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Old 2009-08-16, 12:17   Link #41
Haak
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I guess in the end it depends on which slide of the scale you prefer.

I didn't like Gurren Lagann that much but becuase of the willpower stuff but I absolutely love "A Song of Ice and Fire". It pretty much shows the opposite side of the scale and has loads of character deaths that just make it absolutely awesome. (I really recommend anyone read this)

It's interesting that C.A says it's a cultural thing but I'm not so sure. You don't see much of the whole "willpower" thing outside shounen and i've seen western animation and fiction books that portray the same stuff.

I don't neccessarily see it as a cop out. It can be used as a cop out some times (eg. Bleach), but I don't think Gurren Lagann using "Willpower" was a cop put. The show was pretty much based on it.
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Old 2009-08-16, 12:18   Link #42
Theowne
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Oh, well, that's just an extension of fictional super powers.
Well, again, not realy. It's also the fact that, well, in the case of Dragonball Z, it's mentioned often that a pure heart or motivation is required to achieve those superpowers, which is why noble hearted Son Goku was able to achieve them. It's not merely that its a superpower, since the villains have superpower as well, rather that good intentions and a pure heart always gives way to strength that is naturally stronger than those from evil intentions. Same with my Harry Potter example. No matter how powerful Voldemort is, we're told that love will always be stronger.

Which is a concept which I enjoy watching and seeing. I don't know if its realistic or can really be drawn from reality.
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Old 2009-08-16, 12:32   Link #43
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
WW2 was a different era. All sides used propaganda back then. There was no internet, or even TV network news back then.

Uninformed idealism can indeed be a very bad thing.
lol, it still happens all the time though.
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Old 2009-08-16, 12:36   Link #44
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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
The hero has more willpower by default; he/she wouldn't be the hero otherwise. How else would Frodo enter Mordor?
Bad example. It's called stupidity.
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Old 2009-08-16, 12:46   Link #45
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Originally Posted by Theowne View Post
It's certainly unrealistic. But I'm not sure I wouldn't miss it. Anime is fiction, and there is something satisfying about the idea that one can overcome obstacles through willpower.

In a lot of the shounen action anime(Naruto, DBZ) there are scenes where the loss of a friend or cared one elicits such strong rage that the main character can defeat the opponent. Maybe that isn't realistic in real life, but ...well, I kind of like those scenes. I like when wanting to protect somebody gives you a greater will to succeed than selfish intentions.

The idea that when pushed to the limit, people can unearth their hidden potential. The idea that never giving up is a path to success in itself. The idea that friendship and bonds are powerful enough to defeat the worst of enemies. No, it's not realistic. But this is fiction. And I like seeing my ideals played out on screen.
First, this has turned into a great discussion over night. There was only one reply when I went to bed yesterday but I woke up to a handful of them.

While I agree that it IS fiction, I think that it's much better if they can take a realistic situation and have an optimistic outcome.

Just because it's realistic doesn't mean it needs to be cynical or depressing (though a lot are). Stories which have a "happy" ending but are solved realistically are my favorite types of stories because they make me still realize there is hope out there for a better world. The stories that just have things resolved by will/guts alone (or friendship or any of these other things) don't give me this same feeling because they are so far removed from reality. Most of the time, the character's strength is directly related to their will/friendship/love which is NOT true in the real world.

I'll explain how I've slowly came to this conclusion (though I'm only 19). I ran cross country and track in high school and there was an American runner called Prefontaine. He ran in the 70s and was all about willpower/guts. He died at a young age and has since turned into a bit of a legened in the running community. People constantly believe if they train hard enough and have enough will they can beat anyone. I beleived that too. For a few years I believed it. Then I realized this is the real world, I can't be the best just by training hard and having a lot of will. It can get me to my best potential, but my genetics limit how fast i can go.

This is a bit related to the Japanese in WW2. I know they had an intense will during the war, but since they didn't have the resources (both in materials and people to fight), they could never win against the juggernaut that was the U.S. which had plenty of people and plenty of natural resources plus damn good technology. And Japan REFUSED to give up and what did that lead to? Only more deaths. It took the detonation of two atomic bombs for them to realize "Shit, we can't win this one." If most countries were getting clobbered as hard as they were, they would surrender because they know they would lose and only more people would die if they continued.

Essentially what I'm saying is that yes, willpower is a very important quality in real life BUT you need still look at the reality of things. Maybe I've just felt betrayed by the stories I've grown up with which told me "You can do anything if you try hard enough!" It definitely is a preference thing in that case, but I still feel like it's a LOT harder to craft a story that is "real" but still has a happy ending. Like I said, those are the stories that still give me hope that good things can happen in this world. Or stories that don't have "happy endings" but they aren't sad either. One I read in high school was Ordinary People which is about a teenager who sees his brother die and the depression that comes after.

Spoiler for Ending to the book:


Let me give a general example: Let's say we have a romantic comedy on our hands. The male lead is in a relationship with a woman who he believes is the "one." Yet somehow the relationship ends and it is clear they will never get back together. I would love if this story ends with the guy finally getting over the girl and asking out someone else to show that he can grow and move on from things instead of having it the easy way where he and the girl magically fall back in love.
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Old 2009-08-16, 12:49   Link #46
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Originally Posted by Haak View Post
I guess in the end it depends on which slide of the scale you prefer.

I didn't like Gurren Lagann that much but becuase of the willpower stuff but I absolutely love "A Song of Ice and Fire". It pretty much shows the opposite side of the scale and has loads of character deaths that just make it absolutely awesome. (I really recommend anyone read this)
I read a while back and I think I stopped at book 2 (maybe 3).. I need to pick it back up. But I think it puts a lot of people off who revel in the idealism side .. maybe like Now and Then, Here and There, only much much worse. Everyone's motivated to do their own thing, to kill, to conquer, or whatever.

Actually I don't remember most of the details but I remeber it got a little boring for me after the main intial party got separated because it the story itself didn't move much, when nearly everyone who succeeds--friend or foe, hero or villain--eventually fails (i.e gets killed). Still, there was some display of willpower, and it's sole use was only to allow a just a few of the protagonists to survive.. somehow.
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Old 2009-08-16, 12:55   Link #47
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Taking these five altogether, I didn't find the Soul Society arc that unrealistic at all. It was an insane gamble that Ichigo took in going after Rukia, yes, but the gamble paid off due to the circumstances listed above (primarily due to Aizen and Jin's activities). It wasn't that Ichigo's will power enabled him to defeat 12 Captains all more experienced and powerful/talented than him... it's that circumstances played out in a way that favored his mission, for the most part.
How about in the case of Hueco Mundo?

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Normal human emotion in response to seeing a loved one killed or severely injured is either immediate mourning and shock... or going into an adrenaline-filled rage against the killer/maimer.

Adrenaline rushes are real - they do exist in real life. The death of a loved one could certainly conceivably fuel one.
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Not really what I meant. Taking my examples of Naruto and DBZ, there are moments in these series where the loss of a loved one unleashes a hidden power (going Super Saiyan, or unleashing the nine-tails power) and allows an unbeatable opponent to now be on equal level or below you. The idea of love or friendship being such strong forces that can unleash such power unattainable by those with selfish desires. I'm talking about a broader, very idealistic concept.

The Harry Potter series shares this idea, with Dumbledore frequently telling Harry that his strength is his ability to love, which can defeat even the greatest of evil wizards who don't understand it.
Funny thing; I thought being in control of your emotions in battle is always preferable to going amok. Being amok is like having the Berserk status (attack up, defense down) and, well, it is a very big gamble.

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I think that anime can do an excellent job of reflecting reality, and hence commenting on it.

There's nothing wrong in searching for realism in anime. I, myself, often search for realism in anime, and I'm a big anime fan.
I'm with you on this.

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Originally Posted by Timdog View Post
Essentially what I'm saying is that yes, willpower is a very important quality in real life BUT you need still look at the reality of things. Maybe I've just felt betrayed by the stories I've grown up with which told me "You can do anything if you try hard enough!" It definitely is a preference thing in that case, but I still feel like it's a LOT harder to craft a story that is "real" but still has a happy ending. Like I said, those are the stories that still give me hope that good things can happen in this world. Or stories that don't have "happy endings" but they aren't sad either.
Sometimes the story is driven just by what the viewer WANTS to see and not how the story should NORMALLY end. I mean, I couldn't understand the stupidity at which Clannad After Story ended. How could so many thousands of people like such an unrealistic ending in a so-called realistic setting? It just magically happened so, just because the viewers WANTED it to end like this. Willpower my butt; it is just a convinient way to see things end the way you HOPE they will end.

It is the same with sudden power-ups in shonen. It just happened because deep inside the target audience wanted it to happen as such.
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Old 2009-08-16, 13:10   Link #48
Haak
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Actually I don't remember most of the details but I remeber it got a little boring for me after the main intial party got separated because it the story itself didn't move much, when nearly everyone who succeeds--friend or foe, hero or villain--eventually fails (i.e gets killed). Still, there was some display of willpower, and it's sole use was only to allow a just a few of the protagonists to survive.. somehow.
A lot of epople say it got boring. I kinda agrree that it got boring with book 4 but that's because George R.R. Martin decided to focus on all the "boring" characters in that book so he could save the good ones for the fifth book.

Oh I agree, willpower is definately realistic. If you ever watch contact sports like boxing. Your mindset and psychology actually play a major role, just as much as skill even. Ever watched a game of snooker? In final you see one guy going up like several frames and your thinking how that loser of a foe ever got into the finals but then the loser foe draws level in frames and your thinking "Wow, where did that come from". It actually happens a lot in snooker. I think the mindset is talked about a lot in tennis too. You also seeing willpower coming into play if you read "Musashi" by Eiji Yoshikawa.
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Old 2009-08-16, 13:15   Link #49
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hmm.. a more realistic ending, as in "Life goes on" ?
so life:
- continues to suck
- continues to not suck
- continues to have parts that suck and not suck

people loose.. find it's no big deal, then move on
people win.. find it's no big deal, then move on

makes things less dramatic though
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Old 2009-08-16, 13:22   Link #50
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Originally Posted by C.A. View Post
@Triple_R:

There's two types of 'realism'.

One is realism in the sense where it can be compared to real life, reality, and stuff happens within realistic limits. If one is searching for such in anime, they are looking in the wrong place. Of course there is nothing wrong if an anime portrays realism, but if one watches anime specifically for realism, then they're just expecting too much.

The other is realism in the sense of believability, how far the story suspends your belief. This is entirely subjective, everyone has a different limit to how much they can suspend their belief. There's nothing we can do about it here. If someone complains about anime being unrealistic in this sense, its just their own preference at work.
That's close to what I'm referring to (and is probably true in general), but it's a bit off from what I'm specifically referring to.

In a fictional context, realism typically means this to me...

1) The fictional universe has certain rules - magical, metaphysical, scientific, spiritual, whatever - that it is governed by. It may not have the Rules of Physics, for example, but it has something in its place if the Rules of Physics aren't there. The fictional universe should be internally consistent, and imposes certain conditions on its inhabitants. For example... characters should have a certain set anatomy/biology to them, unless they're a shape-changer of some sort. If it's established at one point that, say, sunlight will kill this vampire character, then if we end up with a scene where a vampire is caught under a bright sun with no protection... that vampire should die. Period. If the vampire doesn't, the story is failing to adhere to any sort of rhyme or reason within its own fictional universe.

Do you see what I'm saying here?

2) Characters act in believable ways. If you've established that a character is a pretty smart and shrewd guy, for example, then it shouldn't take him over 15,000 time loops to figure out how to break the time loop... *ahem*


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Originally Posted by Theowne View Post
Well, again, not realy. It's also the fact that, well, in the case of Dragonball Z, it's mentioned often that a pure heart or motivation is required to achieve those superpowers, which is why noble hearted Son Goku was able to achieve them. It's not merely that its a superpower, since the villains have superpower as well, rather that good intentions and a pure heart always gives way to strength that is naturally stronger than those from evil intentions. Same with my Harry Potter example. No matter how powerful Voldemort is, we're told that love will always be stronger.

Which is a concept which I enjoy watching and seeing. I don't know if its realistic or can really be drawn from reality.
Ok, I see what you're saying. You like how the power of nobility, a good heart, and virtues, often leads to special super powers and victory, in a lot of anime and/or fiction. Yes, I tend to like that as well (until it gets to truly absurd levels, like Yu-Gi-Oh's "Heart of the Cards").


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Originally Posted by roriconfan View Post
How about in the case of Hueco Mundo?
Yeah, I can't defend that.


Quote:

I'm with you on this.
I'm glad we agree on that.
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Old 2009-08-16, 13:28   Link #51
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why are we even debating about bleach? its not even a good example of a manga that used will power, etc, to its fullest, some of the better examples would be ttgl and op, which many of you people who are saying that will power is boring have not mentioned at all.
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Old 2009-08-16, 13:44   Link #52
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the better examples would be ttgl and op, which many of you people who are saying that will power is boring have not mentioned at all.
Ok, willpower in TTGL.
"I want to enter a mecha as big as the galaxy and pierce the heavens and defeat God and stop spiral nemesis from ever happenning. And I will succeed... because I want to..."

And now One Piece.
"Drop down!" (the enemy falls unconcious)
"Turn to stone!" (the enemy is petrified)
"Dance island! DANCE!" (the people of an entire island, plus Jango, start dancing)

Happy now? This makes the story to look so much better...
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Old 2009-08-16, 13:50   Link #53
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why are we even debating about bleach? its not even a good example of a manga that used will power, etc, to its fullest, some of the better examples would be ttgl and op, which many of you people who are saying that will power is boring have not mentioned at all.
No one is debating Bleach. People are just using it as an example of how willpower can be used as a cop out. Gurren Lagann and One Piece have actually been mentioned already.
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Old 2009-08-16, 14:00   Link #54
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Funny thing; I thought being in control of your emotions in battle is always preferable to going amok.
We're talking on different wavelengths, it seems. I enjoy seeing strategy in battles as much as anyone. But when I talk about enjoying these kind of victories based on ideals and willpower, it's not for the thrill of victory or satisfaction at having seen a good battle, rather, it's for the rewarding of idealistic concepts that are noble to my mind - rewarding them is a satisfying thing for me to see. It makes me feel good. I am not embarrassed to say that I like them purely because they make me feel good. That doesn't mean I don't like realistic or logical thinking. I'm an engineering student for pete's sake. But there is an element of idealism in these kind of series that happens to appeal to me. It's the same reason why I like really idealistic love stories. They rarely exist in a similar way in real life, but that doesn't matter to me.

To be perfectly honest though, my most satisfying kind of scenario is when underdog characters use their heads to overcome a more threatening opponent - kind of like Shikamaru from Naruto in the beginning.
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Old 2009-08-16, 16:08   Link #55
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Don't really have an opinion, but I'd though I would clarify something...

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Ok, willpower in TTGL.
"I want to enter a mecha as big as the galaxy and pierce the heavens and defeat God and stop spiral nemesis from ever happenning. And I will succeed... because I want to..."
It's "because I need to", not "because I want to." There is a vast difference between these 2 statements...
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Old 2009-08-16, 16:20   Link #56
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It started as "want to" and ended in "need to". It wasn't a life or death situation at first.
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Old 2009-08-16, 16:31   Link #57
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^It was a life or death situation from episode 1. The only thing that changed was the amount of lives that could be lost (from 2, to 3, to dozens, to hundreds, to millions, to a planet, to a galaxy, to a universe...).

edit: as so long as the fictional universe establishes the importance of an individual willpower, whether as an intrinsic force in and of itself, or simply as a means of explaining how a character can keep standing up after being brutally beaten on, then I have no problem with the use of willpower as a character device. The only time I would complain is when one character's will unnecessarily conquers another’s (i.e. there is no reason for one character to give in to another).
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Old 2009-08-16, 16:46   Link #58
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@roriconfan

ok I get it you don't like the action genre, good for you, because clearly TTGL and OP are that simplistic. Simple as that because I mean 26 episodes and TTGL boils down to "I want to enter a mecha as big as the galaxy and pierce the heavens and defeat God and stop spiral nemesis from ever happenning. And I will succeed... because I want to..."
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Old 2009-08-16, 16:50   Link #59
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Hey, I am in favor of realism. It was too idealistic there. WAY too idealistic. It made no sense after a while.
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Old 2009-08-16, 16:54   Link #60
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Yes because clearly giant robots, and chimera like animal men are at the hieght of realism. I mean if TTGL billed itself for realism I could understand your complaint but its just not. TTGL is over the top, self aware of its outrageous story and it really succeeds at that.
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