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"Anime is not getting worse - we simply lack perspective"
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Posted 9/22/13
Here's a bit of my own "elitist" aesthetic philosophy to throw into this discussion on objectivity vs subjectivity.

The problem that I'm reading here is that, while people agreeing that there are absolute categories (character development, writing, animation quality, etc.), they can't agree on an absolute scale. On a sliding scale, you're just going to end up with a mess.

And you can't manage your scale on the basis of other works of art. For an absolute scale to work, you have to have an ideal which, by definition or something, cannot ever be achieved.

But then again, this might be pointless because people are never going to examine things objectively against absolutes, and their placement on the scale is going to be opinion...shoot dang. I literally don't know enough words/haven't thought about this enough to say what I'm thinking. It just keeps going in circles. It's like inception in my own head....
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Posted 9/22/13
Happy to see anime is getting mature and darker (RIP Satashi Kon, some writers are coming out of the woodwork, finally)....hope it's a trend and not an anomaly.
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Posted 9/22/13

iblessall wrote:

Here's a bit of my own "elitist" aesthetic philosophy to throw into this discussion on objectivity vs subjectivity.

The problem that I'm reading here is that, while people agreeing that there are absolute categories (character development, writing, animation quality, etc.), they can't agree on an absolute scale. On a sliding scale, you're just going to end up with a mess.

And you can't manage your scale on the basis of other works of art. For an absolute scale to work, you have to have an ideal which, by definition or something, cannot ever be achieved.

But then again, this might be pointless because people are never going to examine things objectively against absolutes, and their placement on the scale is going to be opinion...shoot dang. I literally don't know enough words/haven't thought about this enough to say what I'm thinking. It just keeps going in circles. It's like inception in my own head....


No, you are right on, actually. I stated exactly this earlier if anybody noticed...the most important factor in forming a proper objective opinion you need a standard. In our case, a cultural standard is the most influential.

@drakedogma

It's also worth noting that writing an essay on all of the specific reasons you disliked something is easy. Way more easy than writing a similar length iteration of why you think something is acceptable.

"I hate this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this sucks etc"

You get the opportunity to pick and choose anything to criticize, but for someone like me who doesn't dislike SAO, but doesn't particularly love the show...how am I supposed to hold a point in that argument? I simply think the anime is good, and I left the thought at that, so how exactly am I supposed to go on to each crossing point, that is so easy for you to fuel with big words and long explanations, and come up with a similarly length-ed counter-argument for why the same thing is simply acceptable or "just fine"? Don't you see the difference in how easy it is to argue what is terrible about a series as opposed to what is great? Like I said...not everything needs to be a masterpiece...so why should I have to argue for a show as though it is? This is why your theory of "whoever comes up with a more logical and sound argument is right" just falls utterly flat. Not to mention you can find an intelligent person to come up with an intelligent and well written essay as to how pigs can fly, that doesn't make it logically sound.
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Posted 9/22/13
To be very frank, no one here has seen enough anime to know what is good or bad, myself included.

Most people on these forums have such a limited exposure to anime for various factors:

1. certain limitation on availability.

2. watching only what "you" want.

3. recommendation on "those" animes: sao, berserk, toradora. It is a never ending cycle that people are not exposed to other anime. You don't see Aira (series), green green, or ah my Buddha get recommended.

It is really a shame that the conditions which people are getting anime (legal ways, which is good) has also confined the community to such a small knowledge of anime. It stems this perception that anime only contains certain aspects.

So, question... How many of you have seen a fair amount of anime past the 90's? 80's? 70's?

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Posted 9/22/13

AnimeKami wrote:
To be very frank, no one here has seen enough anime to know what is good or bad, myself included.

Most people on these forums have such a limited exposure to anime for various factors:

1. certain limitation on availability.

2. watching only what "you" want.

3. recommendation on "those" animes: sao, berserk, toradora. It is a never ending cycle that people are not exposed to other anime. You don't see Aira (series), green green, or ah my Buddha get recommended.

It is really a shame that the conditions which people are getting anime (legal ways, which is good) has also confined the community to such a small knowledge of anime. It stems this perception that anime only contains certain aspects.

So, question... How many of you have seen a fair amount of anime past the 90's? 80's? 70's?

I agree with your point on exposure, but disagree with your initial statement.

Knowing what is good or bad isn't a matter of having watched a lot of anime. I don't think that if someone had watched every anime ever that putting them all into a scale would by necessity define the ones at the top of the scale as "good." You could watched everything and maybe they were all crap and scaling them was just putting the stuff with the weakest stench at the top.

In short, I feel like your argument would make no sense if applied to literature (which is my standard for processes of artistic evaluation)-no one would say that you couldn't judge whether or not books were good or bad because you hadn't read enough of them-so I personally can't accept it applied to anime. But then again, by my same argument, if someone had only read paperback romances their entire life...they wouldn't necessarily have an ideal...ugh...and damn it all. Same problem. Circles. Inception. Alice scream.


Unrelated, as to your point 3: I have watched both SAO and Toradora! and discovered both of them on my own without recommendation, decided I liked the former a lot and loved the latter. But if I had found either of three that you mentioned and liked them enough, why would I not recommend them?
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Posted 9/22/13

AnimeKami wrote:

So, question... How many of you have seen a fair amount of anime past the 90's? 80's? 70's?


I would say I've seen more than CR's average for those decades, but not as much as I wish I could.



I'm guessing this is (at least partially) directed at me.

I do not believe I ever stated my evaluation of SAO as "not good" as an absolute fact. Just to be clear, in my subjective opinion, Sword Art Online is not a good show.

Objectively, the show did feature a decent soundtrack (including a very good opening from lisa), as well as some impressive animation, particularly the fight scene by Trigger during which Kirito revealed his super secret dual wielding technique (objectively, this made no sense, since we never saw him even trying to use two swords at once before this point in the show, and felt like an arbitrarily chosen "cool" technique for the main character). Subjectively, I do feel like the second episode was terrible; objectively, the actions of the characters made, again, little sense. While in a game that guarantees a true death, one of the leaders of this raiding party refused a health potion and chose to die instead. I could have accepted this had there been previously established knowledge regarding a cool down period before the potion could start taking effect, making it's use pointless, that would have been fine, but that was not the case. Based on what I've heard of the light novels, he had instead died alone in a corner, but I guess this scenario would have required an inner monologue. There were other issues, but objective and personal, I had with that episode and the rest that I had watched (yes, I didn't finish the show; if this disqualifies me from having an opinion, so be it), but I'd rather not revisit the show any more than I have already.

At the end of the first episode (it was easily one of the best that season), I really did want to like the show, but the source material was it's own worst enemy. I still maintain a spin-off featuring Lis, Agil and Silica would have been a far better use of time and money.

...every freakin' time.
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Posted 9/22/13
What is a good anime to watch? Something similar to Oreimo or Sword art online, Please.
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Posted 9/22/13
Man this thread is moving quick, and I do like the arguments thus far. Page 2's bottom post from Zippo and the person Zippo quoted was a damn good read too.

I'ma grab a screenshot or two to give a slight defense of SAO, but it might end up seeming like the show is worse than it is...it's a good show, a fun watch.

So let me ask you something, why did would you watch Sword Art Online?

Or more specifically, how do they get you attention?



"The World"



Sword Art Online has dead tropes, overused cliche Archetype's, bad dialog, and a main character that's more you than himself(Damn viewer-insert heroes!)
And that is indeed something you could fault a show for, especially if the show promises or focuses on it. But that's not the focus here. SAO's greatest weakness as a show happened mid-show, when they left SAO. That's when all the problems and faults really lay into you.

The show isn't selling it's narrative, or it's technical beauty, it's selling the world. Think Dark Souls. Your hero, and the majority of NPC's and Bosses, aren't more than a Model and a few voiced lines. Their entire character is plain as day on sight. Thats the point. They're not supposed to be deep or have you think. You're not here to get engrossed in these characters. You're here for the world.

You paid far more attention to Asuka giving cooking lessons than you did to the Romance going on.
You ignored the Loli-love interest because you're too busy learning about sneaking skills and evil-guilds.
You got all excited when the show opened up, but felt betrayed when they left it to focus on the love-plot.

The series had faults, huge ones. But that doesn't beat the appeal the world had. I went to a Convention this past Labor day weekend, and when I walked into the Video Room in which SAO played, I couldn't find a chair to sit or a wall to lean on. The place was packed. All these people who haven't seen SAO yet, were highly interested in this massive world they simply saw as they passed by. That's where the show was aiming at, and that's what made it so good to me. Thats what makes it a good show. Not the characters, not the story, not the end result. The world SAO Invented, is ready for another go. If you build it, fans will come.

But what about other shows? What about this whole thread topic in the first place?

If you look at the show subjectively or Objectively or through a toilet paper tube or your glasses or with an orange...
Look, it doesn't matter. My thoughts on Anime happen to be straight forward here. What did they set out to do, what do they accomplish, what strikes me as interesting, what strikes other's as interesting about it. What are it's flaws, what do they mean to the rest of the show?

I'll take a jab at Fairy Tail. Compared to SAO, One Piece, Attack on Titan, Magi, Dragon Ball, Neon Genesis, Mobile Suit Gundam.....lots of shows. They had a poor opening. The first episodes belong in a pile with Naruto Filler episodes. The storytelling is a horrible mess of half-baked ideas thrown at a wall to see what sticks and what falls on the floor to be swept up later. Once you get past those opening episodes, get to the introduction of Erza and Gray and some other characters(I've only seen some of it....shhhhh) You'll see where the appeal comes in, what drives people towards it.
Fairy Tail has this group-heroes thing going on. With no strong drive, goal, or interest, the show relies on it's characters to carry the weight. The comedy, the interactions, the fighting. Everything is a vehicle for the characters. It's not until they're all introduced does the show "Grow it's beard" per say and start it's good run.

If SAO tried to do that? I'd be a horrible pile of wood, unfit to be called a Train, let alone get in a wreck.

What the shows trying to accomplish and what you want it do is subjective. But what the show does? That's Objective.

I like what SAO did and tried to do, that's not what I expected from a show called "SAO" The story was executed poorly as all hell, but the actual structure and bones of the story is far better than what people give it credit for. What makes SAO Good is not what makes it Bad. That's why we all argue about it.

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Posted 9/22/13
Yea, I think i get what you mean Kami. Most of us on this site are limited in the fact that we haven't seen enough anime to make a right distinction of what is truly good or bad...only compared to what we have seen. It's like having someone who never watched anime watch Attack on Titan, Dog and Scissors, and The Severing Crime Edge (yea, i took two crappy shows from this year lol). 99% of the time (at least i hope so) they will consider Attack on Titan good and the other two bad compared to it. This is from their perspective of the 3 shows they have seen. Unfortunately i am nowhere near the level of judging what is truly good overall in anime, but only to what i have seen with my own eyes. So, i can sort of understand why people love SAO so much.

My time on this site i have notice about 3 people who appear cracked that thousand mark and would have a much clearer view than most on what's good and bad.
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Posted 9/22/13


how to use spoiler tag...

I was trying to imply that, to find a good anime you have to have seen a certain amount.

I tried to recommend stuff on the recommend thread most everyone wants to stay legal.
Posted 9/22/13 , edited 9/22/13

zipzo wrote:

I'm not saying that objectivity is impossible, I'm saying it's near impossible once you've already formulated a personal opinion on it that sways in either direction by any amount.

You can say all you want that SAO is bad, but you won't be correct because numbers don't lie. You can then take it up a notch and say oh, that's simply because the anime community has shitty taste, and you'd still be wrong because you don't possess the kind of power declare such a thing, factually. You don't know everyone in the anime community. You're just blanketing them on the basis of your own opinion.

See, you are precisely the iconic image of what the problem I've described is. You can't see past your own face far enough to distinguish your opinion from that of indisputable fact. It's an indisputable fact that SAO is popular, has experienced success, and has a large following, one that is passionate enough to have promoted its shelf-life probably for years to come. That's all it ever wished to be, and it was. That is an indisputable fact.

You, saying that the story is shit, with all of your various reasons as to why it's a rubbish piece of work, is not indisputable fact. It's your opinion. You aren't even capable of reaching the threshold of the subjective VS objective, because you lack perception enough to even grasp opinion vs fact.


But here's what I don't get, you don't seem to explain in detail what makes my objective analysis, opinion. My entire point is that all my criticisms are based off objective reasoning, but you're the one saying that I'm blind and that everything I have said is actually opinion, well that's where I want you to go into specifics because when I criticized SAO, I made sure to do it in an objective way, but you claim it's not objective, it's subjective, but you fail to actually explain why. What about my argument of the plot and character is based in opinion rather than objective analysis, it would be nice for you to go into detail about that because I did my best to properly explain why my reasons for disliking this show was based off objectivity. Most of what you say are generalizations, but I want to know IN DETAIL what is the difference between subjective argument and objective argument when it comes to things like plot and character, because my criticism wasn't "I hate this or I hate that" My criticism was "This was over-used, this was done by other people, this was 1 dimensional.

You also seem to have something mixed up. I didn't have a biased opinion on SAO when I watched it, it was AFTER I watched SAO and realized it was bad that I had a personal issue with it. So me hating the show objectively came first before I got my personal opinions involved.

You keep telling me and repeating over and over and over again that "I can't see through fact and opinion" But now you're the one making generalizations that aren't true because you aren't giving me examples, you aren't explaining anything, you're just saying I'm blind to see something.

And as for your argument about "Numbers don't lie" I don't know why you are ignoring my other posts, I clearly explained that the popularity of a show has much more aspects to it than quality. But if you are going to use this argument, then does that mean Twilight is good? Or Justin Bieber is good? Or Honey Boo Boo or TMZ is good? It is an indisputable fact that popularity is not quality. Let me put it like this, just because a big group of people believe that something is true, doesn't make it so. Take the theory of evolution for example, back in the old days, alot of people thought evolution was a lie, the populous was wrong. This applies to the appropriate way to structure a story. Even IF Movies are all subjective, movies also have a pattern that ALL movies must follow such as story structure and development of characters, there is no official rulebook in movies that state that in order to be a good movie, you MUST have these certain things yet that's how we determine what a good movie is...Objectively, not subjectively. So the point is, popularity doesn't mean quality.

Once again, You don't seem to go into specifics, I want specifics, not generalizations. You keep accusing me of being blind, well instead of just saying it, why don't you explain it? I don't care what your opinion is, I care about whether or not you can explain it properly.
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Posted 9/22/13

Felstalker wrote:

The series had faults, huge ones. But that doesn't beat the appeal the world had. I went to a Convention this past Labor day weekend, and when I walked into the Video Room in which SAO played, I couldn't find a chair to sit or a wall to lean on. The place was packed. All these people who haven't seen SAO yet, were highly interested in this massive world they simply saw as they passed by. That's where the show was aiming at, and that's what made it so good to me. Thats what makes it a good show. Not the characters, not the story, not the end result. The world SAO Invented, is ready for another go. If you build it, fans will come.


I actually do agree with you there. From all the story elements, the world of SAO had the most potential. It's just a shame that Reki did not develop it to the point that it met my expectations. Instead of learning more about how the world functions (there are small bits an pieces, yes), much more time is spent following an uninteresting, self-loathing main character and his generic run-ins with possible love interests. Some people might say that the relationship between Kirito and Asuna was the point of the show, but it just didn't do anything for me, and felt like it was more a convenience than true love. Add to that, Asuna became an much less interesting character when she needed Kirito to step up and defend her and her honor, when there had been no previous indication that she wasn't fully capable of doing so herself before that

Yes, I suppose that was all subjective.
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Posted 9/22/13

drakedogma wrote:


Balzack wrote:

Wow. Leave it to the Crunchyroll forums for a thread to get turned into a gigantic SAO rant fest The rest of the internet seems to have accepted it as a pretty favorably reviewed anime. But of course I'm sure all of those opinions are subjective and uninformed ;)


No, the anime demographic has accepted it as a favorably reviewed anime, not the internet, because anime standards are so low in the first place. I guarantee that if you showed SAO to the Breaking Bad demographic or the House M.D. demographic, or the Metal Gear Solid demographic, 99% of them would call it shit. Hell, show it to the Twilight demographic, I bet even they would hate it


But what if you took SAO to the Game of Thrones or Community Demographic? They're far more SAO's Demographic than Breaking Bad or House M.D. is.

But what if you took Monster or Neon Genesis Evangelion to the any of the four demographics? How would they be taken?

My next argument towards this is a little less SAO defense, and more "why demographics matter" argument.

People like certain things, this is obvious. People really like insert-characters(When done absolutely right), while people also really like actual characters, that are characters in their own right. People like Zombies, Robots, Dinosaurs, the 80's, Batman, Jesus, the Internet.....we like a lot of things.

Part of making something good is knowing what people like, what people can get, and what you can provide yourselves.

Lets take Avatar the Last Airbender for a spin.

What do you see in this image?


That show knows who they're aiming for!
And they're aiming at everybody.

That's part of what makes Avatar the Last Airbender so amazing. It sets out to tell a story, creates characters for the story. The characters they created are of a quality to match the story.

SAO did the same thing, but they(In a way) failed to create these same characters.

SAO did create the viewer-fill. But they only threw in a handful of demographics. If you're a guy you get to be Kirito, if you're a girl you're Asuna.

They let the story play out, they don't get in the way. It should be done better to be a great show, but it wasn't done bad.
Posted 9/22/13

Felstalker wrote:

Man this thread is moving quick, and I do like the arguments thus far. Page 2's bottom post from Zippo and the person Zippo quoted was a damn good read too.

I'ma grab a screenshot or two to give a slight defense of SAO, but it might end up seeming like the show is worse than it is...it's a good show, a fun watch.

So let me ask you something, why did would you watch Sword Art Online?

Or more specifically, how do they get you attention?



"The World"



Sword Art Online has dead tropes, overused cliche Archetype's, bad dialog, and a main character that's more you than himself(Damn viewer-insert heroes!)
And that is indeed something you could fault a show for, especially if the show promises or focuses on it. But that's not the focus here. SAO's greatest weakness as a show happened mid-show, when they left SAO. That's when all the problems and faults really lay into you.

The show isn't selling it's narrative, or it's technical beauty, it's selling the world. Think Dark Souls. Your hero, and the majority of NPC's and Bosses, aren't more than a Model and a few voiced lines. Their entire character is plain as day on sight. Thats the point. They're not supposed to be deep or have you think. You're not here to get engrossed in these characters. You're here for the world.

You paid far more attention to Asuka giving cooking lessons than you did to the Romance going on.
You ignored the Loli-love interest because you're too busy learning about sneaking skills and evil-guilds.
You got all excited when the show opened up, but felt betrayed when they left it to focus on the love-plot.

The series had faults, huge ones. But that doesn't beat the appeal the world had. I went to a Convention this past Labor day weekend, and when I walked into the Video Room in which SAO played, I couldn't find a chair to sit or a wall to lean on. The place was packed. All these people who haven't seen SAO yet, were highly interested in this massive world they simply saw as they passed by. That's where the show was aiming at, and that's what made it so good to me. Thats what makes it a good show. Not the characters, not the story, not the end result. The world SAO Invented, is ready for another go. If you build it, fans will come.

But what about other shows? What about this whole thread topic in the first place?

If you look at the show subjectively or Objectively or through a toilet paper tube or your glasses or with an orange...
Look, it doesn't matter. My thoughts on Anime happen to be straight forward here. What did they set out to do, what do they accomplish, what strikes me as interesting, what strikes other's as interesting about it. What are it's flaws, what do they mean to the rest of the show?

I'll take a jab at Fairy Tail. Compared to SAO, One Piece, Attack on Titan, Magi, Dragon Ball, Neon Genesis, Mobile Suit Gundam.....lots of shows. They had a poor opening. The first episodes belong in a pile with Naruto Filler episodes. The storytelling is a horrible mess of half-baked ideas thrown at a wall to see what sticks and what falls on the floor to be swept up later. Once you get past those opening episodes, get to the introduction of Erza and Gray and some other characters(I've only seen some of it....shhhhh) You'll see where the appeal comes in, what drives people towards it.
Fairy Tail has this group-heroes thing going on. With no strong drive, goal, or interest, the show relies on it's characters to carry the weight. The comedy, the interactions, the fighting. Everything is a vehicle for the characters. It's not until they're all introduced does the show "Grow it's beard" per say and start it's good run.

If SAO tried to do that? I'd be a horrible pile of wood, unfit to be called a Train, let alone get in a wreck.

What the shows trying to accomplish and what you want it do is subjective. But what the show does? That's Objective.

I like what SAO did and tried to do, that's not what I expected from a show called "SAO" The story was executed poorly as all hell, but the actual structure and bones of the story is far better than what people give it credit for. What makes SAO Good is not what makes it Bad. That's why we all argue about it.



Whoa whoa whoa, in regards to your comment about how a bunch of people were invested in SAO's world, that is just a very empty argument that doesn't make any sense, I was also invested in SAO's world when I first saw it, NO ONE can determine whether or not a movie is good or bad by looking at the beginning and even the worst of movies can have something to draw you in, but just because a show or movie has a hook doesn't mean it's good, a show's greatness is based off everything it has to offer, another reason why i hate SAO is because it's "Pretentious" It acts better than it thinks it is.

The virtual reality in SAO is paramount to James Cameron's Avatar's special effects of Michael Bay's explosions. They are the mindless hooks that draw people in but the hooks are not what make a show great. Obviously Avatar's special effects aren't good enough to save the entire movie, Michael bay's explosions aren't good enough to save his movies and SAO's virtual reality and investment doesn't work good enough in the long run. Think of it like fake thumbnails on youtube, more and more youtube videos are having mroe fake thumbnails that draw people in. Some thumbnails look like a girl is having sex or doing something weird, but the actual video is just nothing and pointless, investment in SAO's world means nothing if it has nothing substantial to give, it steals ideas from other stories, it has no originality.
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Posted 9/22/13
Anime is not getting worse. Hell, just a season or two ago we had Psycho Pass which was great, we have AoT, we have Eccentric Family, we have all kinds of great shows.

The reason people say it is dying is because people are trying to look at the past with rose-tinted glasses on.

Anime was good, is good, and will continue to be good, so long as we support it.
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