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Old 2012-07-14, 17:40   Link #2
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
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This is a really good thread topic.

To answer it, I think it's important to point out that there's two different levels of "Identifiable".

There's "Average Joe/Jane" Identifiable. Then there's "Online Fandom" Identifiable.

"Average Joe/Jane"
Identifiable means that the show or character is actually known outside of the anime fandom, or at least is known by the most casual of anime fans. Good examples of this are DBZ, Sailor Moon, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, and One Piece. Most of these shows run a loooooong time, sometimes air during good time slots (not late-night/middle-of-the-night timeslots), and are primarily geared towards actual kids. And those are the three of the main factors that make them well-known: Longevity, TV time slot, and target demographic. And if you're a major character (Goku, Pikachu, Sailor Mars, Aizen, etc...) in one of those shows, you'll probably be easily identifiable by extension.

But I get the impression that you're mostly curious about "Online Fandom" Identifiable, and that's probably a bit trickier. It's been my experience that all of the following helps:

1. Being based on a popular source material (Persona 4, the Monogatari Series, Clannad, etc...)

2. Being a "genre standout". Either by being a definitive work within its genre, or by being a bit of a deconstructive work within its genre (NGE, Gundam, Madoka Magica, etc...).

3. Appeal to fans of a particularly popular animation studio or VN/LN/manga/game maker (KyoAni, SHAFT, Type Moon, KEY, etc...).

4. Being connected to a famous writer or director (Urobuchi, Ikuhara, Watanabe, Okada, etc...).

5. Have high-production values (i.e. you can see this in how 'polished' the artwork, animation, and/or audio comes across).

6. Good timing. It's helpful for a show to air in a season when it doesn't have too much competition (nothing else prominent within its own genre, and/or nothing else hugely hyped).

7. Well-written/well-received. I would say that this is what sets apart the Madoka Magicas and Fate/Zeros of the world from the Guilty Crowns and Star Drivers of the world. (Just to be clear, I don't hate Guilty Crown and Star Driver, but their writing wasn't as 'tight' as PMMM and Fate/Zero's, imo).

For characters, certain archetypes seem to always be in style (tsunderes, kuuderes, dark magical girls, Rei Ayanami-esque girls, etc...). Aside from this, memorable scenes and distinct character designs help.

I'll leave it at that for now. I hope you found this reply at least a little bit helpful.
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