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Old 2013-03-22, 12:10   Link #121
Archon_Wing
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Wow, some of you don't know what ugly looks like. Go watch something made by Deen and find out. :3
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Old 2013-03-22, 12:26   Link #122
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I'd rather watch something ugly and watchable than something incomplete and unwatchable. *coughbakemonogataricough.*
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Old 2013-03-22, 12:28   Link #123
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I thought that was ugly, incomplete and unwatchable. [At least til they cleaned it up on disc]

Although going on that train, Nisemonogatari looked better, but I like it less.
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Old 2013-03-22, 13:15   Link #124
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Originally Posted by totoum View Post
Have you watched the first episode of Personna 4 or Kamisama Dolls by any chance?Just wondering how you'd think AB's first episode compares to other kishi seiji works in terms of layout.

And sorry SeijiSensei I can understand your frustration but I am genuinely curious about this.
I haven't watched those, sorry. In fact the only other Seiji Kishi show I've watched is Jintai, which was much better than AB! mainly due to the focused art direction that was functional to the darkly ironic taste of the series.
IIRC, Angel Beats had severe complications with its production and schedule, so I don't think the end result was just a matter of the director. Although based on Jintai and AB!, I wouldn't say Seiji Kishi is a particularly remarkable director (still going to watch Aura, and maybe try DS2 if the feedback is positive).

@SeijiSensei, I'd rather talk about good shows, yeah (and we did earlier in the thread). Leaving AB! aside, I still maintain that anime in general has not dramatically improved since the analog era or even the transition era (in which plenty of good stuff was made too) and any backed up issue people might have with how a show looks shouldn't be dismissed as "being spoilt" so quickly.
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Old 2013-03-22, 13:56   Link #125
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Okay well let's look at 2010 and what came out the same year as Angel Beats. In my opinion two of the most interesting looking shows were the two noitaminA series: Tatami Galaxy and House of Five Leaves.

I guess that type of art design isn't going to appeal to everyone but I liked that they both looked different from the norm.

If you are looking for something that had a more "traditional" anime design then I was impressed with the look of both Omori's series that year Durarara and Princess Jellyfish. Although I was disappointed in both story wise.
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Old 2013-03-23, 00:13   Link #126
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Why this concentration on shows that look bad? Why not spend more time discussing shows that are well-drawn and well-animated? Of course most anime series are not going to have top-notch visuals. Most production committees treat anime as advertising vehicles for the original source material, not as works of art that can stand on their own or persist through the ages. Most anime directors are working with meagre budgets, and it usually shows.

I'm more interested how we might see more more shows like Dennou Coil or Mononoke or Moribito or even Chihayafuru rather than dissecting LN adaptations where artistry is not really a motivation.
That's a very valid sentiment. I'll lay out a few things first, before returning to the point.

Now that we've got over the meta- conflict over the relative importance of writing vis-a-vis animation, I dwelt further on Akito Kinomoto's opening post, particularly his query about shows that "can seemingly remain intact on its writing alone when the art/animation and audio are removed".

I tried thinking of anime that I enjoyed (however marginally) in spite of its shoddy writing. I have to say that I can't think of many. Fractale and Xam'd: Lost Memories are the only two that come immediately to mind. (Please don't argue over my subjective opinion of the writing quality of either show; I disliked the writing while you may have enjoyed them. Let's leave it at that.) In both cases, the charm and excitement of the shows' production values were enough to keep me watching till the end, in spite of my frustrations with their poorly conceptualised stories.

I was being facetious when I raised Blood-C as another example, but I am sincere in saying that I actually did enjoy the show for its mindless gore — it was a welcome reprieve from an otherwise pointless or incomprehensible story. There are such things as horrible horror movies that become cult classics precisely because of their creative use of extremely limited resources. It's backhanded praise, but Blood-C may one day fall into that category.
(C is for Campy Cult Classic, perhaps?)

Ironically, Blood-C: The Last Dark had much better writing, but it was still the art, animation, music and sound direction that won me over, not the story, which remained weak and near incomprehensible.

This line of thought naturally causes me to think again about the nature of entertainment. Am I being superficial if I enjoy eye candy in the absence of meaty "substance"?

========

This is where I return to your point about the business interests of TV anime production committees. As you observed — and as many of us know — TV anime is primarily an advertising vehicle for the stakeholders that make up the production committees. Artistry may not be a top concern (this is an arguable point, but that's a debate for another thread, another day), especially when the anime is an adaptation of an existing intellectual property, be it toys, manga or even a light novel.

With this big picture in mind, it's worth asking why I should be concerned about being "superficial". The objective is for us to be entertained, so why should I care if the artistry entertains me more than the "message" behind the art?

In the same vein, I would also ask whether it's something to be proud of, this idea that there are TV anime that "can seemingly remain intact on their writing alone when the art/animation and audio are removed". Is that something to be celebrated, really?

It seems to me that it would be the most explicit evidence of an industry that doesn't care about artistry, only about getting maximum return from its investment. Cut corners wherever you can from the art, animation and sound — just produce the bare minimum you need to make the project work, nothing more, nothing less. Surely that's not what we want to see in TV anime, is it?

========

Where am I going with this?

What I'm trying to illustrate is that it's no more petty to quibble over technical mistakes in animation than it is to raise fuss over petty flaws (plot holes, for instance) in writing.

What's instructive is to think of the shows that entertained you, and to think of how animation and writing worked together to do so — in spite of the heavy limitations imposed on TV anime.

This is ultimately why some of us have argued so strenuously against evaluating writing and animation separately. It's not something to be proud of, I feel, if TV anime is surviving just because of good writing. Neither is it healthy for anime as an art form if its presentation beats its message all the time.



Now, with that in mind, go ahead and list the shows that entertained you, and critique the way its writing or animation worked. Don't just point out the flaws in animation, but also explain why those flaws destroyed its entertainment value for you.
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Old 2013-03-23, 01:18   Link #127
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
That's a very valid sentiment. I'll lay out a few things first, before returning to the point.

Now that we've got over the meta- conflict over the relative importance of writing vis-a-vis animation,
You say that, yet many of the comments you made in this post seem to strongly suggest that you want to keep fighting that meta-conflict...


Quote:
With this big picture in mind, it's worth asking why I should be concerned about being "superficial". The objective is for us to be entertained, so why should I care if the artistry entertains me more than the "message" behind the art?
Couldn't one just as easily flip this around, and say "Why should I care if the message behind the art entertains me more than the artistry does?"


Quote:
In the same vein, I would also ask whether it's something to be proud of, this idea that there are TV anime that "can seemingly remain intact on their writing alone when the art/animation and audio are removed". Is that something to be celebrated, really?
Likewise, couldn't this similarly be flipped around to say "Is it something to be proud of, this idea that a TV anime that can seemingly remain successful on its visual fanservice alone, when the writing is dumbed down?"

The impression I'm getting from your argument in this post is that it's shameful if TV anime is proud of its lack of artistic integrity in form, but that it's perfectly Ok if there's similar lack of artistic integrity in content. If it's fine for a person to not demand substance in the content, why is it not fine for a person to not demand artistry in the form?


Quote:
It seems to me that it would be the most explicit evidence of an industry that doesn't care about artistry, only about getting maximum return from its investment. Cut corners wherever you can from the art, animation and sound — just produce the bare minimum you need to make the project work, nothing more, nothing less. Surely that's not what we want to see in TV anime, is it?
I have to be honest - I find it odd that you're willing to defend superficial entertainment lacking substance (which in itself is often a case of an industry that doesn't care about artistry), yet cutting corners with the art, animation, and sound is not Ok with you.

Your earlier comments defending superficial entertainment seems to suggest that it's fine to cut corners with the plot, characters, and dialogue - jut produce the bare minimum you need to make the project work, nothing more, nothing less. Well, if so, why isn't the same thing fine with the audio-visual and sound aspects of an anime?


My view is either you champion high standards in all areas, or you accept the lowest common denominator in all areas. Trying to have it both ways seems strangely contradictory to me. Personally, I champion high standards in all areas.

You're asking people to demand more of the art/animation in anime while simultaneously defending low standards for the writing side, and even showing a lack of sympathy for those who's enjoyability of an anime is severely impacted by poor writing. A plot hole is often much more than just a "petty flaw". One of the key elements of a good story is its ability to suspend the viewer's disbelief. If a plot hole causes that suspension to be broken, that can seriously impact how much a person enjoys a work. It certainly does for me.



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It's not something to be proud of, I feel, if TV anime is surviving just because of good writing.
And is it something to be proud of if TV anime is surviving just because of eye candy?
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Old 2013-03-23, 01:26   Link #128
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I'm asking you to describe what it is about shows like Psycho-Pass that entertained you in spite of the plot holes you highlighted. Because, for some fans, it wasn't just the writing that held the story together, but also the way it was presented. In so doing, it's not that the "plot holes" got glossed over, but rather that, as a whole, the project worked because of the way writing and animation supported each other.

The point is to not harp on the individual weaknesses of each element of the medium — because there are bound to be many — but to look at the big picture and to wonder how is it that we were entertained in spite of the individual weaknesses.

Seen from the bigger perspective, all individual flaws become petty indeed. If TV anime entertained, how did it manage to? It goes back eventually to Sackett's statement, that the whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. To zoom in on just the individual flaws alone, without thinking about how other strengths made up for them, that's to miss the point of the anime: to entertain.
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Old 2013-03-23, 01:35   Link #129
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Now that we've got over the meta- conflict over the relative importance of writing vis-a-vis animation, I dwelt further on Akito Kinomoto's opening post, particularly his query about shows that "can seemingly remain intact on its writing alone when the art/animation and audio are removed".
If we go back to the spirit of this thread, most of the works which I liked even though the writing wasn't very good (or at least could have been greatly improved) seem to be movies. Macross: Do You Remember Love looks amazing, but the writing for it was a bit incomplete. Patlabor 2 had shaky philosophical musing as it's centerpiece, but the energy of the action set-pieces and the effectiveness of the art direction in setting tone and mood make it easy to forgive weak dialogue.

The converse, bad animation saved by good writing, is much more common as shows are known to have animation dips from time to time. If they were adaptations, there's a decent chance that whatever writing in the original can carry the show. A good example of this is the Persona 4 anime. It looked bad most of the time, but I certainly enjoyed watching it.
I like Angel Beats too.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Couldn't one just as easily flip this around, and say "Why should I care if the message behind the art entertains me more than the artistry does?"
I'd say that both are fair judgements. The visual is probably a bit more important since anime is a visual medium and most of the resources and effort going into the visual elements, but the writing should not be ignored.

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I never understood why people bitch about Angel Beats' visuals. I mean it isn't perfect (with the whole infamous six fingers) but there's so many other series out there that have it worse (like the aforementioned Little Busters). I mean AB! has a lot of problems but I can hardly say animation and the overall production values to be one of them. That's just plain nitpicking already.
I think that the reason why Angel Beats gets picked on is that it had a high animation budget and the creators were bragging about what kind of technical resources (number of key frames, etc.) they threw at it. The problem with the artwork on the show was that the digital composition was often terrible, and the creators made some really weird choices with the lighting and filters. The end result looks a lot worse than it should have, and it's not a matter of the occasional animation error.

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Originally Posted by Akito Kinomoto View Post
I'd rather watch something ugly and watchable than something incomplete and unwatchable. *coughbakemonogataricough.*
Was it worse than that awful episode in Tsukiyomi Moonphase? At one point, it turned into a radio show.
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Old 2013-03-23, 02:32   Link #130
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Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
If we go back to the spirit of this thread, most of the works which I liked even though the writing wasn't very good (or at least could have been greatly improved) seem to be movies. Macross: Do You Remember Love looks amazing, but the writing for it was a bit incomplete. Patlabor 2 had shaky philosophical musing as it's centerpiece, but the energy of the action set-pieces and the effectiveness of the art direction in setting tone and mood make it easy to forgive weak dialogue.
I wonder about the extent to which it's fair to use anime movies as examples. I've enjoyed many more anime movies for both their writing and animation than I have with TV anime, which I gather seems to be the major point of contention in this thread, the so-called dialogue-heavy, plot-intensive anime that most fans are discussing.

That's why I explicitly highlighted TV anime, because it is constrained by economic circumstances in ways that anime movies are not.

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I'd say that both are fair judgements. The visual is probably a bit more important since anime is a visual medium and most of the resources and effort going into the visual elements, but the writing should not be ignored.
That's my point, too. I haven't watched Tsukiyomi Moonphase, but it literally sounds crippled by your description of that episode. Question is, was the anime still able to stand despite such flaws? If so, why?

Bakemonogatari has been mentioned a few times. Now, in my case, it wasn't just the writing but also the art and cinematography that pulled me into the story. It helped that Shaft's animation style was still a novelty to me at the time. The highly unusual camera angles and art design greatly enhanced the overall experience for me, to the extent that I wasn't bothered by inconsistent (or, in frequent cases, non-existent) animation.

The writing was, to me, very good as well. But, again, it may have been because of its novelty value. Subsequent -monogatari productions didn't wow me as much, despite the continued presence of witty and subversive dialogue. So, in my case, it wasn't the writing alone that made me enjoy anime adaptations of NisiOisin's stories.
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Old 2013-03-23, 07:31   Link #131
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
The point is to not harp on the individual weaknesses of each element of the medium — because there are bound to be many — but to look at the big picture and to wonder how is it that we were entertained in spite of the individual weaknesses.
That's fine, and I get and acknowledge your point... insofar as we were actually entertained. Insofar as the anime show in question really did entertain us, and our view on it is "net positive", basically.

But people drop/stall anime shows all the time.

The writing in SAO eventually reached a point where I honestly couldn't take it any more. The show was great in most other respects, but the writing from the conclusion of the first major section on had a lot of elements to it that... really rubbed me the wrong way. I can totally understand why someone would love SAO, and I don't want to detract from their enjoyment. So I'll leave it at that.

To be fair, there are other anime shows where the visuals never appealed to me much, and that's the main reason I dropped/stalled the work. And my enthusiasm for Bakemonogatari went way, way down after a certain infamous slideshow episode.


Quote:
Seen from the bigger perspective, all individual flaws become petty indeed. If TV anime entertained, how did it manage to? It goes back eventually to Sackett's statement, that the whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. To zoom in on just the individual flaws alone, without thinking about how other strengths made up for them, that's to miss the point of the anime: to entertain.
I agree with you that if an anime entertained you overall, it's a mistake to focus solely on the flaws. Yes, it's perhaps more helpful to know why an anime entertained you in spite of those flaws.

So, with Psycho-Pass (since I did consider its ending flawed)... If I had to sum up the strengths of the anime in just one word. It would be this one: Cool.

The characters are generally cool, rugged, edgy. The anime's visuals and audio reflects this brilliantly. The narrative as a whole is much the same. It tackles some interesting philosophical and political questions. It's a pretty tight show, in every respect.
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Old 2013-03-23, 09:52   Link #132
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
I wonder about the extent to which it's fair to use anime movies as examples. I've enjoyed many more anime movies for both their writing and animation than I have with TV anime, which I gather seems to be the major point of contention in this thread, the so-called dialogue-heavy, plot-intensive anime that most fans are discussing.

That's why I explicitly highlighted TV anime, because it is constrained by economic circumstances in ways that anime movies are not.
It's less a matter of fairness than it is natural for movies and shorter OVAs to have visuals that can make up for weaknesses in writing. First off, most of the shows that work in spite of poor writing tend to do so because they have genuinely good ideas that just weren't given enough time to develop properly. Likewise, you're only likely to find the really good animation delivered consistently in shorter works.

Take something like Sword Art Online for example. If it were a shorter work, it'd be a lot easier to just sit back and enjoy the production values. However, the longer the show, the more the weaknesses in the writing grate.

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That's my point, too. I haven't watched Tsukiyomi Moonphase, but it literally sounds crippled by your description of that episode. Question is, was the anime still able to stand despite such flaws? If so, why?
It didn't. But it's a SHAFT show, and they fixed things with the DVD release. I think it was episode 12, but I don't know if you'll still be able to find it anywhere.

I did still watch beyond that point, but that was long before I got fed up with SHAFT's antics.

I just checked the Tsukuyomi thread in this forum, and the impact is pretty impressive - Episode 12 hit on page 31, and the discussion just died. It took over a year before the thread hit page 33. You can witness the carnage here: http://forums.animesuki.com/showthre...=19317&page=31 (It's page 16 if you're viewing in 40 posts per page)
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Last edited by 4Tran; 2013-03-23 at 11:13. Reason: Added Tsukuyomi thread trivia.
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Old 2013-03-23, 10:15   Link #133
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It's less a matter of fairness than it is natural for movies and shorter OVAs to have visuals that can make up for weaknesses in writing. First off, most of the shows that work in spite of poor writing tend to do so because they have genuinely good ideas that just weren't given enough time to develop properly. Likewise, you're only likely to find the really good animation delivered consistently in shorter works.

Take something like Sword Art Online for example. If it were a shorter work, it'd be a lot easier to just sit back and enjoy the production values. However, the longer the show, the more the weaknesses in the writing grate.
Excellent points.

I think that movies have a couple other edges here too...

1. Due to how Hollywood has been doing them since at least as far back as Star Wars, people expect spectacle in movies. People expect to be "wowed" by the visuals and the audio, unless the movie is really lowkey in its content (i.e. a simple romance story, say). If someone says "this anime's OST is Hollywood movie caliber" that is probably a very high compliment (it is when I write it).

So if a movie (be it live-action or animation) succeeds in "wowing" audiences with its visuals and audio, then it's already satisfied the main thing that I think people tend to look for in movies.


2. Your typical movie runs somewhere between 110 minutes to 190 minutes. Basically, 2 to 3 hours of uninterrupted content. I think this format lends itself well for stories that are large in scale (i.e. stories that have high stakes, or have a certain "visionary" quality to them) but simple in its details/complexity. What I mean is a story that only has a few "acts", but where the story nonetheless as this "larger than life" feel to it. I think this lends itself well to a sort of simplified form of writing that's more concerned with "grand strokes" than tightly-woven seamless plots. Yes, something like SAO might well have worked better as a movie.


I think the longer a story is, the more demanding people tend to be of it. And in fairness, that probably includes me as well.


Finally, I think that sheer spectacle can distract from writing issues for a time. And I would say that time is about 2 hours worth of content - Again, movie length.

But people "get used" to the sheer spectacle just like they can get desensitized to almost anything.

A good while back on this thread I wrote the following about Usagi Drop: Usagi Drop's animation/art style has a certain softness and distinctiveness to it, but after awhile, the viewer will probably get used to it. It might seem somewhat "normal" then.

Unfortunately, I think this might have come off as me slighting Usagi Drop. It isn't, really. It's just an observation that our eyes will adjust to almost any artistic/animation style if we watch it for a long period of time. Eventually, the "specialness" will wear off, aside from particular flourishes of animation. This isn't inherent to just Usagi Drop, it's true in general I think.

A movie can maintain that sense of "specialness" for a much greater percentage of its total content than a 12 to 26 episode anime show can.
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Old 2013-03-23, 11:22   Link #134
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
1. Due to how Hollywood has been doing them since at least as far back as Star Wars, people expect spectacle in movies. People expect to be "wowed" by the visuals and the audio, unless the movie is really lowkey in its content (i.e. a simple romance story, say). If someone says "this anime's OST is Hollywood movie caliber" that is probably a very high compliment (it is when I write it).

So if a movie (be it live-action or animation) succeeds in "wowing" audiences with its visuals and audio, then it's already satisfied the main thing that I think people tend to look for in movies.
Well spectacle has been around far longer than Star Wars but you are right movies like Star Wars and JAWS really upped what people expected from movies. Not just in terms of spectacle but in terms of special effects. Really the 1970's were the start of the blockbuster & that really has changed movies (but not necessarily for the better).

The other major change was Television. Before TV you only had the radio but that wasn't in direct competition with cinema. In fact you would actually hear many of the big movie stars at the time perform their movies on the radio. But TV really impacted movies where you could no longer tell a small story on the big screen. Because who would go see that when they could just watch the same thing from the comfort of their couch. So they had to push the importance of the big screen. You can't see this at home. Of course this is changing now too and TV is actually becoming more cinematic (so now they have started with upping 3D technology).

Of course this is really only talking live action. I am not really sure if I would say animation has necessarily been impacted in the same way.

Anyways I for one still love small & personal stories in cinema. For me the difference between a movie and a series is the difference between a novel and a short story. So yeah I certainly look at my animated films and my animated TV series very differently. Is it even fair to judge one against the other. It's not just the difference in budget but the difference in your length to tell a story. If a film tries to do much in a short period of time it probably will fail. A TV series certainly has more time to develop more things.
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Old 2013-03-23, 11:43   Link #135
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Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
I just checked the Tsukuyomi thread in this forum, and the impact is pretty impressive - Episode 12 hit on page 31, and the discussion just died. It took over a year before the thread hit page 33. You can witness the carnage here: http://forums.animesuki.com/showthre...=19317&page=31 (It's page 16 if you're viewing in 40 posts per page)
I looked that up and the reason it took so long to "update" was that the forum hack happened in that timeframe.
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Old 2013-03-23, 12:08   Link #136
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Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
It's less a matter of fairness than it is natural for movies and shorter OVAs to have visuals that can make up for weaknesses in writing. First off, most of the shows that work in spite of poor writing tend to do so because they have genuinely good ideas that just weren't given enough time to develop properly. Likewise, you're only likely to find the really good animation delivered consistently in shorter works.

Take something like Sword Art Online for example. If it were a shorter work, it'd be a lot easier to just sit back and enjoy the production values. However, the longer the show, the more the weaknesses in the writing grate.
I would argue that the length of a show, be it a 12- or 24-episode TV series or a movie-length feature, is a poor excuse for not developing genuinely good ideas properly. What was very likely needed was better editing, either in the writing phase or in the post-production stages.

What I mean is that a short duration doesn't mean that a story must be skimpy or under-developed. Likewise, greater duration doesn't necessarily give you a better story.

For me, Shin Sekai Yori stands out as a show that probably should have been shorter. Or, at the very least, it could have done with a lot more editing to give its story a tighter narrative focus. I started out enjoying the anime tremendously because of its visual impact as well as its terrific soundtrack. The production values hooked my interest and kept me emotionally invested in the first quarter of the series, as the anime progressively revealed the ways in which the New World worked.

But the series began to sag for me in the second and third quarters. The production values continued to be well above average, but they could no longer keep me invested in the story. As a viewer, I felt pulled in different narrative directions, to the extent that I turned apathetic towards most of the cast. Themes that should have been developed and linked more closely together never were, not until the final quarter of the series, by which point, they felt like empty revelations.

Still, despite the flabbiness of the writing, the initial interest generated by the anime's art and sound was sufficient to keep me watching till the end. I'll probably need to mull over it a bit more but, even so, I'd say that if it weren't for its production values, I wouldn't have stuck with the anime as long as I did. Unlike many viewers though, I don't feel much about the story any more, even though I would love to. Now that it has ended, what I feel is more akin to relief, the feeling that I'm glad it's over so that I can move on to other stuff.
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Old 2013-03-23, 12:38   Link #137
Kirarakim
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I thought Shin Sekai Yori was extremely strong visually (at least in a creative sense, the series obviously had a small budget) but even stronger thematically. It's writing was what I loved most of all.

I think you could tell a similar themed story in a shorter length but things would have been lost: the world building and some of the relationship building & development of the characters which also added to my enjoyment of the series.

I do think there were some weak episodes but I don't think anything should have been cut as I think everything did lead to the end.

Anyways I guess everyone is different but I would never ever stick with a series (a movie is different) because I enjoyed the production aspect or look of the series.
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Old 2013-03-23, 13:08   Link #138
ahelo
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I've always thought Shin Sekai Yori was charming. Even though it's budget wasn't enough for the scope of it's setting, it always managed to produce very interesting visuals and that alone wins it so many points already. In terms of story, I can't really agree with TinyRedLeaf since I've always seen the series as tightly paced yet such a breeze to actually watch (some episodes feels like 5 minutes).

Seriously though, if you want to watch something that looks amazing visually, watch Shin Sekai Yori.

To those who commented on Bakemonogatari, though it's true that some episodes are inexcusable for being incomplete, the problems it had isn't really applicable to new audiences now since it's fixed for BD/DVD release (it's not an excuse to us TV viewers but seriously to new audiences: you won't experience stuff like Nadeko's Arc). Even with it's faults on incompleteness, Bakemonogatari looks interesting. It's never boring to look at. I like the mix of gradients it uses on its backgrounds (though some people don't see this appeal so they just call it powerpoint-like). It always manages to be vibrant and full of quirks (headtilts, weird panshots, SHAFT). It somehow manages to tell another story aside from the story its telling (though it is indulgent most times) which is really cool.
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Old 2013-03-23, 13:55   Link #139
TinyRedLeaf
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This isn't the relevant thread for it, but I'll comment in so far as it relates to the writing of Shin Sekai Yori.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahelo View Post
In terms of story, I can't really agree with TinyRedLeaf since I've always seen the series as tightly paced yet such a breeze to actually watch (some episodes feels like 5 minutes).
That was how I felt about the early episodes of the series, when the cast were still children, up to the point where they first stumbled upon the truth of their society, during their summer camping trip.

In my opinion, the conceptual foundations of the New World were already well-laid by then. The story then began to meander for the next 10 episodes or so to set up the chain of events that would lead to the finale. Throughout this period, the characters stumbled in and out of relationships that were poorly explained. Or, to put it another way, there was little in the way of visual presentation that allowed me to see how these relationships could plausibly develop. Instead, they were presented to me as brute narrative facts. That was the way their world worked. To question the plausibility of the presented relationships would be tantamount to questioning the plot itself.

It wasn't until very late into the series that the politics of the New World was shown. Key players in the power structure of the society, unfortunately, were not very adequately explored and, again, I had to take their motivations at face value, because there was insufficient narrative and visual presentation that allowed me to understand them better.

And, for a finale that hinged so heavily on the tension between two related yet very different segments of society, I felt that I did not see enough of how those two segments interacted throughout the series to empathise with the oppression felt by the lesser people. Again, I had to take it at face value, and as a brute narrative fact that there was intense resentment roiling under the surface, hence leading to the inevitable finale.

That's why I felt the writing of Shin Sekai Yori was flabby. In my opinion, it relied too heavily on dialogue to carry the tale. It should have leveraged more heavily on the visual elements to trigger visceral feelings of unease and injustice, feelings that I experienced in the earliest episodes of the series, but which had become very much muted towards the end.

If I were given the responsibility of editing the story, I would have focused on three major themes:
- Isolation
- Oppression
- The cycle of repression

I would have adapted the source to put more focus on juxtaposing the two different segments of New World, to allow viewers to empathise more effectively with one side or the other. It's noticeable that, though the story is about one group with powers the other didn't have, in the end, it wasn't the fact of their powers that mattered, but how those powers were used that lies at the intersection of the three themes I highlighted above.

In short, I felt that perhaps too much emphasis was placed on preserving as much of the source's narrative as possible, and not enough on thinking about how the literary narrative could have been tweaked to better suit the audio-visual medium of anime.
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Old 2013-03-23, 14:03   Link #140
4Tran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowKenobi View Post
I looked that up and the reason it took so long to "update" was that the forum hack happened in that timeframe.
I totally missed that! I still like my explanation though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
I would argue that the length of a show, be it a 12- or 24-episode TV series or a movie-length feature, is a poor excuse for not developing genuinely good ideas properly. What was very likely needed was better editing, either in the writing phase or in the post-production stages.

What I mean is that a short duration doesn't mean that a story must be skimpy or under-developed. Likewise, greater duration doesn't necessarily give you a better story.
Of course, but a shorter length does make it a lot easier to accept a weaker story. And for films like Do You Remember Love, an extra hour of run time would have done wonders to fleshing out the story. It's still great for anyone who's watched SDF Macross, but it works far less well as a standalone story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahelo View Post
I've always thought Shin Sekai Yori was charming. Even though it's budget wasn't enough for the scope of it's setting, it always managed to produce very interesting visuals and that alone wins it so many points already. In terms of story, I can't really agree with TinyRedLeaf since I've always seen the series as tightly paced yet such a breeze to actually watch (some episodes feels like 5 minutes).

Seriously though, if you want to watch something that looks amazing visually, watch Shin Sekai Yori.
I think that the problem with Shin Sekai Yori is that some of the episodes didn't work all that well. Yamauchi's first episode, episode 14, and a couple of the episodes right at the end weren't very good. All of the traveling episodes seemed to have their issues. The art and animation also could be very inconsistent; not just from episode to episode, but within those episodes. A bit of cleaning up would have made a big difference - maybe it's the inexperience of the director was showing.
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