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Old 2013-05-14, 22:37   Link #1
Midonin
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In the Medium Best Suited to Telling It

The thing about anime is that it draws on several different mediums (manga, light novel/regular novel, visual novel, video game, other kind of video game, etc.) and unites it under a mostly common banner, but when one branches out into the other mediums, I've noticed that certain kinds of stories are prevalent in other mediums more than others, which makes me think of the phrase of "telling a story in the medium best suited to telling it."

Manga (4-koma in particular) are home to series like Yuyushiki and A Channel that can carry a few characters and their comedic interactions in a serialized format, with its own set of comedic timing. In a visual novel, this rarely works. I noticed that because there was a VN (Bokura wa Piachere) that, though I haven't played it yet, cribs heavily from K-ON!'s visual style (note: this makes me want to play it more)... but the similarities stop there. Reading the plot and the character profiles reveal that to fit the visual novel medium, several changes had to be made. The presence of a viewpoint character. More dramatic tension. Romantic subplots. I'm not saying this is a good or bad thing, but it changes the texture to a very noticeable degree.

It goes in the other direction too. The number of times I've encountered a temporal loop in a visual novel is manyfold. I don't mind it (it works with the game mechanics), but in sci-fi/fantasy based stories told in this medium, the odds are likely that it will be introduced as an element. Even when there aren't multiple routes, like Higurashi. This element has been in original anime (Madoka) and works just as well there, but it holds a certain power brought about by hours of gameplay in a visual novel setting.

Speaking of Madoka, that's one that I'd argue works as well as it does because it's an anime. The Witches can be freaky in manga form still, but by losing color and their jerky/too fluid sense of movement, courtesy of Gekidan Inu Curry, they're an imitation of what they have the potential to be. I remember reading similar comments about Girls und Panzer's manga - that it doesn't work as well as the anime does because of the unique elements that anime brings to it.

And then we get to light novels. Now, a lot of manga have inner monologues for their characters, but by nature of being text based, they're at least 50% inner monologue. A character like Hachiman or Kyon works best in that format, and I'd imagine that as far as Nyarko goes, a lot of her jokes had to be altered to fit the format of an animated medium instead of a text medium. Even detail is something that has to be shown rather than told between the two, so certain kinds of stories work best here, and their manga adaptations have to take some liberties.

And video game based anime often play up the collectathon aspect or the combat aspect, because whether it's an arcade game or a video game - the interactive aspect is lost when it comes to anime, but what it does is mostly provide additional context, be that cards (Gyrozetter, Aikatsu!) or other things.

Each of these stories has their own strengths, and their own weaknesses, but what I'm getting at is that while anime may be a unifier, it's also another filter. As much as companies aim for media mixes, some things can't be media mixed that easily.

I'm not sure how to close this post. But it's worth considering when an anime adaptation is announced. There are a lot of universal aspects of many stories. You can find, say, a romance or action in any of the above. But how it's expressed may vary wildly.
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Old 2013-05-14, 22:46   Link #2
Kaisos Erranon
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So what you're saying is that adaptations tend to work better in their original format, unless you heavily alter the material?
No offense, but that's not really a controversial idea or anything...
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Old 2013-05-14, 22:51   Link #3
Midonin
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Originally Posted by Kaisos Erranon View Post
No offense, but that's not really a controversial idea or anything...
I was more saying that certain mediums draw out certain aspects of certain stories. The whole idea of "looking for a daily life series in a visual novel" (in retrospect, kind of a dumb idea. But I've invested time into worse things.) was what got me thinking about it, and then wondering if some stories could transcend mediums.

After all, you have plenty of light novels that try to be visual novels (like Date a Live and its choices, among others) and visual novels that try to be anime (with openings, endings, title cards, next episode previews and everything.) I find this blending of mediums to be an interesting attempt at intertextuality, breaking the boundaries of fiction.

Anime's not just one thing, and I want to look deeper into how those many things influence each other, since they all exist in such close proximity.
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Old 2013-05-14, 23:04   Link #4
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Originally Posted by Midonin View Post
.... and visual novels that try to be anime (with openings, endings, title cards, next episode previews and everything.) I find this blending of mediums to be an interesting attempt at intertextuality, breaking the boundaries of fiction.
I don't think VN openings are starting to like anime openings, because IMO these openings haven't changed drastically.

Also many eroge's endings are nothing like anime endings, because almost every of these kind of endings are just a theme song and the game credits with a slideshow of most of the CG's of the finished route.
Title cards are not that common and i have only seen not many games that have a "next episode preview"
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Old 2013-05-14, 23:07   Link #5
Midonin
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Title cards are not that common and only a few games have a "next episode preview"
Even if not all of them do, those that attempt it are what I'm trying to focus on here. There's clearly some aspect of anime they're trying to capture in a form that's experienced completely differently, beyond a design aesthetic. I've been playing them for long enough that I know their openings and endings aren't the same as an anime, but depending on how they're placed (and if the producers have enough of a budget to get some actual animation in there), they can come very close.
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Old 2013-05-14, 23:11   Link #6
hyl
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Even if not all of them do, those that attempt it are what I'm trying to focus on here. There's clearly some aspect of anime they're trying to capture in a form that's experienced completely differently, beyond a design aesthetic. I've been playing them for long enough that I know their openings and endings aren't the same as an anime, but depending on how they're placed (and if the producers have enough of a budget to get some actual animation in there), they can come very close.
As i said before, I don't think that VN and eroge openings have changed that much over the last decade to match animes. Because IMO they already felt like an anime opening if it was an actual anime (well except that most of them it uses CG's from the game compared to most anime openings that uses original drawn scenes specifically for the opening that most of the time don't appear in the anime itself)
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Old 2013-05-14, 23:14   Link #7
Midonin
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Ah, now I see what you're getting at. That is part of why I'm into the VN scene as much as I am. It's as close as I can get to anime without actually being so. Though it also has elements of the video game and light novel parts of things, too. Truly, a unique experience.
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Old 2013-05-14, 23:18   Link #8
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As for Date a live, i don't think it tries to act like a VN but it tries to parodize VN's (only watched the anime version and not the LN's, so i am not sure how accurate this is)
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Old 2013-05-14, 23:21   Link #9
Midonin
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As for Date a live, i don't think it tries to act like a VN but it tries to parodize VN's (only watched the anime version and not the LN's, so i am not sure how accurate this is)
You can't parody something without acting like it at least a little bit.
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Old 2013-05-14, 23:35   Link #10
hyl
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I think date a life still feels like a typical LN harem serie and the socalled VN elements are not strongly present (and the possible "choices" are nothing like the ones in VN's)

Going back to your first post, because i skipped most of it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midonin View Post
Manga (4-koma in particular) are home to series like Yuyushiki and A Channel that can carry a few characters and their comedic interactions in a serialized format, with its own set of comedic timing. In a visual novel, this rarely works. I noticed that because there was a VN (Bokura wa Piachere) that, though I haven't played it yet, cribs heavily from K-ON!'s visual style (note: this makes me want to play it more)... but the similarities stop there. Reading the plot and the character profiles reveal that to fit the visual novel medium, several changes had to be made. The presence of a viewpoint character. More dramatic tension. Romantic subplots. I'm not saying this is a good or bad thing, but it changes the texture to a very noticeable degree.
Games made by ad:lib tend to be quite bad or mediocre at best and i think their games to try to cash in on popular animes, just like aorio looks visually alot like Haganai .... (the story was horrible though)
So i don't think Bokura wa Piachere is a good example

If you were looking for a true slice of life , then a VN is probably the wrong kind of medium. I don't think the "reader" is looking for slice of life's in VN's (not saying that there are any and some VN's have a very good "daily life moments" in it )
Most of them (not including nukiges) are either romance, sci-fi or fantasy (and in the latter 2 cases, you can still find romance in it).

edit: i think it's the same with the medium movies. I haven't seen that many movies that are a pure "slice of life"

Last edited by hyl; 2013-05-14 at 23:46.
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Old 2013-05-14, 23:45   Link #11
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Which reminds me of : Yotsuba

This manga is FREAKING good, yet up until now never get any chance to get animated at all. Reason : the folks on Japan there said that this manga wouldn't be suitable in animated medium.

How come?
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Old 2013-05-14, 23:46   Link #12
Midonin
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If you were looking for a true slice of life , then a VN is probably the wrong kind of medium. I don't think the "reader" is looking for slice of life's in VN's (not saying that there are any though and some VN's have a very good "daily life moments" in it )
This is more what I was looking for. If the medium is still a novel, what about it makes it inherently more suited to telling those kinds of stories compared to a manga? A lot of 4-koma manga can have wordplay gags that would play just as well in an audio drama, but adding panels and pictures changes the way they can express that kind of story.

In the case of ad:lib's games (again, I've never played them, but I desire to, either because I have very esoteric standards or something else), I find their attempts at cashing in to be more something of interest. Like the anime version of Transmorphers or Snakes on a Train. It has to make itself different enough to not draw lawyers, but hold onto what it thinks is important to what it's copying that it becomes another interesting look at adaptation, just not in a direct sense.


To go to another example, there's things that are the same, but not. Milky Holmes is fine in either of its mediums, but I don't know if the anime's bonkers sense of comedy could translate to a VN. I'm sure a lot of it could, but when given free reign, what made the directors decide on that direction? Because it certainly worked, but what about anime specifically makes this the best fit for the story? I have a general idea for this particular series, but then comes the extrapolating.
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Old 2013-05-14, 23:52   Link #13
hyl
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Originally Posted by Midonin View Post
This is more what I was looking for. If the medium is still a novel, what about it makes it inherently more suited to telling those kinds of stories compared to a manga? A lot of 4-koma manga can have wordplay gags that would play just as well in an audio drama, but adding panels and pictures changes the way they can express that kind of story.
Most 4-koma gag mangas try to fit in as many jokes , funny moments or punchlines as possible in a short moment ( in this case 4 panels). This does not work for many kind of other media such as stories that might have a plot because it can be very distracting for the audience to take it seriously. I can't see this working for movies (unless it's a slapstick or comedy) or any kind of written work, because this probably better suited for a visually stronger medium. A VN is still primarily a novel but with some visuals and sound.

As for Milky holmes, it had 2 VN's on the psp but it had a more serious story and it doesn't resemble the anime at all , aside from having the same main heroines and villains (and even then, they had a more serious personality in the VN)
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Old 2013-05-14, 23:58   Link #14
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This does not work for many kind of other media such as stories that might have a plot because it can be very distracting for the audience to take it seriously.
The whole "taking it seriously" argument is something I have a few problems with for reasons that I could create a whole different thread on (and already have), but conveying a joke that works requires as much work as anything else in an entertainment medium. The arguments I'm making are in some ways similar to this Cracked article. Again, Nyarko and many other light novels are probably the closest I can think of as far as slice of life/comedy based text fiction goes, but even those have their own quirks.

I'm not trying to turn this into a suggestions thread, as much as it looks like one. Even non 4-koma manga still need to have a certain timing to their jokes that it seems text can't fully replicate, thus why those kinds of stories are more common there.

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As for Milky holmes, it had 2 VN's on the psp but it had a more serious story and it doesn't resemble the anime at all , aside from having the same main heroines and villains (and even then, they had a more serious personality in the VN)
Both are perfectly valid interpretations of the characters, though.
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Old 2013-05-15, 00:05   Link #15
hyl
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I have read comedy/parody VN's such as Renai 0 km, Osananajimi wa Daitouryou, Onigokko and Naka no hito nado inai, but even those VN's don't blatanly try to insert as much comedy as possible in their stories and most jokes there had a good timing (eventhough some were a hit or miss, depending on how easily you get amused). Most 4koma's in mangas or magazines that i have read, are not very subtle when it comes to jokes.

As for Nyaruko, i haven't read it nor i have seen the anime. So i can't comment on that.

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Both are perfectly valid interpretations of the characters, though.
I don't consider those 2 the same, it only has the characters in name and looks (well not even looks for some of them) only. I see those 2 more as completely different stories because of the tone and different settings.

Last edited by hyl; 2013-05-15 at 00:17.
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Old 2013-05-15, 00:11   Link #16
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Which reminds me of : Yotsuba

This manga is FREAKING good, yet up until now never get any chance to get animated at all. Reason : the folks on Japan there said that this manga wouldn't be suitable in animated medium.

How come?

The author doesn't want it to be an anime like his other popular manga, Azumanga Daioh.
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Old 2013-05-15, 00:35   Link #17
Kaisos Erranon
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Originally Posted by Midonin View Post
I was more saying that certain mediums draw out certain aspects of certain stories. The whole idea of "looking for a daily life series in a visual novel" (in retrospect, kind of a dumb idea. But I've invested time into worse things.) was what got me thinking about it, and then wondering if some stories could transcend mediums.
Ah, sorry then. I see what you're getting at.
I'm not really sure stories can transcend mediums without losing something in the process, since stories are inherently shaped by the medium in which they're originally created, like you said... but I would argue that there certainly are stories that would work much better if they were made in another format and were therefore completely different.
Oreimo being remade into a galge comes to mind...
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Old 2013-05-15, 01:03   Link #18
hyl
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You mean the LN/animes turned into VN's such as Toradora, OreImo, Haganai, Sakura-sou , Ro-kyu-bu and Henneko (well the last one will be getting one later this year)? Which by the way are all on the psp...
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