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Old 2017-05-16, 10:42   Link #1
False Prophet
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Romance-Comedy staying power

I've read many "Top 10 Anime"-kind of lists on the net, and I notice something: Barely any romance-comedy works make it to the list. People just doesn't seem to remember romance-comedy very long (one example could be seen in how fast the fandom of newer romance-comedy series fall apart after the series ends.)

And it is not just anime, but if you ask people about the most memorable movies, chances are there won't be many romance-comedy works show up. So why there is this problem? While romance-comedy can not build up a loyal, thoughtful fandom? Is it inheritanly like this?
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Old 2017-05-16, 12:25   Link #2
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Don't get me wrong - there are plenty of rom-coms I enjoy and the like, and I am sure there are others who do too. But I am curious why you feel the absence of rom-com on the various top ten lists you have seen is a "problem"?
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Old 2017-05-16, 12:42   Link #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by False Prophet View Post

And it is not just anime, but if you ask people about the most memorable movies, chances are there won't be many romance-comedy works show up. So why there is this problem? While romance-comedy can not build up a loyal, thoughtful fandom? Is it inheritanly like this?
For what it's worth, I can think of at least one (anime) exception to this. Toradora! I've heard that it's had tremendous staying power for an anime that's now almost a decade old, and I recall seeing it on at least a couple people's top 10 lists (which I don't pay as much attention to as some do). I also have seen recent anime-con cosplay reports that include Taiga cosplayer sightings, which is pretty remarkable for an anime this old.

As for why romance-comedy don't show up more often on Top 10 lists? Well, if you define romcom broadly, it's a very large genre, maybe even the largest of them all. With so much competition within the same genre, maybe it makes it harder for any one show to really stand out from the crowd.
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Old 2017-05-16, 17:34   Link #4
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Many of the big ones have faded into relative obscurity. You won't find people talking about Clannad or Eternal Memories these days. Check this list from MAL, for example. Notice how old most of them are?

Unless you mean pure romance-comedy. That's a different answer. Mostly that comedy doesn't leave as much of an emotional impression as drama does.
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Old 2017-05-16, 21:08   Link #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
For what it's worth, I can think of at least one (anime) exception to this. Toradora! I've heard that it's had tremendous staying power for an anime that's now almost a decade old, and I recall seeing it on at least a couple people's top 10 lists (which I don't pay as much attention to as some do). I also have seen recent anime-con cosplay reports that include Taiga cosplayer sightings, which is pretty remarkable for an anime this old.

As for why romance-comedy don't show up more often on Top 10 lists? Well, if you define romcom broadly, it's a very large genre, maybe even the largest of them all. With so much competition within the same genre, maybe it makes it harder for any one show to really stand out from the crowd.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
Many of the big ones have faded into relative obscurity. You won't find people talking about Clannad or Eternal Memories these days. Check this list from MAL, for example. Notice how old most of them are?

Unless you mean pure romance-comedy. That's a different answer. Mostly that comedy doesn't leave as much of an emotional impression as drama does.
I want to focus on pure romance-comedy, something equivalent to My Best Friend's Wedding.

Now you said it, it does seems that even some of the most straight-laced romcom anime (Ranma?) tends to have at least a modicum of drama.
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Old 2017-05-17, 04:42   Link #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
Many of the big ones have faded into relative obscurity. You won't find people talking about Clannad or Eternal Memories these days. Check this list from MAL, for example. Notice how old most of them are?

Unless you mean pure romance-comedy. That's a different answer. Mostly that comedy doesn't leave as much of an emotional impression as drama does.
That's what I was thinking, comedy can't really compare to a more emotional oriented drama shows. Inevitably they leave a much deeper mark because touch different strings.
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Old 2017-05-23, 15:57   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by False Prophet View Post
I've read many "Top 10 Anime"-kind of lists on the net, and I notice something: Barely any romance-comedy works make it to the list. People just doesn't seem to remember romance-comedy very long (one example could be seen in how fast the fandom of newer romance-comedy series fall apart after the series ends.)

And it is not just anime, but if you ask people about the most memorable movies, chances are there won't be many romance-comedy works show up. So why there is this problem? While romance-comedy can not build up a loyal, thoughtful fandom? Is it inheritanly like this?
I don't really think this is completely true.

Rather the issue is that romantic comedies have significantly decreased in both their market share and in the amount of resources spent on producing them. Since top ten lists are heavily biased to recent shows, this is then harmful to them staying at the top of a list.

I mean, consider my top ten list. For me, the #1 anime of all time is Maison Ikkoku which is a romantic comedy. Nor am I particularly biassed towards romantic comedies, I tend to prefer more dramatic and action based shows.

Nor is Maison Ikkoku particularly controversial as a top ten anime pick.

Consider some positive reasons to including it:

1: It's probably the most influential anime romance of all time. It is constantly referenced, parodied, and copied. Kyouko's chick apron is possibly the single most referenced item in all of manga/anime, perhaps only surpassed by Doraeman's Door and Yamato's Wave Motion Gun. It created a whole sub-genre of romance anime (the manager-tenant romance), and many of modern romantic hits are recognizably lifting plot lines and characters whole cloth from Maison Ikkoku.

2: It broke out of the anime ghetto in Japan. Often it's ignored that most anime are not even that popular in Japan. Only a few have managed to break through the barrier and go mainstream. Some of the more famous ones in America are ones such as Sailor Moon, Pokemon, etc. Notice that most of these are aimed at either children or teenagers. Maison Ikkoku was targeted at adults, and while not well known outside Japan, Maison Ikkoku is also one of those to go mainstream, primarily rivaled among adults by other stories such as Space Battleship Yamato, and Touch (another famous romantic comedy), though noticeably, those two where originally targeted at teenagers, and became popular among adults primarily through nostalgia.

3: It is notable for it's high quality of animation, music, and voice acting.

Consider though the reasons it isn't often listed:

1: People have not watched it because it's old (mid 80s). Especially outside Japan due to being prior to the major anime boom of the 90's.

2: People have not watched it because it has older animation styles, which are viewed as signals of low quality (when in reality the quality of the lighting, shading, background and art direction is actually superior to the majority of modern anime - it's just not as shiny, and the hair is not drawn with as much detail - essentially style differences).

3: People have not watched it because it is much more slower paced than modern stories, and is much longer than most (96 episodes) and requires a longer attention span than most modern stories.

Essentially it all comes down to "I haven't watched it because it's old and I want to spend my time on new stuff."

Now you might ask why hasn't a great romantic comedy been written since then (30 years ago)? Well, first of all anime that manage to maintain a 30 year dominance are very rare. Neon Genesis Evangelion and Space Battleship Yamato are the only ones I can really think of. Anime isn't even that old, so I think a better judge of a major hit is something that remains in the consciousness for around a decade.

And there have been plenty of those for romantic comedies. Clannad, Toradora, Ranma 1/2, Kimagure Orange Road, Ah My Goddess, Touch, etc.

But there does seem to have been a sudden dearth of romantic comedies recently.

There are still a few that were significant hits, but their impact on the consciousness seems to be more around 5 years rather than 10. Hayate the Combat Butler and Working are probably the most successful.

The same is true of Hollywood movies. Heck I remember when romantic comedies were the bread and butter of Hollywood: Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping, When Harry Met Sally, You Got Mail, Little Shop Around the Corner. You had movies actors and actresses who made their names in these kinds of movies. Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullocks, Tom Hanks. You still have an occasional one nowadays but not like it used to be.

And if you go back even further, romantic comedies are one of the foundations of the English language. Consider that several of Shakespearean Comedies are essentially romantic comedies.

It just seems like after the 1990s that romantic comedies are just not being produced with the same talent and effort, or in the number that they used to be.

This may be generational, and a change in what kind of movies the millennial generation wants to watch. Maybe Hayate and Working are just as good in quality as Ranma 1/2, but the target audience (teenagers) just don't appreciate them as much as the older generations did.
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Old 2017-05-23, 16:36   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sackett View Post
This may be generational, and a change in what kind of movies the millennial generation wants to watch. Maybe Hayate and Working are just as good in quality as Ranma 1/2, but the target audience (teenagers) just don't appreciate them as much as the older generations did.
Nevertheless requests for shows with romance, both comedies and dramas, in the MAL Recommendations Thread far exceed requests for any other genre. Perhaps that just represents the tastes of anime viewers outside Japan, but most of those making the requests are "millennials."
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Old 2017-05-23, 18:01   Link #9
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That suggests that the problem really is with the producers and not the consumers.
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Old 2017-05-23, 22:18   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sackett View Post
Maybe Hayate and Working are just as good in quality as Ranma 1/2, but the target audience (teenagers) just don't appreciate them as much as the older generations did.
Perhaps it should be noted that the manga source material for Ranma 1/2 and Maison Ikkoku were wrote by Rumiko Takahashi. I watched all of the Ranma 1/2 anime, and a large amount of the InuYasha anime (also adapted from a Takahashi-wrote manga). My impression is that Takahashi has a certain style and sensibility to her writing that causes her works to stand apart from the crowd. Perhaps that style and sensibility is well-suited for writing excellent romantic comedies (I'd certainly consider Ranma 1/2 one of anime's all-time great comedies, though it's romance was more hit-and-miss for me). To put it more straightforwardly, Takahashi may simply be a truly great writer when it comes to the romance comedy genre.

Maybe a case can be made that truly great writers only come along once every so often, and some specific genres may have to wait a long time between two great writers within that same genre.
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Old 2017-05-24, 00:15   Link #11
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Quote:
While romance-comedy can not build up a loyal, thoughtful fandom?
People don't remember things period. The idea of loyalty itself is a foreign concept to people when you have people that don't even remember other people if not interacted for months much less years. So what chance do abstractions stand? Be glad that it doesn't turn into a die hard, toxic fandom like many long runners have.

So what stands out is the loudest flashes and explosions and other shit that can be pointed out. Subtle and nuanced stuff might not even get remembered because they might not be grasped in the first place.

I mean, if you had to summarize a show quickly to someone to get them to watch it, it's going to be harder to sell things that require a bit more than the surface. Even for stuff that gets remembered, they tend to get remembered in terms of memes or big events. I imagine most people wouldn't even be able to recall 80% of what actually happened or what it meant. The way they describe it you'd think the anime was 3 episodes.

And it is especially there with comedy and other "in the moment" shows. People quickly forget their value and think they're inferior as a result. That is, of course, just plain ignorance but little can be done about that.
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