My specialty is about IT and physics, but I have a lot of interests different from this field. History, philosophy, studying various cultures, arts and especially literature - I pay them attention almost equally. But to be honest, I don’t even read many books that many people think as must-to-read, so I ask of your indulgence and understatement. Learning is my passion so I will always be grateful if someone will try to explain or just point out my mistakes ^_^ For most cases I listen people and try to understand them, so there is no need for silence, if you want to say something.
WARNING: If you want facts or evidence for any of my claims in reviews, forums or comments then you should sue me and not asking me to gather them for you for free. There is a lot of information which forms my perception of concrete show and I don't try to rationalize everything up. Explaining why I came to some conclusion would be more like education than simple conversation. Just consider everything I say as my personal opinion and not in-depth study of anime.
That I like in anime:
I find anime interesting because of influence of Japanese storytelling tradition where characters are main key of the story. It's approach to characters are less analytical and rational in comparison to modern Western culture. This is crucial for me as I prefer smart humane characters with wide range of emotions. I favor manipulative and strong willed characters over simpletons who wins only because of friends, moral superiority or some unique omnipotent power. I generally dislike shounen type of heroes and shounen genre itself.
Neither do I like piles of hidden meaning and symbols. For me unraveling them is just mind game which doesn't worth the time. And I also don't like modern detectives there you just can't figure out murderer from the beginning simply because of lack of information. And generally I just don't like then author hiding important information from audience only to heighten suspense or attract attention.
In short, my criteria for anime:
1) It should have naturalistic characters closer to real humans as possible. Huge plus if characters are changing as plot develops. Huge minus if characters are completely determined by one idea, desire or goal.
2) Story should be driven by characters only and not events or organizations with highly arguable goals. Huge plus if decisions made by characters have various subtle consequences for the plot. Huge minus if characters affect only the details but not the major current of the story.
3) Audience attention control techniques should be kept to minimum, suspense shouldn't seem artificial or misplaced. Huge plus if story flows naturally without any care about how bored audience may be. Huge minus if any aspect of story suffers for the sake of audience entertainment.
Just three criteria, lol. But they are quite difficult to match.
For now, these criteria matched by:
1) "Spice and Wolf" - аbsolute winner.
2) "Kino no Tabi" - quite good, narrative techniques close to classical.
3) "Dantalion no Shoka" - close but have some flaws. Still likes its focus on literature =3
1) Monogotari Series - best example of truly character-driven story. Plus Nisio Isin postmodern, brain exploding storytelling. Perfect match for first and second criterion but I'm still not sure about third.
And there are animes which I like just for certain qualities:
1) Irregular at Magic School - objective idealism is best basis for magic systems and the author are exploring the "World of Ideas" with respect to physics and IT. There are plenty mistakes according to physics (for example, lighting faster than light in air) and some explanations are very obscure or inconsistent, but nevertheless it is interesting attempt to blend philosophy, IT and physics.
2) Sword Art Online - I know about how many flaws it have. But as IT-specialist I found depiction of virtual reality pretty believable. There is no AI in every corner, no talks about uniting real and virtual word and many other things which are ridiculous with respect to modern science. Author made setting pretty consistent with today computer science and I just grateful for that.
About Monogotari series:
"In my opinion, there are simple rules about Bakemonogatari and anything else from Monogotari series.
Do not watch it if you ...
1) ... favor particular genres especially action, romance or thriller. Monogotari doesn't care about genre consistency and borders at all.
2) ... don't know (or don't care about) the very basics of japanese. I suggest at least finding out how ordinary keyboard is used to type japanese hieroglyphs - kanji. In Monogotari, many jokes and moments are based on playing with kanji and their readings.
3) ... are disgusted with obscene dialogues, fanservice and especially lolicon. Most of people who like Monogatari for characters and story doesn't take these things seriously. They ignore it or take it with humor.
Watch it if you...
1) ... already familiar with many different genres and open for new experiences. Until now, not me, not my advisors hadn't found anything really close to Monogotari.
2) ... perceive most of shows too slow in term of feeding new information and details to audience. Infamous slides, long dialogues, character design, highly dynamic scene backgrounds - there is plenty of details which sometimes can be very amusing.
3) ... strive for "truly" character-based story. Nisio Isin has taken the concept of character-based story to it's extreme. In Monogatari the characters are the only driving force of story, not any plot-wise element like battles, games, puzzles, merchant deals or even relationship development."
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