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Old 2014-01-18, 22:10   Link #1
LightDragonman
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Why Do You Like Anime?

You know, I feel that of all the subcultures, anime seems to get the hardest time, with many others looking down at the fans as being immature, and the medium itself being insubstantial compared to other media, like video games, comic books, and movies.

So what I want to know, is why do you guys like anime? What draws you to it and the like?
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Old 2014-01-18, 22:21   Link #2
Fireminer
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Anime is like the daughter of painting, music and literature. It's able to convert something that no other form of art could do. Not very sure what is "something", but that is what draw me to anime.
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Old 2014-01-19, 11:29   Link #3
Sackett
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Because I feel that Anime still tells the type of stories that I actually enjoy, while modern American media insists on telling stories I don't enjoy. Or if I do enjoy them, they load them down with elements I don't like.

In general American media is way too cynical for me. Most cynical Anime shows aspire to a better world and see the corruption as a problem. Too many American shows seem to be saying: "This is way it is, you are powerless to change it, so shut-up and go along with it."

Consider Bunny Drop or Cross Game. Those premises ought to be the sitcoms of today. Instead, at best, we get a bunch of nerds hanging out together and avoiding adulthood. Don't get me wrong, I like Big Bang Theory. I'm a nerd, so I enjoy it, but I'd like something more like the Cosby Show or The Wonder Years.

I want a Sci-Fi show like Star Trek. I want stories that speak to our dreams.

Instead today's channels are filled with "reality" crap that certainly is neither quality nor reality.

Personally I identify Friends as the show where it all went wrong. I mean... nobody ever went anywhere. Sure, episodes were funny, but there was never any progression. And it was so successful that everyone wanted to copy it instead of telling a new and interesting story.
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Last edited by Sackett; 2014-01-19 at 19:52.
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Old 2014-01-19, 12:26   Link #4
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General storytelling quirks, aesthetic preferences, fellow fans (well, some anyway), and an appreciation of what animation can do as an audiovisual art form as opposed to live - action works.

Also, what Sackett said about the general cynicism (or rather, pessimism) of a large portion of Western media. A lot of the time, it is indeed not an accurate representation of reality, which kind of defeats the point of being "realistic" anyway. Of course, I'm not saying life is sunshine and rainbows - it most definitely isn't, but it is I find a more complex matter than simply "it's shit, deal with it".
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Old 2014-01-19, 14:33   Link #5
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I stopped watching Television (for the most part) when Star Trek Enterprise was cancelled. There really wasn't anything else interesting, to me, on anymore. The more intelligent channels were dumbing down (the ones were you should be learning stuff), and there was basically no sci-fi on on note that wasn't bleak outcome type stuff or, "humans are bastards, why should they survive" type shows.

I picked up on my anime years after that as more interesting shows started. I still don't watch much. Maybe one series a season. And sometimes that an older series. Though I did finally give in and started watching Doctor Who. That will take a long, long time to catch up. 800 episodes.
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Old 2014-01-19, 18:00   Link #6
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Anime tells stories that live action would never be able to.

I got into it originally because I was bored with television(at least until Game of Thrones and Sleepy Hollow came along) and wanted something different to watch.
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Old 2014-01-19, 19:24   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LightDragonman View Post
You know, I feel that of all the subcultures, anime seems to get the hardest time, with many others looking down at the fans as being immature, and the medium itself being insubstantial compared to other media, like video games, comic books, and movies.
Comic books and movies have much longer, bigger histories than anime, and both benefit from numerous timeless legacy characters (of which anime has precious few). This gives comic books and movies a cross-generational cultural appeal that anime largely lacks.

Playing video games and watching movies are basically default past-times for most modern teens/young adults, and have been for some time now (movies especially of course). Even at its height, watching anime was never a default past-time for people in the west.

I love anime, but it just doesn't have the history and cultural entrenchment (outside Asia) that the more popular entertainment genres/mediums enjoy.


Quote:
So what I want to know, is why do you guys like anime? What draws you to it and the like?
I'm pretty much with Sackett.

Anime generally isn't as cynical as what I see in American media. Anime is generally much more life-affirming.

I myself used to love American sitcoms, like The Cosby Show, Family Matters, Growing Pains, and The Prince of Bel-Air. But I can't remember the last time I saw a more upbeat American sitcom like one of these. A lot of SoL anime shows are in fact similar to these older sitcoms. Hanasaku Iroha, Tamako Market, Tari Tari, and countless others are fairly similar to older American sitcoms. So anime fills a "lighthearted, slightly upbeat, daily living" niche for me.

Like Ithekro, I also was/is a big Star Trek fan. There hasn't been a new/recent live-action sci-fi franchise that resonated with me like Star Trek did. So here is another niche that anime fills for me - Sci-Fi. I usually make a point to at least check out the more sci-fi anime offerings each season.


It's funny that anime sometimes takes a lot of criticism for not being more diverse, because I honestly think its much more diverse than what you see on North American TV these days. Anime has plenty of sci-fi, plenty of daily living, plenty of action-adventure, plenty of plot-heavy shows, plenty of character dramas, plenty of military dramas (most mecha shows are this as well), and lately even fantasy has been somewhat resurgent. I think anime deserves credit for its considerable genre diversity at this time.


In addition to all of the above, I'm always been a lover of animation in general, especially 2D animation. So it's only natural that I find myself loving anime.
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Old 2014-01-19, 20:21   Link #8
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I think there is good TV today but I have been burned my so many TV series in the past that I no longer want to put in the commitment to a multiple season TV show and have it disappoint me in the end.

There have been anime that have disappointed but lets face it an anime series is way less of a commitment than a TV series. I like that anime tends to have a beginning, middle, and an end. And some of my favorite stories have been from anime series. As others have said I like that anime covers so many different genres and types of stories as well.

I also started watching anime during the height of the reality TV craze. I think TV has improved since then but I still prefer watching anime.

Besides anime I do enjoy some British television. And I do still like live action film as a medium. And well even though I don't watch a lot of modern American TV I will still go back and watch some of the classics. But overall I do think anime is my main fandom.
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Old 2014-01-19, 20:24   Link #9
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I got into anime because of my brother, who got into it after he joined a university club that did both gaming and anime. Initially I tended to go for ridiculous comedy stuff more than serious titles, but it wasn't that long before I was getting into more serious stuff as well. Though I still think the zaniness can be part of the medium's appeal -the medium seems to have the ability to make bizarre premises work!

I seem to remember reading a comment to the effect that anime mixes comedic and serious better than any other medium, and while I'm not sure if that's completely true the ability to mix comedic and serious elements is certainly one of the medium's strengths.

I also find that anime can pack a pretty powerful emotional punch, and that tends to make a story much more memorable.

On a somewhat less flattering note, I also like anime for its convenience. Anime episodes are typically pretty short and not that hard to fit in among other things. Plus its become a hobby to me -I like to keep up on what's new, have discussions with other fans, collect figures and go to conventions.
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Old 2014-01-19, 20:36   Link #10
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Anime was just different. I remember watching anime when toonami was a staple in my childhood. Most tv's shows are just comedy sitcoms that led to nowhere. Anime tells a story and since most animes are just 12 or 24 episodes that is enough to fill a decent story without too much filler.

I do still watch cartoon like Adventure time which has a great setting but doesn't go anywhere. some live-action like Suits or Dr.Who.
Also the fact that a lot of animes based off a novel or a manga. It is fun to have a comparison.
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Old 2014-01-19, 21:20   Link #11
piperz
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because i like hentai
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Old 2014-01-19, 23:20   Link #12
LightDragonman
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Here's why one person looks down on anime:

"Some forms of Anime created have impressed me with their stories, characters and their plot points. However, most of the time, Anime has generally sucked in my opinion. It's tacky, cheaply made and offers no form of substance for someone like me."

Again, there seems to be some sort of elitist viewpoint that makes us anime fans somehow lesser than others. Is it because of the fan service?
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Old 2014-01-19, 23:49   Link #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LightDragonman View Post
Here's why one person looks down on anime:

"Some forms of Anime created have impressed me with their stories, characters and their plot points. However, most of the time, Anime has generally sucked in my opinion. It's tacky, cheaply made and offers no form of substance for someone like me."

Again, there seems to be some sort of elitist viewpoint that makes us anime fans somehow lesser than others. Is it because of the fan service?
A lot of the better anime shows never rise to the level of casual awareness (i.e. even people only vaguely familiar with anime know of these shows).

Shows like Cross Game, Shin Sekai Yori, Psycho-Pass, Jojo's... they may be big on this forum, but outside of the really hardcore anime fandom, a lot of people aren't even aware of them.

So what do those people see? Harem comedies and conventional action shounen, mostly. And these aren't for everyone. And perhaps unfortunately, they do tend to be "the face" of anime in the west.

I don't think the problem is fanservice, per se, but rather that the full range of anime doesn't get out there like it should. The "face" of anime should probably change to better reflect its actual range and breakdown of content.
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Old 2014-01-20, 00:36   Link #14
Sackett
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I don't know Triple_R, even if they did get to see some of these better shows I don't know that we'd get more approval from the critics.

I think another problem is that critics tend not to like stories that aren't edgy and "intellectual" (and somehow even shows like Madoka Magica aren't intellectual dispite obvious being so).

I'll grant that the general public's disdain for anime may be ignorance, resulting in the assumption that anime consists of Sailor Moon, DBZ, and hentai.

Critics however are going to be harder to impress. How many quality artsy "intellectual" anime shows are there? Penguindrum is the only recent one I can think of off the top of my head.

Sure if you look at all anime you can find more. Code Geass I guess. Evangelion, a few others.

Something like Jojo is way to simplistic and straight forward of a morality play to appeal to the guardians of American media.
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Last edited by Sackett; 2014-01-20 at 20:45.
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Old 2014-01-20, 00:44   Link #15
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Well, it's simply because Anime is made for Teenager, while Manga and Novel are for everyone. And beside, how many Anime-Manga-Light Novel has truly touch our cores? Not so many. These forms of entertainment, their attribute make it hard to touch a society-wide, deep and origin phylosophy. Take Doraemon for example. It answers a simple, and yet fundamental question in this modern world: Technology can't solve anything, and in some cases, even make it worse. That is one of the thing that I affraid: The forgotten of one of my favorite series - Unless it's Sunrise or CLAMP works.

Say, many memorable, long-running series like Doraemon, Crayon Shin-chan and Jarinko Chie do have much sitcomness in them. Even Sailor Moon if you look closer.

Plus, it's Geass, not Geaus.
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Old 2014-01-20, 05:38   Link #16
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Why do I like anime? That's a hard question to answer, because I mostly watch anime due to force of habit these days. I've been through too many phases of cynical attitude toward anime, yet I continue to watch them. It would take a pretty big shock for me to stop watching them altogether.

Anime these days, I'm afraid to say, don't have many advantages over the better western TV productions. Shows like Sherlock, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones (just to name a few) have great consistency in script quality. Still, they cover very classical genres, whereas anime get to cover a bunch of crazy shit that you can't see elsewhere. Would Jojo be Jojo if it weren't for the multi-generation drama and crazy poses? Would Kimi ga Aruji de Hitsuji ga Ore de even be allowed on American television? Can any TV series afford to be as gentle as Mushi-shi, spiritually creative as Natsume Yuujinchou, different as Last Exile, or outworldly as C - Control? Variety is the biggest advantage anime still has. It would be a shame to lose it.
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Old 2014-01-20, 06:29   Link #17
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^ not really sure if Id say Sherlock is consistent in script quality.
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Old 2014-01-20, 06:48   Link #18
GreyZone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sackett View Post
Because I feel that Anime still tells the type of stories that I actually enjoy, while modern American media insists on telling stories I don't enjoy. Or if I do enjoy them, they load them down with elements I don't like.

In general American media is way too cynical for me. Most cynical Anime shows aspire to a better world and see the corruption as a problem. Too many American shows seem to be saying: "This is way it is, you are powerless to change it, so shut-up and go along with it."

Consider Bunny Drop or Cross Game. Those premises ought to be the sitcoms of today. Instead, at best, we get a bunch of nerds hanging out together and avoiding adulthood. Don't get me wrong, I like Big Bang Theory. I'm a nerd, so I enjoy it, but I'd like something more like the Cosby Show or The Wonder Years.

I want a Sci-Fi show like Star Trek. I want stories that speak to our dreams.

Instead today's channels are filled with "reality" crap that certainly is neither quality nor reality.

Personally I identify Friends as the show where it all went wrong. I mean... nobody ever went anywhere. Sure, episodes were funny, but there was never any progression. And it was so successful that everyone wanted to copy it instead of telling a new and interesting story.
Yes, indeed, all those "Reality TV Shows" really get annoying, escpacially because they usually have very bad actors. The only reason to watch something like that is to have a good laught about the AWFUL acting, that I could probably do better myself (I am serious!)

What happened to the good shows? Where did the good Sci-Fi shows go? All cancelled! The Stargate franchise suddenly went down the drain after having established a (compared to other Sci-Fi franchises) very consistent lore. Was it because the quality fell? No, as it is unlikely that all Sci-Fis suddenly became worse at the same time. It just seems like viewers' interests changed. People suddenly didn't want Sci-Fi anymore but more present time shows, or zombie apocalypses. Sci-Fi had to retreat to very bad timeslots and almost seems to have perished now. That is really a shame.

To be fair, anime did change negatively as well, though it may have recovered a bit lately. The problem is that somehow the whole world's TV industry decided to stop being original, and even stopped to at least use ideas that have not been used for some longer time, but instead now everyone is using the same concepts to produce "stable shows". This "stability" is getting annoying, just look at this list shich summarizes a lot of shows nowadays!
  • High School Setting
  • "Fanservice"/Ecchi (uncreative and repetetive ways of causing such "Ecchi moments" as well)
  • masochistic, Male, Main Character with "average grades, average stats, average etc." getting involved with some over the top girls who blame all their own faults on the guy by using violence
  • Love Triangle or Harem (combined with the "average MC" above and a very bad excuse for the girls getting the hots for the MC, the American "Reality shows" almost seem like art)
  • "Moe"
  • "Trap"
  • etc.

I could go on like this, but these points should sum it up well. Surely you recognize these bullet points in LOTS of shows nowadays. Luckily it seems that this system is slowly fading again, as visibly a lot of popular shows seem not to include these things. Seems people finally start getting bored of this repetetivness.

Now I do enjoy a very selected few number of shows with the above listed points, but these seem more like Flukes. But the real anime I enjoy are those that really feel like they are the only one of their kind, though usually the more serious ones, but of course some comedies are OK as well.

But the deciding factor is usually if the world feels "alive". It does not have to be realistic, but it really should be consistent. Is the anime true to itself? Or are there convenient plot devices like obvious "plot armor", or completely inconsistent power levels? Though this again depends on the scale of the world, i.e. it is relative.
Example: I can forgive One Piece to have Sir Crocodiles power level be inconsistent, because in a story with about 1200 planned manga chapters, such mistakes are bound to happen, but of course this is only the case if the number of such mistakes resonable.
However if a small scale anime/manga does such mistakes then relatively seen it is a much graver mistake. because the %-number is greater and since the scale is smaller, such mistakes are much easier to notice.

I am glad that there are some anime that meet my standards regarding this, which obviously is the reason why I am still watching them.

We'll see what the future holds for anime. I just hope that there won't be any other "trends" that rob anime of its enjoyment. I also hope that the fandom won't ruin it by itself. Considering what a good manga/anime Attack on Titan is it really is depressing that people prefer to discuss things about such shows that seem completely unrelated to the story, like some characters' genders...
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Old 2014-01-20, 06:53   Link #19
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Hmm...not so sure about the whole "cynicism" thing, as sometimes I think anime tries to be too overoptimistic and ruins a story (Railgun S2 is a great example of that), and its not like anime isn't very deeply cynical at times (Madoka: Rebellion, Death Note, Fate/series NGE, anyone?) Plus aside from shows like Breaking Bad and Dexter, I'm not really sure where you see all the cynicism in American entertainment...(and when it comes to Hollywood film, overblown optimism is quite common.) Granted, slice of life is more common in anime, but for me, I like most of them less than I like Queen's Blade.

That being said, anime has several advantages that stand out for me;

-cuteness/hotness in animation. Moe personalities might not be my favorite, but the style...ooooh my
-leave it to the imagination. It's much easier to create believable fanwork out of anime than, say, live action.
-emotional punches. Some anime have made me cry. Not many live action films have. No American TV series ever had.
-turning bizzare, laughable ideas into something thought provoking. Anime is one of those mediums where what you think can't be done can be done.
-actual beginning and end, not just "we'll drag it on and on and then just cancel it because revenue."

I don't think reality TV is an valid argument, since Japan has even cheesier reality shows than we do and they fill up airwaves just as badly. Of course we don't see them so we don't feel like they exist, but it's something to keep in mind...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireminer View Post
Well, it's simply because Anime is made for Teenager, while Manga and Novel are for everyone.
Erm...most anime is made for the adult audience who can pay for the merch, while the manga/novels they're based on are for teenagers
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Old 2014-01-20, 07:25   Link #20
Fireminer
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Erm...most anime is made for the adult audience who can pay for the merch, while the manga/novels they're based on are for teenagers
Ok, so should it be "Late Teenager"? And I don't think the attribute of a Light Novel could be change that much through adaption - except some cases like Infinite Stratos where they made it worse for everyone. Plus, there are more than one manga which is even more mature and darker than their counterpart.

And you would be surprise on how much Vietnamese Teens are willing to spend on these things.
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