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What's your opinion of Deconstruction Anime?
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Posted 10/9/13
I believe there are 3 anime out there that are considered to be deconstructions: Neon Genesis Evangelion, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and School Days. In my opinion (and not regarding whether I liked any of them or not) , while all 3 do have their similarities, I also think they are all unique. It does NGE, PMMM, and School Days a great injustice to pigeon-hole them all into the same genre.

So, what do you think of them?

*please lock if this is a duplicate*
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Posted 10/9/13
care to explain what you mean by "deconstruction"
Posted 10/9/13
Deconstruction is my favorite anime cliche.
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23 / M / Free World Jail
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Posted 10/9/13
I never liked that word "deconstruction" in terms of anime...
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21 / M / On the Court
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Posted 10/9/13
Trying to figure out what to say to this.
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Posted 10/9/13

Ajcool33 wrote:

Trying to figure out what to say to this.


Same here.
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Posted 10/9/13

AnimeKami wrote:

care to explain what you mean by "deconstruction"


I believe that it means that the anime in question "takes apart" the genre, going against the tropes/stereotypes associated with said genre. I don't really like the word, however, because one could argue that any non-trendy anime, good or bad, is a deconstruction.
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Posted 10/9/13 , edited 10/9/13

Angerudusto wrote:



I believe that it means that the anime in question "takes apart" the genre, going against the tropes/stereotypes associated with said genre. I don't really like the word, however, because one could argue that any non-trendy anime, good or bad, is a deconstruction.


That's a good description, examining and undercutting the underlying, often implicit tropes and assumptions of the genre.

I haven't seen School days, but the other 2 fail utterly in that regard. The positively wallow in the tropes and cliche's of their subgenres, and the only elements that are remotely subversive of the underlying themes read more like Shamaylan-esque 'what a twist!' writing than anything else.

~~~

Deconstructive narratives do exist in anime though (The latest gatchaman is an EXCELLENT deconstruction of anime superhero/action tropes, it not only subverts the normal narrative it actively questions it), and they're valuable and even desperately needed.

There's very few genres in world-wide mass media that are as typecast and stereotypical as Anime are, and shows that subvert the tropes are a massive and important breath of fresh air.

It can be done poorly though. To jump outside of anime for an example, when in the '90s American comics started to gain some real self-awareness, there were a whole bunch of 'HAHA LOOK AT ME I'M BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL!' (which we're seeing some of in anime too, but not quite so crass), and that's not really (imo) questioning or challenging anything. I



~~~

TL;DR version

1) I love deconstructive shows if they're done with some class.
2) I don't think the shows I've seen of the OP's examples are good cases of it at all.
3) Shocking plot twists aren't deconstructive, but are rather just another trope.
4) Anime desperately needs some post-modernism to shake it up :p
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Posted 10/9/13 , edited 10/9/13

windsagio wrote:


Angerudusto wrote:



I believe that it means that the anime in question "takes apart" the genre, going against the tropes/stereotypes associated with said genre. I don't really like the word, however, because one could argue that any non-trendy anime, good or bad, is a deconstruction.


That's a good description, examining and undercutting the underlying, often implicit tropes and assumptions of the genre.

I haven't seen School days, but the other 2 fail utterly in that regard. The positively wallow in the tropes and cliche's of their subgenres, and the only elements that are remotely subversive of the underlying themes read more like Shamaylan-esque 'what a twist!' writing than anything else.

~~~

Deconstructive narratives do exist in anime though (The latest gatchaman is an EXCELLENT deconstruction of anime superhero/action tropes, it not only subverts the normal narrative it actively questions it), and they're valuable and even desperately needed.

There's very few genres in world-wide mass media that are as typecast and stereotypical as Anime are, and shows that subvert the tropes are a massive and important breath of fresh air.

It can be done poorly though. To jump outside of anime for an example, when in the '90s American comics started to gain some real self-awareness, there were a whole bunch of 'HAHA LOOK AT ME I'M BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL!' (which we're seeing some of in anime too, but not quite so crass), and that's not really (imo) questioning or challenging anything. I



~~~

TL;DR version

1) I love deconstructive shows if they're done with some class.
2) I don't think the shows I've seen of the OP's examples are good cases of it at all.
3) Shocking plot twists aren't deconstructive, but are rather just another trope.
4) Anime desperately needs some post-modernism to shake it up :p


I like your use of the word, and I can see why Eva or Madoka aren't good examples, but my question is this: Do Deconstructions call into question our existence or just the tropes of their genre? Would anime like Serial Expmeriments Lain or Cowboy Bebop be considered deconstructions?

ALSO: I never considered Madoka, Eva, or School Days to be deconstructions, it's just that their fans (and sometimes even their haters) often refer to them as such.
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Posted 10/9/13

Angerudusto wrote:


I like your use of the word, and I can see why Eva or Madoka aren't good examples, but my question is this: Do Deconstructions call into question our existence or just the tropes of their genre? Would anime like Serial Expmeriments Lain or Cowboy Bebop be considered deconstructions?


Deconstruction, to my understanding, is all about exposing and questioning the base narrative. Traditionally it's done in a particular work. You take a book or a play or a song and subject it to deconstructive analysis, looking at the underlying assumptions and authorial/editorial intent behind the work. A show can't really get away with that, so we end up at deconstructing genres... so I'd probably say that they have to be examining a common narrative or theme, not just raising philosophical questions or having non-standard plot structures.


Along those lines, I'd say that Lain is just very philosophically oriented, and Cowboy Bebop is just very very finely crafted. (although its been like 8-10 years since I've seen either I Think) Neither one is structured to question or expose or subvert, its just that their narratives don't fit with the common cliche's of their genres.

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Posted 10/9/13
GATCHA!
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Posted 10/10/13

Compl3te wrote:

GATCHA!


Hah, to be honest I'm trying to resist makin a long post about how *that* is the best example of anime deconstruction ever ><
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Posted 10/10/13
I could say I'm getting tired of deconstructions, but really most of them are pretty good, so why not. It's just that sometimes it's rather refreshing to see something played straight these days.

I think the key to a good deconstruction is that it should not be obvious that it's a deconstruction to begin with. That's the problem with a lot of deconstruction-y things that come out lately, is that it's far too obvious that it's going to be dark, edgy, and full of despair that none of that despair has any impact. That's the reason why I liked Fate/stay night more than Fate/Zero.

Some deconstruction examples (no big spoilers):
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Posted 10/10/13

windsagio wrote:


Compl3te wrote:

GATCHA!


Hah, to be honest I'm trying to resist makin a long post about how *that* is the best example of anime deconstruction ever ><


Just do it!! I enjoy what you have to say because you do it without sounding uppity.

I still don't think school days counts, it was a poor harem anime with a twist.
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Posted 10/10/13 , edited 10/10/13
I think School Days is a prime example purely for having the WORST main character in the history of anything ever. PERIOD.

Not many anime can accomplish making a character THAT bad!

I was genuinely screaming "I F*CKING HATE YOU YOU FRIGGIN' MORON!"

This was then followed by my brother yelling at me to 'quiet the hell down!'

._.
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