pandering detracts from the overall quality of the work, but this isn't one of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I disagree.

It has no tsunderes. None of the characters are otakus themselves (which I find to be an increasingly common element in pure otaku centric shows). It has as many references to medieval European literature as it does to other anime shows. It has no significant fanservice (of the most common sexual kind, at least). Many would argue that its moe elements are subverted, if anything. Its narrative is hardly "feel good", or "comfort food". It's very far away from something like K-On!
Since when was pandering to otaku restricted to just that? Madoka is predicated on having a preconception of how Mahou Shoujo shows work, and to play on such preconceptions. This is the very essence of pandering: to reward viewers for having such preconceptions (aka specialized knowledge).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arabesque View Post
The thing is, and I think this point was mentioned already, just because might pander to a certain segment of viewers doesn't make it bad
Precisely. A show should be judged on its merits rather than what kind of category it fits or how it appeals to its audience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arabesque View Post
Now, about the topic ... I think that the problem seems to be more about how the reviewers throw the word ''pander'' a lot and treating it as a bad thing automatically. Sure, excessive use of it is bad, but does that mean any use of it needs to be damned as well?
This comes from the same impulse as declaring a character a "Mary Sue" and automatically treating that as bad. It takes more effort to figure out why Mary Sues are bad, and a lot of critics don't want to make that effort.
__________________
The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won...
4Tran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 17:18   Link #25
solomon
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Suburban DC
Madoka is great warping of a tired genre that really shouldn't have any appeal to any body over 12 and with a schlong. Yea, sure that's a broad stereotypical statement but that's what Maho Shojo is for.

I don't think anyone can be excluded from criticizing something, weither it has any merit is another story. It is true that you have to be able to examine a show on it's own merits and demerits outside of larger threads (ANN had a review of Queen's Blade that did this), but it's impossible to ignore those threads. It's like trying to talk about Manet with out talking about impressionism.

Me I took off the critic hat a while ago, some of the lint and strings are still there in my hair. But I know what I want from shows and I only go after those shows by and large. I know what the industry is and stopped hoping for it to be something else long ago.
solomon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 17:22   Link #26
Archon_Wing
Hater
*Author
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Being totally ebillll
Age: 30
Send a message via MSN to Archon_Wing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Kimlinger should never have been given the Nanoha review assignment to begin with. He clearly loathes magical girl anime, so it's a horrible move on ANN's part to give him the Nanoha review assignment, of all things. It would be like asking a shonen fan who hates "slow, boring" slice of life to review Kimi ni Todoke, or asking a slice of life fan who hates "silly shonen action" to review Bleach.

Even so, Kimlinger missed the whole point of Nanoha, which even a magical girl genre hater should get. Nanoha was (at least in its first season) about fusing the magical girl and mecha genres together, to try to achieve the best of both worlds. Obviously that means there's going to be conventional magical girl material in it (just like there's going to be conventional mecha material in it). There's no point in fusing magical girl and mecha together (as the whole idea behind your work), if you're not going to play straight at least some of the conventions of each.
I'll respond to other folks soon, but I'd like to address this first.

I agree that he shouldn't review a series he is so clearly biased against, but even that alone is not really the problem I have with it.

A good reviewer should be able to clearly place out points regardless if he hates it or not. Basically, one should try to keep excessive hate at the door and then pile it up later only when one has completed a logical argument.

My point in linking it was not just to suggest that he fails at that, but to highlight the entire flawed thought process that many people have. He doesn't explain why an anime geared to otaku is bad, and too much name dropping of series we may not have heard of, but he seems to be expecting us to know. I've never seen Pani Poni Dash for example.

If you want to express your opinion with authority and being taken seriously, you must be prepared to do that. This is why the the average-good reviews are harder to write than the masterpiece/trash reviews. It requires this kind of balance.

I would give that series a C+, which isn't that much better than what he gave and the categories were kinda similar, so why can I not understand that kind of opinion at all?

If you're going to reference other shows in a sidenote like that, let it be to the side, and explain it. Who the fuck is Tsuzuki anyways? And why do I care?

Quote:
The series' utter devotion to fan-pandering can be impressive in its thoroughness. Even its production is steeped in otaku trivia (it's a spin-off of an adult series based on a computer game) and its very animation is aimed at fanatics.
Hint: Do not put "cool story bro" stuff in your reviews. Triangle Hearts isn't relevant to watching Nanoha as a show. Almost nobody gave a shit or knows what that even is. Fanatics of what? If it's the mecha homages, why is this bad? Why is anything bad?

Quote:
Add to that his skin-crawling lolicon fan-service—which includes a brutal whipping....
lol, of all the things to label fanservice... But anyhow, this is another example of twisting things to be like "Oh, it was made for lonely otaku to fap to!"

Fortunately, he actually comes up with actual criticism at the end... wait why is it in the conclusion

Spoiler:


It seems that I am only quoting a few things, but that's only because I am trying to reach the core of his argument about otaku pandering which is repeated endlessly. Which is going nowhere.

Anyhow, self supporting premises tend to to suck, and I really just bolded what could be considered legitimate criticism. The problem is that it should start with the beginning not at the end! Are you telling me I had to read through all that rant to get to a 30 second analysis of merit, aside from the visual notes?

If you wanna name drop people, you better damn well make sure people know what you're talking about. Introduce them...

Something more fair... that I came up with in a search. Note this review could care less about the intentions of who made it save for a few concise statements (it is explained immediately afterwards) and makes no intent to mindread insidous intentions from nowhere. It focuses... on the show itself! It also doesn't make long rants about stuff nobody cares about. Dear god, who would have though of that?

Tl;DR It's ok to think things are bad. But you need to explain why it is bad, and repetition doesn't count.
__________________
What appears to be a moment for the helper feels like an eternity to the helpee.
Avatar and Sig courtesy of TheEroKing
Guild Wars 2 SN: ArchonWing.9480 (Stormbluff Isle)
MyAnimeList || Reviews

Last edited by Archon_Wing; 2011-08-19 at 17:39.
Archon_Wing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 17:28   Link #27
Flawfinder
Loves the Experience
 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Earth...hopefully
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
A show can be both unoriginal and good at the same time by taking familiar story elements and presenting them in a well-made manner. For example, Sturges' The Magnificent Seven is a retelling of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai beat for beat. However, it's still a great film with a lot of entertaining scenes. Critics worth their salt wouldn't go around complaining about how it's unoriginal. When it comes to anime, there's almost no show that copies its original to this degree, so why is originality so much a problem?
Was there some confusion with what I said earlier? Of course a show can be unoriginal and good at the same time by telling it well. I haven't seen The Magnificent Seven, but if it really does have entertaining scenes and the characters are good, then I could care less if it's a retelling. However, I have seen a lot of unoriginal media that don't do this, or even try to make its own creation as well. But worst of all is when that medium thinks it's being original when it's not. In that case, I say call it as unoriginal as you want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
Shows sell precisely because they give their customers what they want - that's pretty much the first rule of salesmanship. That doesn't have anything to do with predictable or not taking chances or anything like that, it just means providing the kind of entertainment that caters to their customers.
I didn't say that a show shouldn't give its customers what they want, but for it to truly stand out, it also has to give them what they didn't know they wanted. That means it still has to give them what they want while offering something new. Apologies if I didn't make that clear.
__________________

My Awesome Anime Blog: Standing On My Neck
Flawfinder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 17:33   Link #28
Bri
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
Madoka is predicated on having a preconception of how Mahou Shoujo shows work, and to play on such preconceptions. This is the very essence of pandering: to reward viewers for having such preconceptions (aka specialized knowledge).
Well said. When the viewing experience is reduced for that part of the audience who lack this specialized knowledge, and these viewers can be still be considered part of the intended audience, only then we can say that pandering is harmful.
Bri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 18:08   Link #29
DonQuigleone
Knight Errant
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Age: 25
RE Originality: It's very hard for anyone to come up with something truly original, and most of us who are "mature" viewers understand that almost nothing truly original exists, and that most people don't enjoy something that is utterly unlike anything else.

That said, there's another side to this as well, and that's "Cliché", at some point if people use something that is merely "unnoriginal" too much it goes too far and is just cliché, that's what people really hate.

So actually, if you go in without any kind of preconceptions and watch a harem show, say Love Hina, you might find it interesting, even enjoyable (depends on your tastes), but any person who has watched a sufficient quantity of Anime who watches Love Hina will immediately see that it is utterly Cliché and like 100 other anime they've seen previously.

So originality is quite a relative thing. I think the issue is Anime is when they make something that lacks any threads tieing it all together and just seems like a zombie series made to hit what their demographic stereotypically "likes". It's like when you write an essay to a template. No "flow".

So I don't immediately dislike something for unnoriginality, but only up to a point.

RE Pandering: I think we have to be very careful when we talk about Pandering. I'd be hesitant before criticizing something for Pandering, in a sense all of entertainment is pandering in one sense or another. For instance you can pander to overly arty and literary types by putting in obscure religious imagery (Imagine the surprise and dissapointment on certain fans faces when you tell them Gainax put all the crosses in Evangelion "because they looked cool" ).

So Pandering in itself isn't so bad, it really depends on how extreme it is. I would say the far extreme of pandering is pornography down to the fact that pornography is quite easily classified according to whatever fetishes it caters to.

So as above, you have to make sure pandering doesn't take over what you're trying to do.

So I'm always careful before I outright accuse something of pandering. Most people never consider something that panders to themselves as "pandering", Pandering is always something that appeals to other people.

In all this talk of pandering and unoriginality I do think some mediums are more afflicted by too much pandering and too little originality then others. Case in point would Dramas, I've given them a fair shot and haven't seen a single one that wasn't melodramatic schlock that is only ever:
a) Will they or won't they romantic comedy! love dodecahedrons optional
b) Oh my god he's dieing from some mysterious unnamed illness, I'm going to cry
c) We're heroically solving the murder/other mystery!
d) Watch me, the non-conformist motivated guy come into a [insert professional environment] and motivate my apathetic cynical [insert profession], watch as I give passionate speeches about how they have to turn their lives around! Frequently mixed with c.

And each of those 4 pretty much always proceed the exact same way. I'd love to be proved wrong and shown a genuinely good Drama, but I'm not holding my breath. I was entertained the first few times I saw a drama, but when I started to see other drama that seemed to have the exact same plot I got a little suspicious... And the melodrama...

Anime & Manga have a lot more variety. Japanese movies (so long as they're not too tied to TV) are good too.
DonQuigleone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 18:37   Link #30
Triple_R
Center Attraction
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Age: 33
Send a message via AIM to Triple_R
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arabesque View Post
I think you might've misunderstood his point.
I don't think that I did. From my understanding of what 4Tran wrote, he's arguing that Madoka Magica is otaku centric. I'm arguing that it's not.


Quote:
Madoka doesn't have these elements, true, but that's not where the shows' otaku appeal comes from.
I never said it didn't have otaku appeal. I said it wasn't otaku centric.

To me, otaku centric means that its appeals are entirely rooted in what otakus tend to like. That's simply not the case with Madoka Magica, as it holds appeal far beyond that alone.

A good example of a modern otaku centric work is Ore no Imouto. Here's a show that is deeply steeped in the otaku subculture, where the female lead is an otaku, where most of the regular cast members are otakus, and where a viewer entirely unfamiliar with the otaku subculture would likely become completely lost.

A less metacommentary-heavy otaku centric work would probably be something like Idolm@ster, where the character types and comedy are firmly rooted in what otakus tend to like.


Quote:
Madoka's main selling point to the otaku has been it's ensemble staff.
That has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not Madoka is an otaku centric work.

You don't have to be an otaku to appreciate the talents of this ensemble staff.

Indeed, most (if not all) of that ensemble staff have a distinctive approach or style that differentiates them from more common writing and directorial approaches within the anime industry as a whole. For example, Shinbo and SHAFT's artistic style is pretty darn unique compared to what you see in the vast majority of other anime shows. You don't have to be an otaku to like that artistic style.


Quote:

The thing is, and I think this point was mentioned already, just because might pander to a certain segment of viewers doesn't make it bad (hence why that Nanoha review is honestly silly in how it criticizes the show for attracting or being targeted to otaku) and certainly, I think that Madoka that is deserving of both the hype and success based on it's own merits, but I do also think that a lot of said success and attention it had gotten was from the list of staff who worked on it.
Perhaps so, but again, that has nothing to do with how otaku centric it is or is not.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
Shows sell precisely because they give their customers what they want - that's pretty much the first rule of salesmanship. That doesn't have anything to do with predictable or not taking chances or anything like that, it just means providing the kind of entertainment that caters to their customers.
Generally speaking, though, smart businesses try to expand their customer base. You don't do that by only focusing on the customer base you already have.


Quote:
The problem here isn't the pandering, it's the bad writing and direction.
Pandering can lead into bad writing and direction, though. Attempts may be made to shoe-horn in a scene designed to pander to a certain group of fans, but by putting that scene in, the flow of the narrative is hindered, or inconsistent characterization is created, or plot holes begin to surface.

This doesn't always happen, of course - sometimes pandering elements are inserted in a way that doesn't cause problems - but it happens often enough that I think people have legitimate reason to sometimes take issue with pandering.


Quote:
Since when was pandering to otaku restricted to just that?
I never said that it was. But if Madoka was truly otaku centric, it would include more pandering elements than what it has, imo.

Aside from the standard aesthetics of magical girl anime, and some implied yuri, Madoka Magica has no particular otaku focus, and it goes against a more otaku centric approach in many cases.

Simply put, Madoka Madoka is not an otaku centric anime show. It may have otaku appeal, but that's far from its only appeal.


Quote:
Madoka is predicated on having a preconception of how Mahou Shoujo shows work, and to play on such preconceptions.
A person can enjoy Madoka Magica without ever having watched a magical girl show previous to it. You don't have to be familiar with magical girl anime in order to follow the story of Madoka Magica, or understand its characters, or relate to its narrative.

Sure, people familiar with the magical girl genre will have a deeper, or at least different, appreciation for the show than those that don't, but familiarity with magical girl anime is not a prerequisite to watching/enjoying Madoka Magica.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
I would give that series a C+,
Wow. That's awfully low. I thought you liked Nanoha?

Anyway, I think I see your broader point.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Flawnalyst View Post
I didn't say that a show shouldn't give its customers what they want, but for it to truly stand out, it also has to give them what they didn't know they wanted. That means it still has to give them what they want while offering something new. Apologies if I didn't make that clear.
I agree with this. Well put.

As the old saying goes, you can't miss something you've never had. Likewise, you can't want something you've never seen until you've actually seen it.

This is why there's value in trying to make something original. You might create something that people want that they never knew they wanted.

A lot of the major entertainment phenomena of the past hundred or so years were created this way, such as pro wrestling, super hero comics, Star Trek, etc...

Every entertainment form was new at some point in its existence (a recent example being Reality TV), and 'the originals' tend to be held in high esteem.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri View Post
Well said. When the viewing experience is reduced for that part of the audience who lack this specialized knowledge, and these viewers can be still be considered part of the intended audience, only then we can say that pandering is harmful.
What if the viewing experience for some in the audience who has this specialized knowledge is reduced because they dislike the pandering? Is the pandering not then arguably harmful? It certainly is for at least these viewers with different taste.

I daresay that's the case for many of the old-school mecha fans that you mentioned before on this thread.
__________________

Last edited by Triple_R; 2011-08-19 at 18:52.
Triple_R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 18:42   Link #31
Archon_Wing
Hater
*Author
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Being totally ebillll
Age: 30
Send a message via MSN to Archon_Wing
A review of the most pandering anime ever, from yours truly

It is fairly evident that media works must reach out to a certain audience to be successful, however there comes a point where producers and directors alike sacrifice their dignity and give in to simply delivering to the otaku's sick wishes and desires. The otaku are a reclusive species; they can only be found hidden in the darkness of their own homes, and occasional buying goods in Akihabara so they may return to the dark recesses of their homes to engage in their sick fantasies towards imaginary underage girls, and occasionally see daylight and plague us all with disgusting cosplay. Thankfully, we are spared from that most of the time.

It is with disdain that we realize that the anime we watch is dictated by the disgusting tastes of this small group of fans, and thus we are forced to dig for small gems buried under the filthy mountain of otaku desires.

But there is one anime that stands above the rest. It is worshiped by these bottom feeders everywhere, creating pandering garbage, avoiding good storytelling but substituting it for good visuals and attractive female characters for the fans to masturbate to. This anime has enough merchandise to drown all of us in. If there was a plot to keep the anime fans as mindless fanboys programmed to dump money into studio coffers, this anime is responsible for everything that is wrong with modern anime today.

That anime is Neon Genesis Evangelion.

It is no surprise that this monstrosity was created by Gainax, who by 1995 was no stranger to pandering to otaku desires and fetishes. In fact, one of their first productions was otaku no video, a shameless production recognizing and honoring this disgusting lifestyle. They were the ones to develop the now widely used technique of "Gainaxing", aka bouncing female breasts. It was important since as you know, most fans won't be able to see a real pair of bouncing breasts.

By episode 1, Evangelion (which will now be referred to by as NGE) created the character of Shinji Ikari. Shinji is a pathetic being with low self-esteem, little social skills, has parental issues, and is clearly not in tune with classically defined gender roles. Now why would they put this loser as a lead?

The answer is obvious. He was made so the audience could relate to him. Evangelion preys on the intended audience's insecurities and gives them the chance of imagining that they could parade around in a cool robot, meet hot women like teh Rei, and Asuka, and have awesome dads like Gendo. Clearly wish fulfillment to the extreme; Gainax, you are disgusting.

But Evangelion's effects go beyond itself. If it were confined to itself, that'd be fine, but now we note a slew of increasingly pitiful male leads that these otaku could relate to. And let's not talk about Rei, the silent character who has been xerox'd so much that it's gross.

Rei. Pure wish furfillment. She is the ideal girlfriend for otaku, since she doesn't talk or have any will of her own.

Asuka. For those with S+M fetishes. The other extreme for those that have a fetish for that. After all Asuka set off a long lead of abusive female characters they'd later call tsunderes. If you hate Kirino from Ore no Imouto, you know who to blame.

Gendo. He is a bad ass, and should have been the main character, so that's ok.

But no, Evangelion's continued desire to probe the most disgusting insides of the Otaku brain would expand as it goes along with the series. You had Misato Katsuragi, a sex hungry fiend, that took Shinji into her home and it's implied that she may actually have desires for him. Right, right, a hot female her age would do that? Only in Otaku land!

In the end, we have incest, pedophilia, and even implied Yaoi! Oh man, you just hit the jackpot here.

On the good side, Evangelion did have awesome robot fights and pretentious symbolism, but they were only there to cover up all this crap. And that's just the equivalent of sweeping garbage under the rug. Besides, the excellent visual quality is marred by some of the worst budget cutting of all time.

In the end, Evangelion does provide matters of interest due to its attempts at providing plots and concepts they've never seen before. Oh... wait. Go watch Space runaway Ideon. Evangelion totally ripped off that.

So anyhow, with the last defense of "originality" stripped away, I can only conclude that the constant praises of the anime are caused by the mindless parroting of its fanatical fanbase and people trying to find an excuse to justify themselves. It was probably the fact that this anime was one of the few "adult" anime that came over to the west first, and thus got praised out the asshole. However, when stripped down to its basic parts, all you have is a show that preys on the insecurities of the otaku.

It should be noted that Hideki Anno was going through depression due to his conflict with the otaku lifestyle. When it all comes down to it, it's just a long therapy session for these pitiful people and an attempt to justify and glorify these things. The long line of merchandise and the fact that people are still paying money to watch these crappy Rebuild movies (even less plot, just prettier graphics) really tells you why Evangelion is everything that is wrong with anime.
__________________
What appears to be a moment for the helper feels like an eternity to the helpee.
Avatar and Sig courtesy of TheEroKing
Guild Wars 2 SN: ArchonWing.9480 (Stormbluff Isle)
MyAnimeList || Reviews

Last edited by Archon_Wing; 2011-08-19 at 19:04.
Archon_Wing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 18:43   Link #32
Xion Valkyrie
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Pandering and cliche makes good money, and studios know that. It's the same reason why there's so much hate for Call of Duty.

Ie, original ideas get sidelined because they're not 'guaranteed money'. Why would a studio risk spending a lot of money on making a new Last Exile/Baccano/12 Kingdoms/Gurren Lagann etc when they can just spend a small amount of money making something that's guaranteed to sell?
Xion Valkyrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 18:54   Link #33
4Tran
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
A good reviewer should be able to clearly place out points regardless if he hates it or not. Basically, one should try to keep excessive hate at the door and then pile it up later only when one has completed a logical argument.
Ideally, a review should let you know what the rating would be before seeing the final score. When a review doesn't provide that information, then it's not very good. At the same time, the reasoning for any arguments should also be laid out so they're clear and convincing. A point like "I don't like this show because it's not to my taste" can be used as a partial explanation, but it isn't convincing by itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flawnalyst View Post
Was there some confusion with what I said earlier? Of course a show can be unoriginal and good at the same time by telling it well. I haven't seen The Magnificent Seven, but if it really does have entertaining scenes and the characters are good, then I could care less if it's a retelling. However, I have seen a lot of unoriginal media that don't do this, or even try to make its own creation as well. But worst of all is when that medium thinks it's being original when it's not. In that case, I say call it as unoriginal as you want.
My point is that weak works are weak not because they're unoriginal, but because of other factors. A side point is that a lot of anime fans are younger and have less experience with stories, and thus are more likely to talk up the importance of originality out of ignorance. An example of this is whenever anyone tries to claim that Mawaru Penguindrum has strong SHAFT influences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flawnalyst View Post
I didn't say that a show shouldn't give its customers what they want, but for it to truly stand out, it also has to give them what they didn't know they wanted. That means it still has to give them what they want while offering something new. Apologies if I didn't make that clear.
Your earlier points were clear, but I can't really agree with them. While it can be good to provide customers with the unexpected, this does not apply to all genres and all works. Moreover, some of the strongest material don't offer anything new or unexpected. The aforementioned Magnificent Seven is considered one of the best Westerns ever made, and Seven Samurai is a strong candidate for one of the best films ever made. They are so because of all the strong elements that go into them: the direction, soundtrack, acting, cinematography and so on. On the other end of the spectrum, Christopher Nolan's films rely very much on the "Aha!" moments, and would be examples of works that support your argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri View Post
Well said. When the viewing experience is reduced for that part of the audience who lack this specialized knowledge, and these viewers can be still be considered part of the intended audience, only then we can say that pandering is harmful.
I'd say that pandering is harmful when it's used in place of something that would be actually entertaining. Take Pani Poni Dash for example, it's a silly school comedy that has its moments. But instead of trying to set up funnier jokes, it would just put in random anime/manga/game references as if they're automatically funny. There comes a point where that kind of material just isn't any fun, and the producers didn't know where that point was.
__________________
The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won...
4Tran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 18:55   Link #34
DonQuigleone
Knight Errant
 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Age: 25
Re NGE: I wouldn't go that far. Personally I think it rather subverts otaku expectations. Shinji is pathetic, and remains so for the entire series, the whole thing is just a spiral downwards.

And to address Rei specifically, how can she be pure wish fulfillment when she's a clone of Shinji's mom.

NGE is way too twisted to be dismissed as "just pandering". And a lot of your criticisms are about things that are actually just tropes of Mecha Anime, and go with the territory.

Or are you not being entirely serious? (Poe's law...)
DonQuigleone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 18:57   Link #35
Archon_Wing
Hater
*Author
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Being totally ebillll
Age: 30
Send a message via MSN to Archon_Wing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post

Wow. That's awfully low. I thought you liked Nanoha?

Anyway, I think I see your broader point.
Oh I do, C+ is "slightly above average" or higher means I enjoyed it to some degree. Oreimo and Angel Beats have the same grade, and I like those enough, for sure. Also 2 of my favorite characters come from these series; my MAL pic is of Fate after all.
A's and the Movie is B for me, as an example.

But yea, I could see why someone's not too happy about a series, but I'd like better arguments.
__________________
What appears to be a moment for the helper feels like an eternity to the helpee.
Avatar and Sig courtesy of TheEroKing
Guild Wars 2 SN: ArchonWing.9480 (Stormbluff Isle)
MyAnimeList || Reviews
Archon_Wing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 19:01   Link #36
Triple_R
Center Attraction
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Age: 33
Send a message via AIM to Triple_R
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xion Valkyrie View Post
Pandering and cliche makes good money, and studios know that.
I know more than a few cliche-ridden anime works that include plenty of fan pandering, and sold poorly.

I know relatively original works that include few cliches and have very little pandering. and sold great.

Heck, on your own list, Gurren Lagann sold very well. Guess that's one "spending risk" that paid off, eh?

Oh, and a new Last Exile is coming this fall. Hope you enjoy it.


In looking over the best selling anime shows of 2011, a fair number of them actually have very little pandering, or cliches (at least of the anime variety). Madoka Magica, Anohana, and Tiger and Bunny all sold very well, and I don't see that much pandering in either of them.
__________________
Triple_R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 19:06   Link #37
Reckoner
Bittersweet Distractor
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Age: 22
The thing is. How do we distinguish between what is pandering to the audience and pandering to the otakus? One may argue that the audience and otaku are the same thing, but I don't think this is also the case, especially when it comes to notamina historically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Or are you not being entirely serious? (Poe's law...)
Yeah, he was joking for the most part .

I do find it ironic though that Rei was made and intended to be anti-otaku, and yet she became a huge otaku icon -_-.
Reckoner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 19:12   Link #38
Triple_R
Center Attraction
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Age: 33
Send a message via AIM to Triple_R
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
The thing is. How do we distinguish between what is pandering to the audience and pandering to the otakus?
To me, there's a difference between trying to be entertaining in a general sense, and pandering to a specific audience with stuff like in-jokes and common tropes.

For example, the "Survival Strategy!" sequence in Mawaru Penguindrum isn't pandering to anybody in particular (yes, it references Sailor Moon briefly, but you don't have to get that to enjoy the sequence): It's just trying to look awesome and cool (and succeeding, imo).


Quote:
One may argue that the audience and otaku are the same thing, but I don't think this is also the case, especially when it comes to notamina historically.
Agreed.
__________________
Triple_R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 19:16   Link #39
Archon_Wing
Hater
*Author
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Being totally ebillll
Age: 30
Send a message via MSN to Archon_Wing
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Re NGE: I wouldn't go that far. Personally I think it rather subverts otaku expectations. Shinji is pathetic, and remains so for the entire series, the whole thing is just a spiral downwards.
But is not relying on something that can only be understood by Otaku pandering? It's fairly obvious that the anime's message is that you should be able to blame others for your own failings.

Quote:
And to address Rei specifically, how can she be pure wish fulfillment when she's a clone of Shinji's mom.
That hasn't stopped her from being put on a pedestal by fanboys, or having her many clones spawned later on being worshiped. So something clicked.
Quote:
NGE is way too twisted to be dismissed as "just pandering". And a lot of your criticisms are about things that are actually just tropes of Mecha Anime, and go with the territory.
But that doesn't justify it. Regardless of where it comes from, it's still pandering.
Quote:
Or are you not being entirely serious? (Poe's law...)
http://myanimelist.net/animelist/Arc...atus=2&order=4
Maybe... I was using everything I bashed in the post before.
__________________
What appears to be a moment for the helper feels like an eternity to the helpee.
Avatar and Sig courtesy of TheEroKing
Guild Wars 2 SN: ArchonWing.9480 (Stormbluff Isle)
MyAnimeList || Reviews
Archon_Wing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2011-08-19, 19:21   Link #40
Triple_R
Center Attraction
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Age: 33
Send a message via AIM to Triple_R
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post

But that doesn't justify it. Regardless of where it comes from, it's still pandering.
I have to disagree with you here.

If the author of the work didn't intend it to be pandering, then it's not.

For example, Rei was intended to creep out the viewer (which certainly isn't pandering). It was entirely unintentional on Anno's part for her to inspire an insanely popular character type.
__________________
Triple_R is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
critic, meta

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:55.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
We use Silk.