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Your personal opinions on cliches in forms of entertainment.
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19 / M / Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Posted 2/14/14 , edited 2/14/14
Cliche things are popular and well-liked. If they weren't, they wouldn't become cliche. The problem with something that's cliche is that writers have a hard time finding the line that rests between good cliche and annoyingly overused cliche. When they cross this line, people complain. I also think that there is a thin line between originality and cliche in a certain sense. If you take a cliche idea and spin it on its head or do something original with that cliche idea that hasn't (or hardly has) been done before, it can be considered original.
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27 / M / Mor Dhona
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Posted 2/14/14

pandrasb wrote:

Same theme over and over, "Conquering all evil with the power of friendship" it's a very "All for one and one for all" idea. Then again it might be a Japanese cultural difference.

I'd like to see more selfish Main Characters in original locations, I feel "Mondaiji (problem children are coming from another world)" does it well, not adding too many cliches.


You're very right to chalk up the almost omnipresent "power of friendship" trope in anime to cultural differences. Japan, like most Eastern cultures, is very collectivist - when the group excels, the individual excels and vice versa. Therefore having as many people (friends) in your group as you're comfortable with becomes important, and everyone shares in the glory and failure.

It's pretty much the opposite in the West, where success and failure is generally an individual affair, which is why after viewing / playing so much Japanese-produced media it can get kind of cliché (to the point of annoyance at times for me at least).
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34 / M
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Posted 2/15/14
I think this is, at least to some extent, because ideas aren't created in a vacuum, they're based off, one's experiences in life; this also includes media that one has been exposed to. Considering that most people don't have unique experiences, especially in this globalized world we live in today, it perhaps can be expected that truly original ideas will be few and far between.

One could, perhaps, argue that creativity is simply based on one's perspective in life, as if life were a terrain we navigate.
Maybe we all start off, for at least a brief moment, in the same valley, but that soon changes. As we begin our lives, perhaps we leave that valley through various means; many through its main outlets, some few through its mountain passes.

Leaving the valley, our journey begins, and we encounter many things along the way. It is to be expected that those that leave at the same time, through the same outlet, will share similar experiences and views. It is only natural that their creations will have similarities.

Then there are those that leave through the passes. They walk a different path, have different experiences and see different sights. It should be expected that their creations will be different from most.

It is also to be expected that, depending on where one is on their path, their perspective will change. One may be climbing a hill, and only be able to see a little in front of them. Maybe others have crested that hill, and can paint us an image of what they see from the peak. Of course, each hill has a unique view, with its own past behind and future ahead.

Still, one's perspective isn't limited to the path we walk. A tall person will see things differently from a short one, a perceptive person will see things others miss, an intelligent person will read more into what they see. Walking a path alone is different from walking with a friend. Thus we can walk the same path but end up with a different story.

So when, at some joining of our paths, we meet those we left behind in the valley in the beginning, we are no longer the same.people as when we started; our views are all different, though we started the same. Naturally, we'll want to hear the stories of those that didn't walk the same path, but how many of them will end up at the same place as us? Even if we do meet them, will we be able to understand them?

And those that follow us will encounter a different version of our path. They will see what we left behind, perhaps encounter the bridges and walls we built. They may understand our actions sometimes, but in other cases the path itself may change and render our actions difficult to justify.


That was a bit much perhaps. Anyway, as an exercise, try to create a new creature that doesn't borrow features from an existing one. Creating something from nothing isn't easy.
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20 / M / Eng Land
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Posted 2/15/14 , edited 2/15/14
Honestly, while I ilke to see original stuff, I understand that trying to make something original, especially when SO many things have been done before, can be very challenging, and it's even harder to make that idea good. I'd rather see people stick to what works, maybe have their own slight spin on it if they can, rather than try and be completely original for the sake of it, without the ideas being good.

Especially in forms of entertainment, such as films or anime, it's something that will usually go on for multiple hours. Being original for multiple hours is nearly impossible, so I don't see anything ever being completely original. There will always be cliches. But then, people look to other works for inspiration or ideas, so the concept of borrowing such ideas isn't really surprising, and anyone who deems to claim they're completely original usually isn't.

But then cliches can sell. Better to use what's been done before and proven to work than to try and be completely original and flat out fail. From a business standpoint it makes sense, risk taking is incredibly dangerous so it's no wonder there are so many cliches. But, like I said, while they can become tiresome, I'd rather enjoy seeing what works, than watch something that falls flat on its face from trying too hard.
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22 / M / Space
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Posted 2/15/14
I love them all!
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Posted 2/15/14 , edited 2/15/14
I like to believe an anime's sucess is based on 2 things: impact and entertainment value. Impact is decided almost exclusively by how original were your ideas and how were they portrayed in the anime (as in: what do your characters think about the conflict, etc). Entertainment value is decided almost exclusively by the anime's execution (as in: how was it shown what they think about the conflict, etc). In order to be really good, an anime must have a certain degree of both impact AND entertainment value. Having only impact in your work will make it boring. It doesn't even matter if it is interesting, because your work will lack the hook to make the viewer keep watching. These kind of series tend to sell badly, even if critically acclaimed. Having only entertaiment in your work will make your show uninteresting. It may make make the audience laugh their ass off or be entranced by your battle scenes, but that will be it. It won't have any meaning to it, it will be just that: mindless fun. These shows tend to sell well, but critics may try to burn it as if it were a witch. And then, of course, there are those works with neither impact or entertainment value: these are just plain bad.

In my opinion, every show has value as long as it is not of the last type (no impact, no EV).

Moreover, wheter you prefer impact or entertainment value depends on preference (derp) and other minor factors that appear over time.


As of this moment, the kinds of show i like more are as follows:


Low impact , low EV < High impact , low EV < Low impact, high EV < High impact, high EV


I don't know if i answered your question or not, but i hope you found this interesting.







Edit: forgot to say, the most common kind of show is the low impact, high EV, because as i explained previously these kind of shows tend to sell well.
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Posted 2/15/14

people are getting tired of it.


I think they just don't like their noses rubbed in it and/or feeling manipulated by it. So the main hurdle is just getting the audience buy-in. If you can get that and keep it, you're solid. Although even saying that feels a bit cynical....


1. Will there EVER be a borderline between originality AND cliche?


The borderline, to me, is the admixture of elements from the creator's reference pool for creating a work. That is to say, your art is a culmination of your own experiences as mediated by you (and your team, if this is a group project like most anime/manga/games are). While some of those experiences may be created from nothing more than random ideas or limited in execution by your technical ability, it is also important to be widely experienced in order to keep the pump primed. So being judicious about and mindful of what you read/watch/play/do is very important. And making sure that you aren't overwhelmed in the process.

So...not so much a line as a family tree with lots of dotted lines, question marks, exclamation points, and scribbled-out dead ends.

Thankfully, manga (and comic books in general, if you look) are broad enough to include whackaloon cartoons, gritty crime dramas, workaday office drama, existential crises, cat fancying, sports (from curling to The Most Dangerous Game), futurism, supernatural topics, horror, history, physics, morality, politics, and a variety of other topics, sometimes blended all together, all with their own reference pools, gimmicks, quirks, and yes, cliches, bouncing off one another. So if you don't want to leave the comfort of this reference bubble, you can pace yourself and probably be okay for a while...but I'd still recommend branching out.
Posted 2/15/14
Cliches are basically everywhere.

If it is done well, that's fine. Done badly is just mindless entertainment or a headache.
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21 / M / Puerto Rico
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Posted 2/15/14 , edited 2/15/14
When it relates to entertainment, isn't the correct term "trope"? I've enjoyed reading lots of them at tvtropes.org, it has a huge list listing tropes and many examples used throughout media, including anime. It's full of spoiler tags in nearly every entry for obvious reasons.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 2/15/14



I would often hear that a borderline probably won't happen four to five years from now. Maybe such a thing happen years ago then stopped over time.
Posted 2/15/14
Originality is cliche itself.
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M / 'Merica (Used Iro...
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Posted 2/15/14
There's nothing new under the sun, but there are a lot of things under it, and many ways to look at each of them. Cliches done right can be good, something doesn't have to be original to be good. That said, there are times when something tries to hard to break out of cliches, that it is handled clumsily. The villain dying and coming back stronger was original at some point, but now its a cliche. Depending on what story or tone you're going for, you should either surprise the viewer, or show them exactly what they were expecting and hoping for.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 2/15/14

chao_mein wrote:

Originality is cliche itself.


Interesting.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 2/15/14 , edited 2/15/14



Thank you. It's just challenging to try and come up with something good enough. I envy people who are good at thinking that greatly.
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33 / M / Seattle
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Posted 2/16/14
As for me, it depends on what the cliche is and how the story feeds off of them. Sometimes, cliches are integrated very nicely and are creative tools to bring out the substance of the show. But there are cliches that just give out the feel of redundancy and the show becomes stale quickly to the point where it feels like I am watching some other show all over again. Of course, the charm of cliches is that they are there because viewers expect to react favorably to them in a way. But at the same time, there is that danger where it totally jeopardizes the creativity aspect.
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