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Old 2011-11-27, 03:25   Link #121
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
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.
Okay, but that's basically the Evangelion definition of "fanservice" (so oft promised in the next episode preview, and so little relevant to the plot itself). It's not like it's something new or recent. These "fanservice" elements are not necessarily enjoyed by everyone, but they are enjoyed by some; they help spice up the show a bit.

So what's the argument? "Shows these days include fanservice I don't like and consider unnecessary; I think the shows would be better if they didn't include this sort of irrelevant fanservice."? But it stands to reason that they include these elements because other people do like it (and for adaptations they might have been in the source), so we're sort of net neutral at best.

If it's just "I like 95% of this show, but they just have to include this 5% that I hate"... then I guess he has my sympathy. All I was doing was outlining some of the reasons why I think that's happening and what could be done to avoid it in the show selection process. As far as changes or trends go, I guess maybe you could argue that the sorts of fanservice in shows has changed over the years (to match the dominant interests of the fanbase at the time -- that's why it's fanservice), but the issue still comes down to a mismatch between your tastes and those to whom the fanservice was intended to please. (Unless the argument is that anime should never include these sorts of unnecessary elements at risk of offending the fans who don't like them... but that's a pretty bold claim; fanservice has been part of anime for as long as I've known it.)
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Old 2011-11-27, 04:12   Link #122
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Okay, but that's basically the Evangelion definition of "fanservice" (so oft promised in the next episode preview, and so little relevant to the plot itself). It's not like it's something new or recent. These "fanservice" elements are not necessarily enjoyed by everyone, but they are enjoyed by some; they help spice up the show a bit.
I personally don't mind the fanservice as much as other people, but it's not just fanservice that's sticking out. I have a much bigger problem with cliches in the way dialogue is constructed, the way certain scenes are animated, genre subventions of conversation and storytelling. Watch Towa no Kuon and you'll understand what I mean.

As an example: I love bisoujo/ginga bishounen transformation sequences, but people not familiar with the anime genre find it mindboggling. Anime staying close to its conventions will not be able to attract new audiences in the growing media landscape, but I guess that is a different topic for a different time.
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Old 2011-11-27, 04:24   Link #123
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Some interesting points I've noticed from this thread, such as the idea that Monster would be made into a live action these days instead of an anime. I suspect GitS: Stand Alone Complex would have been converted to a movie, if anything.

Now it seems like part of the discussion is heading away from "has anime changed?" and toward "are the changes bad?" I won't go into that since it is totally subjective. I will say that you can't separate anime from the sources it uses, because they are all part of a cycle (popular trends in anime influence the writers of sources, and vice versa). IF current successful trends in anime are bad, then they help create similar trends in source material, which in turn will lead to future anime adaptations being bad. It's a vicious cycle.

I am curious about something though. Does anyone else see a trend where characters are constructed only to appeal to otaku, and are not intended to be relatable or truly interesting characters? This includes characters who have highly artificial interactions. Again... I won't go into if this is good or bad. Characters don't necessarily have to be relatable. I'm just wondering if this trend exists.

The top sales lists show an increase in popularity of seinen shows starring young girls. However, I can think back to other seinen shows with relatable/interesting lead girls, such as Chiko (Daughter of Twenty Faces), Youko (12 Kingdoms), Kino (Kino's Journey), and Lain (Serial Experiments Lain). In many cases I have no problem relating to a girl lead character of a seinen show.

So to fans of (for example) K-On, Railgun, Koihime Musou, Strike Witches, do you think you are supposed to relate to the girls and find them interesting on a non-shallow level, or just enjoy watching them? Is a loli a mythical creature, or is it a person you can relate to?
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Old 2011-11-27, 05:17   Link #124
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Originally Posted by Ermes Marana View Post
I am curious about something though. Does anyone else see a trend where characters are constructed only to appeal to otaku, and are not intended to be relatable or truly interesting characters? This includes characters who have highly artificial interactions. Again... I won't go into if this is good or bad. Characters don't necessarily have to be relatable. I'm just wondering if this trend exists.

[...]

So to fans of (for example) K-On, Railgun, Koihime Musou, Strike Witches, do you think you are supposed to relate to the girls and find them interesting on a non-shallow level, or just enjoy watching them? Is a loli a mythical creature, or is it a person you can relate to?
The wording you used here is very loaded. But that aside, being able to "relate" to someone is really about having empathy for their problems and circumstances. It makes you feel like you want to cheer them on. I think there are elements of every character that people can relate to, and there are certainly themes and circumstances that develop that people can identify with. Characters can also have qualities that you admire and respect. All these things put together are what establish an emotional connection between the character and the audience.

For example, one of the earlier and more popular characters that we might recognize as a "moe character" would be Multi from the original To Heart. Multi is a robot maid prototype, and sent to the protagonist's school to learn how to interact with humans. I don't think any of us will ever be robotic maids, so we can't say "wow, I'm just like her!" in the literal sense. But the thing about Multi is that, despite actually not being very skilled at her work, she tries really hard and always puts on a smile despite any setback. She wants to bring others happiness, and puts the needs of others over her own. That selfless hard-working quality is admirable, and it makes the audience want to cheer for her and see her succeed. And that's basically the reaction Multi was "created" to engender in the audience.

At the end of the day, I don't know what it means to be a "character constructed only to appeal to otaku". No matter how many tropes or stereotypes were invoked in a character's construction, what matters most is if you care about the character and their "plight", however minor or inconsequential that may seem to be. Whether it's Alice Carroll and her "useless left hand", Ruiko "Level 0" Saten's struggle to find her place in a world filled with espers and magicians, or Azusa Nakano's journey to say goodbye to her graduating friends... that emotional engagement with the characters is at the very core of these shows.

So I can't tell you if it's a trend or not, or what that trend may be. But if you say that these types of shows only engender shallow engagement with the characters because they're impossible to relate to... then I guess I just don't know what relating with someone is supposed to mean.
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Old 2011-11-27, 06:38   Link #125
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Heh, I hope anime has changed. Otherwise we would just be watching the same thing....

Whether it's changed for the better or for the worse is based in opinion, it's a matter of preference.

In general fads and trends dictate most mainstream media (or vice versa idk), but you'll see persistent themes each year that tend to be more popular. Some trends may have more longevity than others, but the media is fickle and it's sure to change.
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Old 2011-11-27, 11:28   Link #126
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Like rf, I had problems determining whether Bri's comments were about Japan, the US, or the world at large.
Sorry for not being clear. I was commenting on a global development in the field of television made possible by technological advances (satellite, cable) and it's effect on animated content. Then considered the Japanese situation. In the case of the Disney example I was referring to the US channel where there balance between animation and live action shows in my opinion has shifted towards the latter.

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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.
I am convinced that in any TV production of some length animation is in a disadvantaged position to a live action equivalent unless we are dealing with highly unrealistic settings (fantasy, sci-fi). Anime has very high marginal production costs due to the labor intensity of the production process. That's one of the reasons why animators are paid so little and why long running shows like Doraemon, Sazae-san etc, use such low animation quality.

After high initial costs (building sets, studio prep. etc.) the marginal costs in live action dramas are mainly determined by the actors. Actor wages in Japan are lower then those in US productions. In J-drama these wages can take up a maximum of 30% of the production budget and those are linked to ratings. Even star actors rarely make more then 3 million yen per episode and often far less (report Kim Young-duk).

In figures: a TV anime like Escaflowne had a fixed production cost of 30 million yen per episode (zepy montana). Assuming a J-drama cast costs around 10 million yen per episode the end figure would be similar to an animated episode but with double the running time. Live action drama also has half the pre-production time (6 months to 1 year as opposed to 1 to 2 years). I would assume this cost advantage also works for tokusatsu and anime. Production costs could be an answer as to why long running anime TV drama have largely disappeared. It's an interesting topic but at this time I do not have more time or data available to discuss it in depth or make more than guesstimates.

Pre-existing K-drama do seem to be cheaper option than any local produced shows as mentioned in a Aishi Shimbun article.

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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
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.
Same as before, only now the marginal costs of Disney live action increases more with the success of the show. This also happens with animation in the US. The voice actors of a successful show like the Simpsons have been able to reach high-figure wages over time. Question remains: when a new series is commissioned, which medium is more expensive and can one be substituted for the other. As you mentioned it's quite possible that the other factors then cost are involved. Maybe live action has a better success rate in general or it's easier to create derivative content or merchandise.

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Well, just to be clear (because I'm not sure), are you talking about the TV situation in Japan, or elsewhere in the world?
Both in this case. What I mean is that dedicated content networks/channels in news, sports, science, children programming etc. that arose from cable TV have changed the landscape in all major television markets (fragmentation). Content is created far more with a particular demographic in mind rather than a wide audience.

During the 70s, 80s and early 90s syndication disconnected content from any particular network and allowed for greater creative freedom. It just had to attract as many people as possible under a wide range of different conditions. Anime/animation is no exception.

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
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).
That list shows that the major networks have not programmed much in the morning and early afternoon blocks. I guess that, like elsewhere, animation in Japan on those networks could not compete with channels like Animax, Cartoon Network, etc.

For the rest it seems similar material. I'm not familiar with all these anime but it seems a collection of mainly shonen battle shows, a few shoujo works and a few long running all family classics like Sazae-san and Doreamon.

Glancing over the output in TV-work of (former) major studios like Toei, Tezuka prod. Eiken, Madhouse, Pierot, Tatsunoko, Nippon animation, Sunrise etc. over time. Not hust in titles but also episode totals. I cannot escape the impression that those volumes for television have decreased. I'm ignoring late night anime and OVAs here.

So I am tempted to say there has been a shift from all ages programming on daytime television in Japan to more age specific content due developments in the television landscape.
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Old 2011-11-27, 14:07   Link #127
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On interesting example of fanservice vs moe would be Full Metal Panic (which can likely be considered to use both). In the first series done by GONZO, there is a bunch of awkwardly used panty shots and flashes from time to time. In the later KyoAni produced series, these seem to be gone. However the fanservice is not gone from the KyoAni shows, just altered in how it is delivered. They instead go for situational tease over random flash (hot springs and summer beaches over random wind or awkward angles). They also decided to throw in the moe by using Tessa's clumbiness for added effect.
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Old 2011-11-27, 14:16   Link #128
Vexx
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Originally Posted by Ermes Marana View Post
I am curious about something though. Does anyone else see a trend where characters are constructed only to appeal to otaku, and are not intended to be relatable or truly interesting characters? This includes characters who have highly artificial interactions. Again... I won't go into if this is good or bad. Characters don't necessarily have to be relatable. I'm just wondering if this trend exists.

The top sales lists show an increase in popularity of seinen shows starring young girls. However, I can think back to other seinen shows with relatable/interesting lead girls, such as Chiko (Daughter of Twenty Faces), Youko (12 Kingdoms), Kino (Kino's Journey), and Lain (Serial Experiments Lain). In many cases I have no problem relating to a girl lead character of a seinen show.

So to fans of (for example) K-On, Railgun, Koihime Musou, Strike Witches, do you think you are supposed to relate to the girls and find them interesting on a non-shallow level, or just enjoy watching them? Is a loli a mythical creature, or is it a person you can relate to?
I'm quite a fan of seinen series (particularly the romance and comedy) but this seems to be quite a loaded question (if unintentional). It seems to assume that the characters are more shallow by definition than other characterizations. The characters in K-On!, for example, are "relatable" in that the series depicts rough personality sketches of what might be real people - just like any prime time live-action adult drama. You will never get a "true" person out of any piece of literature, its a sliding scale of sketches and combinations of known tropes/archetypes, etc.

Also, its not clear what you think you mean by "loli". I consider my wife to be "loli-tsundere" in many ways (size, fashion, personality) and she's quite relate-able. Again, a television series can only depict a rough sketch of a real person and the viewer is left to fill in the blanks. Sometimes they're written more cleverly, sometimes not.

As far as the topic thread title... I have to say it has changed since the 80s and mostly for the better from my perspective: in that the sort of things I like versus the things I don't like have increased. I happen to like things like Honey&Clover, Katanagatari, Azumanga Daioh, Working!!, Nanoha, REC, Moon Phase, TTGL, Hidamari Sketch, Aria, Usagi Drop, Love Complex .... see a pattern? I don't really... I just see good examples from a variety of genre. Whereas in the 70s, 80s, and 90s --- most of the anime I could find was pretty much "bang and shout with some boob" (young boy action shounen).
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Old 2011-11-27, 18:31   Link #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ermes Marana View Post
Some interesting points I've noticed from this thread, such as the idea that Monster would be made into a live action these days instead of an anime. I suspect GitS: Stand Alone Complex would have been converted to a movie, if anything.

Now it seems like part of the discussion is heading away from "has anime changed?" and toward "are the changes bad?" I won't go into that since it is totally subjective. I will say that you can't separate anime from the sources it uses, because they are all part of a cycle (popular trends in anime influence the writers of sources, and vice versa). IF current successful trends in anime are bad, then they help create similar trends in source material, which in turn will lead to future anime adaptations being bad. It's a vicious cycle.

I am curious about something though. Does anyone else see a trend where characters are constructed only to appeal to otaku, and are not intended to be relatable or truly interesting characters? This includes characters who have highly artificial interactions. Again... I won't go into if this is good or bad. Characters don't necessarily have to be relatable. I'm just wondering if this trend exists.

The top sales lists show an increase in popularity of seinen shows starring young girls. However, I can think back to other seinen shows with relatable/interesting lead girls, such as Chiko (Daughter of Twenty Faces), Youko (12 Kingdoms), Kino (Kino's Journey), and Lain (Serial Experiments Lain). In many cases I have no problem relating to a girl lead character of a seinen show.

So to fans of (for example) K-On, Railgun, Koihime Musou, Strike Witches, do you think you are supposed to relate to the girls and find them interesting on a non-shallow level, or just enjoy watching them? Is a loli a mythical creature, or is it a person you can relate to?
Well, first off, I’m just going to say that I find Madrame from Genshiken a relatable character and don’t find Satou from Welcome to the NHK a relatable character. I don’t think I’d consider Madrame a better character because of it.

Second, I’m curious as to what you find relatable about the characters you mentioned. I’ve seen Daughter of Twenty Faces, Lain, and about half of Kino’s Journey, and while I do find the characters mentioned interesting, I’d be hard pressed to say I found any of them particularly relatable. Chiko is one of my favourite characters of 2008 regardless.

I often find shy girls in anime sympathetic but not necessarily relatable. The sympathy may have been intensified by the fact that my girlfriend was really shy when we first start going out, but the sympathy has been around for a while. I’m far more likely to find guys who are a bit shy towards girls relatable since I’ve been there. It’s only relatable if they maintain some subtlety about it though, which is why a lot of harem anime leads miss the mark. I didn’t overreact like that. And to be honest, relatability is only a small part of why I like certain shy guys in anime too. Usually, the ones I like are the ones I think are cute as well, like Renji from EF or the tsundere shota side character from Ro-Kyu-Bu.

I can also relate to girls who are treated as “too serious” by others like Azusa in K-On!, because I sometimes feel that people around me aren't serious enough too.

Probably the most relatable female anime character for me would be Kuroneko from Ore no Imouto. I’m not nearly as anti-social or pretentious as she is, but the combination of social awkwardness (very minor in my case but enough to relate to her), otaku interests, and wanting to do her own thing artistically struck a chord with me. Kirino was also relatable to an extent due to the “nobody gets my hobbies” angle but her personality is otherwise very different from mine.

For many other cases, relatability plays only a minor role. I like Matsuri Shihou from Sola because her charms have a way of "tickling my heart". I like Kurisu from Steins;Gate because her reactions to being teased are endearing. And I like Sanya and Eila from Strike Witches because the Russian girl X Finnish girl pairing strikes me as a moe anthropomorphization of world peace given the relationship between these countries in the real world at the time the show takes place. It’s so cute. Anyway, some might find these reasons shallow but shallow is not a term I’d use given the deep emotional connection I often feel for these characters. I'd honestly go as far as to say that watching moe anime is my way of getting in touch with the side of me that likes cute stuff.

So barring a few specific situations mentioned earlier, I don’t find moe girls relatable, just likeable. However, I could say the same thing of an awful lot of "manly" characters, so they aren't the only such characters out there.

Also, looking at the list of some of my favourite harem/romance male leads from the past year:

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

I’d actually say that relatability plays a far larger role with such characters than with moe girls. I like Kei because I can relate to the whole “must wear a brave face” thing he has going on. I like and respect Subaru and Shingo’s diplomatic style and also feel that their methods of winning girls are similar to my own (ie. last week I delivered homemade Thai curry to my girlfriend when she had to stay late to work on an assignment. Twice.). Okabe and Haruka, admittedly, are a bit different – more like what I’d like to be like. I wish my sense of humour was more spontaneous (like Okabe’s), and I wish I was as cute as Haruka.
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Old 2011-11-27, 18:39   Link #130
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Okay, but that's basically the Evangelion definition of "fanservice" (so oft promised in the next episode preview, and so little relevant to the plot itself). It's not like it's something new or recent. These "fanservice" elements are not necessarily enjoyed by everyone, but they are enjoyed by some; they help spice up the show a bit.

So what's the argument? "Shows these days include fanservice I don't like and consider unnecessary; I think the shows would be better if they didn't include this sort of irrelevant fanservice."? But it stands to reason that they include these elements because other people do like it (and for adaptations they might have been in the source), so we're sort of net neutral at best.
That may not be the best example, since the fanservice promised in Evangelion so often failed to materialize. And when it did it was plot relevant- and very often fan disservice. Where people really excited about the Rei fanservice when she reacted like an emotionless doll? I found it rather creepy myself. Or when Asuka was being Mind Raped did people really think that was fanservice?

Besides, this isn't really limited to fanservice. The problem isn't that people aren't buying stuff that they want. It's that certain fans will buy anything that has a few of their favorite elements in it, and so adding those things attracts more customers, and so those of us who don't care for that stuff are left in the cold.

The only solution is to refuse to buy stuff in your favorite genre that has been polluted by the crap you don't like.

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Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
On interesting example of fanservice vs moe would be Full Metal Panic (which can likely be considered to use both). In the first series done by GONZO, there is a bunch of awkwardly used panty shots and flashes from time to time. In the later KyoAni produced series, these seem to be gone. However the fanservice is not gone from the KyoAni shows, just altered in how it is delivered. They instead go for situational tease over random flash (hot springs and summer beaches over random wind or awkward angles). They also decided to throw in the moe by using Tessa's clumbiness for added effect.
Yes, it was integrated much better. And more importantly, sequestered. The heavy use of these elements occurred in an episodic selection of stories that had little effect on the main plotline. Essentially if you want to you can cut out almost all of the moe and fanservice episodes from the first KyoAni season and still have a viewable and coherent storyline. You can't do that with the panty shots in the Gonzo season.

The second KyoAni season lacked most of those elements from what I can remember. Sure there was some fanservice, but of the plot driven (and rather emotionally disturbing) nature.
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Old 2011-11-27, 19:16   Link #131
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That may not be the best example, since the fanservice promised in Evangelion so often failed to materialize. And when it did it was plot relevant- and very often fan disservice. Where people really excited about the Rei fanservice when she reacted like an emotionless doll? I found it rather creepy myself. Or when Asuka was being Mind Raped did people really think that was fanservice?
Not to turn this into a NGE discussion but even if "fan disservice" is what Anno was getting at (and I believe it was) I am not sure if that is what the fans got out of it.

Rei for example is still one of the most popular female characters in anime and certainly her "character type" is also still very popular. So yeah sad to say I think there were quite a few people that were very excited when Rei acted like an emotionless doll.

edit: I am not the biggest NGE fan but I think I understand what Anno was trying to say to anime fans but if you look at some of the stuff that is popular today I think he didn't get through to them.
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Old 2011-11-27, 19:30   Link #132
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Originally Posted by Sackett View Post
The problem isn't that people aren't buying stuff that they want. It's that certain fans will buy anything that has a few of their favorite elements in it, and so adding those things attracts more customers, and so those of us who don't care for that stuff are left in the cold.

The only solution is to refuse to buy stuff in your favorite genre that has been polluted by the crap you don't like.
I know you're frustrated, but I think this sort of attitude is a bit bigoted, and does little to mask the contempt you appear to have for not just these elements, but for the fans that enjoy them. And besides, I don't think it's as simple as just adding fanservice and things sell; a lot of shows containing these elements fail to sell as well. So I think the entire package is important, and customers are more discerning than you think (even if you don't agree with their tastes).

At the end of the day, in this consumer-driven market, "not buying" is like not existing, so I do still think it's important for people to go out of their way to buy shows that "do things right" according to them. If you only stop buying shows as a "protest vote", it might as well be taken as though you don't like any aspect of the show.

(And yes, I did think afterwards that the Evangelion reference had more to it than I intended. I was mostly just thinking of the next episode previews that called out "service! service!" all the time. That's still the definition I was thinking of, even though you're right that it might have been an irony in that particular show.)
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Old 2011-11-27, 19:39   Link #133
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Not to turn this into a NGE discussion but even if "fan disservice" is what Anno was getting at (and I believe it was) I am not sure if that is what the fans got out of it.

Rei for example is still one of the most popular female characters in anime and certainly her "character type" is also still very popular. So yeah sad to say I think there were quite a few people that were very excited when Rei acted like an emotionless doll.

edit: I am not the biggest NGE fan but I think I understand what Anno was trying to say to anime fans but if you look at some of the stuff that is popular today I think he didn't get through to them.
This is one of the biggest jokes about the series. Rei was invented to be creepy and to counter the Otaku's who got hard ons for all the female characters in anime, but it ultimately backfired on him since a lot of these people became obsessed with Rei.

Nonetheless, all the clones that Rei inspired, a long line of dandere characters, are usually terribly written and have little purpose than to just sit there and attract fans (Inori from Guilty Crown this season comes to mind). Rei's personality was extremely important to the story of Evangelion, but can we really say the same for all the clones she ended up giving rise to? Absolutely not 99% of the time (Only one I ever thought kind of stands up on her own was Yuki from Haruhi, but...).

Regardless, there is a point to be made about NGE since the promised fanservice never actually came into fruition in reality for NGE in the way that is typical of today. In NGE anything that could remotely be interpreted as pure fanservice was just so natural in the plot and the motions of the story (Almost always purposeful and added to the themes of the story like Shinji's sexual frustration) that it was almost impossible to detect it. Compare today's Rebuild of Evangelion which contrasts majorly to the older series (In a bad way mind you). In it you have shameless fanservice of characters like Asuka walking around in their underwear for no good reason.

The fanservice is integrated with nothing but the idea that it is there to please certain types of fans and hope they buy more otaku merchandise. I can't but help and feel that Anno has sort of sold out on this front, but it also seems to represent something much larger. This idea that all these stories in modern anime are filled with these hooking elements of fanservice or moe, or what have you that exists there simply to attract more fans. The problem is it often feels extremely unnatural and can be VERY distracting to the story at hand.

It's just a very unnatural way to tell a story.
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Old 2011-11-27, 19:53   Link #134
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It's just a very unnatural way to tell a story.
Maybe, but I think a whole generation of fans are used to that dichotomy, and it doesn't "phase" them as much as it does others. I also don't think it's just done callously in a cold/calculated way; a lot of the staff involved are fans themselves who may enjoy a bit of "service".

That aside, I do wonder if we haven't gone a bit too far off-topic with this tangent. If there's a fully fleshed out topic here, perhaps we could start a new thread focusing on it.
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Old 2011-11-27, 20:51   Link #135
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I don't find fanservice for the most part distracting or unnatural at all. If characters a well written, I don't see a good reason why they can't be attractive (unless it is key to the story that they aren't).

I haven't seen an anime in recent memory (though I do tend to be selective with what I even start watching) that has enough blatant fan service to be distracting. Most of the time anime just have cute character designs and occasional angles that emphasize certain physical traits. I don't see how having cute character designs is any different than picking good looking actors for a live action film. I don't hear anyone complaining that actors in films look attractive, thus it seems like a very weird double standard to hold to think that characters in anime can't be attractive.
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Old 2011-11-27, 21:56   Link #136
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Okay, but that's basically the Evangelion definition of "fanservice" (so oft promised in the next episode preview, and so little relevant to the plot itself). It's not like it's something new or recent.
Fanservice and moe are not something new or recent, but they do seem more prevalent to me today. I can't think of many recent (last four years) anime shows that didn't have either of them (off the top of my head, I'm coming up with Fate/Zero and not a whole lot else).

However, out of pre-2007 anime shows, I can instantly think of Ergo Proxy, Monster, Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Ghost in the Shell, Record of Lodoss War, and Serial Experiments Lain, as all having little to none of either fanservice or moe.

Furthermore, a lot of long-standing anime franchises - like Gundam and Macross - have become increasingly moe and/or fanservice-driven. I think this is pretty clear if you compare the original Amuro Ray Gundam shows with Gundam Seed, or older Macross titles with Macross Frontier.

Now, I respect that a large number of anime fans think that this is great, but a lot of other anime fans are being left out in the cold by this. And let's be frank here, it's not like fanservice or moe fans are wanting for shows to watch. If I was to randomly select eight 2011 anime shows and eliminate any and all fanservice/moe from them, there'd still be plenty of fanservice/moe shows left out there.


Even as someone who likes moe, I do dislike the growing lack of variety we see today. What was the last high fantasy anime (other than an ecchi-driven show)? What was the last space opera anime? How many recent anime didn't have the country of Japan and/or a high school as the primary setting of the work?

Because there used to be plenty of anime shows that had different primary settings from that - Cowboy Bebop, Ergo Proxy, Trigun, Monster, Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Record of Lodoss War, El Hazard, Magic Knight Rayearth, The Slayers, The Irresponsible Captain Tylor, Vandread, Saber Marionette J, Planetes, and I honestly could go on and on here.

However, for anime shows of the past few years, I find it much harder to find diverse settings, diverse genres, and diverse content. And given that there's much more anime being produced on an annual basis now than there was 10-to-15 years ago, I find this pretty disconcerting.


I think that the anime we have today, in 2011, is largely very good. I don't see a problem with what is there, per se. What I do see a problem with is what is not there.

So I do think a shift has happened. I think that shift has given us some good shows, but it's also meant that certain genres have all but disappeared from off the anime map. One thing I want to be very clear about is that I think the full effect of this shift has only been felt very recently. It's not so much 80s/90s anime vs. all post-2000 anime, but rather a shift I've seen since 2007.


This will probably be my last post on this topic on this thread, because I don't want to belabor the point. This is because I personally have been pretty happy with the anime offerings of 2011, so I don't want to be overly critical of a current anime industry situation that could be a lot worse than what it is.

That being said, I don't see the point in glossing over a shift that really has happened, and really has impacted some anime fans for the worse.
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Old 2011-11-27, 23:39   Link #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Fanservice and moe are not something new or recent, but they do seem more prevalent to me today. I can't think of many recent (last four years) anime shows that didn't have either of them (off the top of my head, I'm coming up with Fate/Zero and not a whole lot else).
It seems to me that there are a number of shows every season, even in late-night slots, that buck the primary trend. Some of these are specifically "throw-backs" and remakes of old shows. However, these rarely catch the imagination and interest of the majority of fans (especially in English circles), so you don't hear many talk about them (minus a few people who are always on the lookout for "hidden gems").

But that aside, they don't make more shows like they used to because those sorts of shows aren't popular anymore. Those aren't the manga/novels that are flying off the shelves, or the original concepts that seem the most marketable today. It's not as if the fact they made these shows in the past was out of the "goodness of their hearts" either -- it's what sold and was popular back then. I think the content we have these days is actually hugely diverse (look through this season's lineup alone and you'll find all sorts of styles, genres, and motifs)... but of course many of these share some common influences (the influences of the modern day), and there are some genres that just aren't attempted very often anymore (at least not in the traditional way). Of course, that's unfortunate for fans of those particular now-less-popular genres.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
One thing I want to be very clear about is that I think the full effect of this shift has only been felt very recently. It's not so much 80s/90s anime vs. all post-2000 anime, but rather a shift I've seen since 2007.
Well, you know what happened then, of course... The North American anime bubble burst. A number of those shows you mention produced in the early 2000s were not particularly popular or top-selling in Japan, but were being made to appeal to the tastes of North American and International audiences. In 2007, the North American market collapsed spectacularly and licensing fees plummeted precipitously (meaning Japanese companies could no longer count on any significant revenue from foreign sources), so the anime industry in Japan was forced to regroup and refocus on shows that appeal primarily to the domestic market (which is why the number of shows produced shrunk). Nowadays, sites like Crunchyroll and Niconico are again allowing Japanese companies to see some hope of revenue from foreign markets (and so produce shows like Fate/Zero with both the domestic and international audience in mind), but it'll take some time before the revenues from streaming amount to anything significant enough to wield significant market influence on the sorts of shows that are made.
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Old 2011-11-30, 00:47   Link #138
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Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
I've heard a few people mention this and I'd be interested in knowing more.

Actually, let's expand that in general. Are there certain genres more vulnerable to outside competition, like live action TV, video games, etc.?
Out a few day and this thread grew another 3 pages, need to read through them once I got more time.

But yes, what I notice is that a lot more TV drama and movies are borrowing its source from manga. Especially in Shojo and Seinen section. In Shojo's case, it wasn't too bad, it has been a source for love comedy since mid 90s with adaption like Itazura na Kiss or Oishii Kankei and most still have an anime counterpart such as Ouran and Nodame.

It's the Senin and the more risque shonen that used to be source of anime (or at least adapted for both) becomes drama or J-movies only. Forget about series like Iryu, Kami no Shizuku, or Saijō no Meii, that are obviously more suitable for drama than anime (though not impassible), it was the titles like Bloody Money, Saru Lock, JIN, or Salary Man Kintaro that are seeing the shift.

Part of the reason I bet was because of the under-performance of many of those anime adaption in general in series like Master Keaton, Monster or Bartender between late 90s to mid-2000s. Part of it was that in series with both Anime and Drama adaption, the drama version in general garnered much better response. For example, Gokusen, Hataraki Man, or even to a degree, Nodame and Hana Yori Dango.

Heck, even some of the more unrealistic manga has seen drama action. I was surprise that Ouran was being made into drama this year and was actually pretty good. In addition, last year's Kaibutsu-kun or Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Koen-mae Hashutsujo in 09 all received pretty decent review and rating.

And that's not counting prime time blockbuster like Nodame, Iryu, JIN, Gokusen, Hotaru no Hikari, and many others.



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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post

However, out of pre-2007 anime shows, I can instantly think of Ergo Proxy, Monster, Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Ghost in the Shell, Record of Lodoss War, and Serial Experiments Lain, as all having little to none of either fanservice or moe.
Some of that ties to my Shift-to-Drama theory, another is what we've discussed, the shift away from OVA. LotGH and Lodoss were both originally OVA not TV. And as I listed series devoid of either are still been made, it's just that unfortunately none of them are of western tastes. Heck some of the are so obscure, you might not even heard of it even if you are hardcore fan.

Take these three seinen series I mention that was aired this year:

Hyouge Mono
Shuukan Shimakou
Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Hakairoku Hen

The manga version of all three series are on par if not more popular than manga original of Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, or Master Keaton. But unless you are an East Asian otaku and even then, unless you were into a certain type of genre, it's unlikely you've heard any of these. And like-wise few fansubbers or streaming service will pick them up.

Similarly with Cobra the animation, Ookiku Furikabutte, Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin, and Giant Killing in '10, Soten Koro, Shin Mazinger Shougeki, and Examurai Sengoku in 09 or Blade of Immortal in 08. The series are there but they are just not brought over to western streaming services and few fansubbers picks them up (or if they pick them up, there was very few who actually watch them)

All of them are good series in their own right, just not to the western taste.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Furthermore, a lot of long-standing anime franchises - like Gundam and Macross - have become increasingly moe and/or fanservice-driven. I think this is pretty clear if you compare the original Amuro Ray Gundam shows with Gundam Seed, or older Macross titles with Macross Frontier.
I don't know, I would agree to a certain extend if you meant by blatant breast jiggles of the captains.

On the other hand, Gundam and Macross always has some fan service or moe female characters in them. From Sayla to Matilda to Four, Gundam is never short of female eye candies. Same with Macross, and expecially Macross when it is most known for its triangle love soap opera. Original have Minmay (still a favorite) and Misa, Plus has Myung who was raped and many seductive scene with Sharon Apple. 7 has Mylene who dominate the series as a moe tsundere before the term was even popularized.
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Old 2011-11-30, 07:13   Link #139
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Originally Posted by Undertaker View Post
Actually this reminds me that there are a lot more manga that where getting adapted into live drama since 2006 (beforem than it was far in between) which could explain the potential lower count of seinen anime. Title like Monster would be made into drama right now and not anime.
I agree with this,I'd even say Monster being turned into an anime was a lucky anomaly,his other works like 20th century boys got a live action movie trilogy adaptation and "happy!" had a TV drama adaptation.
As for his recent work like "pluto",it's also getting a live action movie adaption I think.

Just to give a few other exemples Ikigami got a live action movie
Liar Game has got 2 TV drama seasons and 2 movies (2nd one comes out next year)
Soil got a a TV drama
drops of god got a tv drama
And I'll finsh with something more oldschool (but I could go on):
Oldboy got a live action korean movie adaptation.

And really I feel like I could do the same thing with Shojo/Josai,to me those tend to get live action adaptions rather than animes as well.
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Old 2011-11-30, 08:02   Link #140
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Just remember a time when it was generally mecha and/or magical girls everywhere.
Right now, the biggest focus for anyone is... "moe". A series with a whole bunch of girls -- doing stuff, whatever that may be.

One thing to remember: the copy-cat nature of business. If one studio sees some genre as successful (or generating high sales volume), it is natural for some other studio(s) to develop something similar. The intention is to get a piece of the pie - the market share. All these studios compete with one another to produce the "best" product. To pander to the attention of those who watch this stuff. Right now, that happens to be... a lot of people.

If there's a good sigh of relief from the current trend -- not much "boy's love" out there. Thank goodness.
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