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Author Topic: Just Hard To Believe  (Read 9785 times)

Offline Tamashii

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Just Hard To Believe
« on: September 09, 2005, 06:37:37 PM »
I went to anime club today, the club's first meeting for the year and my friend held the position of president, so all ten or something of us are in the back and stuff.

Anyways we previewed several anime, none of them I stayed to watch for more than one minute--I went outside with my other buddies, with Mr. President coming back and forth checking on the club. Talk about responsible. But that's another issue.

We showed four things. Rune Soldier, RahXephon, Love Hina, and Gatekeepers.

The impression I got from Rune Soldier is this really stupid anime that tries very hard to be funny. After I saw a couple of spells getting casted and dumb antics, I just left.

The interesting preview was Gatekeepers (this and Rune Soldier I've never seen before). I came in during the part where the SCHOOL GIRL (of course) was running around, being chased by this massive ball of spirits (I have to admit, that's a half-decent villain). So SCHOOL GIRL does her "Gate" powers, whatever that is, and shoots at the ball. Oh no. Failed. Okay, the MAIN GUY is somewhere nearby, with these flashbacks coming to him. Oh wow. Oh the drama. Save me. He picks up a can and throws it. Oh yeah. He's got Gate powers, too. I'm not surprised, are you? It does Big Time Damage, as it should with all MAIN GUY characters. All right. Not done. He scurries away as the ball rolls towards him. Couple minutes later, he comes flailing at the ball thing. With a stick. Gate Powers! It's dead. Okay, let's go home.

There were two things distinctly wrong with what I had seen:

1. The incredible lack of realism whatsoever. If you saw this GIGANTIC, I mean it's about sixty billion times the size of your forehead, BALL kind of THING, rolling and rolling down a street, I doubt you would waste time to pick up cans and throw it at them. Common logic says: "Not gonna work, good friend." Besides that, MAIN GUY's escape is just plain stupid. "All right I have to run now." That just doesn't happen. If you've got that massive monster coming after you, you would never be that calm, you would run off, possibly trip, possibly die, who knows. The seiyuu failed when it comes to screaming: anyone would have screamed their balls off if they got Big Bowling Ball after them.
2. "The Typical Hero". Now and Then, Here and There is an example of a great cast of characters, where the protagonist is realistic and unique, as are the villains and side characters. Gatekeepers just failed at the test. I know, I know, this is the Shounen Anime Thing: have a main character that is superior to everyone and everything, yet he is naive and does not understand his great "hidden" powers. I'm yawing my ass off.

Aren't you all tired of this? I sure am. After leaving anime for several months and watching various live-action films, I've gained a new perspective and a strong standing on how characters should be, raising the standards (for me) of what I consider a good movie/anime. I wouldn't be surprised if I watched some of the new anime: there's probably the same crap. The anime industry has degenerated and drifted away from being artistic and has favored making a lot of Yen, instead. We don't get anymore Evangelions or FLCLs, we get the Love Hina and Shounen Crap. I would be happy if I could find a Kare Kano in every four new anime I see, but that's just a retarded fantasy. We want more panty shots, more big boobs, more crappy violence, and more dumbed-down characters. From the responses in anime club, I could already generalize, be 95% correct, about the standings of all teenage otaku. How could you boo away RahXephon and clap for Love Hina?

Is anime just going to keep thinning down, becoming more of a cash-cow instead of art?

It's sad.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2005, 06:42:09 PM by Tamashii »

Offline Kuma

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Just Hard To Believe
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2005, 07:38:03 PM »
Dude, you took the words right out of my mouth.  I've been thinking about this very thing for weeks, and I almost posted a similar topic once or twice.  Yeah, anime characters aren't always believable, because most people really don't care about things like development of characters and intricacy of plot.  All most fans care about is bishies and fan service.  I'm not that surprised that more important aspects often get overlooked as in your Gatekeepers example.  I too am tired of typical heros.  It just gets tedious watching wimps/newbs/wusses continuously triumph and get the girl when in reality they wouldn't have a snowball's chance in Hell.  The reasons I came up with for these disturbing trends are as follows:

1.  People are creatures of habit.

Most people don't want new and challenging things all the time.  They are far more comfortable watching something predictable and rehashed because it is familiar to them and they don't have to spend a lot of energy to assimilate it.

2.  Sex sells

The number one thing on most people's mind is sex, not philsophical thoughts and character speculations.  Therefore perverted and fan-servicey anime are very popular.  I know far too many people who choose their anime based on the attractiveness of the characters.  What's even sadder is that FMA probably wouldn't have half its fanbase if "Roy, Ed, and Hughes weren't such hott bishies OMG!!!"

3.  Most people are stupid

Think about it, anime like Kare Kano and Kino's Journey are beyond the grasp of most people.  Instead of admitting that they don't understand an anime and respecting it, it is far more in line with human nature to dislike the offending anime to make oneself appear less stupid.  Which makes a person seem dumber, "I hate Kino's Journey because the characters are ugly" or "Kino's Journey is good, but it made my head hurt and I didn't understand most of what they were talking about, but I can respect that?"

I really don't think anime has become more commercialized recently.  I think what has happened is that the limited number of "good" titles are being rapidly consumed by the intelligent anime community and all that's left is the crap.  I doubt that more smart anime were made in 1980 than in 1990 or 2000.

It's sad.  I find it hard to talk about my own interests in anime because of the 95% of anime fans that create the stigma against anime in the first place because of their poor tastes in anime.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2005, 08:01:13 PM by Kuma »

Offline Sorrow-kun

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Just Hard To Believe
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2005, 01:33:30 AM »
It's true that 90% of anime is crap.  That's no different from any medium, as predicted by Sturgeon's Law.  I wouldn't argue it has any time dependance, though.  There's a lot more anime being made these days, compared with the late 80s and early 90s, so, obviously, there's going to be more crap these days.  But, the older days still saw their fair share of pointless fan service, non-sensical plots and characters you'd like to put through a shredder.  And, in recent times, we've seen quite a number of gems.  In the last two years alone, we've seen Gungrave, FMA, Koi Kaze, Air, BECK, Fantastic Children and numerous other instant classics.

Kuma's hit the nail on the head with the "people are stupid" comment, though.  It's not something that one can evade just because they're an anime fan, and sites like animeNFO prove that.  You only need to look at their number two position to see what they define as a good anime... Kimi ga Nozomu Eien.  That they consider that one of the greatest anime ever made, yet, when talking about Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou they say words like "boring" or "pointless" just makes me wish that these people aren't a fair representation of the attitudes of the anime community as a whole.  But, the truth is they are.  And, we have to accept that its these people that most anime are designed for.

Oh well, as anime connoisseur (s... I don't know the plural of this word), all we can really do is wait for those odd gems that do come along... and they still come with enough frequency to keep me interested.  And the tier just under these types of anime usually have more than enough to keep me entertained... which is, after all, what anime is:  entertainment.

Edit:  On the topic of KGNE, I dread what it could potentially do to the popularity of this site if I were to ever review that title.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2005, 01:36:48 AM by Sorrow-kun »

Offline C0MPL3X

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Just Hard To Believe
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2005, 03:11:40 AM »
Quote from: Sorrow-kun
Edit: On the topic of KGNE, I dread what it could potentially do to the popularity of this site if I were to ever review that title.
Well, people like you would scream 'yosh, this is the site for me!' and join while kimi fans would alt+f4 and cry. Sounds good to me.
 
I've been an anime fan for only half a year, still trying to finish good classics, and there are plenty of them at the moment. Although at this rate, I think I'd have trouble finding ones that can survive my taste after I donno, a year or two? This then makes me I ask myself, am I really an anime fan? If I find majority of what this genre has produced something mediocrity, but still able to appreciate what it can (and have) potentially produce...mmm I'm not sure.

Offline Ritalin

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Just Hard To Believe
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2005, 06:26:51 AM »
Oh my. You are just figuring all this out? I'm sorry. :O

But it is like this with every form of entertainment, not just to anime.

Meh, who needs realism? If I want realism I go outside anyway. So I don't complain when my movies/tv shows/anime/games don't act 100% human. Although anime does it the worst...

Offline Tamashii

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Just Hard To Believe
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2005, 09:54:41 AM »
There's two forms of realism: realistic responses to a stimuli and conceptual realism. The former is the most important, as it determines whether one sees a character as "human", and hence be able to relate to them on certain levels. This lack of realism is what irks me. Conceptual realism is based on concepts, such as a Kame Hame Ha or a Gundam. It's an entirely different thing. Creativity requires a little lack of conceptual realism. Conceptual realism is always expected when it comes to a hardcore drama like Kare Kano, for example. But the same cannot be said for titles like Yu Yu Hakusho.

Clearly I'm aware that anime is not the only medium that is like this. From what I have seen, I noticed that the better anime have always been in the earlier years and in the 90's.
And even when you have "instant classics" like FMA, it's clear that it's not strictly Art. There's always something there that blends what the audience wants and what art actually is together. Though I have no problem with this if it's done correctly, I do see that few, if any, anime recently have become strictly "art". Grave of the Fireflies is a good example of an art anime, where there's not a single gimmick.  

"This then makes me I ask myself, am I really an anime fan?"
That's really a whole 'nother topic, but I'll just say this: Being an anime fan is not about what or how much you see. If you like anime, you're a fan.

Offline soundchazer

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Just Hard To Believe
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2005, 01:24:43 PM »
Well... the way I see it is a bit different. As you well know, I always like to harp about character development. It is very important. It is probably the element that makes or breaks an anime. That doesn't mean however, that the characters have to to be Ă¼ber realistic.

First and foremost, they have to be likeable (or dislikeable). Secondly, they have to have a somewhat solid background, Thirdly, it is important to know their goals and motivations.

It is true that a lot of anime in the 90's (yes, I also believe the 90's saw a thinning down of character development) and the new millenia have been dull and repetitive, but 2004 and 2005 have seen some sort of renaissance of character development. Just look at the long list of anime:

Victorian Romance Emma
PlanetES
Full Metal Alchemist
Full Metal Panic!: TSR
MaiHime
SpeedGrapher
Eureka7
Honey and Clover
Futakoi Alternative
The Snow Queen
Okusama wa mahou shoujo
Fantastic Children (probably the best anime out there since Now and then, here and there)
Zettai Shounen
Yakitate! Japan
School Rumble
Tsukuyomi Moon Phase
Kamichuu
Sekai no senki III


And lets not forget some potentially good ones coming soon like OtoHime, Aria and Paradise Kiss!

So not everything is lost, in fact, I see it becoming better than it has been in the last few years.


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Offline ReadorDie

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Just Hard To Believe
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2005, 03:40:15 AM »
Quote from: Tamashii
We showed four things. Rune Soldier, RahXephon, Love Hina, and Gatekeepers.

The impression I got from Rune Soldier is this really stupid anime that tries very hard to be funny. After I saw a couple of spells getting casted and dumb antics, I just left.

Rune Soldier is and was a valiant attempt to make a funny series without relying on fanservice, and it came THIS CLOSE to succeeding.  However, the animation was utter crap and the last three episodes were simply terrible.

Offline loner

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Just Hard To Believe
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2005, 09:01:47 AM »
To be completely honest, Gatekeepers is not a completely new anime.  It is also not completely crap, though certainly it's not a classic.  Of the character development and realism you speak of, Tamashii, believe it or not, but Gatekeepers actually have some of that later down the road.  Unfortunately, there's not too much of it, and it's covered in too much weird shit (believe me, what you've seen in the first episode is only the tip of the iceberg).  And unfortunately, the producers seem more interested with the shit than the good stuff.  It's got great potential, but the producers simply drowned those potentials.

Gatekeepers 21 on the other hand is actually a lot better.  But it's too short and lack explanation on too many things.

Onto the subject, I don't deny there's much mediocrity in the new anime produced these days, and much of it is unfortunately celebrated in the fandom.  It's not just seeing KimiNozo on top of the list in AnimeNfo that irks me.  It's people that are saying "YES! SECOND SEASON IS OUT" about Girls Bravo that really makes me sick.  But when that happens, I'll just watch an episode of Monster, and know that all is still well in anime world.
Lolz Sig.

Offline Tyrdium

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Just Hard To Believe
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2005, 08:29:53 PM »
Of course there's tons of crap out there! There's some good stuff, too. The entire point of reviews is to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. As long as the anime's entertaining, though, I don't care too much about realism. It's always more enjoyable to watch if you don't expect too much from it.

Quote from: soundchazer
Just look at the long list of anime:
    Stellvia's not on there?

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    Offline soundchazer

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    Just Hard To Believe
    « Reply #10 on: September 11, 2005, 09:32:58 PM »
    Stellvia is 2003. I mentioned a one year span from 2004-2005


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    Offline Tyrdium

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    « Reply #11 on: September 12, 2005, 11:33:00 AM »
    Heh, forgot about that... Whoops.
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    Offline Tamashii

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    Just Hard To Believe
    « Reply #12 on: September 12, 2005, 11:34:45 AM »
    Quote from: loner
    To be completely honest, Gatekeepers is not a completely new anime. It is also not completely crap, though certainly it's not a classic. Of the character development and realism you speak of, Tamashii, believe it or not, but Gatekeepers actually have some of that later down the road. Unfortunately, there's not too much of it, and it's covered in too much weird shit (believe me, what you've seen in the first episode is only the tip of the iceberg). And unfortunately, the producers seem more interested with the shit than the good stuff. It's got great potential, but the producers simply drowned those potentials.


    The whole Gatekeepers thing is just an example. This whole thread was stimulated by those few minutes. I know better to not judge an anime from just one episode. I don't think Gatekeepers is a bad anime, or a good one, for that matter--I just don't really know from one episode.

    Offline Darlene

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    Just Hard To Believe
    « Reply #13 on: January 07, 2006, 11:45:43 PM »
    This is becoming an overwhelming problem in the anime community but once you see the good side of it it just doesn't seem so bad anymore.
     
    When I very first noticed this this problem I reacted the same as most. I was ashamed of our otaku community and the typical anime industry for creating such garabage that I wanted to just give up anime all together. Well, that's exactly what I did. And for about six months at that.
     
    A couple weeks ago I was doingd some shopping and came across Now and Then, Here and There and figured I'd pick it up (especially at that bargain). After watching it and being blown away by its amazing characters and story it brought me back to the anime realm that I'd resisded in for so long and like all anime fans, I began watching the mediocre flicks again to re-jive my interest.
     
    I believe that through my revelation of the discovery of the suckiness level and quitting followed by picking it up again with a new state of mind I realized that it's the rareity of the diamond that makes it so special and with this new found knowledge I don't let the the digging and hassle discourage me from ever finding this diamond of work but insted let it encourage me and remind me that when I find it it will be amazing.
     
    (By the way, nice to meet any of you that I don't know)

    Offline sevenzig

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    Just Hard To Believe
    « Reply #14 on: January 07, 2006, 11:56:27 PM »
    Thus why I read manga. Everything goes through this...metamorphosis in the end. Eventually there will be naked Tennis, mark my words.

    Look at cable TV. Every show on TV has become a sexual innuendo laden garbage pile of corporate money. The same is happening to anime. There will still be good shows [ CSI or Without a Trace ] but in the end, sex sells, and you gotta make as much money as you can.
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