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When is it ok for an anime to change pace?
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Posted 1/31/14
I finished watching episode 4 of Engaged to Unidentified a day ago and something unexpected happened (let's just say that they added another genre to it so I don't spoil anything) and I have seen some mixed reactions to it. Some people seem to enjoy this new development while some didn't like it because it's already 4 episodes in.

Some anime follow the 3 episode rule because most people will give an anime 3 episodes before dropping it. So I was wondering when is it ok for an anime to change pace like this? Do you think anime should stick to the 3 episode rule or do you think it's ok for them to go over it?

(As for me i enjoyed the change .)
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Posted 1/31/14 , edited 1/31/14
Engaged to the Unidentified just added something that can broaden the scope of the story, it didn't really jump tracks. That said though, I think even radical departures are fine; it just depends on the skill with which it's accomplished and the open-mindedness of the audience. But there should be a damn good reason for it, it shouldn't be a whimsical thing.

In the case of a very significant change:

    You shouldn't feel like the show has changed, you should feel like the truth behind the show has been revealed.

Engaged to the Unidentified hasn't done anything that major, though.

It is interesting though, how we lock on a show and then feel betrayed if something happens that's wildly out of left field. It's something that defies our control and can deeply anger an audience, so if the writer wants to work in something that's a game-changing reveal it has to be done pretty carefully or you risk alienating and losing your target audience.

Especially if your early show hooked an audience your later show won't appeal to, then you're SoL for sure.
Posted 1/31/14 , edited 1/31/14
Haruhi Suzumiya spoiler below

xxJing 
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Posted 1/31/14
The change in pace in Samurai Flamenco was kind of jarring to tell you the truth.
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Posted 1/31/14
Golden Time was somewhat jarring in its take on Banri's amnesia in episode 5, I think, to say the least, but I liked the twist. It all comes down to personal expectations and how "natural" the change feels to you.
Posted 1/31/14
Maybe towards the end. Like when you are about to ___ and start _______ faster.
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Posted 1/31/14 , edited 1/31/14
It's ok for an anime to change pace once HANAMONOGATARI COMES OUT!
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Posted 1/31/14 , edited 1/31/14

galdris wrote:

I finished watching episode 4 of Engaged to Unidentified a day ago and something unexpected happened (let's just say that they added another genre to it so I don't spoil anything) and I have seen some mixed reactions to it. Some people seem to enjoy this new development while some didn't like it because it's already 4 episodes in.

Some anime follow the 3 episode rule because most people will give an anime 3 episodes before dropping it. So I was wondering when is it ok for an anime to change pace like this? Do you think anime should stick to the 3 episode rule or do you think it's ok for them to go over it?

(As for me i enjoyed the change .)

The reason for the 3 episode rule, as I see it, is thus. If you follow three-act structure (which you should because it is smart to do & it makes the story stronger), things ought to look like this.

Episode 1-3: Set-Up
End of Episode 3: Inciting Incident (Introduces main conflict of the story)
4-9: Confrontation
End of Episode 9: Another plot point, which leads into...
10-12/13: Resolution

Now, obviously, this can vary by an episode or two, but an anime that spends more than 3 episodes setting things up tends to bore us (I'm sure people can come up with their own experiences of this being true) and we all know how an anime without a good resolution feels. Bad. It feels bad. But, anyways, back on topic. I actually think the 3-episode rule SHOULD be the 4-episode rule. Let the show set itself up and then see how it does when it starts to tackle the main conflict. Then decide. If there was a proper inciting incident after 3 episodes, and you didn't like, maybe drop it then, but really 4 should be the standard.

What Engaged to the Unidentified has done is basically extended the set-up an episode, and failed to hint at the new addition to the set-up previously. So, it basically came from out of the blue, which is probably why people are a little annoyed. Plus, it still hasn't really introduced the central conflict.

Don't get me wrong. I love this show. It's currently in my top 5 for the season. But this is not so much a change of pace as it is faulty structure/writing or a change in genre.. Even just a few hints (beyond the title) in the earlier episodes would have helped this go down a bit better.


Insomnist wrote:

Engaged to the Unidentified just added something that can broaden the scope of the story, it didn't really jump tracks. That said though, I think even radical departures are fine; it just depends on the skill with which it's accomplished and the open-mindedness of the audience. But there should be a damn good reason for it, it shouldn't be a whimsical thing.

Engaged to the Unidentified hasn't done anything that major, though.

I actually disagree that it didn't jump tracks. The show set itself up as a normal slice-of-life rom-com (and a really enjoyable, good one at that) in the first three episode, and then added a totally new genre in the fourth. Because of the suddenness, it almost does feel whimsical, like the writer thought, "Urgh, this is just another generic rom-com; I need to spice it up a little bit..."

Genre shifts are a big deal. I would also say that, typically, they are a bad idea.



EDIT: Wow, I feel so pretentious. I go read a couple books on screenwriting and suddenly I think all there is to know about pacing and structure. At the very least, I do know more than I did, I suppose.
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Posted 1/31/14

Insomnist wrote:



Some very good points made here. I agree it's all about the skill of the writer's and how the audience responds to that change. It's nice to see anime studios take those risk.
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Posted 1/31/14 , edited 1/31/14

iblessall wrote:


Insomnist wrote:

Engaged to the Unidentified just added something that can broaden the scope of the story, it didn't really jump tracks. That said though, I think even radical departures are fine; it just depends on the skill with which it's accomplished and the open-mindedness of the audience. But there should be a damn good reason for it, it shouldn't be a whimsical thing.

Engaged to the Unidentified hasn't done anything that major, though.

I actually disagree that it didn't jump tracks. The show set itself up as a normal slice-of-life rom-com (and a really enjoyable, good one at that) in the first three episode, and then added a totally new genre in the fourth. Because of the suddenness, it almost does feel whimsical, like the writer thought, "Urgh, this is just another generic rom-com; I need to spice it up a little bit..."

Genre shifts are a big deal. I would also say that, typically, they are a bad idea.

They didn't shift genres at all, it's still a high school rom-com. The hinted reveal

Genres tell you what you'll get out of the show, and that's unchanged.

For example, a romance is still a romance even if it introduces timetravel, as long as it stays a romance.


iblessall wrote:

EDIT: Wow, I feel so pretentious. I go read a couple books on screenwriting and suddenly I think all there is to know about pacing and structure. At the very least, I do know more than I did, I suppose.

You're ahead of me, all I've done is look at this graph.



And listened to some Extra Credits videos on pacing and the hero's journey I guess.
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Posted 1/31/14

iblessall wrote:


galdris wrote:

EDIT: Wow, I feel so pretentious. I go read a couple books on screenwriting and suddenly I think all there is to know about pacing and structure. At the very least, I do know more than I did, I suppose.


I don't think you were pretentious at all you have a pretty solid argument there. :P

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Posted 1/31/14

Insomnist wrote:
They didn't shift genres at all, it's still a high school rom-com. The hinted reveal

We'll have to agree to disagree here.

I suppose "shift" isn't exactly the word for which I was looking. But "adding" would be appropriate.



I could also be proven wrong by the way they handle it going forward.

I am very, very intrigued by the show. I like it a lot before, and the twist hasn't diminished my enjoyment one bit. If they can pull this off well (and I think they can), they will get major props from me.


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Posted 1/31/14 , edited 1/31/14

iblessall wrote:


Insomnist wrote:
They didn't shift genres at all, it's still a high school rom-com. The hinted reveal

We'll have to agree to disagree here.

I suppose "shift" isn't exactly the word for which I was looking. But "adding" would be appropriate.



I could also be proven wrong by the way they handle it going forward.

I am very, very intrigued by the show. I like it a lot before, and the twist hasn't diminished my enjoyment one bit. If they can pull this off well (and I think they can), they will get major props from me.

My point is just that the new elements enhance the original starting premise, rather than rewriting it. To add to the railroad analogy, they just added more engines to the train, they didn't put the train on different tracks.

I won't argue that they haven't (potentially) added a genre. I only say potentially because they'll need to draw a unique theme into the story from it before it really counts. But the originating genre is still predominant.

Um... last example. There can be romance in a story, without making the story itself a romance. In this case, there can be the added element to Engaged to the Unidentified, without making it into that other genre.

But yeah, we need another episode or two for this specific example at least.

It is likely (if not inevitable) to end up as a
at this rate.

Edit:

Very very last example, I promise.

Wolf Children.
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Posted 1/31/14
But they have to draw a unique theme into it, don't they?

Otherwise it is just a really, really cheap gimmick that they shoehorned in just cause. And from what I've seen of this show so far, I can't believe they would do something as stupid as that.

In any case, I feel a bit derailed, but people take things different ways, so it's not surprising that others don't feel the same. :)

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Posted 1/31/14 , edited 1/31/14

Insomnist wrote:


iblessall wrote:


Insomnist wrote:

Engaged to the Unidentified just added something that can broaden the scope of the story, it didn't really jump tracks. That said though, I think even radical departures are fine; it just depends on the skill with which it's accomplished and the open-mindedness of the audience. But there should be a damn good reason for it, it shouldn't be a whimsical thing.

Engaged to the Unidentified hasn't done anything that major, though.

I actually disagree that it didn't jump tracks. The show set itself up as a normal slice-of-life rom-com (and a really enjoyable, good one at that) in the first three episode, and then added a totally new genre in the fourth. Because of the suddenness, it almost does feel whimsical, like the writer thought, "Urgh, this is just another generic rom-com; I need to spice it up a little bit..."

Genre shifts are a big deal. I would also say that, typically, they are a bad idea.

They didn't shift genres at all, it's still a high school rom-com. The hinted reveal

Genres tell you what you'll get out of the show, and that's unchanged.

For example, a romance is still a romance even if it introduces timetravel, as long as it stays a romance.


iblessall wrote:

EDIT: Wow, I feel so pretentious. I go read a couple books on screenwriting and suddenly I think all there is to know about pacing and structure. At the very least, I do know more than I did, I suppose.

You're ahead of me, all I've done is look at this graph.



And listened to some Extra Credits videos on pacing and the hero's journey I guess.



While you're right about the graph, the Hero's Journey isn't quite the only formula out there. There's also the standard romance formula, 'Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back' and a slew of other things as well.

http://www.writingexcuses.com/
http://davidfarland.net/writing_tips/

I'm a bit of a writer myself, but I'm too lazy/busy to go through the episodes and find the ones relevant to the topic. If anyone wants more info on this though, you can look here~

As for the more on-topic question - it's okay for it to 'change pace' as long as it has a good reason for being there, and is foreshadowed well.

Take the end of the School Festival in Chu2 where, Rikka
That could've been seen as a 'change of pace', but it was foreshadowed well and thus doesn't feel out of place.
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