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Old 2010-07-16, 06:38   Link #1
woodyfly
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Anime better than real movies?

For some reason, I just can't "immerse" myself into real movies. When I watch a real movie, I'm watching it strictly as a spectator, nothing more. I don't feel like I was part of the story or the world that the movie was representing. As the movie is finished, I just empty my mind and that's it.

With anime however, it's the complete opposite. Actually, not only anime but animated movies in general. I just finished watching avatar yesterday (I know, I know, I'm late) and I was mind blown. When the movie ended, I felt like avatar was the real world and in my home it was the dream. I felt like I was part of the movie, the story and the world... I got totally immersed into it like never before. This type of feeling also happens when I watch anime.

Does anyone feel the same way or am I just weird? haha. What is the psychological reason that real actors fail to captivate me but I get sucked right into animated worlds?
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Old 2010-07-16, 06:48   Link #2
Sheba
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Originally Posted by woodyfly View Post
For some reason, I just can't "immerse" myself into real movies. When I watch a real movie, I'm watching it strictly as a spectator, nothing more. I don't feel like I was part of the story or the world that the movie was representing. As the movie is finished, I just empty my mind and that's it.

With anime however, it's the complete opposite. Actually, not only anime but animated movies in general. I just finished watching avatar yesterday (I know, I know, I'm late) and I was mind blown. When the movie ended, I felt like avatar was the real world and in my home it was the dream. I felt like I was part of the movie, the story and the world... I got totally immersed into it like never before. This type of feeling also happens when I watch anime.

Does anyone feel the same way or am I just weird? haha. What is the psychological reason that real actors fail to captivate me but I get sucked right into animated worlds?
It makes me wonder what movies did you watch, because there is plenty of movies that are as immersive as anime can hope to.
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Old 2010-07-16, 06:53   Link #3
Kudryavka
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Cartoons better than movies? Yes, for totally outlandish subjects, like flying fairies and unicorns. But 3DCG is improving as I type, so I dunno...
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Old 2010-07-16, 06:57   Link #4
Sheba
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Even in times before 3d cg, you had immersive movies such as Cameron's Aliens or the first by Ridley Scott, Carpenter's The Thing, then you have Proyas's movies, The Crow and Dark City, also Petersen's Das Boot (no pun intended) that makes you feel part of the submarine crew. And I can go on.
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Old 2010-07-16, 07:00   Link #5
woodyfly
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Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
It makes me wonder what movies did you watch, because there is plenty of movies that are as immersive as anime can hope to.
I've watched probably 90% of 'popular' movies from the 1980's to 2010. None of them ever immersed me. Some came close, but I felt they were too short. Maybe the reason why I feel more immersed into anime is because it's much longer? Now, that I think about it, it could be it.

Last edited by woodyfly; 2010-07-16 at 07:10.
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Old 2010-07-16, 07:09   Link #6
Sheba
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It's just the reverse for me, I can feel immersed in live movies or live series. But anime? Not so much, it may be because their narrative codes and character stereotypes are much more obvious to me or "rubbed just right in my face", be it the tsundere, the always angry always impatient always shouting super robot pilot, the wussy harem lead, the 'real robot' pilot, the dimwitted action shounen hero. Hollywood also have their fair share of stereotypes, the battle medic who get idiotic when his comrades get picked up by a sniper, the black guy who always dies first, etc, they happens to be a little easier to swallow for me.
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Old 2010-07-16, 07:14   Link #7
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Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
It's just the reverse for me, I can feel immersed in live movies or live series. But anime? Not so much, it may be because their narrative codes and character stereotypes are much more obvious to me or "rubbed just right in my face", be it the tsundere, the always angry always impatient always shouting super robot pilot, the wussy harem lead, the 'real robot' pilot, the dimwitted action shounen hero. Hollywood also have their fair share of stereotypes, the battle medic who get idiotic when his comrades get picked up by a sniper, the black guy who always dies first, etc, they happens to be a little easier to swallow for me.
Haha, I know what you mean. But for some reason, all those anime elements are rather attractive for me. The way I see it is, the things in a real movie can happen in the real world (more or less). Watching real actors, real landscape and real cities just constantly reminds me that this is the same world I'm living in. In anime on the other hand, the hints of reality are all disguised. I can totally forget about the real world and just immerse myself. I think that's the only way I can explain why I can't get into movies. Don't get it wrong, I love both real movies and animation but one thing that I hate about being immersed into the 'story' is that... It gets stuck in my head!!! When I finished watching avatar yesterday, I couldn't stop thinking about it, I couldn't sleep. Hell I'm still thinking about it today, gah! lol
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Old 2010-07-16, 12:40   Link #8
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Originally Posted by woodyfly View Post
Watching real actors, real landscape and real cities just constantly reminds me that this is the same world I'm living in. In anime on the other hand, the hints of reality are all disguised. I
I agree. It's a little complicated to explain. In real movies, I can't feel the attachment to characters as I do in anime. Movies are compressed into a 2 - 3 hour slot and anime can be 4 seasons+ , so you have more time to get attached to the characters. Anime also has a "shock value?" that I don't get when I watch movies. If I compared the deaths of anime characters to the deaths in actual movies, anime would take the cake. I would have to say that anime is indeed better than real movies, at least for me.
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Old 2010-07-16, 12:53   Link #9
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The complete opposite for me. There are so many "real" movies/series (live action I guess) that immerse me into the world and have me thinking long after viewing more often than animated ones. What I love is when a live action films/shows create a fantastical look/feeling to it's enviornment even though it is a very realistic enviornment. It gives you that sense of aww in that you know this fantastic place could be real enough for you to visit.

Live action movies can take real life enviornment and breath new/different life into it. Sure animeted movies are visually appealing, but I get more drawn in when I see something fantastical rendered in a realistic light. I just saw the movie Inception and the dream world enviornments are a good example of what i mean. Unrealistic elements presented in a realistic way. Thats what really draws me in.

As for stories. Very few anime stories actually draw me into it so much that I immerse myself deep in the world and it's characters. Mushishi is one of those exceptions to this however as I do feel immersed while watching that show. If all animation were included in this argument it'd be slightly more close. I think Disney (mostly 90s disney), Ghibili (best anime films out there in my opinion), and Pixar movies have always been good at getting me immersed in the story, not general anime as much.

Despite anime having some great stories to tell and interesting characters, I find it very hard to relate to any of those stories/characters. Unlike the movies from some of those other studios I mentioned I don't find that to be a rariety. It is not always that, but the way a story is presented also effects how immersed I am in the story. The world must feel alive and show realism with in it's realms and not just be "art" to go with the narrative. There needs to be purpose in the movements, speech, and narrative to give the movie/series a lasting and alluring effect.

I see a lot of people mention length, well really length means jack squat unless the material is interesting. Plenty of american programs run for long lengths of time just like anime series and the characters develop over that time. One of my favorite TV shows, House is a good example. It's around its 6th or 7th season and over that course there has been much development in these characters on all ranges of the spectrums and the characters have grown on me over that time and I feel for them whenever something bad happens. I just wanted to say this due to the fact that I hear lots of people mention how anime is longer and thus has more character development. I call bull on that, as any medium can pull that off.

Those are the kinds of things that get me immersed in films or series and I find these qualities in live action more than anime.
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Old 2010-07-16, 12:54   Link #10
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I prefer anime when it comes to a particular genre: Extreme Fantasy Post-Apocalyptic. With this I mean gems "Set in the future xxxx years after something where everything has been forgotten and wtf is this world (Blame etc)" which often are short OVAs or similar and where reality is often very abstract. The capability with animation is superior to what live-action can do in this case (unless you go CGI, but it rarely works.) These gems often do not suffer from the steretypes either as they aren't as market competing. I like to compare these to low-budget indie live-action.

For everything else, live-action is vastly superior for me. The constant stereotypes (some of which Sheba pointed out) often ruins quality for anime, as they ALWAYS run with it. Few exceptions exist. Often this is due to market demand. Plus I find live-action more rooted to reality (since they often are human-humans) and more diversive even within the same genre.

I have moments where I prefer one over the other, but it varies. More often I don't try to difference them anymore and simply enjoy both of the mediums for what they are: Awesome stories (in most cases).
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Old 2010-07-16, 13:02   Link #11
risingstar3110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaelidoscopes View Post
I agree. It's a little complicated to explain. In real movies, I can't feel the attachment to characters as I do in anime. Movies are compressed into a 2 - 3 hour slot and anime can be 4 seasons+ , so you have more time to get attached to the characters. Anime also has a "shock value?" that I don't get when I watch movies. If I compared the deaths of anime characters to the deaths in actual movies, anime would take the cake. I would have to say that anime is indeed better than real movies, at least for me.
I agree + few more points:

a) A move require actors to represent characters. So... there could be some characters in a movie that I really like and their character developments are perfect. But then the actor turned out to be a real asshole in real life and you can't stop hating him. Or if the next movie he play may not be as good, then the image of a cool character is forever lost

b) The movie can use advertisement, or famous actors, or famous director to attract audiences. And even with a crappy storyline, can still sell like hot cake. While in anime, seiyuu and director name play smaller role.

c) The liberalism view of anime where everyone can turn out to be good characters (and sometime adorable beyond belief). From death reaper, witch, monsters, samurai ghost to red-white miko. They can shoot sparks at each other in one moment and join tea party in the next... and no one will find it strange
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Old 2010-07-16, 13:07   Link #12
GuidoHunter_Toki
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Originally Posted by risingstar3110 View Post
I agree + one:

A move require actors to represent characters. So... there could be some characters in a movie that I really like and their character developments are perfect. But then the actor turned out to be a real asshole in real life and you can't stop hating him. Or if the next movie he play may not be as good, then the image of a cool character is forever lost
I don't understand, could this not happen with anime as well (opinions on the shows/movies character effected by the actor)? In fact scratch that I know this happens with anime. One of my friends hates the voice actor Aya Hirano and thus couldn't stand characters that she voiced due to it being here doing the voice. Yes stupid I know, but I'd say that equates to the likes of Cristian Bale. After his freakout on the set everyone thinks he is an asshole and thus some people think of that whenever seeing him in a movie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by risingstar3110 View Post
I agree + few more points:

b) The movie can use advertisement, or famous actors, or famous director to attract audiences and even with a crappy storyline, can still sell like hot cake. While in anime, seiyuu and director name plays smaller role.
Really? Doesn't seem like that too me. I mean sure maybe not to the extent of how it is in America (it's still quite noticable), but Seiyuu's do draw quite a following and are often used for advertisment despite somethings quality.
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Old 2010-07-16, 13:10   Link #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaelidoscopes View Post
In real movies, I can't feel the attachment to characters as I do in anime. Movies are compressed into a 2 - 3 hour slot and anime can be 4 seasons+ , so you have more time to get attached to the characters.
I don't understand what this has to do with anime as a medium. There are live action television series (Angels in America) and there are live action films (Shawshank Redemption) in the same way that there are anime series (Mushishi) and anime films (Spirited Away). The difference between these two formats, and length, has nothing to do with comparing animation versus live action as a medium, as the OP seems to be doing.

My own opinion on whether anime is generally "better" than live-action is that whatever general differences in quality that may exist are overridden by Sturgeon' Law ("ninety percent of everything is crud") to the point of being unnoticeable.
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Old 2010-07-16, 13:16   Link #14
risingstar3110
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Originally Posted by GuidoHunter_Toki View Post
I don't understand, could this not happen with anime as well (opinions on the shows/movies character effected by the actor)? In fact scratch that I know this happens with anime. One of my friends hates the voice actor Aya Hirano and thus couldn't stand characters that she voiced due to it being here doing the voice. Yes stupid I know, but I'd say that equates to the likes of Cristian Bale. After his freakout on the set everyone thinks he is an asshole and thus some people think of that whenever seeing him in a movie.

Really? Doesn't seem like that too me. I mean sure maybe not to the extent of how it is in America (it's still quite noticable), but Seiyuu's do draw quite a following and are often used for advertisment despite somethings quality.
I think the point is seiyuus plays a smaller role in animes than actors in movies

Unless the voice is so unique, otherwise it won't make that big of a different if you choose not to care or research about. (Aya Hirano for Haruhi and Konata for example). In fact even when i have seen Aya Hirano a few time, i can't even remember how she loos like and therefore she can't play a role as representative for Haruhi or Konata

But you can't really do that in movie (unless the character is masked for the entire movie)...
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Old 2010-07-16, 13:23   Link #15
Sheba
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Originally Posted by risingstar3110 View Post

Unless the voice is so unique, otherwise it won't make that big of a different if you choose not to care or research about. (Aya Hirano for Haruhi and Konata for example). In fact even when i have seen Aya Hirano a few time, i can't even remember how she loos like and therefore she can't play a role as representative for Haruhi or Konata.

But you can't really do that in movie (unless the character is masked for the entire movie)...
You have to admit that certain seiyuu have gotten pigeonholed in a given stereotype and often touted as the selling point of a series (*cough*Rie Kugimiya*cough*lolitsundere*cough*), just about as much as Arnie being sold as action hero with one-liners. Whatever you can see her face or not makes no difference.

EDIT:

Sure, anime industry have its talented seiyuus like Megumi Toyoguchi who can pick up roles you expect the least. But so does the live action movie industry that have their actors that can play any roles, like Edward Norton, one day he was that abused teenager in Primal Fear (or he makes you believe you so), then next he is the neonazi in American History X, the protagonist of Fight Club or the King Baldwin in Kingdom of Heaven.

Last edited by Sheba; 2010-07-16 at 13:32. Reason: typos
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Old 2010-07-16, 13:32   Link #16
risingstar3110
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Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
You have to admit that certain seiyuu have gotten pigeonholed in a given stereotype and often touted as the selling point of a series (*cough*Rie Kugimiya*cough*lolitsundere*cough*), just about as much as Arnie being sold as action hero with one-liners. Whatever you can see her face or not makes no difference.
It does for me through, except i admit i do not like Rie Kugimiya and all of her tsundere loli
But Alphonse Elric is no Shana for me. And Chika of Hidamari Sketch. And Shannon of Umineko. Basically if there is something that can trigger the similarities (tsundere loli for anime... or faces for movies ) then i probably can connect them up.

Otherwise, another example is Kanbaru(Bakemonogatori)/ Celty (Durarara). They are both my favourite characters and their voices really played up their charms. But i can't image how one can link to another

Maybe because human generally can recognise faces and behaviours better than voices...?
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Old 2010-07-16, 13:53   Link #17
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I've been immersed in both Anime and live action movies. It's all dependent on the skill of the director and the actors. Although I think true immersion is still in the books. Something about letting your imagination fill in the blanks really takes you inside the world, and makes you feel like you're apart of it.
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Old 2010-07-16, 20:38   Link #18
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" ...modern anime character design, whether the designers realize it or not, seems to be tuned towards being cute enough to evoke a supernormal response - one that outside the range normally provoked by natural stimuli." - 0utf0xZer0


This is part of 0utf0xZer0's defense of moe, but I think that it can be extended (in different ways, of course) to animation as a whole.

Animation enables for certain character designs, and certain imagery, that live-action generally does not allow for. IIRC, Roger Ebert once touched upon this in his review of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.

The main benefit of animation is that its able to streamline imagery - remove even the slightest blemish or visual distraction, while using ideal inking and shading effects - to create a "supernormal" image of sorts. An image that leaves an immediate inspired impression.

Think of Phoenix Wright doing the famous "Objection!" arm thrust and point. It might be difficult to get just the right camera angle on just the right actor in order for live-action to pull off a short theatrical body movement that can impress like this "Objection!" movement can.

Such supernormal imagery can really capture the imagination, in my view, and beckons the viewer into a Wonderland of sorts. The supernormal imagery is just real enough to be comprehensible and accessible, but is also different and fantastic enough to create a sense of awe and wonder.


That being said, it's not a matter of immersion for me so much as its a matter of the supernormal imagery itself often complimenting the strength of whatever conflicts, ideas, or themes lay within the animated work.

To put it simply: I very much doubt that a live-action version of Clannad would impact me as much as the actual anime Clannad did. The reason being that a lot of these characters, and the situations that they are in, would lose their "supernormal" appeal if played by real life (and hence realistic looking) actors.


So, I can see where woodyfly is coming from, and personally, I'd have to largely agree with him.

Mind you, part of it is a basic content/premise issue. Not many Hollywood movies have stories quite like the ones of Clannad or Kanon.
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Old 2010-07-16, 20:42   Link #19
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No, anime is not better than live action. They each have their strengths and do somethings better than the other.

For example, true drama is best done by live action, but anime can take surrealism to a whole new level.
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Old 2010-07-16, 21:27   Link #20
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Well anime is far better then any movie made now a days so much CG it just to much it make the story seem so useless. But now the old movies since the 50s to early 90s are good and you can go wrong with any Marx Bothers movie
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