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Old 2011-04-07, 20:09   Link #321
Decagon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
To argue that Air, Kanon, and Clannad didn't have similar setups and themes, is well, stretching it greatly. They were all dramas in a harem setup with many characters who represented various sorts of moe archetypes. Sure they may have gained some depth from back stories or what not, and each one was a little bit varied (Air had parent child relationship, Kanon was more about friendship, Clannad was more about family), but really these stories were all too similar.
Characterizing Air, Kanon, and Clannad as similar based on their setup is a bit of a disservice to those series, especially with all the effort they use to push their central themes with the different character arc expositions. I'll concede that their adaptations were produced similarly, but I think of them as differently as I do Gunbuster to Eva to Gurren (if I were to use only one studio's works as a point of comparison), though I believe we are weighing things differently.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
The same goes for animes like Lucky Star, K-on!, and now nichijou. They all rely on playful fun and randomness. They try to get the audience to laugh with them, and celebrate the cuteness of each anime. Again, all too similar.
I feel that the way a studio presents the material, whatever the designation by broader assignments, helps to distinguish those works from one another.
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Old 2011-04-07, 20:20   Link #322
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decagon View Post
I still don't understand this arbitrary metric you use to qualify what a studio produces. You don't even mention the direction style or adaptation method they take with a series, but you'll group rather unrelated series under Kugyuu? You separate Otome Yokai Zakuro and Shigofumi as oddball but don't distinguish between the Key series or manga series Kyoani has adapted?

Kanon was a story about fulfilling promises and creating miracles. Clannad was a story about family relations and finding family. Air was about transience of interpersonal relations. FMP contrasted warfare and turmoil with the peace of school life and the occasional light hearted side story. Lucky Star was a playful criticism and indulgence of otaku subculture supported by a cast of almost by the book moe archetypes. Haruhi is a supernatural work that touches on mysteries and conspiracies with dry humor narration. K-on was a slice of life comedy with coming of age subthemes. I don't understand how this variety of themes and stories could be boxed in as similar.
Reckoner pretty much wanted to say what I wanted to say. I see no way you can say Air/Kanon/Clannad are not similar when they all use the "one guy helping multiple girls with their troubles" via a "sad girls in the snow" like melodrama. Each has slight variation, but the content is pretty much similar. Of course, KyoAni is not entirely at fault because this is the formula of Key, but hey, it doesn't mean KyoAni is obliged to adapt Key VNs.

The same goes for Lucky Star/K-on/Nichijou. They have slight variations but they all essentially "cute girls doing cute things", relying upon gimmick catchphrases, playful fun and are very much comfort food.

I'm pretty sure I've said this at least three times by now. The reason for me listing other works by other studios is to make a point that they have made significant attempts to diversify. KyoAni recenlty, with the exception of Munto, has not.

Although I much preferably see another Key VN, what I would really rather is just another LN adaptation from a different franchise altogether. KyoAni CAN do it, they have shown via their track record they have what it takes. High production values and great effort into whatever they decide to do. Instead, they are wasting their talents into material they KNOW will sell well, of a genre that widely has as many critics as its fans (moe comedies), and take virtually no risks. That's pretty much milking the cashcow, and it is no wonder KyoAni gets a lot of flack.

It is possible to both do something different and be commercially successful. For example, take a look at SHAFT in the last few years. Despite their problems, particularly in scheduling and budget-cutting in terms of animation, they produced Bakemonogatari in 2009, which is one of the best selling TV animes of all time (significantly higher than even K-on) and was influential in that it took dialogue (and "tasteful fanservice") in anime to a new level. This year with Madoka Magica, they produced a "Neon Genesis" for the magical girl genre, completing deconstructing it and is the most discussed anime on 2ch since Haruhi Suzumiya. Of course, your mileage will vary in whether you enjoy these series or not.

I'm not expecting every studio to take a SHAFT approach, it would be suicidal for smaller studios. But be damned, if every studio starts to adpot the KyoAni approach, the anime industry is doomed in trying to create something creative or new. Kyoani is rich enough to take such risks.
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Old 2011-04-07, 22:55   Link #323
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acejem View Post
The same goes for Lucky Star/K-on/Nichijou. They have slight variations but they all essentially "cute girls doing cute things", relying upon gimmick catchphrases, playful fun and are very much comfort food.
Okay, I understand where you are coming from. Just so I'm clear, do you consider all of these in the same pool?
K-on, Lucky Star, Paniponi Dash, Hidamari Sketch, Azumanga Daioh, Manabi Straight, Hyakko, GA Geijutsuka Art Design.

Quote:
Although I much preferably see another Key VN, what I would really rather is just another LN adaptation from a different franchise altogether. KyoAni CAN do it, they have shown via their track record they have what it takes. High production values and great effort into whatever they decide to do. Instead, they are wasting their talents into material they KNOW will sell well, of a genre that widely has as many critics as its fans (moe comedies), and take virtually no risks. That's pretty much milking the cashcow, and it is no wonder KyoAni gets a lot of flack.
I don't see how adapting relatively mediocre comics about schoolgirls is a guaranteed cashcow. K-on wasn't particularly well know when they picked it up and look where they went with that. Nichijou's not particularly remarkable, but they picked it up any way. Heck, several of the series I listed above didn't achieve much critical acclaim. I'd argue that both JC Staff and Gonzo had gotten properties that were much more popular (especially JC with all their LN acquisitions and screwups) but managed to screwed those over with their poor adaptations.

Quote:
It is possible to both do something different and be commercially successful. For example, take a look at SHAFT in the last few years. Despite their problems, particularly in scheduling and budget-cutting in terms of animation, they produced Bakemonogatari in 2009, which is one of the best selling TV animes of all time (significantly higher than even K-on) and was influential in that it took dialogue (and "tasteful fanservice") in anime to a new level. This year with Madoka Magica, they produced a "Neon Genesis" for the magical girl genre, completing deconstructing it and is the most discussed anime on 2ch since Haruhi Suzumiya. Of course, your mileage will vary in whether you enjoy these series or not.

I'm not expecting every studio to take a SHAFT approach, it would be suicidal for smaller studios. But be damned, if every studio starts to adpot the KyoAni approach, the anime industry is doomed in trying to create something creative or new. Kyoani is rich enough to take such risks.
I won't dispute that Shaft's avant guarde style helped contribute to Bakemonogatari anime's success, but Nishio already put the light novels in a good position to start with. My issue with Shaft is that they have forced that style onto series like Natsu no Arashi or Dance in the Vampire Bund, ending up with mediocre results instead. It's great with esoteric material, to be sure, but otherwise it's the elephant in the room.



What I find issue with criticisms that Kyoani is doing more of the same is that it feels like there is uneccessary weight on the side of what the source material was and not so much on what they bring to the table as an animation studio to make something an anime.
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Old 2011-04-07, 23:29   Link #324
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acejem View Post
The same goes for Lucky Star/K-on/Nichijou. They have slight variations but they all essentially "cute girls doing cute things", relying upon gimmick catchphrases, playful fun and are very much comfort food.
I seem to remember that you admitted to not having read any of the Nichijou manga, so I don't really see why you keep making assertions as to its content. If you were to read the manga, you would see that its humour really is nothing like either Lucky Star or K-ON. Although these series can all be categorized in the genre of "comedy" they are very different in their content and execution. Nichijou is an extreme gag manga that relies on absurd (and at times really quite strange) humor, over-the-top character reactions, and ridiculous characters. As for K-ON and Lucky Star I'll quote Decagon:

Quote:
Lucky Star was a playful criticism and indulgence of otaku subculture supported by a cast of almost by the book moe archetypes [I'll add that as such, the source of most of it's humour were in its numerous references, shoutouts, parodies and depictions of various anime series and of all facets of otaku subculture and, to a lesser extent, pop culture in general] . K-on was a slice of life comedy with coming of age subthemes [Once again I'll add that K-ON drew its humour primarily from its characters and their various interactions with each other].
Now does the description of those three series sound anything at all like each other? The answer is no, as I don't remember any flying robot toes in Lucky Star and I'm pretty sure that none of the members of HTT were an otaku. To take all those differences in content and to cast them aside as "slight variations" is unfair and short-sighted.

What I find really perplexing though is that you bring up Bakemonogatari as an example of something that is "creative or new" when, according to your logic, it is anything but. At its core Bake is a harem/drama which is essentially about "one guy helping multiple girls with their troubles". Each arc of the series features the main character going around helping a different female character with their problems.

Hey, doesn't that sound familiar? Isn't that the exact same setup used by AIR/Kanon/Clannad? Well, since they share the same genre and setup, they must be the same, right? I mean, Bake also features 5 girls just like Kanon/Clannad. And they are also both set in highschool. And what do you know, they also both share elements of the supernatural! So they are obviously the same. But what about all the differences in their content and execution? Oh well those are all just slight differences.

Do you see how ridiculous that sounds? Bake and the KEY series are very different and very few people will argue that. So then the question is, why the double standard in regards to Kyoani's shows?

The main point that I and (I believe) Decagon are trying to make is that it is extremely unfair to look at Kyoani's body of work and claim that they are 'all the same' or that they 'never try anything new' just because many of their series can be classified into one genre or the other. When looking at the content and execution of their shows, it becomes clear that they differentiate from each other quite widely. It is the content and the execution of that content that mattes, not their genres.

I mean, you wouldn't say that NGE, TTGL and Gundam are the same because they all fall into the genre of mecha would you? And I'm pretty sure no one will claim that the fact that each series consists of humans climbing into giant metal suits and fighting various aliens/robots/things means that the content of each is the same either.


EDIT:
I'll also take issue to the idea that Kyoani only works on stuff they "KNOW will sell well" or that they take "virtually no risks". There is no sure-fire exact way to know if an adaptation will sell well or not. If there were, then every 'moe comedy' out there would be selling tens of thousands of copies of DVD's and BR's just like K-ON. The fact is that they do not. The only reasonable way to gauge the success of an upcoming adaptation is to look at the popularity of its source material. If the source material is popular, chances are that the adaptation will be too.

When looking at it from that perspective, the anime adaptation of K-ON was a huge risk. Unlike Haruhi (LN's were a cult hit) or the KEY series, K-ON came from out of absolutely nowhere. The K-ON manga was virtually unknown and it was being published in an obscure 4koma magazine that barely anyone had ever heard of.

By comparison, (since you brought up Bake I'll use it again) Bakemonogatari was already a quite decently popular LN series before SHAFT ever adapted it. So in terms of risk, K-ON was clearly the bigger gamble.

As a final note I'll add that the Nichijou manga is no bestseller either. Although it is more well-known than K-ON was before it was adapted, there is no way to tell that it is guaranteed to sell well based off the performance of its manga.

Last edited by blooglah24; 2011-04-07 at 23:52.
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Old 2011-04-07, 23:42   Link #325
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With the descriptions of K-on and now Nichijou being classed as "basically unheard of before the anime airs", wouldn't that be classified as a risk? Haruhi's novel series was somewhat popular already, as was Lucky Star and Key products before their animes wer made. Or is there some formula for popularity of manga of these types?

I also seem to recall a different risk KyoAni took and then seems to have walked away from (before they did K-On),Tonari no 801-chan.
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Old 2011-04-07, 23:46   Link #326
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There's something that I think is important to keep in mind.

Kyoto Animation only does 2 or 3 projects per year, unlike say, SHAFT, who did a lot of stuff in 2010.

So there's a real sense of opportunity cost to every project that KyoAni chooses to do.

For example, let's say that you're a big Haruhi fan, like I am.

KyoAni doing Nichijou pretty much guarantees that the earliest we'll see more Haruhi is this Fall, and probably not then.

But then, I can't complain too much, because FMP fans are truly being left out in the rain.

If KyoAni doesn't intend on doing more FMP very soon, then it's time to let another animation studio take a crack at it.


Having KyoAni do something you're excited about has become a real mixed blessing. They'll do it well, but it might well take them ages to adapt it all.


And beyond even that, there are the concerns that acejem raised.


When you only do 2 or 3 projects a year, you have to be very picky about what you choose to do, imo...


Quote:
Originally Posted by blooglah24 View Post
I seem to remember that you admitted to not having read any of the Nichijou manga, so I don't really see why you keep making assertions as to its content. If you were to read the manga, you would see that its humour really is nothing like either Lucky Star or K-ON.
I've watched Lucky Star, K-On, and now Nichijou. I don't see that much of a difference between the humor in each one. In all three cases, it's generally lighthearted 4Koma-style otaku-centric comedy.

Now, there's nothing necessarily wrong with that (I liked K-On's second season myself), but if acejem's criticism is that KyoAni isn't willing to go outside of their comfort zone, then the similarities between Lucky Star (anime), K-On (anime), and Nichijou (anime) seem to support that criticism, imo.


Quote:
Although these series can all be categorized in the genre of "comedy" they are very different in their content and execution. Nichijou is an extreme gag manga that relies on absurd (and at times really quite strange) humor, over-the-top character reactions, and ridiculous characters.
K-On had over-the-top character reactions, and some would say ridiculous characters.

Nichijou also plays on otaku subculture just like Lucky Star does (i.e. Nichijou is absolutely loaded with anime tropes and character types geared towards otaku audiences, it's certainly not something I'd show someone who isn't already a big anime fan). Nichijou had a couple male characters in it (nameless ones, I think) that definitely made me think of Cromartie High School.

acejem may be slightly downplaying the differences in comedy style between these three animes, but you're greatly overstating them imo.


Quote:

The main point that I and (I believe) Decagon are trying to make is that it is extremely unfair to look at Kyoani's body of work and claim that they are 'all the same' or that they 'never try anything new' just because many of their series can be classified into one genre or the other.
I disagree.

Kyoto Animation is risking becoming a pure 100% otaku-centric light comedy moe studio.

And I say that as someone who likes moe.

Of KyoAni's recent works, the only one that deviated even slightly from this was the Haruhi movie.


Quote:

I mean, you wouldn't say that NGE, TTGL and Gundam are the same because they all fall into the genre of mecha would you?
If there was an anime studio that had precisely these three animes to their credit over a 24-month span (and nothing else) I can guarantee you that they would be thought of as "the mecha studio".

These three animes are different, but let's not kid ourselves here: Genre is important. And if you keep doing nothing but lighthearted 4Koma-style otaku-centric comedies, that will become what people associate with your anime studio brand.

And it's because I think highly of KyoAni's talents and capabilities as an animation studio that I want them to be more than just that.
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Old 2011-04-08, 02:04   Link #327
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I've watched Lucky Star, K-On, and now Nichijou. I don't see that much of a difference between the humor in each one. In all three cases, it's generally lighthearted 4Koma-style otaku-centric comedy.

Now, there's nothing necessarily wrong with that (I liked K-On's second season myself), but if acejem's criticism is that KyoAni isn't willing to go outside of their comfort zone, then the similarities between Lucky Star (anime), K-On (anime), and Nichijou (anime) seem to support that criticism, imo.



acejem may be slightly downplaying the differences in comedy style between these three animes, but you're greatly overstating them imo.
The core of our counter-criticism is that the adaptations are done in such a way that the animation products are different. Why was K-on animated like an after school special with wide angle cinematic shots? Why did they create a whole class or animate all the interactions between the jokes? They decided to make K-on so much more than a 4koma comedy and I don't understand how this work can be lumped with others purely on the basis that it has girls and makes people lol. Rather, this is a thread discussing the animation studio so why are we judging the studio based on the properties they acquire and not by the merits of the end product? Rather than looking at and evaluating the works individually, the criticism puts them under the blanket of a genre.


Quote:
K-On had over-the-top character reactions, and some would say ridiculous characters.

Nichijou also plays on otaku subculture just like Lucky Star does (i.e. Nichijou is absolutely loaded with anime tropes and character types geared towards otaku audiences, it's certainly not something I'd show someone who isn't already a big anime fan). Nichijou had a couple male characters in it (nameless ones, I think) that definitely made me think of Cromartie High School.
I don't understand how this doesn't label everything with a talking cat or a robot girl or a tsundere as geared toward otaku audiences. Nichijou has a lot of random characters who act very randomly--the completely bald principal, the weird deer, the pauper who acts like a prince, the girl who seems to kill him every time they're on--by extension do you think Azumanga was geared toward otaku? Azumanga was much tamer but carried a similar atmosphere and similar characters.

Quote:
Kyoto Animation is risking becoming a pure 100% otaku-centric light comedy moe studio.

And I say that as someone who likes moe.

Of KyoAni's recent works, the only one that deviated even slightly from this was the Haruhi movie.

If there was an anime studio that had precisely these three animes to their credit over a 24-month span (and nothing else) I can guarantee you that they would be thought of as "the mecha studio".

These three animes are different, but let's not kid ourselves here: Genre is important. And if you keep doing nothing but lighthearted 4Koma-style otaku-centric comedies, that will become what people associate with your anime studio brand.

And it's because I think highly of KyoAni's talents and capabilities as an animation studio that I want them to be more than just that.
In the first place, I don't understand why people consider Nichijou to be a moe anime. If we go by the 2 year time frame you present, we get Munto movie, K-on, Haruhi, K-on, Haruhi movie, and Nichijo. If we go one cour back and start in winter 09, you have the tail end of Clannad AS and the sort of remake of Munto.

And it's been said before, but Nichijou is not a 4koma. It uses 4koma for some jokes, but it's very much a gag manga. Kyoani has only done K-on and Lucky Star as 4koma series for a grand total of 5 cours and 1 OVA out of every thing else they have done. Personally, I would be thrilled if they animated Conspiracies of Suzumiya Haruhi into a movie and gave us a cour of the side stories, or finally get to where Leonard kicks Sousuke's ass, but I don't particulalry care when it gets here.
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Old 2011-04-08, 02:22   Link #328
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Triple R said what I wanted to say better than I could.

I would like to add though, that I actually don't hate KyoAni. I really enjoyed its Key-based adaptations and I can tell they are the best studio for it. When P.A. Works decided to adapt Angel Beats, whether it be Jun Maeda inexperience dealing with anime original scripts, the lack of experience on behalf of P.A Works or the 13 episode restriction, it just wasn't as good. It would be nice if they did another one of those, or some more FMP at the very least. Ideally, they would just do something other than a slice of life comedy/Key-adaptation all-together using their reputation and high quality standards. I would like to see a sci-fi drama or a supernatural/action series by KyoAni for example.

As for, Tonari no 801-chan, I remember seeing a trailer or demonstration video video for it some time ago, but I didn't know KyoAni had planned to an adaptation before scrapping it. Nonetheless, it would still fall under the slice of life/light comedy section, so it's not really diversifying either imo.

In regards to slice of life comedies in general and my obvious bias against them, it's because I've seen too many. Starting with Azumanga Daoih to Lucky Star to Minami-ke to Hidamari Sketch to Manabi Straight to Kannagi to K-on... the list goes on. It also probably compounded by the fact, that it's not my type of comedy as I prefer wit, deadpan and sarcasm in my humor. But myself and lot of others can't help but associate KyoAni as "that moeblob studio" because all KyoAni has been mostly doing is taking advantage of the popularity in the genre. Such as shame it's labelled that, when it could have been much more.

@Decagon: Purpose of a studio discussion is to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of a studio. Genre limitivity is a weakness.

Also, you must be delusional to think Azumanga Daoih is not an otaku-centric anime or to think Nichijou is not a moe anime... I would find it extremely unlikely for a non-otaku to remotely enjoy either of these shows or understand its jokes/humour.

And the point of whether something is 4koma or is not very relevant. Firstly, Nichijou still falls under the slice of life light comedy genre, second has cute/exaggerated female cast, and thirdly because of that the anime seems like it is adapted from a 4koma.


Anyways, I'm done with the discussion. It appears some fans of the studio are too defensive.
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Old 2011-04-08, 02:33   Link #329
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Originally Posted by acejem View Post
@Decagon: Purpose of a studio discussion is to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of a studio. What's the point of critiquing if all you're going to do is praise it?

Also, you must be delusional to think Azumanga Daoih is not an otaku-centric anime or to think Nichijou is not a moe anime...

And the point of whether something is 4koma or is not very relevant. Firstly, Nichijou still falls under the slice of life light comedy genre, second has cute/exaggerated female cast, and thirdly because of that the anime seems like it is adapted from a 4koma.


Anyways, I'm done with the discussion. It appears some fans of the studio are too defensive.
As I said before, I had an issue with how you presented your criticism and that is what I have been arguing against. The reason I brought up 4koma again was because people were calling Nichijou a 4koma adaptation. I don't think I've given any praise for Kyoani in my arguments. If you want to see my criticisms, you're free to dig through the Haruhi second season or Clannad/Kanon subfourms.
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Old 2011-04-08, 02:56   Link #330
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the only anime i truly enjoyed by kyoani is k-on. that's all i can say..
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Old 2011-04-08, 03:21   Link #331
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I don't know why they just don't go and do Little Busters already. It's been there for ages. It's quite popular. It's character cast are just great for an anime.

What are you waiting for, Kyoto Animation?
While CLANNAD was a challenge in term of adaptation due to the incredible length and various point of the set up (not to spoil but one word: orb), Little Busters is arguably much more difficult.

Aside from the "secret" that will require a complete different storytelling method (which would lead to an obvious requirement of more than meager 26 episodes), it will probably backfire at them if you consider that some characters are downright doomed if you choose the true end route (Who said Saya? ~~)

As much as Little Busters has a lot of merits like the previous Key works for an anime adaptation, it is just suicide unless they find a creative idea (the difficulty is almost similar to a "possible Ever17" adaptation, so that's a lot to say).


Meanwhile, as much as I would kill for the continuation of FMP adaptations, they will require a very longterm plan for it. Even though the light novel got its conclusion last August, they won't be able to make a proper season with less than 26 episodes, should they want to avoid a loose end/cliffhanger (heck, I'm unsure if 26 episodes would be fine).
In fact, looking back at how the plot is going fullforce after the events of Second Raid, I think it is irrealistic to think they can "split" the rest of the story in several seasons.
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Old 2011-04-08, 03:46   Link #332
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I can see how people would perceive Lucky Star and Nichijou as similar despite having different styles of gags, but to throw K-On! into the mix? It had a episodic plot while the other two are sketch based, and to me the difference between the two is quite noticeable.

(For reference, BTW, I'd say that when JC Staff actually decides to do a moe show right, they can do it better than KyoAni. I'm not sure anyone has surpassed Azumanga to this day, and Taisho Yakyuu Musume had a significantly better cast and plot than K-On! IMO.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by acejem View Post
Also, you must be delusional to think Azumanga Daoih is not an otaku-centric anime
Wasn't Azumanga marketted as a shounen title? I realize that it provided a blueprint for many otaku-centric shows, but I don't think Azumanga itself was back when it came out.

(Actually, I think a lot of the classics "moe" titles benefitted from the fact that there didn't used to be quite as much competition in the genre.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klashikari View Post

As much as Little Busters has a lot of merits like the previous Key works for an anime adaptation, it is just suicide unless they find a creative idea (the difficulty is almost similar to a "possible Ever17" adaptation, so that's a lot to say).
I always figured that taking using Higurashi as a model would get you pretty close to what an Ever 17 anime would look like... still need to figure out to how to hide THAT though.

And yeah, I had gotten exactly the same impression regarding the difficulty in adapting FMP, although another season of Fumoffu would be far more doable.
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Old 2011-04-08, 03:52   Link #333
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Hmmm....I just want KyoAni to produce an epic series like Clannad/Air/Kanon.

This Nichijou series is definitely not in the direction I'd want my favorite studio to go..
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Old 2011-04-08, 04:06   Link #334
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Well, to be fair, I actually do have to admit that I'd love to see Kyoto do more epic romance dramas, just not necessarily based on Key source material. Imagining "what could have been" if Kyoto had been responsible for making Sola or Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu practically makes me jizz my pants.

Actually, I kind of wish I had a shedload of money so I could buy a set of Iriya DVDs and send it to Kyoto with a note saying "By Toei, please rectify." Even if the already existing OVAs are a favourite of mine.
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Old 2011-04-08, 04:14   Link #335
blooglah24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
K-On had over-the-top character reactions, and some would say ridiculous characters.
Excuse me if I wasn't clear on what I meant here (my post was running a bit long as it was, haha). It is hard to describe what I mean here as only one episode of Nichijou has aired (and I assume you haven't read the manga) and I don't want to spoil any upcoming gags. But let me try to clarify.

When I say "ridiculous characters", I mean ridiculous as in not grounded in reality. And by grounded in reality I mean, for a lack of a better word, 'normal'. K-ON as both an anime and a manga is a work that is quite grounded in reality. For example, the girls have normal dreams and aspirations, they have normal hobbies, they go to a normal school, and they lead generally unremarkable lives. There is nothing fantastic or especially unusual about them or their world.

The universe of Nichijou, on the other hand, is completely insane. Despite its name, (My Ordinary Life officially) the world of Nichijou is anything but normal. To give an example of some of the oddities; there is a robot girl with a key mechanism sticking out of her back (also comes featured with several detachable limbs), a child professor who invented said robot, a talking cat (capable of speech through an invention of aforementioned professor), a boy who rides a goat to school and who is also apparently immortal (also never without his Bach hair-styled butler), a girl who wields an impressively large array of firearms ranging from several handguns to bazookas and hand grenades, and a principal who spends his free time wrestling with a deer. The class several of the girls attend is Class 1Q, there are several students walking around with absolutely ridiculous haircuts, and the school has its very own Soccer (as in football) Go (as in Hikaru no Go) club. As you can see, Nichijou clearly operates on its own set of rules here. As I'm sure you know having watched K-ON/Lucky Star, there is nothing near this strange in either of those series.

As for over-the-top character reactions, it is impossible to describe what I mean here in words. Let's just say that like what I listed above, it takes things to a whole different level from anything in K-ON/Lucky Star. If you would like, please take a look at the Nichijou manga to get a feel for what I mean (A certain chapter featuring a house of cards come to mind).


Quote:
Nichijou also plays on otaku subculture just like Lucky Star does (i.e. Nichijou is absolutely loaded with anime tropes and character types geared towards otaku audiences, it's certainly not something I'd show someone who isn't already a big anime fan).
Quote:
must be delusional....to think Nichijou is not a moe anime... I would find it extremely unlikely for a non-otaku to remotely enjoy either of these shows or understand its jokes/humour.
I'm sorry, but I believe you are both misunderstanding me here. When I speak of otaku anything, I am not referring to the target audience of the show. I am speaking of it in the context of the anime or manga and how it uses that otaku aspect in its humour.

For example, Lucky Star features several characters who are otaku, and it uses many of their otaku tendencies to make their jokes. An example would be Konota lecturing Kagami on buying multiple books (one for collection, one for usage and so on). It is using Konota's otaku nature in order to make a joke. Konota also references and gives shoutouts to many, many, MANY other anime and manga, both popular and obscure. Once again, the comedy and laughs come from the fact that Konota is an otaku and that she uses her vast knowledge of anime and manga in her everyday life.

This is what I (and I assume Decagon) mean when we speak of "indulgence of otaku subculture." We are not speaking at all of who watches the show or its demographics (I mean, who other than an otaku is gonna stay up till 2am to watch some anime). As was clear from the first episode, Nichijou does not use any of this for its humour. None of the characters have been revealed to be an otaku, and there hasn't been a single reference to any other anime or manga series (and its the same for the manga).


Quote:
I disagree.

Kyoto Animation is risking becoming a pure 100% otaku-centric light comedy moe studio.
We see differently here then. Otaku-centric? Well, considering all studios produce shows aimed towards otaku, this definitely has some truth to it. Obviously stuff like Lucky Star requires someone to have a vast knowledge of anime and manga to understand many of the jokes. It is truly an otaku show. However, Lucky Star aside, I'd argue that Kyoani is less otaku-centric than other studios due to one thing: K-ON!/!!. Unlike what many would have people believe K-ON is indeed not the cancer that is killing anime as we know it. In fact, it is one of the biggest breakout franchises in quite a while. The thing is airing on Disney Channel for crying out loud. Check out some of the shows that its airing alongside. Clearly this is a show meant only for otaku's. After all we all know how much otaku like their Hannah Montana, Care Bears and Full House (sorry for the sarcasm, couldn't help myself). K-ON was able to rise above its lowly beginnings as a late-night anime and get to the top of the mainstream because its humour is easily accessible. Since when do you have to be an otaku to enjoy watching a bunch of girls sitting around eating cake and having fun?

As far as Nichijou goes, I find it a bit hard see how someone can label it as a "moe comedy" when it is clearly anything but. The source of its humour is (almost) never drawn from the cuteness of its characters but from the extremeness of its gags. In fact, for many of the gags, the manga (and anime) undergoes an art shift into distinctly uncute styles. Since I assume you have not read any of the manga, I can be much more understanding since it is pretty much impossible to form a complete impression of something after only seeing a brief 24 minutes. After all, only 1 episode of Nichijou has aired. I also invite you to check out the manga if you'd like in order to more clearly see what I've been trying to explain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acejem View Post
Anyways, I'm done with the discussion. It appears some fans of the studio are too defensive.
I'm sorry that you feel that way. If I was brash, it was most certainly not my intention. It's not like I was screaming out drivel like "0mIGod how dare u insult kyoani!!! They r the best studio evaarrr!!11??!"

Do I believe Kyoani is perfect? Of course not. No studio is. Could they do with trying out some different genres? Ya sure, why not. More FMP would be fantastic. A new original series would be even better.

The only thing I took issue with in some of your posts were that your criticisms seemed to be based on quite arbitrary standards and that you were too willing to bunch up together too many series into a single pigeonhole.

Last edited by blooglah24; 2011-04-08 at 04:46.
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Old 2011-04-08, 04:33   Link #336
Bri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Kyoto Animation is risking becoming a pure 100% otaku-centric light comedy moe studio.

[...]

And if you keep doing nothing but lighthearted 4Koma-style otaku-centric comedies, that will become what people associate with your anime studio brand.

And it's because I think highly of KyoAni's talents and capabilities as an animation studio that I want them to be more than just that.
In this context I wonder how much Kyoani has to say on the choice of their animation projects. If we count Munto as their prototype/demonstration anime then Kyoani has worked exclusively with titles that are connected to either Kadokawa or Visual Arts/Key. If they have to chose from either companies portfolio that would limit the choice of available projects significantly.

If Kyoani is in some kind of exclusive deal with those companies with some kind of profit sharing agreement, then it would explain why they put so much more effort in a single title (and why they don't make any original anime). Rather then churning out as many projects per year, which is the norm for a typical production studio. Also their ability to keep much of the production process in house, compared to the typical sub contracting structures found in normal anime production, should help Kyoani to retain a bigger piece of the pie. (This explains their large staff in comparison to their relatively small output).

Another thing is that Kyoani also has an animation school as part of their bussiness. They can train their new staff inhouse which helps guarantee a steady level of quality over time. To me that shows Kyoani has a long term strategy. Should at some point otaku-centric light comedy moe fall from grace as the most popular genre, I have little doubt Kyoani would simply switch to whatever genre is popular then. (This is also the reason why I fear we won't see any future FMP sequels anytime soon.) The studios main weakness of course is that their shows require more financial succes per title to break even.

Last edited by Bri; 2011-04-08 at 04:45.
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Old 2011-04-08, 05:07   Link #337
cyth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Kyoto Animation is risking becoming a pure 100% otaku-centric light comedy moe studio.

Of KyoAni's recent works, the only one that deviated even slightly from this was the Haruhi movie.

These three animes are different, but let's not kid ourselves here: Genre is important. And if you keep doing nothing but lighthearted 4Koma-style otaku-centric comedies, that will become what people associate with your anime studio brand.

And it's because I think highly of KyoAni's talents and capabilities as an animation studio that I want them to be more than just that.
So much irony in these lines that I can't contain myself. Just what exactly are we talking about when we speak of genres? Along arguments like the ones you're having right now, we tend to forget that KyoAni has solely produced shows that cater specifically to otaku crowds. It doesn't even matter whether they produce more shows like Haruhi, FMP or K-ON!, they all aimed for the same demographic. This is now changing. Fact is, some series have proven to be more profitable than others. K-ON! may have not triggered such a large fan revolution as Haruhi did, but considering the vitality of the series, the options its marketing potential presents and, most importantly, the draw it has on younger generations outside the hardcore otaku fanbase is what makes this series a winner. After the success of K-ON! life goods and the recognition the girls got in mainstream Japan, it seems to me that KyoAni is using Nichijou as yet another test bed for the mainstream character market. Given how many visually intriguing characters the series has, I can see at least one of them becoming a major marketing success.

So to sum up and dispel dreams of KyoAni ever becoming a creative force for Japan's animation, I'm sorry, this will never happen because KyoAni's aim is to market characters, not animation, and they are becoming better at this with each series they produce.
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Old 2011-04-08, 09:32   Link #338
Bri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyth View Post
After the success of K-ON! life goods and the recognition the girls got in mainstream Japan, it seems to me that KyoAni is using Nichijou as yet another test bed for the mainstream character market. Given how many visually intriguing characters the series has, I can see at least one of them becoming a major marketing success.

So to sum up and dispel dreams of KyoAni ever becoming a creative force for Japan's animation, I'm sorry, this will never happen because KyoAni's aim is to market characters, not animation, and they are becoming better at this with each series they produce.
Some of the best anime has been made (partly) with the aim of marketing goods to kids and/or otaku. Just look at Ghibli, Sunrise or Gainax, these all have succes in the mainstream toy/merchandise and character(goods) markets and still receive a lot of recognition for their animated works. So I can't fault Kyoani for attempts at better merchandising and aiming to get a foothold in a more mainstream market.

But if they only cared about marketing characters why would they still bother with high production values and low numbers of shows? Nor would only adapting existing works make much sense as they will have to share proceeds from charactergoods with the IP holders.
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Old 2011-04-08, 09:38   Link #339
Random32
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1. The vast majority of studios are otaku centric. If you watch anime as an adult, you are probably an otaku, or at least not normal. If they don't make series whose target demographic is kids, they are otaku centric. I'm fairly sure one can extend that to if they don't make series that air at prime time slots, they are otaku centric. This includes shoujo/shounen manga and LN adaptations that air outside of prime time, as they have shifted their target demographic. Manga is very mainstream, there will probably be fans that watch the anime since they liked the source, but the primary target is probably still the otaku crowd.

2. I think a lot of people saying that KyoAni works can't be classified as
Key VN/Moe Comedy/Other are looking too specifically for differences. Though I think the argument that K-On isn't like L☆S and Nichijyou makes some sense. Key is very formulaic. I think its one of the best formulas out there, and there is sufficient differences to not feel formulaic without taking a step back and analyzing, but CLANNAD/Kanon/AIR are very similar to each other. Guy helps girls with problems, sadness ensues, often ends in a heartwarming way.
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Old 2011-04-08, 11:15   Link #340
SeijiSensei
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When KyoAni produces a show for noitaminA, I'll start considering them as a studio that has grown beyond their current, rather narrow niche.
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