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Old 2012-09-24, 17:10   Link #1
NinjaRealist
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Why do realistic anime elicit so much hatred?

BIG EDIT!!!!! THIS I NOW A THREAD ABOUT GENRE DECONSTRUCTION ANIME !!!BIG EDIT

(this is the thread I should have made to begin with)

I figured out that what I really was respoding to in School Days and Narutaru wasn't so much the realism as the genre deconstruction. I looked up a big list of genre deconstruction anime and, lo and behold, many of my favorite animes are on this list, including:

Mai-Hime
Evangelion
Fullmetal Alchemist
Now and then Here and There
Berserk

Toradora! (I originally used this as a counter-example but accordin g to the internets I was dead wrong)
Great Teacher Onizuka
Trigun


(also, do you guys think that D. Gray Man is maybe a deconstruction of the Shonen genre just a little bit, it kinda feels that way?)

and of coure School Days and Narutaru (and it seems like Madoka Magica is poised to become a favorite as well.

Please help me out if you think there are others that should go on this list.

Now I'm not gonna deny that I find genre deconstruction animes to be more realistic but I think you guys need to understand, I'm not talking about realism in terms of the plot and the setting because you'll almost never get realism in terms of plot and setting in anime.

Out of this list, the only ones that come close to realism in these two categories Toradora and GTO which both have healthy dose of the unbelievable.

But what all thee animes do hold in common is that, IMO, the character interactions are more believable to me than in most anime.

Now I'm not sure why I feel this way and so many others vehemently disagree. Perhaps it is that I've had a grimmer and sadder life or maybe it's just that I am more fixated on all the atrocious aspect of human nature. At any rate, anime that tries to realistically represent how cruel and manipulative humans can be to each other has always been more appealing to me than anime that teaches you that, "You can do anything if you try your hardest." Clearly, this is the opposite for many of you.

Original Thread Starts Here

Cliff Notes Version:

Why are anime reviewers so offended by realistic romance anime? It may be more fun to watch a show like TWGOK or Toradora! but it is important to have realistic and cautionary tales like School Days also.

Long Version:

As someone who thinks of himself as fairly experienced in love, almost everything about the characters and the situations rung true to me. It was almost as if School Days took the H-Game, Harem Anime, concept and then showed what the consequences would be if someone actually tried to live their life in this same manner.

Yet almost all of the review sites* gave this show extremely negative reviews, which was stunning to me. I not only liked the plot of this anime but the music, the cinematography, the dialogue, the pacing, I found many aspects of this anime to be excellent. I could understand if people were jut giving it mediocre reviews, but many of the sites gave it less than 4/10 which is about the worst possible review.

My conclusion is just that people have reacted negatively against the realism because it's too brutal for them. Since I guess many anime fans are pure escapists seeing a high school anime injected with this kind of brutal realism is probably just too much for them to take. However, I can't help but feel that School Days is a much more realistic portrayal of how dismal and heart-rending teenage romance really is.

I'm not faulting people for liking escapist animes (hell the last show I watched before this was Toradora!) but personally, I find romance anime with perfect fairy tail endings to be more objectionable than an anime like School Days which is a much more realistic portrayal of what happens when you screw every girl in your high school.

EDIT

Exhibit B Narutaru:

Anyways lest this solely become a thread about School Days I'd like to put out another, perhaps more famous example of an anime which is scorned for it's IMO realistic portrayal of human nature and shocking conclusion, and that anime is Narutaru.

I loved this anime and I love the manga eve more, because it does something similar to School Days which is, it takes a cliche anime premise and injects it with realism. In Narutaru that premise is the common, what if a child suddenly gained magical superpowers.

Many people would say this anime is absurdly unrealistic and in many ways it is, but I think it is extremely realistic how, rather than just using their powers to help people, or go on adventures, most of the children use their superpowers to bully each other and commit horrific acts of violence.

And while this anime is panned for what some see as its irrational shift from whimsical fairy tale mode into deeply disturbing and violent mode, i think this more sober exploration of common anime tropes is deeply refreshing.

Questions, comments, agreement, disagreement?

*(except the fantastic Nihon Review, which I am predisposed to loving because a lot of these guys reviewers used to post with me on the old animeacademy.com forums when they were still alive and bustling)

Last edited by NinjaRealist; 2012-09-25 at 17:09. Reason: I realized the true point of thi thread
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Old 2012-09-24, 18:02   Link #2
Archon_Wing
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Because reality doesn't always generate the most interesting stories.

For a story to work, the audience needs to be able to connect on a certain level with the setting or characters. It doesn't matter how well crafted the situation is if you don't care about what's happening. In School Days' case, I found it hilarious actually-- sure what occurred can and will happen in real life, but the characters were really too thin for me to take seriously and I found it over the top. It doesn't help that the writing was rather lazy and they ...

Spoiler:


Personally, I think a lot of the negative reception for this anime had to do with the execution since on paper, School Days actually had a pretty novel concept in regards to harem anime.

However, it is true that more realistic characters are more polarizing. Essentially, protagonists that don't fit into protagonist roles tend to get bashed very heavily. It seems the concept of good people doing evil things doesn't seem to register in many people's minds. Also, in a number of cases, people get offended when a character fails to do what they would have done, because it's "stupid". In other words, people have trouble tolerating others that perform certain actions. They don't want to take the time to consider the context of the character or why they are what they are. In other words, viewers often force or project their own expectations on the anime because thinking critically is hard.

Then again, given that many people who seem to want to dictate what people do in real life, this hardly seems unusual.

Of course, if one wants reality, they can just look at the window and entertainment shouldn't always have to involve deep thinking, so that's may be why many don't care.

In any case, OP, I found this thread interesting because I'm watching an incredibly painful and realistic anime where the characters and story can be extremely polarizing. It's called Nana and you might want to give it a try. I think it really runs on a much higher level than many romance anime.
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Old 2012-09-24, 18:46   Link #3
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I have not watched the Nana anime, but I read all the extant manga back in about 2009, and it is indeed one of the most heart-wrenchingly realistic love manga I've ever read, perhaps even more so because Nana Komatsu is basically exactly like my high school girlfriend after she moved away to art school and went off to college there (although I didn't cheat on her).

But Nana is a much more mature manga about much more mature characters. It's
true that Nana is one of the best of these, but there are a lot more mature anime about mature characters than mature and realistic anime about high schoolers. There is also, by contrast, a much larger quantity of slapstick, fairy tail, high school romance anime.

I think the reason why I liked School Days so much. It took all of those conventions and cliches which are such an essential part of highschool romcom animes and just completely turned them on their head.

Stupidly naive and honest protagonist is switched for a cunningly sociopathic protagonist ( I dunno if good people doing bad things applies to Makoto...)

Idealized shy and sweet love prospect is replaced with a fragile and neurotic perfectionist pushed over the brink.

And instead of some happy, deus ex machina ending we get ten minutes of pure horror that might as well have been the ending to Se7en (plus a very nice boat). Also, I didn't know this was ripped straight from the visual novel, but I still think it's an awesome ending.

So I guess the main reason I thought this anime was so great is because it's such a potent satire of all the absurd romcom animes that I've grown up with. In this way, I though the absurdity really worked.
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Old 2012-09-24, 20:01   Link #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaRealist View Post
So I guess the main reason I thought this anime was so great is because it's such a potent satire of all the absurd romcom animes that I've grown up with. In this way, I though the absurdity really worked.
I think you shouldn't confuse this satire with "realism". In fact, I think your whole thread title and summary statement is a bit of a misstatement. There's nothing all that "realistic" about School Days, it's just that it takes a rather-clichéd anime premise (the whole harem scenario) and let's it play out to its most extreme uninhibited consequences. You can think of it as a sort of "what if" -- what if it the protagonist in these sorts of stories took advantage of all the girls that threw themselves at him. If anything, it's more of lesson about why the status quo has to be the way it is -- people complain about the stereotypical harem protagonist, but those sort of emotional blinders and steadfast devotion to some concept of "true love" are necessary so that the protagonist doesn't come across as a womanising jerk.

In the end, I think School Days occupies a useful place in the anime tapestry... but I don't care for it. There's nothing romantic or uplifting or particularly inspiring about the show or its message. It's a cautionary tale of loose morality and the consequences that result from only caring about yourself. And, for my part, I could only see the entire production as almost-endlessly cynical -- like no effort was being made to make us truly care for the characters at all, but we were just supposed to watch the slow trainwreck in progress. I've like lots of anime with bittersweet or sad endings, but I can't really feel anything for this. Indeed, the whole thing is more similar to a horror/slasher film than anything romantic, except that most of the story doesn't revolve around having people die (even if the ending does).


Anyway, we have a School Days Sub-Forum where many of these sorts of discussions have happened over the years. Your use of the word "realistic" here is quite suspect to me, so I'm not sure this is really a general anime topic. This thread may be closed or merged.
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Old 2012-09-24, 20:13   Link #5
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Ahhh, thanks for that response. I tried to find the School Days Sub-Forum but couldn't. I typed "school days" into the search feature under thread titles only but it didn't bring up the sub-forum.

I guess my OP was confusing, but I did think that it was both realistic and a potent satire (I'm of the opinion that the best satire is depressingly realistic). In reality, no anime is very realistic, so when I say that this anime is realistic, I mean that it was a lot more realistic than the romcom high school animes it is parodying, which I guess doesn't take that much.

That is to say, I feel, from my own personal experience that, more often than not, a man in a harem anime type situation will behave like the protagonist of School Days more-so thaN the typical harem anime protagonist, who usually acts like an asexual monk.
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Old 2012-09-24, 20:14   Link #6
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I don't hate School Days. I just don't like it... the plot that is.

Realistic? That's a better question rather than a point.

Spoiler for Schools Days Events:
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Old 2012-09-24, 20:21   Link #7
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Aaah, yes. It's another "it's no supposed to win Oscar" situation.

As for School Days, people who defending it are either yandere fan(which is quite awful lots of them) or people who hates harem anime in general. This guy is a good example.

EDIT: School Days is a dark satire for harem show and so don't bother spend your time with it. Of course not all satire are supposed to be funny in first place.
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Old 2012-09-24, 20:22   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaRealist View Post
That is to say, I feel, from my own personal experience that, more often than not, a man in a harem anime type situation will behave like the protagonist of School Days more-so thaN the typical harem anime protagonist, who usually acts like an asexual monk.
Well, sure. But harem anime are intended as fantasy in the first place. What you get in this show is basically the "anti-fantasy" -- sure, you can sleep with everyone if you want, but it causes you nothing but heartache, drama, and premature death. "Maybe your life exists only to be a cautionary tale to others."
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Old 2012-09-24, 21:05   Link #9
NinjaRealist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NK_500 View Post
As for School Days, people who defending it are either yandere fan(which is quite awful lots of them) or people who hates harem anime in general. This guy is a good example.
I never said I hated harem anime. I love harem anime.

I grew up watching Tenchi and Inuyasha on Cartoon Network and Ah! My Goddess was the second manga I ever read (after DBZ).

Also, for the record I love good examples of harem anime. For me TWGOK is probably the best conventional harem I've ever seen, but some other good examples are Toradora! , Kemeko DX and I also love non-harem anime that nonetheless have harem elements, like Nurarihyon no Mago and Cage of Eden just to name a few. But I'm sure there are a bunch I'm not thinking of right now.

But I think what bugs me about harem anime in general is how people almost never have sex in them. There are some great harem manga I've read, like Nozoki Ana and Haru yo Koi where the protagonists actually do have sex with each other, but I don't think either of these have been made into an anime. In general there is less mature harem anime than manga.

Exhibit B Narutaru:

Anyways lest this solely become a thread about School Days I'd like to put out another, perhaps more famous example of an anime which is scorned for it's IMO realistic portrayal of human nature and shocking conclusion, and that anime is Narutaru.

I loved this anime and I love the manga eve more, because it does something similar to School Days which is, it takes a cliche anime premise and injects it with realism. In Narutaru that premise is the common, what if a child suddenly gained magical superpowers.

Many people would say this anime is absurdly unrealistic and in many ways it is, but I think it is extremely realistic how, rather than just using their powers to help people, or go on adventures, most of the children use their superpowers to bully each other and commit horrific acts of violence.

And while this anime is panned for what some see as its irrational shift from whimsical fairy tale mode into deeply disturbing and violent mode, i think this more sober exploration of common anime tropes is deeply refreshing.
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Old 2012-09-24, 21:19   Link #10
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I think you might be confusing realism with pessimism or cynicism. Yes, people do generally act nicer than usual in fiction, but reality isn't all bad either. Some people actually do things for the benefit of others because they want to, some people do value true love and believe that sex should be meaningful - every cliche is shorthand for an aspect of human nature that is, to some degree, also true. This is a world worth living for. (By which I mean our world and the fictional world - for the latter influences the former, after all. And vice versa.)
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Old 2012-09-24, 22:30   Link #11
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So I was typing up this rant, but I guess I don't feel like stirring up the flames.

Let's just say if you think being fucked up is the default state of humanity, I'm not going to dispute you, just don't call me up when you go on the weekend nice boat death game trip with Mr. Kitoh Mohiro. I'll hole up in my mansion with my three beautiful sisters, my cute childhood friend, my maids and my library of Rousseau. You can have your realism.
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Old 2012-09-24, 22:36   Link #12
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lol I've read a news of
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Old 2012-09-24, 23:16   Link #13
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Because if I wanted reality, I can just go out the door and watch humankind fuck up in the worst way possible.

And hell, I actually kinda liked SD...I will agree that it is somewhat realistic, but that's not why I watched it...
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Old 2012-09-24, 23:51   Link #14
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School Days.

Realistic.

*blinks in blank stare*

Does not compute.
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Old 2012-09-25, 01:28   Link #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aohige View Post
School Days.

Realistic.

*blinks in blank stare*

Does not compute.
Hey, I actually knew girls in HS that played around with girls and sex like Makoto...

(I guess it's slightly more realistic than your average blockbuster Hollywood film.)
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Old 2012-09-25, 01:46   Link #16
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School Days is realistic? LOL, it just cynical.

if you want some realistic anime, watch 5 cm per second, that is what called realistic, it not too happy-go-lucky or too dark.
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Old 2012-09-25, 01:49   Link #17
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I dropped School Days, so I might not have a right to talk, but I think the reason people don't like School Days is because you aren't given a reason to like School Days. Yeah, the end is what it is, but is it really that hard to believe that people would still end up not liking it after the anime is over?

As far as high school goes, I'm pretty sure that's not a realistic portrayal of what happens when someone goes around having sex with a bunch of people in his high school. There's that sexual partners web floating around the internet. I'm pretty sure most of the surveyed aren't dead.
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Old 2012-09-25, 02:18   Link #18
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Originally Posted by speedyexpress48 View Post
Hey, I actually knew girls in HS that played around with girls and sex like Makoto...

(I guess it's slightly more realistic than your average blockbuster Hollywood film.)
Hell even Ferris Bueller and Teen Wolf are more "realistic lol" than School Days.
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Old 2012-09-25, 02:30   Link #19
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lol at School Days being realistic. It was never stated that Makoto was either good looking nor saw him being a smooth talker. He was just a walking plot device, nothing more. Also anime academy had a ton of terrible reviewers, nothing to be proud of.
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Old 2012-09-25, 02:52   Link #20
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When all you see in anime is rainbows and butterflies, you might end up assuming that the more realistic anime are all dark and edgy. I have to a agree with most people here; I don't think School Days is realistic.
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