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Old 2012-09-27, 12:38   Link #1601
Archon_Wing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
To say SAO explores the VRMMO more deeply than .hack is a long way from saying it's unique. There are plenty of other examples that do so, just not necessarily in anime.
But that's the thing. It's not about it being unique-- the point was that exploring the issue in a very simplistic way makes it less ambitious than it could have been. SAO has a tendency of opening a lot of interesting topics and exploring new territory but then going over them in a most shallow manner. It really pains me to say it since I absolutely hated every .hack anime I've come across, but it is not necessarily less deep than SAO atm, though it isn't fair to compare a complete one to an incomplete one.

And I guess this is a topic for another day.

To draw it back at the series, we can look at Sawa's arc. Sawa's arc had more interesting issues than Wakana's arc and also had ones that were more critical due to her starving herself and getting injured, but I felt the way it was went over was more simplified and ended up less compelling as a result-- it was just more clean cut and less to talk about. While the solution would take a bit to solve after the arc itself, Wakana's problems were "solved" at the end of her own arc but the path was more unclear and required more introspection and memory.
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Last edited by Archon_Wing; 2012-09-27 at 12:49.
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Old 2012-09-27, 12:59   Link #1602
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
To say SAO explores the VRMMO more deeply than .hack is a long way from saying it's unique.
I don't think we were talking about how unique it is, and I don't think SAO explores anything more deeply that .hack (specially .hack//SIGN), expect for game-play and stuff like that.

But this is off-topic here so let's go back to Tari Tari.
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Old 2012-09-27, 13:36   Link #1603
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
How is that different in the end? All that means is the person who came into the show expecting to be disappointed (and was) was a better predictor/judge of the show's appeal to themselves. The person who keeps randomly finding things to watch and ends up disappointed is probably going to be consumed by bitterness before long due to their lack of discernment in picking shows they're likely to enjoy. (Of course there are still shows that could disappoint you contrary to your best intentions and careful, deliberate selection -- those notwithstanding. And "really standard or trite" is a pretty vague statement that probably means more to some people than it does to others.)

That seems like such a dull and listless way to enjoy entertainment. Glad it works for you, but it's not for me.
It's different because in your scenario we have a person who was never going to enjoy it because the person is biased. In my scenario this is a person who did not aim to dislike it. The person only failed to be impressed because the person has already seen so many anime like it. If you eat any kind of food often enough, no matter how much it tastes good, you probably might end up feeling sick. Especially true if the cook lacks imagination and does not prepare it in any special way.

Quote:
That seems like such a dull and listless way to enjoy entertainment. Glad it works for you, but it's not for me.
Which is why this statement doesn't even make sense to me. You seem to think people have a rubric next to them when they watch a show or something. The idea that it does not seem highly original is a realization after the fact, not during or before. I am not sitting here thinking "Hmm good, but it ain't original so I don't like it." No, it's more like "Man this isn't doing a whole lot for me, I think I've seen too many shows exactly like this."

Look even if it's high quality, if you copy something done a million times, you're going to get bored of it. Can you sit back objectively and say, well this was done really well? Perhaps, but that is missing the point that the audience still has to enjoy it in the end, and in that regard many of us will feel no impact from the anime. You could say this as you put related solely to jaded fans, but that's the nature of the entertainment industry. We don't stay young and new to the fandom forever.

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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
1. d4

Originality is overrated a bit, however...
And yes, originality can be stressed too much if it doesn't have the execution to back it up. However ambition usually allows for a more wholesome experience and makes it easier to ignore the more minor flaws IMO. When something like Tari Tari screws up, it becomes magnified exponentially by the fact that the premise was banal to begin with.

This is why I'm ultimately more forgiving of a show like SAO when it does screw up because I find the premise and characters' experiences inherently interesting. It doesn't exactly have to work that hard to entertain.

Thankfully for all of us, Tari Tari minus the Sawa and a bit of the Wien arc was pretty spot on.
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Old 2012-09-27, 13:39   Link #1604
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Just to defend myself against the "off-topic" brigade with their torches and pitchforks , this is what I was responding to:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Sword Art Online is ambitious, imo, because it's exploring the VR MMO concept in an unique way (it's going deeper than Dot Hack ever did, imo).
And just to reiterate, I think it's entirely possible to like Tari Tari very much without considering it especially ambitious or memorable (I do). But I also don't think ambition should be dismissed too lightly, because while it isn't a necessary component for a good series or any guarantor that a series will be good, I think it's pretty hard for a show to be great without it.
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Old 2012-09-27, 13:51   Link #1605
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Spoiler for SAO Discussion, O.T.:



Anyway, I think that Reckoner's point is that over time fans of any particular entertainment medium will get used to its distinctive strengths, weaknesses, tropes, and most common-style of stories. For a lot of people, this makes them more tolerant of certain weaknesses, but it also means it takes more to truly impress them.

But personally, I found Tari Tari different enough for reasons that I've already elaborated on in this thread, so I don't really feel a need to repeat myself there.

I will say, though, that "Slice of High School Life" anime has really been explored as much as it possibly can be. For this "genre" of anime to stand out going forward, it's going to have to get incredibly creative, imo.
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Old 2012-09-27, 13:55   Link #1606
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I will say, though, that "Slice of High School Life" anime has really been explored as much as it possibly can be. For this "genre" of anime to stand out going forward, it's going to have to get incredibly creative, imo.
I thought Hyouka was a pretty good demonstration that it's still very possible .
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Old 2012-09-27, 13:56   Link #1607
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
I thought Hyouka was a pretty good demonstration that it's still very possible .
And I wholeheartedly agree. It sneaks up on you, but Hyouka is actually rather Bohemian and even quite radical.
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Old 2012-09-27, 13:58   Link #1608
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
I thought Hyouka was a pretty good demonstration that it's still very possible .
I wrote "going forward" for a reason.

I think that Hyouka and Tari Tari both brought a certain realism and balance to the genre (albeit in two very different ways), but now that this has been done, well...


Edit: One more thing I wanted to share about Tari Tari, and why it stood out to me. In a lot of P.A.Works shows, I felt that after the female lead, or the top two females, there was kind of a focus and/or character strength drop-off. Like, in True Tears, I felt Aiko could have been developed a bit more and given a bit more focus. In HSI, Ohana really stole the show, but that left Nako and Minko a bit wanting, perhaps.

But here in Tari Tari, I felt that Konatsu, Wakana, and Sawa were all nicely developed, and each had good starring moments in the show. Whichever one of the three you'd consider "the third girl" was rather strong for a third girl in a P.A. Works show.
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Old 2012-09-27, 15:37   Link #1609
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
To draw it back at the series, we can look at Sawa's arc. Sawa's arc had more interesting issues than Wakana's arc and also had ones that were more critical due to her starving herself and getting injured, but I felt the way it was went over was more simplified and ended up less compelling as a result-- it was just more clean cut and less to talk about. While the solution would take a bit to solve after the arc itself, Wakana's problems were "solved" at the end of her own arc but the path was more unclear and required more introspection and memory.
I too felt Sawa's arc could have had more going for it, at least in terms of how things played out if not an actual resolution (during the arc itself). Having a resolution doesn't automatically mean good anyway (ie Kokoro Connect).

However, I think there could have been plenty to talk about in Sawa's case. The show just didn't show her much after her arc. We didn't get much insight into her thoughts. Only a couple of times does she even mention her issue after her arc. So no one really bothered to talk about it as there wasn't much to go on. The show focuses heavily on Wakana even when it wasn't her arc. We gain a lot more insight into her. Heck, even Konatsu had her moments, especially whenever she was proving herself to the vocal/music club members.

Sawa (like the guys), not so much.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
But here in Tari Tari, I felt that Konatsu, Wakana, and Sawa were all nicely developed, and each had good starring moments in the show. Whichever one of the three you'd consider "the third girl" was rather strong for a third girl in a P.A. Works show.
The major thing I'd say, is Tari Tari did all that it did in 13 episodes. And that's pretty damn good. Even looking back at Iroha. As decent a slice of life show as that was, it never felt excellent, and that had 20+ episodes.
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Old 2012-09-27, 16:01   Link #1610
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^

But it didn't really fully develop the guys and I don't think this is completely sold as a girls slice of life show, it felt more ensemble to me.
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Old 2012-09-27, 16:45   Link #1611
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But it didn't really fully develop the guys
I wonder about this. It's true they didn't get as much attention as the girls, but I don't completely buy they weren't developed properly. I think that after Wakana's arc everyone sort of expected the guys to have dramatic backstories and the like as well, but I think that expectation was sort of misplaced considering only Wakana was hinted to have serious issues from the start.

Take Wien for example. He had two episodes (9 and 10) dedicated to him, but his backstory was pretty simple and easily resolved. Does that mean he wasn't properly developed? No, he was just a simple guy with a simple backstory.

If you think about it, even Konatsu, who had a lot more screen time than the guys, ended up being quite a simple person. Why did she wanted to sing so much, for instance? We never really got a deeper reason on that beside the series' running theme of friendship, and it didn't matter in the end. She just wanted to sing, as simple as that.

Then there was Taichi. We learned that he started playing badminton because he admired his sister. The series didn't went more in depth on this, because there wasn't anything else to explore. He just admired his sister, that's all.

When you think about it, putting aside screen time, pretty much only Wakana had deeper reasons and motivations for what she was doing. Does that mean she was the only character that was properly developed? No. It just meant she was surrounded by people with simpler backgrounds. There's nothing wrong about that. Simple characters can be pretty interesting too, as long as the story manages to make them work properly.

I enjoyed every character in this series, and I got attached to them a lot, but maybe that's because I never expected everyone to be like Wakana. So I'm satisfied with what I got. I'm satisfied with Taichi's drive to keep playing badminton and his crush on Sawa; with Wien innocence and strong sense of justice; with Sawa's relentless passion towards her dreams. I didn't expect more from them so I wasn't disappointed.

Just my two cents.
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Old 2012-09-27, 17:08   Link #1612
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You see the thing about this all is that this series is basically a coming-of-age story.

We saw this with Konatsu. She was going to graduate and could not sing in the choir, but she wasn't allowed to. She wanted to experience the stage once last time before she grew up so she made the club. She did not want to spend the rest of her days regretting her inactivity so she pushed forward with this crazy idea. She wrestled with the question of how far she wanted to go with singing, and in the very ending episode it looked like she might even continue on with it in college.

Wakana is pretty self-explanatory I would hope.

Sawa dealt with the nature of chasing a dream she might not even be physically able to do. Eventually she decided that she wanted to give it her all and decided to move away to a jockey school in America.

---

So what about the guys?

Did Taichi have any serious issues he wrestled with? He was a badminton freak at the start, never had any serious doubts about his goals (One episode where he was shown losing a match and they brushed over it quickly), and he continued on with what he's always been doing to the end. I guess he had a crush, which ended in ambiguous terms, but again this is never really delved into. His character felt extremely shafted to me, even though he seemed like a good character to explore.

And Wien? The totality of his development surrounds trying to be a superhero for Jan. So he had a momentary doubt about himself because his letters never made it to Jan . He often acted more as a comic relief, good feel character to balance out the drama in the show than actually acting as a character with real depth or complexity whatsoever.

Personally I never felt the guys really "moved" anywhere in this story. There was no coming of age story with them.

Does this send the message that the guys don't have legitimate issues worth exploring?

I sure think so.
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Old 2012-09-27, 17:21   Link #1613
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Does this send the message that the guys don't have legitimate issues worth exploring? I sure think so.
I think the problem is that you saw this as an ensemble cast, but I didn't see it that way. I saw Konatsu's storyline as the trigger for what the story was really about (Wakana). Sawa's backstory was totally divorced from that and that's why it was dealt with almost as easily as Wien's.

I watched the series as Wakana's coming of age story and Konatsu as the catalyst. Everything else I saw it as accessory, so I didn't expect more on that front. I enjoyed the rest of the main cast as sort of supporting main characters, and they worked wonderfully that way.

If I had to make a comparison I'd say that Wakana was this series' Oreki and Konatsu was her Chitanda. The rest of the club was the rest of the club.
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Old 2012-09-27, 17:27   Link #1614
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Any way you slice it, you had five main cast members, three of whom got a significant backstory and psychological exploration, and two who didn't. You could argue that the gender split was coincidental to that, but I wouldn't want to have to back that argument up.
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Old 2012-09-27, 17:50   Link #1615
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You could argue that the gender split was coincidental.
I don't think it's coincidental, but I don't see it as a flaw either. I think it's clear from the start the guys weren't going to be as important as the girls. I'm satisfied with their characterization because I watched the series from that point view. If you have misplaced expectations you're bound to get disappointed, but that's not the show's fault imo.
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Old 2012-09-27, 18:01   Link #1616
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Guardian Enzo and Reckoner - Honestly, I think you guys are greatly exaggerating how shafted the two main male characters of this show were.

Wien actually did get his own two-part arc where he really did get to shine. Was he the only character focused on during that two-part arc? No, but then, nor was Sawa the only character focused on during her two-part arc either.

Wien had an absolutely awesome GAR moment that, honestly, I felt was cooler than any one particular moment that either of the female characters had. And there's no question that yes, Wien was clearly intended to seem very cool and impressive in that scene. Even if it was more campy than what you guys might go for, it's still a case of the writers clearly showing some attention and care for Wien in wanting to give him a great moment like this.


As for Tanaka, his dream to be a professional badminton player was taken seriously, and it was picked back up on in the final episode of Tari Tari. Tanaka also managed to get some nice, subtle romance development with Sawa. And Tanaka even had a few scenes where no other major cast member was on-screen. The guy did get some significant focus in the last few episodes.


Sure, the two guys didn't get quite as much overall focus as the three girls did, but it's nowhere near as severe as you're making it out to be. A character doesn't need some great psychological trauma or personal issues in order to be a good character. In fact, as a certain show about love, elections, and chocolate has recently made clear, you can go too far with that sort of stuff...
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Old 2012-09-27, 18:50   Link #1617
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"Nice and subtle" in this case is synonymous for "If you blinked, you missed it".

I guess it just depends on how low your expectations are. If you take it as a given that only female characters will actually be explored in terms of why they do things rather than simply be shown doing them, then TT was fine. And if you're benchmarking against shows where the male leads are either oversexed idiots or complete ciphers, then it look great by comparison. That doesn't stop me from wanting more, though.

I also think it's a pretty big stretch to say anything involving Tanaka was taken seriously. His badminton career got about 5 minutes early on, he got an afterthought mention in the club name after which the club did absolutely no badminton activity whatsoever, and he was basically on the side of a milk carton between episodes 3 and 11. Compared to the way Tanaka was shafted, Wien's superficial yet entertaining moments seem positively grandiose.
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Old 2012-09-27, 19:19   Link #1618
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A little disappointed that the Ganbaraiger theme is only TV-size length. Maybe there'll be a full length version on the character song albums.
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Old 2012-09-27, 23:33   Link #1619
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
"Nice and subtle" in this case is synonymous for "If you blinked, you missed it".

I guess it just depends on how low your expectations are. If you take it as a given that only female characters will actually be explored in terms of why they do things rather than simply be shown doing them, then TT was fine. And if you're benchmarking against shows where the male leads are either oversexed idiots or complete ciphers, then it look great by comparison. That doesn't stop me from wanting more, though.
What I put in bold were indeed factors in me being mostly cool with how the two guys were handled in this show. They're also two reasons why I don't see as much genericness or "sameness" in Tari Tari as what Reckoner does.

I mean, how many "Slice of High School Life" shows has two of its main cast characters in a really lowkey romance, almost with the romance as an afterthought? In a medium that tends to be melodramatic about romance, I honestly kind of found this refreshing.

But what I really found refreshing about the two guys is that neither one even came remotely close to being a pervert. How many "Slice of High School Life" anime have two important teenaged male characters with neither of them being at least as perverted as, say, Clannad's Sunohara? The wingman of anime is typically this oversexed guy who kind of acts as a motivator to push the male lead forward. And while I don't always mind this, it is kind of an overused character type in anime, imo.

Well, there's no clear-cut wingman between Wien and Tanaka (this in itself is refreshing to me - contrast with Taichi and Aoki in Kokoro Connect where I think we all know who the wingman is ). And neither Wien or Tanaka act even remotely perverted towards their three female friends. If I was Sawa's dad or Wakana's dad, I'd feel some relieved that Wien and Tanaka were the two closest male peers in their lives.

Just for a change of pace, it's nice to see two teenage guys in anime that really are just close, platonic friends with three teenage female peers (albeit with one of the guys and one of the girls having the potential to gradually shift into more than that).


I will concede, though, that there probably should have been more badminton in this show. I felt like the writers realized in the last few episodes that Tanaka really did get less focus than the other four (even significantly less than Wien, yeah), and so they tried to compensate for that with a few scenes where Tanaka is driving the plot activity and doing some stuff apart from the rest of the club. But it definitely can seem a bit "too little, too late".

However, Tari Tari does enough things right, and enough things refreshingly different (good comedy/drama fusion and balance, no clear-cut wingman between the two guys, no pervert between the two main guys, etc...) that I guess I just didn't care that much about its flaws.


One last note is that I think that Kazu-kun is pretty much right on Wakana. On the whole, I think this show really straddles the line between having a main character with a strong immediate supporting cast, and being a true ensemble cast performance. Truth be told, it's not like Konatsu had some grand personal issue either - She didn't have much more drama surrounding her than what Wien or Tanaka did.

Ultimately, I do think Wakana is the main character in this show if anybody is, with the other four really straddling the line between strong supporting cast and true ensemble cast.

If you view this show as being about Wakana and her four friends then the way the guys were handled now seems less of an issue, imo.
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Old 2012-09-28, 00:25   Link #1620
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Ultimately, I do think Wakana is the main character in this show if anybody is, with the other four really straddling the line between strong supporting cast and true ensemble cast.
Honestly, it seems to me that "true ensemble cast" is incredibly rare in all entertainment. It's much more common for there to be a tier of character importance: the lead character (sometimes a shared-lead), the two secondary leads, and the one/two/three supporting leads. That's because you're trying to tie your narrative together around a common theme and developing five parallel narratives of equal weighting and tying them strongly together is difficult, both for the writer and also for the audience -- it can cause the focus to wonder and the central message to be diluted. Even writing five characters of equal significance to a single on-going plot is difficult. I'm honestly struggling now to think of any anime that does not follow that sort of pyramid pattern, particularly in a one-cour show. (Heck, this show even shows the pyramid point blank multiple times in the show. And if you want a really easy example of this pattern, look no further than sentai.)

(The only example of a "true ensemble show" I can think of right now is probably the American sitcom Friends, and that had a lot more narratives on the go and a lot more time to develop them. Plus, it was still fundamentally a sitcom, and less of a drama.)
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