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Old 2013-07-10, 19:44   Link #381
Guardian Enzo
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I actually disagree with that quite fundamentally. I think you have to be open to the possibility that the ending could be quite different from what you originally intended. As you get to know the characters better, you may find out that they take the story in a different direction than you originally thought they would (that may in fact have happened with TT).

The danger, I think, is quite the opposite: if you have a specific ending in mind and you're hell-bent on getting there, you'll twist the characters and make them behave as props subservient to the needs of the story rather than organically to their own development.
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Old 2013-07-10, 21:19   Link #382
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^

That reminds me a lot of what I hated about Evangelion 3.0 with Shinji's character. It didn't matter to Anno that his development in the film was hella contrived and irrational, he was hell bent on making the character reach a certain conclusion. That sort of storytelling can be toxic. A creator has to be able to logically develop the character to reach a certain conclusion, not force it. Although you may disagree Enzo, knowing your blog comments, I actually feel this is why Gen is one of the industry's top writers. His characters might not provoke the most emotion out of anyone, but he is able to make them develop in logical manners. There's no TEH TWEEST for the hell of it.

And as it pertains to Okada... I wish she practiced what she preaches because I hardly believe much of what she is saying in her interviews.
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Old 2013-07-11, 05:38   Link #383
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
That's why you have to think about the plot first, especially the ending. Once you have that figured out, you create characters who are perfectly suited for that story. That is, characters who will take it to the ending you have in mind.

Of course, along the way you may need to make adjustments and take detours, specially if you're dealing with characters who evolve, psychologically-wise. However, it's important to keep in mind that the ending is sacred. No matter how many detours you take in order to remind true to the characters, you have to be able to reach the ending you planed for since the beginning, because the main theme and premise of the story depend on that.
As a fanfic writer, I agree with this. Fanfics where I already had the ending plotted out long in advance where fanfics I ended up finishing, and they were probably my most well-received fanfics. Fanfics where I didn't have the ending plotted out long in advance are ones where I tended to lose motivation over time, or run out of ideas of where to take the plot next.

Of course, the considerable benefit for fanfic writers is that we're working with well-established characters with set goals and personalities. So that can provide good guidelines for what are believable endings for a fanfic.


It's interesting (and a bit ironic) that Reckoner raised Gen, because my impression of Gen's works is that Gen usually has his endings plotted out long before he gets to them, and in some cases from the very beginning. Clearly, this was the case with Madoka Magica, just based on certain plot elements in it. Fate/Zero is another obvious case of where the ending is known long in advance (in this case, it's because Fate/Zero is a prequel). With Gargantia, I definitely think Gen had that ending planned out from the beginning. The only recent Gen anime I can think of where the ending might not have been settled on until near the end is Psycho-Pass... and Psycho-Pass arguably had the least satisfying ending of all of these Gen works.


So I respectfully disagree with Guardian Enzo and Reckoner on anything plot heavy. For anything plot heavy, it's probably good for the writer to have the ending determined long in advance, ideally from the very beginning if possible. But for something light on plot, for something more character-based (like Slice of Life), it's probably better to let the characters take you wherever they want to.

As for Okada, my take is that she let the characters take her wherever they wanted to in Hanasaku Iroha, but that she probably had the ending to AnoHana planned out long in advance. That's something Guardian Enzo might want to consider.
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Old 2013-07-11, 10:29   Link #384
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I don't especially think it matters whether something is "plot-heavy" or not. if you're so determined to get to a specific place that you twist everything to fit, you lose a good deal of any natural feel your characters have. I think it's normally pretty obvious when an author does this. And trying to blame the mess that HanaIro was on putting character first is like blaming Bill Clinton for the extinction of the dinosaurs. Even worse, in fact, because more than simply being unrelated, I think HanaIro is full of evidence of Okada doing exactly what you're advocating.
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Old 2013-07-11, 12:26   Link #385
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
^

That reminds me a lot of what I hated about Evangelion 3.0 with Shinji's character. It didn't matter to Anno that his development in the film was hella contrived and irrational, he was hell bent on making the character reach a certain conclusion. That sort of storytelling can be toxic. A creator has to be able to logically develop the character to reach a certain conclusion, not force it. Although you may disagree Enzo, knowing your blog comments, I actually feel this is why Gen is one of the industry's top writers. His characters might not provoke the most emotion out of anyone, but he is able to make them develop in logical manners. There's no TEH TWEEST for the hell of it.

And as it pertains to Okada... I wish she practiced what she preaches because I hardly believe much of what she is saying in her interviews.
Well, theory is different to execution. Sometimes a good idea on paper doesn't turn out the way it does. But I agree Eva 3.0 is a good example of having a conclusion that had no real logic to go where it wanted to.

And interestingly enough....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
As for Okada, my take is that she let the characters take her wherever they wanted to in Hanasaku Iroha, but that she probably had the ending to AnoHana planned out long in advance. That's something Guardian Enzo might want to consider.
For all the crap I thought of Hana Saku Iroha, it's the only anime that I remember Okada being involved in that I thought was well done relative to the rest of the show. Usually I find them not necessarily terrible, but the earlier parts are more memorable.
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Old 2013-07-11, 12:40   Link #386
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
I don't especially think it matters whether something is "plot-heavy" or not.
A plot has its own inherent qualities, apart from characterization alone. Good plots are known for lacking plot holes, for weaving together various subplots, for being tight, and for not being totally predictable while also not feeling totally forced.

Now, in a show light on plot, the importance of the plot is obviously diminished, so there's less risk in just letting the characters take the plot wherever. But with a plot-heavy show the strength or weakness of the plot will factor in considerably to the overall quality of the show.

If you let characters just take the plot wherever, in a show that's plot-heavy, then you risk having a boring or silly plot. You're also more likely to end up with an anti-climatic ending, or an ending that's dissatisfying in being very inconclusive, imo. And all of the above will hurt a plot-heavy show where people do in fact care about it.
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Old 2013-07-11, 14:28   Link #387
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Of course, the considerable benefit for fanfic writers is that we're working with well-established characters with set goals and personalities. So that can provide good guidelines for what are believable endings for a fanfic.
That's why for tv pre-production they use some pretty extensive character outlines.

Plot synopsis, character outlines, plot, and plot per episode, is all designed before scripting, and compiled in a file called the "Bible" (at least that's how they call it in my country). All the screenplay writers working on the series will look into the Bible as main guidelines.

On that topic, here's a typical character outline:

Quote:
Name

1) Dominant character traits:

2) Past:

3) Present:

Personal life:

Professional life:

Private life:

4) Multidimensional:

Physiological traits:

Sociological traits:

Psychological traits:

5) Goal:

6) Motivation:

7) Connection to the main problem:

Pretty detailed, right? TV production would be impossible without that level of detail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
The only recent Gen anime I can think of where the ending might not have been settled on until near the end is Psycho-Pass.

I doubt it. Maybe the particular situation wasn't planned, but the core idea of the ending is almost always planned since the beginning. I'm pretty sure even Okada does this when she's in charge of series' composition (plot outlining). If I remember correctly, ¡n the case of True Tears, the script writers deviated from Okada's composition on their own. Basically, Okada planned the ending from the beginning, but the writers changed it. I think she accepted those changes because almost the whole team wanted to go in that direction... or something like that. It's all in one of those interviews posted in this thread, if I'm not mistaken.
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Last edited by Kazu-kun; 2013-07-11 at 15:46.
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Old 2013-07-12, 15:24   Link #388
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So guys, mind giving me some light on this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nagi no Asukara
Story:
The series centers around two junior-high school friends, the indecisive crybaby Manaka Mukaido and Hikari Sakishima, who has looked after her since they were children.
Anime:
The anime series is produced by P.A. Works and directed by Toshiya Shinohara. The screenplay is written by Mari Okada and the original character designs are by Buriki.[1] It will air in 2013.[2] The opening theme performed by Ray titled "Nagi".
Manga:
A manga adaptation, written by Project-118 and illustrated by Risō Maeda, began serialization in the June 2013 issue of ASCII Media Works' Dengeki Daioh magazine.
Is Mari Okada the one who did the story and characters, so the manga is just following her lead, right? Is she part of Project-118?

I saw the manga first chapter and it was... ugh.... how to put it:
It has a nice setting and good designs (and will have a pretty animation, music and voice acting with PAW for sure, the exception will be the designs) but with a very awful female main character and a very cliché plot development and a repetitive character interacion you can find on any below average cheap romantic manga. The female mc reminded me of Mikono from Aquarion Evol except Mikoto started aceptable as character(and then went downhills) but here Manaka isn't. A crybaby, dense, insecure and klutz character like her is seriously giving me a headache. Meanwhile Hikari, the male mc, is doomed to the friend-zone since despite his feelings for Manaka she is more interested on a boy she just met yet doesn't knows well. Why make a character like him(Hikari) protagonist? For suffering?

Is this the style Okada usually does? I wasn't too much into original scripts and more into directors and animation but after trying I got seriously worried about how she handles her writing after TT which was more or less okay for me.
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Last edited by Miraluka; 2013-07-12 at 15:36.
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Old 2013-07-12, 16:23   Link #389
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The quoted text says so itself. It's by a completely different writer who's just following the concept and broad promise, so it would be unfair to attribute this to Okada.
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Old 2013-07-12, 16:27   Link #390
Miraluka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
The quoted text says so itself. It's by a completely different writer who's just following the concept and broad promise, so it would be unfair to attribute this to Okada.
Well, its her original idea, right. Thats why I'm asking if she is a member of the team known as Project-118.
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Old 2013-07-12, 20:17   Link #391
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I read it as okada as the original creator and the manga is an adaptation. It does say so manga adaptation in the quote instead of anime adaption so ill still consider it an anime original. Even if the manga got serialized first remember the anime has been in production for at least a year.

As for okada and the plot/characters... I saw this coming from miles away. I always predicted nagi no asu Kara to be a pandering bawfest show using cliches and overly moe characters to gawk a reaction to otakus much like menma from anohana was. Though I dunno how much of that goes to okada liking to write stuff like that or how much of it goes to her being pigeonholed into doing so because thats what the audience wants and is what sells.

I mean that atx trailer of her with emo.ripe playing the background. She's being advertised as some sappy teen drama idol writer and commercialized like hell and it made me lol and facepalm.

It's frustrating because she's been involved in great drama series such as true tears and wandering son but they both (at least in TTs initial case) sold like shit.
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Old 2013-07-13, 05:12   Link #392
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilfriback View Post
Well, its her original idea, right. Thats why I'm asking if she is a member of the team known as Project-118.
no idea,could be a direct adaptation of the anime script,could also be a case like Hanasaku Iroha where one of the manga "adaptations" was in fact a prequel with scenes that weren't in the anime,I'm frankly not even interested in checking out the manga.

But regarding her writing, I figure this quote from another panel recap is pretty relevant

Quote:
Q:What is the hardest part about writing for anime?

A:Being asked to include even more sappy romance than I had planned.
That answer made me literally lol
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Old 2013-07-13, 05:52   Link #393
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totoum View Post
That answer made me literally lol
Not sure how srs she is. She tends to say one thing one time and another thing another time
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Old 2013-07-13, 18:26   Link #394
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
The quoted text says so itself. It's by a completely different writer who's just following the concept and broad promise, so it would be unfair to attribute this to Okada.
Actually, Risō Maeda is just the illustrator. The manga's script is attributed to Project-118, which is the name of the production team working on the series. This basically means that the manga follows Okada's script.
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Old 2013-08-17, 13:11   Link #395
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Aha, I guess that was pretty funny.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47EyUCpMlGc
Humans are interesting, and apparently Okada loves people.

I couldn't stop thinking of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zowaECLKYI4
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Old 2013-08-17, 13:26   Link #396
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From the same channel: cute Okada doing cute things

Just wondering, crunchyroll said they were going to interview Okada, even asked people to send in their questions,whatever happened to that?
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Old 2013-08-17, 13:57   Link #397
ices
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Aha, I guess that was pretty funny.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47EyUCpMlGc
Humans are interesting, and apparently Okada loves people.
That usually said by non-human... don't tell me that she actually a...

Well, anyway just realize that much of my favourites anime are written by her.
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Old 2013-08-17, 17:07   Link #398
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ices View Post
That usually said by non-human... don't tell me that she actually a...

Well, anyway just realize that much of my favourites anime are written by her.
Shinigami? :S Although I think Izaya is a pretty amusing comparison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by totoum View Post
From the same channel: cute Okada doing cute things

Just wondering, crunchyroll said they were going to interview Okada, even asked people to send in their questions,whatever happened to that?
They did. Some of the questions in that text were from Crunchyroll's thread. I'm actually the one that asked about Wandering Son and her apparent interest in gender issues and I'd imagine they might have put a similar question out. Yes, I actually did it and my guess wasn't that far off. It's usually when you meet someone that has such issues that you start thinking more about it-- and in her position, able to address certain issues in a medium where it doesn't get addressed seriously upon perhaps to send a message in a certain direction.

Despite my rampant bashing, I do respect Okada for doing some serious reevaluations of gender roles and she seems to like to shake up the expectations of it-- you have to admit at least for many of the female characters she does, it's quite inspired and creative (when going good-- let's just ignore all the crybaby and irrelevant characters). Under normal circumstances, I most likely would have hated characters such as Ohana and Noe as they are far out of my character tastes. HOW she does (it insert male character joke here), is of course where the problem comes in.
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Old 2013-08-21, 12:10   Link #399
Hiroi Sekai
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Kinda late, but I met Okada at AX this year. Got to get two autographs from her and actually ask her some questions about stuff she's worked on.

Spoiler for Photo:


Seems Okada is a cat lover. When I asked her about her personal investments on Sakurasou, she mentioned the cats leading Kanda to Sakurasou in the first place were inspired by her own kitties.

Also, in the words of Okada, when I posed this question to her:

"The series you work on often seems to deal with slice-of-life, but much more focused on the drama than regular titles do. Is drama your favourite genre to write for?"

"Drama and people's relationships with each other are interesting to me. I believe a series that has no drama to begin with is missing something. In that essence, I suppose it is my favourite genre to write for."


Super friendly, she was easily my favourite guest of honour there this year, even if tons of other awesome people showed up.
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Old 2013-08-21, 15:14   Link #400
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^Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Really cool stuff!
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