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View Poll Results: When you think "critic", which definition first comes to mind?
a person who is professionally engaged in the analysis and interpretation of works of art 42 32.31%
anyone who expresses a reasoned judgment of something 58 44.62%
someone who frequently finds fault or makes harsh and unfair judgments 22 16.92%
other (please describe) 8 6.15%
Voters: 130. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2009-06-21, 23:32   Link #61
Daniel E.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
It sounds like you're making an assumption that "they must be in denial" or something, but that isn't necessarily the case.
No, of course not, it doesn't always happen, but it does happens around here.

If you disagree with someone, just say it and be done with it.

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I think it's pretty natural to wonder what the difference is between you and the person holding an opposite opinion and, absent data to the contrary, it can be easy to assume that someone might be trolling.
I think so too, wich is why is important how you handle every discussion on a case by case scenario.

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I think the best way is always to change your approach.
Works the other way around too, you know?

When the fans change their own approach to this, perhaps things could also change/improve a little.

In the end, we all have our ways to enjoy our animes.

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Likewise, you can't just wait to be respected before you start truly respecting the opinions of others (even the ones you think of as just being "fanboys").
I respect any opinion (be it positive or negative) that doesn't insult the people that think otherwise.

As for the rest, I either don't care or simply report it to the mods.


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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
And this goes with what I said earlier in the context of the statement you extracted; if you stir up a hornet's nest, always expect to be stung.
This is not a hornet's nest, it's a discussion forum. A place where everybody has an equal right to say what they think about the topic at hand. Unless the comment is outright insulting, I fail to see why anybody should feel threatend by a mere comment on any given show.

Freedom of speech also happens to include the things we don't like to hear.

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
So sure, it's tough being told you're wrong, especially when you think it's unfair. But, most of the time, it only gets to that point if people are there to prove they're Right.
Again, this can also work both ways.
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Old 2009-06-22, 00:10   Link #62
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Originally Posted by Daniel E. View Post
Works the other way around too, you know?

When the fans change their own approach to this, perhaps things could also change/improve a little.
Ultimately, I believe that the only thing we can truly control is ourselves. If you keep waiting for someone else to change, there's a good chance that nothing's ever going to get better.

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Originally Posted by Daniel E. View Post
This is not a hornet's nest, it's a discussion forum. A place where everybody has an equal right to say what they think about the topic at hand. Unless the comment is outright insulting, I fail to see why anybody should feel threatend by a mere comment on any given show.

Freedom of speech also happens to include the things we don't like to hear.
Honestly, if you approach every issue with the same level of aggression as you're demonstrating here, it doesn't surprise me that you might encounter considerable resistance. When I read your statements, they come across as overly-defensive in the context of what I saw as a casual conversation. It causes me to feel like I should put my guard up. Even though nothing you say is "outright insulting", your tone, choice of words, and even the way you quote my posts (by removing all context, highlighting phrases selectively, and immediately going right to whatever point you're trying to make) can still provoke an emotional response. And whether you want to admit it or not, you are equally responsible for the way this communication unfolds. In this conversation, your words beget my response to them, and mine to you. If your attitude is "it's a free country; I'll say what I damn well please and it's not insulting; it's everybody else's fault if they get offended by this", then at least don't come whining to me when people get upset at you. You might technically have the right to say what you want, but there are living people on the other end, and on this forum we have to "live with each other". It's good to express your opinions, but there can also be great wisdom in knowing what not to say and/or how not to say it.

And whatever your ideals may be about discussion forums being inherently neutral, it should be pretty obvious to you that this isn't the case. The people who spend the time watching a show from week to week are naturally going to trend over time to being those who enjoy it most. Awareness of your surroundings is part of adapting to a culture.

I'm not trying to trample on your right to have contrary points of view. But I do hope you'll at least consider that effective communication begins with the sender -- the one who wants their message to be received. I guess it comes down to the difference between being "heard", being "understood", and being "accepted". The only one who can decide your goal is you, and your communication strategy should reflect your goal. But despite your best efforts, sometimes it just doesn't work. At those times, it's just a matter of knowing when to give up.
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Old 2009-06-22, 00:12   Link #63
DragoonKain3
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For me, a critic that comes to mind would be #1, someone who professionally analyzes anime as works of art. But thing is, anime isn't really considered as an art by the mainstream (even Japan still thinks its just for kids), let alone is there a need for it to be professionally 'analyzed' and/or academically 'studied'.

As such, I really don't consider anyone as an 'anime critic', in the same vein there are literary, art and movie critics. I wouldn't stop anyone from 'criticizing' a show however, but it goes without saying that I take the word of whoever claims to be a bonafide 'anime critic' with a big bucketful of salt.


As for how I watch anime, well, I'm different from most people. Apart from any show with a boy/girl childhood friend cast being an auto-watch (a 'duh' considering my title), I actually give each and every fansubbed anime a 3 episode grace period barring special expections (Yaoi/Yuri for example only get 1, and that's really more for confirmation that they are indeed Yaoi/Yuri than anything else).

This is mainly because my favourite show of all time, Twelve Kingdoms, didn't really get going after about 7 or 8 episodes in (during which time you're stuck with an arrogant, bitchy, whiny, and absolutely annoying protagonist). Which is around 15% of its total run, which in turn means about 2 episodes for a one cour show or 4 episodes for a two cour series. Thus I just take the average of the two for convenience sake, since vast majority of the time, companies don't announce the total number of episodes till well into cour already.

As for what factors into dropping the show, well, being a shipper, romance is THE biggest part of it. If it doesn't have it, or its in miniscule amounts with a number of episodes between each, then unless it particularly excels in some other way (One Outs being the most recent one), then it's a drop.

Of course I also drop shows with a noticeable amount of romance, but I just do these by a case by case basis. Sometimes its just done so badly that even my shipper side is turned off lol.

Then there's also some shows that I stick by no matter how bad it is. These are mainly done when I have loads of free time, where I choose 1 show a cour that I'll follow through till the very end despite how bad it may be.

Oddly enough though, 41 out of the 56 series that have had enough exposure to earn their own sub-forum, I actually either have seen the entirety or at least one season of it. If you chalk that up as me being more 'tolerant' of dropping popular shows, or me just liking what are 'good' shows, it really doesn't matter to me.

And yes, I only discuss shows that I actually like. Anime is a hobby for me, and I particularly don't like wasting my time watching an entire series I don't like, much less actually going about debating the flaws of such series to the public.


As for the last question, don't those two go hand in hand? People are unable to present contrary opinions BECAUSE they are in fear of being called a troll.

Which leads to the current discussion. And it is quite interesting to bring up the double standards regarding the two statements of 'this show is awesome!' and 'this show sucks!'

Not that I'm condoning that people should get away with the 'this show sucks!' line, mind you. On the contrary, both are a waste of my time as neither adds to the discussion, and as such if one line is disallowed or frowned upon, the other should be too.

Personally, I loved the 'no one-liners' rule in another forum I frequent. Prevents BOTH 'this show is awesome!' and 'this show sucks!' kind of posts, which leads to less clutter, less flame wars, and less time finding posts that actually are worth reading.


One last final thing... you know what irks me the most about 'criticism'? It would be how people think that the source material are the be-all-and-end-all gospel, and that any major deviation from it instantly means the adaptation is automatically 'bad', even when this deviation doesn't detract from show. Heck, in some cases, it actually enhances the show by removing excess material, but I digress....
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Old 2009-06-22, 00:50   Link #64
Daniel E.
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Ultimately, I believe that the only thing we can truly control is ourselves. If you keep waiting for someone else to change, there's a good chance that nothing's ever going to get better.
Agree, this is why I focus on enjoying the shows I watch and don't worry too much about the negatives comments other people make.

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Honestly, if you approach every issue with the same level of aggression as you're demonstrating here, it doesn't surprise me that you might encounter considerable resistance. When I read your statements, they come across as overly-defensive in the context of what I saw as a casual conversation.
Really? I am simply pointing out things that actually happen in this forum. How you want to approach that is your choice.

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
It causes me to feel like I should put my guard up. Even though nothing you say is "outright insulting", your tone, choice of words, and even the way you quote my posts (by removing all context, highlighting phrases selectively, and immediately going right to whatever point you're trying to make) can still provoke an emotional response.
But is it not better to do it that way? Nobody likes to read quote floods and I don't understand how selecting a few parts of your reply suddenly translate into some sort of scheme on my behalf.

And you getting an emotional response over this....... that too is your choice.

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
And whether you want to admit it or not, you are equally responsible for the way this communication unfolds.
But of course, saying otherwise would be strange indeed.


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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
In this conversation, your words beget my response to them, and mine to you. If your attitude is "it's a free country; I'll say what I damn well please and it's everybody else's fault if they get offended", then at least don't come whining to me when people get upset at you. You might technically have the right to say what you want, but there are living people on the other end, and on this forum we have to "live with each other". It's good to express your opinions, but there can also be great wisdom in knowing what not to say and/or how not to say it.
first bolded bit: Have I ever come whinning to you about something in particular?

second bolded bit: As I have been saying all along, this too works both ways. Some of the most harsh comments I have heard around here have come from the fans themselves, and some of these fans have been doing it for years now.

Knowing what not to say and/or how to say it, is truly something many need considering.

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
And whatever your ideals may be about discussion forums being inherently neutral, it should be pretty obvious to you that this isn't the case. The people who spend the time watching a show from week to week are naturally going to trend over time to being those who enjoy it most. Awareness of your surroundings is part of adapting to a culture.
A culture that also happens to include those that go against the flow in their mindset.

If someone disturbs a section and breaks the rules, by all means deal with them as you see fit.

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At those times, it's just a matter of knowing when to give up.
For once, we agree!
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Old 2009-06-22, 01:26   Link #65
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I very know that I myself am an Anime critic. Given that I'm the type of person that does complain more than usual. I picked number 1 but I agree with the rest of the options.

As for the other topic in this thread I think we should be sensitive about what we say. We may come off as rude and impolite or even offensive to others. Sometimes I have certain ways of telling them that they're making too much of a deal over a topic and that they seem as if they wanna karate chop me
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Old 2009-06-22, 02:08   Link #66
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[*]When you think of the word "critic" in this context, which of the definitions above tends to spring to mind?
Other. Opinions are great, and opinions backed by reason are even better, but opinions backed by facts are the best. A critic is someone who is aware of the context of the medium (and can place the work within the greater context of genre/style/artistic movement/etc); has an understanding of the medium’s relationship with not only other segments of the medium (i.e. the difference between television and film), but also other fields of art, the audience, and even the society that has created the specific medium in question; an understanding of the process of creation (not necessarily having the ability or experience in creation, but the basic understanding of how the medium is created); and, finally, an understanding of how to analyze the medium’s structure (the process by which the creator expresses their work (i.e. the ability to analyze story structure, and since we are talking about anime (a visual medium), then an understanding of mise-en-scène, cinematography, sound, and editing is needed to properly analyze the process by which the story is told)). All of this is what makes a critic.

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[*]Based on that, do you consider yourself an "Anime Critic"?
I consider myself to be a film critic, so I understand the structure of various anime series/films, and can analyze style, genre, etc, but, my knowledge of the history of the medium, and its reflection within and without society, as well as an understanding of the specific audience, is simplistic, at best (ex: I am still unsure why a manga/anime like Guyver is considered Shounen and not Seinen, nor do I understand why the magazine it is published in (Shounen Ace) is called Shounen when its core audience is much older than the demographic in question).

In short, while I consider myself a critic of visual media (specifically film), but I am still learning (even after many, many years) the context of the various anime series and movies. So, I would not say that I am an Anime critic.

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
[*]When considering which shows to watch, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to watch shows you think you'll like, or will you watch anything that seems popular or technically interesting?
I will watch almost anything, and, as so long as the Team creating the anime are actively interested in their story/topic, and attempt to make their story interesting, then I will stay tuned.

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
[*]When considering which shows to discuss on the forum, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to discuss shows you like, or do you tend to discuss any show where you feel you have an interesting/differing argument/perspective?
Whatever draws my fancy. I am not picky about discussion, and if I actually like an anime (finding it well told, well done, or having an interesting presentation), then I will gladly discuss it.

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[*]How do you decide when to drop shows? What factors into the decision? Does forum popularity/participation factor into your decision-making?
If the story, or presentation, becomes too derivative, I will easily drop the series.

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
[*]Which of these two problems seems more troublesome to you: that people feel unable to present contrary/opposing opinions and arguments, or that people feel unwelcome/uncomfortable posting in threads due to fear of having their personal preferences unfairly questioned?
Both. People feeling unable to post contrary opinions or even fearing posting contrary opinions affects the atmosphere of a thread.

Last edited by james0246; 2009-06-22 at 04:01.
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Old 2009-06-22, 02:26   Link #67
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A critic is anyone who has ever said, *hmpf* or let out a big, satisfying, *sigh* after the end of a viewing.

Any sort of gesture whether it is well laid out words, or just simple tinkering of natural muscle movement we ourselves are not even aware of which corresponds with a particular emotion we are feeling at the time, we are criticing. In a sense, every person is a critic.

So I've went with the choice "Other" in the poll.
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Old 2009-06-22, 07:19   Link #68
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Using definition #2, I'd say I'm a critic of anime to some extent. I tend to drop shows that I'm not enjoying, but I try to keep that minimal with series that I'm downloading. Most of my dropped series are things that I started buying a long time ago before I gave myself more strict rules on where my money goes that I didn't end up liking enough to justify buying more of.

When I watch things, I try to analyze them. I like knowing why I enjoyed or didn't enjoy something, and just thinking about that for a bit after I finish a series or even an episode usually gives me an answer. I don't like the idea of mindlessly fangirling something without being able to have some sort of intelligent discussion of it, and I really can't stand the idea of saying I hated something or that it sucked without an idea of why.
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Old 2009-06-22, 08:43   Link #69
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But how well a message or an idea is communicated to you is part of what makes something enjoyable or not, and while that can be as much on you as it is on the show, you have to base what you think on -something-.

To address the main topic: I think that "critic" means a person who does this sort of thing professionally, and frankly, I think they probably lead somewhat unfortunate lives, because I question if they're able to simply enjoy things. Sort of like how I feel that those who get too focused on "literature," seem to forget why people enjoy reading books in the first place.
That's an often-heard criticism against "critics" — the implication being that they are too elitist for their own good. It's true, after all, that many professional critics do come across as snobbish people who apparently take delight in pouring acid on what the mass public considers entertaining.

I'm not sure if that's a fair perception. Like you've said, how well you enjoy an anime show depends partly on what experience and knowledge you bring to the programme. And a professional critic usually draws upon a broad range of skills that, by definition, a layman would not possess, for example:
Quote:
Originally Posted by james0246 View Post
A critic is someone who is aware of the context of the medium (and can place the work within the greater context of genre/style/artistic movement/etc); has an understanding of the medium’s relationship with not only other segments of the medium (i.e. the difference between television and film), but also other fields of art, the audience, and even the society that has created the specific medium in question; an understanding of the process of creation (not necessarily having the ability or experience in creation, but the basic understanding of how the medium is created); and, finally, an understanding of how to analyze the medium’s structure (the process by which the creator expresses their work (i.e. the ability to analyze story structure, and since we are talking about anime (a visual medium), then an understanding of mise-en-scène, cinematography, sound, and editing is needed to properly analyze the process by which the story is told)).
That typically means that a critic "sees" a lot of nuances that others may miss, and is easily bored by shows that stick to a formula and do not try to break the mould. Does this make him an insufferable snob? Perhaps. Does this make it difficult for him to "enjoy" shows as easily as others? Again, perhaps. But then again, the exhilaration of discovering that rare gem every now and then more than makes up for it.

Which brings me to an off-tangent question: To what extent is anime an art form?

My personal opinion is that most anime is meant to be popular entertainment — we're meant to consume and forget about them. That's not to say that they have no technical merit to speak of, but rather that most anime is geared towards very straightforward — and often commercial — goals.

In this sense, it's almost laughable to critique the vast majority of anime, much as it would be almost laughable to conduct a serious critique of primetime shows like, say, Desperate Housewives. We'd be guilty, to a certain extent, of making anime seem more important than it really is — I find that the medium is simply not meant, for the most part, to be taken that seriously.

Now, there are anime out there that do push the envelope, which leverage on the unique strengths of animation to tell a story in exciting new ways. But what kinds of yardsticks should we then use to evaluate such shows? A movie critic could talk about the structures and contexts of film-making, as james0246 had highlighted above, but to what extent do these factors apply to animation? (For example, cinematography is one of the most coveted skillsets in making a live-action film, because it takes considerable talent and knowledge to master the use of light on a set — but that's a non-issue in animation.)

So, what do we really mean when we say we're "anime critics"? Is it merely enough to have an opinion? In which case, everyone's a critic. Once again, I'd say you're a critic only when you're capable of giving something more than just opinion. You need to be able to show and explain how a show employs multiple layers of meaning and technique to deliver a message (assuming that the anime possesses such complexity in the first place!).

That's very far from being a simple task.

Last edited by TinyRedLeaf; 2009-06-22 at 09:02.
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Old 2009-06-22, 10:43   Link #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf
That's an often-heard criticism against "critics" — the implication being that they are too elitist for their own good. It's true, after all, that many professional critics do come across as snobbish people who apparently take delight in pouring acid on what the mass public considers entertaining.

I'm not sure if that's a fair perception. Like you've said, how well you enjoy an anime show depends partly on what experience and knowledge you bring to the programme. And a professional critic usually draws upon a broad range of skills that, by definition, a layman would not possess
Hm, fair enough. I guess my beef is mostly with literary critics--being a fan of genres/modes that they frequently snub just on principle (i.e. any science fiction that isn't a dystopia or politically relevant in some way). Plus the guy who wrote the AP Lit book we used cannot help but come off as a pompous jerk, so I've been a little angry towards "critics" in general from that class. I guess I just really love that element of reading/experiencing a medium that initially attracts people to it, say, when you're a kid, reading some fantastic adventure story or whatnot. A lot of those aren't necessarily dripping with literary merit, but they're very enjoyable, and whenever I read professional criticism, I can't help but wonder, "Do these people enjoy stories anymore, or just the ideas they're trying to represent?" Because a book (or an anime?) needs to be entertainment as much as a venue for ideas--if all you want to do is argue your point, then you may as well write an essay, no?

But that's a little bit neither here nor there, sorry to digress.

Quote:
Which brings me to an off-tangent question: To what extent is anime an art form?
Well now, this could be interesting, or a complete can of worms, or go completely ignored by everyone else in this conversation. XD I guess we'll find out.

I suppose I'm inclined to want to view everything as "art" to a certain extent, because as a writer, I have a hard time imagining a person who writes without putting any of themselves into it, trying to hit upon something unique or at least interesting. I have to admit, there are a lot of things out there that make me question my faith in that idea, though, and I can't nearly blame all of them on some sort of executive meddling with the original ARTISTIC PURPOSE of the show.

But by the same token, I don't think "pure entertainment," is at all a bad thing, as long as that's what a series/show/book sets out to be, and doesn't pretend to be anything else. Take an American show like Psych--it's not as emotionally involved as a Law and Order or whatever, but it's generally funny, and it recalls that era of mystery stories that are as much about the adventure as figuring out who did it. And for the most part it knows that it's just trying to be a funny, entertaining show and doesn't pretend to be anything else. To a certain extent, I think that that's better than something that pretends to be deep or meaningful without much actually there... like, for instance, a lot of anime "philosophical clashes," between a person with fairly ordinary values and some villain who's spent his whole life reading Nietzsche or somesuch.

So I guess what I mean is that I look to any show to know what it is trying to be, and to be that to the fullest extent it possibly can.

But that doesn't really answer the question. I think I see anime as being entertainment, yes, but also being capable of being more than that when it wants to be. And as I've said, I have no problem with either, as long as they're well executed. I mean, hell, if I can read symbolism into Gurren Lagann, I can probably satisfy myself on either count with most well-made shows (though to be fair, Gurren Lagann does actually express its ideas pretty well, which may be why it won script awards in Japan, if memory serves).

Ack, I feel like I more just ranted about my own views than addressed your question... sorry about that... eheh... *sweatdrop*
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Old 2009-06-22, 14:07   Link #71
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
That typically means that a critic "sees" a lot of nuances that others may miss, and is easily bored by shows that stick to a formula and do not try to break the mould. Does this make him an insufferable snob? Perhaps. Does this make it difficult for him to "enjoy" shows as easily as others? Again, perhaps. But then again, the exhilaration of discovering that rare gem every now and then more than makes up for it.
As a brief explanation, I explained in the "Worst Movie" thread that I do not really believe in a bad film (or anime), so much as a boring film with a bad director/creative team. An animated feature can be derivitive, but if the production crew and cast display an honest desire to entertain, then I can still find enjoyment with the feature (I used Ed Wood as an example of a director who clearly has no real idea of what they were/are doing, but do to their enthusiam, enjoyment can still be found in the presentation, even if the structure and story are a complete mess).

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Now, there are anime out there that do push the envelope, which leverage on the unique strengths of animation to tell a story in exciting new ways. But what kinds of yardsticks should we then use to evaluate such shows? A movie critic could talk about the structures and contexts of film-making, as james0246 had highlighted above, but to what extent do these factors apply to animation? (For example, cinematography is one of the most coveted skillsets in making a live-action film, because it takes considerable talent and knowledge to master the use of light on a set — but that's a non-issue in animation.)
Actually cinematography is just as important in an animated feature, as it is in live-action feature. While there is no specific camera used in the process of creating an animated feature, the camera's pressence is still felt. Specifically, the use of lighting, exposure, filtration, composition, and even film selection is still extremely important for an animator, they just use all these aspects without a real camera being used (consequently something like lens choice is not very important to animation). Added to that, since the work of a cinematographer is not "natural" (i.e. the director wants the image and the parts of the image to convey the story, so the use of the various techniques creates the means by which the image can convey the story (specifically, the images are all "doctered" to add to the internal logic of the film)) there is no real need to differentiat between something like real lighting or fake lighting, or the various other elements that would be different between an imaginary world and the real world. In fact, animation can sometimes better use cinematography to construct surreal images, or to better construct the story (mind you, this is good animation that can do all of this, so the majority of anime does not quite live up to this statement), because it is free to use otherworldly colours and compositions.

All of the structual components I listed can be found in Anime, but, just like with television (and even film, in recent years), the structual components within a general anime, especially one meant for mass-appeal, will be simplistic at best, preffering instead for the story, acting, and music to outweight any simplicity on the part of the structual presentation.
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Old 2009-06-22, 16:30   Link #72
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  1. When you think of the word "critic" in this context, which of the definitions above tends to spring to mind?
    In the context of this forum? #2. But generally #1.
  2. Based on that, do you consider yourself an "Anime Critic"?
    No. There are many people in this forum who are much more capable of analyzing a show and formulating their judgement.
  3. When considering which shows to watch, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to watch shows you think you'll like, or will you watch anything that seems popular or technically interesting?
    Simple: I try to check out anything where I see a slim chance it might turn out good. The less I like what I see the quicker I drop it. I find it hard to let go of shows that are "meh" but not really bad, though.
  4. When considering which shows to discuss on the forum, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to discuss shows you like, or do you tend to discuss any show where you feel you have an interesting/differing argument/perspective?
    I don't discuss shows that much at the moment because of I'm often a bit behind and often feel most useful things have already been said. There is no need to increase the noise level with remarks like "me too". "Interesting/differing argument/perspectives" are what I like to read the most though.
  5. How do you decide when to drop shows? What factors into the decision? Does forum popularity/participation factor into your decision-making?
    I drop them when I hate them. The reasons are totally subjective, I can analyze them but I don't question them. (Un)popularity is no reason for watching (dropping) a show at all.
  6. Which of these two problems seems more troublesome to you: that people feel unable to present contrary/opposing opinions and arguments, or that people feel unwelcome/uncomfortable posting in threads due to fear of having their personal preferences unfairly questioned?
    People who voice a critical opinion will much more likely suffer under ad hominem attacks than people who go with the stream. So I guess the former group will stay quite more often. On the other hand, critical opinions are also more often well-thought out and a more interesting read in my perception, maybe because people know that they have to make their arguments more watertight. So I get to read the interesting posts less often which is of course "troublesome".

On a marginally related note, the argument between Daniel E. and rentlessflame looks like the classical cultural clash to me between those who've learned "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" from their mothers and those who have learned "Tell the truth!". Or am I interpreting too much into this? In any case, in a global forum one must learn to deal with both and calling Daniel "aggressive" in uncalled for.
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Old 2009-06-22, 16:52   Link #73
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Originally Posted by james0246 View Post
As a brief explanation, I explained in the "Worst Movie" thread that I do not really believe in a bad film (or anime), so much as a boring film with a bad director/creative team. An animated feature can be derivitive, but if the production crew and cast display an honest desire to entertain, then I can still find enjoyment with the feature (I used Ed Wood as an example of a director who clearly has no real idea of what they were/are doing, but do to their enthusiam, enjoyment can still be found in the presentation, even if the structure and story are a complete mess).
I agree as I don't really believe in a bad movie/anime/show, as much as I believe in lousy direction that causes something to not be entertaining. I feel that the works with more enthusiasm and effort put into them allow me to put far more suspension of belief than a production that has lousy directing/creative direction. That being said, I've noted in anime of how many absolutely silly ideas can actually be very entertaining even though my friends who tend to be more critical of everything can't stand it.

When I rewatch a show and realize tiny subtle things I didn't notice before, that makes me appreciate the show more.

After all, if you do not love and respect your own works, how can you expect others to?

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Old 2009-06-22, 17:00   Link #74
Vexx
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Ultimately, I believe that the only thing we can truly control is ourselves. If you keep waiting for someone else to change, there's a good chance that nothing's ever going to get better.

Honestly, if you approach every issue with the same level of aggression as you're demonstrating here, it doesn't surprise me that you might encounter considerable resistance. When I read your statements, they come across as overly-defensive in the context of what I saw as a casual conversation. It causes me to feel like I should put my guard up. Even though nothing you say is "outright insulting", your tone, choice of words, and even the way you quote my posts (by removing all context, highlighting phrases selectively, and immediately going right to whatever point you're trying to make) can still provoke an emotional response. And whether you want to admit it or not, you are equally responsible for the way this communication unfolds. In this conversation, your words beget my response to them, and mine to you. If your attitude is "it's a free country; I'll say what I damn well please and it's not insulting; it's everybody else's fault if they get offended by this", then at least don't come whining to me when people get upset at you. You might technically have the right to say what you want, but there are living people on the other end, and on this forum we have to "live with each other". It's good to express your opinions, but there can also be great wisdom in knowing what not to say and/or how not to say it.

And whatever your ideals may be about discussion forums being inherently neutral, it should be pretty obvious to you that this isn't the case. The people who spend the time watching a show from week to week are naturally going to trend over time to being those who enjoy it most. Awareness of your surroundings is part of adapting to a culture.

I'm not trying to trample on your right to have contrary points of view. But I do hope you'll at least consider that effective communication begins with the sender -- the one who wants their message to be received. I guess it comes down to the difference between being "heard", being "understood", and being "accepted". The only one who can decide your goal is you, and your communication strategy should reflect your goal. But despite your best efforts, sometimes it just doesn't work. At those times, it's just a matter of knowing when to give up.
It looks like you're over-characterizing Daniel's remarks with terms like "aggressive" and "overly-defensive", etc. I don't see him adopting any more threatening language than you or me (or most of the other posters for that matter). Highlighting parts of a quote? uh... okay. I thought that was perfectly legitimate to where the comment was focused.

And again, that felt fairly over-the-top to reframe his post as "I'll say what I damn well please and it's not insulting" o.O

The "Thumper says" comment ... in reality there are shades of grey between "nice" and "not nice".

If Daniel is our benchpost for "aggressive and overly-defensive", then we're all totally screwed because my experience has been that he's one of the calmer posters at Animesuki :P
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Old 2009-06-22, 17:05   Link #75
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Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post
On a marginally related note, the argument between Daniel E. and rentlessflame looks like the classical cultural clash to me between those who've learned "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" from their mothers and those who have learned "Tell the truth!". Or am I interpreting too much into this? In any case, in a global forum one must learn to deal with both and calling Daniel "aggressive" in uncalled for.
I really don't consider or mean that to be an insulting word, but if offense was taken, I do apologize. Perhaps it's a matter of definition; would "direct" or "forceful" have been better? But making that statement, regardless of the word chosen, was pretty essential to the point I was trying to make. Yes, on a global forum you have to learn to deal with many styles of communication. However, if you're going to take a more direct tone (and not speak only "when you have something nice to say"), then you can expect to receive more resistance. Negativity and direct speech is more provocative than suggestive or passive tones. I wasn't intending that as some sort of scathing criticism or attack, but more as a reflection of the natural consequences of our choices. Perhaps in an ideal world, everyone would be fully understanding and open to opposing points of view, but that just isn't the reality we face.

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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
And again, that felt fairly over-the-top to reframe his post as "I'll say what I damn well please and it's not insulting" o.O

The "Thumper says" comment ... in reality there are shades of grey between "nice" and "not nice".
I wasn't by any means trying to suggest that those posts were not nice! If that's the way it came across, then I failed. I was trying to refer in broader terms to the concept of entering a thread and posting a negative opinion, and how that might be received by others if delivered in the same tone. The posts in question were perfectly fine, even if I found his writing style is a bit more direct.

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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
If Daniel is our benchpost for "aggressive and overly-defensive", then we're all totally screwed because my experience has been that he's one of the calmer posters at Animesuki :P
Again, I was not trying to imply this, and I apologize that obviously it seems that's the way it was received. I was trying to use it as an example of how tone of writing can be received by other people, and the inherent subjectivity involved. The fact that there are different ways of reading "tone" in writing is actually part of the point, though. Clearly, you both perceived it as neutral. Clearly, I didn't, and my comment was meant in more of a "did you know that people could perceive things this way" sort of way. In actual fact, I was not offended, and was trying (clearly failing) to be as neutral as possible while still trying to present considerations related to how tone and context can impact a discussion.

And in the spirit of "tell you what I'm feeling", of course I now feel like shit because I totally failed in conveying what I was hoping. That's not anyone's fault except my own, because I was responsible for the way I stated things. So I guess the lesson learned is that perception of tone goes in all different directions, and that it's very hard to know how it will be received. Or something...


Edit: Now I'm really wondering whether calling someone "aggressive" has cultural connotations that I wasn't aware of. Around here, I don't think it would be taken as an insult; in fact, in many contexts, it would be taken as a complement. It just means that you're direct, determined -- sort of like a "go-getter". You don't beat around the bush; that would be "aggressive". The opposite of "aggressive" would be "passive", which is sort of "laissez-faire", and I can't see many people seeing that as a complement. You might tell a child that they need to be more aggressive and chase after their goals, or something. But in that context it doesn't mean like "violent" or "prone to start fights" or whatever; that would be someone who's overly-aggressive. So I guess I'm used to thinking that being somewhat aggressive is a good thing, but clearly that's a case of cultural word usage. So honestly, please at least take my word for it that I didn't intend that as an insult.

Last edited by relentlessflame; 2009-06-22 at 18:32. Reason: on being "aggressive"
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Old 2009-06-23, 04:17   Link #76
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Edit: Now I'm really wondering whether calling someone "aggressive" has cultural connotations that I wasn't aware of. Around here, I don't think it would be taken as an insult; in fact, in many contexts, it would be taken as a complement. It just means that you're direct, determined -- sort of like a "go-getter". You don't beat around the bush; that would be "aggressive". The opposite of "aggressive" would be "passive", which is sort of "laissez-faire", and I can't see many people seeing that as a complement. You might tell a child that they need to be more aggressive and chase after their goals, or something. But in that context it doesn't mean like "violent" or "prone to start fights" or whatever; that would be someone who's overly-aggressive. So I guess I'm used to thinking that being somewhat aggressive is a good thing, but clearly that's a case of cultural word usage. So honestly, please at least take my word for it that I didn't intend that as an insult.
I don't think it's cultural I think they just misunderstood what you meant by "aggressive".
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Old 2009-06-23, 08:45   Link #77
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When you think of the word "critic" in this context, which of the definitions above tends to spring to mind?
For me, "critic" refers to someone who watches a show/movie for the prime purpose of reviewing it. This is opposed to more casual veiwers who might choose to comment on a show after watching it.

Quote:
Based on that, do you consider yourself an "Anime Critic"?
No. While I may comment on a show, I normally just touch on a few high and low points instead of giving a more comprehensive critique.

Quote:
When considering which shows to watch, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to watch shows you think you'll like, or will you watch anything that seems popular or technically interesting?
There are lot of factors involved - usually I stick to shows that I'm interested in. However, I also make it a point to catch a few shows that aren't normally my thing, and I occassionally purposefully pick a couple of bad shows to watch.

Quote:
When considering which shows to discuss on the forum, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to discuss shows you like, or do you tend to discuss any show where you feel you have an interesting/differing argument/perspective?
A lot of the time, I find that I don't have a whole lot to say about shows that I like, especially when it comes to my favorites. Instead, I end up discussing shows where I have something to contribute: whether it's an insight of some kind or some sort of amusing comment. Whether I'm expressing a popular or unpopular opinion plays no factor.

Quote:
How do you decide when to drop shows? What factors into the decision? Does forum popularity/participation factor into your decision-making?
In most cases, I drop shows when I either lose interest in them or if I don't find anything appealing about them to begin with. Since K-ON was brought up earlier, it's an example of a show that I didn't find interesting, so I dropped it right away. On the other hand, I don't tend to drop the bad shows unless they turn out much worse than I expected. I watched all of Cosprayers knowing it was bad, so my tolerance there is pretty high.

Quote:
Which of these two problems seems more troublesome to you: that people feel unable to present contrary/opposing opinions and arguments, or that people feel unwelcome/uncomfortable posting in threads due to fear of having their personal preferences unfairly questioned?
Both of these problems seem to be about the same thing to me. The reason why someone would be worried about having their preferences unfairly questioned would do so because they espouse an unpopular opinion. After all, why would they be unduly questioned if they were the twentieth person to state that particular opinion.

In general, I see this as a potential problem as the point of discussing something is defeated if only one kind of idea is deemed acceptable. Anyone offering an opinion should expect that someone else is going to posit either a rebuttal or an opposing opinion. I sort of see that as the lifeblood of discussion, and I'd hate to see it get stifled.


Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame
Edit: Now I'm really wondering whether calling someone "aggressive" has cultural connotations that I wasn't aware of. Around here, I don't think it would be taken as an insult; in fact, in many contexts, it would be taken as a complement. It just means that you're direct, determined -- sort of like a "go-getter". You don't beat around the bush; that would be "aggressive". The opposite of "aggressive" would be "passive", which is sort of "laissez-faire", and I can't see many people seeing that as a complement. You might tell a child that they need to be more aggressive and chase after their goals, or something. But in that context it doesn't mean like "violent" or "prone to start fights" or whatever; that would be someone who's overly-aggressive. So I guess I'm used to thinking that being somewhat aggressive is a good thing, but clearly that's a case of cultural word usage. So honestly, please at least take my word for it that I didn't intend that as an insult.
I've seen "aggressive" mostly used in negative terms on a large number discussion forums. It generally refers to someone attacking another poster to a much larger degree than necessary to get the point across. Now that you've clarified your usage, it shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 2009-06-23, 08:57   Link #78
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I think this is one of those cases where *saying* "that sounded aggressive" with a mitigating tonality is just less accusatory or damning than *writing* it. Tonality differs in written correspondence than in spoken conversation.

However, "aggressive" does have a specific meaning (especially in academics) that places it far forward of a word like "assertive". It has a somewhat negative connotation in many circles because its often used as a euphemism for much more negative assessment. For instance, in business I've heard it used to describe "uppity females" when the speaker knows that saying "bitch" would get them tossed into retraining counseling.
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Old 2009-06-23, 10:08   Link #79
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When you think of the word "critic" in this context, which of the definitions above tends to spring to mind?
Number 2. Honestly I only really comment of certain positives and negatives when I feel they should be taken into account or addressed.

Quote:
Based on that, do you consider yourself an "Anime Critic"?
IMHO anyone who makes an informed comment on any medium of presentation is already a critic, so I can say yes I am. I don't believe in rigorously restrictive semantics in most cases. In contrast, anyone who makes a misinformed or blatantly ignorant comment on any medium of presentation is an idiot.

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When considering which shows to watch, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to watch shows you think you'll like, or will you watch anything that seems popular or technically interesting?
First and foremost is interest. You can debate the issues of art styles, philosophical approaches, originality of storytelling and whatnot, but in the beginning it's all about first impressions. You're never likely to try an anime out if it doesn't catch your eye. First impressions aren't everything of course, I've dropped series in as fast as 10 minutes into the first episode and have come to love others only after say a few episodes in.

Popularity and hype doesn't automatically mean it's food for the brainless masses. As much as possible I try to watch something as objectively as possible before I pile on my hate or my fanboyisms. It's because I want to give most series a chance because most really won't shine until some episodes in, and the moment I let excess emotions and subjectivity get in the way I may end up dropping something fantastic (like Saikano).

Quote:
When considering which shows to discuss on the forum, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to discuss shows you like, or do you tend to discuss any show where you feel you have an interesting/differing argument/perspective?
I post about certain things I find in a show if I find it worth discussing, and it may or may not be something I necessarily love or hate. I'm not an argumentative person by nature but I'll stand my ground on an issue if I need to.

Quote:
How do you decide when to drop shows? What factors into the decision? Does forum popularity/participation factor into your decision-making?
Too many reasons to drop a show honestly. Sometimes I don't realize I found such an issue a requirement for dropping until I notice it in a show. Again, I don't let popularity or lack thereof to be grounds for dropping a show because that's... stupidly superficial. If you let other people's opinions sway you so easily then you clearly aren't thinking for yourself.

Quote:
Which of these two problems seems more troublesome to you: that people feel unable to present contrary/opposing opinions and arguments, or that people feel unwelcome/uncomfortable posting in threads due to fear of having their personal preferences unfairly questioned?
The second one, mostly because there are people who apparently think that as an empirical rule, Opinion = Fact, which is honestly one of the dumbest things ever, and no this isn't an opinion this is fact. I don't enjoy expressing an opinion in a forum where people aren't even capable of this understanding this fundamental difference. Likewise I don't enjoy lambasting people who disagree with me. Rampant blind fanboyism and blind hatred tends to stem from this.

Of course above all things, the ones I really hate are opinions based on faulty information or blatant ignorance. There are fewer things more dangerous than a misinformed or ignorant opinion.
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Old 2009-06-23, 10:15   Link #80
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
However, "aggressive" does have a specific meaning (especially in academics) that places it far forward of a word like "assertive". It has a somewhat negative connotation in many circles because its often used as a euphemism for much more negative assessment. For instance, in business I've heard it used to describe "uppity females" when the speaker knows that saying "bitch" would get them tossed into retraining counseling.
Now that's something I wasn't aware of! When I've heard the word used to describe females in business/politics here, it's usually in the more positive sense. For example, we have a female mayor here, and she could be described as somewhat-aggressive. But people perceive this as a good thing since "she's no push-over" and "gets things done". She's been re-elected for multiple terms. I guess maybe some people who don't like her would spin it in a bad way, but that could also be because they don't like having a woman mayor (thankfully these people are the minority). So anyway... I definitely didn't know that connotation, so sorry for hitting an unexpected hot button; I'll know for the future.

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Originally Posted by 4Tran View Post
For me, "critic" refers to someone who watches a show/movie for the prime purpose of reviewing it. This is opposed to more casual veiwers who might choose to comment on a show after watching it.
Actually, this is a very interesting way of looking at it. I've seen forumites who post their thoughts/impressions ritualistically after every episode airs, to the extent that I sometimes wonder if they watch it in order to post. And of course there are also "episode bloggers" who post screenshots, summaries and impressions after each viewing. These people may or may not be "critics", but I guess the question is, when you get into these sorts of "rituals", to what extent does that impact the way you view a show? And if so, does having these sorts of "rituals", perhaps unknowingly at first, make it harder over time to simply enjoy a show? Hmm... I guess that's sort of a "how have the forums changed the way you watched anime" sort of question. Anyway, interesting thought.
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