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Old 2013-03-03, 01:15   Link #181
totoum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
That's kinda what I mean. Why did very high quality shows exist not too long ago, but now the number of high quality shows has decreased, or are focused on the specific subset of the anime fanbase that is considered a "safe bet?"

Maybe it's just that the "safe bet" customers five or six years ago liked the same things I do, and maybe the current "safe bet" customers like something different, but it seems kinda a short period of time for the customer base to change so radically.
There's still none "safe bets" animes being made, you either don't think highly of them or they're not in genres/demographics that interest you.
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Old 2013-03-03, 01:30   Link #182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totoum View Post
There's still none "safe bets" animes being made, you either don't think highly of them or they're not in genres/demographics that interest you.
Wait a second... You're saying that no anime shows constitute safe bets?

So... Nisemonogatari wasn't a safe bet? Fate/Zero wasn't a safe bet? SAO wasn't a safe bet?

If you're adapting highly popular source material into an anime, that's a pretty safe bet to sell well, imo. It's very rare for popular source material to not turn into well-selling anime after it gets adapted into anime. It happens, but it's rare.


Also, Love Live! and VRO are safe bets to sell well, imo.
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Old 2013-03-03, 01:30   Link #183
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Statements like "the number of high quality shows has decreased" just sound vague there. Quality isn't really something you can expect other people to understand what you mean when you talk about it like that.

As for the "safe bets" statement, expected profit is kind of one of those aspects that are pretty important to consider when making anything, so I'm not sure if I can really tell whether one thing is safer than another, since I'm not a marketing expert.
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Old 2013-03-03, 01:54   Link #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Wait a second... You're saying that no anime shows constitute safe bets?
Oh no not all,what I meant was that there's still shows being made that are not safe bets. Synaesthetic is free to not think highly of animes such as Shin Sekai Yori, Houge Mono, Chihayafuru,Tatami Galaxy but those are hardly safe bets that are made for the "moe viewers"
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Old 2013-03-03, 02:13   Link #185
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Chihayafuru is shoujo (I don't think it's moe....)
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Old 2013-03-03, 02:42   Link #186
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Originally Posted by bhl88 View Post
Chihayafuru is shoujo (I don't think it's moe....)
Chihayafuru is josei. And I fail to see the point you're making. Does the target audience of the anime's source disqualify its status as a recent anime that defies norms?
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Old 2013-03-03, 04:22   Link #187
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Characters/design more like.
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Old 2013-03-03, 06:18   Link #188
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totoum View Post
Oh no not all,what I meant was that there's still shows being made that are not safe bets. Synaesthetic is free to not think highly of animes such as Shin Sekai Yori, Houge Mono, Chihayafuru,Tatami Galaxy but those are hardly safe bets that are made for the "moe viewers"
Ok, gotcha. I agree that the shows you just listed aren't/weren't "safe bets".

So yeah, the anime industry does take some real risks with some of their shows, and that's good to see.
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Old 2013-03-03, 07:04   Link #189
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Even so, two of those shows, Hyouge Mono and Shin Sekai Yori, are adaptations of award-winning works. Hyouge Mono won the Grand Prize in the Tezuka awards of 2010. Shin Sekai Yori shared the 2008 award from the Japanese Science-Fiction and Fantasy Authors with Dennou Coil. (By the way, what's up with that dumb picture from the manga? And who is that girl on the left?)

I just mention this to observe that many of the less mainstream shows are themselves often based on widely-known, award-winning works. Having the NHK around to finance the translation of something like Hyouge Mono to the screen also helps enormously. NHK has underwritten many memorable series like Twelve Kingdoms, Uehashi's Moribito and Erin, and Dennou Coil. Too bad our public broadcaster only wants to finance animation for kids like Arthur.

The 2011 adaptation of Moshidora followed a similar path. It was the best-selling novel in Japan in 2009. Oh, and it was also produced by the NHK.
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Old 2013-03-03, 07:31   Link #190
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Maybe it's just that the "safe bet" customers five or six years ago liked the same things I do, and maybe the current "safe bet" customers like something different, but it seems kinda a short period of time for the customer base to change so radically.
A lot of people think 05-07 was a great period for anime, to expect every couple of years to stack up to that is naive, not to mention wishful thinking. Every medium goes though up and downs but regardless, most things have gems in it every year, except the 2000 NBA Draft.
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Old 2013-03-03, 07:32   Link #191
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If you're talking about the SSY article then the girls are Maria, Saki and Reiko. Reiko being the very first girl who transferred out of the school, which is why you don't remember her. I think that's how it went anyway, even I'm not so sure since it was 20 odd weeks ago lol
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Old 2013-03-03, 07:44   Link #192
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
This is not me being a hipster or channeling my grandparents--this is a legitimate complaint against the quality of entertainment media falling in order to make more money.

The "fast food entertainment" has nothing to do with my age, the age of the content, the target demographic of the content or any of that. It has only to do with the quality of the content.

I'm sorry but you can't sit there and tell me that a shovelware F2P MMO is anywhere near the quality of a subscription-model game. They just aren't. They aren't even remotely close. Anime is no different--the industry just decided that they'd rather focus on easier-to-please customers (which happen to be more numerous, and have more disposable income) than the highly discerning fan.
No, I'm quite sure this is you channelling your grandparents, you just don't understand what that looks like from that side of the fence. What do you think the "kids these days" rant is all about? The people who make these complaints really do believe they have a legitimate complaint about quality of society. They don't think they're being grumpy for the sake of being grumpy, they think there's something legitimately wrong. They feel that important, essential values are being eroded in order to appease inferior tastes. And this is exactly what you're saying: that quality of entertainment is "falling" because they're focusing on "less-discerning customers". This whole "discerning" bit is particularly insidious. At the heart of it, this rant is really about "the masses are moving away from my preferences, and towards something I think is inferior". Of course you're pitching your own preferences as "quality" and yourself as being "discerning", because it's a lot easier to blame the industry for catering to "casuals" than to admit that maybe your own taste is not inherently better than theirs is anyway.

I mean, even if what you're saying were "objectively true", who are you to say that the fun that people have with those "shovelware F2P MMOs" isn't just as high? Who is to say that the model of "play for a while, enjoy it, then move on" isn't okay? If you can get 30-40 hours of enjoyment of something without paying a cent, maybe that's okay? Obviously it's not your preference, but that doesn't mean your preference is inherently better. Even if your argument were true, all you're doing is lamenting your own increasing irrelevance to the market at large. And to that one might say "the world's changing; sorry you can't keep up". I guess the world just can't keep measuring up to your superior discerning taste for "quality".
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Old 2013-03-03, 09:30   Link #193
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I mean, even if what you're saying were "objectively true", who are you to say that the fun that people have with those "shovelware F2P MMOs" isn't just as high? Who is to say that the model of "play for a while, enjoy it, then move on" isn't okay? If you can get 30-40 hours of enjoyment of something without paying a cent, maybe that's okay? Obviously it's not your preference, but that doesn't mean your preference is inherently better. Even if your argument were true, all you're doing is lamenting your own increasing irrelevance to the market at large. And to that one might say "the world's changing; sorry you can't keep up". I guess the world just can't keep measuring up to your superior discerning taste for "quality".
You make an interesting point, but how do you prevent the relativism trap? One can argue any discussion on quality is inherently useless as the perception of quality is subjective.
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Old 2013-03-03, 11:03   Link #194
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
No, I'm quite sure this is you channelling your grandparents, you just don't understand what that looks like from that side of the fence. What do you think the "kids these days" rant is all about?
I disagree.

Many of the anime fans who like modern anime are not "kids". Many of them are just as old as Syn is, and Syn is not characterizing them as kids. This is not a generational dispute.

It's not like Syn is somebody 50 or older who's been watching anime for 30 years or more, and is arguing that anime today is way worse than it was in the 70s, 80s, and early 90s.

We're only talking a stretch of a few years here. So it's quite a stretch to argue that Syn is just being nostalgic or something like that.

Westlo's argument resonates a bit more to me. Yes, 2005 to 2007 was an exceptionally strong period, and perhaps its asking too much to expect every new period in anime to be that good.


It's fine if you or anybody else disagrees with Syn. I myself largely disagree with her. But I also disagree with how you're trying to completely dismiss her arguments purely with this "Oh, you're just being an old curmudgeon" implication.

Wouldn't it be more productive to delve into what you find good about modern anime? To explain why you like it? To argue for it on the basis of its actual merits?


Quote:
And to that one might say "the world's changing; sorry you can't keep up".
So people should just blindly accept any and all changes? Nothing new should ever be objected to? Things never change for the worst?

There's been bad changes in human history where people objecting to them made a positive difference.
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Old 2013-03-03, 11:42   Link #195
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Originally Posted by Triple R
Westlo's argument resonates a bit more to me. Yes, 2005 to 2007 was an exceptionally strong period, and perhaps its asking too much to expect every new period in anime to be that good.
I agree (although for the sake of argument I think 2011 was a pretty strong year) but I think we can't expect every season or every year to have the same level of quality. I think however when we look back on the decade we will realize there were plenty of strong shows & that it won't look any worse than previous decades.

I do highly disagree with Syn's notion that anime today is just going for the quick buck and appealing to the lowest common denominator. Without naming names do I think there is a lot of anime like this, well yes. But I do think there are a number of strong series as well.

I don't know for the people who say there is nothing good to watch these days I wonder if they are even looking? Admittedly maybe the series that I enjoy: Chihayafuru, Space Brothers, Shin Sekai Yori, etc will not appeal to someone else but I DON'T think these appeal to the lowest common denominator.

And heck even if the majority of series are quick sells, I don't have time to watch the majority of series. I am watching 7 ongoing series right now and of those 7, five of them I can't miss (that's plenty for me).


However I also disagree with relentlessflame that we can never discuss quality because it is all subjective. Quite honestly "because I enjoyed it" is a pretty poor argument when discussing the relative quality of something. Sure it is all opinion and there is no scientific argument but you can support your opinion. If I say a show is crap or a masterpiece it isn't just because "I just like or don't like it" I usually have specific reasons for that. People should be able to defend what they like and dislike.
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Old 2013-03-03, 13:11   Link #196
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I disagree.

Many of the anime fans who like modern anime are not "kids". Many of them are just as old as Syn is, and Syn is not characterizing them as kids. This is not a generational dispute.
I agree with relentlessflame. It's a generational dispute, but it isn't based on age. It's based on what you first started watching, and when.

For example, I was interested to note that synaesthetic mentioned Starship Operators as an example of a series that was appreciated by more discerning fans (and presumably as a great series?). I liked that show quite a bit, but to me, who had started out with series like Martian Successor Nadesico in that genre, Starship Operators seemed like a grab at modern trends (specifically, reality TV). I don't know when or what synaesthetic started with; maybe she also started out with Nadesico and just had a greater appreciation for Starship Operators than I did. But it seems to play into what relentless was saying: it's generational. Anyone who started with Nadesico or series from that time would view Starship Operators as being a new, possibly weird, possibly not up to snuff take on the genre. Anyone who started with Starship Operators would think it was the best thing ever, and would think that what followed was new, possibly weird, and possibly not up to snuff. Of course, people starting with what ever that was would think it was great... and the cycle would repeat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
We're only talking a stretch of a few years here. So it's quite a stretch to argue that Syn is just being nostalgic or something like that.
I've heard of elderly people waxing nostalgia over events and places from decades prior, but with the "digital age" I've heard young people in their teens doing the same thing. Perhaps nothing has actually changed and I'm experiencing observational bias, but it makes sense: trends and developments move and shift faster today than they used to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Westlo's argument resonates a bit more to me. Yes, 2005 to 2007 was an exceptionally strong period, and perhaps its asking too much to expect every new period in anime to be that good.
I liked the early 2000's. Noir, Stellvia, Stratos 4, Gundam Seed, Mai HiME, Scrapped Princess - good times. But I also recognize that was when I also dove into anime most heavily, so that's where my bias lies.
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Old 2013-03-03, 13:15   Link #197
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In fairness to relentlessflame, it's not hard to get annoyed by how some still haven't accepted that yes, like it or not, moe is a big part of modern anime and is here to stay.

If you're going to be a content modern anime fan, I think you need to at least accept the predominance of moe. You have to "make peace with it", so to speak. You can like it, or you can dislike it, but there's little point in arguing against moe itself. The problem is that some people really thought it was just going to be a passing fad. Well, it's been clear for awhile now that it's not a passing fad, and it's time for the Zac Bertschys of the world to learn that no matter what they say, it's not going away.


OTOH, the argument of 'If someone says "Anime was better a few years ago" then that person is just a crusty old-timer who rants against "kids these days" and hence isn't to be taken seriously' takes us down a path that I find pretty troubling.

As a Star Trek fan, and as a comic book fan, I know that entertainment industries really do decline sometimes. It can happen. There's no question it happened with Star Trek - The proof is in declining ratings, declining movie success (until the recent movie reboot), and Enterprise failing to achieve the 7-season standard set by TNG and DS9.


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I agree with relentlessflame. It's a generational dispute,
No, I really don't think it is. And I think it does a disservice to people like syn to argue that it is just a generational dispute. People can have legitimate reasons for preferring one era of anime over another. It's not always just a matter of nostalgia or "refusing to keep up with the times".

Also, it's been my experience that for most long-term anime fans, their favorites list changes fairly frequently, which indicates an openness to new shows.


When I first saw Madoka Magica in 2011, I had already been an anime fan for a few years. It obviously wasn't something I would regard highly because it was one of the first shows I saw. But after a year or so, I decided that Madoka Magica was one of my five favorite anime shows of all-time. It had aged well for me, and earned that status, imo. (By the way, I'm pretty sure syn herself has spoken highly of Madoka Magica, which also contradicts what you're arguing here).

I also watched Steins;Gate in 2011, and it's now amongst my Top 10 list of all-time.

Even though Mari-Mite is an older show, I myself only watched it this past Fall. It skyrocketed into my Top 10 list.


People are able to fairly judge and assess new shows. If they favor older shows over newer shows it's not necessarily due to nostalgia. They may have perfectly valid reasons for their preferences. I think it undermines good discussion and debate to casually dismiss such preferences to generational divides.


Quote:


I've heard of elderly people waxing nostalgia over events and places from decades prior, but with the "digital age" I've heard young people in their teens doing the same thing.
How does a teen wax nostalgic over events and places from decades prior? By definition, a teenager wasn't even alive decades ago.

If teens are "waxing nostalgia" over events and places they enjoyed only a few years ago, then maybe it's not just nostalgia. Maybe it really was that great. Is such a conclusion really so unimaginable?


Quote:
Perhaps nothing has actually changed and I'm experiencing observational bias, but it makes sense: trends and developments move and shift faster today than they used to.
Yes, and trends and developments can be good or bad which has always been the case.

Sometimes a trend or development really is bad.
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Old 2013-03-03, 13:51   Link #198
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There is a divide between the old and the new. There is no doubt about it. If you took an anime fan from the 90s and sat them down with someone who only watches current material, things would be rather messy. Common ground (titles they know, titles they like, industry people they like) would be hard to find.

It's no surprise, really. Things change rather quickly in this industry. A long time friend of mine have been observing people when they started anime, a few years in then seasoned or departed, as well as trends within the industry.

1. We saw a general trend (not definitinive, but general), that newer fans face a considerable barrier to anime that isn't current and that anything older than 2 years before they started. Getting used to the current state of things seems a necessary step before venturing back in time.

2. There seems to be a five=year (roughly speaking) ripple effect in terms of when a major title's effects make a significant mark on what the industry makes and when a once popular title could not be made in the present state. For example, I don't think Madoka would have been anywhere near as successful if it was made in 2006 but its effects on the industry are slowly coming to pass and one could see it being made in 2016 at this rate. It was really around 2006-2007 that the effects Azumanga Daioh's success led to titles of a similar style becoming more prevalent, but on the flipside, there's no way in hell it could have been made in 1997. Timing is a big factor for a lot of successful shows.

3. Art styles are a real sticking point for a good number of modern fans. A lot of them will outright reject material from the 90s or earlier purely for how characters and the like were done. On the flipside, old-school fans aren't that impressed with modern anime's minimalist, pastel color style.

4. The necessity in a good number of modern titles for moe girls as characters is something a lot of older fans are utterly bemused by, but to modern fans, it makes sense. Which factors into what they want to see - what those fanbases at those points in time wanted were quite different. Which affects style and the types of shows that are being made. Which comes to another big difference in the industry today. Anime used to be more director-studio dictated and still somewhat is, but with financial pressures and anime's low strike rate for success with a show, fans now dictate more of what happens because success only comes if they fork out for the show and related merchandise. Fans suddenly becoming more empowered is a double-edged sword - having an effect on what gets made and licensed is good, but at the expense of variety-creativity and what is accepted to be animated isn't always a good thing.

5. Access to anime - and this is a big one as far as my friend and I are concerned. Until about 10 or so years ago, it was hard to get hold of anime, as well as expensive. Even if it wasn't that good, people back than felt somewhat priviliged they were able to get hold of anything and were grateful that they could. There was also a comradery and a forced face-to-face fandom with the limitations of technology and licenses. Whereas today, within hours of a title airing an episode, you can get hold of it, watch it, scrutinise it and discuss it with people all over the globe. Licensing companies now react quickly with licenses and releases comapred to what they did back then. This has been one of the biggest changes within anime fandom. While it did open up access to so much, I feel it really killed the social aspect of anime fandom. People who once gathered in big numbers to get to see anime and to chat with other anime fans now can in solitude in their own home with anonymity. Sometimes I feel people don't realise how good they have it that they can now access almost any show or movie and as of a couple of years ago, can now obtain the titles from decades ago that you simply couldn't before.


These days, I'm merely of the opinion 'each to their own, but respect the right of others to like what they like. They're not stupid or freaks if they don't agree with you whole-heartedly.' If another anime fan can do that and be somewhat open-minded in discussion, I can get along with them. But that can be difficult to find even at the best of times.
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Old 2013-03-03, 13:51   Link #199
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No, I really don't think it is. And I think it does a disservice to people like syn to argue that it is just a generational dispute. People can have legitimate reasons for preferring one era of anime over another. It's not always just a matter of nostalgia or "refusing to keep up with the times".

Also, it's been my experience that for most long-term anime fans, their favorites list changes fairly frequently, which indicates an openness to new shows.
I don't think we should be discussing this in absolutes. I would agree that people won't resist everything that comes after what they started with, but doesn't it stand to reason that where they start makes a big impression? The point is that you have to start somewhere, and everything that comes after is judged and compared with where you began. Maybe what you started with really wasn't that great, but you didn't have the viewing experience to know it at the time. As a result, you enjoyed it. It made a big impression on you. Similarly, perhaps what comes after is perfectly fine, but now you've seen enough that it feels stale to you. Someone with less viewing experience will be able to appreciate the series a lot more, and more easily.

This is normal and plays out for everyone. But again with the absolutes: I would agree that we shouldn't say that people adhere strictly to those types of views. It's just something to bear in mind. We can say that modern series are weak and be correct based on objective measuring scales, but it isn't unusual at all for fans with more experience to have more discerning taste. Do people who are just getting into anime today feel that today's series are weak? (I doubt it - otherwise they probably wouldn't join the fandom! )

Being able to pick up new favorites doesn't really indicate much, I think, because people don't operate by those absolutes. However, the generational expectations often give rise to people saying things like "it's not as good as it used to be." I didn't get the impression that relentlessflame was being dismissive by bringing that up, but rather he was mentioning something that is true of all people across all areas of interest.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
When I first saw Madoka Magica in 2011, I had already been an anime fan for a few years. It obviously wasn't something I would regard highly because it was one of the first shows I saw. But after a year or so, I decided that Madoka Magica was one of my five favorite anime shows of all-time. It had aged well for me, and earned that status, imo. (By the way, I'm pretty sure syn herself has spoken highly of Madoka Magica, which also contradicts what you're arguing here).
It was also very unique. Let's go for something less unique... perhaps a mecha series, a magical girl series, a harem series, or a slice of life series. Do you have any favorites from those genres based on when you first started watching anime? Have you added any favorites in those genres since then? I'm not trying to say that it's impossible, but it's generational bias: you will forever be comparing new series against the series that you already know, which will color your view and appreciation for them (often for the worst, since previous series create expectations and a "been there, done that" mindset).

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
How does a teen wax nostalgic over events and places from decades prior? Wouldn't they not have even been born at the time?
Sorry, I was probably unclear about this: people before the digital age would experience feelings of nostalgia only decades after experiencing something, but in the "digital age" people experience what is seemingly the same feeling over events that occurred a much shorter time ago - perhaps only a few years. I brought it up to say that even though your perceived "golden age" of anime (2005-2007) was less than a decade ago, all of us digital brats are still very capable of feeling nostalgia for it.

In summary, I don't disagree with anything that you've said, but I also agree with relentlessflame. The comments made by synaesthetic and countless others about how anime isn't as good as it used to be, about how they don't make 'em like they used to, shouldn't be dismissed outright as people rejecting new trends. Yet it's true those "generational" feelings often times are behind the person's sentiment, whether in part or entirely. Isn't it always what the elderly seem to be saying? "Things were better back in my day." Because things rarely unanimously improve they're right in certain ways, but wrong in many others.
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Old 2013-03-03, 14:17   Link #200
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
The market is shifting, all right--shifting for the worse.

As for which F2P MMOs are trash, it'd be easier to list the ones that aren't trash... which I can't even think of any offhand. Maybe LOTRO, which was subscription-based to begin with.
There's nothing inherent that makes it of lesser quality. Or suggests such a model doesn't work. Blizzard's battle.net games, while not MMOs, have been F2P, and highly popular with very intensive support for more than a decade. It's a system that's been proven to work.

Whether it's a criticism against anime or games, I am not able to take one seriously unless their criticisms are more specific. All I get is a bunch of causation that doesn't lead to correlation. I'm all for bashing shit, but there's a fine line between a legitimate analysis and just elitist hot air where one just talks about pandering to the LCD, the later of which is too common on the internet.

I mean it's fine to think that way, but there's just nowhere a discussion can go. And yes, I realize this topic was pretty crappy to begin with anyways, since it's built upon a false premise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I mean, even if what you're saying were "objectively true", who are you to say that the fun that people have with those "shovelware F2P MMOs" isn't just as high? Who is to say that the model of "play for a while, enjoy it, then move on" isn't okay? If you can get 30-40 hours of enjoyment of something without paying a cent, maybe that's okay? Obviously it's not your preference, but that doesn't mean your preference is inherently better.
Indeed. My argument was that people wouldn't feel pressured to continue on a subscription basis. "Oh I must play out my subscription". The idea is freedom to play the game on your own terms rather than being lured into a senseless grind. Honestly, I'd be hard pressed to believe that would decrease a game's "depth". And MMOs can be largely played for the social aspect anyways.

I would definitely lament rushed games that are cynically produced and contain many bugs, flaws, and features missing that try to distract people with a few hours of flashy graphics and turns out to be a waste of time. But that isn't a new thing. At all.
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