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Old 2014-01-28, 17:52   Link #81
TinyRedLeaf
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Originally Posted by Pocari_Sweat View Post
I'd say 1 is a load of bollocks. When like more than half of the medium resorts to celebration (not just tolerance, but actual celebration/promotion) of elements like sexualised underage girls (I'm talking lolis), incest, other morally questionable features or a combination of all three, I really doubt that anime tells "better" stories. Sure, there is more potential in that anime can pretty much do any genre and make it work if they tried, but unfortunately majority of the time it is just that - potential.
I wouldn't have said it in quite the same way, but you've basically covered the same points I would have brought up: the sober realisation that many fans are gushing over the supposedly superior quality of anime stories, when in fact most of them are just about average.

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Originally Posted by Pocari_Sweat View Post
For example, I watched Frozen at the end of last year, and that was better than any anime (TV or film) I watched in 2013 by a landslide except for maybe Hosoda's Wolf Children, which comes reasonably close. No recent Ghibli offering has jack squat on that when it comes to pure family-friendly, heartwarming entertainment that brings out the kid inside you as well as kids themselves enjoying it.
I first took notice of Frozen when the Disney clip of Let It Go began spreading like wildfire across my Facebook and YouTube feeds.

I wondered what the fuss was all about, so I took a look.

And it left me flabbergasted. Not just by Idina Menzel's ice-shattering performance, but also by the sheer technical brilliance on display — Elsa's facial expressions; the perfect lip-synch as she sings her heart out; her body movements as she went from repressed teenager to full-on, I-AM-WOMAN-HEAR-ME-RAWR mode; the exhilarating choreography (notice the way she dances as she summons her castle from ice and snow); the amazing ice.

And her hair (yes, her hair).

I immediately went out to catch the movie, and have since watched it twice.

The thing is, I've not watched any Disney cartoons since... Pocahontas? Long enough ago that I barely even remember the songs. And I've not done so because I had long since assumed that nothing good comes out of Disney any more. Even Pixar cartoons had begun to lose their shine, and were no longer as charming as the original Toy Story was, at least to me.

Over the past few weeks, I've caught up with a few other recent Disney/Pixar movies: Tangled, Up and Wreck-It Ralph. They weren't as spectacular as Frozen but they still managed nonetheless to make me do a double take.

I realised, sheepishly, that American animation has been doing great things of late, be it in terms of writing or technical achievement. Or rather, especially in terms of technical achievement.

And I've totally overlooked them, because of simple prejudice. I've thought, for the longest time, that storytelling in American animation had grown lame and was no match for Japanese anime. I was wrong. I've known for a while that the pendulum of TV entertainment has swung strongly in America's favour in recent years. I'd say that the same is now also true for animation.

================

To answer the original question — "Why do I like anime?" — I'll quote myself from some time ago:

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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post

...I've always been interested in what anime reveals about the philosophical and sociological outlook of the Japanese, especially given the extent to which it resonates with my own Asian mindset. Shows in this genre include Haibane Renmei, Mushishi and Aoi Bunkaku (Blue Literature).
Anime was an active hobby for me between 2005 and 2011, and I was particularly drawn to shows that presented unique perspectives rooted in East Asian culture and values, subjects that I believe would never appear in American prime-time drama. Like a fantasy adventure inspired by Confucian ethics rather than Judeo-Christian imagery, for example, or a long-form epic that had more in common with NHK morning drama than Western soap opera.

At the time, the novelty value of finding an art form that resonated so strongly with issues I was deeply concerned with convinced me that there was something special about anime.

In hindsight, however, I realise that such anime were actually few and far between. That's not to say that such shows aren't still being produced, but more perhaps that I'm no longer as motivated to search for them any more. Hence my long holiday from anime. Hopefully, by the time I return — if I return — there'll be a nice backlog of stories for me to burn through once again.
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Old 2014-01-28, 18:05   Link #82
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
I first took notice of Frozen when the Disney clip of Let It Go began spreading like wildfire across my Facebook and YouTube feeds.
That clip reminds me how little I like 3D-rendered images. And now that's becoming more common in anime, too...

Even in computer games, I prefer sprites (which is why I prefer older Street Fighter games, and why I hated the switch in the Atelier series from iconic sprites to rendered models in conversations).

It's not a trend a like, and I think it might be why I never really liked Toy Story. (It wasn't enough to turn me off Shrek, but, yeah, I won't ever like that style.)
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Old 2014-01-28, 19:09   Link #83
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Originally Posted by Pocari_Sweat View Post
I'd say 1 is a load of bollocks. When like more than half of the medium resorts to celebration (not just tolerance, but actual celebration/promotion) of elements like sexualised underage girls (I'm talking lolis), incest, other morally questionable features or a combination of all three, I really doubt that anime tells "better" stories. Sure, there is more potential in that anime can pretty much do any genre and make it work if they tried, but unfortunately majority of the time it is just that - potential.

This is leaving aside the issue that more and more anime these days are being adapted from light novels, which most of them to be frank have terrible writing akin to fan-fiction level quality, or the industry general obsession over moe. I don't hate moe by means, in fact I do quite like it if it's appropriate, but I mean do we really need these moeified or cute designs for say grim dark/more serious series? It seems that even the more darker/serious any are resorting to cute character designs (which don't match the series' tone) just to have a chance of appealing to the bluray/dvd purchasing crowd (unfortunately, most of the time they still fail).
50%+? Clearly you jest. I doubt it even reaches 34.582184723408923487432%.

More seriously, I think the important to realize that when people answer the question "why do you like anime", they tend to answer "why I like the anime I actually watched and like". Nobody has time to watch anime they don't like. Including the people who actually do watch anime they don't like. Unless they're doing it for pretentious scholarly reasons. Or they're a masochist and derive some weird, perverse pleasure from doing so.
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Old 2014-01-28, 19:35   Link #84
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Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
50%+? Clearly you jest. I doubt it even reaches 34.582184723408923487432%.

More seriously, I think the important to realize that when people answer the question "why do you like anime", they tend to answer "why I like the anime I actually watched and like".
Good point. I'm sure there's plenty of bad anime shows just like there's plenty of bad offerings in all entertainment mediums.

But the thing with anime is that with the sheer quantity of it that's produced on an annual basis, you don't need a high percentage of it to be great/very good for the medium to be very satisfying with a lot to offer.


Quote:
Nobody has time to watch anime they don't like. Including the people who actually do watch anime they don't like. Unless they're doing it for pretentious scholarly reasons. Or they're a masochist and derive some weird, perverse pleasure from doing so.
People watch anime they don't like because...

1) The anime show in question is getting a lot of attention in the anime fandom, and people want to form their own informed opinion on it. In some cases, this means that they soldier through a show they hate just so when they say "I hate this show. It's bad for Reasons A, B, and C", fans of the show can't easily counter with "How can you say that? You didn't even watch the whole show!"

2) They start hating the show due to changes (perceived and/or actual) in it somewhere in the middle. They've invested a lot of time in this show, so they're no longer prepared to just drop it.

Aside from these two cases, though, it's true that anime fans generally don't bother watching shows they don't like.
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Old 2014-01-28, 19:55   Link #85
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So again, how would you guys respond to the guy I linked to, who said that anime sucks and that American is better?
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Old 2014-01-28, 20:04   Link #86
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Everyone has their own preference, that is all I could say.
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Old 2014-01-28, 20:37   Link #87
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
2) They start hating the show due to changes (perceived and/or actual) in it somewhere in the middle. They've invested a lot of time in this show, so they're no longer prepared to just drop it.
This is so true, I first got into anime because of Naruto (don't judge, I'm not proud of 12 y'old me), and to this day, I keep reading the manga, just so I get to know how it ends, I no longer enjoy it, it's really god damn dull, and has been like that for the past 2 years now, but I have already invested 3 years of my life into that, and I atleast want to know how it ends, even if it kills me.

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So again, how would you guys respond to the guy I linked to, who said that anime sucks and that American is better?
Everything is a matter of taste, even the Marquis of Sade writings had it's audience...
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Old 2014-01-28, 20:45   Link #88
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
The thing is, I've not watched any Disney cartoons since... Pocahontas? Long enough ago that I barely even remember the songs. And I've not done so because I had long since assumed that nothing good comes out of Disney any more. Even Pixar cartoons had begun to lose their shine, and were no longer as charming as the original Toy Story was, at least to me.
Pixar's Toy Story 3 was their last outstanding release which was back in 2010 I believe. Since then they have released Cars 2, Monster University and Brave which although weren't fantastic were more than decent to watch. Ok maybe not Cars 2, but the rest were ok.

Disney on the other hand has been on fire with their last three movies which you already mentioned: Tangled, Wreck-it-Ralph and Frozen.

Quote:
I realised, sheepishly, that American animation has been doing great things of late, be it in terms of writing or technical achievement. Or rather, especially in terms of technical achievement.

And I've totally overlooked them, because of simple prejudice. I've thought, for the longest time, that storytelling in American animation had grown lame and was no match for Japanese anime. I was wrong. I've known for a while that the pendulum of TV entertainment has swung strongly in America's favour in recent years. I'd say that the same is now also true for animation.
American TV has definitely kicked up a notch. When you have TV series likes Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Walking Dead and the HBO block which recently has aired stuff like Pacific, Parade's End, Newsroom and Game of Thrones, you can definitely see there's been a bit of renaissance.

Similarly the indie video game industry (particularly Steam) has had some wonderful innovation (AAA titles is another story though...) whilst the Japanese gaming industry have stagnated and been growing inward and making largely local releases only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
50%+? Clearly you jest. I doubt it even reaches 34.582184723408923487432%.

More seriously, I think the important to realize that when people answer the question "why do you like anime", they tend to answer "why I like the anime I actually watched and like". Nobody has time to watch anime they don't like. Including the people who actually do watch anime they don't like. Unless they're doing it for pretentious scholarly reasons. Or they're a masochist and derive some weird, perverse pleasure from doing so.
My comment was more targeted at people who think that anime is somehow superior to other forms of media when in reality it's some of the most morally questionable, pandering fested, specific targeted (Bluray/DVD crowd) medium there is. As I mentioned before, can you think of another medium where sexualised little girls, incest, yuri/yaoi and other weird fetishes are embraced and celebrated in an obnoxious manner by its fangroup. Because I find it very unsettling and embarassed to call myself an anime fan to the point I want to disassociate myself from the fandom.

I can't say the same for manga as I don't read much but a lot of people I know say that read manga and watch anime all unanimously say that mangaverse is a totally different ballpark where innovation, variety and imagination are still very much present.
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Old 2014-01-28, 20:50   Link #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LightDragonman View Post
So again, how would you guys respond to the guy I linked to, who said that anime sucks and that American is better?
Some of his points are valid.

Anime does cut corners a lot. It does a lot of little tricks to avoid having to put multiple characters/elements all in motion at once.

And a lot of anime are guilty of his mouth-flap criticism, yes.

The thing is that different people care about these things to different degrees.

What I'd argue is that anime puts character/setting design (what he calls "detail") first, and actual animation second. American animation is the complete opposite.

Anime likes beautiful images, with minimal motion. American animation likes simple, basic images in very fluid and detailed motion (and with multiple "parts" moving). This is a very general observation, of course, so there are exceptions on both sides. But generally speaking, its true.

So he probably is actually right about Spongebob Squarepants vs. NGE when it comes to pure animation.


He clearly prefers the American approach over the anime approach. He has a right to that preference, and I understand it. Personally, I prefer the anime approach, but this is a personal taste matter.

The guy also seems totally flustered and pissed off with anime fans, so I'm not sure if us anime fans debating him further would be all that productive.

What I'd say to him if I was talking to him right now is that I'd admit he's right on some points, but that I prefer great detail/minimal motion over minimal detail/great motion. He prefers the opposite, so it makes sense that he prefers American animation shows. However, there are certain anime shows that I could see appealing to him that might be worth recommending to him. Space Dandy would be a good one. Some KyoAni shows are exceptions to his animation criticisms, but I don't know how many of them he'd go for on a content basis. Love Lab is the same deal here.


By the way, Spongebob Squarepants is funny, so I'd agree with him on that too. Don't let the kiddy character designs fool you, the humor can be appreciated by adults.
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Old 2014-01-28, 21:01   Link #90
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I watched episode or two, but i found it to be annoying and obnoxious, but I do think same about Evangelion and all it's clones (with exception of Argento Soma), so it's not realy metter of medium itself.
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Old 2014-01-28, 21:50   Link #91
LightDragonman
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Yeah, I much prefer the anime approach. It is a different form of animation after all.

And you know what, the minimal animation and mouth flaps never really bothered me. Heck, when I was younger, I was drawn to the medium because it made the shows look more unique. Plus, there are some anime that are just as fluid, if not more, than Western animation.

Overall though, it all comes down to the story and characters as being the reason I love anime more. Fluid animation means nothing if the former isn't strong imo.
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Old 2014-01-29, 01:04   Link #92
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Originally Posted by LightDragonman View Post
So again, how would you guys respond to the guy I linked to, who said that anime sucks and that American is better?
I'd tell him that I prefer the stories and art styles found in anime to their American counterparts, and that I don't really care about the technical superiority particularly as I find the animation in most modern anime quite serviceable.

Because let's be honest, I don't really care enough about the points he's raising to want to spend much time debating them.

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Originally Posted by Pocari_Sweat View Post
My comment was more targeted at people who think that anime is somehow superior to other forms of media when in reality it's some of the most morally questionable, pandering fested, specific targeted (Bluray/DVD crowd) medium there is. As I mentioned before, can you think of another medium where sexualised little girls, incest, yuri/yaoi and other weird fetishes are embraced and celebrated in an obnoxious manner by its fangroup. Because I find it very unsettling and embarassed to call myself an anime fan to the point I want to disassociate myself from the fandom.
How many people here have actually made that argument though? Most people have given fairly specific, nuanced opinions on why they prefer the stories in anime, which Sackett grouped into a general heading of "better" stories (IN QUOTES) to make a point about how few people were talking about the medium itself. It feels to me like you're attacking a Schrodinger's Strawman here (ie. it didn't exist until you made one out of it).

Two other points:
1) While I'm also sometimes reluctant to admit my anime fandom due to the underage girls thing, it's important to remember that many people you talk to are going to be less aware of this side of anime than you are. It's not something I'd bring up unless prompted. Being defensive about your hobby without prompting just sends the message that you have reason to be ashamed of your hobby.
2) To be completely honest, if you gave me the choice between watching a random awful otaku pander fest and a random awful American TV show... I'd probably go for the otaku pander fest.
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Old 2014-01-29, 01:50   Link #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
How many people here have actually made that argument though? Most people have given fairly specific, nuanced opinions on why they prefer the stories in anime, which Sackett grouped into a general heading of "better" stories (IN QUOTES) to make a point about how few people were talking about the medium itself. It feels to me like you're attacking a Schrodinger's Strawman here (ie. it didn't exist until you made one out of it).
I don't think it's a strawman, though I do admit that it is a generalized statement, but I've heard this "anime is better" statement a fair few times within this forum as well as other forums and other means of communication. I find it difficult to accept statements that claim that anime has better plots and characters (definitely not in this category whereby so many characters fall into a overused stereotype or archtype, slightly derivative/spunoff or not), which to me is completely false. Arguments I can understand but not all agree with is how anime has better endings because they conclusively finish compared to western TV dramas which just get cancelled or the whole 2D v 3D animation element. Or the fact that animes tends to show the more everyman type of story rather the big success stories.

Once upon a time I also believed that anime was a superior medium, but I realised that was back in like 2007 when anime "peaked". It was essentially seen with rose-tinted glasses, but now that the era has passed and I have now grown older so out comes the pessimist or realist.

This is in conjunction to what I said previously about recent Disney/Pixar movies and what's being shown on western television right now. Even during my anime peak I never stopped watching TV dramas, so I can say right now, that there has been a significant shift in quality in recent years. Same for the indie gaming industry. Unfortunately Hollywood and AAA gaming titles has undergone the other direction but that's for another topic. As is the fact that anime lacks an "indie" scene, which I think is part of the reason for the problem.

Quote:
Two other points:
1) While I'm also sometimes reluctant to admit my anime fandom due to the underage girls thing, it's important to remember that many people you talk to are going to be less aware of this side of anime than you are. It's not something I'd bring up unless prompted. Being defensive about your hobby without prompting just sends the message that you have reason to be ashamed of your hobby.
The only people that know about my hobby in real life... is friends who are also into the same hobby. I never go out of my way to talk about anime to a stranger at a nightout or party. In other words, I don't talk about it period - positive or negative. But you are right, people who don't know what anime is won't know about this whole "subculture" and "attitude". And I hope they never do.

Quote:
2) To be completely honest, if you gave me the choice between watching a random awful otaku pander fest and a random awful American TV show... I'd probably go for the otaku pander fest.
I have a better idea. Don't watch either. (Unless it is for ironic or "pretentious scholar" purposes)
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Old 2014-01-29, 04:50   Link #94
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I like anime because I keep coming back to it. I've had like at least two major anime "breaks" now where I thought I've "seen it all" in anime and everything is the same. But every time I come back, it would be the result of some interesting anime someone suggested that I would marathon through, and that would once again start my weekly watching routine.

Why the hell do I like AKB0048?

I don't fucking know it's just a bunch of cliched girly stuff in fancy dresses.

But I just do. That's sort of the point.
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Old 2014-01-29, 05:17   Link #95
Tenzen12
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Originally Posted by Pocari_Sweat View Post
I don't think it's a strawman, though I do admit that it is a generalized statement, but I've heard this "anime is better" statement a fair few times within this forum as well as other forums and other means of communication. I find it difficult to accept statements that claim that anime has better plots and characters (definitely not in this category whereby so many characters fall into a overused stereotype or archtype, slightly derivative/spunoff or not), which to me is completely false. Arguments I can understand but not all agree with is how anime has better endings because they conclusively finish compared to western TV dramas which just get cancelled or the whole 2D v 3D animation element. Or the fact that animes tends to show the more everyman type of story rather the big success stories.
It's not false but natural result of different format. Western cartoons and most of shows in general are episodic, which means zero character development. Once again ZERO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. And of course considering it's target audience they are not even more complex either nor less archetypical.

You might find giving characters archetypical freudan excusse to be cheap and overused solution to flash them and you would be obviously right, but unfortunetely western stuff doesn't offer any better alternative (and it might not be so difficult)

I am not saying anime has better writing, but better characters and plot is pretty much given by non-episodic format. My arguments also doesn't adress any western shows that AREN'T purely episodic (duh), but these are in minority so far.
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Old 2014-01-29, 05:33   Link #96
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Originally Posted by Tenzen12 View Post
It's not false but natural result of different format. Western cartoons and most of shows in general are episodic, which means zero character development. Once again ZERO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. And of course considering it's target audience they are not even more complex either nor less archetypical.

You might find giving characters archetypical freudan excusse to be cheap and overused solution to flash them and you would be obviously right, but unfortunetely western stuff doesn't offer any better alternative (and it might not be so difficult)

I am not saying anime has better writing, but better characters and plot is pretty much given by non-episodic format. My arguments also doesn't adress any western shows that AREN'T purely episodic (duh), but these are in minority so far.
What shows are we comparing with here?
You are comparing non-episodic animes with episodic american cartoons and i find that hardly even a fair comparison, because there are more animes out there that have an episodic structure than you think
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Old 2014-01-29, 05:47   Link #97
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I am aware there is plenty of episodic animes, some of them happen to be even my favourite. That doesn't change fact that most of anime isn't and most cartoons are. So I compare majority of cartoons with majority of anime. That's hardly unfair.

But at least, as your claim about unfairness, shows you see differences I am speaking about at least.
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Old 2014-01-29, 05:50   Link #98
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Why Do You Like Anime?

Girls. It's all about Girls. Pretty girls.
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Old 2014-01-29, 05:58   Link #99
hyl
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Originally Posted by Tenzen12 View Post
I am aware there is plenty of episodic animes, some of them happen to be even my favourite. That doesn't change fact that most anime isn't and most cartoon are. So I compare majority of cartoons with majority of anime. That's hardly unfair.
In 2012 (didn't watch too many animes 2013, so i can't say much about it) more than 1/3 of all the late night animes have more an episodic structure than a serial structure. I am not even counting the ones that were ongoing for very long time like Crayon Shin-chan, Meitantei Conan, Sazae-san etc. or children shows like Pokemon.

You are underestimating the amount of episodic animes and you are lumping animes into "serial" animes and comparing it with episodic cartoons
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Old 2014-01-29, 06:01   Link #100
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Exactly, as far as I am concerned 1/3 = minority, 2/3 majority. Correct me if my math is wrong.

Let's be honest even if episodic and non-episodic anime were evenly divided. It would still have significantly higher percentage of non-episodic than cartoons.
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