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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Editorial: The trappings of anime AKA Why I don't like Honey & Clover

NYORO~N Screen
Above: A scene you may see frequently in anime. Less so in "Gilmore Girls."


Magicks. Girls with guns. Lands, planets, and times that bear no resemblance to my own. Guys falling over and accidentally touching boob, immediately getting punched into outer-space by a tsunderekko. Fight scenes that take over ten episodes and three flashbacks to resolve. Gut-wrenching melodrama. A reality far removed from this world.

That's what I love.

Y'see, I like my anime BIG. Big action. Huge breasts. Epic tales that span the years. Giant facial contortions. Overwhelming slapstick. Humungous tenticles which may or may not be an analogy for cock. All that stuff; these are the reasons I watch those Japanese cartoons.

But don't mistake me for an ignorant heathen. No no. Because The Rockwell enjoys many a slow-paced, nuanced, simple series grounded in reality.

Just not in anime.

HAGU Screen
ASX Rating: Zzzzz/10


Let's take Honey & Clover for example. On page it's a pretty decent concept. The characters are likable, with depth, and some even have gimmicks. The dynamics work well. The stories are good. There's laughs and tears. Yet this is the series that ended up costing me a wristwatch, after my constant checking of the time while watching H&C wound up staring a hole straight through it.

But if this was live action? I think then there would be a pretty good chance I'd have the overpriced boxset sitting on my shelf right now.

So what's the missing ingredient? Real actors. This is the key to captivating an audience and holding them in place when you're selling a story that lacks killerlolis or giant mecha.

I don't care how awesome your seiyuu lineup may be; with a director short of God-like and an average animation budget it's just not possible to duplicate the same quality of layered performance that a living, breathing actor of good calibre will give you.

Aliens with rock guitars and robots bursting from a prepubescent teen's forehead? Anime is your go-to guy—no fucking question. Reality and subtlety? Not exactly animation's strong point. I'd go so far to say that it is it's weakness.

Is this to say that you are sucxkz if you prefer Beck to Magikano? Yes. No. So what am I saying? Not entirely sure myself. Perhaps I'm just saying that unfortunately anime isn't an all-in-one magic food processor, and sometimes you gotta hit up other forms of entertainment media for your fix.

Oh, and don't feel ostracized if you didn't like H&C. We can be pals.

GRENALOLI Screen
ASX Rating: WIN/10

16 Comments:

Blogger Hung said...

The Nyoro~n 4koma makes up for you not liking H&C.

5:41 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*high fives you for not liking this stupid overrated show* =D

-Hinano

5:43 PM

 
Anonymous Seth said...

Well, there's supposed to be a live action movie (or tv show or something) for hachikuro.

6:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

H&C is a wierd show. It would work as live action, but then you would lose the charm of the wackier moments. It can really swing any way, though I think the comedy works better animated since it's slapstick and not wordplay. To each thier own though.

7:05 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stopped watching H&C after the third episode of the first season. If you don't like it then don't watch it. It's that simple.

I will have to disagree with you on the part about reality in anime. There are many great series that are realistic and work wonderfully animated. His and Her Circumstances, Koi Kaze, and Paradise Kiss were all great shows that retained a realistic nature. Shows like that are some of the best anime there is. Realistic fantasy shows are just as good. Things like Noein and Mushishi which are overlooked generally are some of the best types of anime being made. It's the garbage you mentioned in your first paragraph that is disappointing hogwash. Those types of shows are so generic and repetative it's hard not have a seizure when watching them.

7:47 PM

 
Blogger ZoeZoe said...

It was refreshing when I first started with the H & C manga, no big boobs, no big eye lolis with an IQ of 50, no pantsu-flashing; I really enjoyed it.

Then came Ouran High School Host Club, who blew it out of porpotion. Suddenly HC was, too slow, too bland.

Its good if you enjoy quiet, sentimental mangas like this, but I'll take a crossdressing host club over this any day.

9:06 PM

 
Blogger kanzzzorzzz said...

What hung said, the tsuruya ftw.

10:20 PM

 
Blogger Crayotic Rockwell said...

to respond to the third anonymous person (damn blogger commenting system):

"His and Her Circumstances, Koi Kaze, and Paradise Kiss were all great shows that retained a realistic nature. Shows like that are some of the best anime there is."

Barring your reccomendation of ParaKiss (which I have seen partially and found multiples of 170mb was a little hefty just to have a nifty sounding OP on my harddrive and nothing else), Koi Kaze and His & Hers (which I haven't seen, granted) sound like they'd have pretty big emo in them, and deal with a strong engaging story.

I'm not saying all mindless entertainment anime is teh awesome, nor am I lamblasting all reality-grounded anime (even though that's not why I'm in the anime biz--I've got other mediums for that.) and I felt that was clear enough for one to extrapolate.

It's the reality set anime that just kind of potters about, without the strength of real acting to keep your attention. That's the anime I'm putting on notice.

"Realistic fantasy shows are just as good. Things like Noein and Mushishi which are overlooked generally are some of the best types of anime being made"

Okay, firstly. "Realistic Fantasy show" seems a tad oxymoronic. And I believe that Noein and Mushishi would fit under the "Lands, planets, and times that bear no resemblance to my own." or "reality far removed from this world." that I mention in.. oh, hey look, my first paragraph!

So, kneejerk reaction perhaps?

10:20 PM

 
Blogger bateszi said...

"I don't care how awesome your seiyuu lineup may be; with a director short of God-like and an average animation budget it's just not possible to duplicate the same quality of layered performance that a living, breathing actor of good calibre will give you."

I fundamentally disagree with this point. Azumanga Daioh, Cromartie High Scool, Fruits Basket and Millenium Actress to name but a few. From my perspectivie, I often find it easy to empathise with anime characters because they don't look like actors playing a role, rather they are the role itself.

1:59 AM

 
Anonymous Hige said...

Personally I think Honey & Clover has enough fantasy in it to justify being an animation rather than live action. A lot of the Morita comedy just wouldn't be as funny if it were done in reality. Animation allows for precise timing, and timing is everything.

Although your point about animation being there to serve extremes is fairly valid. I'd still say H&C is an example to prove it wrong, though.

Nice FLCL reference, btw. <3

4:03 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Y'see, I like my anime BIG. Big action. Huge breasts. Epic tales that span the years."

Go watch "The Legend of the Overfiend". It's fittingly made for someone with little attention span such as yourself. Unless, of course, this is a desperate ploy to attract commenters into your blog.

5:52 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, it was a kneejerk reaction to my first reading of the post. On reflection, I see what your trying to say more clearly. I still disagree that all anime that is realistic should be portrayed in live action. Anime is an art form that lets the animation form emotions, not an actor. Like Bateszi said, anime characters aren't playing roles and live action is not inherently better than anime.

7:52 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:08 AM

 
Blogger Morgin black said...

i would rather perfer anime than actors trying to be anime, if actors try to be anime, that makes it gaymax

gaymax is bad

and what does the deleted comment sat above my one, somthing someone said was so bad it caused crayotic to wipe it from the face of the earth with his keybord-no-jitsu

must of been a hell of a comment

12:38 AM

 
Blogger Morgin black said...

i would rather perfer anime than actors trying to be anime, if actors try to be anime, that makes it gaymax

gaymax is bad

and what does the deleted comment sat above my one, somthing someone said was so bad it caused crayotic to wipe it from the face of the earth with his keybord-no-jitsu

must of been a hell of a comment

12:38 AM

 
Blogger Crayotic Rockwell said...

morgin: it was just a spam comment. nothing earth shaking.

6:52 AM

 

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