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Post Reply Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation Discussion
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Posted 1/9/16
Seriously disappointed in the direction they took with this series. There's actual background and mythos in the PSO Universe and they decide to treat it as basically a school anime with PSO2 as a driving force (and to be honest a poor driving force).

The first couple of minutes got me excited with what I was seeing the a fast bait and switch to the real world. The characters we've encountered so far are pretty bland and generic and there isn't anything to really pull you in. What little time we do see "in-game" they can't decide whether to treat it like an actual game (health bars, skill windows, etc.) or a "real life" equivalent where the characters do their actions as if they're living them (at one point an in-game player is out of breath for no reason). At least other anime based in being in a game actually acknowledged the game aspects.

Of all the directions they could've taken this series I feel they've taken the safe and boring route.
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Posted 1/9/16 , edited 1/9/16

Tsukento wrote:

Right from the very beginning when the series was unveiled in preview trailers, I knew this wasn't going to end well.

Sure enough, my fears were right - the show's focus is primarily on the teenagers and their lives, with PSO2 thrown in. This episode featured a whopping six minutes of the protagonist actually playing the game. When he wasn't playing, we're shown probably every single slice-of-life teenage high school anime cliché we've seen various times before.

Izumi is the average, boring protagonist that doesn't play games but is somehow useful. The student council president is a closet nerd that everyone in the school goes crazy over. The student council is uptight and against the protagonist joining them, complete with the glasses wearing member being more uptight than the others. The protagonist's bro is just there with a wacky personality. Perverted adult that gets flustered by a teenage girl.

Yeah, this really isn't how I would have gone about adapting PSO2 into an anime. This is the Sword Art Online approach. A really boring one, at that. Was there really any legitimate reason to not adapt the actual game's story into an anime with new (custom) characters involved with the in-game ones (NPCs)? It's really bad when this is supposed to be an anime about an MMORPG, but it has less focus on that than any other anime that have gone this route. It's especially sad when you consider how .hack//SIGN was originally inspired by Phantasy Star Online, showed off more of the game world and managed to set up the characters without detracting from the main setup, yet PSO2's anime focuses less on the game world and more on the outside world.

This is just the first episode, yeah, but I'm really not looking forward to the rest of this. It's obvious this is just to advertise the game, but it's a really bad attempt. Even the next episode preview for episode 2 shows nothing but the school life.

As for the opening and ending? Meh. Really not feeling them. Especially not the opening after you compare them to openings from the Phantasy Star games, like Universe, Portable 2/Portable 2 infinity and Zero (in Japan, at least).

I think it's a mistake to directly compare Phantasy Star Online 2 to the something .hack or Sword Art Online. For while all three anime have the existence of popular MMORPGs in common the similarities really end there. After all, while virtual reality technology is at last taking off; thanks to devices like the Gear VR, PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift; currently Phantasy Star Online 2 doesn't have any official support. That might change once PlayStation VR is released later this year, since there is already a version of Phantasy Star Online 2 on the PS4. Yet until then it's important draw distinctions between what is technologically possible today and what still remains in the realm of science fiction.

This mean making sure that the representation of Phantasy Star Online 2 in the this anime, a game Sega encourages you to take an intersest in, must remain largely grounded in reality. As a matter of practicality this means using a PC or a PlayStation Vita, as the means to accessing the game. You won’t find any VR headsets here, since you can’t buy any yet that are compatible with Phantasy Star Online 2. Now granted, there are certain liberties with how each player’s avatars actually interact with the game’s virtual world but that’s not too different then how Summer Wars depicted people’s avatars in OZ; a stylistic flourish to show the audience how people might more fully experience the game.

Of course, that’s not to say things will remain entirely mundane in this anime, baring the sudden introduction of VR technology. Already there are hints at something darker afoot in the story – namely those unexplained accidents I mentioned earlier. At this point there is every possibility that these hints are going to tie into the latest update for Phantasy Star Online 2 (the real MMORPG), which features enemies in a post-apocalyptic world that looks very similar to a modern Earth. These enemies are a mix of horribly mutated humans and mundane machines turned into aggressive creatures, such as cars and trains twisted into vicious animalistic shapes. Suffice to say, it will be interesting to see if this is the direction that this anime eventually takes.

If all this comes to pass and there is a surprise twist then we might just have one of the darkest anime of the season on our hands.
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Posted 1/9/16 , edited 1/9/16
I think you may have misunderstood what I meant by my comparisons with .hack and SAO. Both of those titles focus on online games being played by the protagonists of the series', with the former having more focus on the online world as the players interact with one another as they play The World, as well as growing as people and delving into what kinds of lives they have outside the game. SAO, meanwhile, went this same route initially but then started shifting focus to the real world and the actual lives of the players outside of the game.

The problem I have is that they shouldn't have gone the same route of mixing real world with the game. The anime should have been just an adaption of the game itself. There was no need to make the anime about kids playing PSO2.
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Posted 1/9/16
Having never played the game I wasn't sure what to expect, but it looks like so far the game is being treated as a means for the President to get close to the MC. From the preview it looks like things will actually take off in the second episode.
Kintor 
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Posted 1/9/16 , edited 1/9/16

Tsukento wrote:

I think you may have misunderstood what I meant by my comparisons with .hack and SAO. Both of those titles focus on online games being played by the protagonists of the series', with the former having more focus on the online world as the players interact with one another as they play The World, as well as growing as people and delving into what kinds of lives they have outside the game. SAO, meanwhile, went this same route initially but then started shifting focus to the real world and the actual lives of the players outside of the game.

The problem I have is that they shouldn't have gone the same route of mixing real world with the game. The anime should have been just an adaption of the game itself. There was no need to make the anime about kids playing PSO2.

There is evident need to depict this anime both in terms of the virtual world and the physical world, since this is how Phantasy Star Online 2 actually works. I know that some people like to tout video games as form of escapism, singling out MMORPGs as being the most infamous examples, but I've never thought of games in such terms. A good video game has the power to strengthen a person's resolve and perhaps even make someone better prepared for all of life's challenges. Even if you don't plan on fighting orcs anytime soon there is still something to be for the merits of lateral thinking and perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds. This is especially true of MMORPGs, which successfully combine the pragmatic situations of a video game environment with real-time communication.

Its early days yet, being the first episode, but there's still plenty of time to go interesting places with these characters both in the physical world and the virtual world. Bonus points to the creators of this anime if they can come-up with a way for Phantasy Star Online 2 to have dramatic consequences for the characters in the physical world. The sudden appearance of creatures or concepts from the game in the physical world is unlikely at this point but not entirely out of the question. Ultimately, I think that having the characters attitudes to life shaped by the game first and foremost might be a more likely way for the show's writers to depict any tangible connection between the worlds.
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Posted 1/9/16 , edited 1/9/16
Yes, PSO2 is an online game, but that doesn't mean the anime adaption should be about high school kids playing the game, and there is no need to try connecting the two worlds together later on. The game itself has a story that could have been adapted into an animation. There's more than enough content to work with, as the game is already going into Episode 4 later this year. Hell, every single Phantasy Star has a story suited for anime could have been done, instead. Especially when you consider that the series' visual style was always that of the anime of the times they came out.
Kintor 
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Posted 1/9/16 , edited 1/9/16

Tsukento wrote:

Yes, PSO2 is an online game, but that doesn't mean the anime adaption should be about high school kids playing the game, and there is no need to try connecting the two worlds together later on. The game itself has a story that could have been adapted into an animation. There's more than enough content to work with, as the game is already going into Episode 4 later this year. Hell, every single Phantasy Star has a story suited for anime could have been done, instead. Especially when you consider that the series' visual style was always that of the anime of the times they came out.

On the contrary, the link between the physical world and the virtual world is one of the most interesting things about MMORPGs. It's honestly astonishing to think about, digital technology has reach such a level of sophistication that it's now possible for people to interact with one another in a virtual world while simultaneously existing in the physical world. This is not science fiction - I've been doing it for years! I’ve seen strange virtual lands and met interesting people, across many different MMORPGs, all from the comfort of my home. Some gamers today can get so wrapped up in what's right in front of them that they totally forget how amazing it is that an MMORPG even exists.

Anyway, my point is that I think it's a good thing that many different shows and movies have endeavoured to explore the potential of MMORPGs in greater detail, even if these works of fiction tend to push the envelope in terms of what was technically possible at the time. So, I welcome that Phantasy Star Online 2 has decided to show its characters in the physical world and not just in the game's virtual world. It remains to be seen whether this anime will say anything interesting about people and how they interact with MMORPGs but at this stage I'm going to stick-around and see where this ride ends up. Phantasy Star Online 2 might yet surprise us all, until then I'm enjoying the premise and its not-so-subtle nods to Sega IPs both old and new.
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Posted 1/9/16
Who cares if the story is bad/cliche/boring or whatever other negative remarks you can say.

There are RAPPIES in this. Rappies > over anything else.

I give this anime 10/10 because there are rappies in it.
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Posted 1/9/16 , edited 1/9/16

Tsukento wrote:

Yes, PSO2 is an online game, but that doesn't mean the anime adaption should be about high school kids playing the game, and there is no need to try connecting the two worlds together later on. The game itself has a story that could have been adapted into an animation. There's more than enough content to work with, as the game is already going into Episode 4 later this year. Hell, every single Phantasy Star has a story suited for anime could have been done, instead. Especially when you consider that the series' visual style was always that of the anime of the times they came out.



Jokes and sarcasm aside. I'd have to agree with this. I would have loved to see the story from the MMO re-imagined into an anime. I'd have loved to see scenes like Dark Falz Elder's revival, Haddred's departure and Quna singing to him (the feels) and such incarnated into anime form.

I'm not saying it won't be happen in the anime we're given atm but the focus would be cut in between the game's story and the player's story in that case. I'd have preferred a PSO2 anime where it's not an MMO. People are saying this anime is in fact, just a giant commercial for the game with EP4 almost out so that more players join/ play again XD

PS sorry for the double post D:
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Posted 1/9/16
As others have said, it feels like the whole direction of this series was wrong from the beginning.

I wasn't expecting much, but I was at least expecting more than a 24 minute long commercial for "PSO2." (Boy they sure do love that acronym don;t they?)

It wasn't the worst thing I've ever seen but it just made me sort of sad thinking how good a proper Phantasy Star anime could be.
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Posted 1/9/16
Not sure why I watched the whole thing through... I need to watch the raw Japanese version with the ads in the middle of the ad.
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Posted 1/9/16 , edited 1/9/16

StriderShinryu wrote:
It just made me sort of sad thinking how good a proper Phantasy Star anime could be.


*goes and gets Phantasy Star II cartridge from shelf*

....

*long-suffering sigh*
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Posted 1/9/16
Oh, yes. I am still trying to forget the AGI Mage and the INT Warrior.
Kintor 
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Posted 1/9/16 , edited 1/9/16

StriderShinryu wrote:

As others have said, it feels like the whole direction of this series was wrong from the beginning.

I wasn't expecting much, but I was at least expecting more than a 24 minute long commercial for "PSO2." (Boy they sure do love that acronym don;t they?)

It wasn't the worst thing I've ever seen but it just made me sort of sad thinking how good a proper Phantasy Star anime could be.

In reality Phantasy Star Online 2, the anime based on the game, has never tried to hide exactly what is - propaganda. The only difference between Phantasy Star Online 2 and other anime of this nature is that an audience already exists for the game. What we have here is the result of consumer demand hungry for anything new associated with Phantasy Star Online 2, even if it doesn't originate from the game itself. This is the kind of hard-edged marketing that Sega should be seeking to do more of in the future, aggressive promotion on a grand scale. Backed by the dedicated and zealous Phantasy Star fanbase I think that this anime can go far.
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Posted 1/9/16
well that was freaking disspationing. wasn't expecting yet another MMO game.
Was expecting a story set in the PSO universe! dropped.
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