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Old 2012-10-23, 07:28   Link #101
Last Sinner
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Execution is considerably reliant on the target audience and what they want or can be induced into wanting. It's also dependent on timing - something that was a popular scenario, character style or art style a few years ago could have reached saturation point by now and have less impact in the present. Views of the world and society also factor into it.

In terms of what execution can offer by itself - gathering music to fit the mood of a scene or set a tone during a theme, picking a seiyuu with the desired effect for their role, quality control in the artwork and animation, staying on schedule, keeping to budget - those will be malleable and somewhat unique factors to the title.

Writing something to be a big seller in literary form versus something in visual form has considerably different constraints and target audiences. But one can write a novel to be tailor-made to be adapted and it's an approach which has its merit in recent history.

And of course, there's the quality vs quantity argument. Is sales what you wish for, or to make a critically acclaimed title to satisfy peers within a different clique? Each of those have their own constraints and pitfalls.

Execution is certainly an aspect, but more of an enhancement rather than the sink or swim point, or at least one of several. And execution is so very dependent on what and whom you're aiming at.
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Old 2012-10-23, 08:38   Link #102
hyl
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
No, the magical world is not the only point of the premise. A show that has just one person whisked into a magical world is fundamentally different than a show that has multiple people whisked into a magical world. The reason being that the lone individual has a much harder situation to cope with: They have nobody with them who shares their current situation, and so they have to make due on their own devices. Furthermore, the lone individual does not enjoy that same connection to "the real world" as the person who has the company of other people from Earth with him or her.

It's as different as an individual sport (like golf and tennis) is from a team sport (like hockey and football). The context is completely different. The narrative will hence have a completely different feel.
No idea why you are actually nitpicking and overanalyzing on such trivial details , seeing that by your way of interpretation even the Wizard of Oz doesn't even fit to your own discription because Dorethy was also accompanied by her dog Toto.
Which means she had atleast an emotional comfort from her own world accompanying her.

Also if we are going to be so specific, then every premise can pretty unique depending on how much element you want to see it narrowed down to.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
A few points:

1) InuYasha and Sengoku Otome is, in actuality, rooted in time travel.
Personally i don't call any of these "sengoku" animes with genderbend characters historically correct. Especially in Sengoku Otome in which there is not even a single male in the world.
It's more a magical version of an alternate world that has resemblances to the japanese history.

Inuyasha's settings is kind of debatable. Eventhough it might be the past, that itself is not that significant seeing that there is no such things as time paradoxes or other things related to time travel through the wormhole theory.
Especially what Kagome knows and brings back in the past.
Instead it focuses on a magical world instead of the actual past. I hope you are not implying that Inuyasha was about time traveling? Because for me it was more about the monsters and the hunt for magical jewel shards.
It's not even relevant whatever happened between Inuyasha's time and the present time for Kagome when it comes to all the supernatural in that serie.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
2) Tsubasa Chronicles doesn't have just one magical world. It's much more like the TV show Sliders.
I am aware it's not one magical world, but it's stil has the the basic premise of being lost in a foreign world while trying to get back home. Now you are complaining that it has more worlds, while you can simply see all of these worlds as different settings.It's not like that the group traveled to every location of each world, but rather a small portion of it.
Like The wizard of the OZ has many locations in it's own world like the Emerald City or Winkie Country.



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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
3) Rayearth involves three girls who support each other through every step of the way.
Personally it doesn't seem that relevant to me, but let's give it your way and scrap this one.
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
4) Fuushi Yuugi involves two girls (and that fact is very important to the show, in multiple ways).
Unless you count the first chapter in which at the end the both of them returned to the real world, Miaka went to the world alone and Yui came later.


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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
So that leaves us with Dog Days, which is about a boy instead of a girl, but I'll concede that the gender difference isn't necessarily significant.

So, the premise behind Spirited Away is not at all a tired one. In actual fact, it's one of the rarer premises around.
Fine, more examples.

Escaflowne for a sole female protagnist
Garzey's Wing, Monster Rancher and maybe Zero no Tsukaima seeing that you did accept male protagnonists because of dog days.



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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
So you think that the premise behind Spirited Away is overused in anime?

So how many times does a premise have to be used before you think it's overused?
Depends on the audience. Some people don't care about another Nth weak male main character in a harem settings, while some get annoyed by it after a 3rd one.


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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post

Specifications themselves are part of the narrative concept insofar as those specifications are important.
Yet you can get too specific. Like how many stories are about an orphan ninja boy with sealed demonic fox powers inside of him, while trying to achieve his dream.
Aside from Naruto, good luck finding more animes with the exact same premises.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Look, here's what I think most of us mean by "narrative idea" or "concept":

If a friend asked you "What is anime XYZ about?", and you had to answer that in two sentences or less, your answer (as long as it's a decently accurate one), would sum up the concept behind the show.

I'm not sure how I can make it any simpler or clearer than that.
Still way too vague because it's for starters pretty subjective what some animes are about (those with themes which leaves to the viewers interpretation like evangelion) and some stories are too complex to fit accurately in just 2 lines.
It also depends on how far you are in the story. Like relentlessflame has posted somewhere in this thread, a premise based on the first few episodes is different than from looking at it as a whole after it has been finished.

Last edited by hyl; 2012-10-23 at 09:01.
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Old 2012-10-23, 19:01   Link #103
Dawnstorm
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Why didn't it help? I thought my points were reasonably clear.
Well, maybe I'm just unreasonably thick.

Seriously, though, if I knew why it didn't help, I would have replied, then. I didn't, because I didn't know how.

Let me try.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Let me try to explain exactly what I mean by not all narrative ideas being equal.
Topic. The framework we're going to operate in. Check.

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When the author is conceptualizing his or her story, there's a core foundation that the story is being built upon.
Hm...

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This foundation may be "high school romance comedy". It may be "harem comedy". It may be "high school romance comedy... but half the students are androids!". It may be "harem comedy... but two of the girls used to be guys!"
"High school romance comedy" is a blanket term that covers a lot. Your "buts" suggests that assume there's some sort of default those deviate from. As if we're plucking "high school romance comedies" from some sort of platonic ideal, and then we're starting to midify it.

But that's not really how it works. Most "harem comedies" are also "high school romance comedies". You're presenting these as two different types of foundation, but they could describe the same foundation at different abstraction niveaus. That's because if you start with the abstract and fill out the details, you're going down a branching tree structure until you have your work, and each branching point has it's own name. At what point is it a foundation for your work?

Actually, it's quite possible that the constant is none of this, but a particular character with a quirk, and you're just shifting through various settings and genres to find the best environment for him/her. Or it's an idea you want to explore. Or a formal experiment.

In that case, it's no longer a "foundation" at the point of conceptualisation.

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When I was contrasting Psycho-Pass with a "high school romance comedy", I wasn't making a genre comparison or judgement. I was contrasting Psycho-Pass to something that's just a high school romance comedy... no other twist to it, no other hook to it. What you see is what you get.
See above why "just a high school romance comedy" doesn't tell me much. You're forced to concretise or you have no story.

For example, I could say: "Psycho-Pass" is just a cyberpunk-dystopia. That's sort of how I feel about it, so far. It doesn't really stand out, to me. Sure, I haven't seen the exact combination. But the elements are familiar, the mood is familiar. It's certainly has appeal, but it's appeal is conventional within it's genre.

In other words it behaves just like a "standard romance highschool comedy".

I'm fairly certain we disagree on some level, but I don't know how. It's a mess of abstraction niveaus, genre expectations and value judgements.

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So I'm not making a commentary on high school romance comedy as a genre, because some shows in that genre can actually be pretty complex depending on what the concept behind one is (one could argue that Kokoro Connect is a high school romance comedy, but it obviously has a lot of added "twists" to that).
So now I'm thinking your model is: genre default + twists = concept.

But that's not how I see it. If you're working top down, you have to fill in blanks (the formula/variable specifiactions approach). There's no such thing as a default, though some specifications are used more often (the closer you get to the finished work, the more distinct it will be).

Sometimes you'll run across shows that don't quite fit a genre, and that's because people don't always work top-down, to begin with. That makes it a bit more complex, too.

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Now, let's say your narrative idea is epic high fantasy that will run a substantial length, and it involves numerous races, plenty of lore, lengthy wars, and analogies to WWII.

Or let's say your narrative idea is to have a story placed several hundred years in the future, and it's about humanity exploring space in wondrous spaceships featuring loads of different alien races and surprises behind every turn.

Or let's say your narrative idea is to have a story take place in a galaxy far, far away in which a Rebellion rises up against a corrupt and seemingly all-powerful Empire, with the twist being that one of the leading figures of the Rebellion is the son of the Emperor's 2nd-in-Command.


Now, I just delved into the narrative ideas behind The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and Star Wars. These are three of the most popular franchises in the history of fiction itself. And there's no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the strong concepts behind them is a big part of the reason why they're three of the most popular franchises in the history of fiction itself.

So no, I completely reject the notion that all narrative ideas are equal. Some narrative ideas could never pull off what Star Trek pulled off.
What I get out of this is that you're probably better off working in a comic shop than for a dating agency. Other than that all I have is example of popular stuff. If you're talking on a franchise level, it's quite general, too, except LotR, which is tightly controlled by Tolkien's estate (and rather than outsourcing the writing, they're plundering Tolkien's notes for new stuff to publish).

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And really, anime is not much different. The most popular anime shows tend to have complex concepts behind them. Code Geass is a potpourri of anime genres. Nanoha fuses magical girl with mecha in a pretty distinct way. NGE and Madoka Magica were genre deconstructions with huge twists being inherent to the narrative ideas behind both. The Monogatari series is harem comedy, but its loaded with all sorts of supernatural and mystery and action elements. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya has a pretty complex narrative concept behind it. SAO explores the concept of VR MMOs, in a pretty fresh and distinct way.
Out of interest: does the fact the girls are in a band elevate K-On, conceptually, over other cute-girls-being-cute shows? Only wondering, because it's popular.

Seriously, popularity isn't easy to pin down. (And if people, on a large scale, are content with the way SAO treats MMOs, then I'll probably never see a show that does it well. Oh, wait, there's .hack/signs... [Sorry, couldn't resist.])
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Old 2012-10-25, 04:28   Link #104
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Originally Posted by hyl View Post
No idea why you are actually nitpicking and overanalyzing on such trivial details ,
They're not trivial details, in my view. I explained why I don't consider them trivial details.

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seeing that by your way of interpretation even the Wizard of Oz doesn't even fit to your own discription because Dorethy was also accompanied by her dog Toto.
Toto is not a person, so the Wizard of Oz does fit my own description.

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Which means she had atleast an emotional comfort from her own world accompanying her.
Sure, but it's not the same as having a person from her own world to talk with.

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Also if we are going to be so specific, then every premise can pretty unique depending on how much element you want to see it narrowed down to.
There's a reason why I took the two sentences approach. I'll explain that in a bit.

Now, instead of getting into a lengthy tangental debate over several specific anime shows, there is something I want to raise to your attention.

A lot of the examples you keep suggesting for having a premise like Spirited Away's are from the 90s. In some cases, we're talking almost 20 years since these shows aired.

The fact you keep having to dig that far back for anime examples of a premise like Spirited Away's shows that its premise really isn't that common. There's a considerable difference between a premise that is used 10 times over 20 years, and a premise that is used 10 times over 2 years. One is extremely more commonplace and heavily used than the other.


To be fair, it's not so much "original vs. unoriginal". A truly original premise may indeed be exceptionally hard to fine. So it's more a case of "rare vs. commonplace", in my opinion. Some core narrative ideas are used more rarely than others, meaning that they have more room left for significant concept exploration, and also that they'll feel less stale to a lot of potential viewers.

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Yet you can get too specific. Like how many stories are about an orphan ninja boy with sealed demonic fox powers inside of him, while trying to achieve his dream.
Why is that too specific? You can even sum it up in one sentence. I guess Naruto actually does have a pretty unique premise.

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Still way too vague because it's for starters pretty subjective what some animes are about (those with themes which leaves to the viewers interpretation like evangelion) and some stories are too complex to fit accurately in just 2 lines.
A couple points:

1. If a theme is left to viewer's interpretation, then it's not really part of the series concept.

2. Much of the point to my 2 sentence approach is that it forces people to distinguish the most important elements of a show from less important details. It is through that filtration process that we determine what are the core, defining elements of a show. Even the most complex of stories tend to central ideas or an overarching focus running throughout it.

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It also depends on how far you are in the story. Like relentlessflame has posted somewhere in this thread, a premise based on the first few episodes is different than from looking at it as a whole after it has been finished.
Perhaps sometimes, but certainly not always. Does Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate ever cease to be about Koi, Senkyo, and Chocolate?


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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
"High school romance comedy" is a blanket term that covers a lot. Your "buts" suggests that assume there's some sort of default those deviate from. As if we're plucking "high school romance comedies" from some sort of platonic ideal, and then we're starting to midify it.

But that's not really how it works.
I'm sure you're familiar with TV Tropes. TV Tropes makes it clear that certain character type/genre match-ups are exceptionally more common than others; so much so that they're basically defaults.

If I say "harem anime male lead", what's the first character concept that pops into your head?

Now, which female character archetypes are likely to be part of the harem male lead's harem? 9 chances out of 10, it'll include at least one tsundere, so that's essentially a default as well.

And if the harem anime male lead has a sister, what do you think are the chances that her feelings for him are entirely familial/platonic?


I mean, seriously, let's not play coy/naive here. We all know that there's a very standard approach to the more common anime genres. It's not hard to imagine what the platonic ideal of a harem anime would look like (lots of slapstick and situational comedy, at least one girl with big breasts, at least one tsundere, at least one very feminine girl that may well double as a loli, at least one girl that likes preparing food for the male lead, the male lead is very indecisive and can be a bit of a doormat, the male lead will at least once or twice stumble in on a female character in a state of undress, the male lead will at least one or twice have an accident in which his hand conveniently lands on top of a female character's breasts, there's going to be a beach and/or hot springs episode, etc..., etc...).


I'll grant you that highschool romance comedy tends to have fewer defaults, but even here, what do you think is the chance there will be a love triangle?

You see, some things you might call "branching details" are virtually defaults. These branching details are only truly notable if they buck the trend of the defaults; if they go against genre convention.

If they don't, if they consistently go along with genre convention, then well... here is where I think all the great execution in the world can only make so much difference. If you're taking a concept that's been done literally dozens upon dozens of times before, and you're not putting some notable twist on it, then great execution might still make it enjoyable, but I'm not likely to find it all that fresh or interesting anyway. And I doubt I'm alone here.

Whereas a notable twist can, in and of itself, make something more interesting just on the face of it.

So, just on the face of it, if you have "Generic 'Platonic Ideal' harem anime" vs. "Harem anime where the male lead is actually a pro wrestler that takes his bumps in the ring, and not from his harem", I can tell you what interests me more right from the get-go.


As for K-On, my friend 0utf0xZer0 shared an interesting thought on that with me once. He said (and I'm paraphrasing here) that it's success could be due to being like a harem anime that cuts out the weak harem anime male lead and leaves you with "just the girls".

Plus, as common as "all-girls" anime are nowadays, I'm not sure if they were that common when K-On first came out. K-On is a case where a particular concept became more popularized by a popular show.
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Old 2012-10-25, 05:39   Link #105
hyl
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post

Toto is not a person, so the Wizard of Oz does fit my own description.

Sure, but it's not the same as having a person from her own world to talk with.
You earlier posted this :
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The reason being that the lone individual has a much harder situation to cope with: They have nobody with them who shares their current situation, and so they have to make due on their own devices. Furthermore, the lone individual does not enjoy that same connection to "the real world" as the person who has the company of other people from Earth with him or her.
Which essentially means more helplessness and loneliness in a foreign place. Despite that Toto is not a human, Dorothy did not have those feelings at the near beginning because she had some company.
Also you fail to understand how important Toto is for Dorothy and the symbolisms behind the dog.


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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post

There's a reason why I took the two sentences approach. I'll explain that in a bit.

Now, instead of getting into a lengthy tangental debate over several specific anime shows, there is something I want to raise to your attention.

A lot of the examples you keep suggesting for having a premise like Spirited Away's are from the 90s. In some cases, we're talking almost 20 years since these shows aired.

The fact you keep having to dig that far back for anime examples of a premise like Spirited Away's shows that its premise really isn't that common. There's a considerable difference between a premise that is used 10 times over 20 years, and a premise that is used 10 times over 2 years. One is extremely more commonplace and heavily used than the other.
I said earlier that these premises have been less common, which does not mean it's not a common premise.
Seriously, how many stories in modern literature are about the same concept these days? I also have to dig up looking for stories about similar premises in English, just because such books are no longer the current trend.
Your reasoning that it's no longer common in modern anime seems invalid to me, because that is just how the taste of the audience seems to have changed for these kind of stories. Even spirited away is 11 years old.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post

Why is that too specific? You can even sum it up in one sentence. I guess Naruto actually does have a pretty unique premise.
That's the funny part, it's pretty easy to make unique sounding premises for every cliched serie. The reason is because while sharing many elements, no stories are direct carbon copies of eachother. So even a ripoff has some elements that the original does not have.
So i am asking this again without being rhetorical this time: Your point is?

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
A couple points:

1. If a theme is left to viewer's interpretation, then it's not really part of the series concept.
Depends, there are a few occasions in which the main theme of the premise is left to interpretation.
Like the movie source code, the source code itself is left to the viewers imagination what it really did.
Spoiler:



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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
2. Much of the point to my 2 sentence approach is that it forces people to distinguish the most important elements of a show from less important details. It is through that filtration process that we determine what are the core, defining elements of a show. Even the most complex of stories tend to central ideas or an overarching focus running throughout it.
which should not always be accurate enough depending on the size of the story. Unless you are making strangly long lines, even stories with not complex premises like your example below "Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate" is pretty hard to summarize accurately with just 2 sentences.


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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Perhaps sometimes, but certainly not always. Does Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate ever cease to be about Koi, Senkyo, and Chocolate?
Odd choice you have used here.
Seeing that the anime version has almost no "koi" in it and the game itself had no chocolate in any stories except Chisato's.
Also I don't remember chocolate having an actual significant part of the premise.

Last edited by hyl; 2012-10-25 at 09:11. Reason: lol @ my own typos
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Old 2012-10-25, 09:38   Link #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyl View Post
You earlier posted this :

Which essentially means more helplessness and loneliness in a foreign place.
No, not necessarily. What it means is that a person has to make his/her way in this foreign land, without the aid of teamwork right from the beginning.


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Also you fail to understand how important Toto is for Dorothy and the symbolisms behind the dog.
No, I didn't fail any such thing. All I said about Toto is that he isn't a person, and that prevents Dorothy from interacting with him the way two people can interact with each other. That's all. I wasn't saying he was unimportant.


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I said earlier that these premises have been less common, which does not mean it's not a common premise.
How often does a premise need to be used for you to consider it "common"? Considering the extreme vastness of the world of fiction, I should hope you have a fairly large number in mind...


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Seriously, how many stories in modern literature are about the same concept these days? I also have to dig up looking for stories about similar premises in English, just because such books are no longer the current trend.
Your reasoning that it's no longer common in modern anime seems invalid to me, because that is just how the taste of the audience seems to have changed for these kind of stories.
No, my reasoning is not invalid at all. Why a particular premise is uncommon doesn't change the fact that it is uncommon. The functional effect is the same: The premise is not used much, so when a new show featuring it comes out, people are more likely to take notice of it than a show that looks like its another generic anime show (be it harem, shounen, or whatever).

Read season previews on various anime-focused blogs, and you'll see exactly what I mean. Writers for such blogs get much more excited for rarer premises than they do for more generic ones.


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The reason is because while sharing many elements, no stories are direct carbon copies of eachother. So even a ripoff has some elements that the original does not have.
That doesn't mean it's not a ripoff though.


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So i am asking this again without being rhetorical this time: Your point is?
My point is that not all premises are exactly equally good. Some have more potential than others, due to relative rarity, scope, or some other factor.


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which should not always be accurate enough depending on the size of the story. Unless you are making strangly long lines, even stories with not complex premises like your example below "Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate" is pretty hard to summarize accurately with just 2 sentences.
Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate is hard to sum up in 2 sentences?

It's about a teenage guy who is forced to enter a Student Council President election in order to save his threatened Food Research Club, but along the way some disturbing facts about his school will be made known to him... The story also includes significant romance elements, in which chocolate is important to the male and female leads for a mysterious reason that will later be revealed...

Bang, done.



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Odd choice you have used here.
Seeing that the anime version has almost no "koi" in it...
There's plenty of koi in it. Just because koi plays second fiddle to senkyo doesn't mean there's "almost no koi" in it. That's a bit of an exaggeration on your part.
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Old 2012-10-25, 10:17   Link #107
hyl
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
No, not necessarily. What it means is that a person has to make his/her way in this foreign land, without the aid of teamwork right from the beginning.
Without the initial help of teamwork means pretty much nothing if the character ends up meeting a character who is willing to him/her in less than a few pages after being stranded. Which is the case for the wizard of Oz.
Personally i don't see that much difference from Btooom and wizard of Oz if we go by "without the aid of teamwork right from the beginning"

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
No, I didn't fail any such thing. All I said about Toto is that he isn't a person, and that prevents Dorothy from interacting with him the way two people can interact with each other. That's all. I wasn't saying he was unimportant.
You mean interactions like these?

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When Dorothy was left alone she began to feel hungry. So she went to the cupboard and cut herself some bread, which she spread with butter. She gave some to Toto, and taking a pail from the shelf she carried it down to the little brook and filled it with clear, sparkling water. Toto ran over to the trees and began to bark at the birds sitting there. Dorothy went to get him, and saw such delicious fruit hanging from the branches that she gathered some of it, finding it just what she wanted to help out her breakfast.
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"They surely will never do for a long journey, Toto," she said. And Toto looked up into her face with his little black eyes and wagged his tail to show he knew what she meant.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
How often does a premise need to be used for you to consider it "common"? Considering the extreme vastness of the world of fiction, I should hope you have a fairly large number in mind...
It's common because it's basically an escapist story that can be found even before Alice in wonderland, Peter Pan or Wizard of Oz.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post

No, my reasoning is not invalid at all. Why a particular premise is uncommon doesn't change the fact that it is uncommon. The functional effect is the same: The premise is not used much, so when a new show featuring it comes out, people are more likely to take notice of it than a show that looks like its another generic anime show (be it harem, shounen, or whatever).
It's common for me, because i am lumping those "people trapped in an unknown place stories" in the same category. You think it's uncommon because you want to specifically separate those stories in a smaller category. (like for you it should be just 1 person who should be sent into a foreign world)

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Read season previews on various anime-focused blogs, and you'll see exactly what I mean. Writers for such blogs get much more excited for rarer premises than they do for more generic ones.
And that worked out so great for Fractale
Also if we just go by the initial premise, then Madoka would have flown under many people's rader.
Furthermore hype is not just created by premises, seeing that sometimes the staff, animation studios or the original works can also contribute to it. Little busters has a fairly bland initial "premise" (when looked at the beginning, the "total" premise is different) while it is still very much hyped.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
That doesn't mean it's not a ripoff though.
That's not the point here. I can create an unique sounding premise for stories that are similar to Naruto like 666 Satan with ease, despite being mostly a ripoff.


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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
My point is that not all premises are exactly equally good. Some have more potential than others, due to relative rarity, scope, or some other factor.
Well that should pretty obvious that not all of them are equal, seeing that some premises limit how a story can unfold. But does that mean that the premise of the much broader Star Wars is better than the more limited premise of Aliens or brokeback mountain?
It's pretty subjective what premise is "better"

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate is hard to sum up in 2 sentences?

It's about a teenage guy who is forced to enter a Student Council President election in order to save his threatened Food Research Club, but along the way some disturbing facts about his school will be made known to him... The story also includes significant romance elements, in which chocolate is important to the male and female leads for a mysterious reason that will later be revealed...

Bang, done.
It's not a premise or concept but rather a general summary of the plot while skipping details that ended up being not important at the end , but whatever. Even so the "significant romance developments" would be a lie ....


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There's plenty of koi in it. Just because koi plays second fiddle to senkyo doesn't mean there's "almost no koi" in it. That's a bit of an exaggeration on your part.
So how much "koi" moments do we have, seeing that at the beginning the whole elections dominated the story and later on the drama taking the front seat.
The romance between the 2 characters were hardly developed
Spoiler for spoiler:

I am curiously how many actual "Koi" moments you have seen in the anime. Also i was not joking about the game in which there was nothing about chocolate in every route except Chisato's and a very little reference in Mifuyu's story.

Last edited by hyl; 2012-10-25 at 10:41.
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Old 2012-10-25, 11:24   Link #108
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And that worked out so great for Fractale
Also if we just go by the initial premise, then Madoka would have flown under many people's rader
Triple_R has never said that if an anime has what he thinks is a good premise it means that the anime will be good,debating if there's premises better than others isn't the same thing as debating if an anime with a "good premise" will always turn out to be better than one with a "no so good premise".So Fractale is irrelevant to the discussion.

Also I'm pretty sure Triple_R considers the fact Madoka is a deconstruction to be part of the premise,which I guess you can find debatable,maybe deconstruction is just a way to execute a premise.

There's something that puzzles me with the issue of a rarer premise being a better premise,let me take an example: a highschool comedy with an all girl cast was basicly unheard of until Azumanga Daioh,so back in 2002 that would make it great but today since there's been a whole lot of other shows like this it wouldn't be a good premise?Even if it's the same one?I just have a hard time grasping that notion.
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Old 2012-10-25, 11:44   Link #109
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Originally Posted by totoum View Post
Triple_R has never said that if an anime has what he thinks is a good premise it means that the anime will be good,debating if there's premises better than others isn't the same thing as debating if an anime with a "good premise" will always turn out to be better than one with a "no so good premise".So Fractale is irrelevant to the discussion.
He and I were talking about the hype for bloggers about series with good premises, which my response was that such hype can backfire with fractale as a good example.

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Also I'm pretty sure Triple_R considers the fact Madoka is a deconstruction to be part of the premise,which I guess you can find debatable,maybe deconstruction is just a way to execute a premise.
I am still talking about the hype here before and at the beginning of it's airing date solely because of the premise, not about the actual deconstruction which can be analyzed afterwards. That's why it's called a premise.

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There's something that puzzles me with the issue of a rarer premise being a better premise,let me take an example: a highschool comedy with an all girl cast was basicly unheard of until Azumanga Daioh,so back in 2002 that would make it great but today since there's been a whole lot of other shows like this it wouldn't be a good premise?Even if it's the same one?I just have a hard time grasping that notion.
The charm of Azumanga never was the basic premise, but rather the comedy and characters. So for me the succes of that serie was made possible because of it's execution.
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Old 2012-10-25, 12:03   Link #110
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Originally Posted by hyl View Post
He and I were talking about the hype for bloggers about series with good premises, which my response was that such hype can backfire with fractale as a good example.

The charm of Azumanga never was the basic premise, but rather the comedy and characters. So for me the succes of that serie was made possible because of it's execution.
Just so that I'm sure on what you think: Do you think Fractale has a better basic premise than Azumanga Daioh? (just to make myself clear:I'm not asking you which is the better anime,that's not what matters to me in this discussion)
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Old 2012-10-25, 12:44   Link #111
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Just so that I'm sure on what you think: Do you think Fractale has a better basic premise than Azumanga Daioh? (just to make myself clear:I'm not asking you which is the better anime,that's not what matters to me in this discussion)
I am not the type of person who judges a show for a premise, seeing that i even tend to go into shows blindly if the art, staff or sometimes even the seiyuu's are good enough for me. That's how i even roll when picking the monthly VN's that i am going to read.

To answer your question, fractale may have a better sounding premise but that is because of the differences in genre. You can't actually compare those series seeing that one is a high school comedy, while the other sounds like an adventurious sci-fi at first glance.
If we look at examples that are more recent it's like comparing the premises of Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo and Shin Sekai Yori. It simply doesn't work, because subjectivity of genre preferences might also come into play.

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Old 2012-10-25, 19:33   Link #112
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totoum's 2nd most recent post on this thread sums up more or less exactly what I was going to reply with, so I'll leave most of my points there. Thanks, totoum!


Just to be clear, hyl, premise is not the only determining factor for why I watch a show.

I'll admit that character design is often a significant factor for me as well. The main reason for why I watched Amagami SS, Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan, and (somewhat ironically) Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate was character design (and more broadly speaking, the show's artistic style). I'll admit it: Every now and then I'm in the mood for sugary sweet eye candy.


Anyway, all I'm basically saying is that a show's premise is not entirely unimportant. I'll even admit that execution is probably more important (I more or less agree with what Eater of All wrote here).

I'll probably leave it at that, aside from apologizing to ahelo for kind of derailing his thread.

This thread is supposed to be about anime's Excellence of Execution. So maybe it's best if we let this thread get focused and take a clear shot at that topic, like a good Hitman would.
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Old 2012-10-25, 19:44   Link #113
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I did, but I think it wasn't just because the element was different itself. In other words, what I was looking for wasn't just "Something Different (nondescript)", but rather "Something In Particular, Different".
I guess change for the sake of change is also meaningless. But I feel it's easier to give it more chances and not rely too much on knee-jerk situations because things may apply differently.
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But this is like with food (you brought it up again... )... I don't tend to go to restaurants very often, but when I do I usually order the same or similar things that I know I like. I might go to that restaurant just because I'm craving that one particular thing I usually order there. But I know some people who think that's a waste, and always try to order something new every time because they want to try everything and they value new experiences. I guess I'm a little more risk-adverse in that way.

So again, I think it is really "situational", as you said, but also personal. People who are always seeking only "the extraordinary" (regardless of other qualifications) will have different preferences than people who are just trying to satisfy their cravings for some particular thing. Neither approach is inherently better (though I think people who are "seeking the extraordinary" have a much harder task of it -- too much work for me. ).
I like talking about food, because I am frequently hungry. Still, it's a good analogy since there's just so many kinds of tastes with most not being inherently wrong. Though I suppose I stick to certain reliable dishes myself.

So at this point when comparing different animes, it's no longer apples and oranges but apples and chainsaws. The uses are just too different.

Though honestly, I feel that the producer's attempts at something extraordinary might be more interesting than whether critics or the majority think the final product is extraordinary. You can't plan for greatness, but you can sure try. In these cases, I think that's why I'm so attracted to original anime-- the journey is more important than the destination. That's why watching something like Madoka was so diffrent; I was in the progress of watching something great happen. It didn't matter if the critics gave it a 1/10 or 10/10, that's just something that can only be experienced there.

It had also helped that I was in the pits when it came to anime and many other things. It seemed to try to do things I was confident couldn't happen. And honestly, since I view things quite negatively at times, I enjoy it when I'm proven wrong.

There's something like Tari Tari which I also watched anxiously to unfold and perhaps someone that doesn't share my perspective simply can't understand. I was pretty much confident this show wouldn't last long, but it somehow did.

Throughout the show I saw numerous allusions to PA works's previous shows creating some sense of nostalgia. I don't know if it was intentional or not but somehow I got the feeling that whoever made this was enjoying themselves. I've always had an interest in their work, and was kinda bummed True Tears didn't sell. So seeing something that seems to have borrowed from that work end up doing fairly well on its own just made it a feel good moment that has very little to do with the actual show.

Thus, yes, it's very personal at times and can be hard to understand. But this begs the question. Is it better to have anime attempt something radically different but end up exploding in a spectacular fashion or just stick with the safe route? I'd like to bring up a certain Uta Kata, which overall didn't seem that great, but since it was a fairly unique deconstruction of the magical girl genre long before Madoka came around (yes, everyone, Madoka's not the only one. Hell, Mai-HiME was one too), I remember it quite well despite thinking it wasn't that great by more traditional standards.
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Old 2012-10-25, 23:45   Link #114
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Law of inverse bust size-The plot of any anime is directly inverse of the main heroine lead. More fan service, less actual plot.

Exception-The loli tundre effect-a girl who is highly underdeveloped yet generate no useable plot.-See Louise from ZnT, Claire for Serki no blade dance.
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Old 2012-10-26, 00:14   Link #115
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But this begs the question. Is it better to have anime attempt something radically different but end up exploding in a spectacular fashion or just stick with the safe route? I'd like to bring up a certain Uta Kata, which overall didn't seem that great, but since it was a fairly unique deconstruction of the magical girl genre long before Madoka came around (yes, everyone, Madoka's not the only one. Hell, Mai-HiME was one too), I remember it quite well despite thinking it wasn't that great by more traditional standards.
Well, I suppose it depends on who you're asking.

The higher "unique premise" is on your personal ranking of "factors key to my personal enjoyment", the more likely you are to have watched this sort of show in the first place. But my experience is that, at the time at least, these fans tend to feel very burned by the fact the show let them down (because they put the blame solely on the staff "messing it up"), and it's only in retrospect that they may appreciate what the show was trying to do. These fans will often argue that having a rich diversity is good or the anime industry because it has the potential to expand the fanbase in ways that sticking to the common patterns can't.

For people who don't insist on "unique premise" so much and are okay with sticking mostly with the sorts of shows they know they like, a failed experiment outside their favoured genres/styles arguably may just as well not exist. If they even checked out the show in the first place, they may have dropped it. So at worst it's just noise in a crowded medium and will soon be forgotten. For these viewers, a "safer" show in their favoured genre/style would have been more personally appreciated (even if they recognize that variety is good in concept). But, by the same token, they're more likely to enjoy shows within their favoured genres/styles even if "the critics" find it flawed, so even a failed experiment that hit the right notes for them may be loved/appreciated. (For example, I quite liked Uta~Kata; bought all the Japanese DVDs back in the day. But of course I realize that it's not going to appeal to everyone. Feel the same way about, say, Manabi Straight or Futakoi Alternative, though these are perhaps not quite as high on the "unique premise" scale.)


As an aside... your post made me think that I should say something about "the product" vs. "the experience" (or more the "collective viewing experience"). You mentioned that you enjoyed the experience of seeing a unique work unfold where nobody really knows what to expect in advance. I think that itself can be an enjoyment factor completely separate from whether a show has an "original premise" (speaking objectively). Even for an anime-original show with an arguably "derivative" premise, there's perhaps a greater sense of "you never know what might happen!", which some people find enjoyable. Plus the experience of going through that experience with all the other viewers can itself be enjoyable. This is why, for example, I enjoyed Endless Eight a lot more than many, because being there and being part of that experience was -- to me anyway -- really interesting and fun. I appreciate what the creators created on a meta level as much as what was in the show itself. So I think there's definitely something legitimate here.
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Old 2012-10-26, 12:51   Link #116
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Thus, yes, it's very personal at times and can be hard to understand. But this begs the question. Is it better to have anime attempt something radically different but end up exploding in a spectacular fashion or just stick with the safe route?
For any particular work, I'd say that it's best to make well-crafted shows. A safe premise doesn't guarantee that, nor will a more risky premise. Ideally, there should be someone constantly trying new things and to expand the possibilities of the medium. However, just because it's something new or unusual doesn't mean that it's any good. I guess those works that try and fail get marks for effort, but that's not worth a whole lot in the end.
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Old 2012-11-23, 20:32   Link #117
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So, in the last week, I read through the Puella Magi Madoka Magica manga, and here's a very good example of how big of an impact the execution can have on the quality of the work.

The manga is essentially the same story as the anime, and while I consider the anime to be my favorite show of 2011, the manga falls flat, being rushed, battles lacking impact, scenes not having much in the way of dynamics, and just not having much visual flair.

They cover the same story, but I consider the anime excellent, while the manga is decidedly average.
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Old 2012-11-24, 07:48   Link #118
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So, in the last week, I read through the Puella Magi Madoka Magica manga, and here's a very good example of how big of an impact the execution can have on the quality of the work.
For a show where the visual presentation is one of its most distinctive and important features, I cannot imagine how a manga could possibly do it justice. The profusion of Madoka spinoffs look to me like the usual cashing-in that happens with any successful property. Usually the spinoffs have none of the artistry of the original.
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Old 2012-11-24, 13:40   Link #119
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You can bake a cake with the exact same ingredients as everyone else uses... HOW you bake your cake, however, is another story.
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Old 2012-11-24, 17:22   Link #120
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You can bake a cake with the exact same ingredients as everyone else uses... HOW you bake your cake, however, is another story.
Pretty much. In an era when pretty much every single thing under the sun has already been done, a show's quality now depends on execution, and "generic cliched crap" is basically a double-speak term for "shows I don't like".

I quote TVTropes: "The Japanese are stereotypically obsessed with cuteness, while Americans are stereotypically obsessed with MANLINESS". Hence, some shows may sell big in Japan but not in the US because they're more cute (and therefore girly) and less manly; while some shows may be a flop in Japan but are big in the US because they're more manly and less cute/girly.
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