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Post Reply Cliche vs Unique
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Posted 9/21/14

Smeelia wrote:

Everyone has their own preferences and I find that fans of a particular type of story are more likely to notice the differences in execution than people who weren't interested in that kind of story in the first place. It can be frustrating when someone says that a certain genre is "all the same" since fans of the genre know they are wrong (and they probably wouldn't like it if people said the same about what they like). I suppose it could be that some people become a fan of a certain genre because they're able to see those differences in the first place.

Personally, I tend to focus on characters and enjoy stories that grow from the personalities of their characters. I often enjoy slice of life, episodic and "cute girls doing cute things" types of stories because they tend to be more interested in character development and interaction. I do still like some stories that focus on events but I find it quite frustrating when people act out of character to drive a story along.

To some people, Love Lab, Yuyushiki and Hidamari Sketch might all seem the same but to me they're very different experiences and I get something out of each. Even within those shows individual episodes can provide a different kind of experience while to some they all seem the same.

I suppose I tend to prefer "happy" stories. I do like quite a lot of stories where bad things happen but I'm more likely to enjoy them if the characters learn something and/or manage to end up happier. I'll probably lose interest quickly if the characters keep being stupid and making things worse for themselves without realising that they're the problem. On the other hand, I'd probably still enjoy a show if the characters grow and learn but are unable to really stop bad things from happening. As others have said though, it mostly depends on the execution. As long as the story makes me care about the characters and the characters act consistently then I'm far more likely to enjoy the show.

It's possible that it's more difficult to write a compelling "evil" character, villains do tend to be more "simple" (though sometimes that works well for the story). If a character is just totally evil then they tend to be less interesting and attempts to try and make a villain sympathetic can easily ring hollow. Personally I can't think of any show I like that consists of horrible people being horrible to each other so that can be an issue for some (though I think it's a matter of taste rather than quality). Having a character change sides can also be difficult to write convincingly, if you make it too obvious then it's less likely to be interesting and if you don't give enough clues then it'll seem to be out of character and coming from nowhere. A particularly well written story will be able to surprise you and have the surprise make sense in retrospect (though some may be more surprised than others).

As for the "experience vs escapism" point, I think both work together. Escapism is basically something you can't experience in real life and anime lets you explore those experiences. Of course, there are other reasons for watching anime too.

*applauds*
Always happy when someone puts most of my thoughts into words for me.


qualeshia3 wrote:


TsunLemon wrote:

Don't give a damn.

There are great cliched series, there are worthless cliched series.
There are great unique series, there are worthless unique series.

It all depends on how they're executed.



Thanks.


Just speaking the truth.
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18 / F / somewhere on mars
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Posted 9/21/14
I could not care less if it is unique or not. All that matters is if it appeals to the audience or not. I could watch a show with tropes that have been done again and again and still enjoy them. Just because it's unique, that doesn't mean its good. And just because it's cliche, that doesn't mean that it's terrible either.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 9/21/14



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22 / M / NJ, USA
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Posted 9/21/14

KingKaio wrote:

The bottom line is this: the vast VAST majority of the public has extremely narrow, predictable and nearly identical expectations out of entertainment and will always prefer the familiar rather than the unusual. While at the same time insisting otherwise, and everyone thinks they're the exception to the rule.


Very true. There is a correlation between all the mainstream anime that is available. To the passive eye, they all seem different, but to more experienced viewers, they're all the same boat. It's not because the writers are talentless or unoriginal, rather, it's what sells the best for them. That's why unique anime that aren't as accommodative don't do well business-wise and are rarely seen. It's expensive and risky trying to conceive something different and professional mangakas and animation studios have to make money.
LokiLB 
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Posted 9/21/14


I actually like stories that have a character 'fall', whether that be into madness, evil, or something else along those lines. Watching a character slowly destroy themselves becaue of some fatal flaw is interesting to me.
I need to watch more tragedies, apparently.

As for villains, you can have a completely evil villain. The Joker is the best example that comes to mind. He works particularly well because he is such a good foil to the protagonist. I can't think of a good anime example at the moment.
Though I prefer complex, grey villains. I also like complex, grey heroes. And I particularly like when you're sort of confused which on the protagonist is supposed to be.

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31 / San Fran
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Posted 9/21/14
Why don't we all just agree that unique=/=good and cliche =/= bad.
Posted 9/22/14 , edited 9/22/14

Dropping an anime isn't an escape.
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30 / some where heaven...
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Posted 9/22/14

lolitaninja wrote:

Why don't we all just agree that unique=/=good and cliche =/= bad.


sometimes its was in an opposite way....its depends how they executed it
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102 / Candyland
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Posted 9/22/14
Depends on what type of plot and your taste. If the plot itself fresh, new with a twist then adding a little cliche or two might be okay. There have been some animes with lots of cliches that have been good.
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26 / M / Under your bed, c...
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Posted 9/22/14
Doesn't matter if it's cliche or not. As long as the plot is good, it's alright. Of course, original and fresh ideas are always welcome. And plus it's not cliche for the next generation, who has yet to experience the experience. Of course, for the people who has watched anime for over 2 decades or so, everything may seem cliche XD (started watching at 4).
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Posted 9/22/14 , edited 9/22/14

LokiLB wrote:



I actually like stories that have a character 'fall', whether that be into madness, evil, or something else along those lines. Watching a character slowly destroy themselves becaue of some fatal flaw is interesting to me.
I need to watch more tragedies, apparently.

As for villains, you can have a completely evil villain. The Joker is the best example that comes to mind. He works particularly well because he is such a good foil to the protagonist. I can't think of a good anime example at the moment.
Though I prefer complex, grey villains. I also like complex, grey heroes. And I particularly like when you're sort of confused which on the protagonist is supposed to be.

Ran by Akira Kurosawa is one of my favourite films, it's based on King Lear and is the kind of story you describe (I highly recommend it). I think it's a good example of a story that has seriously flawed characters that keep making mistakes but still manage to be interesting (and sympathetic at times).

I like the Joker well enough but I prefer the Riddler slightly (though I'm not good at solving those riddles, "ball-point banana" indeed). I'm also a fan of later Mr Freeze when he's not quite "evil" so much as willing to do anything for his wife. I think one of the strengths of Batman stories is that they have so many interesting characters and the villains are often realistic people with one flaw (usually taken to an extreme). I guess it's also interesting in all the different ways that the Batman characters can be interpreted and presented.

To clarify, what I meant before was that a villain who can be entirely described as "evil" with no thought to why isn't likely to be interesting as a character. I think one of the reasons the Joker is an effective "totally evil" villain is because all of his actions make sense to him and the viewer will usually understand that. As you say, the way he reflects the hero is also interesting. Quite a few stories try to make a "totally evil" villain simply by making them do terrible things or have an evil goal but forget to actually create a character beyond that. A villain that wants to destroy the world is really just a plot device if they don't have a believable reason. That's not necessarily a bad thing for the story though, plenty of stories get by without a well developed antagonist (some don't have an antagonist at all).

I guess this is all somewhat subjective anyway, what one person sees in a character another might not and some people don't really care so much about characters as about what happens in the story.
LokiLB 
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Posted 9/22/14


I might look that up. I enjoyed King Lear when I read it in high school. I ended up using it in an AP test when everyone else used a completely different story. It was fun.

I also like B:TAS Mr. Freeze better than the Joker. He was probably one of the most tragic characters in that show, especially when you include his episode in Batman Beyond.

Ah, you're talking about villains that would probably be more analogous to a force of nature in the narrative than an actual character. The kind that you could replace the villain with an asteroid/volcano/disease/etc. and it wouldn't impact the narrative very much. They can work, as evidence the popularity of zombies, vampires, and werewolves, just depends on how they're handled and the story.
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24 / M / CR Forums
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Posted 9/22/14

PeripheralVisionary wrote:

Bad endings should go to appropriate works; happy ends to happy works. If there is anything the fanbase hates, it's the feeling of getting screwed over. Forcing a bad ending isn't a good thing. otherwise, it'll turn into a shaggy dog story.

Example: You cannot give Berserk a perfectly happy ending. Only a satisfying one.


The line I bolded I take issue with.

Upon watching Fist of the North Star, a year or so ago, I came to a realization. Any show can have a great ending full of awesome positively.

To give Berserk a good ending is fine, as long as the author justifies it with good and proper story telling.

One of the big undertones of the Berserk Anime/Golden Age arc is how those years spent together helped it's characters develop into mature if flawed adults, yet despite that maturation they are all unable to fulfill their dreams and are beaten back into the ground by their cruel harsh world of reality.
Griffith wants to become King, Guts tries to live a life without war, Caska attempts to become a leader in her own right.

Yet while our heroes changed for the better, they are still trapped into the roles they were born into. Griffith a commoner, Caska a woman, and Guts a mercenary.

The entire story following that Flashback Arc is about Guts and the people he meets getting their own second chances at life.
Guts is known as "the struggler" and as such struggles against the hand fate has felt him.

Its not the entire point of the story, but its a theme the show uses. One that tells me to expect a happy successful ending.

And back to Fist of the North Star, the ending was set up perfectly into a bitter sweet finally. The hero was strong and the villain up against the ropes. Shit was down to the wire and no survivors planned ahead. The show had a theme however, one exemplified by its first opening "Ai o Torimodose!!" (You wa Shock). The name translates to "Take back the love", the shows plot is about Kenshiro taking back his wife. That's it, its simple yet compelling.

To summarise, whether a show deserves a happy or sad ending lies only in how the show ends. Not in how harsh the series is before the ending.
Attack on Titan could have a sad ending, but its also capable of a happy one. The characters are fighting for that happy ending dude, who the fuck says they can't get it? The harsher and more difficult the path, the grander the ending you can deliver.

In before Kurosawa.
Posted 9/22/14
There's no anime that has made feel like Berserk did. That's the most unique anime I've seen in my entire life...followed by Terra E and Monster.

After that...most of the stuff I've seen is pretty boring.
Posted 9/22/14

Felstalker wrote:


PeripheralVisionary wrote:

Bad endings should go to appropriate works; happy ends to happy works. If there is anything the fanbase hates, it's the feeling of getting screwed over. Forcing a bad ending isn't a good thing. otherwise, it'll turn into a shaggy dog story.

Example: You cannot give Berserk a perfectly happy ending. Only a satisfying one.


The line I bolded I take issue with.

Upon watching Fist of the North Star, a year or so ago, I came to a realization. Any show can have a great ending full of awesome positively.

To give Berserk a good ending is fine, as long as the author justifies it with good and proper story telling.

One of the big undertones of the Berserk Anime/Golden Age arc is how those years spent together helped it's characters develop into mature if flawed adults, yet despite that maturation they are all unable to fulfill their dreams and are beaten back into the ground by their cruel harsh world of reality.
Griffith wants to become King, Guts tries to live a life without war, Caska attempts to become a leader in her own right.

Yet while our heroes changed for the better, they are still trapped into the roles they were born into. Griffith a commoner, Caska a woman, and Guts a mercenary.

The entire story following that Flashback Arc is about Guts and the people he meets getting their own second chances at life.
Guts is known as "the struggler" and as such struggles against the hand fate has felt him.

Its not the entire point of the story, but its a theme the show uses. One that tells me to expect a happy successful ending.

And back to Fist of the North Star, the ending was set up perfectly into a bitter sweet finally. The hero was strong and the villain up against the ropes. Shit was down to the wire and no survivors planned ahead. The show had a theme however, one exemplified by its first opening "Ai o Torimodose!!" (You wa Shock). The name translates to "Take back the love", the shows plot is about Kenshiro taking back his wife. That's it, its simple yet compelling.

To summarise, whether a show deserves a happy or sad ending lies only in how the show ends. Not in how harsh the series is before the ending.
Attack on Titan could have a sad ending, but its also capable of a happy one. The characters are fighting for that happy ending dude, who the fuck says they can't get it? The harsher and more difficult the path, the grander the ending you can deliver.

In before Kurosawa.


Yeah, I am 100% sure Miura doesn't know how to end this. I don't personally see Guts living through this in most scenarios.
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