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Old 2012-10-06, 12:48   Link #501
Xaturas
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Originally Posted by orion View Post
The guys have 2 busty females, one moe female and one gothic lolita. Also, the guys get the fights and anything potential that happens with random females in the school.

The girls get 8 males and a potential couple.

Seems balanced to me.
I take 1 female or no female, as long as there is no BL on my screen. But as there are already BL lovers neg repping here I'm gonna shut my trap ^^.
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Old 2012-10-06, 12:55   Link #502
Kirarakim
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Originally Posted by darkchibi07 View Post
It still reeks tackiness for just having 3 girls for the males to ogle at while the females get a much larger selection. I'm more worried what kind of significant role the girls will play. I still think they should have added a few more female characters if they really wanted to aimed at both sides
It's tacky for there to be more male characters when normal ratios of anime series its quite the opposite?

Anyways I think it's silly to judge a series based on the gender of the characters. What's ultimately important is how the characters are written regardless of gender.
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Old 2012-10-06, 12:59   Link #503
Cosmic Eagle
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Yashiro a King? I wonder if he's truly one or is just really airheaded...

Also I wonder what is Kurou's relation with the previous 7th King...

That heavy use of blue colouring and that artwork....need to stop comparing this to Mardock...

BGM plus that visual gives a really soothing, dreamy feel to it though, so not bad there.

As long as it does not go Guilty Crown IE attempt to pull a serious plot but end up an incoherent mess I'm fine, even if it's pure fanservice.
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Old 2012-10-06, 15:04   Link #504
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
But I don't agree with this. I think it is fine for shows to give only little glimpses of who the characters are in early episodes. This is called character building.
There's more than one way to do character building.

Furthermore, I would argue that most of the best anime shows I have seen (Madoka Magica, Gurren Lagann, Steins;Gate, True Tears, Hyouka, etc...) chose to reveal a lot about its core characters right in the very first episode.

So I think that it's generally better to show more than just "little glimpses" about core characters in early episodes.


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The problem isn't that K doesn't give this information, the problem is it doesn't give anything except for action & visuals.
What could an anime give that wouldn't fall under "action", "visuals", or "information"? Those three cover just about anything you could find in an anime show.

You're right that K doesn't give anything except for action and visuals, which by extension means it lacks information.

You raised Shinsekai Yori as a point of comparison, and it's true that the first episode of Shinsekai Yori has an ominous air of mystery surrounding its first episode. But even so, there's loads of dialogue in that first episode of Shinsekai Yori, there's lots of little plot details and hints sprinkled throughout (much of it in the dialogue), and we get a good feeling for most of the main cast members (certainly Saki and the two main boys) in the first episode.

We don't really have that here in K.

So in my view the difference basically comes down to Shinsekai Yori giving us more information than what K does. And with that more information comes a greater likelihood of gaining emotional investment in the characters, their story, and their setting.
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Old 2012-10-06, 15:42   Link #505
kuromitsu
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
You raised Shinsekai Yori as a point of comparison, and it's true that the first episode of Shinsekai Yori has an ominous air of mystery surrounding its first episode. But even so, there's loads of dialogue in that first episode of Shinsekai Yori, there's lots of little plot details and hints sprinkled throughout (much of it in the dialogue), and we get a good feeling for most of the main cast members (certainly Saki and the two main boys) in the first episode.

We don't really have that here in K.
But why is that a problem? You can establish a setting in different ways. Shinsekai used words, K used action. Shinsekai yori used an approach that fits its plot and its style, K used an approach that fit K's plot and K's style.

Also, I think we got a good feeling for most of the cast members? I mean, they seem to be pretty straightforward (I don't expect them to get much more complicated, with the exception of Black & White), mostly made up of clichés.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
So in my view the difference basically comes down to Shinsekai Yori giving us more information than what K does. And with that more information comes a greater likelihood of gaining emotional investment in the characters, their story, and their setting.
Then again, comparing Shinsekai yori and K is pretty much a case of apples and oranges. The former is a "thinky" show based on a novel (not a light novel but an actual novel, even though it seems to fall into the YA category). The latter is the anime equivalent of a summer blockbuster.
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Old 2012-10-06, 16:05   Link #506
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post

Furthermore, I would argue that most of the best anime shows I have seen (Madoka Magica, Gurren Lagann, Steins;Gate, True Tears, Hyouka, etc...) chose to reveal a lot about its core characters right in the very first episode.
Ignoring True Tears (which I have not seen and can't comment on) I would argue that Madoka, Steins Gate, Hyouka and Gurren Lagann actually don't tell us a lot about the characters in the first episodes: at least if you think about how our perceptions of those characters might have changed throughout the series: much of the information it gives us is misleading.

Perhaps you are saying misleading information is better than no information, maybe! But what I am saying is K can still possibly create interesting characters without telling us much about them in the first episode, if it slowly reveals things about them over time.

I think the first episode ultimately failed for me because of the glaring way it tried to sell itself though.

Quote:
What could an anime give that wouldn't fall under "action", "visuals", or "information"? Those three cover just about anything you could find in an anime show.
There is difference between setting up a story (giving us the questions) and giving loads of information though (the answers).

Maybe Kuromitsu sums up the issue best, K is just trying to be a blockbuster, nothing more.
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Old 2012-10-06, 16:26   Link #507
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Originally Posted by kuromitsu View Post
But why is that a problem?
It's not necessarily a problem for a show to go with a "pure spectacle" approach to its first episode. If the show can pull that off (and K definitely can) then maybe that's fine.

But I have seen a lot of mixed reaction to K, both here and on the anime blogosphere. The "confusing" criticism comes up a lot, and I'm trying to explain where that viewer reaction is probably coming from since other viewers didn't find the episode confusing at all.

It's not so much a case of the episode being hard to follow - No, it's not hard to follow. But people are "confused" on what we're supposed to take from it, and that goes back to the "why?" question.

If K gets a bit more in-depth about things in the next episode or two then that's fine, but I can see why people were "confused" by this first episode.


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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Ignoring True Tears (which I have not seen and can't comment on) I would argue that Madoka, Steins Gate, Hyouka and Gurren Lagann actually don't tell us a lot about the characters in the first episodes: at least if you think about how our perceptions of those characters might have changed throughout the series: much of the information it gives us is misleading.
It's not that our perception of the characters changed. It's that, in many cases, the characters themselves changed. So the information wasn't misleading, as it was accurate when it was presented. It's just that. in some cases, character development caused what was once true about some characters to become less true (if not completely overturned) by the time that the series ending had arrived.

Even so, that initial information on the characters gives the viewer something to latch onto. And as an aside, not all of that information is overturned. Kaname Madoka's character, for example, is pretty clear from the very first episode of PMMM, and she doesn't change that much, imo.


I would argue that the best character building (at least for main protagonists) isn't very slowly pulling back the curtain, but rather giving us solid characterization from the very beginning and showing us how that character changes and develops over time.
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Old 2012-10-06, 16:35   Link #508
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
It's not that our perception of the characters changed. It's that, in many cases, the characters themselves changed. So the information wasn't misleading, as it was accurate when it was presented. It's just that. in some cases, character development caused what was once true about some characters to become less true (if not completely overturned) by the time that the series ending had arrived.
I'll give you this is true in some cases (and I love this type of character development) but I think what I say about misleading is true in some cases too. You used the example of Madoka, well then I will use the example of Homura.

In Steins Gate I was thinking of a lot of the side characters who didn't necessarily "change" but who became more than stereotypes by the end of the series based on what we learned about them.

Although I think we can agree there is more than one way to build a character.
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Old 2012-10-06, 16:48   Link #509
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
I'll give you this is true in some cases (and I love this type of character development) but I think what I say about misleading is true in some cases too. You used the example of Madoka, well then I will use the example of Homura.
Well, sure. And it's great to have at least a character or two like Homura because it makes a show a bit more intriguing.

And the "slowly pulls back the curtain" approach is fine, and probably even ideal, for side characters like the ones in Steins;Gate that you alluded to.

But I think that your main character is somebody that the audience should have a real feel for after even just the first episode.

And what do we know about K's main character?

That's not just a rhetorical question, by the way, as it would be interesting to see what the biggest fans of this show can say about him.



Quote:

Although I think we can agree there is more than one way to build a character.
To quote a famous man, "Yes, we can".
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Old 2012-10-06, 17:45   Link #510
kuromitsu
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
But I have seen a lot of mixed reaction to K, both here and on the anime blogosphere. The "confusing" criticism comes up a lot, and I'm trying to explain where that viewer reaction is probably coming from since other viewers didn't find the episode confusing at all.
I admit I really have no idea how anyone who paid any attention at all could find this episode confusing...

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
It's not so much a case of the episode being hard to follow - No, it's not hard to follow. But people are "confused" on what we're supposed to take from it, and that goes back to the "why?" question.
To be honest I still don't quite understand the problem... :/ This was a very standard, very typically anime style in medias res opening act. Most anime that try to build a "mystery" and want to start with a bang do this. "Stuff happens! People do things! Mysterious foreshadowing! Why did this happen? What are the characters after? What is the mystery? Tune in next week to find out in the next episode!" - this kind of stuff. The question "why?" is exactly what people should take from it, and expect answers in the upcoming episodes.

I'm sure there are people who don't like this kind of storytelling, and prefer to know as much as possible at any given point. But there are other ways of storytelling which are also perfectly valid.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I would argue that the best character building (at least for main protagonists) isn't very slowly pulling back the curtain, but rather giving us solid characterization from the very beginning and showing us how that character changes and develops over time.
Hah. This is again very subjective, but I absolutely love the "slowly pulling back the curtain" technique, both in plot and in characterization. (The best, of course, when it's tied with progressive developments, simply because that gives the most complete picture of a character, but of course this, too, needs to be supported by a strong plot and/or focus on the character.)

From what I've read in this thread, I think the whole thingbasically comes down to personal preferences. Some people strongly prefer one type of storytelling and characterization, others prefer different methods, or don't feel strongly about any method in particular so they aren't bothered.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
And what do we know about K's main character?

That's not just a rhetorical question, by the way, as it would be interesting to see what the biggest fans of this show can say about him.
Now, I'm not a "fan" but I'm enjoying this show so far (that single episode of it XD) despite its failings, so here's what I know about Yashiro: he's friendly guy who likes to be on good terms with people and as such is popular with his schoolmates. However, as whatshername that girl said, he doesn't seem to have a particularly close relationship with anyone, which may or may not stem from his past as Psycho King, but in any case he seems to avoid getting close to anyone on purpose (re: after mooching food from everyone he goes and eats his lunch alone). His harmless and affable personality seems to be a front, not fully, but to some some degree, behind which he probably hides a token Angsty Past and mental scars. He's the sort of character that has immense powers, but doesn't use them because he doesn't want to hurt anyone, "anymore" is also pretty likely. (As for the whole Psycho King thing, we will learn more about that in the following episodes so anything about that would be speculation.)

Clichéd? You bet. But it's not like we know nothing about him (quite the contrary, it's like we already know him because he's such a cliché). Same with everyone else: while they haven't had as much screen time as Shiro, we already had pretty good indications as to what sort of characters they are, and frankly I'll be very surprised (positively) if the show goes against my expectations...

ETA:
Forgot to mention: Shiro may appear harmless, but he's more cunning than he seems. He also seems to have a laid-back side. In general, he seems to be pretty "my pace."

ETA#2:
Also, he likes cats. (so he can't be a bad guy!)

Last edited by kuromitsu; 2012-10-06 at 18:11.
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Old 2012-10-06, 18:11   Link #511
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Originally Posted by kuromitsu View Post


To be honest I still don't quite understand the problem... :/ This was a very standard, very typically anime style in medias res opening act.
With the possible exception of Ga-Rei Zero, I can't think of another anime episode that had a start like this one. You say it's "very standard, very anime". Very well then. If you're right, it should be easy for you to list at least 10 other anime shows that have a first episode like K's. I'd be interested in seeing such a list.


Quote:
I'm sure there are people who don't like this kind of storytelling, and prefer to know as much as possible at any given point. But there are other ways of storytelling which are also perfectly valid.
That's debatable. Are you familiar with Kurt Vonnegut's Eight Rules for a Short Story?

I do think there are certain "best practices" when it comes to good writing. Now there are exceptions, and K might be one, but I do think it's generally best to give viewers a reason to care about a main character right from the very first episode.


Quote:
Now, I'm not a "fan" but I'm enjoying this show so far (that single episode of it XD) despite its failings, so here's what I know about Yashiro: he's friendly guy...
On what basis do you call him friendly? Who exactly was he friendly to?


Quote:
who likes to be on good terms with people and as such is popular with his schoolmates.
What makes you think he wants to be on good terms with people and is popular with his school mates? Actually, he comes off as a bit of a loner to me.


Quote:
which may or may not stem from his past as Psycho King, but in any case he seems to avoid getting close to anyone on purpose (re: after mooching food from everyone he goes and eats his lunch alone). His harmless and affable personality seems to be a front, not fully, but to some some degree, behind which he probably hides a token Angsty Past and mental scars. He's the sort of character that has immense powers, but doesn't use them because he doesn't want to hurt anyone, "anymore" is also pretty likely. (As for the whole Psycho King thing, we will learn more about that in the following episodes so anything about that would be speculation.)

Clichéd? You bet.
No, cliched isn't the right term for it. "Largely speculative" is a better term for it. Almost everything you wrote about Shiro is based on your expectation that this anime will prove to be extremely trope-esque.

And it may well end up being extremely trope-esque, but we don't know that. So it's not something that a viewer can truly latch on to, imo.

What do we truly, definitely know about this male lead?

I'll grant you seemingly harmless and affable. But there's very little beyond that, imo.
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Old 2012-10-06, 18:19   Link #512
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I do think there are certain "best practices" when it comes to good writing.
I completely disagree with this. I also think adhering to a checkbox outlook on anything in life makes it far less likely for someone to be pleasantly surprised by something.

Not that I'm saying K is going to be a pleasant surprise. I'm fairly confident on what K is, even with only one episode to go off of.
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Old 2012-10-06, 18:33   Link #513
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I'm calling it:

Asteria 2.0

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Hopefully they'll give us a reason why there is a loli in a gang.
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Old 2012-10-06, 18:58   Link #514
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Originally Posted by Xaturas View Post
I take 1 female or no female, as long as there is no BL on my screen. But as there are already BL lovers neg repping here I'm gonna shut my trap ^^.
I don't really see any BL lovers around here yet - mostly people complaining about the possible BL in it, so you're free to speak.

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Originally Posted by Kirarakim
Anyways I think it's silly to judge a series based on the gender of the characters. What's ultimately important is how the characters are written regardless of gender.
Exactly. I personally find this show quite impressive from the get-go, but the number of people claiming it's bad just because of the lack of a harem gets a bit eyebrow-raising.

In fact I think this anime may be obeying more to the classic, old-fashioned Smurfette Principle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple R
Furthermore, I would argue that most of the best anime shows I have seen (Madoka Magica, Gurren Lagann, Steins;Gate, True Tears, Hyouka, etc...) chose to reveal a lot about its core characters right in the very first episode.
Don't get me wrong, I love Madoka. It is my favourite anime of all time because of simply how brilliant it is. But I have to disagree - its first episode didn't grasp me at all. I would've actually dropped it right there and then without realizing the awesomeness of it all, if I hadn't been told that the third episode will take a gigantic turn. Madoka shouldn't have tried using its first episodes to mask a dark, psychological anime as something else. Madoka hid the plot in the first episode - and in fact, so does K. Thus why so fast to judge?

But yes, I agree that more dialogue may be better. Though I guess the first episode was really there to stun people with its epic visuals. Bringing dialogue in will dilute it, so they're saving it for later.

Anyway, right now what I enjoyed about the anime was the clear non-black-and-whiteness of the story. K's episode 1 tends to paint Homura as the "bad guys" and SCEPTER4 (or whatever number it is, I forgot) as the "good guys". But at the same time, the members of Homura feel a lot more human with a stronger sense of comradeship (especially in K: Memory of Red) than anyone else does. It's not just some "good vs evil" show, so at least for that I'm sticking to it.
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Old 2012-10-06, 19:14   Link #515
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Hopefully they'll give us a reason why there is a loli in a gang.
Because lolis are a wish-fulfillment icon for Japanese otaku?
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Old 2012-10-06, 19:17   Link #516
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Hopefully they'll give us a reason why there is a loli in a gang.
Some sort of mascot of their gang, maybe?
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Old 2012-10-06, 19:21   Link #517
kuromitsu
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With the possible exception of Ga-Rei Zero, I can't think of another anime episode that had a start like this one. You say it's "very standard, very anime". Very well then. If you're right, it should be easy for you to list at least 10 other anime shows that have a first episode like K's. I'd be interested in seeing such a list.
It's 2 in the morning here and I'm away from my main PC so you'll have to forgive my spotty memory, but a short list: you mentioned Ga-Rei Zero, and then there's Berserk, Gungrave, Darker than Black, Tokyo Majin Gakuen, Yukikaze (and it's a long one!), Baccano, Wolf's Rain, GITS:SAC, and also if a general feeling of "what the hell did I just watch" counts Sengoku Basara did a pretty good job on that. I'm sure others can name other shows.

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That's debatable. Are you familiar with Kurt Vonnegut's Eight Rules for a Short Story?
I am, but this is not a short story, or even a novel-length story, this is a 13 eps long anime series.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I do think there are certain "best practices" when it comes to good writing. Now there are exceptions, and K might be one, but I do think it's generally best to give viewers a reason to care about a main character right from the very first episode.
As I said above: this is very subjective. (And I say this as someone who is very character-centric.) While I do believe that there are ways to do something the wrong way (very, very wrong as the case might be... *glances at avatar*) I don't agree that any show has to follow rules or "best practices" to be good or even effective. Now, no-one here is saying that K is a great show or anything, but as far as I'm concerned the first episode did its job perfectly well.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
On what basis do you call him friendly? Who exactly was he friendly to? What makes you think he wants to be on good terms with people and is popular with his school mates? Actually, he comes off as a bit of a loner to me.
He was friendly to pretty much all of his schoolmates? All those smiles, those thanks, etc.? And everyone gave him some food, they called out to him, greeted him in a friendly way, etc. (And actually, whatshername that girl introduces him as friendly and on good terms with people, in a brief exposition.) And all this in no way contradicts him being a bit of a loner - in fact, whatshername also said that while he's on good terms with everyone, he doesn't really have friends.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
No, cliched isn't the right term for it. "Largely speculative" is a better term for it. Almost everything you wrote about Shiro is based on your expectation that this anime will prove to be extremely trope-esque.

And it may well end up being extremely trope-esque, but we don't know that. So it's not something that a viewer can truly latch on to, imo.
Most of what I wrote was a) based on what whatshername said that we are expected to take at face value for now and which Shiro's actions also support (I would've written what she said word for word but didn't want to start the video), and b) based on what Shiro actually does. But I did add some speculation because from this episode it does seem that the show will be trope-esque and clichéd. (As I said, I'll be pleasantly surprised if it goes against my expectations.)

But what exactly do you want to latch onto as a viewer if not your impressions of the characters? Cold, hard facts only?

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
What do we truly, definitely know about this male lead?

I'll grant you seemingly harmless and affable. But there's very little beyond that, imo.
We know everything we were talking about above, and although not cold hard facts () I also stand by what I wrote in my previous post. If your impressions are different then that's it, but if you stop and think about how he got out of school without his PDA thingy, or how he reacted to Kurou saving him (and I don't mean the blush, I mean the almost completely unfazed "oh, thanks, I'll be off then, would you mind moving that sword? ^-^)"), you can draw some conclusions.

And given that he's the center of one of the mysteries of the show it's just natural that we don't know everything about him. He seems to be just an Ordinary High School Student but he's involved with something big, he's Special, and we'll learn the rest as we go along.
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Old 2012-10-06, 19:23   Link #518
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I completely disagree with this.
So what do you think makes for good writing, and what do you think makes for bad writing? Is everything equally well-written? If not, what makes the difference between best writing, next best writing, average writing, bad writing, etc...?

Is any approach at all to writing perfectly acceptable?

Every craft has basic standards for what constitutes good craftsmanship. Writing is, at least to some degree, a craft.

One thing I should clarify here, though, is...


Quote:
Originally Posted by kuromitsu View Post

As I said above: this is very subjective. (And I say this as someone who is very character-centric.) While I do believe that there are ways to do something the wrong way (very, very wrong as the case might be... *glances at avatar*) I don't agree that any show has to follow rules or "best practices" to be good or even effective.
Right. What I mean by "best practices" is more a case of certain pitfalls that writers are encouraged to avoid moreso than specific approaches that writers should take. In other words, it's more "avoid this" than "do that".

And yeah, your avatar does connect to a very instructive anime here, lol.


Anyway, I've debated this as much as I care to. I do thank you for your list of shows though. Most of them I haven't seen, so maybe I'll check them out.

Ultimately, K's first episode was fine for what it is.
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Old 2012-10-06, 19:32   Link #519
Terizent
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I'm calling it:

Asteria 2.0

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Hopefully they'll give us a reason why there is a loli in a gang.
Probably the team mascot that everyone likes to dote on? Also she's a walking, talking lie detector. That's always going to be useful, especially if you're in a gang.
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Old 2012-10-06, 19:36   Link #520
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Wow. So much analysis over an action series that's only had one episode.

The premise though, the more I think about it, reminds me of X by CLAMP.
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