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Old 2013-03-23, 18:35   Link #1
fukarming
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Overhype vs asspull - is there a perfect balance

As title suggested, is there any series you feel they make a perfect balance between making the antagonist strong enough to live up to its hype, while the main characters can pull off a victory without considering it as an asspull?

Spoiler for Saki - Achiga hen:


Spoiler for girls und panzer:


Of course there are series that has an antagonist that is strong enough but the MC's victory is not considered an asspull. DBZ is a good example that Freeza totally lived up his hype but Super Seiyan Goku beat him. However, I think they spent over 100 episode to hype up the super seiyan, which is not exactly feasible in today's 12/24 episode series.
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Old 2013-03-23, 18:44   Link #2
4Tran
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Hikaru no Go - it happened all the time, so there's no need to specify examples. One of the beautiful aspects of the show is that many (most? all?) of the depicted matches are based on real-life professional matches, so they're all as authentic as you can get.

Another nifty trick is that, because there are so many matches in the show (at least 30, but maybe as many as 50), it's possible for the protagonist to lose and still advance the story.
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Old 2013-03-23, 20:28   Link #3
Triple_R
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Here's the problem with Saki Achiga-hen...

Spoiler for Saki Achiga-hen:
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Old 2013-03-23, 21:39   Link #4
4Tran
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Saki Achiga

I'm not going to bother with spoiler tags because the scenario setup should be obvious from the very beginning of the series.

The main problem with Achiga is that it's trapped by storytelling conventions and that this show is a side story to the main Saki narrative. The main reason for this story to even exist is to build up the favorites, Shirotodai, as the ultimate powerhouse that the main heroines, Kiyosumi, has to take on. For there to be any tension, Kiyosumi has to appear as the underdogs and so Shirotodai have to win out in the semi-finals. There is literally no other way to tell the story.

The second goal of this story is to establish Saki's sister, Teru, as the most dangerous mahjong player.

The third goal is to establish whomever Shirotodai will play in the fifth round as a threat to Miyanagi Saki. Not doing this would kill the tension when they finally play.

The fourth goal is to validate the viewer investment in Team Achiga. To do this, the creators have to make the characters play in an interesting way, and they have to make it to the Finals. Which means they have to come in second place in the semi-final.

Finally, the whole show still has to be entertaining and exciting. Since Teru leads, she has to show off by almost crushing all of the opposition. However, Shirotodai's fifth player must still play (and should do so in a significant manner), so their team musn't dominate. The other teams in the competition have to have their day in the sun as well, so the middle rounds should be about Shirotodai losing the lead Teru builds up.

Taken together, all of these objectives end up working against each other. Even worse, most of these points pertain to Shirotodai, but they're not even the main characters in the show! All told, it's unavoidable that Achiga-hen ends up as a complete mess. The only way to rescue the story would have been to make Shirotodai the main characters, but even that probably would be ill-conceived.

The whole show is about part of a single tournament, so there's no leeway for failure hence there's little wriggle room for telling the story. This can be contrasted with Hikaru no Go where the story is fine even if Hikaru loses 40% of his matches.
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Old 2013-03-23, 21:47   Link #5
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I don't know why they didn't put Teru in the fifth position. That would have made things so much easier. Not to mention that Miyanaga vs. Miyanaga is what people are dreaming about anyway!

What are they holding off on it for? A climatic match in a singles tournament? But Saki has always emphasized team-play and team tournaments over individual play and singles tournaments (the anime makes this crystal clear with the number of episodes allotted to each).
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Old 2013-03-23, 21:52   Link #6
4Tran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I don't know why they didn't put Teru in the fifth position. That would have made things so much easier. Not to mention that Miyanaga vs. Miyanaga is what people are dreaming about anyway!
The decision that Teru played first had been made all the way when the original Saki was still airing. Besides, it's tradition that, in the team matches, the two players with history/fate relationships will never play each other. I think that the only exception to that was Nodoka playing Touka in the fourth round.
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Old 2013-03-23, 21:57   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
The decision that Teru played first had been made all the way when the original Saki was still airing. Besides, it's tradition that, in the team matches, the two players with history/fate relationships will never play each other. I think that the only exception to that was Nodoka playing Touka in the fourth round.
I find it funny that Nodoka vs. Touka would warrant an exception (when Stealth Momo largely stole Touka's thunder anyway) but Saki vs. Teru wouldn't.

Still, thanks for the info.


To be clear, I think that Saki matches are generally very well-written, but Achiga-hen is a case where they just got a bit too ambitious with too many goals that run contrary to one another.
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Old 2013-03-24, 03:33   Link #8
fukarming
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Here is not Saki's thread so I don't want to go into the specifics. I do agree that Saki Achigen set too many contradicting goals, thus I want to bring out if that is a writing problem in general.

Hikaru no Go avoid the problem simply allowing players to lose - since HnG is following hikaru's life to become a professional go player, which no one can win all the matches. Touya Meijin didn't win all his matches, and I am not talking about his match vs Sai.

However, most sports anime is about highschool setting which goes into elimination eventually. If the MC lose they need to start over for the next year.If it is a fighting anime then if the MC lose you wonder why the villain not kill the MC outright.

There are quite alot of stories allowing the MC to lose: H2 (Adachi Mitsuru) is another prime example: we knew the "H2" will play against each other eventually, but they have 3 years of highschool to set it up.

So let me narrow my question abit, if there any anime/manga/stories, that hyped up the antagonist, yet the MC beat the antagonist 1. without making the antagonist looks weak; 2. without having the MC powerup seems illogical.
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Then they came for foie gras,I didn't speak up because I don't eat foie gras.
Then they came for Toro (bluefin tuna) sushi,I didn't speak up because I don't eat sushi.
Then they came for me and force me to be a vegan by that time no one was left to speak up.
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Old 2013-03-24, 03:46   Link #9
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It... happens all the time?

I mean, it's not that hard to make a convincing antagonist (in terms of power-level only) and also have him/her lose in a logical way. If you want examples, basically every battle shonen series pulled it off at least once in their run. Check out One Piece for repeated success of what you're looking for.
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Old 2013-03-24, 23:34   Link #10
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Yu Yu Hakusho has a really good example, but a really bad one too.

Spoiler for good:



Spoiler for bad:


Though interestingly, the "bad" example was probably handled better in Nanoha A's
Spoiler:
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Old 2013-03-25, 00:41   Link #11
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Um, with regards to Saki and asspulling... all you need to read is this:

http://www.epicwin.org/2009/08/16/sa...ty-episode-19/

Can't get a more prime example than this.
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Old 2013-03-25, 02:51   Link #12
fukarming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warm Mist View Post
It... happens all the time?

I mean, it's not that hard to make a convincing antagonist (in terms of power-level only) and also have him/her lose in a logical way. If you want examples, basically every battle shonen series pulled it off at least once in their run. Check out One Piece for repeated success of what you're looking for.
Luffy is overpowered? I stopped following One Piece shortly after Crocodile. Enemies before crocodile is just plain weaker than Luffy, and they spend 20+ episode hyping up crocodile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
Um, with regards to Saki and asspulling... all you need to read is this:

http://www.epicwin.org/2009/08/16/sa...ty-episode-19/

Can't get a more prime example than this.
We all know Saki is not realistic. That is different from asspulling. Within universe what Saki had pulled is nothing special. Since ep 1 we had been told this is Saki's ability. Asspulling means it is difficult/impossible to explain even within universe logic.

Also, I think Toguro is a good example that is done right. However, it didn't change that they spend 30+ episode hyping Toguro up. Is there any series that is within 2 cour that did that successfully?
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They came first for sharks fin,I didn't speak up because I don't eat sharks fin.
Then they came for foie gras,I didn't speak up because I don't eat foie gras.
Then they came for Toro (bluefin tuna) sushi,I didn't speak up because I don't eat sushi.
Then they came for me and force me to be a vegan by that time no one was left to speak up.
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Old 2013-03-25, 03:41   Link #13
Warm Mist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fukarming View Post
Luffy is overpowered? I stopped following One Piece shortly after Crocodile. Enemies before crocodile is just plain weaker than Luffy, and they spend 20+ episode hyping up crocodile.
How does that collide with your initial question?
Quote:
making the antagonist strong enough to live up to its hype, while the main characters can pull off a victory without considering it as an asspull?
Crocodile is a good example, because he totally lived up to his 20 episodes of hype.
Another case is Rob Lucci, who doesn't get much attention until his fight with Luffy is already mid-way.
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Old 2013-03-28, 05:38   Link #14
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