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Old 2012-08-13, 13:03   Link #1241
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
I don't think it's quite right to equate Heartseed with a natural disaster, apart from a limited analog with the impact he has on the kids' lives. Even there, when something has a face and a physical presence, you can't deal with it like you would an earthquake or tsunami. We aren't wired that way.

As for Heartseed himself, he at least tries to give the implication that he has a personality and some sort of moral code. His "I apologize from somewhere around the middle of my heart" is possibly the funniest line in a show that struggles with comedy, but it's also quite deliberately worded I think, to give the impression that he cares what happens to his test subjects up to a point. And he presents this whole scenario as something he's doing to be entertained - tsunamis and earthquakes aren't capable of boredom. How much of this is pretense on his part and how much is close to the truth we don't know, but he's presented as a being who has some semblance of the same motivations that we do, even if his abilities are impossibly remote.
Yup, I agree with this; there's nothing "natural" about this disaster, even if the resulting helplessness isn't so different. While I think functionally he's probably supposed to be an alien, from a historic human perspective I think it makes sense to consider him a "god". Not in the Judeo-Christian "One True God" sense, but in the sort of Japanese way that there are lots of gods out there. If it were a different era, they might build a shrine to try to appease him, but of course here we're modern enough that most people don't really believe in the gods anymore. I don't think he necessarily wants to be worshipped either; he just wants them to continue going about their lives so he can do what he needs/wants to do.

But, by the same token, one of the things that I think is key to the portrayal here is that they're not really trying to humanize him. I personally don't want to see him "personified", nor see the characters put up a fight against him in the direct sense. I think that's sort of trying to shoehorn an action plot into this story, and it just becomes another "humans struggle to overthrow god" story. I don't foresee the author going in this direction. I think it's more likely that the experiments will reach a "natural" conclusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmac View Post
Man, I've been keeping track of this thread since the beginning and all I got to say is wow! I dunno if the author of Kokoro Connect is a genius and just a horrible writer. But he must of done something right to have you all riled up about this show.
Yup, that's pretty much my point too. Personally, I think "Good Writing (TM)" is overrated. Sometimes what moves us and causes us to think and feel the most are things that are "flawed", whether deliberately or otherwise. What's most important isn't whatever happens in the story, but its effect on each of us in the audience.
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Old 2012-08-13, 14:06   Link #1242
Blonto
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Originally Posted by Midonin View Post
Now this just sounds stupid. We, the audience, have the benefit of being able to see and understand everything. He doesn't. And even then, not every guy is going to fit one's preconceived notions of what "maleness" is, but that's not a bad thing. There are all kinds of personalities out there.
I'm more disturbed that this idea of "manliness" means killing all higher brain functions the second a girl shows her tits to you. There would've been people coming in any moment and Taichi was fully right in seeing that something is off. I'd be suspicious too if someone started acting out of character right after we went through an alien experiment that messed with out identities. Besides, Taichi is kinda-sorta supposed to be in love with Iori right now.
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Old 2012-08-13, 14:48   Link #1243
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame
Yup, that's pretty much my point too. Personally, I think "Good Writing (TM)" is overrated. Sometimes what moves us and causes us to think and feel the most are things that are "flawed", whether deliberately or otherwise. What's most important isn't whatever happens in the story, but its effect on each of us in the audience.
As an artist I'm gonna stay away from the writing aspect of the story and go into the production side more. And one of the main grips I've had with it is it seems to me that the quality of animation has been decreasing since the first episodes. Seems like more rushed and not polished off as much?

Plus have read the manga (only the first 4 chapters), I've noticed how rushed the story is: meaning some of the dialogues of characters and monologues have been cut or omitted that could've added more to the development of the characters. I'm an artist after all and I tend to nitpick at the finer details.

Lastly, the character development (surprise, surprise). I know the show geared towards male dominate audience and female characters sell the series. But c'mon! Development the guys for crying out loud! Yes, I know the girls are the star attractions and they have to be center stage, but did we forget they share the stage with two others. I just have this bitter taste that we have two characters that have been horribly underdevelopment, one thats MIA and the other playing Dr. Phil. Having a all around cast is key for me, because I can relate to the characters and can enjoy the story more.

With Aoki, for example, know nothing about the guy but that he loves Yui with his everything. But where does this utter devotion come from? I'm noy buying the 'love at first sight" excuse. There's gotta a better reason why she caught his fancy other than that.

Taichi is a 'selfless freak'. But why is he? Is really helping others is his really own purpose. Sorry, but not buying that either. There's no way someone can be selfless without being selfish either. We're all human and we all have selfish desires even if we don't express them. This arc will finally show what he's really hiding.

Yui, with the exception of ep. 3 as for the most part, like Aoki, been MIA. Whats her purpose in the story?

Spoiler for Inaba thougts:


Spoiler for Iori thoughts:


So those are my impressions of the series up to now. It's been very entertaining and forward to each new episode. But like most people I have gripes over certain aspects of the show.
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Old 2012-08-13, 15:15   Link #1244
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmac View Post
Lastly, the character development (surprise, surprise). I know the show geared towards male dominate audience and female characters sell the series. But c'mon! Development the guys for crying out loud! Yes, I know the girls are the star attractions and they have to be center stage, but did we forget they share the stage with two others. I just have this bitter taste that we have two characters that have been horribly underdevelopment, one thats MIA and the other playing Dr. Phil. Having a all around cast is key for me, because I can relate to the characters and can enjoy the story more.
I think this appears to be the new rallying cry across the forum or something, with people bringing this up all over the place these days all of a sudden. Is it just because someone mentioned it that now people are hyper-aware of it? I'm not really convinced that anime has changed much in this regard over the last, say, ten years.

Speaking purely for myself, I thought the development for the two male characters is fine. It's being told primarily through their actions and the consequences of their actions, with a little bit expanded through their conversations -- mostly with each other. I don't think they necessarily need deep traumas or complex emotional issues just so they can have an arc to themselves... but by virtue of not having these sorts of deep-set issues, they're perhaps easier to understand (for now). That makes them well-suited to be the avenues through which we explore the other characters. But that doesn't mean they don't have personalities and issues; each character has a role to play in this story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmac View Post
Taichi is a 'selfless freak'. But why is he? Is really helping others is his really own purpose. Sorry, but not buying that either. There's no way someone can be selfless without being selfish either. We're all human and we all have selfish desires even if we don't express them. This arc will finally show what he's really hiding.
They dealt with this in the last arc rather extensively, I thought. I recommend you rewatch the conversation that happens after the ultimatum in Episode 5. He isn't doing it because he's selfless at all: he's doing it because he's selfish. He doesn't like to see others cry or get hurt, so he prefers to take all the burden on himself. As Inaba said, it's a "kind form of insanity". And, as you consider everything that happened in the first arc, that's really what was being conveyed about Taichi: that he's someone that has the power to save people, but it's not because he's selfless.


In any case, we've only seen one arc out of a story that has so far spawned 8+ novels (only one animated so far). The importance and relevance of some characters, and the full extent of their backstory, isn't going to be revealed that early, or else there'd be nothing left to say.
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Last edited by relentlessflame; 2012-08-13 at 16:35. Reason: corrected typo...
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Old 2012-08-13, 15:53   Link #1245
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True, true. I'm going wait until the series is over and finish reading the remaining novels (however long that takes) before I pass any final judgement on the series as a whole.

The points I made are things that I made off the up of my head and what I could remember (writing and psychology weren't my best subjects in college).
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Old 2012-08-13, 16:06   Link #1246
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I also noticed how the animation quality dropped. Pity.
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Old 2012-08-13, 16:43   Link #1247
Guardian Enzo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I think this appears to be the new rallying cry across the forum or something, with people bringing this up all over the place these days all of a sudden. Is it just because someone mentioned it that now people are hyper-aware of it? I'm not really convinced that anime has changed much in this regard over the last, say, ten years.

Speaking purely for myself, I thought the development for the two male characters is fine. It's being told primarily through their actions and the consequences of their actions, with a little bit expanded through their conversations -- mostly with each other. I don't think they necessarily need deep traumas or complex emotional issues just so they can have an arc to themselves... but by virtue of not having these sorts of deep-set issues, they're perhaps easier to understand (for now). That makes them well-suited to be the avenues through which we explore the other characters. But that doesn't mean they don't have personalities and issues; each character has a role to play in this story.
If indeed this is a sort of new meme, I say "good" - I think anime is worse off for treating half the population as if they're either oversexed imbeciles or completely lacking in emotional depth.

I definitely do think this has gotten worse in the last ten years (to use the timeframe you chose). A decade ago there were many more character-driven series that either primarily focused on male cast members, or on a gender-diverse cast. Nowadays when a series like Tsuritama or even Hyouka comes along it's like a white buffalo in that respect.

Lastly, I have to disagree with your point that the males in KC have received adequate development - but even more, with the standard you use to measure adequacy. Why is it acceptable for male characters to be explored only through the consequences of their actions? Or to have no traumas or complex emotional issues of their own (or arcs built around them)? Do males in real life not have these things? And why should we be satisfied with a medium where anime males exist only as avenues to explore the female characters?

I don't think I'm asking for an impossibly high standard here. In RL males and females both are emotionally complex, and I'd l'd like to see anime be a medium where they're both treated as such. It's not going to be every series - but if not an ensemble series built around exploring psychological traumas than where, for Jeebus' sake?
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Old 2012-08-13, 16:45   Link #1248
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I am simply going to say that their time as not come yet. Let us be patient.
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Old 2012-08-13, 17:37   Link #1249
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There's too much discussion on Heartseed and not enough on the rest of the characters. Isn't now usually when the shipping wars begin?
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Old 2012-08-13, 17:43   Link #1250
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
Lastly, I have to disagree with your point that the males in KC have received adequate development - but even more, with the standard you use to measure adequacy. Why is it acceptable for male characters to be explored only through the consequences of their actions? Or to have no traumas or complex emotional issues of their own (or arcs built around them)? Do males in real life not have these things? And why should we be satisfied with a medium where anime males exist only as avenues to explore the female characters?

I don't think I'm asking for an impossibly high standard here. In RL males and females both are emotionally complex, and I'd l'd like to see anime be a medium where they're both treated as such. It's not going to be every series - but if not an ensemble series built around exploring psychological traumas than where, for Jeebus' sake?
I think whatever this issue is, it goes way beyond anything they are or are not doing in this show.

As I said before, in fact, the first arc did do a fair bit to develop Taichi's "white night" complex, and illustrates quite clearly why this is winning him the affection of the girls around him (sometimes despite their intentions). They are contrasting this with Aoki; his steadfast but hopeless dedication to the one girl he's in love with. Meanwhile, Taichi's own (hidden?) romantic feelings came to the surface and resulted in his confession actually working out, though he's still getting closer to the other girls than Aoki has been able to (including Aoki's own crush). This is setting the stage for a major conflict that is doubtless coming down the road. When that conflict occurs, expect there to be a lot more explanation of both of these characters. But for now, they're still in the "building" stage. For the time being, while their issues are still building beneath the surface, they can be used to help us explore the other characters whose issues are taking center stage. Everyone has a role to play. That doesn't necessarily mean they all need to have the same role or be developed at the same time in exactly the same way.

As for the rest... I'm not going to go there in this thread, as I think that it'll just derail things even more than they already have been.
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Old 2012-08-13, 17:44   Link #1251
Lantern
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Originally Posted by Uberchu View Post
There's too much discussion on Heartseed and not enough on the rest of the characters. Isn't now usually when the shipping wars begin?
I'd prefer not to. It tends to spark a lot of hate and derails the thread. I'd rather not see a True Tears 2.0 this soon if it can be helped by directing the attention to something more interesting like Heartseed.

Move along, keep up the speculations.
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Old 2012-08-13, 17:49   Link #1252
bastek66
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Great pose
Spoiler for niiiiice figurine:
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Old 2012-08-13, 17:50   Link #1253
Sumeragi
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Originally Posted by Uberchu View Post
Isn't now usually when the shipping wars begin?
Inaban x Taichi.


Happy now?
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Old 2012-08-13, 17:57   Link #1254
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I too would very much like you all to focus solely on Heartseed- That way I wouldn't feel compelled to kill myself because I can't use/hint classified information about the 5 characters.


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Great pose
Spoiler for niiiiice figurine:

That one is going on the list
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Old 2012-08-13, 18:05   Link #1255
Uberchu
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Originally Posted by Lantern View Post
I'd prefer not to. It tends to spark a lot of hate and derails the thread. I'd rather not see a True Tears 2.0 this soon if it can be helped by directing the attention to something more interesting like Heartseed.

Move along, keep up the speculations.
Wait, what happened with True Tears? I never watched that show, sorry. All I know is that the OP got a cameo in Tari Tari.
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Old 2012-08-13, 18:12   Link #1256
Lantern
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Originally Posted by bastek66 View Post
Great pose
Spoiler for niiiiice figurine:
Whyyyyy HELLOOO there Taichi

Spoiler for Comparison to Figurine:
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Old 2012-08-13, 18:13   Link #1257
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Wait, what happened with True Tears? I never watched that show, sorry. All I know is that the OP got a cameo in Tari Tari.
In brief? Half the audience was rooting for the wrong girl and fanrage ensued when the series ended.
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Old 2012-08-13, 18:34   Link #1258
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These ideas of too little development of male characters and "emasculation" were interesting observations at first, but now they seem to have taken on a life of their own. I agree with relentlessflame that concentration on the female characters is nothing new...since 2004, which is when I started watching anime. It's because the majority of Japanese viewers are male and are more interested in female characters. The emasculation thing feels like it says more about the viewers than the shows. Heck, I'm proud and insecure, too, but get a grip. Or watch shounen adventure.

To me, Taichi is getting reasonable development. I have a fair idea of who he is: compulsively avoiding conflict and trying to shift discomfort from others to himself, while diverting his natural impulses toward conflict into a fixation on pro wrestling. He's a really good guy, and quite strong in his way. I wouldn't be surprised to find out in due time that his neuroses reflect neurotic behaviour by his parents: perhaps a put-upon mother who is always trying to placate an irascible father. Or vice-versa. Aoki thus far seems like a recognizable type, if little more. But this is hardly something new for an anime character. And being in love with a beautiful girl needs little explanation.

As for "good writing," this is entertainment, not an English class. I have seen shows that may have ticked off all the boxes to be academically acceptable writing, but were quite dull (in my opinion). I'd rather see something unique and interesting but academically unacceptable. Something like, say, an anime. And conventional storytelling is not the only good kind of storytelling. This show brings in situations quickly and tells some things it might spend time showing, but it's working for me.

I admit that the critics sometimes make me feel like I must have poor taste (that's my own insecurity), and I don't read much high-class modern fiction. But I have recently read and loved Jane Austen, Tolstoy, and Lady Murasaki, so my taste can't be that bad. Or can it? Lol. Anyway, I like popular literature, too, and that's what anime and manga are.

As a big fan of Noe, I remember the True Tears shipping wars well. Here, however, for some reason I like everyone. I kind of doubt passions will rise as high: there seems to be a lot more here to worry about than just who is with whom. This first arc made me feel, in a way, that the five main characters were blending into one person.
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Old 2012-08-13, 18:36   Link #1259
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In brief? Half the audience was rooting for the wrong girl and fanrage ensued when the series ended.
I rooted for the wrong girl too (well rooting isn't quite right, she was just an awesome character I liked). But the story still handled the ending really well to me, so I wasn't personally annoyed at the outcome. Which is why I loved that show.

Unlike say...Toradora. The ending there annoyed me more.
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Old 2012-08-13, 18:41   Link #1260
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I think we should probably not go too deep into discussions about the romantic pairings at the end of other unrelated shows, because it'll head down a tangent really quickly. If the comparisons are relevant and on-topic, please remember to use spoiler tags.
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