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Old 2013-03-20, 23:17   Link #81
4Tran
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The impression that I get from what I've read suggests that this doesn't happen in anime, at least not for the more junior members in the production. Of course it's something that's going to differ from studio to studio, and director to director, but the Japanese workplace does not seems to be very conducive to breaking the chain of command.
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Last edited by 4Tran; 2013-03-20 at 23:29. Reason: I need a better editor. Thanks, TinyRedLeaf.
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Old 2013-03-20, 23:26   Link #82
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The impression that I get from what I've read suggests that this doesn't happen in anime, at least not for the more junior members in the production. Of course it's something that's going to differ from studio to studio, and director to director, but the Japanese workplace (does not) seem to be very conducive to breaking the chain of command.
I can't speak for the Japanese animation studios. In any case, we're speaking in generalisms here and, generally speaking, everyone in a team has a responsibility to do his or her best to help the project succeed.

Maybe it's just me, or the society I work in, but I am very leery of those who celebrate the individual over the team. And, in general, we can see that most creators know better than to crow about the success of any collaborative work as though it were the result of their individual contributions alone.

Creators who do are, in my opinion, a$$holes I wouldn't want to have anything to do with.
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Old 2013-03-20, 23:46   Link #83
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Maybe it's just me, or the society I work in, but I am very leery of those who celebrate the individual over the team. And, in general, we can see that most creators know better than to crow about the success of any collaborative work as though it were the result of their individual contributions alone.
A fair bit of the anime production is going to differ based on the particular skillsets of the staff. That's why there are real staff connoisseurs out there who follow their favorite animators and the like from show to show (and sometimes episode to episode). If you've watched Sakuga MADs, you can see the individual skills shine in comparison to the more mundane work.

For anyone interested in the production aspect of anime, you can check it out here: http://www.pelleas.net/aniTOP/index....roduction-line

There's way too much information there, but it does provide a good context for what we're discussing. In this case, animators only contact the script through the storyboard and the director.
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Old 2013-03-21, 01:00   Link #84
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Of course I know teamwork is crucial!And plenty of anime creators do as well, Hosoda noted that that's what he learned at Toei, he came in thinking that being a director was all about having an artistic vision but quickly realized how important team management was.
Makoto Shinkai said Children Who Chase Lost Voices was the first time he really felt like a director because it was the first time team management really came into play.

The job of anime director is often described as attending countless amounts of meetings all day.
But the anime production is really spread out, not everything happens at the same place (the closest to that would be Kyoani I think) so not everybody is under one roof.You can't have meetings with everyone at the same table,just some higher ups.
So sure if the project has writing problems I'm willing to ask "what was the director thinking?" , and I've heard of other higher up positions having influence on the script such as the character designer.

But not "What was the art director thinking?" "What is the storyboarder thinking?" "What was the director of photography thinking?"' "What was the Key Animator thinking?" because these guys probably never saw the screenwriter.
So when I see that Thomas Romain is going to be part of Watanabe's upcoming bone's project I'm excited because I like the work he does at satelight as an art designer so I'm curious to see what he'll bring to the table over at bones.Why should I care about any plot issues I had with shows he worked on,I doubt he had much of a say,if any.
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Old 2013-03-21, 02:38   Link #85
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Regarding teamwork, I recall reading from Peter Chung (in the Anipages forum, see the site posted above) that in a Japanese animated movie, the storyboard (that is, the most essential component of the film) is done 100% by the director and NOT offered to discussion or revision. This is, of course, a generality or a trend. But it is certainly true that japanese animation tends to be more individualistic and expressionistic than western films, with all the pros and cons that might entail.

Of course this only speaks about the vision; the team that realizes that vision is as important as the director, and I've not seen many Japanese directors who aren't quick to lavishly praise their animators/sakkans/what you might.
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Old 2013-03-21, 02:48   Link #86
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Originally Posted by Warm Mist View Post
Regarding teamwork, I recall reading from Peter Chung (in the Anipages forum, see the site posted above) that in a Japanese animated movie, the storyboard (that is, the most essential component of the film) is done 100% by the director and NOT offered to discussion or revision. This is, of course, a generality or a trend.
Just to be clear,you're talking about movies right? because TV shows entirely storyboarded by their directors are quite rare though they exist.
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Old 2013-03-21, 03:12   Link #87
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@ Triple R

The thing is, even if you evaluate the writing, you have no idea how much of it the plot you're seeing was the writer's idea, or if it's an adaption if some adaptation choices were the writer's idea.
My own experience is that what you're writing here usually isn't true. Usually we have some decent indication to go on when it comes to who is responsible for what.

Sometimes it's through interviews with members of the anime's production staff. For Aquarion Evol, for example, there were extensive interviews with both Kawamori and Okada. It's a bit easier to see where Kawamori "ends" and Okada "begins" (and vice versa). It's not completely clear-cut, but from interviews with them we do have a better idea of who's responsible for what.

Plus, with some of the more prolific writers in the industry (such as Okada), there's such a huge resume of their work out there that it becomes increasingly likely that any common pattern seen throughout much of that resume goes back to that writer.


Quote:
The director could have been the one with the ideas and left it to the writer to execute them.
Even if so, the execution of a narrative idea is important itself, of course.


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When I look at Lupin III the woman named Fujiko Mine, I have no clear idea how much of it is Yamamoto and how much of it is Okada,
Weren't specific episodes credited to Okada, while others weren't? So are there any noticeable differences between the episodes credited to Okada, and the episodes that weren't? From what I've read some write about Lupin III, there are noticeable differences between these two sets of episodes. Well, evaluating those differences strikes me as a great place to start when trying to determine what's Okada and what isn't.

I can't say much about it personally, though, as I never watched much of this particular anime.


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I don't even know what you mean by "writing" when it comes to anime.
As it pertains to anime, I largely mean the plot and dialogue when I refer to "writing". It's true that the "writing" of a book is different than the "writing" for an anime. For a book, "writing" entails much more than just plot and dialogue, but for an anime, every element beyond these two are influenced at least somewhat by other members of the production staff and even by the seiyu performances.

To be clear, I recognize that there's some elements of an anime where it can be difficult to cleanly separate writing from the audio/visual components.

Overall characterization, for example, can be shaped a great deal by the audio/visual components. There's one character in Little Busters! that the animators saw fit to give all these little, evil grins to. That, combined with the seiyu performance for this character, made that character seem like a total ham to me.

That may have been entirely unintentional on the part of the writers of the original Little Busters VNs. It may have even been unintentional on the part of the writers for the LN anime episodes. And yet, it has had a lasting impact on how I perceive this particular character. So yes, animators and seiyu can definitely influence how anime fans come to view a particular character. So they can influence characterization.

Would I like Sayaka Miki as much as I do if Eri Kitamura hadn't put in such an inspired performance when voicing Sayaka? Maybe not, as the high emotion and excellent range Eri put into the role caused the character to come across to me as someone who wears her heart on her sleeve, and hence that likely inclined me to care about Sayaka more. If Sayaka had been voiced by someone monotone who was totally mailing it in, maybe Sayaka doesn't resonate with me the same way.


So honestly, I do get what you and Warm Mist are saying. There are places where it can be difficult (and maybe even impossible) to cleanly separate the influence of writing from the influence of animators and the influence of seiyu.

Nonetheless, there are also places where it really is pretty much all about the writing, or pretty much all about the animating. Plot and dialogue is all-writing. So if a show has great plot twists and impressive plot tightness and great dialogue, that's something the writer deserves praise for (and probably the Director as well). If a show has loads of plot holes and really wooden dialogue, that's something the writer deserves criticism for. I don't really see what the animators had to do with this.

On the flip side, though, if SHAFT puts out a laughable slideshow of an anime episode, I don't see what the writer has to do with that. It's not his fault that SHAFT works, well, a certain way.


Finally, I have to admit that I find it a bit odd how you keep bringing up these pieces of animation that most anime fans here on Anime Suki don't talk about much at all. They're the exception, not the rule. The vast majority of anime shows have loads of dialogue, and pretty detailed plots. Even "Slice of Life" anime often has numerous plot points of note and plenty of dialogue. Even K-On! has a plot that can be evaluated and analyzed on its own.

I respect that you like these pieces of animation that seek to do all it can with the form of the medium, and that's great. They definitely have considerable artistic merit, as it takes real talent to effectively tell a story largely/entirely through visuals alone. But if we're talking about art/animation "in anime", shouldn't we be focusing on the anime shows that the fandom and the industry in general focuses on? The Madoka Magicas, the Sword Art Onlines, the Psycho-Passes, the Shin Sekai Yoris, the K-Ons, the Monogataris, the Narutos, the One Pieces, the Haruhis.

All of these tend to have very detailed plots and loads of dialogue.
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Old 2013-03-21, 04:23   Link #88
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Just to be clear,you're talking about movies right? because TV shows entirely storyboarded by their directors are quite rare though they exist.
Yes, feature films. Although that's not a set rule, many works will differ and nobody can be privy to what goes on inside the studio on a minute day-to-day basis. Even more, some works sistematically stay away from this, like Tekkonkinkreet which was team-handled, or various films storyboarded by more than one person (the two Kyoani movies come to mind). In those cases, some form of constant mutual feedback must be happening at least within the storyboarders involved.
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Old 2013-03-21, 04:32   Link #89
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Finally, I have to admit that I find it a bit odd how you keep bringing up these pieces of animation that most anime fans here on Anime Suki don't talk about much at all. They're the exception, not the rule. The vast majority of anime shows have loads of dialogue, and pretty detailed plots. Even "Slice of Life" anime often has numerous plot points of note and plenty of dialogue. Even K-On! has a plot that can be evaluated and analyzed on its own.
Masterpieces are the exception, yes, it's common knowledge. But they are also great examples for illustrating just how much every aspect of the production matters, and can be exploited to great degree.
Nevertheless, even in "average" TV anime from every season, there are more than a handful of shows, episodes, scenes, that are made great (or awful) by the whole production, and not simply one aspect shining over the rest.

*K-On! does a whole lot with style and direction as it has a very tight presentation overall, and I consider it pretty much a masterpiece in its genre. Just saying

EDIT: Oops, double posted without realizing. Sorry.
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Old 2013-03-21, 06:53   Link #90
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Weren't specific episodes credited to Okada, while others weren't? So are there any noticeable differences between the episodes credited to Okada, and the episodes that weren't? From what I've read some write about Lupin III, there are noticeable differences between these two sets of episodes. Well, evaluating those differences strikes me as a great place to start when trying to determine what's Okada and what isn't.
Writing is writing, no matter who's responsible for it. However, the situation is a bit muddied because Okada Mari was credited for Series Composition for Fujiko Mine. Even if she didn't write a particular episode, she would have come up with the general ideas behind it.

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As it pertains to anime, I largely mean the plot and dialogue when I refer to "writing". It's true that the "writing" of a book is different than the "writing" for an anime. For a book, "writing" entails much more than just plot and dialogue, but for an anime, every element beyond these two are influenced at least somewhat by other members of the production staff and even by the seiyu performances.
Bear in mind that the director may decide to change things from the script to the storyboard. I don't know how often it happens in anime, but it's certainly a possibility. There can also be changes introduced during the editing process.

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Masterpieces are the exception, yes, it's common knowledge. But they are also great examples for illustrating just how much every aspect of the production matters, and can be exploited to great degree.
Nevertheless, even in "average" TV anime from every season, there are more than a handful of shows, episodes, scenes, that are made great (or awful) by the whole production, and not simply one aspect shining over the rest.
Quite true, but there's nothing stopping us from looking at precisely what it is that makes an episode or scene great. It's also more fruitful to be more descriptive: "the direction and framing in that scene was great" is more informative than just "that scene was great".
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Old 2013-03-21, 07:28   Link #91
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Bear in mind that the director may decide to change things from the script to the storyboard. I don't know how often it happens in anime, but it's certainly a possibility. There can also be changes introduced during the editing process.
There is one area where I'll make a partial concession to TinyRedLeaf.

Yes, the Director rises or falls with the whole of the anime. This is because the Director is in a position to directly influence each and every element of the work. The Director can wield, if s/he so chooses, considerable influence over the Writer (and hence the writing) of the work. A good example of this is AnoHana, and the impact that Nagai had on Okada's work.

If the writing for an anime is great, then the Director should get at least some credit (even if the credit, in truth, is just "Didn't get in the writer's way"). If a script is loaded with plot holes, a viewer can justifiably ask why the Director didn't ask the writer to edit his/her work to iron out these plot holes.

And a Director has obvious influence on the audio/visual side of things.


A Director is the Captain of the ship. If the ship sinks, s/he goes down with the ship. If the ship has a successful voyage, s/he gets at least some credit. However, other members of the ship's crew have their own specific jobs to do, and some of them may be innocent of blame if the ship ends up hitting an iceberg.
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Old 2013-03-21, 11:17   Link #92
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Of course I know teamwork is crucial! And plenty of anime creators do as well...

But not "What was the art director thinking?" "What is the storyboarder thinking?" "What was the director of photography thinking?"' "What was the Key Animator thinking?" because these guys probably never saw the screenwriter.

So when I see that Thomas Romain is going to be part of Watanabe's upcoming bone's project I'm excited because I like the work he does at satelight as an art designer so I'm curious to see what he'll bring to the table over at bones. Why should I care about any plot issues I had with shows he worked on, I doubt he had much of a say, if any.
I concede. I got carried away. It's true, of course, that not everyone in the team has equal say in the "writing" of the anime. But I will stubbornly stand by the point that the onus is not on the writers alone to deliver a screenplay that works. There is bound to be communication between the people who rely most on the screenplay to do their work, and if that communication broke down, it can't be the fault of just one party alone.

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To be clear, I recognize that there's some elements of an anime where it can be difficult to cleanly separate writing from the audio/visual components.
Good, because we're needlessly disagreeing over something we actually agree on.

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If a show has loads of plot holes and really wooden dialogue, that's something the writer deserves criticism for. I don't really see what the animators had to do with this.
Fine, I concede the point, but only as matter of general principle. Such criticism take on real meaning only when we consider anime on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the anime, there can be "plot holes" that simply aren't plot holes at all, just a failure on the viewers' part to see and hear how the "holes" were addressed via audio-visual presentation.

I'm thinking especially of Sky Crawlers, which was a painful watch for many people, as they just couldn't get what Mamoru Oshii and Chihiro Ito were trying to convey. The movie isn't known for its scintillating dialogue either, but for the purposes of the story, it was more than sufficient, at least for me, to convey meaning.

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Finally, I have to admit that I find it a bit odd how you keep bringing up these pieces of animation that most anime fans here on Anime Suki don't talk about much at all... But if we're talking about art/animation "in anime", shouldn't we be focusing on the anime shows that the fandom and the industry in general focuses on?

All of these tend to have very detailed plots and loads of dialogue.
Don't you see the problem at all? You're watching animation!

If the animation (by which I'm referring to the sum of all its audio-visual elements, not just its art and cinematography, but also its music, sound direction and voice-acting ) isn't what wows you in the end about the story you've just experienced, then what's the point about praising the quality of its writing, when the writing was supposed to help the animators, musicians, sound engineers and voice actors do their jobs properly?

You're me, from years ago, before my producer friend asked: "Why animation?"

If anime succeeds just on the strength of its writing alone, without growing as an audio-visual form of storytelling, then something is seriously wrong with the industry that creates it.

What is the point of a brilliantly written graphic novel that is presented as pages and pages of crudely drawn stick figures? Can it even still be called a "graphic" novel?

What is the point of brilliantly written plot and dialogue, if they didn't help the anime flourish as animation?
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Old 2013-03-21, 12:47   Link #93
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Don't you see the problem at all? You're watching animation!

If the animation (by which I'm referring to the sum of all its audio-visual elements, not just its art and cinematography, but also its music, sound direction and voice-acting ) isn't what wows you in the end about the story you've just experienced, then what's the point about praising the quality of its writing, when the writing was supposed to help the animators, musicians, sound engineers and voice actors do their jobs properly?

You're me, from years ago, before my producer friend asked: "Why animation?"

If anime succeeds just on the strength of its writing alone, without growing as an audio-visual form of storytelling, then something is seriously wrong with the industry that creates it.

What is the point of a brilliantly written graphic novel that is presented as pages and pages of crudely drawn stick figures? Can it even still be called a "graphic" novel?

What is the point of brilliantly written plot and dialogue, if they didn't help the anime flourish as animation?
And here we go again, we're turning around in circles
At no point has Triple R stated that animation doesn't matter, at no point as he said that he has no interest in looking at visuals.

You're arguing vs nobody here
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Old 2013-03-21, 12:50   Link #94
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If anime succeeds just on the strength of its writing alone, without growing as an audio-visual form of storytelling, then something is seriously wrong with the industry that creates it.

What is the point of a brilliantly written graphic novel that is presented as pages and pages of crudely drawn stick figures? Can it even still be called a "graphic" novel?

What is the point of brilliantly written plot and dialogue, if they didn't help the anime flourish as animation?
This topic is making me realize that a lot of anime fans usually discuss the writing unless the audiovisual elements are exceptional for better or worse. We've come to take the audiovisual for granted because we're accustomed to it. We expect it.

The writing in a show can't present itself without the form in the first place but I wager a guess that when people are praising an anime for its strong writing they aren't necessarily downplaying the animation so much as talking about the part of the series that particularly stood out. Legend of the Galactic Heroes, for example, is something I wouldn't cite as the finest example of audiovisual stuff but it has just enough to serve the writing, the focus of all the praise it gets. On the other hand, Redline, from what I understand, is praised primarily for its audiovisual elements and less for its "writing (tentative because I'm subconsciously conflating them. Derp)."

I guess I could have worded the OP better; do you prefer shows that get by primarily on is animation or writing? Maybe a combination of both?

As far as critically watching a show, the whole could be greater or less than the sum of its parts depending on whether you think the "point" or "main strength" of the anime was supposed to be its "writing" or "animation." Sometimes serendipity strikes us and we know what to praise or criticize a show for. If we believe the "intentions" of anime overall are everywhere, though, then we inevitably get stuff we can't divide so neatly and at the same time there's an equal number of things you can almost divorce audiovisual and writing from. It's when the intentions of a show aren't clear that fans get into arguments about whether something sux or is awsum.
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Old 2013-03-21, 14:45   Link #95
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This topic is making me realize that a lot of anime fans usually discuss the writing unless the audiovisual elements are exceptional for better or worse. We've come to take the audiovisual for granted because we're accustomed to it. We expect it.

The writing in a show can't present itself without the form in the first place but I wager a guess that when people are praising an anime for its strong writing they aren't necessarily downplaying the animation so much as talking about the part of the series that particularly stood out. Legend of the Galactic Heroes, for example, is something I wouldn't cite as the finest example of audiovisual stuff but it has just enough to serve the writing, the focus of all the praise it gets. On the other hand, Redline, from what I understand, is praised primarily for its audiovisual elements and less for its "writing (tentative because I'm subconsciously conflating them. Derp)."
I think that it has more to do with people posting about things they're familiar with. Animation and art direction require specialized tools to analyze, and most people just aren't going to be familiar with them. Usually, you'll just get a few comments about whether the animation looked good or bad, and that's it. Writing, or more accurately, dialogue and plot are much easier to parse so that's mostly what gets discussed. It's a pervasive pattern in English-language anime fandom.
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Old 2013-03-21, 14:53   Link #96
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I think that it has more to do with people posting about things they're familiar with. Animation and art direction require specialized tools to analyze, and most people just aren't going to be familiar with them. Usually, you'll just get a few comments about whether the animation looked good or bad, and that's it. Writing, or more accurately, dialogue and plot are much easier to parse so that's mostly what gets discussed. It's a pervasive pattern in English-language anime fandom.
I am going to add another reason (at least in terms of message boards more so than blogs). When you are discussing characters, plot, and theme there is just a whole lot more to discuss and debate.

Triple R and Myself can go back and forth on what we feel about Yakomaru's motives in Shin Sekai Yori but while it is very interesting we might not go back and forth on what the director was trying to convey in this scene using the visuals.

That is not to say one is more interesting or important than the other, just one leads to more back and forth discussion.

That being said I think my example is bad one because depending on what it is what imagery is trying to tell us can create a very interesting back and forth discussion, especially if it something more abstract (like Ikuhara's works).
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Old 2013-03-21, 14:59   Link #97
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Specialized tools? I think anyone that paid attention during the watch and is willing to translate their reactions to written word can talk about how a screen was positioned, how the lighting affected the scene, how the animation moved, etc.
You don't need to be a film student or anything of the sort. I'm pretty sure most people here aren't literary students, let alone writers or scholars, yet the dialogue and plot of a show get dissected to the most minimal details.

I think it goes back to what Dawnstorm said; most of those elements, when successful, tend to be invisible to let the story shine. They are there, and are as important (if not more) than the script, but the idea is that most viewers shouldn't notice their presence. Only people willing to notice them will talk about them.
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Old 2013-03-21, 18:32   Link #98
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Fine, I concede the point, but only as matter of general principle. Such criticism take on real meaning only when we consider anime on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the anime, there can be "plot holes" that simply aren't plot holes at all, just a failure on the viewers' part to see and hear how the "holes" were addressed via audio-visual presentation.

I'm thinking especially of Sky Crawlers, which was a painful watch for many people, as they just couldn't get what Mamoru Oshii and Chihiro Ito were trying to convey. The movie isn't known for its scintillating dialogue either, but for the purposes of the story, it was more than sufficient, at least for me, to convey meaning.
We might be using "plot holes" slightly differently.

There are parts of a story, and certainly parts of a visual presentation, that are left to viewer interpretation. I personally wouldn't consider that a plot hole. I can understand why some might dislike this, but I can also see why some would like it and are able to find meaning in these scenes.

A plot hole, to me, is when a character does something extremely OoC, and/or the narrative has something happen that breaks the internal logic of its fictional world, or in some cases specific plot details just don't add up.

Let me reference a somewhat famous example here

Spoiler for Code Geass R2 spoiler:


But I've probably belabored the point on plot holes a bit much, so I'll leave it here.


To be clear, I get what you mean by emphasizing "You're watching animation!"

I think the reason why people don't talk much about how form maximizes the effectiveness of the the delivery of the content, boils down to two things...

1) Must of us learned at least a little bit about reading and writing in high school. We learned at least a little bit about plot, settings, characters, comic relief, and how to tie them effectively together. I'd say most people have probably studied Shakespeare at some point in their life, be it in high school or post-secondary or both. You can learn a lot about writing just by studying Shakespeare.

However, many of us didn't necessarily learn much about animation in an actual class dedicated to animation. There's some impressions we might have of it - Some moments where we might think "Yeah, I love how Character X looked and acted when she confronted Character Y during this dramatic moment that was perfectly framed by the lighting. It was so intense, and said so much about both characters!". - But because we never had any formal education in it, we might feel a bit nervous over expressing opinions on things that are almost like gut/visceral reactions to us.


2) I think that the overall visual/audio-quality of anime has improved considerably over the past few years in most respects. Animation that would have been "stand-out" a few years ago is now just expected. Animation studios are almost a victim of their own success here. They've perfected the audio-visual side of things to the point that people increasingly take it for granted (I'll admit I'm guilty of this myself sometimes). Writing quality, however, remains highly variable, so it gets a lot of attention.

I honestly can't think of a recent anime that looked downright ugly to me. But I can think of recent anime that had some really questionable plots, lol.
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Old 2013-03-21, 18:42   Link #99
TinyRedLeaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totoum View Post
And here we go again, we're turning around in circles

At no point has Triple R stated that animation doesn't matter, at no point as he said that he has no interest in looking at visuals.

You're arguing vs nobody here
Clearly, there's been a failure in communication.

I already wrote a number of times that I agree about the importance of writing and I also wrote that it's okay to analyse its use in anime. All I'm asking is that people don't just focus on the writing and forget to think about how it relates to the animation. I thought we already agreed on this several posts ago.

I also posted my speculation about why fans seem so uncomfortable with the idea that the imagery should matter just as much as the writing, if not more. There seems to be a fear that an anime that emphasises art and cinematography would appear superficial. That's something worth exploring.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Akito Kinomoto View Post
I guess I could have worded the OP better; do you prefer shows that get by primarily on is animation or writing? Maybe a combination of both?
Ultimately, it's a combination of both. If you really need me to choose between false choices, I choose animation, because animation is ultimately what makes anime, well, anime.

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Originally Posted by Akito Kinomoto View Post
If we believe the "intentions" of anime overall are everywhere, though, then we inevitably get stuff we can't divide so neatly and at the same time there's an equal number of things you can almost divorce audiovisual and writing from. It's when the intentions of a show aren't clear that fans get into arguments about whether something sux or is awsum.
If the intentions are going all over the place, the project will suck from a lack of focus. It ought to be very clear, by the level of abstraction in the storytelling, which element is supposed to be more important.

I will have to seriously wonder, though, why animation was chosen to tell an extremely literal story. Animation may not have been the best medium for the writers' intentions, given that animation's greatest strength lies in its ability to portray abstract ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warm Mist View Post
Specialized tools? I think anyone that paid attention during the watch and is willing to translate their reactions to written word can talk about how a screen was positioned, how the lighting affected the scene, how the animation moved, etc.

You don't need to be a film student or anything of the sort. I'm pretty sure most people here aren't literary students, let alone writers or scholars, yet the dialogue and plot of a show get dissected to the most minimal details.
Indeed. Cinematography isn't rocket science, any more than literary critique. It just requires viewers to consciously spot the elements that make art and cinematography work. To be sure, if you're not a trained student, there's a lot to literary critique that you'd miss, too. At least, that was how it was for me when I was a first-year literature student. It took a full year of failed essays before I finally saw the light, and realised what my teachers were trying to point me towards.
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Old 2013-03-21, 19:01   Link #100
Warm Mist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
2) I think that the overall visual/audio-quality of anime has improved considerably over the past few years in most respects. Animation that would have been "stand-out" a few years ago is now just expected. Animation studios are almost a victim of their own success here. They've perfected the audio-visual side of things to the point that people increasingly take it for granted (I'll admit I'm guilty of this myself sometimes). Writing quality, however, remains highly variable, so it gets a lot of attention.

I honestly can't think of a recent anime that looked downright ugly to me. But I can think of recent anime that had some really questionable plots, lol.
This is a new point for discussion, so let's go with this. I disagree here. The audiovisual quality of anime is still highly variable. There are some offensive entries in more recent times, like Musashi Gundoh. In regards to individual episodes, it's even easier to spot blunders: Take two episodes that aired in this same season, Magi 18 and Psycho-Pass 18. The flat-out horribleness of everything in these two is indisputable, and many people were unable to enjoy anything that might have been worth it in the "writing" due to crappy direction, art direction and animation/art consistency.

More generally, one thing that has undoubtedly improved is the scheduling, thanks mostly to the digital transition. Recap episodes and abuse of stock footage are a thing of the past, because there's rarely a schedule so fucked up that episodes won't be even finished by the time they air (it still happens, as exemplified above). This doesn't say anything about the quantity of animation (which deals with budget) and the quality of animation (which deals with the individual animators and ADs involved). Same goes for the character art in still and mid-distance frames.
Moreover, the visual quality in regards to backgrounds, art direction and photography has clearly changed, but whether or not it has improved from the analog era is a matter of taste. In the framework of modern digital productions, only a handful of shows can be said to make effective use of the available tools, and a great deal of TV shows feature uninspired and lazy choices. Not counting downright offensive stuff like Angel Beats. I'm not claiming that it was any better in the analog era; crappy visual productions have always existed, and above-average productions have always been the minority.
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