[Tangent] School Life, oversaturating genre, Haruhi

Non-Eva Anime and Manga discussion

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Postby symbv » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:39 am

I think what Alaska Slim and I may object is that the heated argument is not all craps. Both of us raised some good points, albeit sometimes with (negative) emotions and not-so-good points mixed in. And it did reach a result that is better than before the argument (we now understand each other better and know we share more than we knew).

On topic: Haruhi season 3 not known yet -- the main sticking point, 2ch wonders, is if Haruhi will still be voiced by Aya Hirano as she has changed agency (my take is it is probably over-worrying but I could be wrong). :-]

Seriously, the wild success of K-On and Haruhi (and for that matter, Bakemonogatari which has less slice-of-life elements than these two) is very much a happy coincidence of otaku taste and mainstream taste. Otaku provided the base core support and among other things the moe elements satisfied them and raised their enthusiasm, and then it expanded the fan base to involve more groups and sectors. Among the three K-On is the most amazing, because its original was the least known before the anime was aired, its fans are the most numerous in size, and its merchandizing operation the biggest.
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Re: This is where things come back together - agreed. B)

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Postby Mr. Tines » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:13 pm

View Original Postsymbv wrote:Many in 2ch have been scratching their heads (even now) regarding how so many teenagers and girls got to know and watch the anime


I may be old-fashioned, but I remember when home video recorders first became widespread (25 years or so ago), a sudden explosion of minority interest programs appearing in the small hours with the expectation that they would be time-shifted (recorded on a timer for watching at a more civilised hour). Recording programs off the telly has only become easier since then -- and now we have things like the BBC's iPlayer which do the re-streaming on demand without the viewer having to worry about storing the program as it airs.

View Original Postsymbv wrote:Just a really minor addition about midnight anime. Nowadays even for adaptation of shounen titles like Blue Exorcist, Nurarihyon no Mago and Ika-Musume got slotted into midnight time slots


In particular, if inoffensive shonen titles are being moved to the late slots, all the more incentive for younger folk to watch either directly or by some briefly deferred means.

@Topic such as it is
It might help if specific titles got quoted, especially in the "anime isn't what it used to be" argument, rather than classifications covering who-knows-what. K-ON!! may for some reason hit the zeitgeist in Japan, but there aren't that many "cute girls doing cute things after school" titles out there.

Even discounting all the "will never get subs" titles (mainly the ones aimed at small children only, but also including the less otaku-centred sort of titles -- like Showa Monogatori or Osaka Hamlet in the last couple or years) that sort of series is still a tiny fraction.

In fact it's a lot easier to strike out a broad swathe of what remains of a season by looking for the tags "game/VN adaptation" or "an ordinary schoolboy until..." and considering those titles guilty until proven innocent; and even there you're probably looking at a minority of what's left.
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Re: This is where things come back together - agreed. B)

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Postby symbv » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:16 pm

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:I may be old-fashioned, but I remember when home video recorders first became widespread (25 years or so ago), a sudden explosion of minority interest programs appearing in the small hours with the expectation that they would be time-shifted (recorded on a timer for watching at a more civilised hour). Recording programs off the telly has only become easier since then -- and now we have things like the BBC's iPlayer which do the re-streaming on demand without the viewer having to worry about storing the program as it airs.
In particular, if inoffensive shonen titles are being moved to the late slots, all the more incentive for younger folk to watch either directly or by some briefly deferred means.

This is very true, although I have a feeling that because video recorders are usually controlled by parents, kids and teens in Japan may have not actual access -- they cannot just switch on the TV when mom is making dinner. Perhaps rental (and of course piracy) is easier for the teens at least to gain access to the anime.


View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:In fact it's a lot easier to strike out a broad swathe of what remains of a season by looking for the tags "game/VN adaptation" or "an ordinary schoolboy until..." and considering those titles guilty until proven innocent; and even there you're probably looking at a minority of what's left.

"Guilty until proven innocent" may be a bit strong but anime from game/VN adaptation indeed seems to be more likely to be the kind that touch on the nerve of moe-haters (though if those people hate even K-On, then my advice is still not to watch anime, at least not the recent ones).
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Postby Mr. Tines » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:30 pm

Everyone's favourite director is in on the act again

http://www.animenewsnetwork.co.uk/inter ... erchandise

Sample quote:

Oshii added that anime today is a "copy of a copy of a copy that is no longer a form of 'expression.'" Oshii specifically mentioned Unicorn Gundam from the Mobile Suit Gundam UC anime and said that the "idea of a [unicorn] horn is interesting, but so what?"
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Postby symbv » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:28 pm

Got quite a bit of discussion in 2ch, but surprisingly many think those posters (and there are quite a lot of them) who got mad at Oshii's comment and called him "game-over contents" are just being knee-jerk emotional. A few sensible comments I like include the observation that harsh criticism often came from "auteurs" (or at least self-appointed one like Yamakan) and there is question if those established figures were thinking on a different level from the current buying/paying anime fans, or the observation that the current generation of fans in turn find the older anime (some of them by those "auteurs") not interesting and do not mince words about it either, so the feelings could be going both way.
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Postby soul.assassin » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:01 pm

I like this guy's comment on the matter:
Was he in a rocking chair shaking his cane angrily at the air for this talk? It sounds like what he doesn't like is that anime is an industry rather than an art commune.

If his problem is art for art's sake (and that includes every creative field or genre), then much of the art we have in existence is in, one way or another, derived from or inspired by earlier works.

Art can't exist without earning money first, which is why some studios like KyoAni spend a bit of their immense K-On! earnings on frivolous endeavors, so I always remembered Andy Warhol's statement about art and commerce: "Making money is art, and working is art and good business is the best art."

If an anime studio is to survive in these trying times, post-3/11, then to pay for the rent and utilities and to feed its employees, it has to earn more by taking huge gambles and investments that could spell either their existence or disbandment. This means they have to pander to a market segment, they have to sell more of their most popular product, so hence they have to use moe as one of their survival methods.

Distasteful it may be trying to use moe as a marketing tool, it ensures that at least the guys working on the sketches and cells have more food to put on the dinner table, than nothing at all but a nagging wife at the doorstep.

But even then, whether moe or LoGH character designs are good as far as image is concerned, they will not work and earn without a solid story to rest on.

Some industry oldfags need to wake up and check on their wallets and bank accounts to see if they're getting any bigger; clinging on to the past, longing for the "good old days" isn't going to fill empty stomachs.

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Postby symbv » Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:42 am

Surrounding the discussion about midnight anime and how it becomes more restricted in terms of catering to fans' taste, I have one important interview that is relevant to what I mentioned here and in some other threads earlier, and it has to do with Evangelion -- it may be also good to post it in some Evangelion threads although I am not sure where to put it.

Basically it is a interview by Mainichi newspaper with Fukashi Azuma, a veteran and well-known producer of anime programs for TV Tokyo, a station which put in the most effort in midnight anime broadcast then and now (note: this Azuma has no relation to the anime critic Hiroki Azuma), on the subject of Midnight Anime, made around a month ago.

The original text can be found here:
http://mantan-web.jp/2011/10/16/2011101 ... 9000c.html



I can translate some of the discussions here:


 「けいおん!」や「魔法少女まどか☆マギカ」など次々にヒット作を生み出している深夜アニメ。ゴールデンからアニメ番組が姿を消す中で、存在感が際立っているが、その歴史はいつから始まったのか。
テレビ東京で10年以上にわたり「銀魂」など多くのアニメを手掛けてきた“名物プロデューサー”東不可止(あずま・ふかし)さんに深夜アニメのこれまでと課題について聞いた。(毎日新聞デジタル)
Midnight anime has given birth to a series of hit works from K-On to Madoka Magica. As anime programs are now disappearing from golden time slots, its presence has gained prominence. But since when did its history start?
We asked Fukashi Azuma, the "celebrated producer" who was involved in the production of many anime shows including Gintama for over 10 years in TV Tokyo, about how Midnight Anime came to its current state. (Mainichi Shinbun Digital)

東さんは99年から、「NARUTO-ナルト-疾風伝」「毎日かあさん」など70作以上のアニメを手掛けており、
6月にアニメ制作部のプロデューサーから、経営企画部に異動となり、ネット上でも話題になったほどの名物プロデューサーだ。
Since 1999, Azuma-san was involved in more than 70 anime shows from Naruto to Mainichi Kaasan. He is such a "celebrated producer" that when in June he moved from anime production department to business project department it triggered a sensation in the internet.

東さんは、劇場版公開(97年)前に「新世紀エヴァンゲリオン」が深夜帯で再放送されたことが
深夜アニメが本格化するきっかけになったという。
当時営業としてかかわった東さんは「通常は2%が合格点とされる視聴率が、エヴァは5~6%あり、
『深夜が行ける!』と思うようになった」と振り返る。
テレ東の午後6時のアニメ枠では、エヴァのようなテーマが難解なアニメは、テレビ局の“命”ともいうべき視聴率で苦戦する傾向があり、深夜の開拓はテレビ局にも「渡りに船」だった。
According to Azuma-san, the re-broadcast of Neon Genesis Evangelion in midnight time slots just before the release of the movies (1997) was the start of the Midnight Anime as an established business. Azuma-san was working in the business (department) on this project then. As he looked back he said "Usually (in midnight slots) a rating of 2% was considered to be the pass mark, and since Eva had 5-6%, I started to think 'this could go to midnight!' "
At the time, the anime hours in TV Tokyo was 6pm and for an anime like Eva which had a difficult theme, the tendency (if it is broadcast in that time slot) would probably be an uphill battle on rating which is the "lifeblood" for a TV station. Besides, the development of the midnight time slots was also a windfall to the TV station.

同局では、「ポケットモンスター」や「遊戯王」などのヒット作を生んできた。子供のファンを獲得して、
おもちゃやゲーム、キャラクターグッズを販売するのがビジネスモデルだったが、エヴァ以降はDVDやCDなどの映像、音楽商品の販売も伸びたという。
TV Tokyo gave birth to hit works such as Pocket Monster and Yu-gi-oh and retained a large kid fan base. Selling toys, games and character goods has been its business model. However, since Eva the sale of video and musical products such as DVD and CD also increased, according to Azuma-san.

日本動画協会によると、テレビアニメのタイトル数は
90~97年は70~90で延び悩んでいたが、98年に100の大台を突破。
テレ東の深夜アニメの成功を見て、他局でもアニメが増え、06年にはピークの279まで増えた。
According to Japan Animation Society, the number of titles of TV anime was stuck at 70-90 in the years from 1990 to 1997 but in 1998 it broke through the 100 mark. As other TV stations saw the success of midnight anime in TV Tokyo, they also took up similar approach, and in 2006 it reached a peak of 279 titles.

だが10年になると、アニメのタイトル数は4年連続減の195まで落ち込み、
ゴールデンタイムのアニメもほとんどなくなってしまった。
東さんは「深夜アニメだと、一般層へ広がりづらく、エヴァのような本当の意味で社会現象になりえない」と心配する。さらに視聴者の傾向も気になる。インターネットの普及で情報が増えてより多くの作品を知る機会が増えたのに、ファンの好きな作品が一極集中になっているという。
However since 2010, the number TV anime titles had decreased for 4 years in row and was down to 195. In the meantime, anime in golden time slots has almost disappeared.
Azuma-san is worried, "In the case of midnight anime, it is hard to spread its appeal to the mainstream audience. In truth a social phenomenon like what happened in Eva would never happen now." He is also mindful of the shift among the anime viewers. The spread of internet means there is more information available and opportunity to know about more works has also increased, but it also means works favored by fans can get over-concentrated, according to Azuma-san.

またアニメ作品も、完成度は過去に比べて高まっているが
バランスの取れた「幕の内弁当」のような作品が目に付くという。
As for the anime itself, its quality now is indeed better than the past but "makunouchi bento" (lunchbox with a bit of everything in it) works that can take an overall balance are now seldom seen, according to Azuma-san.

1クール(3カ月、10~13話)の短期アニメが増えていることについても
「(原作のない)オリジナルは短いと一本調子になりやすい。エヴァは2クールだったので、それが1クールだったら……と想像してください。物語の深みがなくなりますよね」と語る。
And for the fact that short anime of one cour (broadcast for 3 months with 10-13 episodes) have increased so much, he said "for an original (without an original work / not an adaptation) if it is short then it is easy to get monotonous. Eva has two cours, just imagine if it were only one cour long.... Much of the depth of the story would have gone."

課題は山積だが光明もあるという。東さんは「アニメの作り手は、(『魔法少女リリカルなのは』の)新房昭之さんや(『コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュ』の)谷口悟朗さんら40~50代が活躍していることが多いんです。
その下の世代はテレビゲームに流れているのですが、今はさらにもう一つ下の世代から、(『あの日見た花の名前を僕達はまだ知らない。』の)長井龍雪さんや
『銀魂』の藤田陽一さんら優秀な人たちが出てきました」と評価する。東さんは「テレビ局の役目は、アニメ制作の環境を整え、作り手のモチベーションを上げ、彼らがきちんと食べていけるようにすることです」と語る。
Although there are a lot of issues, there is also some bright side. Azuma praised some people in the industry "Among anime creators, quite many active ones are in their 40s or 50s like Akiyuki Shinbo (Lyrical Nanoha) or Goro Taniguchi (Code Geass). Many of the next generation went into TV games, but the generation after it had really talented people like Tatsuyuki Nagai (Ano Hana) or Yoichi Fujita (Gintama)." Azuma-san also said "The role of a TV station is to prepare a good environment for anime making, raise the motivation of the creators, and make sure those people will not go hungry."




Shall we blame Eva for the rise of moe then? :)

Seriously, I think it illustrates my points made previously pretty well -- Anime is forced into the midnight time slots and they do whatever they can so that there are paying customers; Midnight timeslots by its nature is hard to attract mainstream audience; Lack of resource forced the length of anime to go short and also more collaboration/adaptation; Current anime is not worse than what came before, in fact it is better in many ways, but in terms of theme it can get less diversified and more repetitive/monotonous; Technology (internet) is one big reason of fan taste getting more insular; and last but not least, being able not to go hungry is really key.....
Last edited by symbv on Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:36 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby soul.assassin » Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:59 am

View Original Postsymbv wrote:Azuma-san also said "The role of a TV station is to prepare a good environment for anime making, raise the motivation of the creators, and make sure those people will not go hungry."


THIS.

And oh, I'm reading this:
http://neojaponisme.com/2007/06/04/mass ... p-culture/

There is a comment that struck me:
You are right Marxy! Japan has no “adult” culture. The US is loaded with it. Look at our movies like “Pirates of the Caribbean p. III” or the new “Transformers” movie or pulp fiction. All based on serious literary work and blockbusters while they are at it! No shortage of intellectuals here.

The US has serious adult role models like Brittney Spears and Paris Hilton and numerous sports stars who are at least old enough to drive. Compare this to underage idols in Japan and you’ll soon see US is #1.

We take adult so seriously that we drive our children to dress in adult fashions like miniskirts showing the ever adult belly button.

The US also engages in serious political debate such as whether it was 7 days or 6000 years to create the earth.

It is no wonder that countries stuck in childhood like Japan can’t keep up.


However...

In terms of international engagement, even average video shops in Japan offer a wider variety of foreign titles and `classics` than do simlar stores in North America. This availability works for bookstores as well. I can walk into a bookstore in an inaka town and walk out with Foucault`s complete works. You can buy scattered volumes at chain shops in the US of A, but a complete works set? Also, let`s face it, we don`t often hear Japanese declaring that they don`t like to read subtitles. This is almost a mantra in North America.


Going back to the topic at hand, there's no point of return as far as culture is concerned: Moe is here to stay, as this thread, the AS and the ANN threads have changed my mind completely.

Next week I'm grabbing K-On!... For real.

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Postby Alaska Slim » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:24 am

“Haruhi Ruined Anime”


"Everything went crazy after Haruhi. Nobody funds proper anime, the work is all outsourced, the quality went down the toilet after they started getting those dirty Koreans to do it, and so fewer people watch it and the quality gets worse still in a vicious cycle.

Racial slurs, I knew my argument was missing something. And for myself, how apropos. Without those "unwashed people resident of a Southeast Asian peninsula" and their quarrel over the otherwise uneventful 38th parallel, I could be (not) experiencing uncultivated, transcendent bliss instead of this trite and superficial "reality".
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Postby soul.assassin » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:46 am

Shitkaku as usual. They always throw much of a shitstorm so that they could get more page hits and ad clicks, yet consequently it's the National Enquirer for the weebs and the gullible... and the curious.

Of course 2ch can read the posts and start reacting in earnest, saying foreign devils are fucking things up as usual.
Last edited by soul.assassin on Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby symbv » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:51 am

Well, to be fair, the actual comments listed by sankaku is not really "Haruhi ruined anime". That one was just the first comment that prompted a discussion of sorts in 2ch. And the opinions varied quite a bit with quite a few dissenting opinions, like:

- 2004 was godly

- Didn’t they say this sort of thing when Eva came out?

- This guy doesn’t even watch recent anime! These days hardly any anime suffer quality collapse problems.

- “I think the animation quality has improved hugely. It’s gorgeous now.

But sankaku does show its bias by writing the current anime as "the quality of anime to its current moeblob worshipping Type B paradise status." even though the actual discussion of the Type A / Type B led also to varied opinions, with quite many concluding that Type A is just an attempt of the "quality-fags" to exaggerate their status and advertise their existence.
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Postby gwern » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:15 pm

"TV games"?

View Original PostAlaska Slim wrote:“Haruhi Ruined Anime”

Racial slurs, I knew my argument was missing something. And for myself, how apropos. Without those "unwashed people resident of a Southeast Asian peninsula" and their quarrel over the otherwise uneventful 38th parallel, I could be (not) experiencing uncultivated, transcendent bliss instead of this trite and superficial "reality".


Yeah, it's pretty hilarious. When did the massive outsourcing to South Korea begin, anyway? I know _Nadia_ had entire episodes directed by Koreans, as Okada puts it, but that's relatively recent.

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Postby symbv » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:18 pm

^ What I notice is that if you pay attention to the end credits of anime aired recently, almost every single one has some outsourcing, with the most popular location being Korea, followed by China and even some go to Vietnam of the Philippines. Nadia's case of entire episode outsourced is really rare though. I would also like to know when outsourcing in anime to other countries started - guess if we check the end credit of all the anime we would be able to tell....
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Postby soul.assassin » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:00 pm

Given the cost of labor in Japan, they have to outsource the work. The quality thus varies, some consistent (especially with character design) but some don't.

View Original Postsymbv wrote:...and even some go to Vietnam OR the Philippines...


Fixed.

I'll never know when it first started, but for twenty-five years (they've recently celebrated their anniversary) Toei has an outsourcing facility -- Toei Animation Philippines -- in Manila, mostly churning out some episodes of Precure and One Piece.

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