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Post Reply Is the story or the visual content more important in an anime?
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28 / M
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Posted 5/10/16
I generally need both. They two are usually well-correlated so it generally isn't an issue. Extremely well done animation (with visual and audio effects) is extremely expensive for any studio and so animation studios generally only do high quality animations for really good shows.

Bakemonogatari was a good example of mediocre art but was extremely watchable because of the story. Hitsugi no Chaika another example.

Sometimes the visual quality is intentionally poor in order to reflect the original manga artist's rendering (perfect example is Attack on Titan). InitialD is another example here. The characters and the action scenes are terribly drawn in the original manga because the original art was also (comparatively) terrible.

Whether the particular anime is based on a LN/VN/manga has a lot of influence on the animation quality as well. Anime originals aren't bound to animating crappy source material so there's generally can be more creative freedoms and much more detailed character designs as a result.

Owari no Seraph, had above average animation quality but the story was very lacking. Rokujouma no Shinryakusha was another one. Argevollen.
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22 / M / United States
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Posted 5/10/16
Story, though obviously that only extends so far. I'm not super picky about animation quality. Ever story I like has at least decent animation, in my opinion.
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Posted 5/10/16
You need both but I feel animation is sort of under valued. It is called animation cause it is animated.... The thing is why care about the story much when the story is already there? You know that thing called a novel or manga? That is the story...

Like take the upcoming anime rewrite, I've read the vn already, I want it to be the best it can be, but at the same time if the whole thing is just lame as hell animation with the story almost to par with the vn, that won't impress me that much as an anime.... It needs that extra anime boost known as animation.

I mean sure some anime fall flat on their faces due to bad story adaption, my fave example is umineko. But hey we did fine with no anime.... If you ask a umineko fan how's the anime, and they will reply "what anime?" That is the thing you got to ask people how they thought the adaption was. It is case by case fan by fan really. Or maybe the story sucked in the source so lets change it for the anime! Uh oh here comes the angry fans!

But like I said I think people underrate animation, you will give them this crazy good animated part and most will just say some shit like, "omg this crap wasn't in the manga." As much as I like the ace attorney anime, it is pretty lame, they stick super safe with the game script, have this ultra choppy animation in the op (they fixed it finally). Like there hasn't been a moment where really the animation mattered, it might as well just have sprites... Like I feel like the anime is just kind of pointless if you have the game. I guess it is for the lazy people who just didn't play the games... and that is no good. Plus court room drama doesn't translate to anime very well, at least they way ace attorney is written. The game already had expressive sprites and nice poses, the anime hasn't even really had any new standout poses that weren't in the game.. the only part worth mentioning really is they part where he hits his head against the glass that was anime points.

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21 / M / Massachusetts
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Posted 5/10/16
Story. Story and Character are the two most essential elements of any narrative. If you have those you can carry even other horrendous faults. Visuals are nice but a good looking travesty is a travesty still
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23 / M
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Posted 5/10/16

walker1455 wrote:

As you say, a combination of both is ideal. However, if I absolutely had to choose, it would be story that takes importance. Look at it like storytelling is a cake. The cake is your base story, with all the ingredients being the plot, characters, pacing, planning, and structure. The icing is what makes the story appealing to our senses. Its the soundtrack, the designs, and of course, the animation. If your base cake is dry, or tasteless, or any kind of bad metaphor you can think of, then chances are that icing won't help all that much. Maybe the icing is good, buts little more than an accessory to a bad cake.

On the other hand, I'm perfectly willing to eat a cake without icing if its good. Legend of the Galactic Heroes is an anime that I don't think is particularly special animation wise, but I'm being gripped by an interesting story. Its the cake with very basic icing. While I can't speak for everybody, I think I would prefer it if the cake itself tastes fine even if its doesn't look as nice as that multi-layer wedding cake thats also available to be eaten.

This is the same line of thought that I had, though I wouldn't have been able to explain as well.

I usually prefer story over animation, with the exceptions being Sports or Slice of Life anime. Sports anime tend to have a fairly standard story format. The actions scenes and characters tend to be the biggest draw. For Slice of Life, a strong story isn't as integral.
Posted 5/10/16
Story matters more. The story line is what keeps you coming back for more rather than quitting out of disgust. When I see an anime with beautiful animation but a crappy story line, all I can think about is wasted potential.

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24 / F / California
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Posted 5/11/16
Good story is what made me hook to anime in the first place.
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F / California
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Posted 5/11/16
Both I would always say....

If I'd really have to choose, the story... depending on how they put a trailer, or synopsis on it and what genre it is, then I would immediately watch it. Although animation/visual is what draws a person first to check out a certain series.
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23 / M / Norway
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Posted 5/11/16
If i had to choose one, i would for the most part say a good story, but i wouldnt be oposed to some amazing visual stuff even if the storytelling isnt on par.
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27 / M / Northern Ireland
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Posted 5/11/16
Depends.

Something with an objectively good story can be subjectively boring to watch.
Something that is subjectively very enjoyable can have an objectively god f**king awful story.

The same holds true for visuals.

While every aspect of a media form can be objectively critiqued, individual enjoyment of said media is entirely subjective; that is unless you are one of those people that lets IMDB tell you what your opinion should be... if you are go away and never talk to me.

For me personally while I do tend to like aesthetically pleasing and well animated SoLs* and have dropped shows for wonky art styles I don't feel as though I favour art over story. I've dropped more things for finding them boring that for how they've looked.



*Slice of Life anime tend to have good art and animation due to simply having less to draw compared to other more cluttered and busy anime in my experience. This is especially true of backdrop art ala Non Non Biyori. SoL anime also tends to be a bit light on story for many peoples tastes, being mostly fluff.
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M / Baka Zone
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Posted 5/11/16
Meh.

I would rather have both than just either one. Good visuals can make a good story even better.
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37 / M / SW Ontario, Canada
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Posted 5/11/16 , edited 5/11/16
I would say that both are important, and that the best anime do both at a high level, but if I had to choose one I would say story comes out on top. Of course, if something has a really truly amazing or unique visual style but little else to stand on, I could see myself checking it out just for the visuals.

This is something I often find myself dealing with when it comes to the harem light novel garbage that is so dominant in the market right now. I'll see the key art and maybe even a trailer or two and think "Hey, this looks pretty nice" or "Wow, the girls in this are really cute" or "They did a nice job with the fight scenes." Then I'll read the summary of the series and see it's just another harm battle anime light novel adaptation and I'll tune out immediately, in most cases not even bothering to watch a single episode.
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Posted 5/11/16
The story takes priority. A pretty looking anime with a generic or incoherent story is like a beautifully plated dish that tastes like cardboard. Even if it looks delicious, if it tastes like cardboard, would you finish it? Maybe, but you'd get very little pleasure out of it. However, having an appealing or unique aesthetic can make a somewhat average story more interesting, and really good art can even add to the story.
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21 / M / United States
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Posted 5/11/16
I guess the story. However, if the visuals/ soundtrack are good enough, they can compensate for the story if it's lacking, at least for me. ex: SAO's story was like something like a 4/10 but the visuals and soundtrack bump the series up to a 6/10 for me.
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24 / M
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Posted 5/11/16
For anime-originals I prefer story. For manga/novel/visual novel adaptations I prefer artstyle and animation. I nearly always prefer the source material for a given series, and having appealing art can draw my interest to a series much more effectively than a well made story. Of course, if an anime has an enjoyable story and good art it's a winner in my book .
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