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Old 2015-07-08, 02:11   Link #141
Anh_Minh
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I wasn't asking whether you guys liked or didn't like Angel Beats - but why you have to bring it up all the time now.
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Old 2015-07-08, 04:38   Link #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I wasn't asking whether you guys liked or didn't like Angel Beats - but why you have to bring it up all the time now.
Because you said

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I know I already asked (not in this thread) but is 2015 "Diss Angel Beats" Year or something? Since a few months ago I've found disparaging posts everywhere. I know it wasn't like that last year or the years before since 2010 when it aired.
You asked if this year was "Diss Angel Beats" and that suggests people don't like it, and then you said:

Quote:
It's not like it's even the only thread where people want to prove their refined taste by putting down Angel Beats.
So again you bring up the negative sentiment. So naturally people are going to discuss that part more.

In any case, Key is a famous brand, Angel Beats was a popular show, and since this show seems to be viewed as a successor to some degree to it due to various visual similarities, comparisons are inevitable even if the show's are going to be different. There are of course people that liked the show and want to see some aspects replicated here as well. I don't really see what's too unusual about it, and I'd imagine people'd talk more about the actual show once we get beyond the first episode and there's more content.
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Old 2015-07-08, 07:20   Link #143
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Can't say for sure, but in PAW threads it's not particularly unusual, but I remember to have seen it somewhere else this year. Don't remember the show.
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Old 2015-07-08, 08:42   Link #144
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Wait a minute...do people hate/dislike Jun Maeda/Key works? I am pretty sure that people like Key works in the past. What happened in between these years?
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Old 2015-07-08, 09:14   Link #145
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Clannad set the bar too high so Angel Beats and Little Busters were a little underwhelming for me. Good shows nontheless

This one had a wonderful start and hopefully stays good till the end
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Old 2015-07-08, 09:44   Link #146
Sixth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frailty View Post
Clannad set the bar too high so Angel Beats and Little Busters were a little underwhelming for me. Good shows nontheless

This one had a wonderful start and hopefully stays good till the end
and that is why some of you guys ask me to have "low expectation" because their 2 shos in the past isn't as good as Clannad?

Well, Clannad was my last key anime.
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Old 2015-07-08, 10:56   Link #147
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Well, Key's type of drama was once well accepted, but later being accused as melodrama to get people tears, especially for the use of death or other unfortunate backgrounds. The characters are also not designed to be realistic, but usually have some "cute" traits. Their plots and characters in their works tend to be highly symbolized that many of them don't feel real. It's been more balanced since Clannad, but at heart they're still choosing symbolized design over realistic ones today. As a side note, realistic is not always better than symbolized design, it is just choice and trend.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of their previously more extreme ways, and their jokes usually lost on me. But I think their plot design is something to appreciate.
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Old 2015-07-08, 20:50   Link #148
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I highly enjoy narcisistic characters, so it was a given that I freaking loved this. I spent most of the episode dying of laughter.

Only low point was the less than subtle drama point (lost brother yea whatever).
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Old 2015-07-08, 22:31   Link #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
In any case, Key is a famous brand, Angel Beats was a popular show, and since this show seems to be viewed as a successor to some degree to it due to various visual similarities, comparisons are inevitable even if the show's are going to be different.
The production committee / advertising actively promotes the show as a successor to Angel Beats.
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Old 2015-07-08, 23:10   Link #150
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This show, Angel Beats and Uchoten Kazoku are the three TV series that I consider not very PAW like. The first two is due to being Key related and it seems like PAW doesn't have much decision making power and are merely contracted to do the work by the production committee. The latter one was as if a completely different studio did it because there was nothing PAW like from the aesthetics to the narrative structure. It felt like if madhouse or mappa or something produced it. It was however excellent and one of their best works to date.
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Old 2015-07-08, 23:21   Link #151
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My own take on Jun Maeda/Key is his first work in Air really seems to be his worst, as I can't remember anything aside from the most basic details. Clannad hit kind of a cap, and Little Busters! might have hit that same cap if Yuiko's story arc wasn't so borked. Angel Beats! is unlike the rest of the Key works in its live by insanity attitude so I have a little more trouble gauging it directly, and while Kanon '06 is nice the narrative 'flow' is non-existent.

Clannad > Little Busters! >= Kanon '06 > Angel Beats! >> Air
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Old 2015-07-09, 00:45   Link #152
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So who is that in the end? Otonashi?
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Old 2015-07-09, 01:26   Link #153
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Because you said



You asked if this year was "Diss Angel Beats" and that suggests people don't like it, and then you said:



So again you bring up the negative sentiment. So naturally people are going to discuss that part more.

In any case, Key is a famous brand, Angel Beats was a popular show, and since this show seems to be viewed as a successor to some degree to it due to various visual similarities, comparisons are inevitable even if the show's are going to be different. There are of course people that liked the show and want to see some aspects replicated here as well. I don't really see what's too unusual about it, and I'd imagine people'd talk more about the actual show once we get beyond the first episode and there's more content.
I thought my emphasis on the dates would carry the meaning of "Why now?" rather than "do you like AB?". Especially, as I said, in other threads with less relation to it.
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Old 2015-07-09, 02:14   Link #154
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Key's appreciation in the anime community has gone through a lot of waves in the last few years. For the years following CLANNAD After Story's release, everyone was toting Key and Jun Maeda as the saviours of anime. Then once the English dub of CLANNAD came around, a more mainstream anime viewing market hooked into it, and it quickly became the highest-rated series on Anime News Network. After that point, I guess a large portion of the community adopted the view that CLANNAD was overrated, and began digging for criticisms of CLANNAD and Key's storytelling, chief among them the accusation that Key write manipulative melodrama, that their characters are two-dimensional, and so on.

Little Busters! faced an interesting situation. The hype for that anime was overwhelming, as many people who read the Visual Novel claimed it to be one of the best stories they'd ever read, at the very least the best Key game (myself included). So when the Anime came out, new viewers were let down as it didn't manage to live up to the hype, and VN fans were let down because it was unable to capture the magic of the source material. Both of these were a result of people setting their standards too high, and failing to acknowledge the limitations inherit with this kind of adaptation. It was a series tasked to JC Staff, who were already producing multiple high profile series around a similar time (such as To Aru Kagagku no Railgun S), so the quality of Little Busters! suffered as a result. But also, much of what makes Little Busters! so appealing are qualities that are only possible in an interactive game, so much of that was lost in the Anime adaptation. Given this, I feel like the Little Busters! anime did surprisingly well considering the limitations it was imposed with, and I'd consider it a quite faithful and enjoyable adaptation, even if the VN was better. It may not be as good as CLANNAD, but I think most are very quick to discard it despite the merits the series has.

So, now we're at a weird point where the anime community is a bit apprehensive about Key's storytelling. I've had a lot of time to think about where I stand with Key, and I still feel like they're some of the best storytellers in the industry. But the reason I think that is probably to do with the fact that I judge Key's storytelling on the stories they actually wrote: the Visual Novels. Adaptations are just that, and they are not a very good method of judging the quality of someone's writing, rather they're better at judging someone's ability to translate that writing into a condensed format. I won't accept any criticisms of Key that aren't based on the work they actually write.

What about Angel Beats? Yeah it's shit. It's been stated multiple times that Jun Maeda wasn't prepared for the situation he had to work in, that he was planning a story of a much grander scale but got pigeonholed into 13 episodes by his superiors. If Maeda had creative control over the product, we might've seen something a lot more enjoyable. Something like, I dunno, that Angel Beats! Visual Novel that's being released right now? Or the Heaven's Door manga? The good news is that with Charlotte, he is given a lot more creative control. So, I guess you have every right to criticise Key for poor writing this time around!

Before I finish this rant, I'd like to address a complaint I hear directed at Key a lot these days. The complaint that their stories are manipulative, trying to force viewers to cry, and that they're melodramatic.

That's, uh, that's interesting. I honestly don't even see that as a complaint. Isn't that exactly what they're trying to do? Isn't that essentially Key's company mission statement? They are the pioneers of the nakige genre, which literally means "Crying Game". Key's stories follow a very familiar formula of a slow beginning introducing the characters with a lot of light-hearted comedy, a serious character-oriented climax with resulting tragedy, and a happy resolution. Yes, that's how they write. But is that really a bad thing? It's not like having a formula to work off means that all of your stories feel the same and boring, I'm quite surprised by how diverse each of Key's stories has been. AIR for example, twists the formula a bit by taking an overwhelmingly sad ending, and putting it in a more happy light. Often it's the case that the main character has the biggest drama of all, like Riki in Little Busters, Tomoya in CLANNAD, and Kotarou in Rewrite. But what's so bad about melodrama? What's so bad about a story that aims to make you cry? Stimulus created for the intent of inducing emotions of despair and sadness aren't that uncommon at all, why are people acting like it's a bad thing to want to make your viewers cry? Every time I go into a Key work, I know exactly what kind of emotional reaction to expect, and it still hits me every time. Reading AIR for the first time was a crazy experience. Even though I had a general idea of how the story went from watching the anime years ago, it still hit me harder than any Key game before (except maybe Little Busters). The one thing that people are criticising these stories of, is the one thing I love about them. I believe this is less a criticism, and more a feature of their storytelling. You don't have to necessarily like that feature, but it's part of what makes Key, Key. If melodrama and stories which inspire horrible sadness in you aren't your thing, then that's fine. But I don't think it's a point people should be criticising Key for, it's exactly what they're trying to do.
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Old 2015-07-09, 03:14   Link #155
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People can criticize Key for whatever "feature" they want. Having a variety of unexpected takes is what makes criticism interesting to read.

Being this defensive shows your bias and also has a downside of blindsiding you to the potential innovations that Key have introduced since their tactics days. Their original nakige formula is not a winner anymore, it's wash. Write a nakige story today and you'll get laughed out of the room, for good reasons. When fans see through it, it should become a parody of itself.

Innovative approaches? In Kanon, memory loss was still fresh as a plot device in VNs. AIR made another step and introduced a linear true ending that robbed the players of their power, in what would traditionally be an interactive format where the player makes all the choices. Framing their games as mere crying games, as you just did, which is a concept they borrowed from Leaf, is a disservice and degrades what they've brought to the table.

Their characters were always strong and their writing had nice twists, that's why people like them, not (just) because we like to jerk off to tears and dying girls.
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Old 2015-07-09, 03:28   Link #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I thought my emphasis on the dates would carry the meaning of "Why now?" rather than "do you like AB?". Especially, as I said, in other threads with less relation to it.
Probably not. Just word your questions more directly next time. 5 years is a long time and we may not even be talking about the same people anymore.
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Old 2015-07-09, 04:10   Link #157
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Key stories remind me of contemporary Korean dramas... except replace pretty guy and girl actors with hyper-cute moe characters. Korean dramas are also laughed and criticised a lot (not as much as J-dramas, which suffers a bigger problem in that their actors and acting are absolutely horrid) due to their overused tropes (sup sick girl in hospital with cancer like disease or motor vehicle running over X character) and extreme use of melodrama. Also the saturation of them. Imagine if 3 out of 4 Korean dramas were Anohana. Talking about Anohana for a sec, it's getting a live action adaptation. SURPRISE SURPRISE (Totally saw this from a mile away).

As someone who has been through that, and watched/tried every Key series, it does become incredibly tiresome. If you're a fan of that genre great, but not everyone is part of that group.

As for Charlotte itself, I found it pretty good compared to pretty much every other pilot episode of Key anime. Why? The comedy was actually funny! MC was a total asshole and there wasn't some Sunohara laughing stock that gets beaten the crap out of (another trope I'm tired of seeing). That is at least until Mrs. Uguu dinner plate eyes (Nao) and Mrs. Okari Oneechan~ (The sister) decide to come onto the screen. Then I lost interest again.
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Old 2015-07-09, 04:53   Link #158
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Eh Key works are either a complete hit (Clannad, Planetarian) or a major miss (Angel Beats!) for me. Asshole MCs are a deviation for them (unless Yukito in Air counts) so this was a nice change of pace. The only problem is that I hate asshole MCs, and while he got kicked down a dozen notches by the later half, he needs more lessons in humility to be properly likable.

And if her sister, who shares the same name as another Key character, goes "uguu~" I might just drop the show instantaneously.
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Old 2015-07-09, 06:23   Link #159
Akuma Kousaka
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@ Aspirety

The thing people refer to when they say they don't like melodrama is how the string pulling is noticeable when they're watching. Every story we feel a strong and positive emotional connection to is something where we never notice the strings manipulating us. We can look back on it in hindsight and realize what they were doing (whether it's Clannad's thematic unity in its humor, how the cast of Love Live! got steadily better through all the fun before we knew it, the gradual, conflicting emotions from Hei in Darker than Black), but if we notice when we're watching, that's when things start to feel (a little) dirty and you just want none of that (the paper thin development in Plastic Memories, Ghost in the Shell's lack of characters to make up for its heavy handedness, the tonal disconnect in Beyond the Boundary). For Key/Jun Maeda brand, where emotions are the 'feature,' people might be a little more 'on guard' to the string pulling than they normally would be.
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Old 2015-07-09, 08:24   Link #160
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Perhaps the Nakige genre/formula faces certain challenges in the anime medium that it doesn't in the VN medium. And perhaps this can account (some) for how anime fans have a more mixed reaction to recent Key anime (adaptations) than fans of the source material VNs had.

It seems to me that the Nakige formula faces challenges similar to a magician's magic show or classic pro wrestling. In order to have maximal effectiveness, it has to draw your attention away from "the man behind the curtain" and get you to fully buy into what is being presented. You have to sort of forget the fictional, or scripted, or "smoke and mirrors", aspect of it. Like Akuma said, the string pulling should ideally not be noticeable by the viewers.


Speaking personally, I have to feel a real connection to a character and/or the plot circumstances surrounding her/him in order to get very emotional over that character. Character likeability is useful here, but it's not the only factor - The character's story having a certain authenticity or integrity to it is also important.

For all of their magical realism, I think that the core of Key's success lies in how it captures core emotional truths in our real lives, and then reflects it back at us. Core emotional truths pertaining to things that are commonly experienced and valued - Family, friends, love, romance, attachment, nostalgia, hope, wonder. That, or their inverse, which are also commonly experienced - Loneliness, isolation, longing, anger, bitterness, separation, loss, despair.

I think that Key often portrays these in a way that rings true to people. Clannad with family, Little Busters with friends, Kanon with romance.

What makes this ring true is that you get the characters, you get their situations, you feel it. The magical realism is just a convenient vehicle for all of this, or even just the spicy seasoning to make it more memorable and entertaining.

So Key is at its best when you buy into its characters and their stories. And to go back to my initial point, I think the VN format has an edge here over the anime format.


VNs are (in)famously known for their frequent considerable length. I used to see that as a drawback, and it still is one for me for practical reasons. But now I also see one benefit to this length - It probably makes the story and its fictional universe more highly immersive. You spend so much time reading lighthearted interactions between the characters - Literally hours upon hours doing this - That you start to get truly sucked into this world and this mood, and likely lose sight of those strings that Akuma referred to. Due to its length and immersive nature, the (Key) VN takes on a life of its own, and your drawn into it. You've "bought in", in much the same way as a 80s Hulkamaniac truly believed in that fun hero in the red and yellow, and in much the same way that an awestruck kid buys into the magician's show.

But the anime is different. It rolls out 20-something minute installments once per week. If watched live, people then talk and speculate about it in real time, such as on forums like this one. Things get dissected, and the meta-side often comes back into focus. Akuma's strings are often more noticeable by nature of the anime format.

Clannad (particularly Clannad: After Story) was so different from most other anime shows that this probably didn't matter as much. The Key approach was different enough to anime-only audiences at the time that the strings were not perceived. But once anime-only viewers like myself gets a few Key properties under our belts...


For the Nakige approach to keep working well in anime format, it's probably important to keep changing things up in major ways. With this in mind, maybe the personality of Charlotte's MC and the comic book-like superpowers approach will prove to be good calls. We'll see.
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