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Postby pwhodges » Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:15 am

View Original PostAtropos wrote:All that backstory, and Shouma can be summed up as "What would Shinji do?"

Hardly! Their ends are as opposite as can be imagined, after all: self-sacrifice for the survival and happiness of another versus recognition of the validity of one's own life. Shinji finds the potential for a future, whereas Shouma is a tragic figure with only a past.

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Postby Oz » Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:35 am

View Original PostAtropos wrote:^ All that backstory, and Shouma can be summed up as "What would Shinji do?" All that buildup, and Momoka can be summed up as "Jesus with a peach." All that mystery, and Mario is a fucking useless character.

I fail to see how any of this is solid criticism against the series. :shrug:

One can sum up pretty much anything briefly if one wants to and proclaiming that a character is "useless" doesn't really tell much. What is the purpose of evaluating characters by how useful they are? And how does that serve as criticism of how "terrible" an entire series is? Not to mention that both Momoka and Mario are side characters with very limited amount of screentime so even if they were problematic they should hardly be the main reason for disliking the series.

What about the brilliant soundtrack of the series? Or the oddball humor delivered by the penguins? Or the intriguing Aum/cult thematics? Or Ikuhara's fabulous visual style in general?

My controversial anime opinion would be the fact that I prefer Penguindrum to Utena. Both of them are masterpieces, but Penguindrum is the one that hits me harder - partly because it deals with subjects that I find more interesting.
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Postby pwhodges » Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:47 am

View Original PostOz wrote:My controversial anime opinion would be the fact that I prefer Penguindrum to Utena. Both of them are masterpieces, but Penguindrum is the one that hits me harder - partly because it deals with subjects that I find more interesting.

This - this is the bit that I didn't quite dare to say (also to avoid distracting from the consideration of Penguindrum itself).
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Postby Rosenakahara » Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:50 am

The best "anime" i have seen in 2014 is Korra, and that isn't even an anime, Japan step up your game here.
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Postby Sorrow » Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:02 am

Utena dragged only 6 episodes in or so. Penguindrum I watched in its entirety in a single sitting.

Mario does seem like a pointless character, admittedly, with no impact in the story and not even the primary motivation of his sister. Her motivation would have remained were he to be removed. Though, he does serve to make a point that other people refuse to admit about how one considers family.
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Postby Atropos » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:43 pm

Okay, I should point out that what I said is that "Penguindrum is the worst thing Ikuhara was done"—not saying it's the worst show of all time, just that, in comparison to Ikuhara's other works (well, "work"—he himself has complained about chafing against the producers' demands on Sailor Moon, so I don't count it in the same category as Utena, Schell Bullet, et al), it hardly even holds a candle. If Mashimo Kouichi out out a show like Penguindrum, I'd even call it one of his best shows—but because it's Ikuhara, the bar is that much higher.

(As an aside: concerning Ikuhara himself, I'd say people give him too much credit. The best projects he's worked on were very much team efforts; I doubt Utena would have been half so good if Ikuhara hadn't had Enokido or Saito to rein in his natural craziness.)

View Original PostOz wrote:One can sum up pretty much anything briefly if one wants to and proclaiming that a character is "useless" doesn't really tell much. What is the purpose of evaluating characters by how useful they are? And how does that serve as criticism of how "terrible" an entire series is?

Because everything in a show is put there for a reason. If Ikuhara included Mario and Momoka, it's up to him to give them a purpose for existing—but he didn't, and that is what's so disappointing, because even the most minor characters in Utena were full of life and vitality.

What about the brilliant soundtrack of the series? Or the oddball humor delivered by the penguins? Or the intriguing Aum/cult thematics? Or Ikuhara's fabulous visual style in general?

The problem is that, while there are all these intriguing pieces, they come together to a great big nothing. For example, it's a neat visual trick that the background characters are all traffic signs, and it gels with the train motif in the series—but what does it prove? What is it saying? Whereas in Utena, you see that the generic extras are the same four or five designs repeated over again, you realize, "Oh, it's because with all these extraordinary people, everyone else gets marginalized so that they might as well not even be there." It even becomes a major theme of the second cour. (Yes, there was the theme of "chosen" vs. "not chosen" in Penguindrum, but even that was done better in Utena.)

(This is not to say abstraction for abstraction's sake can't be entertaining! But I expect more when I'm watching, not a two hour movie, but a twelve hour TV series.)

Of course, even Utena had more than one thing to say—the classic shoujo of the first arc is nothing like the Eva-esque second arc, and the third arc is more like a melange of the two with lots of sex. But you feel, throughout the entire show, that these characters are chafing against something and want to be freed. That is the central conflict. In Penguindrum, thanks to the style of storytelling Ikuhara used, the character's goals aren't just changing, they act like they were always like they were now and spit in your face for even trying to decipher it. Even the best MP analysis I've seen admits it's three stories being told in one series, and I don't feel it tells any of the three stories particularly well. Maybe if it had actually tried to tell them, instead of spinning a riddle about space aliens and trains.

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Postby Oz » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:18 pm

Fair enough. Describing one of my all-time favorite shows with the word "worst" riles me up so please understand my sort-of-angry reply. I have only seen Utena and Penguindrum from Ikuhara's works so I can't tell how Penguindrum compares with the others, but given Utena's status as his masterpiece (and that I prefer Penguindrum to it) I highly doubt that I would find anything more enjoyable than Penguindrum from his other work.

Based on your earlier post, I was under the illusion that Mario being a useless character was one of your main reasons to dislike the show so that's why I questioned whether the usefulness of a character matters at all. Naturally it does have significance, but I disagree with you on Mario being useless. It is a shame that I have watched the show only once and thus I'm not prepared to debate the point with more depth, but I remember him being a major influence on Masako (despite her character revolving more around Kanba than Mario) and he offered more perspective to the show's major themes.

In my opinion Penguindrum's intriguing pieces and bits do come together as a poignant portrayal of Ikuhara's themes intriguingly linked with Japan's real societal problems surrounding cases like the Aum cult (such as how those people gathered together because they were disillusioned and rejected by the society). Penguindrum's story works on a smaller scale than Utena's and I find it a bit unreasonable to criticize a show for offering less full-fletched characters and not as much thematic exploration as a show that had more time to deal with both aspects. Penguindrum is a more stripped-down version, but I don't think that makes it inferior because it takes a different kind of approach. For me Utena went a bit too far in its abstraction and avantgarde craziness even though I recognize the brilliance of its writing and execution. I find myself much more drawn to the zeitgeist that Penguindrum is for its more emotionally tangible story and more accessible style.

I never felt that Penguindrum ridiculed me for "trying to decipher it". I found it more engaging and when it dumped its twists on the audience, it forced me to take a step back and wonder why the show was made that way. In my opinion that's a good way to make the audience reconsider what it really is about.

I have to admit that I tend to be much more interested by flawed works rather than the polished masterpieces, but in Penguindrum's case that does not apply. I praise it because for me it delivered on many fronts at the same time - with a combination rarely seen in anime (or anything else for that matter).
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"Often I get the feeling that deep down, your little girl is struggling with your embrace of filmfaggotry and your loldeep fixations, and the conflict that arises from such a contradiction is embodied pretty well in Kureha's character. But obviously it's not any sort of internal conflict that makes the analogy work. It's the pigtails." - Merridian
"Oh, Oz, I fear I'm losing my filmfag to the depths of Japanese pop. If only there were more films with Japanese girls in glow-in-the-dark costumes you'd be the David Bordwell of that genre." - Jimbo
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Postby Rosenakahara » Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:41 am

probably not controversial at all but replace "rock the dragon" with dan dan from gt and that would be perfection, seriously gt did not deserve that song, its soooooo good.
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Postby Stan » Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:17 am

I guess I'll join the discussion, my turn to add fuel to the fire :devil:

-I like Dragon Ball GT better than DB and Z

-Inuyasha is a good show

-Gundam SEED is the best Gundam anime (and I've seen all of them)

-FMA 2003 is better than Brotherhood

-K-ON sucks

-Bebop is overrated

-Bleach is the best Shonen

-Ruby is not an anime, neither is Avatar or the Legend of Korra

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Postby Sorrow » Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:33 am

View Original PostStan wrote:-I like Dragon Ball GT better than DB and Z

-Inuyasha is a good show

-Gundam SEED is the best Gundam anime (and I've seen all of them)

-Bebop is overrated

-Bleach is the best Shonen


I believe a beheading is in order.
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Postby Stan » Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:35 am

View Original PostSorrow wrote:I believe a beheading is in order.


Opinions....they're like assholes, everybody has them :shifty:

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Postby Compiling_Autumn » Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:35 am

View Original PostStan wrote:-Inuyasha is a good show



Explain yourself. I can't imagine how anyone would think this show is good
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Postby Ornette » Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:41 am

Are you familiar with Rumiko Takahashi's works in general? It's pretty in-line with most of her other stuff, and some of it is even pretty prominently in the genre defining tier. While it's probably not as good as Maison Ikkoku, Ranma or Urusei Yatsura, it's definitely not a terrible show for that genre.

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Postby robersora » Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:05 am

View Original PostStan wrote:-Ruby is not an anime, neither is Avatar or the Legend of Korra


I have never seen Avatar or the Legend of Korra, and RWBY is a pile of shit. But could we just please stop with the discussion, what Anime is, and what it isn't?
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Postby Bagheera » Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:35 am

View Original PostStan wrote:-Inuyasha is a good show

-FMA 2003 is better than Brotherhood


These two things are true. The rest are just stupid (though Bleach gets far more heat than it deserves).
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Postby Stan » Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:32 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:These two things are true. The rest are just stupid (though Bleach gets far more heat than it deserves).


I honestly feel that way about everything I said, no point arguing here since this IS the controversial opinion thread. Otherwise those are honestly my opinions and I stand by them

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Postby Aiko Heiwa » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:28 pm

I think older anime tends to look better than modern anime because older series (stuff from before everything was colored and inked digitally) doesn't have that artificial look that a lot of modern series seems to have for me.

Dragon Ball Z is overhyped garbage and I think people, at least in the Western anime fandom, only enjoy it because it was big during the 1990's.

Sailor Moon Crystal's art style looks like absolute dogshit and whoever decided it should be exiled.

The Rebuild of Evangelion films are not good films.

NGE is overhyped and is merely good.
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Postby Rosenakahara » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:29 pm

View Original PostAiko Heiwa wrote:Sailor Moon Crystal's art style looks like absolute dogshit and whoever decided it should be exiled.

this at least i agree with.
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Postby Bagheera » Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:04 am

View Original PostStan wrote:I honestly feel that way about everything I said, no point arguing here since this IS the controversial opinion thread. Otherwise those are honestly my opinions and I stand by them


True. Arguing the point here was a bit of a dick move on my part, and I apologize.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Compiling_Autumn » Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:03 am

I disagree.

This thread would be no fun if we just listed our controversial opinions off without going into detail. We need to teach the controversy!
"The will to lose one's will?"
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