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Old 2017-04-16, 09:28   Link #1
BWTraveller
Azure Dragon reborn
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Texas
Light, youth-oriented show that gets serious

OK I'm looking for shows that start out really light, maybe something in the Shounen area or even the young end of this, then at some point things get legitimately serious. It doesn't have to escape the young audience or anything, but still something on the lines of going from something lighthearted and harmless to something with huge consequences. I think TV Tropes calls this Cerebus Syndrome, though that's more for things going from comedy to drama. I've seen this happen a few times, particularly in mon-type shows and other shows based on real or imaginary games. It's certainly a convenient method, allowing you to get passionate and driven over the game only to find out it's not a game anymore. From what I've heard, sounds like Yu-Gi-Oh does this in some of its series (I never thought I'd actually talk positively about that series, my first impression was in a word terrible; I just looked at Arc-V on a whim). It also seems like Puzzle & Dragons X may be going down this path, with a bunch of villains on the way to putting their unique plans into action and evidence presented that these plans will involve some very real consequences, along with the risk of natural disasters that could cause even greater damage. Then there's Dragon Drive, which started out as an underachiever got introduced to a VR mon game that he turned out to excel in, then suddenly he and his friends are summoned to a parallel world where the mons are real and the plot rapidly escalates to the point of facing off against a god of destruction. Heck, I even remember as a child seeing a definitively child-oriented show that wound up being about preventing the mutual destruction of our universe and a universe of animal Nazis. But don't give me anything that child oriented. I'm talking early middle school or higher, maybe stretch to 6th grade but it's a stretch.

One other series that from what I've heard (haven't watched it all yet) fits really well is MAR. At the start things are relatively weak, with silly weapons and light-action villains to fight. Then things escalate further and further, with characters dying off for real and the threat of a mysterious being that may have been involved in the disappearance and possible death of the hero's dad. From what I hear, the end takes this up to eleven with one or more extremely serious deaths.
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Old 2017-04-16, 15:56   Link #2
AnimeFangirl
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Originally Posted by BWTraveller View Post
OK I'm looking for shows that start out really light, maybe something in the Shounen area or even the young end of this, then at some point things get legitimately serious.
Now and Then, Here and There is the show for you.
I've also heard dark things about Bokurano and every other manga/anime by that author. I watched Narutaru/Shadow Star. Starts out like Pokemon and gets nasty... and then the manga after the anime ends is even worse!
Why not go through the TV Tropes page for Cerebus whatever it's called and watch them all one by one?
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Old 2017-04-16, 22:31   Link #3
BWTraveller
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Originally Posted by AnimeFangirl View Post
Now and Then, Here and There is the show for you.
I've also heard dark things about Bokurano and every other manga/anime by that author. I watched Narutaru/Shadow Star. Starts out like Pokemon and gets nasty... and then the manga after the anime ends is even worse!
Why not go through the TV Tropes page for Cerebus whatever it's called and watch them all one by one?
Uh, no. Those are shows that are serious from the get-go. I'm not talking about serious stuff that's centered on kids. There's plenty of that. Bokurano, Now and Then Here and There, Narutaru, the list goes on. But those series are darker than dark from the start, and then just get darker and darker with very little in the way of light at the end of the tunnel. Narutaru is only kiddy in its opening sequence, and the entire rest is completely different. That's not Cerebus Syndrome or anything of the sort, it's simple false advertisement.

Take a look at MAR: Marchen Awakens Romance. At first it looks like a kid's anime on around the same level as Pokémon. And a lot of the stuff that makes it look kid-friendly stays all the way through. I'd say it'd be fine to let a first-year middle-school student watch in spite of the dark side. But even though the dark side isn't inappropriate enough to increase the rating, it is most certainly heavy. At first the villains that attack are minor weaklings along the lines of Team Rocket or thereabouts. Then gradually the situation the world's in becomes clearer and the battles become more serious. One battle has an admired hero pick up his opponent and drop him into a pool of lava while ignoring his pleas for mercy, and another has a sweet, cheeky girl calmly order her pet monster to eat a man. This from a show that, again, started out hardly more serious than Pokémon.

Also, I've looked through the TV Tropes page. There's a lot that's not there. As I mentioned, MAR is a great example but it's not listed. Most of the examples I gave aren't listed. I don't know whether they're not considered actual examples of the trope in question or they've just never been added. But I can't find these on Cerebus or "Darker and Edgier". Only one I mentioned is Yu-Gi-Oh.

Here's what they have on TV Tropes: Psycho Pass; From the New World; Evangelion... who the heck thought this crap was ever light-hearted and comedic?
i think you get the picture. If it's not something where I think you'd have to be crazy to think it was light, it's something that's certainly not young-youth-oriented. The only exceptions are stuff like Dragon Ball, One Piece and Fairy Tail; that is, stuff that most people have seen, or stuff that's so long it's ridiculous.

Stuff on there that does fit includes Dog Days (S1) and possibly Magical Project S. Of all these, the only one i haven't seen is One Piece and I'm not about to go digging into a series THAT long.

Last edited by BWTraveller; 2017-04-16 at 22:46.
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Old 2017-04-17, 07:25   Link #4
Kafriel
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I'd say RWBY is exactly what you're looking for. It's still kid-friendly, even at vol.4, but it definitely shifts tone from a certain point onwards.

Gintama is also primarily a comedy series with amazing dramatic action arcs, but it's over 300 episodes long and it was never meant for kids, as it includes a lot of 4th wall breaking and adult jokes.

Not sure if they fit on your list, but there's Reborn!, Durarara!! and...Clannad?
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Old 2017-04-17, 08:23   Link #5
SeijiSensei
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About Narutaru, I would disagree that it's dark from the outset. The opening episode is entirely upbeat, and you'd think the show was about a nice girl visiting her family's home at the beach, discovering a cute companion, and having cute adventures. It's the most deceptive first episode I've ever watched.

I don't know if Kemono no Sou-ja Erin fits your request. It does have a remarkably jarring event around episode seven that changes the tenor of the show considerably. Still there are 43 more episodes to come after that, so that might not fit the pattern you're looking for.
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Old 2017-04-17, 15:40   Link #6
Sackett
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Hmm... I'd guess that a bunch of Magical Girl shows have this kind of progress.

Madoka Magica has a happy facade for the first 25% of the series.

Sailor Moon might be an even better example, as it isn't til the last major arc that things start to really take a serious turn.

The World God Only Knows is probably a good example.

Chrono Crusade has some elements of this shift in tone.

Touch could be a mundane example, where there is a major tonal shift after a certain point.

Dungeon Meshi would be manga example.
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Old 2017-04-18, 14:52   Link #7
AnimeFangirl
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
About Narutaru, I would disagree that it's dark from the outset. The opening episode is entirely upbeat, and you'd think the show was about a nice girl visiting her family's home at the beach, discovering a cute companion, and having cute adventures. It's the most deceptive first episode I've ever watched.
Seconding this. You can make a case about Now and Then and Bokurano, but unless you've heard of the trouble that comes later on in Narutaru there's no way you would believe it was anything other than a fluffy show about a girl and her cute pet companion from the first episode alone.

Someone suggested Touch. If you enjoy Touch, you might also like Cross Game from the same author, kind of a Touch-redux without the surprise factor. And on the magical girl front, Utakata.
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Old 2017-04-18, 15:07   Link #8
RichardFromMarple
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I've only seen the first 48 episodes so far, but Fairytail starts as quite light-hearted before getting more serious storylines, with softer bits in between.
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Old 2017-04-21, 10:36   Link #9
BWTraveller
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Narutaru is way too dark and it goes dark way too fast. One ep of "oh, sweet girl going on adventure" and then it's down the rabbit-hole we go. Again, it's not just how quickly it drops but just how far it goes. Let me put it this way: if it involves any girl raping another girl with a test tube, then later getting a huge, razor-sharp claw shoved up her vagina and pushed further and further until she's been cut in half, it's just a LIIIIIITTLE too dark. Same goes if a girl gets unwittingly turned into a pedo porn star and then kills the guy who did this to her as well as the guys who paid him extra money for a chance at the real thing. I have a lot of respect for that author really; some of the characters' stories are designed to really show the best of humanity, even as others' are designed to show the worst. But seriously no matter how much respect I have for the hope he tries to ultimately portray in his work, I still can't take THAT level of despair.

Kaminomi most certainly fits. Initially you have a really simple story that, despite the threat to his life and the danger of possession, remains very light-hearted and cute. Then the challenges get bigger, and the threats more serious, and ultimately you wind up dealing with some relatively heavy content such as large-scale conspiracies, plots to transform the entire planet earth into a giant torture chamber, and more.

Love Madoka Magica as well. But I don't know how "light-hearted" one can call it when the very first challenge gave me nightmares. Those moustached dandelions and the world surrounding them were just creepy. That said, while it was real dark from start to finish, it sealed a place as a good watch for me when I saw the end (TV only, haven't watched beyond).

Now, I don't mind things that are in some senses dark, depending on the nature of the darkness and how quickly it comes. If we get a few minutes or a couple episodes before we're surrounded with sexual violation and death and destruction and utter madness, then it's too much and too soon. If we get a longer, more involved story that gets you well invested in the fun story before it stops being all fun and games, and there's nothing too sexual (and I'm rather lax on this: as long as we don't have stuff like guys who deliberately impregnate girls who barely started menstruating and bullies who shove test tubes into their victims over a good grade before going home to "play" with their brother, I'm good).

One other example is Digimon Tamers. Like Yu-Gi-Oh, Digimon is a series I never thought I'd watch but I wound up taking an interest in that one. It does certainly have some serious threat from the outset, but not all that big at first, and we get plenty of time to get comfortable. Then things get serious, with monster characters legitimately dying, an enemy trying to assimilate/destroy everything in both the digital and real world, and a sweet little love interest captured and tortured, forcefully subjected nonstop to terrifying renditions of her most painful memories over and over again.
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Old 2017-04-21, 14:17   Link #10
AnimeFangirl
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Btw, you've been making a lot of requests lately. Have you really been watching all this stuff?
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Old Yesterday, 16:45   Link #11
BWTraveller
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Originally Posted by AnimeFangirl View Post
Btw, you've been making a lot of requests lately. Have you really been watching all this stuff?
Not every single item, but I try to watch as much as I can and keep record of everything else for later reference. Also, I'm something of a veteran so to speak, so a heck of a lot of the stuff presented is stuff I either already finished or am continuing to watch. For instance, I've already watched Madoka Magica, KamiNomi, part of Bokurano, Narutaru and Now and Then Here and There, and am in the midst of watching Fairy Tail (which is surprising me since so far I haven't seen one example of a battle won with "the power of friendship", despite all the claims). I have seen enough of Sailor Moon to overall reject it, no offense to her fans, and while I haven't completed Chrono Crusade (DVD was scratchy from the day I got it) I have seen a good bit and read a lot more. The good thing is I can say whether a lot of items are close (like Kaminomi) or far (like Bokurano), but the downside is it's hard for me to find new stuff. Partly for that reason, I've put more focus on manga and light novels, since while I've read a lot, I haven't gone near as deep in those areas.
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