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Posted 2/8/08
Well even if the plot is really common, if the execution is good, should it matter?
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28 / M / Singapore
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Posted 2/9/08
When I look at my manga collection (in order of purchase): Shaman King. Peacemaker Kurogane. Zatch Bell. Tsubasa RC. Bleach.

Not exactly a very wide collection, but some of them have recurring themes, like Shaman King and Zatch Bell: tournament to decide the 'king'. Zatch Bell and Bleach have the common (even among other anime/manga) 'protect someone important' theme. Shaman King/Zatch Bell/Bleach characters all have 'partners'. Bleach and Peacemaker share the same 'squad' system (at least, when I first heard about the Gotei 13 my first thoughts were the Shinsengumi) And all of them have the fantasy aspect. Bleach and Shaman King involves ghosts/spirits. But almost all of the series have tried to distinguish themselves from one another. I admit to liking shonen manga more than others.


We all know that there is a protagonist who: (a) often eats a lot; (b) often has hidden or suppressed "abilities"; (c) often faced hardship in the past; (d) often is incredibly innocent; (e) often is completely undervalued by his peers; (f) often is incredibly competetive; (g) often is childlike.


I can match different qualities to different manga/anime protagonists, but (b) is interesting, coz it'll appear in almost every manga/anime. It's a technique that writers/producers do to explain 'unexplainable' character growth at a critical part of the story. Unavoidable in all aspects of fiction, really. As a result, anything that the writer does to show character growth will often be casted into this catagory. And who doesn't have hidden or supressed abilities? Just watch Shugo Chara...


We all know that the protagonist usually has a friend who: (a) serves as comic relief; (b) strives to be strong, but inevitably will never quite be as strong as the protagonist or his rival.


Comic relief is an essential part of any character cast, and especially so in Japanese humour I believe. As for (b), Shaman King breaks the mold with that. The main protagonist (Asakura Yoh) is the second weakest of the five (in the manga) while the 'rival' Tao Ren is the weakest. The 'comic relief' Chocolove and Horohoro ranks first and second respectively, while the guy (Lyserg) who 'strives to be strong' does indeed surpass his rival at third place. They're all quite complex as characters, and every character has had their moments of glory at one point or another, so it doesn't really fit into the 'typical' shonen manga scene.

As for the Bleach vs Yu Yu Hakusho...

Bleach has been criticised for being too similar to Yu Yu Hakusho. In fact, it was rejected once by Shonen Jump because of that (I think)... and look where it is now. Bleach has good character development, but it hasn't developed everyone yet. And I'm afraid that some interesting characters will not be developed because of lack of time.

Apart from mentioning the fact that it's hard to find any original ideas nowadays, think about what 'shonen' as a genre means. The protagonist's characteristics mentioned above... they define the genre. Shonen is meant to be light-hearted when the character's not kicking ass, and when he does, he does it in style. He's powerful, and he's the only character in the entire friggin world who can save the world. These 'core characteristics' are the prevailing factors that predecessors have left behind.

Imagine if Kanda from D Gray Man... Sesshoumaru from Inuyasha... were made into the leading protagonist of their respective shows. I won't even label them 'shonen' anymore. 'Shonen' literally means 'young boy' or 'youth', so anyone mature instantly rules them out from the catagory. And dark-themed anime (Like Witch Hunter Robin and Death Note) don't really fit the bill of a typical shonen anime, and they aren't classified as such.

And it's sad but true that side characters never get developed as well as main characters. That's why side characters will never be 'stronger' than main characters, and main characters will never be stronger than the main male protagonist. Or the main protagonist is able to do something that the others can't. C'mon, there must be something special about the guy that you're spending hours reading/watching...

Off-the-beaten-track anime like Death Note, Jigoku Shojo... will forever be known as 'that weird anime.' It's advantageous for anime and manga to be banded into a genre, and the only way for them to do it is to conform to its rules. Take 'mahou shojo' (magical girl) anime and manga for example... it's so established that they're starting to poke fun at each other. Shugo Chara is typically 'mahou shojo' in many aspects, but at the same time, it's different. I laugh at those times when someone says something heroic (or heroine-ic), then in the next line goes "What did I just say?" or "Did I just say that?" But Shugo Chara has interesting themes, and that's why I watch it even though it's a very typical 'mahou shojo' anime.

Now that we're on 'mahou shojo'... the similarities could go on forever. Main character usually ditzy, clumsy. Good at a certain sport or musical instrument, but bad at 'feminine' things like cooking. And when has anyone seen a neat magical girl? Not so talented in academics (if it consists of a group, someone HAS to be the group genius. Ditto the previous point. Someone has to be the group neat-freak. Usually is the genius.). Transformation scenes, followed by the usual heroic phrase. Fight scene ends when the main character uses the 'finishing move' that kills the enemy regardless. Has a crush on a senior. And the list goes on... You'd think that this cow was 'over-milked'. But you still see these types of anime coming up to this day and I don't find it wrong liking a certain anime/manga just because it's similar to the other one. If you dislike this because it's too similar to that, just skip that anime. There's more than enough anime out there that are different from each other.
Posted 4/11/08
I don't know if anyones posted this yet or not but (i'm sorry if my answer is wrong, i only read the highlighted parts)
Fushigi Yugi and Inuyasha's settings are very similar in the sense that
-girl magically enters world
-world is a fictional variation of ancient china (fushigi yugi) or japan (inuyasha)
-girl has unknown powers at first
-girl falls in love with strong warrior of that era
-girl, strong warrior set out to seek something (people, object)

yeah, though from those points they seem REALLY similar, i think that character interaction and details of the storyline make them unique. my personal preference in Inuyasha, though I do like both.
Once again, I'm sorry if my response was somewhat wrong...
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35 / M / California
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Posted 4/11/08
It's my oustanding belief that people don't like cliches. The more i look around the more i come to understand that original material is getting harder and harder to create. Writing is a standard of people being impressed by others and wishing to either lengthen what they were moved by or keep the normal and stick with the impression of greatness.

It's hard to be original these days when it comes to themes. Story theme's have been cropped down and spun around so many times in the last history of writing; originality was over and done with when Boewolf and The Tale of Genji came out. (In case those not in the know; the first epic poem and the first novel).

The only way we can stay out of the stagnate waters of writing, is repeating a theme but telling it a different way. Even that is in short order.
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22 / M / CBR city
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Posted 4/11/08

shujun87 wrote:


ShenOkito wrote:


shujun87 wrote:

I would suppose the people making the animes (animators?) would usually try to make something in genres which they would know would be popular. Hence, the romance, the harem-type, and the slice-of-life. So i won't suppose there'd be much deviance from the general norm. But of course, there are animes which are quite unique. I -actually- think animes revolving ard the same few genres are okay, I've only got issues with animes which are choked with fillers, and the storyline's dragging for much too long. (you know what they are.. haha)

I'd like to see more.. um.. supernatural ones though. Somethign like Ghost Hunt, that'd scare the shit outta me. HAHA, too many lovey- dovey anies about..



So for the most part, they aim for money rather than originality?


i would think so, no? Though, this may be just a one- sided view of mine.. =/

one good example would be fan- service. Like the flashing of underwear, and yadda yadda. I think it's too much.. and there isn't a need to do so. so many animes are doing just that..haha why the need for so much ecchi- ness (if there's such a term)



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Posted 4/11/08
origional topics exist, but they're too hard to make. its easier to modify something than to make it new. and, for the most part, how many truely origional topics are there? almost anything can be called 'copied'.
Posted 4/11/08
I guess if you look at almost any anime you can find similarities in them, magical girl transformations, ecchi, harem, gundam, shonen etc...when there are so many animes out there it's kind of hard to make something original these days....I guess we like them because it is what we are used to...
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26 / F / Somewhere in hell
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Posted 4/11/08
You can't exactly say that they aren't original at all, well, in my opinion .
Most of their ideas perhaps comes to a clash with the older animes, which make it almost the same and a coincidence..
But the main character genre thing seems to be a tradition in most shounen, lol

Another coincidence in Ah! My goddess and another anime (I forgot the name )
A Loser encounters 3 girls in his house.
He falls in love with the first and most beautiful one that appears in his house.
Then came another 2, one is the bigger one and another is the younger one
So here begins chemistry bla blabla
Then the girl he fell in love with needs to leave.
Everyone around her tries to bring her back.
Loser confesses.
Ends up together

End of my crap lol
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28 / M / Singapore
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Posted 4/12/08

ShenOkito wrote:


marco2050 wrote:
..................


Damn....that's far more than I anticipated. But all of it does, indeed, seem entirely accurate. So here's another question: do you like those similarities?


When I read/watch, I don't usually read for similarities, but for differences. The similarities surface only when I think about it, and most of the time I ignore it when I do notice it, so you can't say I like them or dislike them. They're... just there. I don't let it bother me beacuse I've accepted that similarities are bound to come by, no matter what genre you look at.

Differences... well, each anime should try to offer something different, and it's a matter of personal preference which one you end up liking. When deciding to watch an anime, you may go "That's too similar to -insert anime name-", but you may end up missing something good. Or end up disappointed. It's like crackers (or other food products)... under the packaging, every brand essentially offers the same thing, yet you see people who buy only a certain brand, or people who don't really mind.

The problems that could arise is that it's easy (or easier) to produce such anime or manga because ideas could be pulled from various sources and it'll not really be plagarising anything. So you'd probably be stuck seeing the same formulaic anime coming up the same way fantasy stories have prophecies.
Posted 7/27/09 , edited 4/28/16
No OP; out of context
Posted 7/27/09 , edited 4/28/16
Without the opening post, this thread is pointless
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