Unfinished Artworks

Yeah. You read right. This is for everything that doesn't have anything to do with Eva.

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Unfinished Artworks

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Postby Archer » Fri Apr 23, 2021 7:25 am

I don’t care how good everyone says Berserk is, I’m not reading it til it’s done :tongue:

Which... ya know... it hopefully actually IS finished. I’ve learned my lesson with Game of Thrones, I have no more trust of benefit of the doubt to give ANY creators.

Edit: This topic has been split off from here.
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Re: Waiting for Evangelion:3.0+1.0

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Postby bobgoesw00t » Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:41 pm

View Original PostArcher wrote:I don’t care how good everyone says Berserk is, I’m not reading it til it’s done :tongue:

Which... ya know... it hopefully actually IS finished. I’ve learned my lesson with Game of Thrones, I have no more trust of benefit of the doubt to give ANY creators.

My step-dad just started watching that last week and I'm 99.99% sure he has NO idea about the ending which is making me giddy. While I didn't watch it (and I probably never will) it got so much attention that my favorite podcast Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! even covered it after it happened, so I'm expecting him to flip a lid at what happens xD
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!

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Re: Waiting for Evangelion:3.0+1.0

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Postby Archer » Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:08 pm

Damn lol, you must really hate your stepdad :emogendo:

Then again, I’m kinda surprised anyone who knows anything about Game of Thrones doesn’t know about the utter trash fire that was its last season. I don’t think any other IP has had such a meteoric rise to being a household name on par with Star Wars and Marvel, only to face such an extreme and sudden downfall with pretty much the entire fan base unanimously rejecting the ending, to the point that it’s rarely ever brought up unless you’re talking about how fucking bad the ending was.

Homestuck probably comes close, with how massive it was in 2010’s internet culture and infesting anime conventions for nearly a decade only to fall into complete irrelevancy for similar reasons, with the creator losing enthusiasm for it and handing off the ending to incompetents who fucked it up beyond belief.

Now that Attack on Titan’s manga has finished it’s probably gonna be the next big one, if my friends’ opinions on the ending are anything to go by. Hearing about it made me happy that I dropped the anime after season 2.

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Re: Waiting for Evangelion:3.0+1.0

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Postby WunderBah » Fri Apr 23, 2021 5:00 pm

View Original PostArcher wrote:Damn lol, you must really hate your stepdad :emogendo:

Then again, I’m kinda surprised anyone who knows anything about Game of Thrones doesn’t know about the utter trash fire that was its last season. I don’t think any other IP has had such a meteoric rise to being a household name on par with Star Wars and Marvel, only to face such an extreme and sudden downfall with pretty much the entire fan base unanimously rejecting the ending, to the point that it’s rarely ever brought up unless you’re talking about how fucking bad the ending was.

Homestuck probably comes close, with how massive it was in 2010’s internet culture and infesting anime conventions for nearly a decade only to fall into complete irrelevancy for similar reasons, with the creator losing enthusiasm for it and handing off the ending to incompetents who fucked it up beyond belief.

Now that Attack on Titan’s manga has finished it’s probably gonna be the next big one, if my friends’ opinions on the ending are anything to go by. Hearing about it made me happy that I dropped the anime after season 2.


Strongly disagree with the AoT point, this is coming from someone who's read it from start to finish.

At least despite the split reactions ending, I've seen more than plenty warming up around it and/or finding the finale to be decently acceptable overall despite flaws. In any case, i have no doubt the Anime will lead to improved reception once it adapts the finale material.

I won't argue the other two though.

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Re: Waiting for Evangelion:3.0+1.0

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Postby baldur » Fri Apr 23, 2021 7:02 pm

View Original PostThe Dragon Mask wrote:Oh really? Haha, well then. I know all too well of Griffith's issues, just from being an anime fan for a while you learn these things haha. It was certainly hard to tell whether the character was a boy or girl, living up to Griffith's famed androgyny.

I edited him to have shorter hair in my avatar so he usually looks even more androgynous!

bobgoesw00t wrote:While I'm thinking about it, if you like shows that have characters that are CLEARLY gay but they never confirm it (kind of like Kawoshin in the Netflix version OTL) check out Free Iwatobi Swim Club, Dive!!, Wave!! -Surfing Yappe- and Sk8 The Infinity x3

lol I'm not entirely sure why the post went in that direction, but as a partaker of homoerotic media, I appreciate it.

The Dragon Mask wrote:Yeah, I've been meaning to get to it one day. But I'm just hesitant because it seems it will never be finished. Then again I did buy Satoshi Kon's Opus knowing full well it was incomplete (and sort of made its story about that retrospect).

I just wish it would show signs of actually ending in the author's lifetime so I could get invested without reaching a dead end with no end in sight.

Archer wrote:I don’t care how good everyone says Berserk is, I’m not reading it til it’s done :tongue:

I'm certainly glad I'm not one of those fans that's had to follow the story for like 30 years. It sometimes baffles me to think about that grueling release schedule, it's like if the wait for 3.0+1.0 consisted of getting one scene every three months lol. Absolutely murders pacing.

If it means anything, though, it has been looking like the story's gearing up for the endgame recently. It's also been releasing at a (comparatively) decent enough schedule (which is still absurdly slow). So, y'know, you could get into it, catch up, fuggedaboutit and catch back up again after the series is over (which, to be fair, might take anywhere from 5 to 15 years).

There's also the fact that the story is very long already. Each arc is basically a whole story in and of itself, especially the first one - The Golden Age - which is what the 1997 anime adapts. It cuts out quite a bit but still ends up with a full 25 episode series and a relatively self-contained story.

Archer wrote:Which... ya know... it hopefully actually IS finished. I’ve learned my lesson with Game of Thrones, I have no more trust of benefit of the doubt to give ANY creators.

TWOW 2021 AM I RIGHT

:gunmouth:

Archer wrote:Then again, I’m kinda surprised anyone who knows anything about Game of Thrones doesn’t know about the utter trash fire that was its last season. I don’t think any other IP has had such a meteoric rise to being a household name on par with Star Wars and Marvel, only to face such an extreme and sudden downfall with pretty much the entire fan base unanimously rejecting the ending, to the point that it’s rarely ever brought up unless you’re talking about how fucking bad the ending was.

The show was marked for death the moment it surpassed the book series. Honestly, maybe even from the very beginning. I actually hold the fairly unconventional view that Season 8 was slightly better than some of its preceding seasons, if only because you could faintly see some semblance of GRRM's plot points if you really squinted. A lot of people seem to think that the issue with GoT was that it had a bad final season when the actual issue was that the show had been off the rails for years by that point, steadily growing less coherent, more simplified and compressed, essentially devolving into fanservicey crap. Season 7 was every bit as badly written as Season 8.

I suspect that the real issue most had with the writing was that it reverted to GRRM-ish endstates for the characters when the showrunners had been setting up the opposite for years. I certainly doubt most show fans could write a better Season 8. Or maybe they could. It would be crap, but maybe it'd be more in line with what the show had become by that point.

I'm personally somewhat satisfied that the ending we got gave book readers table scraps of what GRRM's ending might look like. Let's be honest, it's a real possibility that GRRM will never finish the series. If that's what ends up happening, at least we'll be left with the broad strokes, and only the finer details to imagine for ourselves.

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Postby Archer » Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:00 pm

I’m willing to put money on the fact that ASOIAF will not be finished by GRRM, and that the last two books will be ghost-written from his notes and released posthumously.

It’s also why I kinda like comparing GOT to Homestuck because really they are quite similar in a lot of ways, both in their rise to popularity as a subversion of a popular genre, their ballooning well past the originally planned scope of the story (IIRC GOT was originally planned to be a trilogy, and Homestuck’s Act 6, which consists of nearly half of the comic’s 8000 page run, was originally supposed to be a quick lead up to the endgame), and the resultant loss of motivation on the author’s part to finish their own story, leading to progressively longer and longer hiatuses as they distracted themselves with side projects to avoid having to think about their magnum opus. Then, finally, instead of finishing their story themselves, they give a rough outline for someone else to salvage, and it turns out about as well as you’d expect.

With Homestuck, it’s also like you said with GOT: a huge chunk of the fan base already knew that Act 6 was awful, but they were holding on to the hope of a light at the end of the tunnel, an ending where everything gets tied up in a neat bow and all the lingering plot points get addressed. So when the ending dropped, the backlash wasn’t so much against the ending itself (which objectively isn’t THAT terrible), but against all the betrayed expectations that had been built up over the last 5 years of slog and hiatuses.

In case you can’t tell, I’m still really fuckin’ salty about Homestuck. It was the first “franchise” I was really invested in and was a big part of my life during middle school and high school, and the complete train wreck it became has done an irreversible number on the way I consume media, in that I’ll completely refuse to touch anything story/plot focused if it’s not finished. The worst part about it is that even now I can go back to the early parts and say that it DID have serious potential to be genuinely good. If it was ALL shit I could just chalk it up to my shit taste as a middle schooler, but I can still look back and see WHY I liked it.

@WunderBah I’ll grant you that I haven’t actually watched anything past the first half of season 3 of AOT, but just hearing about the ending has completely killed any interest I might have had in continuing the series, whereas if the ending was generally well-received I probably could’ve been convinced to give the series a second chance. AOT is actually another big reason I don’t follow plot-focused stories that are unfinished, because I watched it after S2 aired and immediately looked up manga spoilers afterwards, which ended up kinda killing my interest in actually watching the anime when S3 came out because I already knew what was going to happen.

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Re: Waiting for Evangelion:3.0+1.0

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Postby baldur » Sat Apr 24, 2021 12:27 am

View Original PostArcher wrote:I’m willing to put money on the fact that ASOIAF will not be finished by GRRM, and that the last two books will be ghost-written from his notes and released posthumously.

I'm pretty certain TWOW will see the light of day, myself. I'm considerably less optimistic about ADOS; I think that would take either a miracle or some massive burst of motivation. Stranger things have happened but I don't think it's too likely. This is if GRRM even manages to stick to 7 books; like you said, the series never really stopped ballooning, and finishing the story in 2 books is... ambitious.

View Original PostArcher wrote:It’s also why I kinda like comparing GOT to Homestuck because really they are quite similar in a lot of ways, both in their rise to popularity as a subversion of a popular genre, their ballooning well past the originally planned scope of the story (IIRC GOT was originally planned to be a trilogy, and Homestuck’s Act 6, which consists of nearly half of the comic’s 8000 page run, was originally supposed to be a quick lead up to the endgame), and the resultant loss of motivation on the author’s part to finish their own story, leading to progressively longer and longer hiatuses as they distracted themselves with side projects to avoid having to think about their magnum opus. Then, finally, instead of finishing their story themselves, they give a rough outline for someone else to salvage, and it turns out about as well as you’d expect.

I don't know much of anything about Homestuck, but sounds like your comparisons make sense for the most part. Though I'm not personally convinced GRRM has given up on his story just yet. He certainly seems to be having a very tough time with it, but updates have been much more frequent the past two years, and he describes it as the most productive period he's had since he started writing it. Words are wind, of course, but at least it sounds like he's committed to finishing the series. Whether he's deluding himself or not, we'll see.

View Original PostArcher wrote:With Homestuck, it’s also like you said with GOT: a huge chunk of the fan base already knew that Act 6 was awful, but they were holding on to the hope of a light at the end of the tunnel, an ending where everything gets tied up in a neat bow and all the lingering plot points get addressed. So when the ending dropped, the backlash wasn’t so much against the ending itself (which objectively isn’t THAT terrible), but against all the betrayed expectations that had been built up over the last 5 years of slog and hiatuses.

I think the most notable difference here is that GOT is an adaptation, a separate work, where the vast majority of fans are unfamiliar with the original. Otherwise, yes, sounds like an apt comparison.

View Original PostArcher wrote:In case you can’t tell, I’m still really fuckin’ salty about Homestuck. It was the first “franchise” I was really invested in and was a big part of my life during middle school and high school, and the complete train wreck it became has done an irreversible number on the way I consume media, in that I’ll completely refuse to touch anything story/plot focused if it’s not finished. The worst part about it is that even now I can go back to the early parts and say that it DID have serious potential to be genuinely good. If it was ALL shit I could just chalk it up to my shit taste as a middle schooler, but I can still look back and see WHY I liked it.

Y'know, I have, against my better judgement, tried to get into Homestuck on more than one occasion just to see what the fuzz is about. I think it's just impenetrable to me. Not because it's bad or anything - I don't have enough experience with it to make concrete judgements, and parts of it certainly look novel and promising, but I just find the format and premise so confusing and hard to get into that it loses me. I still don't understand what that series is even about.

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Re: Waiting for Evangelion:3.0+1.0

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Postby Archer » Sat Apr 24, 2021 2:08 am

I think Homestuck is actually kind of comparable to a weekly shonen manga. It's something I started reading in middle school (when I was around the same age as the main characters) and fundamentally it was supposed to be a coming-of-age story dealing with stuff like awkward first romances, misunderstandings with your parents, wanting to appear "cool" to your friends, other stuff like that that would appeal to the "young teen" demographic, but with a bit more edge with lots of blood and cartoonish violence and swearing that makes it feel more "adult" to that demographic. Tonally, it's mostly comedic but also isn't afraid to take itself seriously when it needs to, which it does more and more as the story kicks in. One main draw was definitely the worldbuilding, where the weird mechanics of their "real world" (such as everyone having to equip some kind of inventory system just to interact with everyday objects) and the mechanics of the game world they get isekai'd into, as well as the greater purpose of the game they're playing, get slowly revealed bit by bit, leading you to believe that there's some grand plan the author is building up to (of course, we couldn't have known at the time that there WASN'T a grand plan).

These are all the main reasons I was invested in it to begin with: I got into it at an age where the themes being presented were really relatable, the characters were fun, and the world is interesting. Even looking back now, I can still go back and say that I still see a lot I like about everything before Act 6. In fact, Homestuck has the precursor of Asuka being my favorite Eva character: Vriska, who's a completely unrepentant self-centered bitch with mommy issues, who's given enough development for her to be somewhat of a sympathetic (though highly divisive) character. Throughout the story, you're constantly led to believe that maybe she'll change for the better this time, especially through her interactions with the main character where she genuinely tries to be a better person... but ultimately she DOESN'T learn, and pays for her hubris with her life. Great tragic character arc that I like for many of the same reasons I like Asuka. Hell, she even has an eyepatch and a robot arm... I'm like, 95% sure that's just a coincidence though.

Unfortunately, like many shonens, it turns out the author didn't actually have a solid outline for the story from beginning to end, and was actually making up a lot of shit as he went along, kinda just riding along on the assumption that he'd eventually tie it all together at the end. This resulted in like, 3 really solid arcs (Acts 1-4, Act 5a, Act 5b) before the start of the dreaded Act 6, which is where the author showed that they clearly had no idea how the hell he was actually going to have the kids defeat the villain, and procrastinated on wrapping up the plot by turning the story into a lengthy teen drama soap opera, with the main characters literally stuck on a boat for a 3-year timeskip that mostly exists to age them up with the readers (since the entire first half of the comic takes place over maybe a month or two max), and a new cast of characters whose only goal is to wait for the main characters to show up and rescue them (no, I'm not speaking metaphorically, this is stated almost word-for-word). This is your Naruto Shippuden, or that point in Bleach where they kinda just start repeating the same arc over and over again.

Even though there is stuff I liked about the early parts, I honestly can't in good faith recommend Homestuck to anyone who isn't alright with a story that just goes on and on meandering with pointless filler just to reach an ending that isn't satisfying in the least to justify its ungodly long runtime. It just feels wrong to have to recommend someone to stop halfway through the story while it's still incomplete because that's as good as it'll ever get, especially because a large part of the reason I liked it in the first place is because I got into it as part of the target demographic and someone reading it in their 20s isn't going to experience that same connection to it. If I could go back in time, I absolutely would've told my younger self to just drop it after Act 5 and maybe go watch Evangelion instead :emogendo:

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Re: Unfinished Artworks

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Postby Zusuchan » Sat Apr 24, 2021 6:48 am

baldur wrote:
A lot of people seem to think that the issue with GoT was that it had a bad final season when the actual issue was that the show had been off the rails for years by that point, steadily growing less coherent, more simplified and compressed, essentially devolving into fanservicey crap.

^This. IMO you can see warnings of the problems to come even in the earlier seasons, with stuff like the Red Wedding not being set up all that properly, Robb being made to look like a whiny kid, Tyrion's motivations for patricide being different and the act itself shown as cool etc. Once Benioff and Weiss decided to radically change the plot from Season 5 onwards and didn't have books to guide them steadily anymore, the seams started to really show and it was just a downhill run from that point on. As a matter of fact, I would go as far as to say that the people who think the last season was the only horror probably don't have that good of an understanding of storytelling because the show had already delved into generic fanservice.

For that matter, nobody has to worry about TWOW and ADOS being ghostwritten and then posthumously published-GRRM has stated he has no interest in seeing someone else complete his work, which is a decision I fully agree with.

I would also say that I see GRRM's main issue with TWOW as being self-deprecative over-perfectionism. He realizes he needs to finish the story and desperately wants to, but ASOIAF's popularity and him being called the "next Tolkien" by some people has got him to the point he's not sure about the quality of his works and constantly double-guesses everything. In an interview with Stephen King, Martin asked him if King ever felt like he should have been a plumber in a way that makes it clear this is Martin's insecurity speaking.

That said, at least there's a good chance that when TWOW is released, it'll be great (spoken as an ADWD fanboy who considers it the best book in the series), instead of some rushed hack (like GoT ended up being).

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Re: Unfinished Artworks

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Postby Archer » Sat Apr 24, 2021 9:11 am

You guys clearly have a lot more faith than I do. I’ve already written it off completely; if it turns out great, great for everyone who was still waiting patiently I guess, but I won’t be there for the festivities - I got off this train years ago and I don’t think there’s anything that can get me to hop back on.

I guess that’s the thing for me with stuff that keeps dragging on and on with no end in sight - I don’t have the patience to see it through to the end if I don’t think the ending will be worth the continued investment. One Punch Man is another series that I followed for a bit and actually really liked, but it’s been 3 years since I stopped reading the manga/webcomic and Murata STILL hasn’t finished the Garou arc. And in that off-time, I’ve had the opportunity to think about how OPM really got kinda side-tracked and how Saitama is kind of a background character in his own series now, when the most compelling part of the webcomic for me was the story of this clearly depressed dude just trying to find a purpose in life whose ability to kill everything in one punch gets in the way of that. Like, the monster association and the martial arts tournament are cool and all, but what hooked me to the series was Saitama’s struggle, and that’s what I’d like to see more of.

At this point, the webcomic is just at the front end of a new arc but it updates so sporadically that I have no faith it’ll actually conclude (or even try to start heading toward a conclusion for that matter) in any meaningful time-span, because it does also seem that over the years ONE doesn’t have the same passion for the story he once did.

It’s a shame too because I can imagine a thematically fitting ending for Saitama: he’s given the choice to finally go fight an opponent that he knows will be an equal match to him (God, probably), but he turns it down, realizing instead that he’s found the happiness and satisfaction he was always looking for just hanging out with the new friends he’s let into his life. This is one of the few cases where “the real treasure is the friends we made along the way” is not only acceptable but would actually be good, because OPM was fundamentally about Saitama’s depression and his desire to be happy, and the answer to that obviously isn’t finding something that will actually put up a good fight, but rather addressing his difficulties connecting with other people and seeing friendships as valuable.

I guess overall I’ve grown a distaste for overly long works that feel like they’re having trouble getting to the point. I vastly prefer shorter, self-contained stories where there’s a clear theme or narrative arc, which is why I tend to prefer original anime over adaptations.

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Re: Unfinished Artworks

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Postby baldur » Sat Apr 24, 2021 2:22 pm

Zusuchan wrote:[...]

I agree with pretty much everything you brought up. Nice to come across a dedicated ASOIAF fan here, especially a fellow ADWD fanboy :thumbsup:

Archer wrote:You guys clearly have a lot more faith than I do. I’ve already written it off completely; if it turns out great, great for everyone who was still waiting patiently I guess, but I won’t be there for the festivities - I got off this train years ago and I don’t think there’s anything that can get me to hop back on.
[...]
I guess overall I’ve grown a distaste for overly long works that feel like they’re having trouble getting to the point. I vastly prefer shorter, self-contained stories where there’s a clear theme or narrative arc, which is why I tend to prefer original anime over adaptations.

I definitely also have a preference for more contained stories and original work instead of franchises and adaptations, but I'm not quite as burned on the entire concept as you seem to be. Though, unless I'm mistaken, it sounds like you're giving Rebuild a second chance.

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Postby Archer » Sat Apr 24, 2021 3:33 pm

Well, my relationship with the Rebuilds are a bit different. I got into Eva fairly recently, around 2016-ish, well into the hiatus. I wasn't here for the hype when this old series was getting a "reboot", for me the Rebuilds were always just... a weird thing that also existed adjacent to Eva+EOE. I had no real stake in whether or not it was good. Sure I like to bitch about 3.0 sometimes but I don't actually hate it. Like, I didn't feel betrayed by it or anything (mostly because I didn't have much expectations or attachment to the Rebuilds to begin with), I just disagreed (on a more clinical, impersonal level) with some of the choices made. In that sense, I never really made the decision to hop off the Rebuild hype train because I was never properly on it in the first place.

Anyway, the main reason I didn't think the Rebuilds could end well was because I was pretty sure it would be impossible to adequately address all the necessary plot points (the conclusion to the main story, PLUS the timeskip, PLUS the flashback to the artificial evolution lab, PLUS fitting in a proper backstory for Mari somewhere in the mix) in the span of a 90-120 minute movie. Fortunately, Khara seemed to agree with that, and with the runtime leak I was fully ready to hop on the hype train because by that point I was pretty sure they'd actually deliver a satisfying conclusion.

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Re: Unfinished Artworks

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Postby Zusuchan » Sun Apr 25, 2021 5:21 am

Archer wrote:
I guess overall I’ve grown a distaste for overly long works that feel like they’re having trouble getting to the point. I vastly prefer shorter, self-contained stories where there’s a clear theme or narrative arc, which is why I tend to prefer original anime over adaptations.

But wouldn't you say the actual quality is the thing that matters the most at the end, though? Shorter works can be vastly better than longer ones, but also vastly worse-there's no real consistent link between length and quality in my view.

baldur wrote:Nice to come across a dedicated ASOIAF fan here, especially a fellow ADWD fanboy :thumbsup:

Likewise!

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Postby Archer » Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:06 am

Quality is important, but nothing nowadays is good enough to sustain my interest over years of drip-feeding.

For example, I really like One Piece, and am pretty sure it will have a good ending. We pretty much already KNOW the outline for the series endgame, now it’s just a matter of it getting filled out, until it finishes ~10 years form now.

However, I have not read past the Sky Island arc and have no intention of doing so, because I KNOW that if I catch up now and start reading it serially, I WILL get burned out well before it finishes. I hate following stories serially to the point that if it’s something I’m actually invested in, I would rather drop it for 6 months and catch up on a small backlog before doing it again, instead of reading it as it’s coming out.

Long-runners in general are harder to keep a consistent vision and narrative in, just by the very nature of their format. People change, a writers vision for what they want to write is very likely to change as well. If it stretches on for long enough, maybe they’ve even lost passion for their work and would rather write something else, but are shackled to their incomplete work and so they just start filling a quota instead of actually writing the story they want to write. There’s so much more that can go wrong in long-form storytelling, and honestly there’s very few long manga I’ve read where I didn’t feel it could’ve been improved by streamlining the story and getting to the point quicker.

The ideal series length for me is really 12-15 volumes, or 2-4 anime cours. Anything shorter and I tend to feel like it would be served well by a bit of extra development, anything longer and it’s going to have to do a heck of a job justifying why it being longer makes it better.

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Postby Zusuchan » Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:54 am

I guess the thing is that I tend to seek out long works that, for some reason or another, don't get bogged down in pointless detail and pretty consistently move forward, while you've had different experiences.

I do also feel you might be looking at long works that don't need to be that long and using that to make a statement on the quality of long stories in general. Most long stories tend to get bogged down in pointless details that add next to nothing. That doesn't mean all long stories do that. I think it's just as simple to look at short works that perhaps could have benefitted from more detail and exploration, and therefore to argue that longer works are better. The thing is, most anything is bad, so IMO, once again, what matters is quality. And if a long work gets bogged down in pointless details, then isn't that bad?

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Re: Unfinished Artworks

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Postby Archer » Sun Apr 25, 2021 12:18 pm

What are examples of some long stories you like?

With stories that are just slightly too short, I don’t mind them nearly as much because I don’t come out of them feeling like it wasted my time. Maybe it’s just a subjective psychological perception, but I see works that are good but “too short” as untapped potential, while I see works that are good but have overstayed their welcome a bit as wasted potential.

When I’m talking about long works in general, I’m just talking about it from a *probability* standpoint. It’s not that long narratives CAN’T be good or that shorter stories are inherently better - I just think long-form serial storytelling inherently has a LOT more roadblocks and difficulties to overcome. With manga especially, the weekly/monthly release format incentivizes keeping the reader interested chapter-to-chapter and having an interesting initial premise hook. It’s possible to do that AND also have a great overarching narrative that’s slowly built up through the run, but there’s no near-term incentive for creators to do so. And the longer it goes on for, the greater the chance of SOMETHING or other getting in the way of the creator’s vision, if they even had a long-term plan for the series in the first place.

Thus, I’m always VERY wary to pick up any ongoing long-form narratives because we’re talking about putting in years-long emotional investment into something with a really high chance of fumbling at the finish line. If I’m following a new standalone anime, I’m only on the ride for a couple of months - if the ending turns out to be a trash fire... it’s whatever, it’s not like it was stringing me along for years.

I guess it’s a time investment thing. If I’m going to sit around for YEARS theorizing with other people, drawing fan art, and engaging with the fandom for something, the ending better be fucking worth it. I might not be entitled to a good ending, but in much the same way, creators are not entitled to my time and attention. At this point, “long, unfinished work” is a massive red flag that ensures I will NEVER lay a finger on it. If it eventually ends well, I’ll give it a shot and see if I like it, but I’m never taking the gamble on uncompleted works like that again.

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Re: Unfinished Artworks

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Postby Zusuchan » Mon Apr 26, 2021 7:04 am

I think you have a good point about longer works being more difficult to write than shorter ones and the chances that they'll end badly is bigger. I'm still not one to have problems about getting onto what I consider longer works even if they're unfinished-if they end badly, that doesn't mean that what came before still isn't good and worthwhile.

Then again, the longer works I've read aren't endless mangas and animes, so maybe I just haven't been acquainted with the worst that longevity can offer. My favorite long works would be ASOIAF, The Wire, Breaking Bad, The Sandman and Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (with the Nemo trilogy as a part.) None of these approach the length of a Naruto or a One Piece, so maybe I've just been acquainting myself with shorter works than you have.

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Re: Unfinished Artworks

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Postby Archer » Mon Apr 26, 2021 9:55 am

Oh yeah, there’s definitely some subjective interpretation on what “long” actually means. My personal metric is:
Book series: more than 4 500+ page books
Western TV: more than 2-3 seasons (assuming 24ep seasons, 40 minute runtime)
Anime: more than 60 20-minute episodes
Manga: more than 20 volumes

With League of Extroadinary Gentlemen specifically (because it’s the only thing on your list I’ve actually read/watched other than ASOIAF), that brings up another factor: is the story a single overarching narrative, or is it separate stories set in the same world with loose continuity between them? I only read the first two volumes of LXG and they were very much their own self-contained narratives. With these kinds of stories I’m able to tolerate more length, because what I really want out of a story is just a complete narrative. My best example of this would be Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Is it objectively long-running? Yeah, it’s been going on pretty much continuously since 1987. But each “part” is really its own self-contained story with little relation to the others, aside from some recurring characters and minor references to previous events. This also happens a lot with Western TV, where there’s a very loose overarching plot for the whole series but each season has its own complete narrative.

With regards to a bad ending negating the good stuff that came before - I guess my question is, would you still recommend someone else to watch it just for the good parts, or would you tell them that it’s not worth getting into because the payoff just isn’t there? Because specifically with GOT, as good as the early seasons were, I just can’t see anyone giving it a serious, good-faith recommendation nowadays, knowing the slow decline of the later seasons and of course the trashfire of the ending.

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Re: Unfinished Artworks

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Postby Zusuchan » Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:54 am

LOEG is certainly more episodic than anything else on my list-that said, the final volume does end up bringing many of the previous volumes' narrative moments back into play and the series itself has an overarching message and thematic development (in that it shows the way society and its relation to art has changed). The Nemo trilogy has slightly different concerns from the main volumes, but still discusses society and art, while also having narrative consequences in Vol.4. So it's certainly all linked together at the end in some way and probably more than your generic soap opera or 500-episode anime.

Re: the end negating what came before, I'd say that my personal recommendations would have more to do with the qualities of specific artworks. Naturally, not every work that started as good and ended as bad is something I think worth watching only for the beginning-others, however, are.

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Re: Unfinished Artworks

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Postby pwhodges » Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:06 am

View Original PostArcher wrote:Oh yeah, there’s definitely some subjective interpretation on what “long” actually means. My personal metric is:
Book series: more than 4 500+ page books
Western TV: more than 2-3 seasons (assuming 24ep seasons, 40 minute runtime)
Anime: more than 60 20-minute episodes
Manga: more than 20 volumes

Your tolerance for Western TV series length seems out of step with the other things.

I guess it's not surprising that I'd offer what I view as exceptions to your limits. Thinking only of complete, rounded stories, I'd mention these: Fullmetal Alchemist (manga) and FMA Brotherhood (anime); Fruits Basket (manga and complete anime currently airing); Monster (anime); Beck (manga); The Piano Forest (manga).
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