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Old 2012-05-27, 08:17   Link #261
Kirarakim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahelo View Post
Honestly, is it that bad to have one block that tries something different from the norm? I get the whole "they could be more popular if they became more mainstream (the anime mainstream)" and they already did that with varying success (GC and Anohana). But what I like about noitaminA is that they show things than normally would rarely be produced. Stuff like Un-Go, Hourou Musuko, Kuragehime, Shiki etc etc would not be produced if it weren't programmed on noitaminA.

Honestly the mainstream stuff WILL be produced but it doesn't have to be on noitaminA does it? Especially from big josei fans (I'd have to say me included) who rarely get their favorite genre shown on a block outside of noitaminA.
THIS

Would I like the shows on noitaminA to be more popular, well of course but honestly that isn't the most important thing to me and their popularity has nothing to do with my own enjoyment.

The only reason we want noitaminA to do well is because we want these type of shows to continue to be made. Maybe noitaminA could be more popular if it showed other type of shows that are on every other anime block but well that would defeat the purpose of a block like noitaminA (and that is why I hated a show like Guilty Crown being on the block).

I also agree with DonQuigleone that it wouldn't hurt to have more adults in anime. Even noitaminA suffers from this a bit. For example while I think the two current shows (Sakamichi no Apollon & Tsuritama) are two of the best series the block has had in awhile, they also deal with teenagers and that in itself is not very different from your average anime.
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Old 2012-05-27, 08:45   Link #262
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Space Brothers could have been a noitamina show. But that's on YTV, which is sorta like neo-noitamina in a way except it airs really early on weekend mornings. Who wakes up at 6 or 7am on a Sunday morning to watch "cartoons"?
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Old 2012-05-27, 08:53   Link #263
Kirarakim
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Originally Posted by DemiSoda View Post
Space Brothers could have been a noitamina show. But that's on YTV, which is sorta like neo-noitamina in a way except it airs really early on weekend mornings. Who wakes up at 6 or 7am on a Sunday morning to watch "cartoons"?
Actually I think Sunday morning if you want to appeal to a more mainstream crowd is much better than the late night slot noitamina has now.

And if you look at the ratings for Space Brothers it is doing pretty well for itself.
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Old 2012-05-27, 09:10   Link #264
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Soccer mums and their little kiddies come to mind. Not too sure what the Japanese equivalent of those would be though lol.

One of the channels here on Aussie TV have been running early morning cartoons on the weekends along with their weekday programs for decades now. Weekdays make sense since that's when kids wake up and prepare for school but weekends, not quite sure. But if the early morning weekend tradition has been going on for this long, there's gotta be an audience somewhere to support it right?
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Old 2012-05-27, 09:17   Link #265
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Originally Posted by DemiSoda View Post
Space Brothers could have been a noitamina show. But that's on YTV, which is sorta like neo-noitamina in a way except it airs really early on weekend mornings. Who wakes up at 6 or 7am on a Sunday morning to watch "cartoons"?
Than we would get 11 (or is it 12 now?) episodes instead of 50+? F that lol. Honestly properties I like, for example Chihayafuru, even though they would fit perfectly I would rather stay away from noitaminA due to the low episode counts. So yeah shows like Chihayafuru and Space Brothers could've been on noitaminA, but I'll rather see 25 and 50 episodes respectively than both being 11 or 12. Of course if they had been popular they would get a sequel... but noitaminA has been bomba status for a while now.
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Old 2012-05-27, 11:39   Link #266
ahelo
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But those two are rare cases especially in Chihayafuru's case in which Madhouse laid all the cards just so they could replicate some sort of mainstream appeal (DVDs bombed though). In Space Bros. case, I guess the producers saw a great potential for TV ratings (it replaced Beelzebub's timeslot, a shonen show which was doing great). I'm sure there's more (Shirokuma Cafe for example) that did get produced without noitaminA's help but hey, you know what, maybe the reason they got produced WAS because they saw how noitaminA was doing (well not these days) and thought, hey maybe we could try this mainstream stuff out (though there were a lot but all of them failed)!

But hey, with noitaminA, you get more gems like these. It doesn't have to be a rare case, producers risking millions of money, etc. etc. noitaminA helps promote these obscure titles so producers would realize that they can venture even more and stuff that wouldn't be produced normally would be(then again noitaminA is getting not so stellar ratings as of late. Now that's why everyone's worried).

This is just how I see the programming block.
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Old 2012-05-27, 12:01   Link #267
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Originally Posted by ahelo View Post
Honestly, is it that bad to have one block that tries something different from the norm? I get the whole "they could be more popular if they became more mainstream (the anime mainstream)" and they already did that with varying success (GC and Anohana). But what I like about noitaminA is that they show things than normally would rarely be produced. Stuff like Un-Go, Hourou Musuko, Kuragehime, Shiki etc etc would not be produced if it weren't programmed on noitaminA.

Honestly the mainstream stuff WILL be produced but it doesn't have to be on noitaminA does it? Especially from big josei fans (I'd have to say me included) who rarely get their favorite genre shown on a block outside of noitaminA.
I fully agree with that. The value that noitaminA shows hold by being unique exists in it's own right, regardless of any status of popularity. Before all else, the most important point is that such stories should keep being made.


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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
I think part of the issue might be that none of the mainstream "genre fiction" works have contained sufficient elements to target adults rather then the teen/young adult crowd.
...
As a 23 year old, while I enjoy the occasional bout of school antics, I'm finding it more difficult to empathise which such characters. I've realised that the world is a lot bigger then school.
Are we sure that your interests are similar to the audience that you intend these stories to be made to, a.k.a. the Japanese mainstream?

I mean, there were plently of adult characters and serious themes told a few decades ago, during the American anime boom. Lots of anime with guns, badass action heroes, sexy 20-something women, etc. The Japanese adults had enough chances to watch them and like them, but evidently, they didn't, because assoon as the american bubble bursted, they could no longer support such stories, or at least not many of them. They became an even smaller niche than the main otaku market.

What I'm getting at, is that maybe we are trying to force American ideals of mainstreamness and maturity on Japan. We are talking about a country that decorates commercial jets with Pokemon, where "kawaii" is considered the default praise of attractiveness, and where AKB48 can sell more singles per capita, than Lady Gaga or Katy Perry can in America.

Just because in our communities, liking big-eyed colorful-haired characters makes you a weirdo, and liking teenage girls make you a pedophile, doesn't necessarily make the same true for Japan.

Even if anime-viewing is a niche in Japan, blaming it on the same young characters that can otherwise sell millions of units of a manga per volume, is a bit like blaming the weakness of the American comic book market on the niche status of superheroes, while the Avengers are breaking all the box office records.

That might also be part of the reason why noitaminA is sometimes misinterpreted as betraying it's original purpose and giving in to otaku audiences with shows like Black Rock Shooter:
It's easy to look at it from here, where anyone who ever heard of Vocaloid is already a huge anime otaku, and forget that over there, it's a relatively big deal, far bigger than the anime niche. Maybe not exactly mainstream, in the same sense as The Avengers isn't exactly "even-my-grandma-is-watching-it" mainstream either, but among the younger, somehow nerdier demographics, it's quite a big pop-cultural phenomenon.

And even if now we already know that it didn't quite work out, at one point of history, a bunch of executives could reasonably sit down around a table, and hope that this will be the thing that will lead more people to anime.

The point is, that while we like to imagine the ideal of "mainstream anime" as the perfect opposite of "otaku anime" as we know it, (not teenager characters but adults, not sexualized but classy, not "cartoonish" but realistic), the average Japanese person's tastes might be surprisingly similar to otaku tastes as far as we are concerned.

And in that case, it's time to clarify the difference between the "the anime industry needs to grow" rhetoric, and the actual desire that we mean by it, that we wish anime would be more appropriate for our general western tastes.
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Old 2012-05-27, 12:55   Link #268
cyth
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Originally Posted by Eternal September View Post
The point is, that while we like to imagine the ideal of "mainstream anime" as the perfect opposite of "otaku anime" as we know it, (not teenager characters but adults, not sexualized but classy, not "cartoonish" but realistic), the average Japanese person's tastes might be surprisingly similar to otaku tastes as far as we are concerned.
They are not. Just look at Japanese box office sales, how many otaku titles do you see? Foreign titles are pretty popular, especially the occasional high-budget blockbusters. Then there are popular manga adaptations and kids anime movies. There's a reason why otaku anime are stuck in late-night TV slots, and there's a reason why there aren't that many anime movies with huge promotion campaigns in Japan.
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Old 2012-05-27, 14:42   Link #269
Eternal September
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They are not. Just look at Japanese box office sales, how many otaku titles do you see? Foreign titles are pretty popular, especially the occasional high-budget blockbusters. Then there are popular manga adaptations and kids anime movies. There's a reason why otaku anime are stuck in late-night TV slots, and there's a reason why there aren't that many anime movies with huge promotion campaigns in Japan.


Well, of course. And that reason is that otaku anime is a small and unpopular niche.

That's what I just wrote about.

I also brought examples of how even if adult animation is unpopular, things like a focus on children, teenagers, innocence, and "moe", are still common in a far wider Japanese pop-culture, so if there would be an established tradition of mainstream adult-oriented anime, it would probably still have these.

But your reply has nothing to do with the actual statement of my post. Many manga adaptations and children's anime feature young characters, so that would only strenghten my point, except that they are made for children, they don't even reflect the kind of adult taste that we are talking about here. And foreign blockbusters are popular everywhere because they are expensive and better-looking than local movies. Besides, they are in an entirely different medium.

I'm not sure if you misunderstood the entire discussion, and you are trying to prove me the obvious, that the current otaku niche is a niche, or you are just committing the type of fallacy that I described in my previous post, that just like "looking at book sales and seeing that superhero comic books are unpopular, proves us that superheroes are an unpopular niche.", looking at box office results of anime somehow proves us that Japanese people want less teenagers in their anime.
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Old 2012-05-27, 15:39   Link #270
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I should point out that just because something is "cute" doesn't make it similar to Otaku anime.

The same as something having children or young characters doesn't make it similar to Otaku anime.

For example Koreeda's film I Wish involves small children & has "cute" scenes but I don't consider this similar to Otaku taste.

Also I think why there is a limit to what some of us want in animation is because even in Japan animation is not mainstream for adults. In a lot of cases people would rather watch a live action adaption of something or even just read the manga (and I definitely think there is more variety in manga than there is in anime).
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Old 2012-05-27, 17:30   Link #271
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I should point out that just because something is "cute" doesn't make it similar to Otaku anime.

The same as something having children or young characters doesn't make it similar to Otaku anime.
And I should clarify, that yes, I only meant "similar" strictly in the context of the original discussion. To rephrase the past comments in a way that perhaps better reflects my intentions:

DonQuigleone: Anime would get wider acceptance if it would appeal to ordinary adults like me, by having grown-up main casts.

Eternal September (me): Well, Japanese people in general seem to have a thing for teenagers, so maybe it is only us western fans are seeing it as a niche fandom thing. If anime would become mainstream, then maybe people like you, who assumed that it would be something like older noitaminA shows or Tiger & Bunny, would be surprised to see cast demographics that are closer to the current main audience's favorites than to that. (in other words, "mainstream shows" and "otaku shows" would be surpriingly similar to each other in that regard)

Probably it was a mistake to use that word "otaku" for the "current audience", because it brings up all sorts of associations in people's heads instead of the single one that we are trying to discuss. It's a generally unpleasant word, that makes it difficult to talk about audiences, because it's shifting away from being an objective term for the "late night anime viewing demographic", to more of a stereotype, about how the bad kind of fans behave.
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Old 2012-05-27, 17:59   Link #272
cyth
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Originally Posted by Eternal September View Post
I'm not sure if you misunderstood the entire discussion, and you are trying to prove me the obvious, that the current otaku niche is a niche, or you are just committing the type of fallacy that I described in my previous post, that just like "looking at book sales and seeing that superhero comic books are unpopular, proves us that superheroes are an unpopular niche.", looking at box office results of anime somehow proves us that Japanese people want less teenagers in their anime.
You are an impossible man. What I was responding to was your guesstimations of Japanese people's tastes. If otaku anime were really that aligned with mainstream Japan, then we'd be seeing different type of entertainment in Japanese theaters. Unless you meant your average Japanese person's taste in cartoons (and even so, "sexualized" and "cartoonish" hardly fall into the same category).
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Old 2012-05-27, 19:18   Link #273
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Originally Posted by Eternal September View Post
the average Japanese person's tastes might be surprisingly similar to otaku tastes as far as we are concerned.
If you read what the Japanese have to say about their own market, you'll find similar criticism. Regardless of our personal positions, the content of a lot of anime is criticized both inside and outside the industry. Some people who work on the shows even admit to having no interest or understanding of what they're making (and if people who work in the industry don't understand the appeal, you can bet that the same applies to the general public).

For instance, here's Hiroshi Matsuyama's (CyberConnect2) take on content:
http://www.siliconera.com/2011/10/18...kes-anime-has/

Thatís because itís not as mainstream as it used to be. Theyíre making it for a particular audience. I think thatís why. I watch a lot of anime but itís for the techniques, not as entertainment. As a product, I think itís going downhill.Ē

"The general audience wonít find those interesting"


Elsewhere, you can find the same anti-moe venom as in the west, with fans compared to pedophiles:
http://forums.ffonline.com/showthread.php?t=44387


"This fetish you call 'moe' is a pedophiliac fetish and is nothing more than perversion. It's not really something you should be gushing over."

"But people must realize that these guys are simply men incapable of recognizing reality and are incapable of being in a normal loving relationship."

"There's a tendency in the otaku market to avoid producing contents that are going to sell in terms of millions or tens of millions. Instead, they find a semi-hit then bring out figurines, DVD box sets, premium editions and all sorts of related materials that are drastically over-wrapped and sell to the same people who bought the original product in the first place. So-called otaku are caught up in this money making cycle and all they're doing is spending their hard-earned yen (which often comes from their parents in a lot of cases). And, what's really sad, is that loads of these gullible suckers don't even realize that they're being taken for a ride."


Otaku shows are the main reason that I came to enjoy anime. However, it's quite a stretch to suggest that the content would be mainstream if not for the fact that it's animation. The truth is that most people have no interest in it.

Quote:
Well, Japanese people in general seem to have a thing for teenagers
There's less of a social stigma against attraction to real teenagers. However, once you work in the childish characteristics associated with moe, people find it bizarre and creepy. Their perception is that moe otaku are unable to cope with the sophistication of real women, so they retreat to a fantasy where their women are child-like simpletons who fulfill their warped desires. Attraction to moe isn't something the masses can relate to.
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Old 2012-05-27, 19:48   Link #274
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Originally Posted by Eternal September View Post
And I should clarify, that yes, I only meant "similar" strictly in the context of the original discussion. To rephrase the past comments in a way that perhaps better reflects my intentions:

DonQuigleone: Anime would get wider acceptance if it would appeal to ordinary adults like me, by having grown-up main casts.
I wouldn't quite phrase it that way. More that Anime would be better, by depicting a wider variety of settings and characters. And in doing so, it would incidentally appeal to "ordinary adults like me" (though I'm hardly ordinary...). I don't think it's actually necessary for Anime to aim for "ordinary" adults. All they need to do is to retain the adults they already have, and bring back former otaku (There are definitely former Otaku now in their 40s). They can do this by making shows, still within the typical anime genres, but in different settings that will appeal to an older audience more. Anime is generally escapist, so featuring teens, allows their previously predominantly teen audience to more easily identify with the fantasy. It's difficult for a older man to insert himself into a teenage harem comedy, but if it was set instead in an office block, suddenly it becomes very easy again, and it requires no real plot contortions (after all, how much of school anime actually shows any work going on?).

Quote:
Eternal September (me): Well, Japanese people in general seem to have a thing for teenagers, so maybe it is only us western fans are seeing it as a niche fandom thing. If anime would become mainstream, then maybe people like you, who assumed that it would be something like older noitaminA shows or Tiger & Bunny, would be surprised to see cast demographics that are closer to the current main audience's favorites than to that. (in other words, "mainstream shows" and "otaku shows" would be surpriingly similar to each other in that regard)
I will admit Japan does currently have a bit of a youth obsessed media culture. Even Dorama is heavily dominated by teen soaps. But I think that has a lot more to do with the industry, then the publics tastes. In the case of Anime, it's due to the dominance of a certain subset of Otaku in consistently buying DVDs and goods. In the case of Dorama, it's all to do with the dominance of Japan's Idol issue, and how it's basically hijacked the entire film and tv industry to sell their "wares". I mean seriously, is there any movie or TV shows Takuya Kimura isn't in? (obviously there are some, but that guy is in too much stuff considering he's not exactly an amazing actor. Though he's a lot better then all his imitators...)

But I'd say the tastes of the Japanese population is more varied then their media industry would make it seem. For one, it should be clear that the reason Idols and Otaku can dominate the way they have is for the same exact reason, they both dependably sell, and they both have a large ancillary market to make back costs. Idols sell to hapless teenage girls (who as a demographic are not known for their taste), and wannabe teenage girls, who'll watch anything with a pretty face in it (and buy ancillary goods, concert tickets etc.). Likewise, Moť Otaku will be guaranteed to watch anything with a pretty face in it, and can be relied on to provide a steady stream of character good purchases and DVD sales. They're both evidence for an industry that's too afraid (as a whole) to take risks. Luckily Japan still has a vibrant film scene (if diminished), and not all Anime is catering to the lowest common denominator.

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Originally Posted by TJR View Post
There's less of a social stigma against attraction to real teenagers. However, once you work in the childish characteristics associated with moe, people find it bizarre and creepy. Their perception is that moe otaku are unable to cope with the sophistication of real women, so they retreat to a fantasy where their women are child-like simpletons who fulfill their warped desires. Attraction to moe isn't something the masses can relate to.
Absolutely true. I've seen plenty of advice out there that if you go to anywhere in Japan outside Akihabara, you shouldn't go out declaring your love of anime. People will think you're weird. I suppose it's a bit like saying you love comic books in the US.

Even with the success of comic book movies, most people still think adult fans are a bit strange.

Last edited by DonQuigleone; 2012-05-27 at 20:00.
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Old 2012-05-28, 04:05   Link #275
Eternal September
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
I wouldn't quite phrase it that way. More that Anime would be better, by depicting a wider variety of settings and characters. And in doing so, it would incidentally appeal to "ordinary adults like me" (though I'm hardly ordinary...). I don't think it's actually necessary for Anime to aim for "ordinary" adults. All they need to do is to retain the adults they already have, and bring back former otaku (There are definitely former Otaku now in their 40s). They can do this by making shows, still within the typical anime genres, but in different settings that will appeal to an older audience more. Anime is generally escapist, so featuring teens, allows their previously predominantly teen audience to more easily identify with the fantasy. It's difficult for a older man to insert himself into a teenage harem comedy, but if it was set instead in an office block, suddenly it becomes very easy again, and it requires no real plot contortions (after all, how much of school anime actually shows any work going on?).
Sorry for putting words in your mouth, I only intended to "quote" you in the sense that "that's the general idea that I saw in DonQuigleone's post, so that's what I'm talking about".

I think one of the main appeal of school setting is, (other than nostalgia, and the theorized attraction to youth), is that it is universal. Everyone went to school once, but not everyone is working in an office. (and even if they do, offices are wildly different from each other). Anime writers, for example, don't, so they couldn't credibly portray their details.

Western entertainment solved this problem by barely ever showing characters at work. They are either seen working at a cubicle farm with a vaguely defined purpose, or have a creative job (e..g.: writer), that lets them do whatever the plot is about.

Both methods involve plot contortions, and limited ability to identify with it. For example, this Cracked article points out some stereotypes that Hollywood believes about office work. (especially #3, how writers are always expressing their own idea of stress through "presentations").

The Anime method can also only tell certain adult-themed stories by twisting the school setting. Their methods are to make club/student council/school festival roles more job-like than they really are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
I will admit Japan does currently have a bit of a youth obsessed media culture. Even Dorama is heavily dominated by teen soaps. But I think that has a lot more to do with the industry, then the publics tastes. In the case of Anime, it's due to the dominance of a certain subset of Otaku in consistently buying DVDs and goods. In the case of Dorama, it's all to do with the dominance of Japan's Idol issue, and how it's basically hijacked the entire film and tv industry to sell their "wares". I mean seriously, is there any movie or TV shows Takuya Kimura isn't in? (obviously there are some, but that guy is in too much stuff considering he's not exactly an amazing actor. Though he's a lot better then all his imitators...). But I'd say the tastes of the Japanese population is more varied then their media industry would make it seem.
I think, we are mixing a few different concepts here. And by "we", I mean myself included, because I inaccurately started this discussion by implying that there are two kinds of Japanese people, "anime otaku" and "the mainstream".

Maybe these four tiers would be a bit more accurate breakdown.:

1. The old established anime fandom, the late night anime viewers. Like us, but Japanese. According to TV ratings, it might be 2-3% of Japan's population. They are what most of us would informally call "anime otaku".

2. The noitaminA audience. A similar niche to the above, 3-4% of the population watching late night anime, but more predominantly female, and likely many of them didn't watch adult anime before noitaminA

3. The Japanese pop-culture audience. Significantly larger than either of the above, controlling a large part of pop music, TV show, and manga consumption. Has certain elements that we would identify as otaku-like. (even if they don't always call it that). They don't watch anime, but if my theory is right, it has more to do with a prejudice against the medium, than with being repulsed by most of it's content.

4. Yamada Taro, the Quintessential Japanese Person, the hypothetical John Q. Public of Japan. He doesn't significantly influnce Japanese popculture, and actively dislikes it's elements that we would identify as otaku-like.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Luckily Japan still has a vibrant film scene (if diminished), and not all Anime is catering to the lowest common denominator.
It's funny that you use that phrase, because I think, we are talking exactly about how could anime cater more to the lowest common denominator, how could it be generalized, stripped of it's odd quirks and unconventional niche attractions that would form a barrier to ordinary people, so finally it could be appealing to the most of them.
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Old 2012-05-28, 04:37   Link #276
Eternal September
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Originally Posted by TJR View Post
If you read what the Japanese have to say about their own market, you'll find similar criticism. Regardless of our personal positions, the content of a lot of anime is criticized both inside and outside the industry. Some people who work on the shows even admit to having no interest or understanding of what they're making (and if people who work in the industry don't understand the appeal, you can bet that the same applies to the general public).
...
There's less of a social stigma against attraction to real teenagers. However, once you work in the childish characteristics associated with moe, people find it bizarre and creepy. Their perception is that moe otaku are unable to cope with the sophistication of real women, so they retreat to a fantasy where their women are child-like simpletons who fulfill their warped desires. Attraction to moe isn't something the masses can relate to.
And that's a good example of why we shouldn't be generalizing like "Japanese people all think this" or "Japanese people all think that".

For example I also recently read an interview from 2002, where Urobuchi Gen commented that "you can't really define the word Moe these days". (And then he proceeded to mention that "...the scene where she was blood-splattered and crying had a lot of moe in it", because come on, he is Urobuchi Gen.)

The point is, that they might be as confused and disputant about it, as we are. We like otaku anime, and many of us are still hating moe.

Besides, I was using the phrase in a more innocent interpretation, as a synonyom of "cuteness", and it being demonstrated through the default "moe art style", that doesn't necessarily involve explicit sexualization.

For example K-on's success, (balanced viewer gender and age distribution, viewers who normally don't watch anime, Disney channel airing, etc.) are all indicators that contrary to the stereotypes, blob-like high school girls eating cake is at least as widely popular from a Japanese perspective, as any "mature adult theme" that noitaminA could show.
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Old 2012-05-28, 05:42   Link #277
cyth
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Originally Posted by Eternal September View Post
For example I also recently read an interview from 2002, where Urobuchi Gen commented that "you can't really define the word Moe these days". (And then he proceeded to mention that "...the scene where she was blood-splattered and crying had a lot of moe in it", because come on, he is Urobuchi Gen.)

The point is, that they might be as confused and disputant about it, as we are. We like otaku anime, and many of us are still hating moe.
I'm pretty sure that the discussion he was involved with didn't discuss moe's otakuness, it's pretty much a given that it's an otaku concept and appreciated by otaku because of its origins.

Quote:
For example K-on's success, (balanced viewer gender and age distribution, viewers who normally don't watch anime, Disney channel airing, etc.) are all indicators that contrary to the stereotypes, blob-like high school girls eating cake is at least as widely popular from a Japanese perspective, as any "mature adult theme" that noitaminA could show.
K-ON! was a surprise hit among grade and middle schoolers, apart from otaku. I'm not convinced you can equate that audience with maturity.
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Old 2012-05-28, 06:34   Link #278
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Originally Posted by cyth View Post
I'm pretty sure that the discussion he was involved with didn't discuss moe's otakuness, it's pretty much a given that it's an otaku concept and appreciated by otaku because of its origins.
The phrase itself has otaku origins, and it can mean many things from being a synonym of "fetish" to even "anything that I like".

One of it's more popular usages, the aesthetic preference of neotenous characteristics, is demonstrated in usages such as "moe antropomorphism", where a character is called "moe" solely for it's art style with a large head and eyes, and small nose.

For example in that context, "moe" was popular in Japanese culture before either the otakudom or it's "moe" slang phrase even existed, and is continuing to be popular currently outside of it.

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Originally Posted by cyth View Post
K-ON! was a surprise hit among grade and middle schoolers, apart from otaku. I'm not convinced you can equate that audience with maturity.
The chart that I linked showed it having the largest amount of popularity among people in their 20's and 30's, in both genders.
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Old 2012-05-28, 07:15   Link #279
Triple_R
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Originally Posted by Eternal September View Post
And that's a good example of why we shouldn't be generalizing like "Japanese people all think this" or "Japanese people all think that".
Mainstream doesn't mean "all".

It roughly means the same as "widespread, throughout an entire population and not just one specific subset of it".

I think that TJR is saying that moe, in its stricter meanings, doesn't have that sort of mainstream appeal in Japan.

Now, is cuteness in general popular and mainstream? Probably, up to a point.

But Kirarakim is right - We shouldn't confuse "adorable child/kitten/puppy" cuteness from it's more sexual connotations that's seen in some of the more otaku-focused shows. A lot of blending of those two understandings of "cute" is probably something that creeps out your average Japanese person just like it creeps out your average American, your average Canadian, your average Brit, etc...

K-On! actually has very little sexual connotation within the anime/manga itself. Incidentally, it probably doesn't raise that "creepy" feeling as much for your average Japanese person. At this point, I even wonder if K-On! is more widely viewed as a nice show for girl's to watch (since, presumably, they can identify with its characters) than as an otaku anime.


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Besides, I was using the phrase in a more innocent interpretation, as a synonyom of "cuteness", and it being demonstrated through the default "moe art style", that doesn't necessarily involve explicit sexualization.
The "moe art style", in and of itself, probably isn't a major problem, no.

That being said, I'm not sure why you seem to be against the idea of more anime shows with adult male leads.

I think it's fair to say that the potential anime audience for people mostly into watching high school-attending teenagers is kind of saturated at this point.

If the desire is for anime to have more mainstream appeal, then it seems to me that offering something to people mostly into watching adult characters in adult settings might be a good way to go at this point.


I don't think that anybody expects the "traditional noitaminA" shows to take off like wildfire and actually define the industry. That would be pretty shocking to me.

I's just that many of us thinks it would be nice if we had the added variety that would come with that (which, yes, includes variety in character ages), and how adding on a different audience-base to the established otaku one can only help the anime industry by enlarging its total fanbase (even if the different audience-base is "niche" in its own right).


Now, are some noitaminA fans people who can't stand modern otaku anime shows? Well, yeah, where else would you expect such anime fans to go?

Also, it's important to point out here that even amongst those of us who like some otaku anime, there's different thresholds here. Some of us share otaku tastes up to a point, but beyond that point, it's a bit too much for us (so noitaminA can seem like a breath of fresh air for some of us). A lot of my closer friends here on Anime Suki, and myself, are like this, imo.
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Old 2012-05-28, 08:12   Link #280
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by Eternal September View Post
I think one of the main appeal of school setting is, (other than nostalgia, and the theorized attraction to youth), is that it is universal. Everyone went to school once, but not everyone is working in an office. (and even if they do, offices are wildly different from each other). Anime writers, for example, don't, so they couldn't credibly portray their details.

Western entertainment solved this problem by barely ever showing characters at work. They are either seen working at a cubicle farm with a vaguely defined purpose, or have a creative job (e..g.: writer), that lets them do whatever the plot is about.
I don't buy this, for one thing, in school anime, they barely (if ever) show any characters doing anything related to school, at all. You never see characters in classes, studying, or doing homework. Likewise, few of the anime "clubs" are actually shown doing actual real life club activities (for instance, you rarely see the computer club spending several hours just playing starcraft). Their depiction of clubs is closer to the mark then school though, but perhaps only because clubs can actually be fun.

Furthermore, even if they aren't familiar with other types of work, theres nothing stopping them from doing shows about life in an anime studio (in much the way many mangaka have made manga about what it's like being a mangaka).

And, there's an entire genre of manga that's entirely about office work ("Salaryman manga") which it would not be difficult for anime companies to adapt (remember that most anime are not original productions). The reason these shows about work place comedy don't tend to get made, is that the producers don't think they'll sell, IE salarymen will buy salarymen manga, but they won't watch salarmen anime. Given that many people in the "salaryman" age group are now of an age that they could very easily have formally been otaku, this is poor reasoning, I think. Also, many Dramas are workplace comedies, and romcoms.

Like school anime, these things rarely show anyone actually working, but I see no problem with that, showing people filling out forms all day isn't exactly fun.

Quote:
1. The old established anime fandom, the late night anime viewers. Like us, but Japanese. According to TV ratings, it might be 2-3% of Japan's population. They are what most of us would informally call "anime otaku".

2. The noitaminA audience. A similar niche to the above, 3-4% of the population watching late night anime, but more predominantly female, and likely many of them didn't watch adult anime before noitaminA

3. The Japanese pop-culture audience. Significantly larger than either of the above, controlling a large part of pop music, TV show, and manga consumption. Has certain elements that we would identify as otaku-like. (even if they don't always call it that). They don't watch anime, but if my theory is right, it has more to do with a prejudice against the medium, than with being repulsed by most of it's content.

4. Yamada Taro, the Quintessential Japanese Person, the hypothetical John Q. Public of Japan. He doesn't significantly influnce Japanese popculture, and actively dislikes it's elements that we would identify as otaku-like.
This would seem to me to be a fairly accurate breakdown. I'd say the noitaminA fandom is smaller then that though (2-3% of viewer ratings doesn't necessarily mean 2-3% of the population, I think).

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It's funny that you use that phrase, because I think, we are talking exactly about how could anime cater more to the lowest common denominator, how could it be generalized, stripped of it's odd quirks and unconventional niche attractions that would form a barrier to ordinary people, so finally it could be appealing to the most of them.
I wouldn't go that far. I have no problem with Anime being the niche product it is. I'd be more keen on seeing anime serve it's current audience better, and so have greater audience retention. For instance, I have no interest in seeing anime try and strive to reach out to housewives and tweenaged girls. If it does, and it's succesful, all power to it, but I don't particularly care. I'm more concerned that it produce works that caters to an audience that's already positively predisposed to it, and it would need to do little tweaking to please, namely older and former fans, who have greater desire for more sophisticated and age related fare. While anime does fine on the sophistication front (I think), it doesn't do so well on the age related front. Even if we go further then School vs. work settings, it's also true that teen characters dominate where they are not particularly necessary. For instance, Sci Fi and Fantasy, which don't show school at all, don't absolutely need to have every character be a teen. And yet, for most anime, that's exactly how it is. There no reason that every Gundam pilot of any importance has to be under the age of 20. I could get that if Gundam was primarily selling to teens, but Gundam appeals to a very wide age range. Maybe the main character could still be a teen (to retain the teen demographic), but in something like Gundam 00, they could have made the rest of Celestial Being a wider variety of ages. Would the show have been worse if Lockon was an old veteran? Or if one of the pilots had a family?
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