Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
×

:iconjollyjack: More from jollyjack


Featured in Collections

Other by Steeltalon

Journals by Tuba22

Journals by ShadowDhampire


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
May 2, 2013
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
18,778
Favourites
120 (who?)
Comments
550
×
I can list a whole range of eastern-born cartoons that I think look absolutely gorgeous, and whose visual style I wish very much that I could emulate.
Only a handful of those, however, can I refer to as being "good". Or even "tolerable".
Having watched them for most of my life, going back to things like Mysterious Cities of Gold and the original Astro Boy, I can say with a certain degree of authority that: Japanese storytelling is a bit wank. Daring and dynamic visuals, sure. Crap narrative.
And it can't ALL be blamed on "bad translation".

There's a wide range of gripes to be had, but chief among them these days is that the major characters, those who one would assume you're to root for, across however many episodes the series consists of, are generally complete and utter dicks.
Example:
I'm currently wading through Gurren Lagann, a series which people have raved about for a while but which I'd not had the chance to watch until now (spoiler approaching, should you be in the same boat). There's a character in this called Kamina. He's an arrogant, aggressive, idiotic thug that, when not beating up his weedy little friend, instead throws him into harms way, and drops the line "Who the hell do you think I am" at least four times an episode. Which isn't annoying at all.
He's a douche, basically.
Thankfully, he dies. Inexplicably, all of his companions are broken up about this (which I assume means the audience is expected to be also). What the hell? This guy was a twat! Don't weep by his grave! DANCE on it! He's gone. You'll all live longer!
The more contemporary anime I watch right now, the higher the pr*ck count seems to be, and they're all primary, if not central, characters. This probably explains why I keep going back to my older DVD box-sets rather than purchasing new ones. I just can't watch a series where the character that gets the most screen time is such a dislikeable prat.

I've been digging around in my retro games mag collection, and found an old copy of Amiga Power. In it, they listed a few of the key tropes that will always be found in an anime. In 20 years, nothing's changed:

[excerpt from Amiga Power, Issue 50, June 1995]

Essential Anime Scene 1: A vocal conflict.
The thing that separates Anime shouting from shouting per se is the highly stylised and distinct Japanese way it always gets done. Take, just by way of example, a testosterone and amphetamine charged showdown between the evil Antagonist and green-haired, large-eyed Protagonist. The shouting must take the almost haiku-like form of:
Antagonist: "Protagonist!"
Protagonist: "Antagonist!"
Repeat at least 15 times.

Essential Anime Scene 2: Something is surprising.
96% of Anime plots make no sense, jumping from a poignant confession of undying love one moment to a hell-spawned demon biting off a motorcyclist's head the next. If the viewers, the writers and the animators don't understand them, why should the voice-over artists that dub them? To cover up any embarrassing pauses that are caused by a particularly indecipherable sequence, all characters go "huh?" to show that even THEY haven't got the foggiest idea of what's occurring. It's become an expected convention.

Essential Anime Scene 3: She's asking for it.
The Otaku WireHeads who create Anime films love women. They think they are soft and warm and yummy. Unfortunately, they don't meet women, and even if they did, wouldn't possess the social skills to talk to one, and here's the rub. Their somewhat mixed-up feelings invariably find their way into their films. To full recreate this, scantily clad buxom babes ripping at each other's clothing is good, but women being bashed around by nine foot tall blokes is better. Strangely, this too has become the standard in anime and manga.

Essential Anime Scene 4: A meaningful debate.
Of course, it's not just terrorising innocent women, you know. What do you think these people are? Monsters? To enrich the viewer's lives, or in an attempt to even out the gratuitous violence and misogynistic attacks (one or the other), Anime films MUST contain scenes provoking thought. Read the assorted works of the world's spiritual leaders (God, Allah, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, etc) and simply plunder random passages from each. Stick a few characters in a cell or on a mountain for a scene and have the spout some of these musings. Perfecto.

Essential Anime Scene 5: The allegedly humorous incident.
Despite all you hear about Benny Hill being sold successfully to European TV stations, humour doesn't travel that well – look no further than Blossom or Hanging with Mr Cooper for proof of this. Anime humour comes in two basic forms – 'Giggle, that's a nude girly' gags and slapstick. Slapstick a la Sam Peckinpah/Quentin Tarantino, that is. People sprinting into unseen plate-glass windows, smashing their teeth on table edges or getting their hands torn off is funny. Apparently. Something to do with the East/West cultural differences, we think.

Essential Anime Scene 6: Air is moving rapidly.
Be it the front of an approaching storm, the fearsome updraught of a cataclysmic conflagration or merely the shockwave of a small, tactical, thermo-nuclear device, numerous scenes in any Anime film MUST be windy. Ideally, the character must be standing on some lofty peak, fiercely backlit, maximizing the potential for flapping capes and those light flares that happen accidentally in movies but are carefully recreated in animated form. Skyscrapers are good, as are mountains. Or how about the wing of a 747, the hero stoically leaning into 500mph head winds?
  • Listening to: Booming orchestral scores
  • Reading: a book
  • Watching: Craptacular anime
  • Playing: Minecraft
  • Eating: Bread
  • Drinking: Water
Add a Comment:
 
:iconnightmarevf:
NightmareVF Featured By Owner Edited Nov 29, 2014  Student Writer
Honestly, I hated the show and those bitches like Yoko >:c But, there are some decent animes with more action like Hellsing or One Piece
Reply
:iconjulieadeolagolddust2:
JulieAdeolaGoldDust2 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014  Student Photographer
Interesting... what about the anime that teach you things like friendship and inner strength? Ever heard of Naruto:Shippuden?
Reply
:iconstar3catcher:
star3catcher Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014
I like to describe myself as an anime fan who admits that the majority of anime is pretty bad.
Reply
:iconcannibalrabbit:
CannibalRabbit Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2014  Student Filmographer
Well I hated anime because I think it's repetitive and stupid at times. Constant "kawaii!!" factors and stupid shit. Sorry, but I hate it very much, and prefer american/whatever stylized cartoons better. More likely, I hate it because of the obnoxious fandoms it has. "Oh gosh!! Armin/whateverthefuckhisnameis is such a kawaii shota desu I wanna rape him!!!! >W<" and not exaggerating on that one, I've seen worse. Hell, even some cartoons have these weeaboo fandoms crawling all over as well. It gives me cancer every time I see some kid that made some kind of "fanurt" that consists of a pre-made base and a poorly drawn character of theirs that apparently every guy in the shows she loves is practically in love with her.
Reply
:iconxauralunarisx:
xAuraLunarisx Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I agree. xD I like anime, but I dont usually watch it due to too much violence or sexual themes.
Reply
:iconnightshade43:
nightshade43 Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014
I'm usually very careful with what anime I watch, and look into a show so I'm not surprised by anything I don't like. Some anime [the more grounded ones like Shi Ki] I like.

I'd love for you to do a Western Animation version of this. There's so many themes. Or adult series. It's fun pointing out the cliches in everything.
Reply
:iconthe-third-guy:
the-third-guy Featured By Owner May 25, 2014
I agree 100%
Reply
:iconvm893:
VM893 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
wow. you just completely summarized why Anime has never caught on with me. well done sir. 
Reply
:iconmew-seeker:
Mew-seeker Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013
I have watched Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and while he has flaw, he also has his good side.
Sure, Kamina is braggart and he could probably act nicer toward other people too.
He asked for the treatment he got in the bath house episode and it was funny. : P
That being said, while the way he treats Simon is rough, he try doing so to teach to Simon how to never back down run away from problems and develop his through potential.
Despite all his flaws, Kamina is the guy who saw first before everyone else who Simon truly is and not what he seems to be.
By contrast, Yoko, while a much more nicer person toward Simon treat him like a little kid who is way out of his league and can't manage on his own.
One of the most telling scene of the trust has Kamina toward Simon is when Simon just say he has a plan and Kamina just hand him full control without asking any question.
Also, despite you saying he his a jerk, he refused to take for himself the things Simon discovered at the beginning. : )
Also, Kamina never accepted that people would live a mediocre life uner the ground, under the fear. Not just him but everyone. He also never accepted that someone else told him that something was impossible just because. As he fought against those who oprimed humanity, the others seeing he was getting somewhere imitated him and joined him in hopes of a better life. That he died like that was a big shock for everyone.
Also, they were wondering : "what now"?
Anyway, one of the thing I liked about the show was the interactions between the characters. ^^
Sure, the story was not the deepest but, overall, the anime was good imho.
Maybe it's not for you but I don't think it's as bad as you make it sound.
That being said perhaps the movie version would work better for you?
If anything, it's shorter, 2 movies of 2 hours each.

That being said, should you look for something better, I have some suggestions.
Puella Magi Madoka Magika is one of my favorite. Several people overlook it because it looks like a Sailour Moon or Card Captor Sakura knock-off. It's not. And only 12 episodes too. ^^
Gargantia of the Verdurous Planet is nice too. Super space warrior Ledo and his robot Chamber end up in a world they know nothing about and must adapt to the situation, having to deal with stuff like value dissonance among a few things. 12 episodes too.
Spirited Away. A young girl and her parents end up in a supernatural world. The girl end up having to save them. Great movie. ^^
Princess Tutu. If a show can make ballet awesome, it's this one. Also, a lot more stuff happens than you would expect at first.
Reply
:iconshawnleroy:
ShawnLeroy Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
That's too great. Bravo, good sir. Apparently, European magazines were awesome in the 90s.
Reply
Add a Comment: