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Old 2012-10-11, 02:31   Link #41
Reckoner
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While discussion of the semantics behind genre label classifications might be a nice thought activity for some people, I am not quite sure what the overall point to the discussion here is.

Even beyond the fact that different people might see each series as different things, so many anime today are multi-genre that it's hard to pigeonhole any of them into anything. Furthermore, all genre labels were meant for were to give a quick and easy method to classify anime. If someone says something is an "action" show, then it's easy to get an idea of what to expect in it. When we start trying to dissect terms like "slice of life" that originally referred to something very specific before getting mangled up, we start to stray from the very idea of classifying things as "slice of life" was never intended to be a genre category like drama.

Kokoro Connect, Tari Tari, and Hyouka are all dramas. They're different dramas of course, but using the term "slice of life" here makes little sense and almost purposeless. Simply describing them with real terms that we have a grasp of would work better. For example, Tari Tari is very obviously built as a coming of age story. Hyouka is obviously also a mystery story. KC is trickier to describe, but at its heart its a bit of a melodrama.
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Old 2012-10-11, 03:52   Link #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
While discussion of the semantics behind genre label classifications might be a nice thought activity for some people, I am not quite sure what the overall point to the discussion here is.

Even beyond the fact that different people might see each series as different things, so many anime today are multi-genre that it's hard to pigeonhole any of them into anything. Furthermore, all genre labels were meant for were to give a quick and easy method to classify anime.
Genre labels are meant to be helpful in finding anime to recommend and watch. So if you take a genre category like "drama", and overuse it to the point that it essentially becomes a catch-all category for anything that doesn't neatly fall into much more specific genres like "comedy", "romance", or "sci-fi", then that genre label ceases to be useful for its most practical purposes.

Do we call a show with a little bit of "comedy" a "comedy"? I would argue that Tari Tari has just as much "comedy" in it as it does "drama" so why not call Tari Tari a "comedy"?

The reason why is that people specifically searching for comedy are likely going to want a show that's more comedic in nature than what Tari Tari is. Likewise, a person specifically searching for "drama" is likely going to want a show that's more dramatic in nature than what Tari Tari is.

But when people look for "Slice of Life", they're primarily looking for a show with a certain feel to it, and Tari Tari does in fact have that feel, consistently throughout the show.

So I think that some people are allowing an overabundance of pedantic thinking to get in the way of what would be most helpful in a practical way when it comes to genre classification.


It would probably be best if "Slice of Life" purists were to let it go, and allow the term to take a natural evolution that might actually make it useful once again. Right now, the Slice of Life purists are leaving a popular anime fan-term in a place where it's completely useless because it applies to almost no recent anime. I think it would be far better to let go of a strict standard of "Slice of Life is a show that must be Setting-Driven rather than Character-Driven or Plot-Driven".

And a good side-effect of this is that by letting "Slice of Life" evolve in this fashion, the genre label "Drama" is much less likely to be overused to the point of uselessness.
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Old 2012-10-11, 04:57   Link #43
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
The reason why is that people specifically searching for comedy are likely going to want a show that's more comedic in nature than what Tari Tari is. Likewise, a person specifically searching for "drama" is likely going to want a show that's more dramatic in nature than what Tari Tari is.
Well, I'm not sure I understand correctly (or "usefully") what that feel is about, but if I go by my intuition, I'd say that Tari Tari has it in spades. Hyouka has in bits and pieces, but character development and mystery dominates. Kokoro Connect has almost none of it.

What all these shows have in common is a particular plot element, really, rather than a feel: people get thrown together in a club and resolve their issues, finding out that there's more to life than they previously thought. The sort of genre that's parodied by Haruhi Suzumiya.

Note that the purpose of the club is secondary to the "life-lesson", which is what separates it from the other shows you mentioned (Koi Choco, Accell World).

So here's my stunning suggestion:

Spice of Life
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Old 2012-10-11, 07:15   Link #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
While discussion of the semantics behind genre label classifications might be a nice thought activity for some people, I am not quite sure what the overall point to the discussion here is.

Even beyond the fact that different people might see each series as different things, so many anime today are multi-genre that it's hard to pigeonhole any of them into anything. Furthermore, all genre labels were meant for were to give a quick and easy method to classify anime. If someone says something is an "action" show, then it's easy to get an idea of what to expect in it. When we start trying to dissect terms like "slice of life" that originally referred to something very specific before getting mangled up, we start to stray from the very idea of classifying things as "slice of life" was never intended to be a genre category like drama.

Kokoro Connect, Tari Tari, and Hyouka are all dramas. They're different dramas of course, but using the term "slice of life" here makes little sense and almost purposeless. Simply describing them with real terms that we have a grasp of would work better. For example, Tari Tari is very obviously built as a coming of age story. Hyouka is obviously also a mystery story. KC is trickier to describe, but at its heart its a bit of a melodrama.
^ All of the above.

I've always hated the label "slice-of-life". It's so broad and poorly defined as to be completely useless as both a name of a genre ("drama" would usually suffice) and a description of a narrative style (all dramas necessarily try to tell us about the lives of their fictional characters).

Much more importantly, I find "slice-of-life" to be a label that makes sense only to anime fans and, even then, only to that small section of anime fans who actually bother discussing such labels. If I were to tell someone who has never watched anime, someone who knows nothing about Japanese popular culture, that Tari Tari is a "slice-of-life" story, he wouldn't have a clue what I'm talking about.

What's wrong with the broad classifications used by everyone else in the world outside of anime fandom? Drama, tragedy, comedy, thriller, horror or documentary. What makes anime drama so "special" and different from all other kinds of drama that it needs a unique descriptor that no other critic but an anime fan would understand?

Moreover, I've always thought of "slice-of-life" as a redundant term for an equivalent idea that has already been around for some time: "fly-on-the-wall" drama.

Words should exist to aid communication, not to obfuscate meaning or to create walls of exclusivity ("If you don't know what slice-of-life is, you're not l33t enough to enjoy anime").
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Old 2012-10-11, 07:34   Link #45
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For comedy mixed with drama sometimes I use the term dramedy. But actually a lot of anime fall into this category because you tend to get a light hearted first half and a more serious second half.

I am not saying genre classifications ate useless but I know I never watch a series just because of genre anymore.

On another note using more specific genre categories is definitely not limited to anime fans.
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Old 2012-10-11, 10:11   Link #46
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Originally Posted by james0246 View Post
^Low-key is a description not a name, so I'm unclear why you like it...but if that floats your boat then how about "Mellow Drama". .
You just won this thread. I sincerely think this term fits the series described in OP to a T. As was already said numerous times, they are dramas, but these kind of series tend to be more light-hearted than your average drama, so "Mellow drama" is perfect.
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Old 2012-10-11, 10:21   Link #47
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Actually, the most misused genre label is Tragedy. In Anime/Manga we just label anything where bad stuff happens to the main characters as "Tragedy", but that's not actually Tragedy. In a proper tragedy, all the bad stuff has to be self inflicted, or the direct result of the protagonists actions, and he has to lose everything because of his own mistakes, not random misfortune (which what usually gets labelled as tragedy).

So Girl getting raped, man getting murdered, lover suffering from fatal disease -> Not Tragedy.

Wealthy obsessive Gambler losing everthing due to overconfidence, Ruler losing everything due to his own distrust and paranoia-> Tragedy.

So Clannad: After Story should not really be called a tragedy, but most of the plots in the first half of Higurashi are Tragedies (in that they're caused by a character's paranoia and distrust of their friends). I haven't watched it, but from what I've read, School Days is also a Tragedy.

Tragedies are often deeply ironic.

I wish people wouldn't play so loose with the meaning of the term, it makes finding actual Tragedy really hard.

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Old 2012-10-11, 13:51   Link #48
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
But when people look for "Slice of Life", they're primarily looking for a show with a certain feel to it, and Tari Tari does in fact have that feel, consistently throughout the show.

So I think that some people are allowing an overabundance of pedantic thinking to get in the way of what would be most helpful in a practical way when it comes to genre classification.
At the extreme, there are basically two choices:

1. Stick to standardized definitions and try to help people understand them so that they use them correctly. (This would be the librarian's approach, and is most useful for fixed classification.)

2. Allow word meanings to evolve to mean whatever people are using them to mean, and try to figure out the definition of what it means in that audience context. (This is what usually happens naturally when people don't care about standardization. This sort of word usage, when restricted to a specific sub-group, is "slang".)

Obviously, word usage does evolve over time, so a balance between these two ideals needs to be achieved. But classification is often used in databases to help sort and organize content. It isn't practical to keep constantly reclassifying things based on the way terms evolve in niche communities, but rather to classify according to a more-or-less fixed standard. This means you don't have to go back and reclassify other things in the past that were similar. So when you're talking about "how should people classify things", I would say that people should generally *try* to stick as close to the industry-standard definitions as possible because they have fixed meaning and are less likely to change. But this is only useful for people who are trying to use the right term.

If you created this thread to ask for "permission" to keep on using the slang you want to use anyway, you don't need it. Do whatever you want. But don't expect to redefine what the term means broadly, because it's used in other industries that aren't going to follow anime's lead. People who aware of the industry-standard meaning will always be annoyed when people use the term incorrectly, even if it's common "slang". You may consider that being "pedantic", but meaning in a broader context is generally more important than what one small group has decided to make a word mean instead. If you want to know what genre certain anime are in based on the industry definitions, I think those have already been provided... and subsequently rejected by you.


Anyway, for your interest and consideration, AniDB has a classification system that depends on a work being tagged in multiple categories, and put together these categories create a more-or-less comprehensive picture of the sort of a show something is. To this end, they created a lot of additional categories beyond what you'd normally call genres (or sub-genres) -- because they're not genres, just categories. You may be interested in the category they created called "Daily Life":

Quote:
Originally Posted by AniDB Definition of Daily Life category
The antics of the protagonists do not take place in some exotic setting or time, but in everyday life. When not "at the job" this means getting up in the morning, making meals, house cleaning, going shopping or out to eat, visiting the bath house or spa, leisure activities in the spare time, etc. The time "on the job" for students is School Life, for others working in their profession. Daily Life is basically a synonym for everything normal, repetitive, and trivial happening to your average person.
I'm not saying they're either doing it correctly or not, but it's just another way of classifying things (that works around the whole "genre" issue). In the world of "inventing new terms to describe things because the existing terms have baggage that confuses people", this one at least doesn't seem bad to me. Obviously it's in use at AniDB, but whether it will catch on in regular discussion, who knows... In the case of Tari Tari, I think it communicates something entirely different from calling it a coming-of-age story or a drama, but what it communicates may still be useful to some people.
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Old 2012-10-11, 14:26   Link #49
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Too bad no one is using "Ordinary" as a label. Although, it has the connotation of "boring" attached to it. "High school" can't be used as a standalone genre label either, because so many genres overlap it - from action, drama, romance, and even supernatural.

The funny thing about genres: they're not scientific classifications. If you take "everything" and divide them into genres, some will fit into multiple genres. Therefore, we'd be giving ourselves a headache trying to force specific series into specific genres. This in turn, leads to some series to question: "What genre is it?" And, if it does not fit any existing genre, then some "new genre" is made up.

When I first saw the terms "slice-of-life" as a genre, I immediately facepalmed but yet, went along with it. Was Haruhi "slice-of-life"? Heck no. Far from it. How about K-ON? Maybe.

Finally, what's are some American TV series best fit to the "slice-of-life" "genre"? Or does any TV series exist for that?

The other thing about genres: Some genres stretch across various media, especially the more generalized ones. Yet, some are specific to particular media, like video games.
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Old 2012-10-11, 16:42   Link #50
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You just won this thread. I sincerely think this term fits the series described in OP to a T. As was already said numerous times, they are dramas, but these kind of series tend to be more light-hearted than your average drama, so "Mellow drama" is perfect.
Sadly, that was mostly a joke. I do not personally see the need for classifications based on niche fan-bases (it seems redundant and a little egotistical). Still, I am glad others have found the small phrase humorous or potentially helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
So Girl getting raped, man getting murdered, lover suffering from fatal disease -> Not Tragedy.

Wealthy obsessive Gambler losing everthing due to overconfidence, Ruler losing everything due to his own distrust and paranoia-> Tragedy.
(Not disagreeing with your post, just adding my two cents)

There is a difference between tragedy and tragic (when it comes to storytelling). (And no, I am not talking about a tragic hero.) A tragic character or story can be found in any genre (even comedy (like ntr stories )), whereas a Tragedy is a very specific set of conventions (which have been elucidated in Don's post).
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Old 2012-10-11, 17:17   Link #51
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Originally Posted by james0246 View Post
(Not disagreeing with your post, just adding my two cents)

There is a difference between tragedy and tragic (when it comes to storytelling). (And no, I am not talking about a tragic hero.) A tragic character or story can be found in any genre (even comedy (like ntr stories )), whereas a Tragedy is a very specific set of conventions (which have been elucidated in Don's post).
What I find annoying is that actual Tragedy is quite impactful, dare I say it highly entertaining. It feels good because everything that happens is the characters own fault. If they're a villain, they're getting their just desert (as in Macbeth), if they're more of a hero, then it just creates more empathy (as in Oedipus the King). But it gives you an idea that the universe isn't arbitrary.

Stories where it's just bad stuff happening for no particular reason, out of the control of the person suffering is just depressing.

Because of how Tragedy has been undermined, people think Tragedy is depressing and even boring, when actually it's only really the pseudo-tragedies that are depressing. A good tragedy will have real impact on you when you see it, but it won't leave you depressed.

I think I might leave my rant there. But anyway, plenty of genre terms are misused in Anime/Manga besides Slice of Life.
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Old 2012-10-12, 07:24   Link #52
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While I agree that what we might call "traditional slice-of-life" shows are rare today, they do still exist. The most recent example is Showa Monogatari. It portrays a lower-middle-class Japanese family during 1964, the year the Olympics came to Tokyo. The family faces its share of issues -- financial problems, a difficult teen-aged daughter, a son who does not want to take up his father's machine-tool business, etc., etc. There is nothing earth-shatteringly dramatic about any of these conflicts; they are just the sorts of issues ordinary people face as they try to live their lives. This type of show would be played for laughs as a situation comedy in the US, but the Japanese treat it seriously. I wouldn't call it high drama, though, because the issues are not "big" enough. Nor is it a working-class tragedy like the plays Arthur Miller wrote after the War. Showa Monogatari is just, well, "slice-of-life."

I'll readily admit that shows like these are not common, but they are distinctive and, in my admittedly constrained view of world popular culture, distinctively Japanese.
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Old 2012-10-14, 05:08   Link #53
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"Slice of Life" genre. What's so interesting about it?

You see, when i first watching anime more than 10 years ago, i generally tend to underestimate and put aside "Slice of Life" genre. My main reason is "Nothing happens". Yes, in Slice of Life genre you won't find epic fight between superpowered characters, legendary magical powers with ability to smashing entire universe, or giant mecha with high-tech armaments which would put entire U.S. Millitary Forces into a shame.

Heck, at that time i keep thinking "What's the point of watching a show if nothing happens?". If i want to understand what "slice of life" means then i would just go about my everyday life. Until recently, however, i began to feel charmed by a strange yet unique anime named "Chuunibyou demo koi ga shitai" which basically a product of "slice of life" and unconsciously became so addicted with it that i couldn't wait for the next episode to air.

That said, i was wondering, What's so interesting about "Slice of Life" genre?
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Old 2012-10-14, 05:18   Link #54
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I'll suggest you to watch the three Aria series, The Animation, The Natural and Origination. It's truly a prime example of where slice-of-life as a genre play up its strenghts at the fullest.

Here is the one thing about this genre. Its characters, while it is true for every genres, it's even more true here. If you outright dislike them, can't get attached to them, the series IS lost on you. Unfortunately as the years passed, the definition, already loose, of the genre have diluted and as you can see, it have becomes increasingly harder to define what really is slice of life.

To me, slice of life is a window opened to observe the daily occurences of a cast of characters in an universe. There can be good things or bad things happening to them, but in the end, it will never truly affect the course of the things in the bigger picture. Perhaps, it is another defining features of the genre, that it is pretty low key.
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Old 2012-10-14, 05:21   Link #55
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this feel a bit like flame bait...

anyway for me, I prefer to have peace of mind, feel happy or see pure friendship when watching anime, that why I prefer watching slice of life anime than action. out of about 100 anime I have watched, there are just about 10 of them are action or Stein;Gate like (not action but have a dark story) anime, the rest are either comedy, slice of life or romance.
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Old 2012-10-14, 05:31   Link #56
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I'd love to tell you what I like about it,but right now with the way the term is being used all over the place I can't even tell you what it really means anymore


(and no this isn't me trying to start up the 135th "what is Slice of life?" debate)
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Old 2012-10-14, 05:33   Link #57
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Originally Posted by Insane View Post
You see, when i first watching anime more than 10 years ago, i generally tend to underestimate and put aside "Slice of Life" genre. My main reason is "Nothing happens". Yes, in Slice of Life genre you won't find epic fight between superpowered characters, legendary magical powers with ability to smashing entire universe, or giant mecha with high-tech armaments which would put entire U.S. Millitary Forces into a shame.

Heck, at that time i keep thinking "What's the point of watching a show if nothing happens?". If i want to understand what "slice of life" means then i would just go about my everyday life. Until recently, however, i began to feel charmed by a strange yet unique anime named "Chuunibyou demo koi ga shitai" which basically a product of "slice of life" and unconsciously became so addicted with it that i couldn't wait for the next episode to air.

That said, i was wondering, What's so interesting about "Slice of Life" genre?
Dude, your statement sounds kinda offensive here, but meh......For me, what's interesting about Slice of Life is the characters. While another genre (action/fantasy/supernatural) generally won't mind weak characters if the plot is strong enough, slice of life genre definitely doesn't have that kind of feature. Most characters in slice of life show tend to have unique personalities that you won't find in any other genres.

Yes, the main strength/appeal of slice of life genre is none other than its characters, and that's why i love slice of life genre very much.
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Old 2012-10-14, 05:37   Link #58
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Dude, your statement sounds kinda offensive here, but meh......For me, what's interesting about Slice of Life is the characters. While another genre (action/fantasy/supernatural) generally won't mind weak characters if the plot is strong enough, slice of life genre definitely doesn't have that kind of feature. Most characters in slice of life show tend to have unique personalities that you won't find in any other genres.

Yes, the main strength/appeal of slice of life genre is none other than its characters, and that's why i love slice of life genre very much.
QFT, I feel the same way with him.
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Old 2012-10-14, 06:01   Link #59
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Dude, your statement sounds kinda offensive here, but meh......For me, what's interesting about Slice of Life is the characters. While another genre (action/fantasy/supernatural) generally won't mind weak characters if the plot is strong enough, slice of life genre definitely doesn't have that kind of feature. Most characters in slice of life show tend to have unique personalities that you won't find in any other genres.

Yes, the main strength/appeal of slice of life genre is none other than its characters, and that's why i love slice of life genre very much.
No, i was not being offensive or anything like that. I just wanted to know why "slice of life" genre deemed as interesting show by many people. I just got myself dumbfounded by Chuunibyou koi, and found that "slice of life" genre is quite interesting (considering that all this time i keep ridiculing slice of life because of its rather weak plot).
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Old 2012-10-14, 06:10   Link #60
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That said, i was wondering, What's so interesting about "Slice of Life" genre?
It's calming...
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