Animation thread

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Courier, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Cliches are present in every form of fiction. And overgeneralizing an entire medium is kind of dumb.
    Most anime DOES suck however, jsut like most american tv and movies suck too.
    But just like with those there are some very good shows among the filfth.
    I am also baffled by americans seeming distaste for subtitles, I grew up with subtitled movies.

    On the subject of Studio Gihbli, if their whole infrastructure falls apart with the permanent departure of a single director, maybe it was a good thing they finally closed down, they are a good studio that makes good movies (for the most part, the yalso have their flops and duds) but they get way too much exposure while bein the most self reiterative and stuck on their ways studio in japan, ala Walt Disney. Maybe with their dissolution other studios might get some much needed Spotlight.

    Reccomended watches:
    Series:
    Death note, Attack on Titan, Trigun, FMA Brotherhood, Cowboy Bebop, Paranoia Agent and Serial Experiments Lain.

    Movies:
    Mind Game, Tekkonkinkreet, Short Peace, Red Line, Steamboy, The Girl Who lept through time, Summer Wars and Memories.
     
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  2. Courier

    Courier Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Orderite

    Apr 10, 2011
    If you like sci-fi/robots I'd also recommend Gunbuster (6 ep. OVA), Bubblegum Crisis (8 ep. OVA), Giant Robo (13 ep. OVA), and Infinite Ryvius (26 ep. series).

    idk how many of those you've already seen but they're all pretty good.
     
  3. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    Madoka IS good (and if you liked it from just 2 episodes, it starts to get going after episode 3, so...!), though it has a few of its own pitfalls that I recognize in other works. For instance, no matter how hard my friend tries to tell me that Eureka 7 (pronounced eh-ooh-reh-ka, not yuu-ree-kah) is a wonderful anime that's deep and riveting, I just can't get past the whiny protagonist. Doesn't matter how adventurous his own pasttime is mixed with this mech he gets to pilot, no he has to whine about his own lack of understanding of the world adults inhabit all the time. Sure, Evangelion did this in spades, but the payoff of the finale made any issues with Shinji's character truly satisfying in the end, and E7 just makes the main character's griping UNBEARABLE. Anyway, the point I was getting at was Madoka has a touch of this, as well, sadly. The story does a great job of taking 2 middle school girls and transplanting them from their incredibly normal life to the exaggeratedly bizarre life of the stereotypical Japanese mahou shoujo (magical girl) and forcing these children to come face to face with the most grim and dark, adult themes they shouldn't be ready for, but at times the titular character Madoka's cries are just irritating and feel out of character. WHY is she being left to her own devices by her parents who just shrug and continue on with their meal while their daughter starts sobbing at the table as a result of experiencing the death of someone close? Why aren't they actually bothering with consoling her, and when her sobbing fits reach school, why is her sadness invisible to the rest of the world? Sometimes, trying too hard to make a character's sadness translate into the viewer's sadness is just too much. Too heavy handed, too exhausting. Just let us get invested with the characters at our own pace, please, so WE can feel sad without the show trying to force it on us.

    Madoka IS good, though, so don't let any of those criticisms come off as a warning to stay away from it.

    But for my money, One Piece is the pinnacle of perfection where emotion-evocative storytelling is concerned. The story (be it anime or manga) doesn't tell the audience "now is when you cry", it just MAKES you bawl and sob. Despite being largely formulaic shounen, it's always satisfying when the protagonist, Luffy, overcomes his adversary, despite "the law of DBZ" which states that "we know Goku (Luffy in OP's case) always wins". The characters face enough complex adversity that their victories don't feel forced and their joy becomes the audience's joy. But, even better, the series takes a tiring trope (that of "characters NEVER die") and turns it into fuel for some of the most powerful tears any story could pull out of its viewers. The sheer length of the story gives the audience an abundance of time to grow attached to the characters, so even when you go into a major flashback with the knowledge which the present already established that "heroine X is going to die, I already know this", you're still struck by the character's demise. You spend enough time with each character that you get to love many of them, so the struggles they face truly reach the emotions of the viewers, something a much smaller story such as Madoka can't really pull off without forcing it somewhat.

    However, despite how strongly I feel about One Piece being THE best anime around, I still don't go advertising it very much for the same reason I don't try to "spread the word" of dota: It may be great, it may be wonderful, it may be the best there is, but the sheer volume of time that getting acquainted with it to reach a moderate level of understanding its greatness requires is too much to ask of any random passer-by if they haven't already discovered it on there own. If you have low tolerance for ongoing stories, you'll struggle with One Piece.

    Its managing to take riveting storytelling and condensing it to palatable length that's why almost everyone includes Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood in their lists of recommended viewings. It's got great subject matter, characters you spend enough time with to develop powerful bonds with, excellent pacing, and many other qualities that it's hard to list them all, yet only asks you dedicate 64 20-25minute episodes of your time. It has its drawbacks, it skipped a bit TOO MUCH in condensing itself as far as it has, but you only notice if you're more familiar with the source material.
     
  4. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    "But for my money, One Piece is the pinnacle of perfection where emotion-evocative storytelling is concerned"

    LOL good one..... wait, yo uare serious?
     
  5. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    Make me cry about burning a ship like I'm a little baby saying goodbye to his pet kitten to show me how easy it is, then come back and point out how OP's nothing special. =P
     
  6. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    One Piece is a fun shonen to read, that's for sure, but "pinacle of perfection"? How much manga do you actually read? Because if you think that any of Jumps cash cow trio mangas are anything other than generic diversions you probably need to expand your reference pool. That's on the same level as saying that any DC/Marvel storyline is the pinacle of literature.....
     
  7. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    There you go again taking something I said and reading something I never said. I DID NOT say OP is the pinnacle of perfection in storytelling as a whole. I said it's the pinnacle of perfection at explicitly pulling at reader/viewer heartstrings like it was a puppet master pulling the strings to elicit the reaction it wanted, almost as if on queue. I said it stood as a stark opposite of other series that try to "force" emotion out of the audience without actually eliciting it through the story itself. Playing the sad, slow music to try and make people choke up instead of the scene's events themselves causing the tears to flow. Using group psychology combined with background characters cheering to get the audience to feel excited or happy or pumped, instead of the story itself thrilling/delighting/exhilarating them. One Piece does the latter in both cases; you don't feel sadness or joy or confusion or panic or fear because the panel/scene outright tells you to, but because Oda wove a story together so incredibly well that you naturally feel what the scene wants you to feel, and no small part of this is because it's so LONG that you naturally fall in love with the characters, so their plight becomes your plight, their joys your joys, etc. It's not necessarily a genius stroke of storytelling that has never been achieved before, but as far as stories go, when it wants to "get them feels", it GETS them, without trying to force it, and it does it time after time, without fail. Thus, "pinnacle of perfection where emotion-evocative storytelling is concerned".
     
  8. Kaison58

    Kaison58 First time out of the vault

    8
    Aug 6, 2014
    youtube link is not working.
     
  9. sabrina850

    sabrina850 Guest

    3D MAX or MAYA for making human are the best. you can use them both at the same time to create amazing animations.
     
  10. memetics

    memetics ☢ Mysterious Stranger ☢

    214
    Jan 2, 2009
    Many Pieces... (See what I did there?) (-;

    Thanks for the recommendations, guys; I'm adding the new ones to my list. @Walpknut: I've seen a few eps of Serial Experiments Lain; the series definitely intrigued me. Just haven't made the time yet to continue it. The rest of your series list are all on my top faves list, except I need to re-watch Paranoia Agent; haven't seen that since it left Adult Swim (and come to think of it, I missed the first few episodes), and I'm still a bit uncertain of whether I think it's awesome or just disturbing. I did dig their Hello Kitty parody, though. (-: I loved Mind Game (though it's about as weird as Paranoia Agent); haven't seen the other films yet.

    @Courier: How does the Bubblegum Crisis 8-ep OVA differ from the full "Tokyo" series?

    Have any of you seen "Otaku no Video", by the way?

    On Studio Ghibli: Great overall moviemaking, from writing and characterization to cinematography to editing; beautiful films in many ways. Still, they definitely have their reoccurring style / "thing," and it's nice to see others do equally excellent work that isn't cloning Ghibli. (5 Centimeters per Second, e.g., or Tokyo Godfathers. Or Ghost in the Shell, the movie, for that matter.)

    @SnapSlav: More broadly, I think most anime require that you get to episode 4 or 5 before you really understand enough of what's going on. That's one reason I like anime so much, actually; the good ones don't spoon-feed you. Madoka's definitely on my short list to watch soon.

    I've watched a few eps of One Piece; I wasn't able to get into it much (yet) but at least one episode tugged on my heart strings a bit, as I was given to empathize with a character - and it was done subtly through the circumstances and story and character moments, not manipulating me through over-the-top music cues or excessive dog-kicking or anything. So I can see why people like the series so much. I still need to get past (or rather, get accustomed to) the art style and the comedy as primary focus, and start the series from the beginning; I think catching a few random episodes mid-series is working against me (as it would / should with most well-done anime with their more subtly- and carefully-developed characters and plot lines).

    By the way, I had the same problem getting into Eureka 7 as you did, SnapSlav; I still really can't stand Renton Thurston, the stupid, whiny little brat. It's not in my top 10 favorite anime, but it is pretty accessible to anime newbies, and I still had our anime club buy the DVDs; there were enough great elements in the series that I was able to set aside my annoyance at Renton (usually) and appreciate the series as a whole. Plus I had to keep reminding myself that Renton's a kid, and his emotions and childish, naive, or just plain stupid behaviors are generally appropriate for the character, though likely all exaggerated for effect.

    I felt the series was worth the effort, anyway: Not only does it have great music (imho) and characters that are easy on the eyes, but there are many satisfying, uplifting scenes and character moments, as well as complex relationships developed over the series, not to mention entertaining in-jokes and allusions (like the ship's engineers being named Jobs and Woz[niak]) and the scientist Greg "Bear" Egan, which is a reference to SF writers Greg Bear and Greg Egan. Plus I had the pleasure of telling Greg Bear that one of the characters was named after him; if you've ever met Greg Bear, who's a real bear of a man, you'd get a kick out of the resemblance between him and the anime character. Plus both the man and the character are super knowledgeable about science and are great associative, "out of the box" thinkers.

    Still, I have to admit that I haven't been driven to re-watch the series in the way I am for Ghost in the Shell: SAC/2nd Gig, Sword Art Online, or Death Note, mostly because of Renton. Not only is he whiny, but often his decisions made me want to slap him upside the head and shout "No!" or demand "WHY?!?". Who knows: Maybe the target audience is simply a lot younger than I am.

    5545Trey: Yes, many anime are cliched or formulaic, including fan-service elements. Even the really good anime can have these downfalls to some extent. But as Walpknut essentially said, every genre has its tropes and its better and worse examples of how they're used. The best anime (like the best SF works) respect the audience's intelligence and use tropes intelligently or play with them in fresh or meaningful ways, subverting or lampshading as needed, for example.

    On the topic of subs, I think it's usually a matter of taste, so not worth debating. For me (my taste), unless there are clear significant variances in accuracy and quality, I prefer dubs because I find myself so intent on the visual elements of the frame that I want to keep my eyes on them and not have to keep going back and forth to read the subtitles, often missing subtle (or not-so-subtle) visual elements. Kind of analogous to why I like keyboard shortcuts so much: they cut down on the time it takes (and mistake potential it creates) to move my hand from keyboard to mouse and back to keyboard again.

    But I will say that I'm not *against* subtitles, and it's really interesting to watch subs while also listening to dubs to see how they're similar and different. I watched Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 that way, and some of the variances in translation were striking.

    (In the end, both subs and dubs are translations, so perhaps viewing anime in the original Japanese, if not outright being Japanese, is always going to be the "best" choice of the three options. ;*)

    -m
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2016
  11. Courier

    Courier Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Orderite

    Apr 10, 2011
    The OVA was the original Bubblegum Crisis, Tokyo is a retelling of it. I haven't actually seen Tokyo so I don't know much about it except that it takes place a decade later than the OVA for some reason and it isn't supposed to be as good.
     
  12. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    Well "how far into it" you gotta go certainly depends on the anime, such as Madoka, considering it's only a 13 episode series. If a 6 episode show like FLCL doesn't hook you by the first episode, it probably won't hook you. Madoka kinda hooks you in the first episode, but it REALLY gets going by episode 3, which I suppose is adequate, considering its 13 episode length.

    Well like I said, I generally DON'T go out of my way to recommend One Piece because of how big it is and how much dedication it takes to get into it, though I will say that the most common barriers to entry- the same ones you listed of getting used to the art style and looking past a comedy-centric themes -tend to be very short lived. Like all longstanding series, the art style changes as the author's style evolves (but once you're hooked you don't even notice it anyway), and the series uses comedy to lighten up its otherwise INCREDIBLY depressing and dark tones (though thankfully NOT angsty), so you don't need to go too far before the gags come as a relief. So far, I've had success in getting some friends to watch OP by recommending that they START at episode 62, because that's where the main cast begins their adventures on the Grand Line. This means skipping several character introductions and a few major plot points, but you also fast forward through the lightest part of the story, so it's not without give and take. I really consider that the biggest entry barriers are all to do with size, like getting around all the in-universe staples, namely Devil Fruits, Sea Kings, the unique nature of the Grand Line, and the sheer volume of locations, characters, and encapsulated yet intrinsically linked storylines that recur throughout the series. One arc early on will address a racial friction between humans and fishmen, and once it's over you think that's about all there is to that little sidestory, right? Nope. Let's revisit that racism between the 2 again and delve a little deeper to explore how convoluted and historically inescapable all this mutual hatred is and while we're at it take a look at the hypocrisies of class/caste social structures. Now we've got that situation all figured out. No, wait, there's more! And that's JUST "the situation between humans and fishmen", one of many little stories amidst countless others. It's a lot to get involved with on a whim, though if you've got patience and an interest in following a really rewarding story, I highly recommend it. =)

    The worst aspect of the series is pretty exclusive to the anime (rather than the manga source material), where at some point it begins to significantly "slow down", as a consequence of the events of the anime catching up with the events of the manga, so they start dragging scenes out or throwing in total filler to space it out a little. But that issue won't really kick in to any great effect until you're well past the 300th episode, so you'd know by then if you like the series enough to stick with it, I think... XD

    Sounds a lot like my assessment of Evangelion, though it's much easier to get around Shinji's inadequacies. He doesn't spend a whole episode sharing mutual friction and spite with Asuka and then show no good reason why. No, let's have a scene where she plops down next to him, cleavage right in his face, and let's stare at him struggle with the situation; let the audience know (if they haven't figured it out already) that there's HUGE sexual tension between the two characters, and thus their constant bickering. That's something that's easily relateable, especially for the younger viewers just discovering their hormones. He's alienated at school and picked on, but that changes as he finds his place with the other students, so that's something teenagers can also relate with. When Shinji is at his lowest, his character really seems to drag, but thankfully the series doesn't dwell on that. The longest time it spent exploring his crippling self-doubt was the final 2 episodes which ended on one of the most uplifting self-affirming tones of any series as depressing as Eva, and a fantastic conclusion to the series (I felt). And yet the DVDs just kinda sit on my shelf. XD