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Should Anime fans be snootier?
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Posted 4/19/14 , edited 4/19/14

Insomnist wrote:
That video covers a lot of ground, I was thinking mostly of the first half than the second. Windsagio already said he used the word "snootier" as a form of ironic self-depreciation. The point isn't that we should all become highbrow anime critics that loath the common rabble, just that becoming more skilled at appreciating media raises the ceiling on potential experiences. We can still enjoy the cheap thrills, but we can also recognize opportunities for deeper appreciation.

"Two are needed to play go", in other words.

The whole point being that we respond to an anime in kind with its presentation. If it's lighthearted fun, we can enjoy it. If there's a character study, we can understand it. If its a complex theoretical commentary, we can appreciate it. Being willing to engage with something on a deeper level does not diminish personal enjoyment, it broadens the range of things we can enjoy. We shouldn't do it to improve the industry, we should do it to improve ourselves and our discussions.

People act like you can only engage with media in one way, only if they only know how to engage with media in one way. But learning a new way is just a new, additional, toolset. And the more tools you've got, the more you can do.


Ah, I see where you are coming from now, thanks for the reply. Well, I was confused because what you are saying now and what the OP said appear to be different things. I agree with the bolded part above, but think the OP presented that idea in a confusing way.

Also, I don't think every consumer of media desires to engage with it in more meaningful ways than surface level attachment. And that's perfectly fine because we are all different and not everyone wants to learn from media or fully appreciate/understand core messages of works. How they choose to engage with media is their prerogative and is really no one else's business. Is it a shame some really great stuff gets overlooked or snubbed, sure, but thus is life. Appreciate what you do and spread your enthusiasm for it and you'll probably inform some more people to its existence.
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Posted 4/19/14 , edited 4/19/14
I find it hard to be snooty about anime and anime-related stuff when I'm constantly seeing things like this
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Posted 4/19/14 , edited 4/19/14
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Posted 4/20/14 , edited 4/20/14

-Gothique- wrote:

Anime has a lot of artistic potential that is left largely untapped. Occasionally something comes along that really runs with that potential converting it into something great for shows like Elfen Lied, Time of Eve, EF Series, Kara no Kyokai, Mushishi, 3CM Per Second (no matter how much it angered me), Wandering Son, and even shows we're currently watching like One Week Friends. There are many other high quality shows out there but anime as a whole has a lot more to give than what we normally get. Should anime fans get snotty over it? No. Should we demand more than school girl harems? Hell yes.


I think some of that is the economy. If Japan's economy were to really climb out of that decades-long slump we'd see more substantial titles as production companies could shoulder more risk on new ideas. Of course, we'd also likely have more fluff, which I don't mind. I look for loli fluff a lot, so there seems to be a few shows each season I'll watch for that reason.

When I've wanted something more though, the industry thus far has almost always been able to provide something of acceptable substance. It's super awesome when there's something with substance that involves tropes I like. Black Bullet seems like it's heading that direction.

Sometimes it's easier to find more substantial shows by looking back a season or two, time is an excellent filter.
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Posted 4/20/14
Yeah, the annoying thing about dat Touhou pic is that the dude /dudette who made it clearly has a decent skill level, but used it to make some loli crap.

But.....if that is like, the shit that otaku will buy, aren't animators / etc. sorta forced to produce that garbage?


That's sorta the basis for why I think global anime fans need to be "snootier" per se.
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Posted 4/20/14
one lat thing on snooty: snooty ~= snotty :p

I think maxgale has a point though, to some degree otaku culture is leading anime down a dead-end. Yeah it's keeping the companies in business and there are plenty of shows, but it's only toing to get more marginalized, epseically since Japanese culture likes it's neat little cultural boxes anyways.
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Posted 4/20/14 , edited 4/20/14

RedExodus wrote:

I find it hard to be snooty about anime and anime-related stuff when I'm constantly seeing things like this


I like how the handkerchief is the same color palette as her hair. It kinda looks like she's eating her own hair.
xxJing 
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Posted 4/20/14

windsagio wrote:

one lat thing on snooty: snooty ~= snotty :p

I think maxgale has a point though, to some degree otaku culture is leading anime down a dead-end. Yeah it's keeping the companies in business and there are plenty of shows, but it's only toing to get more marginalized, epseically since Japanese culture likes it's neat little cultural boxes anyways.


What I think is the problem is that they need shows to fill their time slots, and really there are only so many master story tellers out there, so they take anything they can get. A lot of new comers tell stories in very rash and impulsive ways, they focus on pure emotional elements such as ambition, betrayal, romance, whatever, without really getting the pacing and the subtle undertones correct. This tends to sell to other rash and impulsive people, of which a good chunk would be children and man-children, but everyone else is usually left uninterested. Even if people can't point out some of these subtleties, they can sense them intuitively.

Then, when you start to consider some more niche anime genres like harem animes and even shoujo animes, they seem really misogynistic. Yes, Shoujo animes seem extremely misogynistic to me, even though they are for women readers. Why? Because what is the running theme of a lot of shoujo animes? Some spunky girl who may be a little different, ultimately waiting for prince charming to solve her problems around her. Male dependency. Harem animes usually come down to some normal looking main character who wants some woman to unconditionally love him and only him and serve him and only him. Men's take on Male Dependency. Well when you start to consider these niche genres, then it starts to not only lose everyone else, but disgust them as well.

I think Miyazaki said, and I am paraphrasing heavily, that in order to write a good story you need to know how to write real people. From what I've seen a lot of newer story tellers who usually work with anime tend to write their ideal people rather than real people. Their ideal villains, their ideal heroes, their ideal females. These characters tend to be difficult to relate to.
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Posted 4/20/14

xxJing wrote:



Then, when you start to consider some more niche anime genres like harem animes and even shoujo animes, they seem really misogynistic. Yes, Shoujo animes seem extremely misogynistic to me, even though they are for women readers. Why? Because what is the running theme of a lot of shoujo animes? Some spunky girl who may be a little different, ultimately waiting for prince charming to solve her problems around her. Male dependency. Harem animes usually come down to some normal looking main character who wants some woman to unconditionally love him and only him and serve him and only him. Men's take on Male Dependency. Well when you start to consider these niche genres, then it starts to not only lose everyone else, but disgust them as well.


The Shoujo thing is interesting, because it says a lot about the different cultural expectations we have from romance. The best ones have it go both ways, where in the end the girl isn't truly dependant... But the problem is the prince charming is still part of the fantasy.

Still, picking some shows that are easily available (or that I know well) out of a hat;
In Skip Beat, this isn't really a problem. She barely needs any saving at all.
Sainkoku Momo, ditto. It gets to the point of the girl saying "I won't be your princess" and leaving the guy pining.
S-A is about halfway, but because of the way the characters work, Hikaru almost never REALLY needs saving. There are 1 or 2 really terrible episodes for this though.
Maid-Sama ir probably the worst in this list, I coudln't watch it the second time because she ends up way too dependant.

Is 12 kingdoms a Shoujo? I can't even tell.

~~~~

Man, this would make a good topic actually ><
xxJing 
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Posted 4/20/14

windsagio wrote:


xxJing wrote:



Then, when you start to consider some more niche anime genres like harem animes and even shoujo animes, they seem really misogynistic. Yes, Shoujo animes seem extremely misogynistic to me, even though they are for women readers. Why? Because what is the running theme of a lot of shoujo animes? Some spunky girl who may be a little different, ultimately waiting for prince charming to solve her problems around her. Male dependency. Harem animes usually come down to some normal looking main character who wants some woman to unconditionally love him and only him and serve him and only him. Men's take on Male Dependency. Well when you start to consider these niche genres, then it starts to not only lose everyone else, but disgust them as well.


The Shoujo thing is interesting, because it says a lot about the different cultural expectations we have from romance. The best ones have it go both ways, where in the end the girl isn't truly dependant... But the problem is the prince charming is still part of the fantasy.

Still, picking some shows that are easily available (or that I know well) out of a hat;
In Skip Beat, this isn't really a problem. She barely needs any saving at all.
Sainkoku Momo, ditto. It gets to the point of the girl saying "I won't be your princess" and leaving the guy pining.
S-A is about halfway, but because of the way the characters work, Hikaru almost never REALLY needs saving. There are 1 or 2 really terrible episodes for this though.
Maid-Sama ir probably the worst in this list, I coudln't watch it the second time because she ends up way too dependant.

Is 12 kingdoms a Shoujo? I can't even tell.

~~~~

Man, this would make a good topic actually ><


Love-Lab is a really good shoujo manga that has balance. It starts out as a slice of life comedy with a full female cast. Later it alternates between slice of life and youth romance. The thing is it sort of covers all types of girls. Some girls show signs of wanting to be dependent on a guy, and other girls enjoy their autonomy. I think I love Maki the most as a character, she really wants a boyfriend, but she is completely capable of doing everything for herself. She often argues with the guy she is paired with, and they each sort of support each other and get in each others' way at the same time. That is the type of Shoujo shows I do love, they are just really fun to watch. But then you have the Maid-sama ones where it's like the heroine is just inadequate without her man. I somewhat enjoy those , but I always think in the back of my head, there is something very wrong with this. Congratulations American society, I suppose I am somewhat of a feminist.

The Wise Wizard
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Posted 4/20/14

xxJing wrote:

Then, when you start to consider some more niche anime genres like harem animes and even shoujo animes, they seem really misogynistic.

You've stepped on a pet peeve of mine, which is the overuse of "misogynistic" where "sexist" would often be more applicable.

When you toss around a term too casually, you dilute its meaning. True misogyny (literally hatred of women) is a very ugly thing, the likes of which I've rarely seen in anime outside of the infrequent villain.

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Posted 4/20/14 , edited 4/20/14

windsagio wrote:

Is 12 kingdoms a Shoujo? I can't even tell.

I'm not sure it's an anything, are light novels put into those demographics like manga and anime are? I think it has a shoujo feel though, most of the arc MCs are either females, shotas, or hot guys (as far as the adaptation got, anyway).

(... in case it's not clear I think The Twelve Kingdoms is amazing, I don't mean to depreciate it.)
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Posted 4/20/14
With any media the thing I'm looking for is to be entertained. I don't care if my entertainment is art or if my art is entertaining. As long as I'm enjoying it then that is all that matters to me.
Posted 4/20/14
You could be snooty if you can afford to buy every bit of anime related merchandise available.
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Posted 4/20/14
My brain has no off switch. If writer sucks, I will point it out as often as my attention span notifies me.
http://youtu.be/CrBiDELfaKk NC brings a good point to the table.
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