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Old 2011-12-18, 22:59   Link #5001
Kaijo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin_Brett View Post
Mostly just 'it's dark and serious, therefore good!'
This.

Yes, Madoka was artsy (and a large part of that you can thank Yuki Kajura' smusic for). But it was dark just for the sake of being dark, ie, shock value. And the art betrayed it's intention; we knew Kyubei held bad secrets very early on; the art betrayed the twist.

Madoka hasn't really gone mainstream, other than Kyubei appearing on sale signs in Japan. There are still tons of more popular shows. What sold Madoka was mostly that it had moe girls in dark situations, but the series kept them as stupid little girls. Moe has become much like sex and fanservice; you just toss it into your series for guaranteed success, as otaku will be all over it like a hobo on ham sandwich.

But Madoka lacked depth, and so ultimately it's dark elements came up superficial. Red herrings and false clues all over the place that didn't mean anything and were thrown in order to make it seem like it was deep (Hey diddle diddle? German phrases?). We knew that Kyubei was hiding things in episode 2, but all the other little "subtext" meant nothing. Meanwhile, in Mai Hime, Alyssa Sears was singing of the HiME's destruction in a brilliant use of foreshadowing, if you analyzed the english song in episode 7 or 8.

To steer this on track, Nanoha Force is doing "dark" fairly well. It doesn't dwell on it so much that it makes the read feel like emo-spiraling. The dark is just there to set the tone, as a way to set the realism of the tone, and yet be an obstacle that the characters' idealism can surmount with effort. Our heroes are dealing with mass killers, and a young boy is caught in the middle, infected with a disease that would make him kill to survive.

Nanoha isn't dark for the sake of being dark. Even back when we saw Fate being whipped and abused, it was only there to setup the plot and showcase the situation she came from, and to give Nanoha an enemy to struggle against that she could also befriend.

To sum up: if the series is dark just to be dark, then the main characters won't do much but whine and cry for most of the trip, and anyone that does try something, will find it blowing up in their face. Rinse and repeat until the end when everything is won in a single moment with the only "good" thing to happen all series (if it's a good end). But if it's a good story, then it's not "dark" per se, so much as it just has dark elements. The characters don't whine and cry much, if at all, but struggle against the adversity the dark elements bring, until they finally legitimately earn their ending.

And it's a struggle that is won fairly, not solved with a wish or with god mode powers.

When the Nanoha cast wins in Force, it will be because they struggled and didn't give up. They will have earned it, and made friends along the way. They have no badly hidden deus ex that they hope you won't notice until they use it at the very end (complete with nonsensical explanation).
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Old 2011-12-18, 23:03   Link #5002
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If Ikuhara (Penguindrum/Utena) is behind your show, maybe.
It's a bit more common than a trait of one director in one form of media.
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Old 2011-12-18, 23:22   Link #5003
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I think Madoka's biggest failing is that the writer behind it can do better *coughFate/Zerocough*. Gen has written a lot of great stories but it feels like he phoned it in with Madoka and was far lazier in his writing. Twists had impact because characters were too dumb to think about it and it feels cheap.

It's different with Tsuzuki because outside of Nanoha he's only done Dog Days. While Dog Days was fun it was nothing particularly noteworthy. So far as we know he's doing his best and there's not much more we can expect out of him.
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Old 2011-12-18, 23:40   Link #5004
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So...we should just stop expecting Tsuzuki to fix his shitty writing because this is the best he can muster?

...eh, why not? Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment, they say.

I guess it says something that what Gen made when he's lazy are still better than what Tsuzuki tried when he's fully committed. (SHAFT's deranged animation is still a huge turn-off, though)

Btw, I guess I looked at different places than you when first encountering Madoka though, since one of the first response I read was "OMG it's magical girls meet Evangelion" - pretty much reminiscent to "OMG it's magical girls meet Gundam". None of them said anything about "originality"

Quote:
To steer this on track, Nanoha Force is doing "dark" fairly well. It doesn't dwell on it so much that it makes the read feel like emo-spiraling. The dark is just there to set the tone, as a way to set the realism of the tone, and yet be an obstacle that the characters' idealism can surmount with effort. Our heroes are dealing with mass killers, and a young boy is caught in the middle, infected with a disease that would make him kill to survive.
I'd believe that when the "heroes" would actually had to cope with less than "idealistic" options, aka the "spam beams until they surrender option."

Alternatively, show the "dark" part from the extended viewpoint of the Huckebein victims - sole survivors of a demolished village, orphans now without family and etc. Show them as individuals caught in the cruelty of those with power instead of being a statistic. Show us just what is in stake here.

And no, Touma's backstory doesn't cut it because 1)the Hucks probably weren't the one responsible for that (maybe) and 2)he never showed any flashbacks with the villagers that shows them as individual, with names as personal importance to him instead of mere background characters.
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Old 2011-12-18, 23:54   Link #5005
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That's if Tsuzuki had shitty writing to fix.

And yes, some writers are better than others even when they phone things in.

Most people I know hate Gundam, so saying Nanoha is magic girls meets Gundam is hardly a compliment.
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Old 2011-12-19, 00:08   Link #5006
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Originally Posted by 00-Raiser View Post
~ Most people I know hate Gundam, so saying Nanoha is magic girls meets Gundam is hardly a compliment.
While it may hold true for your own circle of companions, isn't it too much of hyperbole to apply that in general? Gundam is huge in the medium it is native to. Maybe that Egyptian banker over the other side of the world doesn't give two hoots about Gundam Zeta and what not, but to the people it is being marketed to, Gundam sells. Period.

Hate is a pretty strong word to use. Don't lessen your points by using it frivolously.

Cheers.
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Old 2011-12-19, 00:24   Link #5007
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Force feels like the definition of someone phoning it in, sorry. Even if you do like it you have to admit it's not at the level of what came before.
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Old 2011-12-19, 00:41   Link #5008
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Originally Posted by Skane View Post
While it may hold true for your own circle of companions, isn't it too much of hyperbole to apply that in general? Gundam is huge in the medium it is native to. Maybe that Egyptian banker over the other side of the world doesn't give two hoots about Gundam Zeta and what not, but to the people it is being marketed to, Gundam sells. Period.

Hate is a pretty strong word to use. Don't lessen your points by using it frivolously.

Cheers.
Outside of websites specifically for the niche, Gundam is either seen with apathy or active dislike. I'm not just talking about my small circle of friends or anything, but what I see on the internet as a whole.

On top of that it's the english fandom I see that are making the comparison and Gundam does not sell as much over here.

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Force feels like the definition of someone phoning it in, sorry. Even if you do like it you have to admit it's not at the level of what came before.
And the level of what came before it did not start out so high. It gradually got there over the course of the series with all the best stuff happening near the end game. People seem to forget this but Force is still a young series. It's still working its way up to a higher level just like all the other seasons before it.

Now Vivid is phoning it in. "Okay, we got cute girls, lots of fanservice, and lots of flashy fight scenes. That's all we need!"
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Old 2011-12-19, 00:46   Link #5009
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Nanoha is not dark at all if you ask me till Force. Besides, Madoka was made like that on purpose by Gen to rope people in and shock them with the magical zombies idea. Both are good show, but if Gen writes Nanoha, you can bet the casts will go through hell and most not making it back.
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Old 2011-12-19, 00:56   Link #5010
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That's another thing I find funny about Madoka: people were actually shocked by the dark turn. The second I heard the Nitro+ guy was writing the show I knew it would be dark and messed up. Or was I the only one familiar with Demonbane and Phantom?

Still, when you think of Force's dark turn, well, all that really changed was that the antagonists are willing to kill. Fate wouldn't kill, the Wolkenritter swore not to kill, Jail order the Numbers not to kill (most of the time), and Vivid is about a friendly sport. Force actually has death and destruction but that's pretty tame by anime standards. Elfen Lied this is not.
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Old 2011-12-19, 01:17   Link #5011
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And the level of what came before it did not start out so high. It gradually got there over the course of the series with all the best stuff happening near the end game. People seem to forget this but Force is still a young series. It's still working its way up to a higher level just like all the other seasons before it.
It's phoning it in because its taken a large part of the concepts and plot points it has used from As, the most popular season, because they know that worked and that StrikerS didn't (even though a large part of why people didn't like that season wasn't because it was new, but I digress). Same with ViVid using the Nanoha/Fate thing again.

If it can only get its own identity after two years, well, that's bad.
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Old 2011-12-19, 01:26   Link #5012
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And exactly what concepts and plot points did they rip from As?
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Old 2011-12-19, 01:26   Link #5013
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Originally Posted by Justin_Brett View Post
If it can only get its own identity after two years, well, that's bad.
This. Again and again, this.

By its number of chapters then yes, Force is pretty young. But look at how the time have passed, and you have a story that's still an infant after two years.
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Old 2011-12-19, 01:28   Link #5014
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That's an issue with the release schedule, not the writing itself.
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Old 2011-12-19, 01:31   Link #5015
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But Tsuzuki's not just about writing, isn't he? He chose the staff, the person to draw the manga. He was also the one who green-light it being a monthly release despite only having an average 20+ pages per chapter, in contrast to other monthly release like FMA which can have up to 40 pages each month.
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Old 2011-12-19, 01:37   Link #5016
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No, he doesn't get to choose all that stuff. The staff at NyanType also decide what goes into their own magazine, not to mention corporate sponsors and all sorts of other businessey stuff that goes on. It's not so simple as one guy picking everything.
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Old 2011-12-19, 01:43   Link #5017
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And exactly what concepts and plot points did they rip from As?
The whole general concept of the villains, the heroes needing a massive overhaul of their weaponry to properly fight them, tomes and the beings connected to them being important. And that's pretty much it because we're only just getting out of the prologue.
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Old 2011-12-19, 01:55   Link #5018
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Equating the Wolkenritter to the Huckebien? Uh oh, Aki's going to be pissed

But yeah, what do you mean by general concept? The Wolkenritter are noble knights, the Huckebein are pragmatic survivors.

A's upgrades were hardly massive. Force blows those upgrades right out of the water.

Magic books, because only 1 is allowed to exist?

You mention Force having no identity but that's wrong. Right out of the gates it set itself as being different by virtue of having a male protagonist. Can any other installment of the franchise make that claim? Nope.
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Old 2011-12-19, 02:07   Link #5019
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It's funny how when certain points in Force gets criticized (Signum, Erio, Vita and Hayate being jobbers to show just the might of the new villains; last season weapons being ineffective), the defense was basically "Why are you guys complaining so much?! It's just like like A's!!!" (Don't believe me? Just look at the now-defunct general manga thread)

And yet now, there's this huge denial about it being copying many aspects of A's? Quite the sudden reverse.

And the only thing notable about Force is the protagonist having a p0n0s? Well that explains everything What's next? A hermaphrodite for the OVA?
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Old 2011-12-19, 02:10   Link #5020
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Originally Posted by 00-Raiser View Post
Equating the Wolkenritter to the Huckebien? Uh oh, Aki's going to be pissed

But yeah, what do you mean by general concept? The Wolkenritter are noble knights, the Huckebein are pragmatic survivors.

A's upgrades were hardly massive. Force blows those upgrades right out of the water.

Magic books, because only 1 is allowed to exist?

You mention Force having no identity but that's wrong. Right out of the gates it set itself as being different by virtue of having a male protagonist. Can any other installment of the franchise make that claim? Nope.

Don't forget that Thoma and Curren is the separation of two of Hayate's status: as a head of a family and a life lived day-to-day before receiving their immense power.


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It's funny how when certain points in Force gets criticized (Signum, Erio, Vita and Hayate being jobbers to show just the might of the new villains; last season weapons being ineffective), the defense was basically "Why are you guys complaining so much?! It's just like like A's!!!" (Don't believe me? Just look at the now-defunct general manga thread)

And yet now, there's this huge denial about it being copying many aspects of A's? Quite the sudden reverse.

And the only thing notable about Force is the protagonist having a p0n0s? Well that explains everything What's next? A hermaphrodite for the OVA?
It must be admitted, that so far as Vivid and Force suffers "Follow the Leader" syndrome, among of fandom and critics. Vivid, although successful profitable from loyal fans who want the traditional roots of magical girl itself, many aspects of The Original Series that are copy-pasted just like that.

Force, on the other hand, despite a warm welcome for those who want the same science fiction elements such as Strikers, instead get blasphemy and criticism from readers. Lots of reasons why some fandom would not even touch Force, like Signum and Hayate suffered the Worf Effect, many new weapons that its reliability is questionable, etc. Even the same as Vivid, Force also copy-paste it in all aspects contained in A's.

If there is a romantic scenes in Force (for Thoma and Lily), why don't the illustrator and author add the *** scene as well?
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