Thread: Crunchyroll White Album (All Episodes, 1-26)
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Old 2009-01-14, 04:23   Link #244
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Hamburg
Age: 49
Originally Posted by Sorrow-K View Post
Ep 2

I'm still not convinced by this anime, and there are two reasons for that which are pretty closely linked.

The first is that I've yet to see something in these characters worth liking. The second is that I get the feeling this show is trying too hard to be the serious romance drama, with a bit of emphasis on the "serious" and massive amount of emphasis on the "drama". From a technical point of view, there's lots of overbearing music and and visual techniques which sort of imply that there's a lot of subtle detail that requires the audience to actively pay attention (because apparently that's how "good" anime approaches storytelling [insert skepticism here]) to fully appreciate it.
Your first point is correct, of course, but it's also a totally subjective one. If the viewers find out that they can't empathize with the characters displayed, the enjoyment watching it will be impacted, correct. However, at least when it comes to me, I like the anime exactly because it is NOT doing what you seem to demand later on: "Make me like the characters". To be honest, in the past, particularly romance shows are geared to simplicissism lately. The anime takes me by the nose and leads me where it wants me to. It's telling me "this is the heroine, isn't she great?" or "this is the bastard, watch how twisted he is".

I don't like that. I prefer to watch the story unfold and draw my own conclusions. I want to be able to make up my own mind if I like/dislike what the characters are doing. I.e. I do NOT want to be spoonfed "you're supposed to care here". Which in my opinion is one of the selling points for _me_ to watch it. Other people might prefer the other approach.

Overbearing music? Sorry, I disagree. And there undoubtedly _is_ alot of detail implied in the way the material is presented. At least when I realize just on the third proofing watch of episode 1 that the early frantic phone call of Touya, _this_ was probably when he was getting fired, and that this is what triggered his subsequent self-doubts about his worthiness for Yuki, then this is a fairly unusual approach nowadays. These details have become very rare in anime. Is that what you mean by "smoke and mirrors"?

Clannad and ef ~memories~ are a bit the same, but it's true that a lot of the meaningful stuff in those anime happens under the surface, so it's more rewarding to actively watch these shows, as opposed to passively watching them (if you can see what I'm saying). What's the pay off for actively watching White Album? Will it be an opportunity to better engage with the show's themes and appreciate its meaning? Or will it just be a chance to "enjoy" the dramatic cataclysm at the end? Because if it's the latter, there's no reward for watching the show actively, since you get the same result watching it passively.
I understand what you're trying to say, but I'm not sure if I agree. At least, I don't think I want the show tailormade to push a certain profound insight on me. Example: One of Clannad's main messages I see is to put a positive emphasis on the aspect of "family". However, this theme for the first time emerged around episode 13 or so, and now, in more depth around episode 32. White Album is at episode 2.

So far, WA is calmly telling a story. I have some ideas where the story will probably be going, but so far I'm more curious how things develop, not to discern any "meaning". And my reward for watching the show is entertainment, and a slightly nostalgic reminiscence of things I did and did not do in my youth, and which I now see mirrored in the various characters.

My point is, is this serious, "mature" tone that the show is taking all smoke-and-mirrors, or is there going to be some meaning along the way in this journey? My great fear is that it'll be the former, and that the show will be about little more than the dire consequences of relationships gone wrong. What I'm trying to say is, if that happens (and that's still "if" at this stage), just because the show has a serious tone, and just because it uses a lot of ambitious storytelling techniques, if there's no meaning, and no sympathetic characters, then that doesn't make it any better than Kimi ga Nozomu Eien.
The latter quote made me giggle, because in my opinion, KimiNozo is an absolute classic, a milestone in the anime world and among the 10 best animes I've ever watched. If WA manages to merely come close, it will have absolutely been worth my time

Let's agree to disagree on the "an anime should have a meaning" part. It's WAY too early to judge that, the story has barely started, and I disagree with the notion to begin with. The meaning for me to watch anime is entertainment. And I am entertained, because I do connect with them and am curious what is going to happen. If you're lukewarm towards them and not emotionally attached, I can see how the enjoyment might be significantly lower.
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