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Old 2012-04-07, 21:50   Link #612
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Originally Posted by Eater of All View Post
Which is why I worry for LB, but this tweet does help assuage some of my fears about the direction.
It sums up what some of us have tried to say about anime scriptwriting. There's a separation between the writing and animation processes, and the latter may not even have much influence on the former.

I know there's all the stuff about directors and writers, but there's just always a correlation between a studio and its track record that, even if it's argued not to be causation, can almost be treated as such.
I think there is a correlation, but it's not in the way many people think.

On the most successful anime projects, there are several rounds of revision and multiple levels of input into scripts. While contracted writers do the bulk of the work, there's oversight and feedback from the studio, original publisher/author, leading producer, etc. (if someone has a suggestion for improvement, it's raised at a meeting. Once the writer has made changes, the script is scrutinized again and discussed at the next meeting). It takes time to develop good scripts, and it helps when many sets of eyes are there guide the process.

Take KyoAni for example. They're notable for heavy involvement in script development, and they have many people involved. Some fans worship Fumihiko Shimo for his Key adaptations, but his writing outside the company has never attracted similar acclaim. In fact, people bash Full Metal Panic S1 and Umineko no Naku Koro ni, which he worked on (in terms of original work, there's Generation Gawl, Burst Angel, and Gravion). It's not that Shimo is suddenly golden when working with KyoAni - rather, I'd say there's a good chance that careful editing and oversight helped guide him to the final result.

Now we come to the mega studios Deen, AIC, and J.C.STAFF. With a dozen or so projects launched each year, do you think they have much involvement on scripts? These companies are built to get things out fast (hence the sameness you may feel between works)......on time and on budget. As some have noted, there's no rhyme or reason to how things are adapted. Certain adaptations are loose, others are faithful. Some are slow paced, others are fast paced. Some are complete deviations from the originals, others are overly literal in execution.

The gist of it is that they probably don't offer any oversight, and the scripts are left to the contracted writers. Schedules tend to be very tight, and I'd bet that there are fewer rounds of revision (less time for everything, be it pre-production, animation, or post-production). What qualifies as a finalized script on a Deen show may well be Draft #2 for KyoAni (and done with little to no guidelines on the part of studio producers) as they're under pressure to push the show into production.

In that sense, it's not that the studio "butchers" the show. Rather, they treat scriptwriting as an external process and do little to help the material evolve into the final form (i.e. by not checking the adaptation, not issuing rigid instructions, and not demanding many corrections), or they establish schedules (perhaps demanded by unruly and unreasonable production committees that see the work as lower priority than their top projects) that lead to shorter gestation times for scripts.

As for Little Busters!, it seems that Key is providing guidance, so the team hasn't been left to run free. Also, Shimada is an industry veteran who has adapted long stories before, so there's some reason to be cautiously optimistic.
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