In short (read the spoiler tags for a super long rant, but with a lot of information):
People only care about moe, suspense and story. All other aspects aren't important in their eyes. Aspects like animation, editing, character development and music. That's why outsiders don't treat anime seriously. And it's about time to change that.
I'm tired of the fact that our medium isn't being taken seriously.
There are other medium out there with a strict policy of rating a series.
What do I mean? I mean that other medium have professionals to define the bar of quality.
Anime is something relatively new, and I'm talking about the newfound popularity here.
It seems that the masses define what the requirements are for anime. Everyone has different tastes, so what we get here is a cummulation of what the majority likes. When was the time that newcomers needed to gain experience before they could openly share a worthy opinion?
Nowadays, everyone can spout nonsense, and what defines the score of a series isn't about the crucial elements anymore. It's about moe, tits, and the genre of the story (please mind that I added the word "genre" before "story"). The results: the top rated series are the genres that are the most popular, and after that comes the score based on the quality in that same genre. It's all about quantity: the biggest number of people who think the same wins.
Isn't it logical that there are more "beginners" than actual critics out there?
Don't we need to set some things straight here?
Don't we need to introduce strict values that aren't biased?
Because common people nowadays have too much power (it doesn't take a genius to go online and say whatever you want), it's easy for everyone to make their own hierarchy with their own priorities. Before this era of internet you needed to gain your respect by devoting yourself to your interest, and master it before you can say something useful. Nowadays, even studios give in to this new kind of movement. They are well-aware of the fact that the mainstream is in majority. So they make things that the majority like. That way, it looks like that the mainstream is right, because the situation is in their favor. But is it really?
Maybe we should go back to the time when anime was about quality, not some "softcore porn" called "moe" (please understand that I in fact do like moe. But for example, I don't use it as a defining factor to give K-on! a good score). Not anime made with a camera that uses static images and show off some camera movements while showing frames of the mouth going up and down.
To summarize it;
I'm planning to introduce people that there is more to anime than just the story or the appeal of the characters.
If I want a good story, I could as well just read a book or read the original manga. Anime is more than that, and I'm grateful for it. Anime stems from the word animation, and that is what I want to see: things that are moving. If you agree with this shitload of text, then join with me to improve the image of anime in general. It's time that people take this medium seriously, and it all starts with you taking it seriously.
If you don't agree, then at least try to understand my point of view. What's happening with anime isn't unique. It's always been like that for every single medium, but I think the difference is that other media realize it.
Ours doesn't. Even the so-called connoisseurs say words like "I don't care about the animation, it's the story that counts". Maybe they should stop calling themselves connoisseurs?
Every single aspect counts in an animation, whether it's about the music, the graphics or the character development. Don't just see those as single entities. Can you imagine a movie without sounds then? It's all chemistry, a series is something you get by mixing all the elements. If it's well-mixed, you can just feel that everything's alright. So I would like to ask people to stop making their own standards, claiming what really is important or not.
It's not because you don't notice the aspects, that it isn't important. For example: I won't tell an abstract painter how to do it "right". It's not because I don't care, that I should tell him to do something I would personally like.
Just compare it with the music industry. Is music even about quality now? If you watch the television, it seems that everything is about popularity. Music is to show off how cool you are. To show off "how many bitches you have".
Movies are about explosions.
I'm not claiming that all songs, anime series or movies are like that. But isn't it true that some studios base their script on the things I mentioned?
Who am I, and why do I whine so much?
A 20 year old student who studies for animation, who also wants to make people realize that there's more to anime than the usual otaku culture.
I've always been interested in animation. When I was younger, around the age of 12, I made simple animations in Flash. I kept getting better, and I looked for new ways to make my movies better. But what I've noticed is, people could be total asses when it comes to rating. They don't understand the amount of work that's been put into animation. For example, if you use popular characters like Mario or Sonic, it's guaranteed that the score would be higher than someone who invented an original character. Funny movies are also preferred over sad movies. Using sprites of video games makes it easier to look better, of course amatures can't draw as good as professional designers of Nintendo.
As you can see, I got totally frustrated, but yet, I refused to give in to these lame techniques. I just made movies because I love to be creative, it's not some sort of popularity contest. But people who do not understand that think it is. And they just keep making crap because they get a good score.
I'm now 20, and I study in a university to become a professional animator. I still love animation of all kinds, especially anime. That's why it hurts so much to see it getting raped.
Maybe you think I'm exaggerating, but if you think so, just think of this line once again: It's not because you don't care, that it's not true.
Besides, why would you mind, if the quality of anime would just rise, if you all just participated?
What defines the quality then?
Animation, editing, music, character development and many other things that is seemingly not important, but subconsciously is.
Anime isn't a special medium. It's the same category as film. So we rate it the same way as we do it with movies.
The animation is really important, hence it's called anime. It's how everything moves. Lately, you see a lot of static characters with a panning camera. That's certainly not animation.
Mind you, graphics aren't the same as animation. You can have good graphics, but bad animation. Meaning that the drawings are fine, but nothing moves. And of course, there's this reversed situation: bad graphics but good animation.
Just think of something like stick figures, they move really well, but graphically, they aren't really impressive.
The story is also important, as you all may know. But I don't need to explain that, since many of you prefer the story over other elements.
Have you ever noticed the editing? How the pace in a series goes? Take Dragon Ball, they can let Goku charge a spirit bomb for 3 episodes. Now, that's some bad editing. Good editing can make people feel better when watching an animation.
Subconsciously. Some anime depict how a conversation would go in reallife. I think that's an outstanding feat.
The music is something that people care a lot about. And I'm not talking about the opening or the ending theme. I'm talking about music that actually strengthens the series.
Character development is an important aspect too. It's not all about the obvious out there. Maybe the beauty is in something that is not obvious. Notice how some series try to obviously show that some characters are tsundere. Because else you won't notice it. They do it by showing obvious emotions, letting them blush, turning their heads, or stuttering... Viewers are not stupid. Do it more discretely. It's not like we're watching Dora the explorer. Just convey messages in a way that it's obvious, but a discrete way. Let's say it's the language of the cinema. Say stuff with the camera positioning. Not with a super close-up, like you're shouting for attention.
There are many more factors that defines the quality, but I can't name them all. Sometimes, it's even more enjoyable if you notice them yourself. Just look at this as an adventure.
What does NOT define the quality?
While moe is a cool aspect, don't forget that it doesn't necesarily define the quality. I like moe too, but is everything that's moe good? No, I like a quality anime WITH moe, if it's possible.
And there's no such thing as an elite genre. Serious stories aren't per se better. It's up to the studio to make an anime good or bad.
Some viewers seem to think the genre defines the quality. I've once seen a thread that there are "two kinds of viewers in anime". They would then go on about that there are viewers for moe, and viewers who do it for quality, like Ghost in the Shell, with a serious story and such.
Let me tell you something. Quality isn't genre dependant. While it's true that if you have a serious genre, that studios are prone to take it more seriously with animating it. But it is not true that comedy series can't be made with quality. And vice versa. Not all serious series are well-made. Stop rating series a 10, because you like moe so much. Or stop thinking you're intelligent, because you rated Evangelion a 10.
Like I said, try to look for the things that matter. As stated in the paragraphs at the top.
What can you do?
You can convey the message, orally, virtually, whatever, just do it.
You can also help by inviting other members.
Start by taking notion of the things I mentioned. Start rating seriously, the way they deserve it. Stop centralizing yourself, thinking that a score is something you show off.
Maybe you didn't like a series, but does it mean someone else won't like it? I'm not claiming that nobody can have his own opinion, but at least don't rate something down because it wasn't your cup of tea.
Change the industry by showing that you know what you want. <exaggerates>Or else this sector will die a slow death </exaggerates>.
Nah, it probably won't be that way, but why not try to motivate original studios to do their thing? I think I speak for everyone that we don't like generic "cloned" anime.
Who wants to see rip-offs anyway?
You can help by sending this message all over: whether it's inviting people for this club, explaining them what I said, it's all up to you. Just be sure that the message is conveyed.
Thanks for the support!
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Created: May 14, 2010
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