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Old 2011-11-26, 15:32   Link #101
0utf0xZer0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I don't think you're getting his point. His point is not that there's no strong fighters amongst the main male protagonists of modern harem anime shows, but rather that you don't have many modern harem anime shows where the male lead is the physically strongest and/or most powerful protagonist.
I want to turn this discussion on its head for a moment.

Remember this article?
http://www.overthinkingit.com/2008/0...bad-for-women/

And this line?
Quote:
I think the major problem here is that women were clamoring for “strong female characters,” and male writers misunderstood. They thought the feminists meant [Strong Female] Characters. The feminists meant [Strong Characters], Female.
I can't help but think a similar distinction can be used for many lead characters in anime. For example, my list of favourite harem or romance anime leads from the past year or so would include:

Agemaki Kei (Otome Youkai Zakuro)
Kasugano Haruka (Yosuga no Sora)
Okabe Rintarou (Steins;Gate)
Hasegawa Subaru (Ro-kyu-bu)
Uryuu Shingo (Mashiro-iro Symphony)

Well, I guess Kei has some fighting skills, which makes sense given his background. The rest, not so much. But in general I find they feel less bland and/or pathetic than a lot of other harem leads, making them more likeable and respectable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyth View Post
I was hoping things would turn around with this new wave of anime originals, but it doesn't matter, the brain damage these writers sustained as children watching cartoons has the industry under a creative lockdown. Take for example this recent comment from superstar writer Okada Mari.

Quote:
AnoHana scriptwriter Mari Okada revealed in the August issue of Media Factory's monthly Da Vinci magazine that the drama included slapstick erotic elements in its original conception. As a contemplative slice-of-life story with a quieter tone, the anime's final version differs greatly from the writer's original plans.
I hate her so much. Other staffers saved the day on that one, and even the final version of AnoHana was high on tropes.
Based on Okada's past work and what she actually said, I got the impression that the original version was intended to be contemplative slice of life as well, just with a lot more sexual tension. Everyone else seems to assume that she meant a full blown slapstick erotic comedy, which probably isn't that surprising given the angle ANN used in their article.

The distinction between the two is, IMO, very significant.
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Old 2011-11-26, 15:50   Link #102
cyth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
Based on Okada's past work and what she actually said, I got the impression that the original version was intended to be contemplative slice of life as well, just with a lot more sexual tension. Everyone else seems to assume that she meant a full blown slapstick erotic comedy, which probably isn't that surprising given the angle ANN used in their article.

The distinction between the two is, IMO, very significant.
I think having Anaru jokes laid out to us would be just as distasteful as the otaku making them, for example. It wouldn't be the same show, for sure.
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Old 2011-11-26, 16:03   Link #103
TJR
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
However I do at least expect more shows with thought like Madoka and less shows with a check list of elements that might appeal to Otaku just to cash in.
I think the checklist mentality is true for any entertainment medium. It's just that with anime, otaku tend to be the main focus, whereas with other forms of entertainment, there's a broader range of cash-in product. However, the cookie cutter criticism can be applied to novels, TV shows, music, and movies.

I'm also a bit tired of hearing how things were "so much better back in the day". I've been on the Internet for 15 years, and those complaints were prevalent from day one no matter the subject.

Things fall out of style and new trends kick in (which later fall out of style).....with that comes an audience shift and another line of regurgitated product.

Quote:
what happened to the stuff that wasn't OVAs...or the stuff that was on in the 70s (all those Super Robot shows, Space Battleship Yamato, the various other dramas and shows) that were probably not considered OVA or late night shows?
To clarify, I don't think OVAs emerged until the late 70s/early 80s when home video became prevalent. Late night TV picked up during the late 90s (replacing a decaying OVA market), and its growth went hand in hand with the emerging DVD market.

So yeah, most TV productions aired on mainstream slots. It would be interesting to know how many TV shows were produced during the 70s and 80s versus the number of mainstream shows airing today. Even now, several shounen/shoujo manga adaptations air each season on primetime/morning TV.

If anything, the biggest threat to children and teen oriented anime might be low birth rates. It's also worth noting that some otaku hits were originally regarded as failures when they initially aired as mainstream anime.

Quote:
Based on Okada's past work and what she actually said, I got the impression that the original version was intended to be contemplative slice of life as well, just with a lot more sexual tension. Everyone else seems to assume that she meant a full blown slapstick erotic comedy, which probably isn't that surprising given the angle ANN used in their article.
People already got upset when they saw some of Okada's touches in Hanasaku Iroha, Canaan, and Fractale. Besides the poor incorporation of these elements, some felt that Fractale and Hanasaku Iroha could've been more mainstream friendly had Okada (whose love for bawdy and toilet humor is well known) not gone out of her way to appeal to otaku.

As for AnoHana, the final scene of Ep. 6 was probably the kind of content she wanted to explore.
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Old 2011-11-26, 16:39   Link #104
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Originally Posted by TJR View Post
I think the checklist mentality is true for any entertainment medium. It's just that with anime, otaku tend to be the main focus, whereas with other forms of entertainment, there's a broader range of cash-in product. However, the cookie cutter criticism can be applied to novels, TV shows, music, and movies.
Yes but who said I don't criticize those other mediums? Heck I barely watch most modern stuff because I am not interested, but I don't think this means anime should be free of criticism because it is just following a business model and putting no thought into its product. If I see something like this I am going to criticize.

And really my main point was that a series can appeal to Otaku, sell well, but not be total junk. That's all I ask for.

I am certainly not trying to get anime back to the good ol days. I love quite a few classic series but most of my favorites are from the past decade so.... But that doesn't mean I don't have issues with certain more recent trends in anime.

15 years ago I might have been complaining about some of the "violence porn" in anime.
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Old 2011-11-26, 16:45   Link #105
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Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
Actually, let's expand that in general. Are there certain genres more vulnerable to outside competition, like live action TV, video games, etc.?
I think so but it's hard to find any evidence. I know Production IG had major trouble finding enough freelancers with a background in mechanical design in the industry when they made Skycrawlers. Most had moved in to other better paying industries like the gaming sector. I haven't noticed any anime lately that revolve around cars, aircraft, realistic military hardware etc. I think games to an extent have replaced such shows. Interaction being a major advantage.

Then there is the popularity explosion in the last decade of live action drama, especially Korean shows. Animation is expensive, so why not produce a cheaper live action version. Especially when there are no costly special effects for supernatural or fantasy elements necessary. This has happened with the Disney channel, where simple teen shows are now made in a live action format rather than in cartoon form. What I said isn't hard evidence of course but I find it rather surprising that some type of shows seem to have completely disappeared. For example can't remember the last time I have seen a cop show anime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
And secondly, I honestly wonder just how many of these titles there ever were at a time in the past. Is this partly just a selection bias? I mean, if you can think of 2 or 3 really good broad-appealing shows each year in the 80s/90s, you can probably still think of 2 or 3 such shows every year even now (maybe more). Yes, there's more "other stuff" so perhaps the percentage seems lower, but again you have to consider that all the late-night stuff would likely never have aired on regular TV otherwise (in many cases it's paid-for like infomercials). I honestly don't know if there's ever been a market for dozens of different mainstream-targetted anime at once, because how many people (edit to clarify: in the mainstream, not just anime fans) do you really think would choose anime over live-action drama and the other content choices available to them?
I'm not sure if there is a selection bias. The rise of cable television and dedicated content channels killed of syndicated animation on television. The children's TV blocks from 7-9am and 3-5pm and on Saturday mornings created a strong demand for mainstream-targeted animation. These blocks had pretty much disappeared by the end of the nineties.

Content on syndicated television usually had a greater artistic freedom, and looser standards (not mandated by a network). Increased PTA influence in the nineties has also led to a "clean up" or "dumbing down" of animated content (see for example the difference between Gundam 0079 and Gundam Age both aimed at kids and young teens). I think that mostly answers the question of what happened to the mainstream titles. At the least the ones that appealed to children as well as to an older audience.
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Old 2011-11-26, 18:03   Link #106
Magin
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Damn this thread moves fast...

@Brimstone and Triple_R
Okay, let me clarify my complaint about harems. First and foremost, I haven't seen every single harem there is; hell, I'm still at least a few seasons if not a year or so behind on most animes. Let me try to re-phrase my complaint: the guy tends to need the girls to save his ass 95% of the time during the show. Then there's the other part which kills half the list Brimstone pointed out: lack of a good resolution of the plot.
Although, here's my biggest complaints about a weak male lead that usually needs saving:
Freezing
Omamori Himari
Rosario to Vampire (actually, I already have a special place reserved in Anime Hell for this title)
Maken-ki (this is based more on the manga than the anime)
Maji de Watashi ni koi Shinasai (it's not too bad, since the guy has brains... but all the females are certainly physically stronger than him)

Now, for Brimstone's list and my added comments:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brimstone View Post
/FACEPALM

Not this shit again


Fall Season 2011

C³ -C Cube- : Haruaki Yachi (Decent fighter)-Haven't seen
Shakugan no Shana : Sakai Yuji (Ace-in-the-hole)-I actually like this series
Ben-To : You Satou (Strong fighter)-Haven't seen, but sounds rather iffy based on what I've heard
Persona 4: Narukami Yuu (MVP)-heard that it's crashing and burning


Summer Season 2011

Nurarihyon no Mago Sennen Makyou : Nura Rikou (Strong fighter to MVP)-haven't seen, but want to... the only other thing I know is that it's been failing quite a bit in the Shounen JUMP polls
Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! : Yoshii Akihisa (reliable Idiot)-haevn't seen, but plan to
Kami-sama no Memo-chou : Fujishima Narumi (reliable Idiot)Haven't seen
Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi : Kurogane Taito (Decent fighter, or was it Ace-in-the-hole?)Haven't seen


Spring Season 2011

Hidan no Aria: Tohyama Kinji (Decent fighter to MVP)Haven't seen, but plan to
DOG DAYS: Izumi Shinku (MVP)this is on my watch list after I complete my current series
Ao no Exorcist: Okumura Rin (MVP) Is this even a harem?


Winter Season 2011

Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?: Aikawa Ayumu (Decent Fighter)I actually loved this series
IS - Infinite Stratos: Orimura Ichika (Ace-in-the-hole)The only complaint I have here is that he's amongst the densest male leads of all time... otherwise I highly enjoyed this series


Fall Season 2010

STAR DRIVER Kagayaki no Takuto: Tsunashi Takuto (MVP)-Haven't seen
To Aru Majutsu no Index II: Kamijou Touma (Ace-in-the-hole)Is on my must-watch list


Summer Season 2010

Nurarihyon no Mago: Nura Rikuo (MVP)See above comment about this series
Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi: Morino Ryoushi (Strong fighter)Haven't seen
The Legend of the Legendary Heroes: Ryner Lute (Strong fighter to Ace-in-the-hole)Is also on my must-watch list


Spring Season 2010

Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou: Sai Akuto (MVP)LOVED this series... but the plot failed in the end


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

These are the ones that fall under strictly fighting shows, I haven't included the ones from normal romcom series, and I haven't included the ones I didn't watched or didn't like... This was for only these two years.

So to put it simply- For every Sora no Otoshimono and SEKIREI you show me, I've got 6 to 8 other shows with strong fighting male leads to counter that.
With Sora, that's going to be a hell to get through (since I plan to watch it anyways)... and I've actually seen and enjoyed Sekirei
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Old 2011-11-26, 18:20   Link #107
Brimstone
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Originally Posted by Magin View Post
Damn this thread moves fast...

@Brimstone and Triple_R
Okay, let me clarify my complaint about harems. First and foremost, I haven't seen every single harem there is; hell, I'm still at least a few seasons if not a year or so behind on most animes. Let me try to re-phrase my complaint: the guy tends to need the girls to save his ass 95% of the time during the show. Then there's the other part which kills half the list Brimstone pointed out: lack of a good resolution of the plot.
So on your first point, as long as the guy doesn't need the girl to save him 95% of the time, would you count them as strong enough? Because the list I gave you more than covers that

And you have to be abit more specific on that last part, do you mean that it doesn't have a conclusive ending?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magin View Post
Although, here's my biggest complaints about a weak male lead that usually needs saving:
Freezing
Omamori Himari
Rosario to Vampire (actually, I already have a special place reserved in Anime Hell for this title)
Maken-ki (this is based more on the manga than the anime)
Maji de Watashi ni koi Shinasai (it's not too bad, since the guy has brains... but all the females are certainly physically stronger than him)
Damn, you sure know how to pick the bad ones I've never even came close to watching any of the above


Quote:
Originally Posted by Magin View Post
Now, for Brimstone's list and my added comments:


With Sora, that's going to be a hell to get through (since I plan to watch it anyways)... and I've actually seen and enjoyed Sekirei
Persona 4: Narukami Yuu (MVP)-heard that it's crashing and burning -> Highest selling series of Fall 2011, far surpassing Fate/Zero and Guilty Crown.


Nurarihyon no Mago Sennen Makyou : Nura Rikou (Strong fighter to MVP)-haven't seen, but want to... the only other thing I know is that it's been failing quite a bit in the Shounen JUMP polls -> Second season is very good, first season not so.
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Old 2011-11-26, 19:45   Link #108
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Originally Posted by Bri View Post
I'm not sure if there is a selection bias. The rise of cable television and dedicated content channels killed of syndicated animation on television. The children's TV blocks from 7-9am and 3-5pm and on Saturday mornings created a strong demand for mainstream-targeted animation. These blocks had pretty much disappeared by the end of the nineties.

Content on syndicated television usually had a greater artistic freedom, and looser standards (not mandated by a network). Increased PTA influence in the nineties has also led to a "clean up" or "dumbing down" of animated content (see for example the difference between Gundam 0079 and Gundam Age both aimed at kids and young teens). I think that mostly answers the question of what happened to the mainstream titles. At the least the ones that appealed to children as well as to an older audience.
Well, just to be clear (because I'm not sure), are you talking about the TV situation in Japan, or elsewhere in the world? To this day within Japan there are a number of TV networks that air anime both in primetime and on Saturday mornings (I included a list below for reference). If you're talking about shows that aired on TV elsewhere in the world, then I think it probably is a selection bias (even though it may still explain your perspective).

Spoiler for TV shows currently airing in morning/prime-time blocks in Japan:
To the average person in Japan, the above probably is most of what they know as TV anime, but it's interesting that most of the shows listed there are barely known/discussed in English circles (minus the big-name shounen franchises).
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Old 2011-11-26, 20:51   Link #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brimstone View Post
So on your first point, as long as the guy doesn't need the girl to save him 95% of the time, would you count them as strong enough? Because the list I gave you more than covers that

And you have to be abit more specific on that last part, do you mean that it doesn't have a conclusive ending?
As you can see, a lot of those series you mentioned I haven't watched, and more than just a few are my my must-watch list. As for a conclusive ending... I threw that out because there's a few series in which the guy can actually hold his own (Daimou and 11eyes being the prime examples, with potentially Princess Lover! thrown in the mix), but the plot just crashes and burns by the end of the anime... then again, with 11eyes, I was probably listening to all the complaints of how the anime screwed up the VN (a complaint I've heard about tons of animes based on VN's, actually)



Quote:
Originally Posted by Brimstone View Post
Damn, you sure know how to pick the bad ones I've never even came close to watching any of the above
Yeah... I'm sure you can see why I'm complaining. The examples I've been using are far from the cream of the crop I think I watched most of them (other than Rosario) because the ladies have quite the large assets




Quote:
Originally Posted by Brimstone View Post
Persona 4: Narukami Yuu (MVP)-heard that it's crashing and burning -> Highest selling series of Fall 2011, far surpassing Fate/Zero and Guilty Crown.
Hm... mayeb I needed to re-look at the thread. When I first saw it (when there were maybe 4~5 episodes out), I heard it was horrible... then again, they were probably doing game comparisons again


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brimstone View Post
Nurarihyon no Mago Sennen Makyou : Nura Rikou (Strong fighter to MVP)-haven't seen, but want to... the only other thing I know is that it's been failing quite a bit in the Shounen JUMP polls -> Second season is very good, first season not so.
I think I'm going to be giving in and watching this one...
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Old 2011-11-26, 21:12   Link #110
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Originally Posted by Magin View Post
[On PurseOwner4]
Hm... mayeb I needed to re-look at the thread. When I first saw it (when there were maybe 4~5 episodes out), I heard it was horrible... then again, they were probably doing game comparisons again
Critical and commercial success aren't always mutual to one another. A show could be nothing but praise worthy and yet still produce lack lustre sales (Baccano being the biggest example off the top of my head), while the same can hold true for opposite cases as well.
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Old 2011-11-26, 21:21   Link #111
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Critical and commercial success aren't always mutual to one another. A show could be nothing but praise worthy and yet still produce lack lustre sales (Baccano being the biggest example off the top of my head), while the same can hold true for opposite cases as well.
Maybe, but I find that's what people say to make themselves feel better when their own favorites never make it big

Because there's definitely no such thing as a best seller actually just being good right ?
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Old 2011-11-26, 21:44   Link #112
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Maybe, but I find that's what people say to make themselves feel better when their own favorites never make it big

Because there's definitely no such thing as a best seller actually just being good right ?
You know, I almost don't want to say it, but a lot of the discussion in this and the previous thread kinda sorta came down to this as well. Certain shows are popular and sell well even though certain other people don't like those styles of shows, so we have to sort of rationalize that the only reason these shows sold well is because they're pandering, unintelligent, fanservice-laden, a reflection of the unsophisticated audience, etc., etc. It can't possibly be that people just like and buy the shows because they're good/fun/enjoyable/memorable, because meanwhile the complainant's tastes hasn't been served. How can these popular shows be good when they're "clearly bad"? The problem is clearly that everyone else has bad taste! Note how very few complain when their own personal tastes are being pandered to...

Anyway, it's neither here nor there. Really, the analysis is interesting, but if people want to actually see trends shift, they have to start buying more of what they like. It's about supply and demand. It's no mystery: there are more "otaku"-targeted show because they're investing more money in the industry right now. If people start spending their money on other sorts of shows, that's what they'll make more of. And if people's own tastes don't adapt to suit the current market, eventually they'll be pushed out and have to pursue other interests. All the forum whining/complaining/debating/analyzing in the world isn't going to make anime "better".
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Old 2011-11-26, 22:24   Link #113
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Your entire post was interesting, though I'm not going to respond to each point. (I don't totally agree with all the arguments, but I think I see where you're coming from.)

On the one hand, I understand the basic complaint that there are shows with interesting premises but are presented in such a way that deliberately limits or "pigeonholes" their appeal.

That being said, if you think of late-night anime as largely replacing the role of OVAs in the 80s/90s, then I think it sort of makes more sense why it is that way. These are shows that would never have been green-lit if they had to air in prime-time or morning time blocks (and so had to appeal to a much wider audience). In a sense, I guess you might even say these are shows that sometimes deliberately flaunt their hyper-focus on their target audience to the exclusion of others (and those within that target group may feel rewarded by that, since it provides something they can't find elsewhere).

With that being your criteria, I can't help but think you'd almost be better off to just ignore almost all late-night anime and treat it like the OVA market of old (obscure and only followed by hardcore fans).
I think you misunderstood. My complaint is not about late night anime, or having narrow target audiences.

My complaint is that there is a definable market that likes what I think of as the "bad moe." All female casts with swimsuit episodes and sexualized imoutos that want to jump their brother's bones. And so on.

And then there are other niche markets. Mecha fans. Samurai fans. Sci-Fi fans. Fantasy fans. Mind screw fans. Great.

But wait... it's real easy to add a sexualized little sister and a swimsuit episode to a sci-fi drama! And it's real easy to make an all female/harem mecha show! Marketing directors eyes gleam as they realize they can get a "two-for". Appeal to two niche markets at the same time!

That's what ticks me off.

Take for example K-On. First of all I like K-On. It's what I think of as the "good moe". Oh, it's not an amazing plot twist filled commentary on life. It's just a feel good nostalgic show about highschool and doing things with your friends like forming a band. With cute girls. Doing cute things. Nothing earth shattering (nor scandalous), but it makes people feel good.

But even if I didn't like K-On. Even if I thought it was crap, I wouldn't mind it that much. Why? Because it's made to appeal to that specific group, and only that group. Now if they decided to make a show that lets say... tried to combine a dramatic war story with cute highschool girls forming a band and doing cute things together... that I could understand some people being upset with. Particularly if the whole cute girls thing felt like it was just grafted on so as to appeal to an additional market besides the people who like war dramas. Bad execution just makes it worse.

Similarly, do I get angry at the stupid harem fanservice shows that are airing right now? No! Why? Because I can easily avoid them. It's when the crap ends up in my rice bowl that I get mad. Just imagine if Crest of the Stars had a swimsuit episode. Or if Neon Genesis Evangelion had Toji's little sister flashing her panties at everyone. (Let's not talk about Rebuild, I'm talking about the original here). You'd get why people would be upset right?

See what I'm saying? It's not that I don't like late night anime. It's that this "bad moe" genre is invading other late night show genres that shouldn't need that stuff to appeal to it's niche market. It's been added to try and appeal to a secondary market.
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Old 2011-11-26, 23:31   Link #114
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Like rf, I had problems determining whether Bri's comments were about Japan, the US, or the world at large. I'm going to assume he's talking about Japan despite the references to Disney and the "PTA."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri View Post
Then there is the popularity explosion in the last decade of live action drama, especially Korean shows. Animation is expensive, so why not produce a cheaper live action version.
It's hard to imagine that live-action productions could really cost less than animation, but I'm open to seeing some figures. Animators are paid remarkably little in Japan. On the other hand, it might not cost that much to pick up the rights to a pre-existing K-drama. If that's where you think the competition lies, then those shows might be cost-competitive with original animation produced in Japan. Still, foreign outsourcing to animators in Korea and China makes even this a moot point I would think.

Quote:
This has happened with the Disney channel, where simple teen shows are now made in a live action format rather than in cartoon form.
If you're talking about the Japanese Disney Channel, most foreign earnings for US-produced shows like Hannah Montana are simply gravy from Disney's point-of-view. Sure, they probably estimated its Japanese earnings when deciding how much to invest, but most of its costs were covered in its US run.

Looking at the estimated earnings for Disney's more successful teen stars, they're commanding five-figure salaries per episode. I think Disney smartly recognizes that they can earn a lot more money from the various incarnations of Miley Cyrus than they can from the Little Mermaid. Ariel did gross over $100 million worldwide, a substantial sum but still smaller than the $155 million for Cyrus's Hannah Montana movie. Also, animated mermaids rarely have $20 million concert tours. Merchandise is another big revenue stream for both Arial and Hannah; I have no idea which one has sold more lunch boxes, back packs, and birthday party paraphernalia over the years.

Quote:
For example can't remember the last time I have seen a cop show anime.
I believe the last one I saw was Yakushiji Ryoko (2008).

Quote:
The rise of cable television and dedicated content channels killed of syndicated animation on television. The children's TV blocks from 7-9am and 3-5pm and on Saturday mornings created a strong demand for mainstream-targeted animation. These blocks had pretty much disappeared by the end of the nineties.

Content on syndicated television usually had a greater artistic freedom, and looser standards (not mandated by a network). Increased PTA influence in the nineties has also led to a "clean up" or "dumbing down" of animated content (see for example the difference between Gundam 0079 and Gundam Age both aimed at kids and young teens).
You're talking about Japan here, right? I'll leave it to you and rf to sort out whether anime in the kids-targeted time slots have diminished in numbers. Since I no longer have a child in the appropriate age ranges, I can't comment on changes in US animated shows for kids. Back in the day I found Klasky-Csupo's work for Nickelodeon like The Wild Thornberries and Rugrats fairly witty and enjoyed the original Pokemon series as well. Other than Pikachu and friends, I've had very limited exposure to Japanese shows for children. I enjoyed Chi's Sweet Home, Higepiyo, and the little bit of Jewelpet that I watched. I found all of them funnier than the adult-oriented Charady's Daily Joke, but then I don't find most adult-oriented American animated series like Family Guy especially funny either.

NHK-E has produced some excellent shows for kids and family audiences; the two Uehashi adaptations by I.G, Seirei no Moribito and Kemono no Sou-ja Erin, come immediately to mind. Another outstanding family series, Cross Game, aired at 10 am on Sundays during 2009.

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Particularly if the whole cute girls thing felt like it was just grafted on so as to appeal to an additional market besides the people who like war dramas.
That was my immediate reaction to watching the first episode of So-Ra-No-Wo-To. I recall reading positive comments about this show in the forums here, but I found the young girls at war theme an immediate turn-off. That wasn't true when I watched Sky Girls because that show was more of a parody than a serious story about war. I probably wouldn't have watched the TV series if it had had the same amount of loli fanservice as the OVA that preceded it, though. If I'm going to watch a show that mixes female characters with warfare, I'd much rather see something like Claymore.
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Old 2011-11-26, 23:42   Link #115
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Before I reply to Brimstone here, I want to make clear that I've decided to drop the harem anime male lead line of discussion with him, as I've already discussed that with him elsewhere.

With that out of the way...


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Maybe, but I find that's what people say to make themselves feel better when their own favorites never make it big

Because there's definitely no such thing as a best seller actually just being good right ?
In the case of a "first season" anime original show selling well, I'm inclined to think that good (or at least decent) quality is probably a factor in that, as such a show needs to sell people on it without the aid of previous exposure to it having earned it an established fanbase. While it is true that anime originals may often have a certain degree of standard otaku appeals to aid its sale success, I also think that these alone usually aren't enough to make something sell very well. Usually, one or more of notably high production values (i.e. great artwork/animation), engaging plot, and sympathetic/memorable characters is needed for an anime original to sell well, imo.


However, with something like Persona 4, there's already a large built-in fanbase due to the popularity of the preexisting Persona 4 game. That's not to say that Persona 4 the anime could necessarily get away with being total crap (I myself think that Persona 4 is a decent show), but I would argue that the degree of quality it has to achieve in order to sell well is less than what an anime original (or an anime based on a less popular source material) would have to.

So I'd be careful about reading a lot into an anime adaptation of a very popular source material selling well. I mean, that clearly gives such shows a leg up on many other shows.

So for that reason and others, I don't think that sales level is directly proportional to quality level. I do think there is some relationship between sales and quality (I think that quality "tops off" sales of shows that already appeal to otakus, so the very best selling anime shows of all-time are genuinely good-to-great shows, imo), but I don't think you could list anime shows from best-to-worst going by sales figures alone.


That being said, relentlessflame is absolutely right about how if people want to see more of the shows that they like then they need to buy those shows if they aren't already selling well. This is where I do think some western critics lose their standing a bit. You can't reasonably expect an industry to produce more of the sorts of products that you like if you're not willing to actually buy those products from them. Just because people can get virtually limitless free anime over the internet doesn't change this basic law of supply and demand.
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Old 2011-11-27, 00:16   Link #116
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My complaint is that there is a definable market that likes what I think of as the "bad moe." All female casts with swimsuit episodes and sexualized imoutos that want to jump their brother's bones. And so on.

And then there are other niche markets. Mecha fans. Samurai fans. Sci-Fi fans. Fantasy fans. Mind screw fans. Great.

But wait... it's real easy to add a sexualized little sister and a swimsuit episode to a sci-fi drama! And it's real easy to make an all female/harem mecha show! Marketing directors eyes gleam as they realize they can get a "two-for". Appeal to two niche markets at the same time!

That's what ticks me off.

[...]

...Now if they decided to make a show that lets say... tried to combine a dramatic war story with cute highschool girls forming a band and doing cute things together... that I could understand some people being upset with. Particularly if the whole cute girls thing felt like it was just grafted on so as to appeal to an additional market besides the people who like war dramas. Bad execution just makes it worse.

[...]

See what I'm saying? It's not that I don't like late night anime. It's that this "bad moe" genre is invading other late night show genres that shouldn't need that stuff to appeal to it's niche market. It's been added to try and appeal to a secondary market.
I understand your complaint... but I don't think it ultimately makes that much difference overall.

These crossover shows were written to appeal to a "crossover" audience: people who like both the quote-unquote "bad moe" and mecha (for example). To say that "bad moe is invading other genres" is not necessarily any more accurate than saying that these "otaku-targeted" shows are themselves drawing influence from other genres to enhance and differentiate their work. You might say "they could cut all this 'moe stuff' out and it'd make a better show", but that really all comes down to you not liking one of the major crossover elements involved. There are likely other people who enjoy the other element more, but they keep watching because they can like/appreciate/tolerate both together.

Besides that, neither people nor shows come in such nicely-categorized boxes. Almost all modern works draw on multiple genres as influences, even if one genre or the other is predominant. What makes them successful is whether they're able to find an audience that likes the combination they created, and appreciates the creativity and originality they bring to the table. Of course, I can see how a strong dislike for one of the key elements may limit that amount of shows you're able to watch... but it also makes it more appealing to others.

You bring up the issue of combinations that are "badly grafted together" or suffer from "poor execution". I think this is a matter of taste, at least to some degree. It probably is enhanced by the fact that you don't like the one element, so every time it takes the forefront, it sticks out to you. To other people who like that element, its presence is not necessarily a bad thing. The fact that an otherwise serious show could have a fanservice/omake episode in the middle to break things up may seem like little more than a bad cliche to you, but it's popular because people enjoy it. I'm not convinced that by excising the crossover elements you'd necessarily see increased sales or interest, even if that would make the work appeal more strongly to one particular niche.

Keep in mind that almost all the anime produced are selected based on the fact that the original work (whether manga, light novel, or whatever) is already very popular. These original works already contain the mix of elements that you don't like, and that's a factor of their popularity. If there were other works that didn't contain this mix that were more popular among the target audience, they'd likely be the ones that would be chosen for anime adaptations. It's not like these crossover works don't have the right to be created in the first place, and the fact that they're popular is basically the will of the market.

So all this basically comes down to there being a certain sort of content that you don't like, and they're creating more shows that contain these elements even if -- in your mind -- they shouldn't have to (because the show could be carried entirely on different elements not including that "bad" one). But that's just preference like anything else. I can see why this is annoying to you as it limits/reduces that amount of anime of interest... but works are generally created based on what people are buying. I still think it comes back to what I said before about generally being cautious about late-night shows as they're the ones most likely to contain this particular influence you don't like. And besides that, all you can do is hope the market starts buying more shows that contain the combinations you like, and less that contain the combinations you don't.

(I read someone the other day call moe an "art movement". I'm not sure whether that's true or not, but if you see it that way then the issue here is how some people don't like that this "art movement" is influencing other things beyond just being it's own easily-compartmentalized section of the art gallery that you can ignore. But that's the thing about an art movement -- its influence does spread beyond its starting point. And the reason its influence spreads is because both artists and patrons are drawn to it.)
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Old 2011-11-27, 01:18   Link #117
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I understand your complaint... but I don't think it ultimately makes that much difference overall.
I have to disagree with you here.

I'd like to think that everybody here can accept the idea that a person can like anime without liking moe (in the sense of "cute girls doing cute things" and/or a specific artistic style).

Well, if you like anime but dislike moe, then moe showing up all over the place, in all sorts of genres, is naturally going to be very problematic to such people.

You and I might not mind it, but I can see how a moe critic would.


Imagine if 80-to-90% of all Hollywood movies had superheros in them (there's times when this seems close to the truth to me anyway ). For people who have been regularly going to the theaters for a long time, but who can't stand superheroes, this is obviously going to be highly problematic. They may not mind it if superheroes are kept to actual superhero movies, but seeing a Batman-esque character in a major role in a new Godfather-esque film, and seeing a Spiderman-esque character in a major role in a new Saw film, might be causing them a lot of annoyance, as they'd like to keep superheroes out of their favorite movie genres.


This is why I have some sympathy for moe critics even though I'm a moe fan. It really is increasingly hard to get away from moe in modern anime if you're an anime fan who doesn't like moe. There's also the viewpoint (which I think Sackett is espousing, more or less) that just because you like moe in some contexts doesn't mean you like it everywhere. To continue my earlier analogy, I myself like superheroes, but I don't think I'd want them in a Godfather remake.
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Old 2011-11-27, 01:58   Link #118
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I have to disagree with you here.
I don't see exactly what you're disagreeing with, to be honest. What I'm basically saying is "it can't be helped", and my original comment was that the only way seems to be to try to be cautious about late-night anime that tends to incorporate this element due to predominant market trends. The thought of "stop encroaching on my niche genre" discounts the fact that the crossover is the goal of the production, and most shows are chosen specifically because of their existing popularity. I don't think the fact that they're doing these sorts of crossovers is a "problem" in and of itself, but it's a problem in this case just because he doesn't like the blended elements (one of them in particular).

I understand that some people may not like that things are this way. If your tastes don't match the mainstream, you'll always have this issue (isn't that why a lot of us started watching anime in the first place?). But what difference does "not liking it" make? All you can do, as I said in my earlier post, is to try to avoid things that contain elements you dislike, buy more of what you like, and hope others do the same. Otherwise, the market has spoken, and you basically have to look for other forms of entertainment, sad though that may be. But if there are enough other people who feel the same way as you, and are willing to put their money where their mouth is, the market will swing your way.

In short: it's tough not having the same tastes as the primary/dominant target audience. But your differing tastes aren't a problem with the industry itself.
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Old 2011-11-27, 02:54   Link #119
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I don't see exactly what you're disagreeing with, to be honest.
I guess that, fundamentally, I don't view this as a "crossover issue".

It's more a case, I think, of a lot of modern anime incorporating certain popular elements into their shows that end up being entirely superfluous, if not pointless, given what the anime is aiming for overall.

To cite a recent example, let's consider Hanasaku Iroha. Hanasaku Iroha Episode 3 is probably one of the most controversial anime episodes of the entire year. This is because its use of certain comedy and fanservice elements felt very out of place to a lot of viewers given what Hanasaku Iroha promoted itself as, and had presented itself as in the first two episodes.

I would also argue that no Hanasaku Iroha episode after Episode 3 ever reached that level of comedy/fanservice again (and if it did, it was at most one or two other episodes out of 26). I doubt that many people would argue that "ecchi" was one of the genres you could legitimately classify Hanasaku Iroha under. So it's not like "ecchi" is truly being crossed over with "slice of life" and "drama" in HSI, imo. It's just that certain elements were briefly and/or very occasionally shoehorned into Hanasaku Iroha because they happen to be popular in a general sense.


And while HSI is one of the clearer cases of this, I have seen some other anime shows that shoehorn in certain elements (ecchi, fanservice, moe, etc...) when they have nothing to do, really, with what the show is about or is aiming for overall. It's not like the show is trying to, say, be a legit moe/horror crossover (like Higurashi is), but rather it's just throwing in beach episodes or hot springs episodes into shows where they don't serve any real purpose and often just totally distract from the plot.

That, I think, is much of what Sackett is talking about, and I do see his point there.
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Old 2011-11-27, 03:03   Link #120
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/FACEPALM

Not this shit again


Fall Season 2011

C³ -C Cube- : Haruaki Yachi (Decent fighter)
Shakugan no Shana : Sakai Yuji (Ace-in-the-hole)
Ben-To : You Satou (Strong fighter)
Persona 4: Narukami Yuu (MVP)


Summer Season 2011

Nurarihyon no Mago Sennen Makyou : Nura Rikou (Strong fighter to MVP)
Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! : Yoshii Akihisa (reliable Idiot)
Kami-sama no Memo-chou : Fujishima Narumi (reliable Idiot)
Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi : Kurogane Taito (Decent fighter, or was it Ace-in-the-hole?)


Spring Season 2011

Hidan no Aria: Tohyama Kinji (Decent fighter to MVP)
DOG DAYS: Izumi Shinku (MVP)
Ao no Exorcist: Okumura Rin (MVP)


Winter Season 2011

Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?: Aikawa Ayumu (Decent Fighter)
IS - Infinite Stratos: Orimura Ichika (Ace-in-the-hole)


Fall Season 2010

STAR DRIVER Kagayaki no Takuto: Tsunashi Takuto (MVP)
To Aru Majutsu no Index II: Kamijou Touma (Ace-in-the-hole)


Summer Season 2010

Nurarihyon no Mago: Nura Rikuo (MVP)
Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi: Morino Ryoushi (Strong fighter)
The Legend of the Legendary Heroes: Ryner Lute (Strong fighter to Ace-in-the-hole)


Spring Season 2010

Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou: Sai Akuto (MVP)


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

These are the ones that fall under strictly fighting shows, I haven't included the ones from normal romcom series, and I haven't included the ones I didn't watched or didn't like... This was for only these two years.

So to put it simply- For every Sora no Otoshimono and SEKIREI you show me, I've got 6 to 8 other shows with strong fighting male leads to counter that.
It depends on who is the publisher if you are talking about LNs, the LN publisher has a somewhat routine setup for protagonists and their publication standards of "What do we want to see if you want to get published". You need to pass that standard or your story script will be rejected or revised

In our case, it is Fujimi Fantasia, Dengenki and Mediafactory who provides a majority of the adaptation material and even has enough dough to have their own timeslot (and a couple more if they are doing well).

Fujimi usually aims for a bishounen male lead who have a sense of "bisexuality" to them. They like their male lead who can appeal to both shounen and shoujo crowds along with a decent cast of cute girls. Usually they want a male supporting character who can be on equal ground with them. (Case in point, Kurz and Sosuke from FMP, Taito and Gekkou and Taito in ItsuTen).

Mediafactory is by the numbers harem stuff. The only male character that matters it the lead, avoid creating other male cast members. They only want a standard issue harem plot, think of them as the fast food of LNs, don't expect exciting plots. They are in essence the kiddy version of eroge.

Dengenki can be best compared to Shounen Jump or a popular fighting shounen manga but lacks the fujoshi appeal that Jump has to an extent. It is not to say fujoshi leap at it but Dengenki is in general very similar to shounen jump.

The problem people see is how there is smaller male supporting casts in non fighting shounen anime. Some professional editors associate it with new mangakas not able to draw good looking men or creative male designs so they don't bother and draw the cutest girls ever to make up for that.

After all if you are a male artist. Would you rather specialize in girls or guys?
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