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Old 2012-10-20, 20:22   Link #21
Kirarakim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zarqu View Post
C'mon. Surely the context in this case must be actual anime. Something like Psycho-Pass isn't unique when you consider the whole of Western SF literature, but it is quite unique when you consider the Japanese animation context.

In this sense, the premise of Psycho-Pass is indeed more original than any school/harem/romance VN adaptation.
But to those of us who have seen it before in other mediums, it's not.

Please note just because I don't think Psycho Pass is the most original thing ever doesn't mean I am saying it is bad...quite the opposite. I have a lot of faith that Urobuchi can pull something awesome off but it's not "the premise" that makes the series better than other series to me. *shrugs*
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Old 2012-10-20, 20:28   Link #22
zarqu
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Please note just because I don't think Psycho Pass is the most original thing ever doesn't mean I am saying it is bad.
Of course the bolded part is just a strawman no one is arguing about.

The argument is still about this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
You really think that all narrative ideas are completely equal, and that none have more inherent potential than others?
I do think some narrative ideas have more potential than others. Generally, even statistically, it's harder to make that potential actually work for you. But when it does work, the payoff will be much greater than if you just executed a standard harem show well.

edit: Still a work in progress.
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Old 2012-10-20, 20:33   Link #23
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I say that execution is more important than the premise/idea, but they're both important. Usually more so than what color panties the heroine is wearing at least.

I treat the concept as the foundation of the show, and the execution as a multiplier for bringing out its potential. Which means if you have a great idea, a great execution will make it a great^2 show. On the other hand, if you have a great concept but a terrible execution, the show will be terrible^2 (screwing up an elaborate idea is worse than screwing up a simple idea). But of course, if you have a terrible story but great execution, the show will at least be watchable. Let's not talk about terrible stories with terrible execution.

They're inherently linked to each other. However, from my experience good execution can save a bad concept while the converse is not true. That's why execution > concept for me.

PS: The analogy continues when you have a great idea multiplied by zero (no) execution resulting in literally no show. Math!
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Old 2012-10-20, 20:34   Link #24
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Yes I think all premises are basically created equal. Something wonderful (and I don't mean just better than all the rest in that genre) can be created from anything. It's not the premise that decides this.

What we choose to watch or not watch is based on our own personal views and in that sense all premises might not be equal. But at the same time my opinions are not shared by everyone else. So just because someone else might be more excited about a sci-fi thriller, someone else might be more excited about that romantic comedy, or someone else might be equally excited by both.
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Old 2012-10-20, 20:39   Link #25
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I am very much an "execution" type of person,premise doesn't matter much to me,but I feel that's just personal taste and don't expect everyone to be the same.As an example of me not really caring about premise I can without a doubt say that I'm looking forward to the next episode of Sakurasou more than the next episode of psycho pass,monday can't come soon enough!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zarqu View Post
C'mon. Surely the context in this case must be actual anime. Something like Psycho-Pass isn't unique when you consider the whole of Western SF literature, but it is quite unique when you consider Japanese animation. Or well, if not unique at least it's rare.
I agree with that,I'll also add that time period also needs to be taken into account. If this were the late 80s early 90s an anime with psycho pass' premise wouldn't seem so eccentric (though I'd guess it'd have more fanservice ) while an anime like Tari Tari with its down to earth non fantasy/sci fi high school setting would seem quite refreshing.
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Old 2012-10-20, 20:56   Link #26
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Originally Posted by james0246 View Post
I will say you are generally more likely to find a "good" show with above average execution and simple premise than a "good" show with an above average premise but simple execution. To be more specific, a good premise does not equal a good show, but good execution almost always equals an above average show.

As I said earlier, if something is done well, then it is generally good. Not great, but at least good.

(It goes without saying, at least for me, that a "great" show has a good premise and good execution.)
I agree with this.

I also think that we should differentiate between how premise & execution attract audience and how they add to the experience of watching the anime itself.

An anime with original or unusual premise might attract more audience than anime with a tired premise. Still, when all things are said & done, cliche'd anime with exceptional execution always triumph over premise-driven anime with poor execution (quality-wise, not commercial-wise). So, in the end, good execution might not be the only thing that matters, but it surely is the most important thing for a story.
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Old 2012-10-20, 21:14   Link #27
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We speak as though "execution" is a quantifiable object that I can add to any media project and instantly make it better.

Anyone care to point me to where I can buy said object? It would sure make my job a lot easier.
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Old 2012-10-20, 21:17   Link #28
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Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor View Post
I also think that we should differentiate between how premise & execution attract audience and how they add to the experience of watching the anime itself.
I do agree with this. It's just that we have more hard evidence about the "attraction" part. Actual reviews are problematic as evidence because they are inherently subjective. Of course we can objectively assess the subjective content of those reviews (logical consistency, respect for evidence and that sort of thing), but it takes a lot of work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor View Post
An anime with original or unusual premise might attract more audience than anime with a tired premise.
Is there any evidence for this? I can't read Japanese so I can't visit any DVD/BD sales sites, but I'd wager a "safe" (ecchi) school/harem/romance VN adaptation would attract a bigger audience than a show about middle-aged construction workers, for example.
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Old 2012-10-20, 21:20   Link #29
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
We speak as though "execution" is a quantifiable object that I can add to any media project and instantly make it better.

Anyone care to point me to where I can buy said object? It would sure make my job a lot easier.
Hiroshi Hamasaki sells good execution for 10 dollars per anime!

Nah, I think execution in this context refers to any actions by the director (or relevant staff) to make this adaptation of a harem/school/romance VN stand out from the rest, for example. Basically, "execution" is any artistic direction that is permitted by the concept/premise of the show. So "it's" separate from the source material. Call it "artistic liberty" while still staying within the boundaries set by the source material.

I think "execution" is something like that. So it is indeed a fuzzy concept.

But like you rightly point out, "execution" itself is an interesting concept worthy of its own discussion, I'd wager.

But that's the problem of many threads in any forum: they boil down to questions of definitions. Not to say they are boring. I can't, after all, pretend to argue with you if I don't understand the definitions of your terms.

Last edited by zarqu; 2012-10-20 at 21:32.
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Old 2012-10-20, 21:26   Link #30
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I dunno if this count but...School Days is known to have bad concepts but excellent and heavenly execution, especially the last episode. At least what the internet says...
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Old 2012-10-20, 21:32   Link #31
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Originally Posted by zarqu View Post
Is there any evidence for this? I can't read Japanese so I can't visit any DVD/BD sales sites, but I'd wager a "safe" (ecchi) school/harem/romance VN adaptation would attract a bigger audience than a show about middle-aged construction workers, for example.
That's why I said "might" since I'm not exactly sure that it does .
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Old 2012-10-20, 21:37   Link #32
TinyRedLeaf
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Originally Posted by zarqu View Post
Hiroshi Hamasaki sells good execution for 10 dollars per anime!

Nah, I think execution in this context refers to any actions by the director (or relevant staff) to make this adaptation of a harem/school/romance VN stand out from the rest, for example. Basically, "execution" is any artistic direction that is permitted by the concept/premise of the show.
My point is that, unless the worker is wilfully incompetent, I don't know anyone who doesn't try to deliver the best "execution" he can for any given project, media-related or otherwise. No one, I would hope, sets out to deliberately fail.

So, sure, it's fine to tell a writer or animator that execution matters. But to me, that's like preaching to the converted. Which writer or animator worth his salt doesn't know the importance of "execution"?
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Old 2012-10-20, 21:45   Link #33
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Originally Posted by zarqu View Post
Any cyberpunk/dystopia show is more original and rare than any romance/school/harem VN adaptation. I can't say it's simply genre bias at this point in time.
It's certainly rarer in anime, but all that would means to me is that a familiar idea gets an anime treatment. I'd file that under "execution".

***

As for this quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R
You really think that all narrative ideas are completely equal, and that none have more inherent potential than others?
You'll have to elaborate, here. "Potential" to do what? There's no such thing as un-directed potential. And there's the catch, too.

Some shows have an "emotional" core, and the narrative is an excuse to deliver a certain set of emotion. Something that's not very interesting can still have an impact, and such shows often become part of my favourites. Perfect examples are Kimi ni Todoke and Usagi Drop. They're part of my favourites, but it's all execution. (Kimi ni Todoke is interesting in that respect, since IMO that masterpiece status only applies to the first season [and seeing flashbacks to the first season in the second one makes that clear to me].)

That's the thing: you need to avoid cliché (i.e. a trope you're so used to seeing that it no longer triggers it's core). But when it comes to emotional shows and intellectual shows, there's a difference to where you look for clichés. If the main draw is intellectual, you'll look for cliché in the concept. That's because you want to think things through. Narrative potential matters more, here, because you want to be challenged in some way. You want to think things through.

Emotional shows, on the other hand, often rely on re-affirming narrative cliché in the first place. But to do so, they can't resort to clichés in the execution. Because if they do, you don't feel it. I watch Kimi ni Todoke and remember why I'm watching romance in the first place. It's probably the safest show on earth, and I love it to pieces for it. I doubt you can inject intellectual depth into Kimi ni Todoke without hurting that core.

Instead of re-affirming narrative clichés, you can subvert them. Madoka relies on that subversion for many of its intellectual effects (and in the end it re-affirms the emotional core, but only after you've been thrown off for a while).

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, I think, is also a show that subverts genre clichés, but for comedy rather than intellect. However, there's a serious side to the show, too. The show has gotten much flac for the notorious rape threat (and in turn for affirming shoujo tropes, such as the "forceful kiss"), but I think that people have been talking about this, because the show upstages these tropes. For example, there's the standard scene with delinquent protagonist X, where "his future girl" gets abducted. She's usually tied up, and the bad guys threaten to abuse her sexually, but hero shows up and saves her. Variants galore. Here?

Our heroine is abducted by the bullies, but she's not tied up. In fact, it takes her a while to realise that she's been abducted, and who those guys are. She asks if she can study, and they allow it. Up to here, it's played for comedy, complete with two girls fawning over how cute she is. But then Hero appears, in a rage, and "rescues" her. She tries to intervene, and Hero hurts her in the process. The scene is pretty brutal for the genre. You see pretty realistic nosebleed (two drops, but they're animated in detail). The body language and everything that follows is quite serious. She has enough and tells him she can't give him what we wants, so he should just leave her alone. He sulks and goes away. Never even apologises for hitting her.

And yet the show is a shoujo romance. They're playing it for all the usual awww-moments; it's just that they put the abusive nature of (many) male shoujo protagonists on the plate, and empower the female lead more.

There's a lot of potential in that sort of subversion; no idea whether it's going to be exploited.

Psycho Pass has more narrative discipline, but that's because the emphasis is on story. So far, the story has started in medias res, and then expanded the setting. They've also foreshadowed the main narrative conflict, but they have yet to introduce it. It's fairly conventional for the genre, and Gen fits fairly well into the groove.

The shows are simply too different for easy comparison, and - yes - I do think it's mostly about preference whether you pick one or the other.
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Old 2012-10-20, 22:34   Link #34
zarqu
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
You really think that all narrative ideas are completely equal, and that none have more inherent potential than others?
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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
You'll have to elaborate, here. "Potential" to do what? There's no such thing as un-directed potential. And there's the catch, too.
Nah. I think this is simpler than you think.

No, really. Just think about it. Four girls doing anything in highschool vs. a show about executive officers of a government bureau in a dystopian setting. The potential here is indeed relative. Four girls doing cute things in highschool could indeed be the hidden masterpiece of this century, but all evidence leads us to believe otherwise.

No. At the moment, all narrative ideas are not equal. Some ideas are indeed more interesting than others and they are more apt to explain the human condition. A show about people living under a totalitarian system is more interesting intellectually and emotionally simply because it's so rare at the moment.

It doesn't really matter that some shows have an intellectual and some shows an emotional core. A dystopian setting starring adults will offer more ways to understand society and the human condition simply because it's a dystopian setting and it stars adults. Highschool shows, for example, are awfully limited in their attempt to describe the human condition. Of course, the point of highschool shows is not to describe the human condition, but to offer the viewer some basic and easy relationship issues. It is indeed a value judgement to say that my dystopian example does a better job at explaining the human condition, but it's a judgement I'm willing to stand by.

Last edited by zarqu; 2012-10-20 at 22:53.
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Old 2012-10-20, 23:07   Link #35
Kirarakim
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But see the issue is Zarqu you are taking your own personal bias. Now frankly I don't think either a series about 4 high school girls or a dystopian future sounds all that interesting and they aren't premises that ultimately scream to me (if we are just to describe them like that)...to someone else who knows.

Now as for the "human condition" that might interest me more but I don't think exploring deeper themes cannot ultimately be done in a high school setting. This setting does not have to be limited.
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Old 2012-10-20, 23:12   Link #36
zarqu
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but I don't think exploring deep themes cannot ultimately be done in a high school setting. This setting does not have to be limited.
Like I said, the human condition could indeed be deeply explored in a four girl highschool setting. It's just not what the evidence currently points to.

All narrative ideas are not the same at the moment. Certain ideas are indeed more potentially interesting than the rest.

When you abandon the absolutes, all you have left is actual evidence (or logically consistent reasoning).

Last edited by zarqu; 2012-10-21 at 00:11.
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Old 2012-10-20, 23:13   Link #37
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Tari Tari is an example of great execution, boring premise. Love, Chocolate, and Election is an example of a great premise but a horrible execution.
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Old 2012-10-20, 23:21   Link #38
Kirarakim
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Originally Posted by zarqu View Post
All narrative ideas are not the same at the moment. Certain ideas are indeed more potentially interesting than the rest.
Only to each individual. You cannot say universally that one idea is better than another or even potentially more interesting, that all depends on each person.

And also once we are done pre-judging the series and decide what to watch does the premise still even matter?
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Old 2012-10-20, 23:33   Link #39
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
We speak as though "execution" is a quantifiable object that I can add to any media project and instantly make it better.

Anyone care to point me to where I can buy said object? It would sure make my job a lot easier.
IMO “good-execution” require a bit of a higher intelligence (in story-telling) as well as vast-knowledge about the story they’re working with and also passion and love. A simple example: the story of ship-to-ship battles in Arpeggio of Blue Steel can be so exciting because the makers are well-versed with battleships and have clear vision of the world they’re telling. In addition, they love what they’re doing, not only because of paycheck. That’s why they can show the little bits of details (war-strategy, battle reports, technical specs, sci-fi elements, etc) in a non-boring manner which actually needed to make the ship-to-ship battles engaging. Also, the plot they presented is pretty smart (a bit hilarious, yes. But not cheesy or cringe-inducing). It will be different of course if we replace them with noob staffs whose knowledge about ship-battles is restricted to “giant lumps of steel firing at each other in the middle of the ocean”. Worse, if they don’t care at all and doing their job just for the sake of it and for the money (Gundam Age, anyone?).
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Old 2012-10-20, 23:36   Link #40
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
My point is that, unless the worker is wilfully incompetent, I don't know anyone who doesn't try to deliver the best "execution" he can for any given project, media-related or otherwise. No one, I would hope, sets out to deliberately fail.

So, sure, it's fine to tell a writer or animator that execution matters. But to me, that's like preaching to the converted. Which writer or animator worth his salt doesn't know the importance of "execution"?
There is a difference between doing a good job and simply doing a job. Most animators and storywriters are simply churning out a product, so there is no need for any bells and whistles (so to say), especially for a product that is bound to make money (One Piece and Shippuden spring to mind, both have large numbers of subpar episodes).

That being said, you are correct "execution" is a fairly ubiquitous term that has quickly turned into an umbrella term. That being said, "good execution", to me, means decent direction/presentation (you'd be surprised how often this basic component fails), tight editing with decent pacing, decent scoring (not too overly emotional, but also not too bland; enhances the scene, but does not take it over), and decent acting, and...I'm sure there are others but that's all I can think of right now. Whatever the case mere competence is not the standard by which you can claim anything is "good".

Last edited by james0246; 2012-10-21 at 00:56.
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