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Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger Episode 24 Discussion
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View Poll Results: Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger Episode 24 Discussion
5 out of 5: Loved it!
 
139 89.10%
4 out of 5: Liked it
 
11 7.05%
3 out of 5: It was OK
 
4 2.56%
2 out of 5: Disliked it
 
2 1.28%
1 out of 5: Hated it
 
0.00%
Voters: 156

06-17-09, 8:05 PM

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noteDhero said:
I definitely don't think so. If we're just talking about good direction and setting the a great atmosphere, White Album (especially creating tension), Kemono no Souja Erin, Higashi no Eden, Ristorante Paradiso, Natsu no Arashi, Birdy: Decode 2, and Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou are much better.

For me this isn't even the best of the season, much less the year or the genre.
Sounds like you're watching this show for the wrong reasons.
 
06-17-09, 8:20 PM

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Well, I was talking about direction in my original post. I wanted to keep it about that rather than just talking about what I feel are better shows this year. I'm watching the show because I like Miyata and wanted to continue the story that began in the first series. I was fine with the direction (though lackluster) earlier in the show because it handled the weight of the Date fight in a way that really engaged me. Looking back I suppose that was just the strength of the manga and less so the execution of the show because after that (passing the torch scene especially) I feel like this show has gone down the amateurish path of making it into more like Rocky than a fluid, adrenaline pumping sports show.
 
06-17-09, 8:28 PM

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noteDhero said:
Well, I was talking about direction in my original post. I wanted to keep it about that rather than just talking about what I feel are better shows this year. I'm watching the show because I like Miyata and wanted to continue the story that began in the first series. I was fine with the direction (though lackluster) earlier in the show because it handled the weight of the Date fight in a way that really engaged me. Looking back I suppose that was just the strength of the manga and less so the execution of the show because after that (passing the torch scene especially) I feel like this show has gone down the amateurish path of making it into more like Rocky than a fluid, adrenaline pumping sports show.
That's because there's no 80s music anymore, duh!
 
06-17-09, 8:38 PM

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noteDhero said:
I definitely don't think so. If we're just talking about good direction and setting the a great atmosphere, White Album (especially creating tension), Kemono no Souja Erin, Higashi no Eden, Ristorante Paradiso, Natsu no Arashi, Birdy: Decode 2, and Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou are much better.


This is a way different type of atmosphere to the anime you just named out. This is about being a unit, supporting each other... mateship.
 
06-17-09, 8:40 PM

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I honestly don't remember the music of the first series so much (exception of the openings), so I don't think that's the problem. It had more to do with the show really connecting the heart of each fight with some earthy struggle on the characters' part. I felt it there in the Date fight, but not so much in the Miyata, Nao, and Hawk fights. There has just been a strange disconnect in what I'm seeing and the intensity of the characters throughout the show.

The big tip off for me is that with the first series (I think it's good but over hyped) I never doubted what the characters were feeling and why, and was engaged in every fight. Here, not so much. Part of that does have to do with the bad idea of making Nao a "bad guy," cheating during the match, and then trying to soften him up for a defeat; and making Hawk a comically one dimensional antagonist for Takamura that I'm supposed feel like he stands a chance in winning against. Maybe the source material can be blamed...but I don't think so much.

@Black Hawk
That's funny, because I never thought that this is what the season was about. Especially because it's called "The New Challenger." I assumed it was completely about Miyata, Ippo and Takamura stepping into their own as boxers. Regardless though, my point was direction that was clear, precise, and set an atmosphere that engages.
 
06-17-09, 8:40 PM

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Personally, I thought that was EPIC!

On another note, Takamura's power level is over 9000!
 
06-17-09, 9:17 PM

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noteDhero said:
I definitely don't think so. If we're just talking about good direction and setting the a great atmosphere, White Album (especially creating tension), Kemono no Souja Erin, Higashi no Eden, Ristorante Paradiso, Natsu no Arashi, Birdy: Decode 2, and Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou are much better.


This is a total apples to oranges comparison. There's not one sports anime on that list. What you're bringing up here is a list which, while not fully irrelavent, doesn't really compare effectively with NC. What you're giving us here is more genre preference than relevant directing comparison.
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06-17-09, 9:36 PM

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How is this genre preference? I have an eroge based harem that I gave a 5, a children's fantasy with some adult elements I gave a 7, a sci-fi thriller I gave an 8, a slice of life based on cooking I have at a 6, a shaft comedy (best way to describe it) at 7, shounen action show at 7, and a paranormal slice of life at 9.

As I said, its about creating an atmosphere that enhances the story, but if you want me to talk about sports shows, two shows that do better in the sports department this year are One Outs and Cross Game, for different reasons. One outs because it just does the style that NC's been doing this season much better (the Kaiji-esque thing I've been talking about) even if it's a style that I don't appreciate. Cross Game because it takes a decidedly simplistic, unobtrusive approach to direction that goes hand in hand with the carefree, pleasant, and sometimes idyllic tone of the show.

As I said with White Album, it created tension where there was none to be found, something that NC couldn't do on a constant basis even when it had all of the elements. Erin accomplishes a stylized way to depict violence without it totally detracting from the momentum of the action (Takamura's show clones should take note); same goes to Eden which mixes fantastical elements with little confusion (though the wings were a bit much) while also navigating through a large cast of characters and making them feel real; Natsu no Arashi manages to drift between slapstick and drama without losing it sense of self as a show; Birdy 2 took risks in choosing different techniques to convey ferocity in pace and dynamic action; Ristorante and Zoku Natsume are perhaps the hardest in drawing comparisons, but I can say that what the directors chose to do regarding flashbacks in both shows had an unforced, natural, and dramatically relevant quality in their execution.
 
06-17-09, 10:59 PM

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I'm saying that if you're going to do a comparison, it's better to go with shows in the same genre (even though there are universal elements of production). It makes for a better discussion. Trying to find your point in shows of other genres results in tenuous connections made with very broad terms, as it did in the second half of your last paragraph. Everything from the Eden comparison onward is a stretch at best, and that gives off the impression that the shows were on the original list simply because you liked them more. More importantly, many of the techniques used for creating tension in one genre can easily backfire in a different genre.

I'd rather not defend New Challenger, it was a disappointment for me too. But if this is your plan of attack...

As long as you're talking about ratings, care to explain why your list has NC as a 6 and OO as a 5, if OO is doing NC's approach only better?
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06-17-09, 11:07 PM

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Maybe the Eden comparison is a stretch, but I definitely stand by the comparison that I drew with Birdy: 2. Especially since the direction of this show is painfully static. What I was saying with Eden is that it managed to have a completely tangential scene with alienesque creatures rubbing against the main character, and on the whole no one really questioned what was going on. Yet with Takamura's shadow clones (within the discussion forums), most viewers were put off. As far as creating tension goes (since I was talking more about White Album) the main technique used was silence. White Album was very good at milking moments of stillness to drum up contemplation and unease on the part of the viewers. I can't really think of any scenes in NC where there wasn't some music, quick camera cuts, or voice action to get in the way of creating an intense atmosphere.

My bad, I assumed that I had already dropped NC down to a 5 a few episodes ago.
 
06-17-09, 11:19 PM

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"took risks in choosing different techniques to convey ferocity in pace and dynamic action"

Sounds like something NC did do, insofar as the slow-mo and red eyes effects were new things for this series. It's just that the risks were failures.

With Eden, a lot of people were put off by the wings Kuroha pulled out of nowhere in episode 7, iirc. The greater overall tolerance of ass pulls in that show may come from the fact that it's already pretty unrealistic as far as the overall premise goes.

Not gonna argue with the silence part. I think I said last ep that the dialogue timing was one of the main problems of this series - that it was just too damn rushed, lacking any dramatic pauses, to make people feel any emotion. And you know where that time's going? Slow motion shots of blood being coughed up. It's like Zach Snyder's behind it all, and it's a bit disheartening.
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06-17-09, 11:27 PM

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I'm happy with the victory of Takamura, BUT, I think that this fight took to finish, taking all the thrill of victory >.< It was the first fight in Hajime, that I was not cheering at the end.


 
06-17-09, 11:50 PM

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With Birdy 2, they were using a completely different design (more stylistic in one episode, and more rudimentary in another) to execute fast paced, fluid animation. Almost in the same manner as Kaiba's first episode. That was a total risk, especially considering it was the second season to the reboot of Birdy.

I don't personally see slow motion as a risk...it's just cliche and pedestrian. The red eyes was a risk, but yeah...it was a failure. But considering the first series did something similar with the glowing green pupils, I just don't get why he didn't stick with that. The pupils were rarely used this season. Especially in this fight.

Yeah, that's why I said "the wings were a bit much." It was taken quite negatively in the discussion also (quite a surprise to me given the precedent the show had already sent).

But if Ippo were a bit more like Zach Snyder's style in that it went in and out of slow motion to sharply contrast action and imagery, I think I'd be a bit happier since we'd still see the "other worldiness" of the boxers' speed and power while still being able to capture and milk things a bit. What we got instead was 10 seconds between seconds in a knockdown count and then back and forth slow motion between coughing up blood, Ippo, Itagaki, Aoki, Kimura (and Miyata?) in tears running toward the ring, and the crowd yelling. All of that was so bafflingly unnecessary.

I feel like the director just doesn't really get the point of the show, and therefore chooses these very weird moments to frame or elevate.
 
06-18-09, 1:26 AM

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Probably the best episode of the season. Takamura was very cool looking throughout the episode.
 
06-18-09, 6:38 AM

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Hoooooooooly crap friggin' scary as hell when Hawk looked back during the sway back with his red eyes. DDD:
 
06-18-09, 12:00 PM

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yakyuu-addict said:
Probably the best episode of the season.
Watched it as I ate dinner. Man, gotta' be one of the best dinners I've had. :D Takamura ruled this episode.
 
06-18-09, 12:35 PM

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noteDhero said:
But if Ippo were a bit more like Zach Snyder's style in that it went in and out of slow motion to sharply contrast action and imagery, I think I'd be a bit happier since we'd still see the "other worldiness" of the boxers' speed and power while still being able to capture and milk things a bit. What we got instead was 10 seconds between seconds in a knockdown count and then back and forth slow motion between coughing up blood, Ippo, Itagaki, Aoki, Kimura (and Miyata?) in tears running toward the ring, and the crowd yelling. All of that was so bafflingly unnecessary.


Emphasizing the action too much has been and would be a mistake. The main draw for sports anime is not the action so much as the athletes. Because a lot of people do sports or otherwise compete, athletes, when developed, can be very sympathetic characters. When the athletes aren't narmed up, people can superimpose their own experiences on the characters in the ring, instead of just detatchedly watching them pummel each other. Spending time on the 10 count wasn't a mistake in and of itself. How they paced it was just sloppy. It would have been fairly easy to put a different still image in for each count (like the manga did, iirc), but they just jumped around too much.
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06-18-09, 1:08 PM

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You think they've been focused on action? I don't think so. I think that there has been no focus in the show at all, and when there is focus, it's on the wrong things, like Ippo reaching for Nao or the coughing up blood. Also, the focus was more on a shounenized version of boxing (the whole, I've got shadow clones, no I can do better than that, and the who's making a comeback now vibe) instead of a more mature, brutal and character focused outlook that the first season had. I think spending time on the count was a mistake because that was what, the second or third time in the episode that they had done it, and maybe the fifth or sixth time in the fight. It's just a stall tactic, and an overused (and therefore dramatically useless) mechanic.
 
06-18-09, 5:30 PM

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Really liked the episode despite all of its flaws but the overall fight could have been a lot better.
It was my favorite in the manga because it was takamua's first test against the world.

P.S.
"Your strong but you have bad luck. Bad luck that fate put you in the same era as me."
-Takamura Mamoru, World Champion

 
06-18-09, 9:26 PM

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noteDhero said:
Also, the focus was more on a shounenized version of boxing (the whole, I've got shadow clones, no I can do better than that, and the who's making a comeback now vibe) instead of a more mature, brutal and character focused outlook that the first season had.


Pretty true. I can feel that distinction a bit more. Though shonen itself (like any other genre) isn't necessarily bad, there are parts of it that can drag like so.

As far as the counts go...

The 10-counts prior to the final one are adrenaline/thrillz moments, when the fight's outcome was still uncertain. The final one was a moment of triumph - a shared epiphany where the entire arena unites to count out Hawk, completely sure of Takamura's win. A potentially awesome moment. The rapid cuts killed it off because they were still focused on putting in their cheap thrillz, ignoring drama. And yeah, the fact that it was after another, similar, 10-count didn't really help.
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