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Old 2011-05-28, 18:07   Link #721
Triple_R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyth View Post
I have a question for thread participants: how excited are you for AnoHana?
My views are pretty similar to Reckoner's.

I think that Anohana is a solidly above average anime, one of the top 3 or 4 of the season (right now, I would rate it 2nd behind Steins;Gate), and just very solid slice of life drama. I usually remember anime shows that I consider "solidly above average" or better, so I probably will remember it fondly for years to come, but it's not likely going to make a personal list of all-time favorites for me.

I will also say that, like Reckoner, I don't really 'get' the "overflowing praise for the show, that many tout it to be the absolute best of the season with an unquestionable margin between it and its competitors".

I like this anime a fair bit, but I don't quite see why it's held in such extremely high esteem by some viewers.

I mean, to use a comparison, I actually wasn't blown away by Madoka Magica Episode 10, but I can see why others were. I can understand why some would consider that anime episode one of the best anime episodes of all-time.

With Anohana, I unfortunately don't even understand where some of the more overflowing praise is coming from. It's actually made me question if there's a certain je ne sais pas about the slice of life genre that I'm just not picking up on. Perhaps it's that I never watch anime shows with the goal in mind of being moved to tears (whereas I get the impression that some viewers do). I just want to watch something that I'll like and appreciate, in a general sense.

If I am moved to tears (which is very rare), fine, but I don't "psyche myself up for that", perhaps you could say. It has to happen very naturally, and it can't feel like the anime is desperately trying to get me to cry (and, honestly, Anohana does sometimes strike me as "trying too hard" so to speak).


So perhaps a lot of it is genre based. I like slice of life, but it's never been my favorite genre.
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Old 2011-05-28, 18:09   Link #722
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyth View Post
I have a question for thread participants: how excited are you for AnoHana?

Honestly, I've built up very mixed feelings about it. Each week we dissect each episode and reflect on how to the show is progressing. Most of us reconfirm it to be among the best, if not the best show of the season, but I feel like I'm lacking something that I usually feel when watching series of AnoHana's quality grade.

Then I thought: maybe its genre provokes a different type of response compared to other great shows that come from different genres.

The problem I have is that I'm certain I will completely forget about it in a couple of months' time, I'm also certain it's not a candidate for my to-recommend list. Could it be that the slice-of-life drama genre is just not that exciting (anymore)? That's what I'm trying to find out.
Still has a ways to go before I will know if it's a personal favorite or not. I will say this, it's the first anime I've watched in several months and actually become interested in. It's also the first new anime I've watched while airing in an even longer time. Might not mean much for everyone else, but this show is interesting enough to keep me coming back where so many others haven't been able to lately.

It does remind me of True Tears quality as Reckoner said, so far. But I think there is still enough loose space in the plot to become a more memorable series by the end.
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Old 2011-05-28, 18:48   Link #723
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyth View Post
I have a question for thread participants: how excited are you for AnoHana?.... Could it be that the slice-of-life drama genre is just not that exciting (anymore)? That's what I'm trying to find out.
I'm with Reckoner in comparing this to true tears in quality and style. I was a bit more emotionally involved in that one, probably because I'm a fan of straight romance, but ended up disappointed in its emotional impact by the end. It seemed to dissipate itself somehow.

I'm enjoying this show quite a bit, but not really emotionally bowled over by it. Maybe because Menma just doesn't work all that well as a character for me. And maybe because the realistic style keeps being undercut by people's (to me) unnatural or silly actions (e.g., Yukiatsu's cross-dressing; Anaru not even trying to refute the totally false rumors; Jintan's outburst in class not really seeming to me as if it would be effective; the gang rushing off after the first thing they saw in the diary rather than reading the whole thing.) Some of the characters are very well portrayed, however (Tsuruko, Yukiatsu, sometimes Jintan and Anaru).

AnoHana is tied for second place this season, for me, with Hanasaku Iroha and Steins;Gate. How those three programs progress will determine how I feel about them in the end. The show I'm enjoying most is Denpa Onna.

Gosick is from last season, and much as I love watching it, I like Victorica as a character more than the show as a show. At least up until the excellent episode 19.

By the way, I don't see AnoHana as slice-of-life. I see it as a drama, pure and simple. The clear and continuing plot disqualifies it from being slice-of-life, for me.
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Old 2011-05-28, 19:36   Link #724
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I am pretty excited over this show, and it seems that it'll only get better. The story is simple but touching, and really knows to tug out people's heartstrings. It only lacks a little in subtlety, but this is the only Mari Okada work I've seen that I felt a genuine connection to. It has potential to be all-star quality, but I hesitate to bestow that title on a incomplete series.

Probably has the same effect on me as something like Kanon 2006.
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Old 2011-05-28, 20:32   Link #725
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Ugh, not this "Slice of Life" deal again...

Where in the world is this "genre bias" in favor of slice of life? Aren't people entitled to love whatever series they love? Not only do I not see a genre bias in favor of slice of life, I think it's just the opposite - a lot of people dismiss a series as weightless if it doesn't reinvent the wheel or contain monumental events.

For me, I don't give a rat's ass about genre - I love quality, and this is quality. It has complex, believable characters and a hugely involving storyline. If you don't feel that way fine - not everyone will - but there's no need to dismiss a contrary opinion as inherently biased or faulty. I for one am actively hoping there aren't "big happenings" of the sort mused on in this series - not only doesn't it need them, but I think it would be a bit of a betrayal of what the series has been so far. If restricting itself to a telling a story about people and their emotional issues disqualifies it from being a great or memorable series for you, fine - but that's just your opinion and it's no better or worse than mine or anyone else's.
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Old 2011-05-28, 21:10   Link #726
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Not going to argue about what is "slice of life" because that's already been thoroughly discussed in another thread - I forget where, I think it was the Hanasaku Iroha forum somewhere.

As for the quality and expectation for Anohana, put it this way - what was the last slice of life/drama series that either emotionally moved you or made you shed a tear or two at a significant level? For me it was probably Clannad After Story - an anime that aired in 2008. That's a fair long time in anime standards. AnoHana is probably the best slice of life/drama TV series in a long time, which is why it's getting such praise, because it's rare that we get a slice of life of this caliber. Slice of life seems to be analogous to light comedies, romcom or medicore written harem dramas these days (Looking at you Amagami SS and Yosuga no Sora)

As for the undisputed best of the season from an objective standard, that's hard to say. Steins;Gate, Tiger and Bunny and Hanasaku Iroha are all of similar caliber to Anohana and they are getting praise from different types of fans and they are all have relatively different genres and approaches. A science fiction or superhero fan for example may find Anohana's drama orientation not their alley and thus boring, while comedy fans might find Anohana's drama too serious to handle.

Now, if you were looking just at me, then yes I consider Anohana the best of the season, but that's just my opinion. It may be genre bias, but it's got equally if not more to do with its execution and quality. It may come off as "trying to hard" to make me cry at times, but most slice of based dramas are. "Key"-based works are probably the worst offenders when it comes to this, but I still like them... most of the time, so it doesn't really bug me.
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Old 2011-05-28, 22:30   Link #727
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All I was trying to point out is that I find it funny that the two most talked about shows this season are Hanasaku Iroha and Ano Hana, and while they deserve to be talked about, I find it a damn shame that other shows which I find equal if not better quality than those two series are not getting as much said about them in these parts.

Sure, we haven't seen a good slice of show, or whatever the hell you want to call it, in a long time, but I think that speaks more about how shit the series in past years have been (Granted, shows like Wandering Son were absolutely wonderful, if not better than what I've seen of Ano Hana so far) rather than how good this has been. We finally get a well executed dramatic story, and everyone jumps on it, calling it the best of the season. People can think what they want, but "I" personally just think this is an overreaction.

The question after all is how we felt about Ano Hana, and that's how I feel. I'm not discrediting people's opinions here.
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Old 2011-05-28, 22:34   Link #728
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
All I was trying to point out is that I find it funny that the two most talked about shows this season are Hanasaku Iroha and Ano Hana
Actually... on AS at least, the most talked about anime is Hidan no Aria, though a lot of the comments are criticisms...
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Old 2011-05-28, 22:45   Link #729
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Actually... on AS at least, the most talked about anime is Hidan no Aria, though a lot of the comments are criticisms...
I guess I should correct myself, the two most talked about shows in a very positive manner .
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Old 2011-05-28, 22:47   Link #730
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Well, after reading Guardian Enzo and acejem's latest posts on this thread, I have a better idea of just where the very high assessment is coming from.

"Complex, believable characters and a hugely involving storyline" are indeed great strengths for any anime show, or even any piece of fiction in general, to have.

And to acejem's point of how rare shows like AnoHana are... that's probably a very good point, really. One that I'm perhaps not fully cognizant of as I've gradually watched through many of the top school life drama shows of the past several years in just the last year and a half or so. So that may very well be giving me a skewed perception of just how frequently these series come up.
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Old 2011-05-28, 23:12   Link #731
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Reckoner, let me ask you as question. How many times over, let's say, the last 2 years (8 seasons) would you say the "Two most talked about" series have been slice of life? (Hint: a quick perusal of the series that got sub-forums would be a great way to check. Hint #2 - the answer is "not very often"). Maybe - just maybe - these series are getting talked about because of how damn good they are (especially this one) and not because of what they are?

Mind you, "most talked about" is still pretty subjective. So, for that matter, is "slice of life" though I don't want to re-hash that argument for the zillionth time. I sometimes feel like any character-driven series is thrown into this giant pile called "slice-of-life" irrespective of what other elements go into its construction.
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Old 2011-05-29, 05:26   Link #732
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyth View Post
I have a question for thread participants: how excited are you for AnoHana?

Honestly, I've built up very mixed feelings about it. Each week we dissect each episode and reflect on how to the show is progressing. Most of us reconfirm it to be among the best, if not the best show of the season, but I feel like I'm lacking something that I usually feel when watching series of AnoHana's quality grade.

Then I thought: maybe its genre provokes a different type of response compared to other great shows that come from different genres.

The problem I have is that I'm certain I will completely forget about it in a couple of months' time, I'm also certain it's not a candidate for my to-recommend list. Could it be that the slice-of-life drama genre is just not that exciting (anymore)? That's what I'm trying to find out.
I feel the same way as you. I don't think the genre is the problem, the show is simply lacking that little something that would enable me to get emotionally involved in it.

My thoughts are pretty much exactly the same as Kaoru Chujo's. Menma, as adorable as she is, is not working for me as a character. Besides, her omnipresence in the anime (from our point of view) makes it very hard to connect with the characters' pain: since we see her all the time, whether in the past or the present, it's as if she never died for us. Furthermore, the whole ghost aspect of the show has been awfully handled, to the point I sometimes feel it would have worked out better if she had just been a hallucination.

I too think the characters' actions are unnatural. Yukiatsu crossing dressing was incredibly weird. What was even weirder is that this plot point (which should have been major) was handled so casually. Tsuruko teases him about it once in a while and that's about it. He himself doesn't even seem to care that much that he was seen cosplaying as HIS DEAD FRIEND, and he already appears to have gotten over this issue. The way they treated this plot line was incredibly weird.

Another problem is that they're trying too hard to make us cry. This tear-jerking drama is just way too obvious to work on me, and instead produces the opposite effect. That's why the lastest episode is the one I enjoyed the most so far. The storytelling was more natural and subtle in this one.

I do think this is a very good show, and at the same time I also think it's the most overrated show of the season. It's far from being perfect. But, well, you know, that's just, like, my opinion.
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Old 2011-05-29, 05:31   Link #733
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Personally if I had to end up making all sorts of rankings, analysis and whatnot based on the concepts of approach, style and genre just to be able to ascribe a very subjective idea of quality, it may be high time for me to just loosen up and enjoy the ride, or find a new hobby.

So yes, I agree with everything Enzo said.
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Old 2011-05-29, 10:42   Link #734
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Personally if I had to end up making all sorts of rankings, analysis and whatnot based on the concepts of approach, style and genre just to be able to ascribe a very subjective idea of quality, it may be high time for me to just loosen up and enjoy the ride, or find a new hobby.

So yes, I agree with everything Enzo said.
I agree with everything MeoTwister said...
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Old 2011-05-29, 15:14   Link #735
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Part of the fun of watching series is comparing and analyzing them for me. I've rated Ano Hana very high despite everything I've said. Honestly, the moment I stop caring about doing these things is when I've stopped really enjoying this hobby.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
Reckoner, let me ask you as question. How many times over, let's say, the last 2 years (8 seasons) would you say the "Two most talked about" series have been slice of life? (Hint: a quick perusal of the series that got sub-forums would be a great way to check. Hint #2 - the answer is "not very often"). Maybe - just maybe - these series are getting talked about because of how damn good they are (especially this one) and not because of what they are?

Mind you, "most talked about" is still pretty subjective. So, for that matter, is "slice of life" though I don't want to re-hash that argument for the zillionth time. I sometimes feel like any character-driven series is thrown into this giant pile called "slice-of-life" irrespective of what other elements go into its construction.
This has nothing to do with what series get subforums. I'm talking about series that people actively go around and describe as the best, from a critic standpoint. Whenever a slice of life, or "character driven" story, or whatever you want to call it, simply is made and doesn't fail, I tend to see these sort of stories pushed immediately to the front of the season in people's eyes.

However, focusing on what I said about bias is of little consequence. I frankly didn't care about this point. More importantly, I just think that Ano Hana is being overrated, and I provided a possible explanation for that in my own eyes. I am only saying that I'd like to see some other series this season get more attention.
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Old 2011-05-29, 15:50   Link #736
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I don't know if someone already saw this or not but...
Spoiler for :
So what the ****? ;x
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Old 2011-05-29, 20:49   Link #737
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The incoming walls of text are too massive to be read in one sitting.

Anohana definitely tries to make it's viewers cry through extremely sad and heartwarming situations. The first episode made this objective quite clear to me.

There's something on my mind. Execution and content are not two discrete, separate entities. It's helpful to think of them as different, simply because one can write about different things in different ways. But really, they're the same thing. The way in which something is shown is what it's about. And the content of any work is based on the way it's crafted and executed. In scientific terms, look to wave-particle duality: Matter is a wave and a particle, both at the same time.

As to emotionally involving oneself in any work of fiction: Yes, you have to have an eagerness to break the hardened, critical, stoic personality of modern today and dive into some obviously untrue stories. You have to stop looking at each and every event from a skeptical light; take characters and their actions at surface value. Try to sympathize with them by listening and watching their emotions pour out to the surface.

This is pretty easy to say and rather difficult to do, because today's intellectual society doesn't really put a lot of value on emotions. Reason shines the path to truth, not washed-up emotions. In school, you intake many great ideas and equations, but you don't really learn a lot about feelings. A student is assumed to foster their emotions outside of school.

From what I read, a lot of the posters here have an emotional barrier set up to deflect against all but the most compelling of stories. I would think Anohana is sad enough to reach even the most hardened otaku out there, but this thread is making me reconsider how effective a dramatic anime must be to gain intellectual approval.

To some people, Anohana's stellar ratings (by ANN's weighted average, this show is #1 at 9.15) are an anomaly. Breaking the show down into parts, numbers, and analysis, there really is little to be considered extraordinary or exceptional. Ghost stories have been used before, and they often contain elements of the supernatural to hook viewers in. Physically, there's nothing unbelievable about Anohana, except for the ghost part. We might be skeptical of the characters' personalities, but it's all feasible in real life. So what's making Anohana so appealing to everyone but the intellectual crowd?

Hmm... people don't know what they want. I tell myself I like giant laser beams and epic time travel, but I end up rating a coming-of-age anime higher than any shonen fare I've seen before (outside of Full Metal Alchemist). When I try rationalizing Anohana's greatness into words, there isn't much justification or evidence. I probably wouldn't hold up in court with an emotional plea like "Menma makes me really sad" while shows like Blue Exorcist have blue flames and sword fights. Yet, I didn't exactly think I would thoroughly enjoy any magical girl show either, and look what happened with Madoka Magica.

Therefore, the only reason I can offer in defense of Anohana's absurd critical acclaim is the following: It's not what people are seeking out in anime, and that makes it exceptional. I didn't expect to get overwhelming sadness and drama, but after watching Anohana, I realize it's actually my favorite type of anime. Maybe others are also feeling the same way.

I have never watched True Tears, but I'm guessing it didn't do as well.
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Old 2011-05-30, 09:06   Link #738
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True Tears was really nice, but it ended too abruptly and very vaguely. I hope this show doesn't fall into the same trap. Too many 11-12 episode shows tends to fall into a rut since they can't finish at a nice spot. It's usually the 2 cour shows that has enough time for a proper story buildup to finish well.


That said, I don't really care about the popularity tornado of this show. It looks nice and all but yeah, the hype is a bit too much. Same for Madoka. I just found a way to tune it out so I can focus on the shows themselves.

For me personally, the story is not touching only on its own merits, but because I was in the same situation as Jinta regarding many past traumas. I don't really think people can quite understand the loneliness and 'man, that person is crazy' thing that happens especially if traumas hit you so much you can actually hallucinate (though not as strongly as Menma. lol). I think it's showing the people who may not be affected by such strong traumas that kind of loneliness, that I think kind of swept people off their feet a bit. Still not sure how it'll be when it finishes, but I think that's one aspect of it, that dealing with trauma bit.
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Old 2011-05-30, 14:57   Link #739
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Uh it's pretty much confirmed that Menma is not a hallucination...
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Old 2011-05-30, 17:08   Link #740
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For me, this show so far has executed almost everything flawlessly. That in itself is an accomplishment that I'll remember for a very long time.
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